Zigbee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth are three of the more familiar low power mesh networking protocols gaining adoption by the security and home automation industry. These protocols were developed fit into WPLAN class networks with low data rate, long battery life, and secure networking as priorities.
Z-Wave is a low power wireless communications protocol designed for remote control applications in residential and light commercial environments. The technology uses an embedded or retrofitted low-power RF radio. The radios are installed into devices such as lighting, home access control, entertainment systems and household appliances.
Z-Wave operates in the 900 MHz sub-gigahertz frequency range. As a comparison, Wi-Fi and other systems operate on the crowded 2.4 GHz band.
All Z-Wave products use a Z-Wave transceiver chip that is supplied by Sigma Designs and Mitsumi.
Z-Wave utilizes a mesh network which can be as simple as a single controllable device and a controller. Mesh networks provide multipath environment which allows the signal to hop, thereby extending the range and reliability of the network. Typical communications range between nodes is 100 feet.
A device must be added to the Z-Wave network by ‘pairing’ before it can be controlled via Z-Wave.
Schlage’s new Touchscreen deadbolt uses the Nexia Home Intelligence architecture with a proprietary Gateway in the premises which is connected to a PC. It requires an online account to allow the homeowner to interact with Z-Wave devices such as the RP200 Dimmer and Schlage Touchscreen deadbolt. The products are designed to be easy to program and operate.
Schlage has just released two touchscreen motorized wireless deadbolts, the Camelot and Century. These devices share the same feature sets, differing only in their appearance. For example, the Camelot can be paired with a Camelot handleset to comprise a stylish treatment for residential entry doors.
An illuminated touchscreen shows a numbered keypad and Z-Wave connectivity, enabling remote programming, control and monitoring of the lock as well many other Z-wave products.
Up to 30 four- to eight-digit user codes can be tailored to specific times of the day or week or used for temporary access. Vacation mode disables all codes so no one can unlock the deadbolt.
A built-in alarm system also enables users to hear instantly when someone goes in or out, tampers with the lock or tries to break in.
Remote programming control and monitoring requires the end-user to subscribe to Nexia Home Intelligence, a service which stores programmed settings and routes signals to and from the locks and other devices. The family of compatible products currently includes lighting temperature and temperature controls, as well as locks, cameras, door and window sensors and touchscreen alarm control.
A starter setup would include the essential elements of a Z-Wave mesh network, a controllable device, a controller, and software. Since Z-Wave can accommodate over 200 nodes, the system is expandable to meet the requirements of residential applications.
Schlage locks are so robust that they are also used in other environments such as dorms and offices, although Schlage has commercial products specifically designed for these applications.
One singular feature of the Schlage Touchscreen deadbolt motorized lock is that it throws the bolt, rather than requiring the user to manually turn a key or thumbturn to extend or retract the bolt. The device can be programmed to automatically relock so you do not have to. It will also sound an alert if the bolt is prevented from extending.
The lock utilizes standard deadbolt prep: making for easy retrofits and no learning curve for installers. With the adjustable backset, like other Schlage locks, the bolt can be easily set for either 2-3/8” or 2-3/4”. It can be upgraded to other Schlage cylinders and keys.