The Z-Wave hub acts as the brain behind the smart home, and when paired with other smart home devices, it acts as the command center for the home. Z-Wave has a significant market share in the smart home protocol market. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global Z-Wave market size is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 16.9% from 2020 to 2025.
This article takes you to understand what is a Z-wave gateway and its advantages and disadvantages, helping you choose a more suitable smart home gateway.
What is a Z-Wave hub?
A Z-Wave hub is a device that serves as the central controller for a Z-Wave wireless home automation system. Z-Wave is a wireless communication technology that enables smart home devices to connect with one another as well as with the Z-Wave hub.
A Z-Wave gateway usually connects to the internet and allows you to operate Z-Wave compatible devices like smart lighting, thermostats, door locks, and sensors via a smartphone app or a web interface. You can also operate your smart home gadgets using a speech assistant, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, via the Z-Wave hub.
How does a Z-Wave hub make the home smarter?
Z-Wave hubs can create scenes, schedule automation, set up notifications, and integrate with other smart home platforms. Below we list some applications of Z-Wave hubs in the field of smart home.
Build a Home Security System
A complete home security system including door and window sensors, motion sensors, and cameras may be built using Z-Wave hubs. If a smart sensor detects an intruder, the hub may be configured to send notifications to the user’s smartphone or to sound an alarm. The mobile app for the Z-Wave hub allows the user to remotely monitor the security system as well.
Save home energy
Smart thermostats, smart lighting, and other energy-efficient products may be automated via Z-Wave hubs. The user may establish unique schedules and automations that switch gadgets on and off depending on their usage patterns, reducing energy consumption and saving money on utility bills.
Dusun IoT offers a smart apartment solution that allows renters to live in a home that is integrated with and responds to their lifestyle. In exchange, it raises rent, saves energy, and collects vital resident demographic statistics. The smart home gadget communicates with the customer’s or a third party’s smart apartment platform via the smart ZigBee gateway for remote operation and control.
Build entertainment system
Home entertainment systems such as TVs, audio systems, and smart speakers may be controlled via Z-Wave hubs. With a single command, the user can build personalized scenarios that switch on certain devices, modify volume levels, and change input sources, making it easier to enjoy their favorite movies and music.
Family member health monitoring
Wave hubs can be used to keep track on the health of senior family members. If a sensor detects that the user has fallen or if a door is left open for a lengthy period of time, the Z-Wave hub gateway may be set to send notifications to the user’s smartphone. The hub’s mobile app may also be used to remotely monitor the user’s behavior.
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Wave hubs can manage smart locks and garage doors, allowing the user to permit or prohibit access to their home remotely. In addition, the user can receive alerts when a lock is unlocked or closed, adding an extra layer of security.
What are the advantages of using a Z-Wave hub?
Reasons for choosing Z-Wave hubs in smart homes include their device interoperability, low power consumption, ease of installation, long range and security.
One of the key advantages of Z-Wave hub is its interoperability with other protocols. According to the Z-Wave Alliance, each and every Z-Wave hub needs to be compliant with a stringent set of requirements. Every Z-Wave certified hub and every Z-Wave certified device will be able to communicate with one another.
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Low power consumption
Low power consumption is one of the main benefits of Z-Wave hubs for home automation. Instead of using cable connections, Z-Wave hubs interact with one another via a wireless mesh network, which uses a lot less energy. Additionally, the wireless protocol makes it possible to install devices anywhere in the house without the need for extra cabling, which lowers installation costs and facilitates the addition of new devices.
Z-Wave hubs also make use of energy-efficient low-power radios. These radios are made to run most of the time in a low-power mode, only waking up to broadcast or receive data. It is important to note that Z-Wave hub power requirements are specified, allowing manufacturers to create products that utilize the least amount of power necessary to operate. As a result, the system uses less power overall and the battery life is increased.
Easy to install
Another major benefit of this technology is how simple Z-Wave hubs are to install. Excellent Z-Wave hubs are plug-and-play devices, allowing anybody to install them without technical expertise. To connect to the Z-Wave network, for instance, all a Z-Wave smart plug has to do is plug it into a power outlet. Z-Wave hubs often include a quick setup procedure that may be finished using a web interface or mobile app.
Z-Wave has a remarkable range, unlike several other smart home protocols. The effective range of Z-Wave is approximately 330 feet outdoors and 150 feet indoors. There’s more, though. Keep in mind that each node in the mesh network that makes up Z-Wave may be able to redistribute signals.
A Z-Wave network’s range may be greatly increased as a result. The theoretical range of a Z-Wave network increases with the number of node devices connected to it.
Wave hubs encrypt data between devices using AES 128-bit technology. As a result, data is secured with a high level of protection against unwanted access. A distinctive network ID is used to identify and secure each Z-Wave network. This makes it more difficult for illegal devices to connect to the network.
Z-Wave hubs use the Security 2 (S2) encryption protocol, which makes them more secure than other IoT gateways. An asymmetric key exchange is a feature of the encryption protocol used by S2, and it serves as a model for other security protocols. S2 communications are particularly safe since they are encrypted with a technique that uses both public and private keys.
Additionally, the network key used in this exchange is secured using ECDH technology, making it virtually impossible for anyone with malicious intent to read.
Z-Wave hubs and linked devices must both support the S2 protocol for proper S2 setup. The protocol will not be used if either end is not S2 compliant. S2 is not supported by the majority of 500 Series Z-Wave Plus smart home controllers and devices. S2 is supported by all 700 Series Z-Wave Plus V2 gadgets.
It is important to note that all Z-Wave hubs from Dusun IoT use the most recent Z-Wave Version (700 Series or Gen7), which has very high security.
What difficulties are Zigbee hubs facing?
The Z-Wave hub must create a large volume of data and interface with self-defining IoT platforms to meet the demands of varied application scenarios. Standard Z-Wave hubs aren’t as adaptable to meet the needs of various IoT industries. Because of its robust performance, Z-Wave hub is ideal for the smart home industry. Compatibility problems are most likely the problem.
There is always the chance of compatibility issues occurring between various manufacturers of electronic equipment, as is the case with every wireless protocol. Due to certain Z-Wave devices’ incompatibility with specific Z-Wave hubs, users may become irritated. Due to the many protocol stacks, it is challenging to connect to IoT platforms using a conventional Z-Wave hub in IoT hardware development.
Dusun Z-Wave hubs
Dusun IoT‘s open-source Z-Wave hub will help IoT projects promote more applications. This allows the Z-Wave devices to communicate with one another and build an integrated system. In the interim, it makes it simple for your devices to connect to IoT platforms. With the exception of the transmission, routing, and processing functions, they improve the efficiency of your development.
The transformed data is then sent to the cloud for additional processing before being utilised by various IoT applications. Developers can perform more complex advances within the unitive and standard opening interface thanks to Dusun’s programmable Z-Wave hub.
Dusun IoT has the distinct advantage of not providing applications on the gateway, but rather providing users with guidelines and jSON format data interaction API. Starting from the lowest layer, users can develop their own firmware, preserving the Zigbee hub‘s full programmability.
This method can be used to build low-cost, high-performance Z-Wave gateway hardware with powerful edge computing capabilities. We supply drivers for the communication module, kernel, bootloader resources, a fully documented SDK, Z-Wave firmware, and porting tools to make development easier.