Z-Wave and Zigbee are two new technological standard transforming your houses into "Smart Home".

These standards are wireless communication systems used mainly for home automation. They are mesh networks utilizing low-energy radio waves to communicate between home appliances and residential devices, such as lighting control, security systems, windows, locks, and thermostats.

What is the difference between Z-Wave and Zigbee?

Although there two protocols are used for similar cases, they are still different in terms of hardware, software, and compatibility scopes.

Operating range Max no. devices Data rate Frequency
Z-Wave 100 feet 232 9.6-100 kbps 908/916 MHz
Zigbee 35 feet 65,000 40-250 kbps 915 MHz/2.4 GHz

Z-Wave

Its products include several smart locks and garage door opener. Also, its lower radio band will not interfere with other wireless communication protocols including a Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth signals, though they might interfere with cordless landline phones.

Z-Wave mainly focuses on monitoring, and control functions in the house. Generally, it is applied for lighting control, security, and climate control. For more advance usage, it can be used in a energy meter to provide consumption data for home.

Z-Wave is also relatively slow, with a data-transmission rate of up to 100 kilobits per second.

zwave

Zigbee

Zigbee can be used by GE Appliances and lighting, LG, Logitech, Philips Hue Lights, Samsung, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable, Next Learning thermostat. Amazon's Echo Plus can be even incorporated into Zigbee's network.

Zigbee is famous for its low-energy consumption but limits data from kbps 40 kbps to 250 kbps, which might interfere Wi-Fi.

It also supports devices with batteries or without batteries, such as light switches.

Zigbee is a little faster than Z-Wave and is usually cheaper to install for users. However, it can only reach a range of 10 meters.

Zigbee

Summary

Z-Wave Zigbee
Its protocal is simple, so development is faster Its protocal is complex, so development is slower
Chip source is limited Chip source is diverse
Range is higher, so connection is more reliable Range is lower, so connection is less reliable
no interference might create interference