Getting Started with Z-Wave Development#

To get started with Z-Wave development, download the Simplicity Studio Development environment as described in the Simplicity Studio 5 User's Guide.

This will also prompt you to install the Gecko SDK (GSDK), which contains the Z-Wave SDK. The GSDK combines Silicon Labs wireless software development kits (SDKs) and Gecko Platform into a single, integrated package. The GSDK is your primary tool for developing in the Silicon Labs IoT Software ecosystem. All of Silicon Labs' stacks are written in-house to provide a seamless experience from silicon to tools, allowing you to unlock powerful features with ease, including:

  • Abstraction of complex requirements like multiprotocol and pre-certification

  • Industry-leading ability to support a large number of nodes

  • Ultra-low power consumption

  • Strong network reliability

Silicon Labs also helps future-proof your devices with over-the-air software and security updates, helping to minimize maintenance cost and improve your end user product experience!

Note: The recommended method to get started with the GSDK is to first install Simplicity Studio 5, which will set up your development environment and walk you through the GSDK installation. Alternatively, GSDK and other required tools may be installed manually from the GitHub GSDK site.


Once you have downloaded Simplicity Studio and the GSDK, resources to help you get started are available in the Evaluation Phase section. These include:

  • Z-Wave Getting Started for End Devices: Introduction to development of end devices using the Development Kits, Simplicity Studio and other software tools (e.g., PC Controller, Zniffer) provided by Silicon Labs. Provides guidance for setting up the hardware and software environment, running and debugging a sample application, creating a Z-Wave network, capturing the RF communication frames, and measuring the power consumption.

  • Z-Wave 800 Thunderboard Quick Start Guide: Quick hardware overview of the Z-Wave 800 Development Kit that helps to locate the buttons, LEDs, and sensors. Provides the first steps to start the development using this board.

  • Z-Wave 800 Dev Kit Quick-Start Guide with Unify: Describes the steps to quickly get up and running with the Z-Wave 800 Series Development Kit with Unify environment.

The Z-Wave SDK comes with a number of examples that you can use as a starting point for your own development. See the Examples section for more information.