It can be frustrating when one of your Iris devices falls offline. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common causes is network routing issues.
Your Iris smart home uses something called a mesh network to talk to all your Iris equipment. Understanding a bit how this works may help you solve intermittent problems and let’s face it, make you a hit at parties as you show off your smart home!
Most networks have a single sending point, like a radio station. The further away you get, the weaker the signal. This doesn’t work well for smart home gear. They are often small and battery-powered, and sometimes far from the Iris smart hub. Iris uses something called “mesh networking” to increase the signal range.
In a mesh network, certain Iris devices act as radio signal boosters, enabling greater range for the entire network. Imagine someone standing in the center of a football field trying to talk to someone in the end zone – they wouldn’t be heard. But, put a few people in between, passing the message along, and it makes a big difference.
How to Strengthen your Mesh Network
Any Iris device that is plugged in or gets its power from your home’s electricity will help extend Iris’s signal range. Range extenders include Iris smart plugs, in-wall plugs and switches, and smart light bulbs. Having these as part of your Iris network gives your battery-powered devices an easier way to talk to the Iris hub. For example, if a motion sensor detected motion, it might send that signal first to a smart plug, which would then forward it on to the hub.
How can you use this information to increase the reliability of your Iris smart home? If devices frequently go offline, you might add a few Iris smart plugs to your network. By strategically placing smart plugs between your Iris hub and the edges of your home, you might strengthen your mesh network. Smart plugs will automatically help extend your Iris hub’s range.
Iris-connected light bulbs, plug-in dimmers or switches bolster your network. You should avoid entirely turning off the power to the bulb or outlet. If these devices lose power, a chunk of your smart home network “disappears” until they are turned back on. The Iris hub works hard to try re-route the signals, but if part of the “mesh” is disrupted, the entire network can become less reliable.
Rebuilding the Z-Wave Network
If you add a new Z-Wave device to your smart home, the Iris app will prompt you to “rebuild” the Z-Wave network. Go ahead and do so. This tells the hub to optimize and find the best routes. You don’t need to do this for Zigbee devices and the app won’t prompt you. If you are curious the difference, don’t fear, that’s a topic for another blog post.
These tips will help you improve your knowledge and the reliability your Iris smart home. If you have any additional questions on this topic, visit our Community forum so we can continue the conversation.