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.
Single System or Multiple Systems
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.
Vesternet Compatibility Platform
The Vesternet Compatibility Platform allows users to see what other devices a particular device is compatibile with and also add comments to make the information even more accurate.
Data is provided by Controller companies, Device manufacturers as well as customer’s feedback. All of this information is published on Vesternet - it's free for everyone to view and contribute too - so the more feedback on a particular product the better.
How does it work?
On each product or category page you will see a 'compatible products' link - this takes you to a list of products for that device.
This list is sorted by "compatibility rating" (more on this below) which means that the products with the most reviews will be at the top of the results.
You can see more information about the compatibility between these two products by clicking the 'Compatibility Results' link which will display the Compatibility Details pop-up.
This is an ongoing joint effort which will always be evolving. If a product shows as being compatible then that should be the case, but if there's any missing compatibilities it doesn't mean it won't work, it's just that we've not yet had enough data submitted by users to enable us to show them as being compatible.
A big part of the system is that it allows each compatibility to be rated, so if you happen to have any experience with both products feel free to leave a review by clicking on the "Rate Compatibility" Button. This lets you rate your findings when using the products together and will be useful for others in the future.
It should be remembered that this is a community driven effort - Vesternet provide the platform for customers, suppliers and manufacturers so share their findings. We therefore can't be held responsible for any incorrect data - but the "wisdom of crowds" should mean that over time the system provides very accurate results!
As always, if you require and help or advice feel free to contact us at Vesternet Sales.