NewsZ-Wave Alliance Initiates ZWLR Specifications for EU Members: Boosting Smart Home Technology...

Z-Wave Alliance Initiates ZWLR Specifications for EU Members: Boosting Smart Home Technology Capabilities

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The Z-Wave Alliance has recently unveiled its initial steps towards enabling members and manufacturers in the European Union to commence product development plans and certification of Z-Wave devices equipped with Z-Wave Long Range (ZWLR) capabilities. This development represents a significant milestone in smart home technology, the alliance has underscored.

ZWLR in Europe: An Alliance Effort

Upon announcing the ZWLR for the North American market, the Z-Wave Alliance has been actively striving to make the spec available to its esteemed members in Europe. Avi Rosenthal, Chairman of the Board of the Z-Wave Alliance, affirmed that with the specification now complete, the Alliance will soon disclose ZWLR certification program details. Once released, European Z-Wave Alliance members will have the opportunity to incorporate ZWLR in product development.

ZWLR Scalability: An Overview

Notable features of the new release include enhanced scalability and extended battery life. ZWLR achieves increased scalability by expanding the addressing space to 12-bit, thereby supporting up to 4,000 nodes on a single network. This is a significant leap from the 232 nodes supported by traditional Z-Wave.

As for battery life, the Z-Wave Long Range promises an impressive battery life of up to 10 years for end-point devices, powered by a single coin-cell battery. The dynamic power control feature allows devices to automatically modulate and optimise the radio output power of every transmission.

The Alliance has highlighted that such dynamic power control is key to future-proof Z-Wave device installations. It enables the deployment of sensors and end devices in hard-to-access areas such as crawl spaces, attics, basements, or behind walls, making devices with increased battery life particularly appealing.

Network Topology: Mesh and Star

Z-Wave supports both a mesh network and a star network operating within the same frequency range for wireless comms. Existing Z-Wave mesh and new ZWLR nodes can co-exist on the same network.

ZWLR devices operate on a star network topology which features the gateway/hub at a central point and establishes a direct, point-to-point connection to end devices. The direct communication path provided by the star network topology significantly reduces latency between the gateway/hub and end point devices, which is particularly beneficial in noisy or crowded installation environments with high volumes of wireless communications.

Z-Wave mesh and ZWLR have been engineered to co-exist and supplement each other. By operating on a star network, ZWLR facilitates direct gateway-hub-to-device connection across extended distances. In contrast, mesh traditionally allows the signal to hop from node to node until the intended destination is reached. With ZWLR, simplified routing enables commands to go through faster and potential failures within the network are quickly identified. With Z-Wave, manufacturers can exploit the self-healing properties of mesh networks and the direct communication benefits of a star network.

The Z-Wave Alliance first announced Z-Wave LR in 2020.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.