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On each product page we show other products that the device is 'Compatible' with. Depending on which products are being compared, this may mean that the devices are Compatible with each other, or that they are Interoperable (they work with each other). These sound the same but there are some subtle differences.
Products that are Compatible are products of the same base technology and that should work directly with each other.
This definition mainly applies to Z-Wave devices. The majority of Z-Wave devices should work happily with each other, but as they have so many features and variations this isn't always a good assumption - particularly when looking at Z-Wave controllers. Z-Wave devices that are shown to be compatible with each other may have been tested by Vesternet, the product vendors or customers and shown to work in common use cases.
This 'Compatibility' helps you select devices that should work together or with products you already have.
Other technologies have less issues with compatibility. It is generally fine to assume that all LightwaveRF devices will work within a LightwaveRF system, the same applies for systems like Honeywell, Nest, Philips Hue etc.
Some products can work with products from another technology, these products are Interoperable with each other.
These types of products do not work directly with each other but via one of the system's local controllers (hub), your Local Area Network or via the Internet and Cloud services (such as IFTTT). Typically these devices will work together using a "Plugin" or an "App" that will need to be installed on the controller (hub).
Examples of Interoperable products would be Nest working with a Z-Wave system, Philips Hue working with a Z-Wave system, Nest working with other systems via a cloud service such as IFTTT or perhaps LightwaveRF devices working with a Z-Wave system via an RFXtrx433 USB Transceiver.
The dream of many people is to have a single system that runs all automation aspects of their home.
What most people actually mean by a 'single system' is really a single app or a way to control everything from a single point (usually an app or browser). Using Compatible and Interoperable systems still gives you this result - which makes it easier on you, your family or anyone else that uses your home.
In many cases this can be done within a single 'technology' such as Z-Wave. But, by carefully planning your system at the beginning you can use other products that are better suited to the task. If these are Interoperable with the main system, then you will still meet your goal of having a single system running your home.
In some cases, it is better to run separate systems - this means you can choose the best system for the task, rather than making compromises or making the system overly complex just to allow a single user experience. For example Multi-Zoned heating is a good example of this - by using a system designed for this job you can run your heating efficiently and easily. The fact that it will be a stand alone system isn't a big issue as once set-up and running it will run itself without much intervention from you. A heating system is different to controlling your lights where you and your family will want to interact with it each and every day. So, in this case, having two systems isn't a bad thing.
As with all things, take your time and plan your system, so you get exactly what you want and need.
As always, if you require and help or advice feel free to contact us at Vesternet Sales.