Network Design for mixed zWave/zWavePlus with Secure and Insecure

Greetings! I’m a HASS newbie, but have been using zWave extensively for over a decade (first on VeraLite and presently on VeraPlus). I’ve become increasingly unhappy with Vera and decided to try HA ( on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with Aeotec Gen5 stick. I have a mix of ZW and ZWP devices on my network:

  • ZWP - 30 Leviton DZ15S-1BZ Dimmer Switches
  • ZWP - 5 Leviton DZ15S- 15A In-Wall Switches
  • ZWP - 4 RTOA CT32 Thermostats
  • ZW - 8 AeotecDSA03202W-ZWUS Minimotes
  • ZW - 15 Leviton VRPD3-1LW Lamp Dimmer Modules
  • ZW - 5 Yale Real Living YRL220ZW619 Lever Locks (Secure)
  • ZW - 6 Remotec Z-Wave ZXT-120 IR Extenders

Presently all are configured and working fine on the VeraPlus, but performance can be sluggish at times and the batteries in the Yale locks only last a couple of months (something which I attribute to the VeraPlus, by comparison I have this same lock at another property using a Honeywell Lynx zWave controller and the batteries last over a year!). As I migrate to HA on the Pi, I’d like to build out an optimum network design with better throughput and all managed via a single user interface.

So first question, is it true that in a mixed ZW/ZWP network ALL devices communicate with the controller using the ZW protocol speed? Assuming this is true, would it make sense to use two separate Aeotec sticks - one dedicated solely to ZWP devices and the other dedicated to ZW devices?

Assuming the “2 stick” approach is the way to go, that means two separate meshes. My house is huge (5400SF) but with so many devices the mesh presently covers all areas well. If I split the mesh into ZW and ZWP halves, I’m concerned that some distant devices may have problems (although I suppose I could add a signal repeater/extender somewhere along the route). Also, could I simply add a second stick to my current Raspberry Pi and would HA work with two sticks, or would I need a second Raspberry Pi and HA instance (and if a second instance is needed, can I get the two Raspberry/HAs to talk to each other and present one singular user interface so ALL devices can be monitored and controlled from the same “page”?).

Lastly, secure vs. insecure. Presently the only secure devices on my network are the Yale locks talking over ZW protocol. Given my current configuration with a mix of ZW/ZWP devices, are my insecure devices in the mesh relaying the secure network traffic to/from the secure Yale locks? If not, would it make sense to add the Leviton ZWP switches as secure nodes so they can act as relays?

Sorry for all the questions, but since it will be a lot of work migrating from Vera to HA I want to make sure I “do it right”, and use the best possible configuration given my mix of devices. :sunglasses:


Yes, this is true and likely the reason you are experiencing “sluggish” performance.

Regarding steps forward - Unless you can afford to upgrade all of your ZW devices to ZWP, I would suggest you take a phased approached. Move all of your ZWP devices to the HA + Aeotec ZWP environment and keep your Vera environment for the “legacy” devices. This may require some forethought, especially when it comes to placement of devices for separate ZW and ZWP mesh networks. But in the long run, you’ll be able to transition over to ZWP at a more financially reasonable pace.

EDIT: It may also be possible to control your Vera environment through HA. If so, that would give you a nice single management portal for everything.

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I am running VeraPlus and VeraEdge devices. I came from Vera a couple of months ago (happy about that…).

On my test setup, I run both Vera and the Z-Stick Gen 5 on PI 3+. Seems to work just fine with both. The HA - Vera interface work without issues for me. I second the general advice/options suggested above.

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Thanks guys. I would bit the bullet and convert everything to ZWP but some of the devices have no comparable ZWP replacements (the Yale locks really tick me off, Yale released a ZWP radio module that physically looks identical to the Series 300 ZW module, but they did not make it backwards compatible with Series 300 devices! Some folks have tested popping the Series 500 ZWP module into the Series 300 locksets and it doesn’t work, would have been SO easy to make these backwards compatible!).

So where can I find info on the HA-Vera interface? I haven’t heard of that yet. Any pitfalls to watch out for?

EDIT: Found it, reading up on the interface now.


You will have a few challenges even beyond ZW and ZWP.

Firstly, in a mixed version mesh the two devices communicating will revert to the lowest protocol level they both support. So between a ZWP controller and ZWP node it will use ZWP.

Secondly anything that polls is bad. It eats up a lot of network bandwidth which is limited.

Thirdly is that even with ZWP it is quite a slow network speed. This causes for general sluggishness as the network grows. I had a lot of ZWP and around >110 devices it became unreasonably slow. Also the routing is not the most intelligent so it also suffers in a huge network.

Fourth - you need to realize that zwave is a single radio protocol and can only send or receive at the same time; but not both. Think of it as half-duplex :wink: This in itself causes problems on larger networks as well.

So the best way to solve this is to get multiple zwave networks going; or multiple network types.

I ended up moving all my light switches to Lutron and off ZWP to reduce device count. This worked really well for me to solve my problems. I now have only about 50 zwave devices and the network is much much happier.

Lutron also has the benefit that it is a higher speed network; as well as two radios and full duplex (I took a hub apart and clearly two antenna). So this helps a lot. The downside is it’s proprietary in nature.

I hope this helps; it’s the result of 4+ years of lessons learned on a Zwave network :wink:

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Wow, I’ve been using zWave for about a decade, never knew until now that it was half duplex.

I’m playing with the Vera interface now, some definite bugs (my thermostats in particular - HA knows they are in Heat mode but it is reporting the Setpoint for Coolling, not heat) and since it’s a one-way communication (i.e. HA can talk to Vera, but Vera can’t talk to HA) it complicates things further. I was impressed that HA discovered most of my Vera devices fairly accurately.


I’m a former vera user also. i moved over to HA well over a year ago and very happy I did. i have a decent sized house that has 3 floors and a mix of ZW and + devices. i run it all on the aeon tec zwave stick and have no problems or slowness. most of the slowness is due to vera platform i believe. I have probably 40+ zw and + devices and it all runs great under HA. based on my experience I would first get everything setup under HA (also look into node-red for your automations) and then see where you are and how you feel about it before you spend any more money.

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