By Trae Jacobs,
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With so many smart home products on the market now, most of us have devices from several different brands, and many smart homes use Z-Wave, Zigbee, or both to connect various devices. If you have Ring devices, you will want to know if they are Z-Wave or Zigbee compatible.
Does Ring use Z-Wave or Zigbee? Ring Alarm uses Z-Wave. Ring video doorbells, cameras, and smart lights also work with Z-Wave with the use of a Z-Wave compatible smart hub. Ring devices are not compatible with Zigbee at this time.
There are so many exciting options for smart home integration with Z-Wave, and while Ring devices are not Zigbee compatible, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices can operate simultaneously in the same home. I have provided more information to help you sort through the world of mesh networks for your smart home devices.
Ring Uses Z-Wave
Z-Wave and Zigbee are encrypted mesh networks. The mesh network uses a hub connected to your home’s internet router using an ethernet cable. The hub then spreads that one connection to compatible devices rather than having to connect each of your smart home devices to your home or office Wi-Fi network.
All Ring devices are Z-Wave compatible. Ring Alarm’s base station operates as a Z-Wave hub, so the elements of the Ring Alarm system can communicate with each other without interfering with your home’s Wi-Fi network.
While Ring Alarm’s base station has the capacity for Zigbee compatibility as well, there are no plans to initiate it at this time.
Using Z-Wave With Ring Alarm
You can even integrate non-Ring devices with your Ring Alarm base station if they are Z-Wave compatible. You can add as many extra smart home devices to your home as you like such as:
- Video doorbells and chimes
- Security cameras
- Smart locks
- Smart smoke detectors
- Motion sensors
This Z-Wave compatibility really opens up the possibilities for your smart home. For example, Ring does not make its own smart lock, but with Z-Wave, there are several smart locks on the market that will integrate seamlessly with your Ring devices.
Here is a list of all the Z-Wave smart locks that are compatible with Ring.
Keep in mind that some products won’t integrate with Ring Alarm to the same degree as Ring’s own products. For example, when a non-Ring motion sensor is triggered, your Ring alarm will not initiate the monitoring center’s response like it would with a Ring sensor. For full integration, you will need to stick with all Ring or certified “Works with Ring” products.
Fun fact, the Ring Alarm is Smash Proof too!
Linking Z-Wave Compatible Devices
If you decide to mix-n-match Z-Wave compatible products from different brands with your Ring Alarm system, you will need to connect them to your Ring account. Follow the steps below:
- In the Ring app, click on the + sign to set up a device.
- Select the type of device you have.
- Select “Add Manually” at the bottom of the page.
- Select “Z-Wave”.
- Follow the instructions that came with the new device to link it to your Ring Alarm.
Once the non-Ring device is successfully linked, you will see it listed in your Ring app.
Using a Z-Wave Compatible Smart Hub
If you do not have a Ring Alarm, you can still link your Ring devices to your other Z-Wave compatible smart home products with a smart home hub.
I recommend the Samsung SmartThings Hub. It can integrate both Z-Wave and Zigbee compatible devices simultaneously. I use one to easily integrate smart home devices from various companies in my house.
Whichever Z-Wave hub you choose, you will add all your Z-Wave devices to it through the hub’s mobile app. First, follow the instructions from your hub’s manufacturer to add the device in your hub’s app. Then, follow the directions provided with the compatible smart home device to complete the linking process.
Understanding Mesh Networks
Z-Wave and Zigbee are the two most common mesh networks used for smart home devices. While they operate very similarly, there are some key differences between them.
|Radio Frequency||800-900 MHz||915 MHz and 2.4 GHz|
|Device Limit||232 devices||65,000 devices|
|Data Transfer Speed||10-100 kilobytes per second||40-250 kilobytes per second|
|Range||Up to 100 feet||Up to 66 feet|
Mixing Z-Wave and Zigbee
You can have a mix of Z-Wave and Zigbee devices in one space. While there are hubs that can integrate both Z-Wave and Zigbee devices such as the SmartThings Hub, it is also possible to have multiple hubs in one space.
Maybe you own an Echo Plus which is a Zigbee-only hub, and you want to add some Z-Wave devices to your home. You can keep your existing Zigbee devices linked to your Echo, and add a Z-Wave hub for those new Z-Wave devices.
A device can only be connected to one hub at a time. If you want to switch devices to a new hub, you will need to remove them from your old hub.