Recently I was doing some research on purchasing a z-wave compatible doorbell. The Nest video doorbell came to my eye. Having mostly z-wave devices in my network I wondered whether it would be possible to integrate the Nest doorbell into my z-wave network.
Unfortunately the Nest video doorbell is not z-wave compatible. This is because Nest uses a different protocol which runs over WiFi which is not directly compatible with Z-wave. However there are some options to make the Nest doorbell and your z-wave network interact with each other.
What is the Nest video doorbell, and how does it connect?
The Nest video doorbell, also known as the Nest Hello. Is the video doorbell created by Google. With the Nest Hello you no longer have the fear of missing out on anyone. The Nest Hello replaces your traditional doorbell with something a lot smarter. It will show you full HD-video which is crisp and sharp even during the night.
This smart doorbell does provide you with the following features:
- HD-video: smart and clear HD-video even during the nightly hours.
- Night vision: perfect night vision, will allow to see visitors or packages during the night
- Stream day and night: due to the night vision, the camera stream is available during the day and the night.
- HDR: High Dynamic Range, is a range imaging technique to reproduce a greater range of luminosity than what is possible with standard digital imaging techniques
- 180 degrees FoV (Field Of View), the Nest doorbell will show you a broad view of the person standing at the door.
- Quiet hours, you can configure the Nest to be quiet at set times. For example when your kids or you have gone to bed.
Apart from the features Nest uses Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. It is compatible with Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n or ac, at either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz. The Nest doorbell requires at least 2 Mbps of upload speed to view remotely.
How does Z-wave work?
Z-wave is a mesh protocol, that uses radio frequencies to communicatie. It generally act on the 800-900Mhz band depending on the location. This radio frequency protocol is used to transport small sensor and actuator messages.
It is a entire different protocol then Wi-Fi. So it is certainly not a good choice for a video doorbell. This is due to the fact that z-wave does not offer great bandwidth capabilities.
Why can’t we use Nest and Z-wave together?
Because the great difference in protocol, we cannot use Nest doorbells and Z-wave directly together. Nest uses WiFi to communicate with the network, and z-wave is an entire different cup of tea. So this directly answers the question: is the Nest doorbell z-wave compatible? The answer is unfortunately no. But don’t click away yet, we will provide you with some interesting options to consider.
So mainly the incompatibility between the protocols makes that it is not possible to connect the Nest doorbell and your z-wave network directly. However it is possible to use third party integrations, or a so called man in the middle to integrate Nest and z-wave. We will have a look at the numerous possibilities to interconnect the two.
What options can we consider to integrate the Nest video doorbell and Z-wave?
Several options can be considered in order integrate a Nest video doorbell an a z-wave network. For example you can use a home automation hub to connect Nest and z-wave together. Or you can even use open software such as Home Assistant to enable use of the two together.
Option A: use a third party home automation hub
One of the options to consider when trying to interconnect Nest and z-wave is a third party home automation hub. These hubs connect several protocols together in one central appliance. This appliance act as a man in the middle between these protocols. Nest used to provide an API known as works for Nest. Unfortunately Nest/ Google have decided to abandon their API.
So yes this used to be a decent option, but right now it is only possible on a few platforms that allow custom scripting. We figured out that most of the major platforms do not directly support this kind of option. So it might be better to use something more open, such as Home Assistant. We will describe this option in Option B.
Option B: use home automation software such as Home Assistant
One of the best options in our opinion is to use home automation software such as Home Assistant to integrate Nest and z-wave. Home Assistant currently offers a third party integration known as badnest. This third party integration makes it possible to integrate a Nest doorbell within Home Assistant. As such we can leverage notifications etc. in Home Assistant.
For example you could trigger a light when someone rings your doorbell. Home Assistant off course fully supports z-wave as a protocol. So all z-wave devices are covered. Basically any scenario has become possible with this type of integration.