If you're setting up a an automation system to manage your smart home, you'll undoubtedly land upon Home Assistant - it's considered to be one of the best automation software stacks available, it's free, and it lets you run your automations locally and privately. You'll also undoubtedly land upon the Z-Wave automation standard - it's also amongst the best automation standards and is already powering millions of homes globally. And while Home Assistant supports Z-Wave, you'll have to enable it using an add-on. But which?
There are two Z-Wave add-ons for Home Assistant:
- Z-Wave JS ‐ is the official Z-Wave plugin for Home Assistant
- Z-Wave JS to MQTT ‐ (aka Zwavejs2Mqtt) is a plugin developed by pro Z-Wave users amongst the Home Assistant community
Z-Wave JS vs. ZwaveJS2MQTT
The advantages between Z-Wave JS and ZwaveJS2MQTT largely come down to usability and compatibility. And that's because ZwaveJS2MQTT also uses Z-Wave JS. The following are key points of differences between the two add-ons, including points raised by users of Atrim Stick.
- Is Home Assistant's official Z-Wave add-on
- Offers fewer features than ZwaveJS2MQTT which some users report as increasing ease-of-use
- Some users report poor compatability between Z-Wave JS and certain Z-Wave products they buy, while those compatibility issues are resolved by using ZwaveJS2MQTT
- Allows end users and device makers to help resolve compatability issues by contributing device-specific code
- Offers advanced Z-Wave Plus features including SmartStart and S2 security.
- Is powered by Z-Wave JS - so offers the same reliability and compatability
- Extends the functionality of Z-Wave JS by offering additional features and operational code
- More features than Z-Wave JS. Users particularly benefit from the control panel UI which offers wider network configuration options and diagnostic tools
Which add-on is best?
If you're building a home automation system, you're going to want maximise device compatibility and configuration options. There's nothing more frustrating in home automation than discovering you cannot access a device's full features simply because configuration settings are not available to you ‐ this is something that severely limits the power of commercial gateways such as SmartThings. Thus, while ZwaveJS2MQTT is slightly more complex to setup, it's our Z-Wave Home Assistant add-on of choice.
Once you've chosen a Z-Wave add-on, it's time to get Home Assistant setup and then connect Z-Wave Plus 800 series to it. If you've decided against ZwaveJS2MQTT and would prefer to use Z-Wave JS, follow the link to our separate guide.