Hubitat and Z-Wave Long Range

We were going to save this for a surprise but our community sleuths have put 2+2 together.

As many of you may know, Z-Wave Alliance recently announced the release of Z-Wave Long Range, which will open new opportunities for the Z-Wave protocol. I am happy to announce that we designed Hubitat Elevation to support Z-Wave Long Range with a firmware update and naturally a software update on the hub side. Currently this is a planned feature for 2.2.6. We have the new Long Range developers kits in hand and are well into compatibility testing.

Z-Wave Long Range is no longer a some-day-in-the-future feature, as any 700 series device will be able to be firmware updated to support it. As such, we expect OEMs to release firmware and supported devices rapidly.

With Long Range, mesh issues will be a thing of the past. There is no Long Range mesh, it is a high power signal in a star topology and should cover your entire home / property. Long Range is designed to operate on channel 4, while classic Z-Wave Mesh continues to function on channels 1-3, so there will be no loss of compatibility. It is a radical shift that should dramatically improve user experience and we are excited at the prospects.

More about Long Range:

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A couple things I could use LR for at my house:

  1. Outdoor outlets. Stucco walls really hurt for getting signals to them.
  2. Gate contact closure (that works on a metal gate :slight_smile: ).
  3. Devices by my pool equipment that take multiple hops to get back to the hub today

Hopefully some of those will come out over time.

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Z-Wave Alliance: Look at what we can do with Z-Wave LR.
Zigbee Alliance: We would have done this, except we're limited by spectrum requirements.
Lutron: Been there, done that.

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Sweet!

A few questions:

What aspects of this will be beneficial for existing devices, once the hub is updated?

Will the "long range" part require better antennas/more radio power to reach the the maximum benefit?

Will the star topography work with existing devices or will they still mesh?

Can repeaters/range extenders help with even greater distances or are they rendered pointless?

Thanks!

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None.. Other than it’s a newer SDK and firmware that possibly has fixes for previous issues.

Nope on the antenna.. Power yes, the chip already supports this power output, just not on mesh channels.

Classic mesh devices / firmware will still utilize the mesh topology.

Repeaters will not offer anything for LR but it is not needed.

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My 300 meters away analogMailbox will certainly get a Zwave LR sensor! :smiley:

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So does this mean you're skipping 2.5.x? :wink:

The current version is 2.2.4 and the next version will be 2.2.5. AFTER that will come... yep. 2.2.6

I imagine that Your Beta Testers are testing 2.2.5 -- only because it's been a while since 2.2.4 was released. Who would ever want Beta Testers to have idle time on their hands :slight_smile:

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With ranges supposedly measured in miles (or kms), how do they plan to deal with interference?

As smart homes become more popular, you could have Z-Wave jabbering from several hundred separate networks sharing channel 4--and all quite noticeable in your house.

This is an issue with Wi-Fi already (and it isn't intended to have nearly that range).

I have aluminum siding.... :roll_eyes:

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Yup

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I would imagine it should not be much of an issue as the high output power, with windows in your house, and reflections should deliver the signal wherever you need it.

One positive note.. Channel 4 in the US is selectable between 2 frequencies..

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Ahh...yeah wasn't really in reference to zwave long range...but more so just a regular pain in the butt for so many things....like even cell phones.

I think it's nice it will play nicely along side of the existing zwave. Clearly no need to upgrade devices unless you really need the range. If this existed now there are for sure some sensors I would be adding around the property...so that will be nice in the future.

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Some good info here for the nerdier folks:

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  • Damn. And I just traded out nearly all my stuff for Z-Wave Plus. Now I'm gonna have Z-Wave LR envy. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Srsly, tho-I'm hoping I don't find that necessary for my relatively small house)

Will this be a selectable option when pairing a device? I mean for devices that support it, can you chose if you want them to work in Mesh or LR? or supported devices will work in LR mode always? or the hub can use both and chose whatever is best depending on the situation?

and for devices that could support it with a firmware upgrade, will it require an exclusion/reinclusion to switch them from Mesh to LR?

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More info to come

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What about "associations" between std and LR devices?

Will that work?

Yes.. But it is different command classes to control it, it will do this through virtual nodes on the classic z-wave side.

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