Announced in September, Z-Wave LR – an extra 100-kbps DSSS OQPSK modulation addition to the Z-Wave protocol – enables new IoT applications beyond the home, without any need for repeaters, ensuring easy install and low cost. The specification supports distances of up to several miles with a maximum output power of 30 dBm, while supporting up to 4,000 nodes on a single network, providing the scalability needed in multi-dwelling unit (MDU) and hospitality deployments. It also reduces ongoing maintenance costs with up to 10 years of life on a coin cell battery.
Z-Wave LR, says the organization, represents a 20x increase over Z-Wave mesh node support while co-existing on the same network as Z-Wave mesh. Z-Wave LR is backwards compatible and maintains interoperability with all Z-Wave certified devices.
“The Z-Wave Alliance Technical Workgroup has been working to fine-tune the Z-Wave LR specification for deployment,” says Niels Johansen, Z-Wave Alliance technical committee chairman. “These significant enhancements position the Alliance to solidify Z-Wave as the de facto standard for IoT solutions where sub-GHz is mission-critical to device performance.”
Mitch Klein, executive director for the Z-Wave Alliance adds, “For almost 20 years, Z-Wave has transformed wireless technology for smart home and security devices. As IoT technology has expanded beyond the walls of the home and to the sidewalk, to commercial buildings, smart cities, and beyond, we decided to support these evolving industry needs. Implementing Z-Wave and Z-Wave LR into IoT networks maximizes value and minimizes costs while providing more breadth of choice.”
The first implementation of Z-Wave LR, by Alliance member Silicon Labs, has already achieved a direct line of sight transmission range of 1 mile (1.6 km) utilizing +14 dBm output power, says the organization. With a foreseeable transmission range of several miles, the Z-Wave LR specification significantly expands the possibilities of system scalability beyond the confines of a single residential property to larger, more complex installations and markets including hospitality, MDU, smart cities, commercial installations, large residential compounds, and more.
Z-Wave LR is now available from Silicon Labs on their Z-Wave 700 platform and the specification is now available to Z-Wave Alliance members for development. The Z-Wave Alliance certification program will include Z-Wave LR by March 2021, anticipating numerous Z-Wave LR enabled devices to launch throughout the year.
For more, see “What is Z-Wave Long Range and How Does it Differ from Z-Wave?“