deCONZ vs ZHA vs zigbee2mqtt


Comparisons of supported devices, capacity, range?

Mainly planning to use Xiaomi Aqara devices for now, heard they did not always play nicely with ZHA.

If I just get the Xiaomi hub, is there an easy way to disable it’s cloud or is there some custom firmware for it?

So the Conbee stick works with both ZHA and deCONZ, HUSBZB-1 is for ZHA but includes Z-Wave, and for zigbee2mqtt I need a CC2531 and debugger, is that correct?



Yes, there are a couple of other zigbee devises that can be used with Zigbee2mqtt, See here:

The other questions I cant answer as I jumped on the zigbee2mqtt band-wagon with out really reading the other options. That said the few Xiaomi devises I have ( 2 cubes and 6 buttons) work very well, with no problems.

Hope its of help.

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deCONZ with Conbee supports most if not all Xiaomi devices and a lot of other manufacturers. ZHA is improved all the time. Can’t say anything about Z2M.


In my setup Deconz work very well. I have not tried the other ones, but for what I heard zigbee2mqtt is slower, and HZA have less device compatibility. (how I run it)


I started with ZHA a long time ago and it worked OK. Had a few issues here and there. Then tried Deconz (V1 stick) and had a lot of issues getting some devices to pair properly. Some lights would not respond after a day or so. Then tried Zigbee2MQTT. Worked great at first, but had a lot of other random sensors fall off the network. I had to re-pair a few window sensors at least once a week to keep them on the network. Note that I have a few Zigbee plugs I don’t use for anything else other than just increasing the mesh quality. Based on the Zigbee2MQTT network map tools, signal quality wasn’t an issue.
Then I re-enabled ZHA with a fresh database file. Re-paired everything and have had almost no issues in the last 2 months. I had one instance where 1 of 4 bulbs in a light group didnt turn on. I power cycled the bulb and it paired right up.
I also don’t use Xiaomi (other than playing with the vibration sensor and a button), Hue, or Ikea devices so my use case is probably a little different. When I did pair the two Xiaomi devices to Zigbee2MQTT, they didn’t play well unless they were close to the hub.

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Hi I have tried all 3. Here are my experiences

I stared with ZHA on Conbee 1. I had too many issues with that but this was early this year where ZHA was still implementing basic features and since ZHA has had tons of development. I do not have any up to date experience. It is probably really cool now.

Then I moved to Deconz with same Conbee 1. At this point I only had a few devices - mainly window/door sensors and some Philips remotes.

When Conbee 2 was released I bought it because I cannot help it. I just had to have the latest

I bought a few of these cheap CC2531 dongles and as they arrived after 8 weeks I had to try them so I installed zigbee2mqtt on a Raspberry Pi - not same machine as HA. I only paired a few remotes. It is a bit geeky to setup with no fancy graphical UIs but not at all difficult and the project is extremely well documented. It is probably also the project that supports most devices and add new faster than anyone else. But one negative is that the cheap dongle have a lousy range. I fixed that by adding an external antenna and you can buy such solutions (advertised here in the forum). You really need that for good performance.

My final move was to skip my Philips Hue and move 35 lights and 15 Philips dimmers and 3 motions sensors to my Deconz. I now have something like 40 lights/switches, 20 remotes, 5 window sensors, 1 vibration sensor, 1 smoke sensor. And it works really well.

It is a real nightmare to try and move all these from deconz to ZHA so even if I would love to give the developers feedback on it, it is just too much a risk of having a house and wife with no functional lights for days. ZHA is the only solution that supports multiple Zigbee radios. Deconz is locked to the devices from Dresden Elektronik and zigbee2mqtt works only with the CC chipsets

I am on the Deconz solution now and can recommend it. But remember to backup the config inside the Phoscon app when you add or remove lights. If anything goes wrong and the database file is lost you end up pairing lights manually for hours. Always backup the config. I once made the mistake to start the Deconz app as root. When I again ran it as normal users the database was unreadable and I lost all lights. But I had the backup and it took 10 seconds to load it and all was well again.

Same with zigbee2mqtt. Make sure you learn where the device database is located and back it up when you add/remove devices.

With ZHA same thing. Always make snapshots in HA after adding or removing devices.

All 3 solutions have the advantage over Philips Hue hub that when motions sensors and dimmers are changing state the change is pushed immediately. The Philips Hue API requires continuous polling.
With the ZHA/Deconz/Zigbee2MQTT you can really take advantage of having signals from any Zigbee sensor/remote control anything in your home with no noticeable delays. You walk into a room and a Philips Motion sensor makes your EspHome LED strip turn on instantly. Fantastic


I have zigbee2mqtt with coordinator ( USB stick ) and a router ( Power supply small box - ) and everything work as a charm. AS other people said there is no fancy GUI but I love Infrastructure As A Code so I don’t care so much. Good part is they are a lot of guys using it support is better and new devices are added very fast also there is a documentation how you can add a device yourself.

I have deCONZ on a long Lead

and it has note MISS a beat yet after the latest update. so thanks all

before this verson my door sensor would just drop unpair :frowning:

Any of the protocols run alertme (Iris 1v)?
Any of the protocols run Ikea 5 button remote?
Any of the protocols support group messaging?

I’m currently using a Hubitat which doesn’t support the Ikea button. I tried ZHA but I got popcorning lights, no alertme supported and I asked how to get the Ikea remote working in the ZHA support thread but no one replied. On top my contact sensors didn’t report temperature on ZHA. I gave up on ZHA.

I’m interested in the others but I want to ask before moving since it is such a pain to swap things around to see if everything works.

I do not know about alertme or Iris

But I run Deconz and it supports the 5 button remote without problem. And you can put lights and switches in groups in the Phoscon app. I do not think ZHA supports Zigbee groups yet.

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I use deconz for most things as that is what I started with and have never had any issues. But also the Xiaomi hub for some items that wouldn’t pair properly in deconz app like smoke alarms. The xioami gateway also provide more variables on some devices. Once first set up you can remove any cloud connection but needs to be in your router. I just block its IP from all internet access.

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I have used the Conbee stick and Deconz for several years, only to change this fall 2019 to contrib-zigbee (which includes zigbee-herdsman which again is also the core of Zigbee2mqtt) running in Node-RED and the new fast CC2652R1 (zigbee 3.0, 200+ devices) board from TI which only z2m/zigbee-herdsman supports.

I got fed up with how selective and late new devices were added to the Deconz REST API, plus it’s not that easy to contribute to for me in C++ (and Deconz core is closed source). Also devices are either lights (routers) or sensors (Endpoints) in the REST API which is a bit oldschool and limiting. But it was stable software.

With zigbee-herdsman/contrib-zigbee/Zigbee2mqtt I can hack around with the javascript source and add or change support as I want to, and contribute.


Smoke Alarms from xiaomi work perfectly fine with deCONZ, however it is not available in the phoscon app itself. It will show up in HA however.

I’m feeling the more I read the less I understand…

I read that ZHA (ZigBee Home Assistant) intégration works with Conbee II.
I’m using the Conbee II without ZHA on Home Assistant 103.5, do I need to install ZHA ? What advantage gives ZHA ? Is it replacing the Deconz software ?

It is an alternative to the deCONZ software yes.

Is it better to use ZHA or Phoscon do the same ?

I don’t follow ZHA development closely, using deCONZ myself. So I can’t give an answer to that.

Currently I prefer deCONZ because the ZHA integrations doesn’t (yet) support creating ZigBee groups.

I’m using the Deconz addon for 6 month now. The addon now works very well but I (we) had few problems in the past with updates and lost zigbee devices (see github or HA forum). The entire setup process is okay and usable for non stupid people. But I have concerns, what happens after 1-2 years if few zigbee devices will die or if the wife wants to change a bulb because I’m on vacation or something else. Then the entire setup process is very complex (go to hassio addons -> deconz -> type password in -> go to bulbs -> delete old one -> add new -> … -> rename device in deconz -> rename device in HA). So I think ZHA is lot easier for that but I test it yet.

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I certainly will not explain to my wife how to delete or add ZigBee devices, otherwise she’d probably tell me to remove this whole “automation stuff” :rofl:. I just tell her to replace it with a normal light bulb and use the standard switch instead of the ZigBee remote until I’m back. In my opinion basic functionality needs to work even if HA, the router or whatever goes down. Just my two cents…