Advice on Zigbee range extending

In my experience, Home Assistant community forum members expect some basic prior knowledge so recommend at the very least to watch a few youtube videos that explain the essentials of Zigbee. Ex:

Don’t think there is as odd use-case, most would instead a Zigbee lightbulb, a new switch, or a module.

If you install smart lightbulbs then make sure to disconnect switch so they are not accidentally powered off as Zigbee Router devices are really meant to be permanently powered and always available/online.

Personally, I favour switch modules that are installed behind your existing wall switch, like for example: (I’ve not used that specific model).

Those will however require neutral cable to be available for mains-power and depending on your country and insurance may require them to be installed by a cerified electrician becefore powered on first time.

Again, I recommend buying an “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” for each floor/area as starting baseline.

Check out these users maintained Zigbee DBs of devices if want to browse different by type or picture:


As those databases are maintained by users they might not have info if product is Zigbee Router or not.

Again, most but not all mains-powered devices are Zigbee Routers but not all brands/models are good:

  • Check that you have enough Zigbee router devices (also known as Zigbee signal repeaters or range extenders) and if you do not have any, invest and add some mains-powered devices that will work as Zigbee routers.
    • Aim to start out with mains-powered devices before adding battery-operated devices as a “weak” Zigbee network mesh (e.g., the device is too far from the Zigbee coordinator or a Zigbee router) may prevent some devices from being paired. Zigbee router devices are also needed to increase the maximum of devices that can be connected to your Zigbee mesh network.
    • Note that some Zigbee devices are not fully compatible with all brands of Zigbee router devices. Xiaomi/Aqara devices are for example known not to work with Zigbee router devices from Centralite, General Electrics, Iris, Ledvance/OSRAM, LIGHTIFY/Sylvania, Orvibo, PEQ, Securifi, and SmartThings/Samsung. Better results can usually be achieved by using mains-powered devices IKEA and Nue/3A Home or dedicated DIY routing devices based on Texas Instruments CC253x/CC26x2 and XBee Series 2/3 Zigbee radios.

I’ve heard this also. But I’ve got quite a mix of different Zigbee routers and end devices, and so far they all seem to play nicely together, and with my HUSBZB coordinator.

Maybe I’m just lucky, but it could be because all but two of my devices support just a simple on/off function. I don’t have color- or brightness-changing functions. I suspect these more advanced functions may be where the compatibility problem arise. The two devices which support power monitoring do work in my network also (Sengled branded.)

So, yeah, do your research before buying. Decide what functions you need, and what form factor works for you. Then look at price and compatibility.

One tip: Buy some “smart plugs.” These are the on/off devices which plug into your outlets, and you plug appliances in to them. If you find you need a device far away from any others, stick one of the smart plugs half-way in between. You may even find an appliance nearby that you want to plug into it, but even if not, it’ll happily act as a router. And you can move them around as needed.

1 Like

A follow-up tip to that is to get “smart plugs” with built-in power meter to use with appliances that could be good use for just the “power meter” functionallity more than for the ON and OFF relay feature that they are normally used for.

Power metering alone is great when used to create automation for higher-powered appliances such as washing machines, power-dryer, dishwashers, ovens, refrigirator, and/or freezers, where you do not even want to use ON and OFF features but only use Power metering for automations.

Another good use case is for car heaters/cars preheaters if you live in a cold climate can use the power meter in combination with ON/OFF to check and figure out if remembered to plug in the power cable and sent reminder notifications.

Note though that there are many such plugs from China where the power meter sensor might either not yet be fully be supported in ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT, or where the quality is in question for high Ampere.


@Hedda makes some great points. I use power monitoring for my sump pump outlets. I have automations which monitor the power used and will notify me if one gets stuck “on.” A template counts how many cycles per hour each pump is running (drawing power) which gives me a nice overview of the situation. I even have an automation which will turn on a backup pump if the primary one gets overwhelmed. Yeah, I’ve got some serious water issues with my 150-year-old fieldstone foundation surrounded by clay.

The down side to power monitoring is, if you don’t need it, you’re paying a lot more for it.

Thanks. When I asked IKEA, they told me the plug will not act as a repeater. I am going to buy one unit and test it as it is more convenient than the dedicated IKEA repeater (which is also out of stock).

FYI, I summarized all my tips here:


Lonsonho Tuya Zigbee Signal Repeater USB Zigbee Mesh Transmiter Expand 20-30M Compatible ZHA Zigbee2MQTT Tasmota deCONZ

That is not recommended, see →

1 Like

I have home assistant with sonoff zigbee dongle in one building, and I have philipps hue bridge in another building with a hue smart plug that can reach the dongle’s signal. The smart plug is paired to hue, not to home assistant. Hue devices are discovered in HASS via hue integration…

The question is, that does hue smart plug work as extender for home assistant zigbee dongle, as they are in different networks…or such? I am not familiar with zigbee network topology.

From your description, I think they are separate Zigbee networks. As a result, no extension of your network ‘managed’ by the sonoff dongle via the hue smart plug. Search these forums for folks experiences with devices that are good Zigbee network extenders. I have found that Hue bulbs seem to do a pretty good job of acting as range extenders for both my sonoff dongle based network and my hue hub based network. However, wary if the bulb in housed in some kind of metal can or enclosure, not so good then. Also, if there is a manual switch that can be accidently turned off, then no good either.

Good hunting!

1 Like

Looks like IKEA stopped selling the Tradfri Signal Repeater in the US.
Without any flashing, is the next best option the Sonoff S31 lite (zigbee version)?

The issue for me with the IKEA Tradfri Plugs is there is no physical button/switch on the plug housing to control the relay inside…

This means that if someone in the house comes along and wants to switch off the device that is plugged into the Tradfri, they will inevitably just flick the mains power switch on the socket itself. Then ofcourse the Tradfri loses power, and no longer functions as a Zigbee router - messing with the rest of the mesh network.

Did anyone else have this inconvenience, or find a cheap alternative or solution?

FYI, the tip is that I compiled a dedicated best practice guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization here →

Use a Philips Hue plug or any other ZigBee plug with a physical button.

@popch It is double the price though (£30 instead of £15).

Maybe a SONOFF ZBDongle-E flashed as router.

Download firmware here:

And flash it with the web tool: Silabs Firmware Flasher | Web based flasher for ZB-GW04 and ZBDongle-E. MultiPAN RCP firmware enables these devices to be used with Silabs Multiprotocol Addon in Home Assistant. Allow Zigbee and Thread to co-exist on the same dongle. Get ahead of the tech an experiment with Matter!

Use upload custom!

1 Like

I’ve made a zigbee router / extender that reaches up to my front gate, and also has some sensors to tell me if I’ve got mail, junk mail or a parcel, and also display a mailbox status light, with a reset button when I clear the mailbox…

Uses the custom firmware builder at


Wow, that is impressive. I wish I had the knowledge to do that, I am trying to get my Zigbee signal to reach the basement from the 2nd floor with my wife’s requirement “DO NOT CHANGE ANY LIGHT SWITCH ON THE 1st FLOOR”.

I thought I could use an Sonoff ZigbeeMini like I did on the 3rd and 2do floors, but since I have almost just 2-way light switch between the stairs and the 1st floor. This will not be possible.

I’m not sure I understand this. Either a CC2652, or a CC2530 or a CC2531? For all three one needs to buy an additional special flash utility, is that right?