Z-wave or Zigbee

Hi everyone,

I just switched from Homewizard to Homey (and I like it!!)
I don’t have any Z-wave or Zigbee devices yet.

Can someone give me a crash course? what’s the difference? What are pro and con’s for both protocols? what’s the best?

its all a personal thing about whats the best. they both are good

The best is to do some search on the internet, and also on this forum by using the search option. You wil find al lot of info.

Pricewise for sure Zigbee wins

I read a good comparison some time ago, and for me z-wave is the winner due to stability and quality… But zigbee is cheaper so if money is a big issue I would go for that

The main difference between zwave and zigbee is that the first is a standard that is controlled by a consortium, the zwave consortium. Therefore it is, mostly, guarenteed that zwave devices can communicatie with eachother because the hardware that makes it possible is highly standardized. Zigbee on the other hand is as far as I know opensource. Which is partly a good thing. Because it is opensource and anyone can make an implementation it is not guarenteed that it will work together. But from what I read on the forum it is not an big issue.

The great advance of zigbee and zwave over tech’s like 433mhz communication is that both technologies build a mesh network. Meaning: every node in the network could in theory communicate with the other nodes. Therefore making a better network.

Another difference between zigbee and zwave is the frequency used. On zigbee this is 2,4Ghz as far as i Know. This is the same as many wifi networks so in theory this could again, interfere. This is not the case with zwave. That uses a completely different frequency.

This is what I know about the two techs. But I guess its a personal taste. zigbee and zwave have much similarities but zigbee is way cheaper due to the lack of licensing stuff. At my home I only have zwave and it works like a charm.

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Lots of big companies make good use of zigbee, like Philips, Ikea, Xiaomi, Honeywell.
And there are good zwave brands as well.
With homey don’t have to choose now is it.

I see you ask about zigbee and zwave, but don’t rule out good old wifi!
There are some people who favor using only wifi enabled products and rule out zigbee and zwave.

Even bluetooth has some nice products, but that is if athom gets bluetooth back on track.

I don’t have any experience with zigbee. I have 8 zwave device and I am a bit disappointed. Controlling devices is reliable about 99% of the time so not too bad there, but I find homey only picks up notifications about 60% of the time (these are estimates and not measured).
That, for me, makes automation based on events useless.
All my zwave devices are within 5 meters either side of homey and mostly direct line of sight with no obstructions.
The mesh often leaves me bewildered as devices at opposite ends of the house will hop over homey before reaching homey.
Obviously this is just my experience and may not be normal.

Can u explain this?

Homey is in the centre of my house. Yet the devices in the kitchen at the bcak of my house will route through the blind in my cloakroom at the front of the house, which then routes to homey.
If I stand by homey and the kitchen door is open, I can see the devices in the kitchen. There are three walls between the kitchen and the cloakroom with homey directly on the straight line path between them. So that’s what I meant by hops over.
Sometimes the cloakroom will route via my PIR in the hallway, which is closer to the kitchen than the cloakroom.

well that is the thing with a mesh network. You never know how it will play out. Here in my house I have something similar. In the hallway I have 3 door sensors and a domitech led bulb. This bulb should, to my understanding, act as the first hub those door sensors should connect to. But for some strange reason one of the door sensors sometimes routes through a wall plug on the other side of the room before it connnects to the led bulb. Not that I care since it still works :wink:

If mine worked reliably I wouldn’t care either :wink:
But as I say I am bewildered by it :grin:
I even bought a zwave socket to see if that would improve reliability by providing better routing. I have tried it in various locations for several days at a time and requested healing on devices but so far nothing has ever routed through it :thinking:

Maybe go for the range extension by using a better antenna. Homey antenna mod

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Soooo, zigbee or zwave?

So, why not both? Why choose when u can have it all?
If the question was KaKu or Zwave/Zigbee then i have an opinion yes. But Zwave or Zigbee?
I have lots of both of them and happy with both.


As far as I know for Roller Shutter there is only Z-Wave. I would look at the sensors and devices, which protocol to choose. I for example prefer the Xiaomi/Aquara Sensors because they are small, nice and affordable.

Shelly has a roller shutter as well, Shelly 2.5. It is a wifi device. (€20)

But you are right, there is the zwave and this one. That’s it, as far as I know.

I own both (fibaro), tomorrow I am installing the Shelly (2, the one before 2.5).

I use a mixture of Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wifi, and Lightwave.

I’ve had more issues with Z-Wave than any other. A few Aeon Nano Dimmers would continuously drop from the network and the only way to get them back is a reset and repairing. That said, they’ve been stable for around a month now. Other Aeon Nano Dimmers have been fantastic as are their multisensors which I have hardwired into the ceiling.

I really love my Zigbee Ikea Float panels and also the Xioami Human Sensors. They’ve been solid and never failed to action a command unlike my Z-Wave stuff. I have a lot of hardwired Z-Wave devices and the Mesh is strong, I have fewer Zigbee devices; I expected it to be the other way around.

One thing I was interested to see was Amazon officially joining the Zigbee Alliance. I’m not sure what this means, if anything at all. But I imagine with many companies edging their bets on smart tech, they will continue to follow Amazon and develop their products around that ecosystem, especially as more consumers like myself show demand for those products. I can’t comment for G Home or similar.

The most painless smart experience I’ve had todate is with Sonos products. Love how easy they’ve been to use so far.

This doesn’t answer your question as such, but, Homey communicates with them all; so you can experiment like I’ve done. I think if I was just starting out now I’d probably use more Sonos speakers for Alexa with the exception of the Show which I love. I’d then probably stick more with Zigbee, purely because I think Amazon joining the Zigbee Alliance sends strong signals it’s here to stay and more is coming. Others probably disagree with me.

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Echo Plus can connect directly to zigbee devices, highly advertised - you get a free Philips Globe when you buy an echo plus. The Echo Plus Gen 2 was released in the second half of 2018 and also includes a temp sensor in it.

Ya, I have tons of Alexa devices and am aware of Zigbee in the echo plus (not got) and the Show 2nd gen (I do have), but this isn’t what I was saying.

Though I’m sure I read somewhere that remotes like the 5 button Ikea one or the Philips batteryless don’t work. I’ve not played much with direct Zigbee stuff yet, I do plan to.

What I meant is that I’m not sure what this means for the future and that of others like Lightwave and Z-Wave, specifically for the consumer market. Amazon, Philips, Ikea, and others, all big brands pushing Zigbee.

Could become almost reminiscent of past format wars.

I suppose to put it another way, if one is heavily invested in Alexa, and they do take the lions share in homes at the moment, why bother with another hub to control other protocols when they’re sending such a strong message about Zigbee.

What does it say if a big player on the home automation market chooses to single out Zigbee for their smart home hub? I’m not refuting your point, rather agreeing with you, other than it is probably as the situation already is.
If a big company (in the consumer market) wants to single out a protocol it probably chooses Zigbee. They have their reasons to do so.

So, form a consumer prespective:
If you have use for products of their productfolio (zigbee), it is absolutely a save bet to go for., they have their act together. You won’t be disappointed, it is smooth sailing in my experience.

It doesn’t rule out zwave, that has it share. (or wifi/bluetooth)
In theory, zwave should be more stable due to a different bandwithrange and a certification protocol.
So, nothing wrong with that.
But I experience no instability also with Zigbee products of those aforementioned ‘big’ companies.

@Menne_Talsma you switched from homewizard to homey, but what products do you currently use?

The majority of my devices are 433mhz CoCo-receivers (KaKu) like AWMR-210 and AWMD-230 Which I bought and installed all over my house past years… never completely satisfied with the Homewizard performance. I must say that Homey has improved the CoCo-operation significantly… Since Homey is operational It has not missed a single CoCo-receiver.

I use Smartwares 868Mhz contact-sensors on my doors and windows, up till now they are not supported by homey… I use HTTP Get to transfer the signals from Homewizard to Homey.

I use Smartwares 868Mhz smoke detectors, as of now they are not supported by homey… I use HTTP Get to transfer the signals from Homewizard to Homey.

Furthermore I use Homewizards Heatlink to control my Heating, Energylink to readout my energy-consumption and two Smartwares 868Mhz thermometers to monitor inside and outside temp. I guess until I decide to replace this stuff I will be depending on the Homewizard-app by Jeroen Bos to communicate with these devices which is not ideal, but workable…

Last week I bought Ikea Zigbee bulbs for experimenting which is fun. First Zwave device arrives t’morrow (Zwave+ HEAT-IT to gain remote control over my bathroom floor-heating)…

So I’m enjoying myself with Homey the community and I’m on a rollercoaster learning curve. already thinking about new contact sensors, ‘cus the Smartwares-stuff really sucks.

And as soon as Athom fixes the Infrared issues with Homey2019/V2 (which they ensured me they will soon) I’m planning on controlling SamsungTV and audio equip…

Right now I’m gonna tell Siri to turn off all the lights and turn off the heating… (Love it :grinning::grinning::grinning: )