Z-Wave is a low power protocol, which lets devices run on batteries for years at a time while communicating relatively complicated information. However, to be able to do that it transmits at a reduced power and its signal can more easily be blocked. Without any obstructions, a single Z-Wave device's range is advertised as 100 feet in open-air. However, as shown in the chart below, different materials cause different signal strength drop-offs. For example, if a customer has a decorative brick wall, it may be worthwhile to avoid a direct connection through it and install in-wall light switches on either side. Likewise, be on the lookout for refrigerators, filing cabinets, cars, and other large, metal fixtures!
Z-Wave signal strength through different materials
|Masonry block (8")||33%|
|Reinforced concrete (4")||17%|
Tips for avoiding the short range of devices
- Use additional AC powered Z-Wave devices to relay signals to further away devices.
- Avoid obstructions (such as brick walls and large appliances) for better connectivity results.
- Try Link Quality tests to verify that devices are in range of the panel.
- For devices that can't communicate directly with the panel, we recommend having a "Good" link quality in addition to having two other AC powered devices with a "Good" link quality as their neighbours.