Getting started with ZigBee

So, as the next step in learning more about Home Assistant, I want to start a ZigBee network and add a few devices. Note - this is all very new to me :grinning:

My plan is to put about 7 “Sonoff SNZB-02 - ZigBee Temperature & Humidity Sensors” around the house with a “SMLIGHT SLZB-06 Zigbee 3.0 to Ethernet gateway coordinator with PoE” as the controller.

I need the Controller over Ethernet as my HA Host is about 20m from the house in a separate building (but with Ethernet between the buildings).

My questions:

1 - Does this sound right to get going and is it “plug and play” with Home Assistant (trying to avoid code-level stuff and flashing if I can)?

2 - With the SLZB-06 do I go with the new M version of the original ?

3 - Any better suggestions or tips, etc?


You might want to rethink that hardware choice:

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In what way? The linked review is for sensors with screens (I was looking at the screen less ones) and also the Sonoff seems to come out well and is recommended.

I think I am missing something.

I have 3 sonoff humidity/temp sensors and, like in the article, the temperature is very accurate but the humidity is way off. I compared them with each other, with our TADO system and a non-smart simple weatherstation.
I would not buy them if you plan to use it as a humidity sensor.

To be clear, other sonoff devices are well worth the money imo.

Thanks Aran; understand now. Not really interested in humidity it is just temp I am after.

Any thoughts on the controller? Is the M version ok for Home Assistant, or should I go for the original chipset?

I have a few of them and are in the process of replacing them. They tend to fall off the zigbee network and even worse, the reset button is so filigree that it easily breaks if you push it too hard. I can not recommend the Sonoff SNZB-02 if you are after reliability and durability.

Ah ok - that’s them off the list :smile:

Any recommendations above and beyond the review linked above?

I have moved to the Xiaomi Mijia Temperature/Humidity sensors LYWSD03MMC (replaced 5 SNZB-02’s so far) but converted them to Zigbee. Those are cheap and working well as end devices within the Zigbee network but they have screens.

I use them too but with the (for me) superior pvvx firmware. It allows me to use the display to show values from HA and to work as a clock. Quite useful for my use case.

@Tamsy and @indeeed how is battery life?

I generally agree. Every Sonoff battery device I’ve tried ended up in the trash.

Thanks everyone - time to reassess the list. Think I will stick with the SLZB-06(M) as nobody has said anything about it.

About Battery Life

Since most people are wondering how battery life is affected on the Zigbee firmware compared to the original BLE firmware, developer pvvx wrote a short paragraph explaining his findings:

“The final average consumption of LYWSD03MC B1.4 when measured from a 3.3V source is from 14 to 26 µA, depending on the dynamics of changes in temperature and humidity. For comparison, the BLE version consumes 14 µA with default settings and constant transmission of all measured values ​​every 10 seconds.”

It’s safe to say that even though battery consumption is higher on the Zigbee firmware, in reality it will be affected very little compared to the default setting of the BLE version.

Source :point_up_2:t3:: HERE

What does that equate to in terms of months/years between changes.

Unable to provide you with long term real life experience yet. Looking at the converted LYWSD03MMC’s here battery capacity went from 100% to 96% within a time span of ~1 month.

If battery usage continues within the above pattern it will last for around 2 years. But this is still in theory only.

Around a year with cheaper coin cells and some months more with brand ones (which cost almost as much as the LYWSD03MMC which shipped with battery for me).

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You also need to buy a few Zigbee Router devices (usually most mains-powered Zigbee devices will work as such Zigbee repeaters/extenders).

Highly recommend that you read and try to follow all the tips here → Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

Take notice there that Zigbee Coordinator and devices is extremely sensitive to EMF.

I suggest still buying a Zigbee Coordinator USB adapter instead and buying USB over Cat6 conversion adapter kit that will convert any shielded Ethernet cable into a very long USB extension cable as that can be easier to maintain and upgrade when needed (plus the conversion adapters are dumb so less chance to break), check out these and similar for example:

Thanks; I will have a look at this option.