Category Archives: Comparison Guide

Z-Wave vs. Zigbee

Both Zigbee and Z-Wave operate through a mesh network. Zigbee travels on a higher frequency (2.4 GHz) versus Z-Wave (900 MHz). Zigbee waves travel further, albeit on a more crowded frequency. Both networks are mesh network protocols, meaning that modules/nodes relay signals, as well as receiving and responding. In essence, the more modules throughout your house, the more distance your network can travel.

Z-Wave allows for up to 232 nodes, while Zigbee allows over 65,000 modules on its network. Zigbee also seems to be making more headway with appliance makers and, given its ability to travel further with more devices, is more apt for commercial projects. The 2.4 GHz frequency also give Zigbee more bandwidth, meaning it can carry more information like Meta tags, through it’s network. Oh, and to top it off, Zigbee is open source, which I generally support.

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All-in-all it sounds like Zigbee is better, right? I think on it’s face, Zigbee is better, especially for large applications. For my home, Z-Wave is the right choice. The strengths of Zigbee are ultimately the weaknesses of the protocol. Confused?

Zigbee can control more types of devices with it’s larger bandwidth, but that also means there’s more code in the Zigbee protocol and ultimately more difficulty with cross-compatibility. Think of it as Windows vs. the Mac OS’s. Whereas Windows kept adding and adding support until the OS was enormous and slow. Mac would clean out its support with each new OS, creating a smaller, more consistent product. Z-Wave is more like Mac in this sense. This may not be the greatest analogy, but you get the point (in reality, Zigbee performs really well, but inter-manufacturer interoperability has been cited as a problem).

Although Zigbee is open source, I don’t believe open source is right for this market. The market is too small. I want a standard by which all devices operate and Z-Wave offers this to me to a greater extent than Zigbee. Z-Wave is a standard (within each country), so when I buy a module from, say Jasco, I know it will work with my Vera 2 controller. Furthermore, I like some of the backwards compatibility aspects of the Vera 2 in particular, potentially allowing me to add less expensive X-10 (and INSTEON) modules. The fact that Z-Wave is not open source is not an issue for major corporations like Verizon and ADT, who both either have or are coming out with Z-Wave home control systems. In order to make an investment in these companies, one has to believe that these companies believe that the technology will survive, even in the event of a hiccup by Sigma Designs (Mitsumi will now also produce Z-Wave chips).

Finally, the upfront cost for a Z-Wave controller that I can easily operate over my iphone is $250 vs. the $600 upfront cost for a controller from Control4. Z-Wave is really more in line with my home automation needs. The more I read, the more impressed I became with Zigbee, and the more I was convinced that I would need to hire someone to install the system. With Z-Wave, I am more confident that I will be able to setup and maintain my network myself, at a lower cost. All the positives for Zigbee aren’t necessary for what I am going to do with my home, and at the end of the day, operation and cost (in that order) are what matter to me.




As early as 1945, Honeywell has already launched its own thermostat products, they recently released Lyric smart thermostat, and its purpose is to compete with Nest. Both of them can bring convenient user experience, and reduce power consumption, lower utility bills, in a slightly different way. Nest vs Honeywell Lyric, which one of these two devices is better?

Ways of working

The beautiful design and simple user interface of Nest’s smart thermostat makes it win the market and customer’s like. You can control the heating and air conditioning programmatically. Also it can work automatically. In automatic mode, it will use motion tracking to determine whether someone inside the house, and then controls HVAC to adjust accordingly. Nest has the capacity to learn more than that: it can also keep track of the temperature set by the user, and automatically adjust to the user’s preferred temperature range.

Honeywell believes that Nest does not know exactly whether the users are inside the house or not if it only tracks users at home, The Lyric use geofencing technology, when it detects family members carry smartphones entering or leaving a pre-designated area, the device can accurately detect whether someone in the home. Geo-fence Lyric supports can detect a distance range between 150 m -11 km. This can meet both urban and suburban users’ need.

Which method is better?

Both of them have their own advantages and limitations. Nest systems rely on accurate motion tracking. Users can install multiple detectors in all rooms to make it work well, but this will be very costly. On the other hand, all family members can be monitored. The motion detector of Lyric is used to light up the screen when the user move close to it. Of course, sometimes users need manually control the Nest. For example, if the user comes home early one day, and he wants the cooling or heating system work ahead, it can only be controlled manually through the smartphone application. Because it does not support geo-fencing, Nest will not know that you are on the way back.


Special feature

Both devices also provide some additional capacity to win your heart. Lyric claimed to have better control of HVAC. It can take internal and external temperature humidity and weather situation into consideration. These factors will affect the temperature feelings inside the house. By adding Airwave system, Nest also has the ability to detect moisture now.

In addition, the two devices will send a monthly energy report to the users, to show them the savings of consumption. Lyric and Nest will adjust their settings based on the weather forecast. But Lyric has a weather icon on the screen to display the next 12 hours weather conditions.

Selling price

The price of the 2 devices is not cheap. Nest thermostat is more than $200, while Honeywell Lyric higher than Nest. Both devices require users to install, and will notify when the filter needs to be cleaned.

Which model you should buy- Nest or Honeywell?

Honeywell’s products is more suitable for users whose activity are not so regular. On the contrary, Nest with the Learning ability is more suitable for users with regular activity. Both devices are equipped with remote control, and have claimed to be able to significantly reduce electricity bills. If you want to see the comparison of Nest vs Honeywell vs Ecobee, you can see this article.



Nest Learning Thermostat – 3nd Generation

Best Sellers in Home Programmable Thermostats

If you’re looking to automatically regulate the heating and cooling of your home, then you’ll love our smart thermostat reviews on brands like Honeywell, Hunter, Skytech, Emerson, and Bionaire. Programmable thermostats can trim about $180 a year from your energy bill by automatically reducing your heating or cooling when you need it least. Whereas previously home heating was often a complicated and messy affair, nowadays many families are availing of home programmable thermostats. There are so many programmable thermostats on the market, and of you don’t have enough knowledge, not easy to choose one.

Which Programmable Thermostat is Best for Me?

This is the question most asked when choosing a programmable thermostat.

To decide which model is best for you, You should think about your daily schedule and then decide what models is the best for you. There are 7-day models, 5+2-day models, 5-1-1 models, etc.

Here we list some of the best sellers in 2015.

No.1 Nest Learning Thermostat – 3rd Generation.

No.2 Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.

No.3 Lux WIN100 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat.

No.4 Honeywell RTH2300B1012/A 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat.

No.5 ecobee3 Smarter Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor, 2nd Generation.

No.6 Honeywell RTH6580WF Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat.

The Honeywell RTH6580WF Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat is one of the few Wi-Fi programmable thermostats that actually looks like a thermostat. This RTH6580WF can give you up to 7 programmable days, with 4 daily periods. This one makes it possible to adjust the comfort of your home from anywhere – in case that you have Internet access. Anyway, I think it is the cheapest wifi thermostat I have ever seen. Click here for detailed review.

No.7 Lux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen Thermostat.

No.8 Honeywell RTH6450D1009 5-1-1-Day Programmable Thermostat.

No.9 Honeywell RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable Thermostat.

N0.10 Honeywell TH1100DV1000 Pro-Digital 2-Wire Heat Only.

For more best sellers in Home Programmable Thermostats, you can click here to see on Amazon.