Whats happening with zwave

I have not seen new zwave devices for some time. What’s worse that existing ones disappear. I wanted to buy extra Dome water leak sensor and it is not available anywhere. Smarthings is gone in its entirety ( not strictly zwave but still). Now the last month announcement about drastic reorganization at zwave alliance ….
Does it all mean I d better start looking at wifi?

Zooz just released a bunch of 700-series devices (and at least one new 500-series device), and Inovelli is planning to at some point, though they have (new!) Zigbee devices coming before that--if all goes to plan. So, at least the Zooz devices are new-ish and currently available, I think.

On a related note, an Inovelli staff member posted in their forums saying that the lead time for 700-series Z-Wave chips is over a year and 500-series not much less (see: 2021-2022 Roadmap - #44 by Eric_Inovelli - Roadmaps - Inovelli Community), at least from their supplier, I imagine that things are similar everywhere. This is probably contributing to difficult for a lot of manufacturers/vendors.

Dome in particular seems to have short to non-existent stock on most of their items, and I'm not sure why. I've heard conflicting guesses as to whether they've gone out of business. Their website almost makes it look like they have (I've heard the published phone number doesn't work, and any "Buy" link I can find goes to out-of-stock Amazon listings), but I think a staff member from The Smartest House (Zooz's official storefront, but they also sell lots of other brands) said they should have at least one of their products in stock soon, suggesting that they didn't.

The biggest problem I've had finding Zigbee devices is that Lowe's stopped making Iris devices because they discontinued the platform (the v2 generation were some of my favorites, but v3 wasn't bad either); Centralite, a beloved Zigbee manufacturer (who also made the Iris v2 devices and some others) went bankrupt and was bought by Ezlo (of Vera fame) who doesn't seem to have done much with them since; and Samsung/SmartThings stopped making hardware and seems to have transferred most/all of it to Aeon, who doesn't have all products available yet (but most appear to be coming soon).

On the contrary, some Zigbee devices are easy to find, like Sonoff. Less exciting devices from GE/Jasco and the like were still available last time I checked, though there have never been very many of these for some reason (in-wall Zigbee switches and dimmers, mostly--but hopefully Inovelli's venture into this territory will change that). Zigbee bulbs, strips/controllers, and outlets from lots of manufacturers are also easily available, at least in the US (Philips Hue, Ikea Tradfri, Innr, and many others). Some manufacturers may be hesitant to enter this market at the moment given the future leaning towards Thread or whatever protocol over Matter, but I think it's possible to ensure future compatibility with this if planned for.

I personally avoid Wi-Fi for most devices like this unless it's truly the best device I can find in that class (though lots of Shelly devices are supported natively by Hubitat or with custom drivers if that is more appealing to to you, just to name one primarily Wi-Fi vendor I'm aware of). Otherwise, there are some stock issues with lots of devices right now, but I don't think either Z-Wave or Zigbee are by any means dead. :smiley:

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The worldwide microchip production shortage has affected device manufacturers in a wide variety of sectors from small home automation sensors, to computers, to automobiles and industrial components. From what I read, this is not likely to to be resolved soon.

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Nope. Manufacturers are saying they expect it to continue through the first 1H22. Crazy.

Side note re: SmartThings. Lowes seems to be stocked again on some items - leak sensors, buttons, and hubs. There were definitely more items but I was fixated on the buttons trying to come up with an excuse to buy a couple before my wife said “Really?”

I failed.

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Chip shortage I’m afraid.. New devices are constantly coming out of certification, they are just taking forever to get into retail due to the shortages.

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I have pre-release devices from many manufacturers that I have had for quite a while (months) and they still don’t have their retail stocked..

I keep reading things like this, but honestly zwave is much less impressive to me than wifi was or is. I started with a house full of Wemos and eventually found a little app that had local control with them. This setup worked flawlessly for years. It was limited to timers for the most part so I switched to Hubitat after wanting motion and door sensors. Hubitat offers leaps and bounds more options, but zwave straight up sucks. I've had way too many timers turn on some lights, but not all. Zigbee seems solid and motions will report quickly, but the zwave switch sometimes won't fire.

Honestly if the wifi wemos would have had the ability to report state changes to hubitat without refreshing constantly I would have never gone to zwave. Zwave just feels like a beta product to me. It's just buggy. Wifi works reliably and if someone comes out with a solid wifi local control device, I'd switch back.

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They do. Make sure they have static IP addresses for one, and the driver needs to have the ability to subscribe and resubscribe to their events. I had 15 of them installed and removed them a long time ago as they were just problematic in this regard. If for whatever reason they lost the subscription they wouldn't start returning status until the next resubscribe.

While Z-Wave has its issues, WiFi I always found to be much worse. In both instances you would need to tweak your network to ensure it runs fine, most people will do this with their WiFi network but not their Z-Wave network.

The gripe I have with WiFi devices is that once manufactures add wifi they want to add cloud interoperability or dependency. Sometimes I just cant avoid it but I hate cloud stuff. And also, there is absolutely no standards in the messages. Wemo has broadcasting, MyQ requires cloud polling etc... every device is different. Working with Z-Wave/Zigbee (as long as they properly follow the standard) every device reports battery the same way.

Zwave just requires knowledge and time to set up properly. And cvehap $10 don't make the experience that much better when they don't behave nicely.

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It is possible to control local wifi devices via Hubitat - you just have to have a driver for that particular device (or class of devices).
For example, someone wrote a driver for Shelly devices, and I understand that it works quite reliably. Of course, you have to have a good WiFi signal to the device, etc.

The major difference being that WiFi is a "star" network topology versus a "mesh" network topology (for zigbee, zwave). Theoretically speaking, this implies a much greater range for mesh networks.

On contrary, zwave network is limited to the number of hops between devices while wifi is practically unlimited. Take for example wifi at airports

Wifi at airports is not done through a mesh.. These are tons of individually wired access points placed strategically throughout the buildings.

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Um.... No. Wifi is always point to point, and large areas work because they have lots and lots of access points to provide coverage and handle the volume of end devices.

But maybe it doesn't matter in the end. The above said, I understand your point.

If there would have been an HA standard 10 years ago for wifi devices, instead of every manufacturer making a proprietary (and often cloud based) connectivity method, wifi would have been a lot more attractive in this space.

As long as every vendor is proprietary, wifi will never be the right answer for most HA enthusiasts. Will Matter fix that? Who knows? I'm not optimistic though.

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FYI Samsung sold off their SmartThings hub and device manufacturing to Aeotec. Devices were not available for a few months, but now they are back on the market worldwide.

And as you (and others) have noted, that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with z-wave per se, since ST branded devices have always been zigbee.

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My problem with wifi devices is that it doesn't take that many to start saturating consumer wifi networks. Until we start seeing these IOT devices supporting Wifi6, I don't think I would even start considering them (and then only if they supported local operation).

I do share your opinion of Z-Wave though. That said, many people use it with no issues (allegedly :slight_smile:).

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I will land on the side of PRO Z-Wave. They typically cost more and there is less variety IMO, but they have been flawless in doing what I tell them to and reporting their states SINCE Z-Wave Plus. I have some old WD500Z dimmers that do what they are told, but never reported manual activation properly (but it is "working as intended" and they will report if you double-press them).

I also have many ZigBee devices. Many work fine but I have had far more times of unreliable action from some of them (not all) or needing to be re-paired after a power failure. But some ZigBee devices others complain about (Peanut Plugs for example) have worked great for me. ZigBee is also cheaper and has a wide variety.

Wifi or any networked device... Is very much a mixed bag. Too many manufacturers make wifi-connected devices but then they only work with their undocumented API, Cloud, or app. Some workarounds and drivers have been made. Some devices HAVE local capabilities so you are not forced to use a cloud API and some manufacturers actually document it all and make it easy (cloud most likely but sometimes even local!). When they are working out they work well. The proliferation of cheap wifi chips ESP8266 (COUGH) have certainly made wifi the default usually. I have not had problems yet, despite a very high number of devices for a home... But I am also switching over to a Ubiquiti-based network so my home is getting pretty absurd anyway.

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LOL, I use Lutron, zigbee, and zwave in my house. They all work great. When I say that my zwave has been as reliable as the other two protocols, you think I am making it up? Trust me, if my zwave was giving me problems it would be gone, why would I keep it?

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I use all three as well. However, when I had a larger number of them, they had issues. This is more likely because it increases the chances of having 1 or 2 misbehaving devices. One problematic device tends to have a more of an outsized effect on the mesh than other protocols. Z-Wave is like money, and I'm sure Biggie would agree - "Mo Z-Wave, Mo Problems".

This could also come back to money. If someone (let's say me) bought into Z-Wave early into their HA journey, it's quite an investment to switch that out. I did it (to Lutron), but not everyone would be as eager to do so.

and man... you sure do take things personally.

It's the antennas/signal issue, plus the 700 series chip struggles. I have some really cheap crappy z-wave devices on my old ST hub, and some sh!tty old bulbs too. You know the last time the automation failed? When ST was having issues, outside of that, it's slower than HE but is very reliable.

I'm fairly certain the 700 series struggles will eventually be worked out, especially with the HE team on it.

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The chip shortages are definitely impacting device availability, but it will get corrected with time.

I have used Wifi devices in previous incarnations if my system. I have replaced all of them and consciously avoid them for the reasons @JasonJoel, @snell, et.al. Mentioned above.

I have focused on Z-wave devices with Zigbee as my alternative when it makes the most sense. Some of the keys to getting these to work for me are 1) focusing on a shift Nile brand for each type of device, 2) taking them me to build the best meshes (Z-wave especially) I can, and 3) stop €$&/&/: with it every week. Letting it rest for a couple (or more) months at a time really improves its reliability. I do make regular changes to the routines the devices are a part of, but I don’t add/remove devices very often. It helps a lot.

All home automation devices are wireless these days, and as such are all are susceptible to the vagaries of wireless communication, just like our wonderful cell phone are. All in all, it is an amazing time we live in.

I've been seeing more and more different Tuya Zigbee devices on Aliexpress, so I don't thing Zigbee as a whole is in any issue. For Z-wave, even Neo Coolcam are cranking out more Z-Wave 700 devices and Zooz has many 700 device available.
I think the market is getting competitive and some players will be let go

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