Is there a decent ZWave solution out there?

I’ve been using ZWave for 2.5 years now - initially on a reskinned Vera, then on a Vera, and for several months on the ZWAVE.ME USB stick.

Each of these presented major problems:

  • the reskinned Vera had very little device support and was not receiving any firmware upgrades

  • the proper Vera (the Plus) occasionally (not many times, maybe 1% of the time) missed sensor state changes, which on my front door sensor was a complete deal-breaker

  • the ZWAVE.ME stick, while relatively OK so far, has presented me with many, many moments of rage because of OZWCP - ok, I get it, it’s open-source, etc., but seriously, the lack of feedback for pretty much anything you do outside of opening the log (which, to me at least, is extremely cryptic) makes it very difficult to use, especially when combined with the fact that some devices are difficult to access/pair/reset (they’re behind power switches, etc.)

Thus, can anything be done? Is there a Vera-like device which is actually reliable so that I can use a more friendly system as opposed to OZWCP?

I mean, comparing how OZWCP does things with how Conbee+Deconz works, the difference is night and day…at this point it might just be worthwhile to chuck the whole thing and go completely Zigbee+WiFi, as ZWave increasingly seems to be a dead end. Amazon, Xiaomi and IKEA are all huge players that have ignored ZWave, so at this time it looks like it will go the way of HD-DVD and Betamax.

I struggle to justify the cost and appeal of z…
I run zwave (sensors) for about 8 months and there were always issues.

I subsequently changed to rf with Sonoff rfbridge/Tasmotta and have not had any heartache in 1 year. It just works.

In another post people cited the lack of battery reporting as a deal breaker with rf. Just change the batteries once a year regardless and done.

Untill theres a working battery powered solution for WiFi sensors; rf seems the answer.

Well strange. For me Z-Wave is a rock solid solution for 2 years unlike other stuff including Tasmotta.

I don’t think is strange
This forum is full of zwave frustration.
Great it works for you.

hmm depends on what you are using it for. I needed something in wall so I use Aeotec nano dimmers to control all my fixed ceiling lights.

using the Aeotec nano dimmer in combination with the Aeotec z wave stick gives me 0 issues so far. and it just works.

for all the other stuff I prefer MQTT with sonoff or DIY devices over wifi because its so much cheaper and it just works.

For instance instead of buying a very expensive (but pretty) z wave sensor I now simply cobble something together that switches a normal lamp + motion/temperature detection. ALL that costs a at most 10 bucks and I merge that with the lamp so you dont even see it. Greatest thing about it that its cheap AND its connected to the lamp so no battery powered shit.

For light switches i use wifi switches.
Nothing beats that.

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I’ve never had any issues with my zwave devices. and i have at least 40 of them. (zwave light switches on every floor, zwave power plugs/energy monitors on most of my major devices and appliances) running an aeotec zwave stick on RPi3 with home assistant. I also have several tasmota and wifi based devices that are all fine. the only one that ever gives me a problem is the TPlink 100 wifi switch. sometimes it just loses state and doesn’t’ reconnect. aside from that no problems, i won’t say my setup beats anyone elses, because it’s not really a pissing contest. but i will say my setup has been for the most part headache free. oh BTW @johnflorin i’m also a former vera user and I’m SOO glad i made the switch to HA

thats not true at least not in europe.

1 will those wifi switches dim from 0-100 percent?
2 do those look as good as these: or any other, dealers choice.

  1. Yes
  2. Yes

And i think most users woukd agree wifi is a better protocol.

Anyway the owner of the post already uses zwave. So i think he knows its characteristics and i pressume wants to enquire about alternatives.

Juan, before posting that the wifi is a better protocol do some homework No offense but it really sucks for iot. Google it. No mesh, weak error corrections e.t.c.


I guess one more thing can be added to the annoyance list: hardware manuals that give incorrect instructions!

After a lot of messing around outside where a Fibaro relay is located (which had been marked Dead out of the blue and no amount of Heal/Test/whatever had fixed it), I finally also searched forums instead of “just” the device’s manual and discovered this discrepancy in the instructions for resetting it:


Reset by holding B button for 3 sec. after connecting mains voltage to the Switch


  1. Turn off power supply,
  2. Hold B button
  3. While holding B button, turn on supply
  4. Hold B button for 5 sec (In relay you should hear click sound)
  5. Release button and turn off and onn power supply.

The method in the manual provided hours of grief, the method in the forum worked instantly (although is quite complicated if it’s a product like this relay, which is typically in the wall behind a switch). I’d say “F*** Fibaro!”, but have had a similar issue with the manual of a Popp Wall Controller.

While documentation issues in a project like HA are unavoidable due to the free, collaborative nature of the project, WHAT THE HELL IS FIBARO AND POPP’S EXCUSE?

In this kind of situation I think that WiFi would have been preferable…yes, it’s not a mesh network (an aspect which can be resolved with a router mesh network/multiple APs), but one thing it definitely doesn’t do is suddenly disappear from your network without leaving a web UI or smthn which can be accessed, reconfigured, etc.

My worst ZWave experiences have all been when the device was difficult to access physically, because really your only option is to remove it from where it’s located and jury-rig some wires to plug it into a socket while performing the multiple-click voodoo dance. BTW, the multiple-click crap should really not be used by manufacturers for devices like relays, they are clearly not “exposed” in the same way as a light bulb, which in theory a kid could reset if playing with turning it on/off.

Overall, however, I do agree that it’s stable if left alone, pretty much all my problems have occurred when trying to add new hardware or functionality to the network.

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FYI, Fibaro has online manuals and the one for the relay (and double relay) has your exact instructions (except hold button for 3 seconds instead of 5). The PDF linked from the same page has the bad instructions. Has anyone let Fibaro know their own documents are conflicting? Maybe the PDF is just out of date.

But I can agree with your sentiment. I’ve wasted hours on a door sensor, trying to do something the manual said I could, coming to the conclusion that it’s just wrong.

Some very interesting things mentioned here:

I chimed in at the end with what would have made my experience with ZWave in HA so much better: an OZW log-reading wizard for adding/removing/resetting that can just spell out for you if the procedure succeeded or failed!

The current system leaves you in utter darkness, having to trawl through a heavily-spammed log (nearly 40 devices for me so far, all very chatty in the log) to find where something went wrong.

Finding out whether a device was added or removed or really anything about a particular Zwave device can be accomplished with
tail -f OZW_Log.txt | grep Node075 or whatever Node you are looking for. If you are adding a device use the next expected number or use Node07*

Thanks for the info, definitely good to know!

I just wish I wouldn’t have to use terminal commands while perched on a chair outside the building, ya know? :frowning:

I think the issue isn’t necessarily the Z-wave technology but rather how one interfaces with it. If you find the currently available methods, which are mostly terminal/command line centric, unappealing then yes, Z-wave isn’t the technology for you. But let’s not forget, these days we have a ton of Home Automation options. What’s most important is that you find and use the tech that best meets your needs. If the frustration factor of your current system is too high, don’t be afraid to sell what you have and start over. There are tons of alternatives out there.

I agree that ZWave overall is quite decent and my main beef at the moment is with OZWCP, which, while doing a great job of accessing the devices, is simply not very user-friendly…and this is with the users being reasonably tech-savvy.

I mean, even a Vera is not exactly a purchase a regular person would make, while HA ups the complexity factor quite a bit (but does provide sweet, sweet rewards in the process :slight_smile: ).

I don’t think anyone here really finds the command line unappealing and neither do I, but there’s a difference between using the command line and not being offered some basic feedback.

Given current pricing and availability, if I were starting from scratch I would probably go for the Zigbee+Conbee+Deconz combo, which has been rock solid for me and has a very decent GUI, but I’m not about to chuck nearly 40 ZWave devices at bargain-bin prices on eBay, because they do work…

As mentioned above, for me at least, a log “interpreter” in the form of error messages/confirmations would go a long way towards making the process more reasonable, although given the gigantic price difference between ZWave and Zigbee/WiFi devices at the moment, I will likely not be adding to my current ZWave stuff.

I have been using Aeotec gear (z-stick and Multisensors) for about 18 months and they have been great. I power them by USB, so no batteries and they all then act as repeaters. No issues at all except the vary rare false alarm on motion. When that happens I power cycle that device and it doesn’t happen again for months. In saying that, it’s usually the same device and they are really old gen 1 sensors so maybe just faulty. The response is lightning fast, the z-wave switches and dimmers I use are also fantastic.

I have a house that is mostly Z-Wave with 70+ devices.

I stayed with SmartThings for a year, banged my head against HA and OZW’s insanity (it nuked my ozw.xml file many times, forcing me to start over and over again), only to be faced with an onslaught of HA “sensors”. Each Z-wave sensor/switch spewed so many items, and most were unusable. I think the Z-Wave implementation on HA is a hack and I gave up after spending weeks on it.

I’m on openHAB now and it’s a complete joy with Z-Wave being a full status citizen for years now.

The biggest thing about any Mesh Network whether it be Z-Wave or ZigBee is to have enough repeaters. Gotta have something that pump out the signal far enough. ZigBee has to fly under WiFi’s 2.4GHz to prevent interference and Z-Wave is a low frequency that can be stopped by metal quite easily. Need to have your stick/hub out in the open and as far away from other antennas as possible. Clear up as much of the space as possible. I have a Z-Wave and ZigBee repeater in every room of my house and it’s darn near perfect.

I went from SmartThings to Home Assistant and haven’t had any issues other than devices themselves screwing up. While some systems may have better coding for the routing and healing, most of the time it’s the device or the device’s location that is the issue.

Reading the logs can be a bit of a pain, I just always have the “Tail” window open with 100 lines after I hit Include and keep a watch on it to see a new Node pop up.