Zwave and zwave plus

Hello, just ordered my Hubitat and it will be my first foray into home automation. Looking forward to it.

I am replacing all my lighting switches with GE Z-Wave Plus switches. I like the ability to change face plate colour and the switches received some good reviews. Also went with a Fibaro water sensor that is Z-Wave plus. I am now looking at purchasing two locks (front and back door) and have some questions:

  1. Since I am building my home automation from scratch should I strive to keep every zwave device to be a Zwave Plus device? Or do mixing zwave devices with zwave plus devices have no adverse effects what so ever? It seems some lock choices are still the older zwave standard.
  2. Since I am replacing about 20 in wall switches with zwave plus repeaters in a 1400 ft2 bungalow, I will hopefully end up with a fairly strong zwave mesh network, would it make any sense to then buy zigbee locks (and maybe a thermostat). It seems zigbee gets some better reviews when it comes to locks. Anyone have a lock suggestion, I would like push button instead of touchscreen and I live in the middle of Canada and it can get cold (-35)
  3. In regards to Presence detection (I have read several posts on this issue). I understand that life360 comes with Hubitat. I wonder why there does not seem to be a lot people using IFTTT for presence. IFTTT allows for geofence presence detection along with WiFi presence detection. Seems easy enough to have IFTTT send a trigger when I enter and leave a predefined geofence along with IFTTT sending a trigger when my phone connects to my home wifi. I have seen posts referring to a lot of other options for presence just wondering if there is some concern or drawback on relying on IFTTT for presence.

Thanks for any responses.

My opinions:

  1. You should always try for Z-Wave Plus when you have the option. Not that there are interoperability issues with standard Z-Wave, it is more that the Plus devices simply work MUCH better than the non-plus in terms of battery life or reporting status back to the hub reliably.

  2. a. In that size place you shouldn't need any extra z-wave repeaters at all, unless you have concrete interior walls (which is quite common in some places). If the hub is semi-centrally located, I would guess almost all devices will connect straight to the hub and not bother going through a repeater anyway.

    b. Zigbee locks work better, plain and simple. They consistently operate better, and keep their status updated in the hub more reliably. That said, many people use z-wave locks and they work for them - I did for ~5 years before switching to zigbee locks. Of those that DO have issues with locks, though, based on postings I would say they are 100% z-wave (regular or plus) that have the issues. I use Kwikset 914 (zigbee version), as I like physical push buttons. Also, as you already know, cold kills battery life - so either way plan on replacing batteries a little more often during the winter months.

  3. IFTTT can be very slow at times, and occasionally misses updates altogether (in that they never make it to Hubitat at all). That is true with anything IFTTT, not just Hubitat. And unlike Life 360, you can't poll IFTTT to see if the update was missed, so your presence status will just be wrong unless you manually intervene. IFTTT is handy for some things, but I only use it for things that I am OK coming 5 -15 minutes late at times, or missed altogether. Like my Skybell doorbell button push status - I like to see it in HE, but the doorbell rings either way so no big loss if it doesn't update.


In regards to your comments about zwave locks, would one who has a strong zwave network but only a zigbee lock run into reliability issue with the lack of a strong zigbee mesh?

Depends on the distance of the lock to the hub. If you can, buy yourself a Zigbee wall outlet (I would recommend the SmartThings 2018 version, but most others work as repeaters as well) and place it somewhere between the lock and your hub.

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Just a comment on Zwave and Zwave Plus. One reason to stick with Plus only is that once you add a single Zwave only device, your whole network will operate as non Plus. You loose the range and bandwidth benefits and some of the device to device diagnostics for all of your devices.

I'm sure you have experience with Z-Wave locks outside of the Kwikset line. I'm not a huge fan of Z-Wave in general, but my Yale YRD256 Z-Wave Plus is very solid. No issues at all. I'm on the original batteries. Installed November 23, 2018 and they're at 87%. I've also joined and excluded this lock and another of the exact same model multiple time, as it was originally purchased for Z-Wave testing.

Mainly schlage and Kwikset. So there you go, a good data point for Yale. :+1:

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I have this same ZWave plus lock, and agree it is a good lock. Been solid and mine is also still using its original batteries. I forget when I installed it but it must have been around a year ago.

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Well, as a counterpoint, I have three Yale YRD226's, and though they all are in close proximity to beaming devices, and, no more than 40 feet from my hub, I've had a lot of trouble with them accurately updating status, and in some cases (especially when attempting to lock all three for night or away), they simply do not get the lock commands. I've ordered the Zigbee modules for these locks (another good point of Yale - interchangeable network modules) and will be trying them with those to see if I can get them to be more reliable.

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Yes, I've read several other accounts of issues with the 226. It's a different Z-Wave module than the 256 uses, and I think it is not Z-Wave Plus, is that correct?

[Edit] My mistake. It does use the same module as the 256 and it is indeed plus as you indicated below. So there's something weird with that particular lock and that module. Hopefully the Zigbee module works out well for you.

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It is Z-wave Plus... but it seems very finicky..

From the data:

inClusters: 0x5E,

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Odd. It must be either the differences between the modules or (hopefully not for your sake) an issue in the lock firmware that was improved in the 256. Are these locks upgradeable via any means when you have the versions that use a Z-Wave or Zigbee module?

Looks like the Z-Wave Plus and Zigbee modules are the same for the 226 and the 256:

We chose the 226 because my partner wanted the physical key backup - gotta always look out for the WAF.. :slight_smile:

I've found very little information on upgrading any firmware in these locks - curious how much of the firmware is in the lock itself vs. the network module.

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Yep. Corrected my post above.
I recall reading somewhere that it was possible via bluetooth I think by using their app. So maybe if you have the HomeKit module?

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I wonder if you get good results, maybe Yale would simply credit you for the Zigbee modules, if you were to return the Z-Wave modules to them. Seems like a reliability issue should be covered by the warranty.

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Good point - I'll definitely consider that, but, just ordered the Zigbee's today... we'll see how that goes. :slight_smile:

If anyone else has done this swap of modules in the locks, would love to hear from you. I'm assuming just remove/exclude the Z-wave modules, pull the batteries, pull the module, wait a bit, and then plug the Zigbee in, put the batteries back, and go back through the normal process of telling the lock to join a network, putting HE in discovery mode.

If I have to pull the lock apart to factory reset it, I may not be a happy camper. :frowning:

Additionally, any comment from @mike.maxwell on how Lock Code Manager will react (or not) when I do this?

Definitely exclude. For sure pull the batteries. I made that mistake following their printed manual when first installing the module. They have corrected it in the PDF manual. I don't think factory reset will be needed, but if it is, at least it's not too hard to add the codes back via LCM.

LCM will not care what the radio is. It's the lock that makes the difference in how it has to communicate with it.

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I was not aware of this! If I want to track down my "ordinary" Z-Wave devices (non-Z-Wave-Plus devices), what is the best way? Is there some bit of data in one of the clusters that will tell me? It seems like it would be worth checking this out!

Right... I know LCM will lose the reference to it when I exclude the Z-Wave... it would be nice if LCM could 'read' the codes back in from the lock after I add it as Zigbee, since they'll exist even after I change the modules.

Yup - if your cluster has

inClusters: 0x5E,

It's Z-Wave plus.