What's the timing of the next gen Z-wave standard?

Next-gen smart home devices
Next-gen smart home devices

I’m looking to build a new home that will be complete in about 2 years and want to install all Z-wave devices, but want to try to time this with the next gen of devices. I read that the new Z-wave 700 standard was announced a year or so ago. Are any next-gen devices already in-market, and does anyone have a strong opinion whether or not it will matter? I’m planning on hard-wiring over 100 switches/outlets in the build, so it’s a meaningful decision for me.

There are a lot of good things about the 700 series, particularly once you get to the Z wave LR addon. It is intended to have longer range and to be able to support a higher number of devices. The current standard, the 500 series, has a hard maximum of 232 devices per network. The 700 series with the LR add-on will be able to go up to about 2000.

There are a couple of 700 series hubs now available for purchase, but none that work with smartthings and none that have the LR addon. Those features are in alpha testing now with three or four manufacturers, but are not expected to come to market until 2022.

Z-Wave Alliance Announces New Z-Wave Long Range Specification – Z-Wave Alliance

Z-Wave Long Range offers 4x wireless range, 10x node scalability for larger network support, 10-year coin cell battery life, and maintains Z-Wave backward compatibility and interoperability. Beaverton, OR – September […]

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100 switches is a lot of zwave switches. Smartthings, for example, has been known to play up somewhat with more than 40 Z wave devices, but there are some people who have had many more. @johnconstantelo can speak to his experiences with a large install.

Z wave is, per the standard, backwards and forwards compatible, so your older switches should run with a newer hub or vice versa, although there is a “least common denominator“ effect where you may lose some of the more advanced features in a mixed network, it just depends on each leg. And of course on the hub.

Personally, I like zwave for light switches, but I myself ended up going with Lutron Caseta instead. Lutron has very advanced engineering (they hold a bunch of patents) and use their own proprietary frequency, it’s just that they are definitely more expensive. I ended up using them because my house was built in 1955 and we don’t have neutrals at many of the switch boxes. At the time, several years ago, Lutron was the easiest way to address that issue. I definitely like them And they’ve held up well, but I would’ve chosen less expensive Switches if I had that option.