I don't have much luck with Z-Wave. What do you use?

When I first started investigating adding Z-Wave to HAss, it was still in its infancy. I purchased the Aeotec stick and some sensors, spent a few weeks trying to get the integration to work and eventually managed to set up a “turn on light when motion detected” automation. I thought this was great and was about to purchase some more Z-Wave bits when it stopped working. After some messing around - I don’t remember the details because it was years ago - I discovered that the Z-Wave stick couldn’t talk to the sensors and the only way to fix it was to remove the and re-pair the sensor. Then it happened again with another sensor. It just kept happening. It would be stable for days and then sensors would drop off the network. I never understood why but determined to get it to work I invested in a SmartThings hub and set it up with the MQTT-SmartThings bridge. Which was also a setup that worked really well when it worked but it was prone to not working. One thing I did notice though was that I didn’t have to rebuild the Z-Wave network while they were connected to the ST Hub. So I had a look round at what other options there were and (I’m in the UK so there’s no Wink hubs) purchase a Vera controller. This again was like the ST Hub - it worked well and this time it integrated directly in to HAss. But daily I would receive “Your Vera is off line” messages and I’d have to power cycle it. So it was working but it was crashing. I never got any support from the manufacturers so it went back. This was about the time that z-wave integration was moved in to HAss instead of having the OZW intermediate bit to wrestle with as well so I thought I’d dig out the z-wave stick and give it another try. So much easier to set up. But the same thing would happed - it would run for days without a problem and then suddenly one of the sensors became unavailable and all I could do was remove it (which didn’t always work through the HAss interface at the time) and re-add it. But now it wouldn’t be re-added with the same name, now multisensor_3 was mutlisensor_7 and I’d have to redo all the automations. Then proper SmartThings integration was added so I dug the ST Hub out of the box it was in and set it back up, added all my sensors to it and it worked perfectly. Until I have to restart home assistant for any reason. Then (this is a known bug) HAss “loses” the authentication token so I have to remove and re-add the integration and set it all up again. Of all my Z-Wave experiences this is the least annoying but it’s still a pain in the backside. I can’t do upgrades or change any settings without having to redo the SmartThings integrations.

So you’ve read this far - thanks. I know I’m moaning about free software :slight_smile:

On the one hand there’s lots of technical questions here - why is the z-wave stick so unreliable and so on. But I’m not really looking to “fix” it. I wanted to find people’s opinions on things like

  • Should I buy a £500 home controller type device
  • Are Vera hubs more reliable than they were 4-ish year ago
  • What are other UK HAss users using?

And, most importantly, do other people experience this kind of unreliableness with Z-Wave and HAss? You’ll notice I haven’t said “It doesn’t work” - I’m totally on board with supporting the HAss project and what it gives us in its perpetual ‘beta’ state - I couldn’t be more grateful for HAss. But I’m spending actual money on z-wave products which aren’t “under development” and it’s really frustrating that for 80% of my challenges z-wave seems to be the cause.

Thanks for reading this rambling post. In summary - do you have a working and stable Z-wave setup? If you do, what are the constituent parts (including controller and sensors), if not and you abandoned z-wave, what did you move to?



I had the same problems.
Though I did not buy any hubs, I believe that I got it to work a lot better by buying a zwave repeater.
It seems to work almost 100% better.
I live next to a very busy regional airport, a hi tech district and some very secret military contractors. Places that fly the military drones 10k miles away.
So every once in a while I think that any problems I have now might be an errant signal. Some times my garage door opens after a plane goes over.
Hope that this helps.

Yep. I gave up on slow and unreliable zwave and went with wifi lights (Lifx), sensors (DIY ESP) and switches (Tuya flashed with ESPHome).


Had to upgrade my wifi (to 3x Unifi Lite APs) to handle all the clients.
Slow battery powered sensors (door/window). I hardwire most of these and a bunch of PIRs back to two RaspPi’s running an mqtt client as a solution.

OP is talking about zwave. The Ikea link is for zigbee not zwave.

I have a boat load of mains powered zwave plus devices. Those all work great, with no connectivity or latency problems. I’ve had nothing but problems with my battery powered zwave devices. My locks work just well enough for me to not throw them in the trash, but I replaced all my zwave multissensors with DIY esp8266 devices running esphome. They are infinitely more responsive and never really miss an event. All in, I’m very happy with zwave plus as long as the devices are mains powered.

Oh, and I find my zwave mesh is much more stable on home Assistant vs smartthings. The biggest reason was likely due to the controller being imbedded in the smartthings hub, whereas now my zooz stick can be mounted up high where it gets better coverage.

My Z-wave network has been quite unreliable in the past, just like you describe. Until I disabled ModemManager from the Ubuntu host system.

Sorry did not read it clearly.

0 issues with zwave and even better performance with the new ozw integration.

No problem. :slightly_smiling_face: Just making sure no one buys it thinking its a zwave repeater.

I have a RPi 3B+ with a RaZberry 2 Z-Wave controller, a Fibaro and an Aeon Labs power socket, a Fibaro button and a Philio temperature and humidity sensor. It is just a small network, but it has been rock solid for months now.
I did have some instability to start with. It seemed to be due to too much distance / brickwork between the controller and the power socket in question. That is my theory because I resolved it by adding the second power socket at an intermediate location and also re-siting my controller more centrally.

The hub is under powered but it’s a SmartThings clone and it’s all local. If you just use it as a z-wave bridge in conjunction with this custom component it’s very fast.

Disclaimer: it might need occasional reboots. I’ve automated that too lol.

I’m using an Aeotec Z-Stick Gen 5, Aeotec muliti-sensors and some DHS dimmers and switches. I don’t rate the DHS gear all that much simply due to a lack of adjustable parameters (but they are about 6 years old) but none of my equipment has been a problem. The new Aeotec stuff is rock solid.

I’ve been using zwave in HA since I started using it 3 years ago with an Aeotec controller.

I had a couple of issues with Aeotec micro-switches way back then but after sending those back for refund everything else I’ve gotten from Aeotec and also other zwave manufacturers has been great.

I’ve got 10 mains powered nodes and 13 battery powered nodes and I can’t remember the last time I had any issues with any of them.

I’ve actually had the opposite experience. I had many wi-fi switches in my setup which were very unreliable and had better luck switching to z-wave/zigbee. The controller I use is made by Nortek and is a dual z-wave/zigbee device. I like the zigbee integration better but use both types of devices and have replaced a lot of wi-if devices with them.

If I’m not mistaken, each z-wave device acts as a repeater as that is part of the protocol. You may be having issues if you have things competing in the frequency range. I believe that was my problem with wi-if and why z-wave works better for me as there is less interference in that range. You can look up the range as it differs by country and see if you have things in your area that would conflict.

I had issues with Zwave in the past and posted my issues here. Some were HA related, but most of my issues were just Zwave being Zwave and some nodes being battery powered and others mains powered. Once I centralized my Aeotec stick, my comms issues calmed down, but I still had the occasional issue with GE/Jasco dimmers.

Now I still use Zwave for door sensors, motion sensors, 7 outlet plugs, and my door lock, but I have since started adding Lutron Caseta switches with the Lutron Pro Hub. I did my research regarding the Lutron integration (both the built in and the custom component with local control) before going to Lutron. The two other big reasons driving my transition to Lutron were that I have 8 Lutron Triathlon shades with pico remotes and I wanted native HomeKit support. I’m very happy with Lutron, but Zwave has improved and stabilized since I started using it, so I still use both.

I have experienced lots of issues with aeon labs z-wave sensors in the past. Usually, the problem arises from poor reception on a sensor. Also, if the aeon stick gets disconnected, or the home assistant system is not shutdown properly then it will not come back up properly. I recently installed an aeon z-wave range extender which fixed the poor reception problems. Been fairly stable since. I hold my breath every time i reboot.

I am using Z-Wave since over 6 years. Right now with 96 devices (56 battery powered) With different Gateway and since 3 month Home Assistant again.
No issues at all.

Would always use Z-Wave again. I also have Zigbee (60 devices) and Enocean (10 devices)

I have retrofit my entire house with ZWave Plus switches, dimmers, and sensors. So far 70 nodes, and it’s working.

In my opinion, the weak link for Z-Wave is not the hardware, it’s OpenZWave :frowning:. I hope that with Z-Wave itself going open source, a better option for Home Assistant emerges.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had just gone with WiFi flashable ESP-based for at least the hardwired stuff. ESPHome is awesome. WiFi offers more hardware/style options, lower cost overall, and you don’t have to fuss with a separate wireless tech stack. The only downsides for me would have been battery-powered devices/sensors and the eventual? obsolescence of 2.4GHz. (WiFi network congestion not an issue with my Ubiquity setup.)

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Noob here. I’ve managed to stumble through installation and setup of all my wifi integrations and get them working pretty reliably. Being rather proud of my accomplishments and thinking z-wave was the better technology, I eagerly jumped in to stage 2. Boy what a shocker. I’ve yet to get a single device to work for more than a day or two, and am beginning to wonder if z-wave is simply some sort of elaborate practical joke created for the sole purpose of frustrating me.

My experience with Z-wave started with an Aeotec USB stick and Aeotec window/door sensors (7 of them), two Aeotec multisensors, two Aeotec sirens, a couple of other Z-wave sensors. And I had 3 Z-wave mains powered repeaters which means a total of 6 mains powered Z-wave devices to maintain a good mesh.

It sucked! It was always unreliable. I never had to re-pair sensors. They remained paired but every time HA was restarted some sensors would not work until they had been “massaged” by clicking the pairing button or opening/closing the windows many times. Sometimes they would work the next day.
But then the next day I would change something else in HA and restart we started all over.
HA and Z-wave has been nothing but bad experience.

The overall problem was that I wanted this to be part of an alarm system. But I could never trust that opening a window or a door would trigger an alarm.

So I removed all my Z-wave sensors and added a Conbee II stick, installed with deconz, and I bought a lot of Awara zigbee sensors from Xiaomi. They are rock solid. I have them on all windows and some doors. On my two main doors I replaced the Z-wave by a home made ESP8266 solution which also acts as NFC reader and with LEDs showing status of all windows and doors.
At the same site I moved my zigbee based lights from Philips Hue to Deconz so that the entire house is one single Zigbee mesh network.

I did keep the Aeotec stick and I kept the two sirens and the two multisensors. It seems these two mains powered sirens are rock solid and each sit near the multisensors at the front and back of the house and act as repeaters. Those 4 remaining devices always connect and always work when I look at them or test them. So maybe it is the Aeotec window/door sensors that are crap.

On my Zigbee network I can say that also there I had a few problems. Both with Philips Hue and Deconz. I found out at the end that 6 or 7 Osram smart plugs were often part of the problem when the mesh broke. It became better when I repaired them with an Osram hub and software upgraded them. But they never got really good. I then replaced all of them by Philips Hue smart plugs.

Same with Philips 4 button remotes. They often failed to work at first keypress but after software upgrading them (by pairing them temporarily with a Philips Hue hub) it is very rare that they do not work at first press.

So for both Z-wave and Zigbee one thing is for sure. Some devices are better than others. And there are firmware problems with many of them. So try and identify which are failing. It may not be the one that disconnects but the one that act as router.
And remember to connect the sticks (Z-wave as well as Zigbee) on a 1 meter USB extension cable to get the radio receiver inside the stick away from the computer. There is so much RF noise emitted from any computer when you are 10 cms from the box. Bad radio reception will always cause problems for any radio based mesh network