Z-wave Mesh Architecture - Integrated or Segregated? Multiple hubs?

Hi all, I have some questions about adding z-wave to my system. First a quick overview of my current architecture:

  • Hubitat C7 (I also have a C5, not currently online)
  • Lutron Caseta (pro hub) with >20 switches and picos.
  • Philips Hue hub with ~35 bulbs
  • A few other miscellaneous integrations (Withings, SleepNumber, Ecobee etc.)
  • Happy and responsive Zigbee mesh with at least one Ikea outlet or repeater in every room/zone. (I have immediate response all the way to my property lines.) :slight_smile:
  • Now planning to install door/window and multi-sensors throughout, but no devices currently online
  • Long-term plans include irrigation, cameras, Plex/AppleTV/Sonos integrations
  • Actively avoiding all voice-control. If I ever have to have it, will be using HomeKit/Siri.

I had been avoiding Z-wave, but had trouble finding a dimmable Zigbee outlet with a three-prong plug (needed for outdoor string lights). I'm also trying to stay Ikea-only for my Zigbee repeaters since they were cheap and apparently best-practice if I ended up with some of the cheaper/flakier sensors, e.g., Xiaomi, Aqara.

I picked up one experimental Z-wave device (Ministon Energy Monitoring Plug MP21ZP) that paired without issue and responds as quickly as my Zigbee outlets. I have ordered two more Ministons (dimmable 3-prong outlets) for the string lights. If needed, I'll be installing in-wall Z-wave outlets to build out a mesh.

Since I was firing up Z-wave anyway, it opened up the better options for multi-sensors, and I've got a Zooz 4-in-1 arriving today for testing, but just found the "doesn't work with the C7" issues while reading posts yesterday.

I see my options as:

  • Abandon Z-wave except for the above-mentioned plugs
  • Return the Zooz and find different Z-wave multi-sensors
  • Fire up the C5 and pair the Zooz with it, then use hub-mesh to integrate

I would already have gone with Zigbee for the multi-sensors, but they aren't as "multi" and I'm trying to avoid have a gajillion things on the walls and ceiling (SAF).

At this point, I'm figuring that I have the C5, so why not use it? The Zooz does everything I need for my general sensor net and I can add specialty things as needed.

So at long last, here are my specific questions:

  1. Is there a performance penalty to using hub-mesh if I fire up the C5?
  2. If no, would I continue to write all of my rules/apps on the C7 and just use the C5 as a device handler, or is there an advantage to offloading some things to the C5? I'm not currently having performance problems with the C7.
  3. Is there any advantage to putting all Z-wave on the C5?
  4. If I do use the C5 for all Zooz/Z-wave, and later add 700-series devices to the C7, will I then have two Z-wave meshes? If so, will that cause problems?

Sorry for the lengthy post and multiple questions, but I haven't spent much money on sensors yet. I want to make smart architecture choices before I head down any particular path, and would love some expert opinions!

UPDATE: Right after I submitted this post, my delivery showed up - apparently I already decided to get Z-wave in-wall outlets (Leviton ZW15R). So that brings up a final question: It turns out that this model is 700 series. :slight_smile:

5. Will I later need to build out a 700-series mesh, or will older repeaters support the newer devices without an issue? More directly, should I send these back and wait for 700-series in-wall outlets?)

  1. I haven't seen a performance penalty with hub mesh.
  2. I generally run rules/apps on the hub that contains the devices they are working with, but others here have configured them separately and seem happy.
  3. Unless you're adding enough devices to create to full meshes or there is some other consideration (i.e. a long rambling house that logically works better with 2 smaller meshes) I'd pick a hub and build one mesh - the devices can be accessed from all hubs using the hub mesh, but the radio mesh is tied to the hub the device is logically attached directly to.

Thanks for the quick response! Regarding your #3 answer, it sounds like I'd be better off sending the Zooz 4-in-1 back (or buying a secondary controller stick to do the pairing hack) and only using a single hub.

Since my Zigbee stuff works all the way to the edges of my property, I'm pretty sure Z-wave will have no trouble with the distance, so I don't think there's any need for multiple meshes.

Now I'm trying to think if there's any reason to bring the C5 online if I don't need it for the Zooz sensor(s).

There are several people on here who run Zigbee on one hub and Zwave on the other, so if you wanted to bring th C-5 online for that you’d be in good company.


FYI, I have a single Zooz 4-in-1 (ZSE40) paired to my C7 and it works perfectly fine. It is VERY chatty when there is constant active motion, by default it sends TWO reports every 7 seconds and there is no way to make it stop doing this totally, but there is a newish undocumented parameter that disables the duplicate report so you cut the traffic in half. I have been trying to get Zooz to fix it so that you can configure the timing of the repeated reports or disable them totally and only get a motion ACTIVE and then a INACTIVE when the motion stops (this is how most other sensors work to save on batteries). Not sure if they will ever fix it or not :frowning:


I think I'd have to move all my Zigbee to the C5 since I'd like to start strong with the newer Z-wave devices. For now, I'll stick with the single hub for simplicity, but it's good to know that I can bring the C5 back if the C7 starts getting cranky.

Sadly, I guess the Zooz 4-in-1 will get returned and I'm back to trying to figure out the best multi-sensor for the initial installation. I'd love to have motion, lux, temp, and humidity, but humidity isn't quite as essential.

At this point I'm looking at the Fibaro FGMS-001 (Eye of Sauron) and the Aeotec ZW100-A (6-in-1). Leaning more toward the Aeotec, but will have to stage my purchases instead of popping for everything at once. If anyone has a recommendation on those options or has a different favorite, I'd love pointers. Zigbee is totally still on the table as well if there's a multi with motion, lux, and temp.

So another question about Z-wave... I've got 14 Zigbee repeaters because "the more, the merrier" is what I got out of reading the forums. Is the same true for Z-wave Plus, or am I trying to just do enough to get adequate coverage, but not to create a lot of hops? At this point, I will have 7 devices acting as repeaters spread mostly evenly across the property and am fine adding more if appropriate.

Thanks for the additional info! Your reply came in while I was typing my own. On the one hand, the geek in me would love to put this on the network and play around with it, but I'm at that very sensitive "honey, I've just rewired the house" phase where if things don't behave I might be in trouble. :laughing:

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The more the merrier would seem to be a good analogy for ZWave as well. Similiar to zigbee, if you build from the hub out it will be more evident quicker if you need a repeater.


This is what I would do. Nothing wrong with mixing protocols, and in fact there are advantages to each protocol. My experience is that Zigbee is better for sensors in general. Zwave just seems so sluggish for sensors.

So I mostly (but not exclusively) use Zigbee for sensors and Zwave for switches. There are exceptions where I have Zigbee switches and Zwave sensors. Maybe the 700 series Zwave sensors will fare better than the older versions.

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I suspect not. Agnes said in reply to a comment I made fairly recently that a 700 series 4-in-1 is on the way very soon. In fact, I think she said September, but since there's only a few days left of the month I'm going to assume there was a delay.

I have 3 ZSE40 4-in-1 sensors and really like them. They respond very quickly to motion and send a report back to the hub immediately if the temperature or humidity change more than what you configure it to report. Some sensors, like the Aeotec, will only report every 15 minutes if a value changes. So not useful for something like automations based on using the shower.

I am migrating from a C5 to a C7 soon, but I plan on leaving my C5 around for the 2 Zigbee devices I have (both battery, so need to be closish to the hub), plus a couple of devices that I've read don't play well with the C7. Namely the ZSE40 motion sensor, the Zooz Double Plug (I have 2 of these), and an Aeotec heavy duty switch that the dryer is on.

I have one of each paired to my C7, with S0 and S2 security respectively (I like to do things that people tell me are a bad idea and see for myself :slight_smile: ). While they are both chatty and like to change routes a lot (for no reason in my mind) they are not causing major issues. The ZEN25 does not see much action, as I just have a multi-port device charger plugged into it. I have the reporting intervals toned down to prevent spamming. The ZSE40 is going off all day as it is in my office, and it reports every 7 seconds but it doesn't seem to hurt anything. If the ZSE40 is in a low traffic area like a bathroom I don't see how it would cause any issues at all.