Leviton Vizia Z-Wave Installation Considerations

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There has been much discussion on the subject of Z-Wave RF range, etc., of late.
 I've decided to start adding Z-Wave products from
various manufacturers to my online home automation store,
www.BassBurglarAlarms.com.  While perusing one of the manufacturers'
websites I found the following guideline document which may shed some light on
the subject.

The following is quoted from Leviton's "Specifying a Vizia RF System" document


This is a residential system and it is not recommended for commercial or light
commercial applications. Total square footage: 7500
square feet or less for optimum performance of the Vizia RF lighting system.

It is important to keep in mind that this is a "mesh" network and that device
location is important to ensure maximum system

A typical 7500 square feet house should not exceed 72 devices. 72 devices or
less will create less traffic ensuring the best
performance of your RF system. However, Leviton's Vizia RF system is capable of
128 devices with good performance.
Leviton's Vizia RF system is capable of employing 128 devices. It is not
recommended that the 72 device suggestion be exceeded.

It is recommended that devices be installed with a 30 foot radius of each other.
This will ensure optimal performance and strong
communication throughout the network.
The Vizia RF devices have a maximum communication distance of 75 feet in an
ideal "open air" environment.

Building materials can decrease signal distance and block signals in an RF
system. Below are some of the possible materials that can
degrade an RF signal:
1. Metal foil insulation
2. Metallic foil wallpaper
3. Reinforced concrete
4. Masonry

Other electronic products can cause RF interference, some examples are:
1. Cordless headsets (900Mhz frequency)
2. Wireless speaker expanders/extenders (900Mhz frequency)
3. IR to RF Remote control extenders (900 MHz frequency)

If you have any of the above construction materials or electronic products you
may need to add additional Vizia RF devices into your
installation to improve performance. For electronic product interference, if the
addition of Vizia RF devices does not improve
performance, you may have to remove the interfering product(s) and use products
that communicate on a different frequency such as
2.4 or 5.8MHz.

The RF signal travels approximately 30 ft distance through walls. If there is a
node beyond this distance adding another node will
increase RF distance.

- Not every switch and dimmer in an installation needs to be automated using
Vizia-RF, for example: closets, bathrooms, laundry
- Implement Vizia RF where it has the strongest impact on lifestyle and
performance, for example, kitchens, hallways, landscape and
porch lighting, home theaters, bedrooms
- Include standard Vizia products in locations where automation is not needed
- Use other Leviton products to provide "automated" solutions: IPP15 in closets,
laundry rooms and similar locations. Room-based
applications are easily accomplished with Vizia RF devices. This allows for
direct communication with no routing in the system.
- Whole-house applications must be well displaced throughout the house with a
maximum of 30 feet between Vizia RF devices. In some
cases, where network performance is slow or sluggish, adding Vizia RF devices
into the network will resolve system slow downs.
- Distances are multi-directional and can be on multiple floors
- Non-recommended applications include devices separated beyond 30 feet where
that signal has to travel through walls, doors,
floors, etc. Installing devices at separate ends of the house is not recommended.
- Associating the maximum 32 devices to a single button on a scene or zone
controller is not recommended.
- If you are configuring a single button on a 4 button zone or scene controller
as an "ALL OFF," for you're lighting, you should
separate the zones into partitions. For example, it you have a total of 64
devices in your network, separate the "ALL OFF" into
partitions of 16 devices per button, i.e.; upstairs, downstairs, etc.

Leviton Vizia RF devices will work with any Z-WaveŽ certified manufacturer at
the basic level. However, in order to get the most out
of your Leviton Vizia RF system, the other manufacturers' devices must implement
the same application level features as Leviton.

Some of the manufacturers have implemented these application features at
different levels of compatibility:

PRO LEVEL 2 (highest level)
Fully licensed to operate efficiently within a Vizia RF system AND implement
Leviton's enhanced 2-way technology, using Vizia RF as
the primary remote:
- HAI Home Automation Inc
- Wayne-Dalton
- Lagotek
- Monster

PRO LEVEL 1 (mid level)
Non-licensed devices existing within a Vizia RF system that while they will not
degrade system performance, they do not have Leviton's
enhanced 2-Way technology. They can also use the Vizia RF as the primary remote:
- Sirius Radio
- Techniku
- Monster

CONSUMER LEVEL (lowest level)
Implements basic Z-Wave feature set, and potentially interferes with performance
of a Leviton Pro Level 2 installation:
- Intermatic
- Cooper
- GE
- Sylvania

Hope this helps.


Robert L Bass

Bass Home Electronics
4883 Fallcrest Circle
Sarasota ˇ Florida ˇ 34233

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Re: Leviton Vizia Z-Wave Installation Considerations
Robert L Bass wrote:

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