Is there a good recommended Z-wave emitter for network connection (not USB stick)?

I’m a very new user looking to migrate from Smartthings and I’d like to test Home Assistant out in a live environment. I’d be using the Windows VM installation but the server is in a room far away from my Z-wave network (still in the same premises), and so a USB stick wouldn’t give enough signal strength. I’m looking to plug something into my network instead with RJ45 and locate it centrally in my house. I read something about the Smartthings hub being able to be used in conjunction with HA, although I want to make a clean break.
Would anyone be able to recommend a decent network connected z-wave emitter (for want of a better word) please?


I would just get a cheap SBC with an Ethernet port, install a headless Linux on it (Debian or similar), plug a zwave stick into its USB port, run zwavejs-ui on it and call it a day.

You can then put it anywhere you want and HA can access the zwavejs driver over the network.

You can run ZWaveJS or ZWaveJSUI in a container on a raspberry Pi and plug in any generic USB coordinator stick and connect to it from your HA box. Be sure to investigate which sticks are currently recommended for the ZWave and Zigbee solutions you choose (there are multiples, if you’re just taking the defaults you’ll be looking for suggestions for ZHA and ZWave JS.)

You are correct you can technically use your ST hub, but it’s a cloud connection from HA. So every common with SmartThings is an Internet round trip.

I’m using Hubitat as a Z-Wave + ZigBee bridge for HA for years now. Never failed me. It is similar to Smartthings (I think they have some common history) but designed to work completely locally. It has a great integration.

The only negative is that you have to add devices in Hubitat interface not directly from HomeAssistant.

Another option is using ser2net. See the Z-Wave JS docs here: Z-Wave JS - Z-Wave driver written entirely in JavaScript/TypeScript
Yet another option is ESPHome with the stream server component. See how to use this with the ZAC93 Z-Wave module here: Make a Z-wave to WiFi bridge with esphome stream server and Zooz ZAC93 GPIO

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Thanks so much everyone for your replies and helpful advice!
I think what I’ll do is run HA on a Raspberry pi-4 rather than as a VM on my server, then locate that centrally to my z-wave network and fit a Zooz 800 USB stick. (I couldn’t find the ZAC93 anywhere for sale in the UK, it looks like a great device but I suspect it might be on a different frequency if imported from the US anyway).