Recently, home automation has seen a rise in popularity and unsurprisingly, so has Z-Wave. Z-Wave is the technology behind connecting components in your home and making your automated home network as strong as possible.
The Z-Wave technology is present in many different devices, and in addition to being controllable, each device can have a list of different capabilities that can be customized to your preferences.
Since there are many different devices and capabilities available for each, it is always best to pull out a trusty manual and research what Z-Wave capabilities your device holds.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common capabilities below!
Z-Wave Capabilities List
Remember, this will not be a completely comprehensive list of all available capabilities that are out there for your Z-Wave controlled devices, as each device is different. However, you should be able to glean a better understanding of the capabilities that are possible to set up in your own home network when you utilize Z-Wave devices!
One of the main reasons people tend to automate their home is for increased security. When we discuss the different options that come with motion sensors and security cameras, we discovered the following are open to personalization:
- Wake Up Intervals – Configure the time frame in which your motion sensor will wake up and attempt to establish a connection with your Z-Wave network. This can be set to your preference, and with longer intervals, you save battery life on your device.
- Sensitivity of Motion Detection – We want to know when an intruder is around our home, but we don’t need an alert each time a leaf falls from a nearby tree. That’s where the motion detection sensitivity capability is handy. The higher the value, the less sensitive the device.
- Alarm Cancelations – Dictate when your alarm will disable after motion has been detected.
- Night or Day Motion Detection – Define the difference between daylight and nighttime by changing this setting in your device.
Heating and Cooling
In order to save on electricity and gas bills, Z-Wave devices can help you control and maintain the temperature in your home. The following is a Z-Wave capabilities list for heating and cooling.
- Filter Change Reminder – Set the duration that you are alerted to the need to change your filter. This can be from one month to one year – all depending on your preference, and the manufacturer of your unit.
- UV Replacement – Does your heating and cooling system utilize a UV light? If so, customize reminders so you never forget to change it regularly!
- Heating and Cooling Energy Saving Set Point – Decide at what temperature your thermostat will kick into heat saving mode, and the same for cooling. You can set this based on Celsius or Fahrenheit.
- Share with Z-Wave Node – Decide when, and how frequently, your device connects with your Z-Wave system.
Water and Sewage
Have you set your water to be automated? Then you’ll enjoy these different features!
- Alarm Mode – Alerts you to any water leaks from the water valve where there is a Z-Wave device is connected. The alarm will sound, and the water valve will immediately be shut off.
- Water Level Mode – Water level mode is set by you. You decide what is an acceptable water level for your water valve, and the system will shut down when the level exceeds your setting.
- Alarm Commands – This setting gives you the option to set what triggers set off the alarm in your water valve system.
While several Z-Wave capabilities are designated to a specific type of device, there are some customizations that can be utilized across devices, regardless of their use.
- Basic On and Off Command – This particular setting designates when a device should turn on or off, all depending on the use of the device and your need to have it running all day, every day… or only at specific times.
- Secure or Non-Secure Mode – This setting designates how the device communicates with your Z-Wave network. If secured is selected, your device will attempt to connect via a secured network, while non-secure does the opposite.
- Tamper Alarms – This particular feature can have several different uses. The Tamper setting will allow you to receive a notification when attempted tampering has occurred within a device. You can set sensitivity of the device, alarm duration, broadcast channels, and even if the device being tampered with can connect to other devices in your network. If set to do so, this will activate an alarm from the connected device as well as the initial device.
- Visual indicators - This personalization are dependent upon the device, and will fluctuate from component to component. However, this capability allows you to set visual alerts that will report on different detections (again, based on the device), without the need for an audio alarm.
As you can see, home automation helps home owners in a lot of different ways, from preventing theft to protecting against damage within the house. As you start to automate and turn your home into a smart home, Z-Wave products will continue to advance, and thus, new features will be added regularly.
Each component is different, and a Z-Wave capabilities list is simply a guide for you to see what options each device could have. Before you make any purchases, be sure to do your research! Check online message boards, or look into owner manuals for a list of different Z-Wave personalization commands that are specific to the device you are interested in.
And remember this – not all devices are created equal! One device may contain 10 different personalization options, while another may have 50. The choice is yours, just consult your manual!
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