How much abstraction do you create (z wave)?

Hi all, I'm a new z wave user. In most software design, abstraction is good because it let's you build modular systems and doesn't really impact performance in any way. Is that true for z wave automation with HE as well?

Example: I have a switch directly connected to a load. I have a button on a remote device that I want to use to control the load. There are (at least) a couple of options here:

  1. (more abstraction) Create a group for the load. Use button controllers to control the group/virtual device.
  2. (less abstraction) Use a button controller to control the desired switch, which is hardwired to the load directly.

With option 1, you can more easily swap out hardware devices and all of the rest of your automations don't have to change. Basic rules, timed events, etc. don't have to be edited. You only have to edit the group.

With option 2, you'd have to redo all of your related automations (rules, scenes, etc.).

In the software world, option 1 is hands-down preferred. But in the z wave world, will excessive automations introduce lag or spotty performance due to complexity?

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I think you'll find there's very little lag or performance issues due to the abstraction. I have multiple hubs and have mirrors of the physical devices splattered across several of them. Same with Node-Red and via Homebridge, a connection to Apple's HomeKit.

I have Zigbee motion sensors triggering ZWave switches/dimmers on completely different hubs with no lag in the automation.

No discernible lag in the automations. No performance issues from the complexity. That said, anything else that impacts performance, such as Ghost nodes, will have an impact on everything else, including complex cascades.

Keep in mind that dimmers driving LEDs can have a distinct apparent lag as they ramp up to whatever minimum the LED requires. I got a few of those can light replacements recently and was surprised they wouldn't have any output at a level less than 28%. Don't know if that's the dimmer, but I suspect so, since the same led assembly on a different brand of dimmer works at 15%.


Thanks, I was hoping to hear that from someone with a complex setup. I've read about ghost devices and the proper way to remove a switch. Besides ghost devices, what else can negatively impact performance?

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I can't claim any experience on the Z-Wave aspects of your questions, but in terms of introducing a layer of abstraction between the physical device and it's use, there have been a few discussions on this in recent times, including one that I started. Here is a link to the more recent discussion, which I posted a link to my earlier thread as well.

Separate to these conversations, from my own experiences, both in dealing with changes to my setup and troubleshooting, I'm starting to become more conscious of spreading the use of my devices too broad. This goes more to @csteele 's comments about Hub Mesh and other options for using devices on other hubs. Whilst at the time it can be quite powerful, I am starting to think more carefully about what I use these options for. But that's probably a separate discussion....

@sburke781 There is now a device swap feature in HE. I'm not sure how long it's been there. Are you saying that this feature nullifies the need for the type of abstraction that I'm talking about?

That's true, I'd forgotten about that. To be honest I'm not sure, but it is certainly worth investigating and trying it out.

Encryption. Pair pretty much everything except for door locks and garage stuff with no security.

Lack of repeaters. Both zigbee and z-wave need repeaters. A lot of mains devices are repeaters but if they are in a metal box, that signal can be hampered. Adding beaming repeaters to a mesh can never hurt. (I recommend the Ring v2 extender).

Another option is doing the antenna mod (search for the thread in the forums)

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