Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

Thanks again for your reply.
I’ll get three of these TRÅDFRI Signal repeaters then and hopefully that helps.

My only concern is that it used to work flawlessly before I bought Google WiFi mesh which I’d want to keep but you cannot customise a channel setting on WiFi as it continuously scans surrounding networks and automatically changes to a channel it thinks is best.
Ideally I’d want to exclude one channel from Google WiFi so then I can set it on Zigbee2MQTT but there’s no option to do that.
You can change a channel in Zigbee2MQTT but then you have to re-pair all devices - I don’t have time to do that…
Isn’t there a hub that also changes the Zigbee channel automatically?
I’m suspecting that one of my three Google access points (nodes) that’s not connected over ethernet backhaul mode creates too much traffic and just kills zigbee network…

If you want the best setup that does not cost much more then highly recommend instead getting three (or more) Sonoff ZBDongle-P or Sonoff ZBDongle-E adapters to use in USB-chargers for power after converting them into dedicated Zigbee repeaters / range extenders by flashing Zigbee Router firmware.

While IKEA Trådfi Signal Repeater is good (and better as a dedicated Zigbee repeater / range extender than for example the IKEA Trådfri Control Outlet), the CC2652P and EFR32MG21 based ones with external antenna like those Sonoff ZBDongle-P or Sonoff ZBDongle-E adapters work great as dedicated Zigbee repeaters / range extenders, best of the best!

If that does not help then recommend reconsidering changing to other Zigbee channel (as well as taking all the other suggested best practice actions to avoid interference that are listed in my original post).

hmm, you can change the Zigbee channel in ZHA integration without having to re-pair ALL devices. I do not know how Zigbee2MQTT has implemented changing channels, perhaps Z2M developers have not yet implemented broadcasting of channel change which gives the devices a heads-up that the channel will change, (it could also be that it is old or wrong information as it is possible in most Zigbee solutions, and while not all Zigbee devices support changing channels without re-pairing, most devices do).

Anyway, the fact is that most Zigbee Router devices (mains-powered products) should handle switching Zigbee channels and will usually reconnect themselves automatically within 1-hour or so and you can even force that process to go quicker by power-cycling devices. It is normally just the Zigbee End-Point devices (e.g. battery-powered devices) that will be re-paired/re-joined. You should not lose any configuration or data as long as you only re-pair/re-join the device and do not remove the device from your Zigbee gateway solution.

No (that is not how Zigbee is designed to work), but many Zigbee gateway solutions do at least perform an energy scan on the initial setup and pick the least congested channel at the time of creating the network.

You also have to remember that practically almost all commercial Zigbee gateways/bridges/hubs from companies only support a limited set of specific Zigbee devices that they have certified for their Zigbee gateway/bridge/hub, and most only support devices from their own brand, meaning that you can just buy any device with a Zigbee logo on the box and expect it to work.

If using Home Assistant then the only Zigbee solutions I would even consider for a fresh installation are the ZHA integration or Zigbee2MQTT, (and deCONZ/Phoscon also works good if migrating from another ecosystem that used it, however, I would not personally recommend it today for a new installation).

Yep that sounds very plausible. Be sure to connect all your WiFi access-points and other devices to Ethernet if possible. IIRC I am pretty sure that was one of the tips in my original post above :stuck_out_tongue:

Most such WiFi solutions that assign channels automatically tend to primarily use WiFi channels 1, 6 and 11 so suggest try changing to Zigbee channel 25 (as many devices do not support Zigbee channel 26).

Obviously, you always also want to locate your Zigbee Coordinator and all your Zigbee devices as far away as possible from your WiFi access-points and any devices that use Wi-Fi, regardless of setup.

Here is by the way good article explaining this is Zigbee and Wi-Fi Coexistence →

hehe, you do not have many devices now, so will feel much worse later when you have loads more :wink:

If you want to keep your Google Nest Wifi then you got to be willing to work around its limitations.

I have owned a similar WiFi solution myself in the past and learned my lesson of not doing enough research, so sold it before owning it even for 1-year and bought UniFi APs from Ubiquiti, no regrets.

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@macottom I am going to answer you here in this other thread since the reply was more relevant here.

You asked several questions in your thread titles “Stock sonoff Zigbee 3.0 stick” but answers to those questions are really general to all Zigbee Coordinator adapters and Zigbee Router devices in general.

Highly recommend reading all the tips my original post in this thread → Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

Yes your Zigbee devices will resolve all network routes by themselves automatically, but you need to be aware Zigbee relies on network mesh technology and all deceive signals are very weak, so you can not only add Zigbee end-point devices to your network as those will not help route any traffic or extend the range and coverage. Instead, you need to add products that also act as Zigbee Router devices (which most mains-powered devices are) as those will route the traffic from other devices to build out your Zigbee network, extending the range and coverage

I personally do not recommend buying Zigbee lightbulbs that act Zigbee Router devices unless you remote the dumb switch that can turn of the power, because your Zigbee network expects that all your Zigbee Router devices are always available and therefore a Zigbee end-devices connected indirectly through a Zigbee Router device usually takes 1-hour or longer to reconnect (and some Zigbee end-devices with buggy firmware will sometimes never reconnect to other Zigbee Router devices than it was initially paired with).

If you want to control ceiling lights then a better option is buying smart Zigbee switches and/or dimmers to control dumb lightbulbs (though you might need to also buy other dumb lightbulbs if get dimmers).

If you are just starting out I suggest you consider buying a few dedicated Zigbee Router devices. Again, recommend try follow this extended guide to get started with a best practice setup/environment from the very beginning → Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

It depends which model you bought and firmware used, but in general most modern Zigbee Coordinator adapters (like those based on CC2652P/CC1352P and EFR32MG21 SoC radios from Texas Instruments and Silicon Labs respectively) can handle controlling around 100-200 Zigbee 3.0 devices (depending on your setup and environment) or thousands of older Zigbee devices that are not using Zigbee 3.0 security features, (the reason they can not handle more Zigbee 3.0 devices is that it has a higher security overheard and the current generation of SoC radios do not have enough RAM, so that could be higher with newer Zigbee radio SoCs in the future). Regardless of which Zigbee Coordinator adapter radio is used, they can not connect to all devices directly, you are going to have to add Zigbee Router devices to extend the maximum number of devices that can be added to your network.

ZHA docs explain most need to know about how Zigbee works (like how it depends on mesh network):

Especially read and try to understand all in these sections from the ZHA integrations documentation:

If nothing else then avoiding interference remember network mesh is the key and simply adding more and more Zigbee Router devices to your network will make it more and more robust.

PS: Note that ITead sells two Sonoff branded Zigbee dongles/adapters that are based on different radios. For more details see the existing threads about Sonoff ZBDongle-P and Sonoff ZBDongle-E:


thank you for your detailed and informational answer… i was a smartthings guy and had about 25 zigbee devices… life was good, but i wanted more… so i’ve hit a wall at 32 devices in my HASS setup… i’ve been reading… watching videos… and there was much i didn’t know! at this point, i’m expecting 4 smart plugs/repeaters from Amazon today and have basically deleted all but a few of my zigbee devices and am going to start from scratch once the repeaters are paired… I’m anxious to get some hands on with it using the additional capabilities…!!

I did order a pack of two Sonoff ZBDongle-P but in the mean time I moved the RPi from the opposite side of the house to the kitchen where most of my devices are.
That did not make any difference, so I decided to go ahead and change the channel from 11 to 25. I tried that before but I was trying to save time by not re-pairing all the devices - it looked like the devices were connected again but the lag was still there so I changed it back to 11.

Next day I decided to do I properly, I changed the channel again to 25 in Zigbee2MQTT, I had to delete the coordinator_backup.jason file and then re-pair all devices but now it’s working perfectly again!
I also put the USB coordinator on an extension cable but I’m 99% sure the channel 25 was the solution - it should be the default one!
In that case I don’t these the Sonoff repeaters and I’m sending them back, that saves me £40.

Yep, that was it, thanks so much! I didn’t want to do this because of re-pairing all devices but looks like that was the best thing to do.

Yes, I always prefer a wired connection over Wi-Fi :+1:t2:

Yup, that was it, thank you!

I did some research and I was going to invest in Ubiquiti as well but I found people complaining about the lack of parental controls:
With Google Wi-Fi I can just pause the internet access on a specific device or group in a few taps via the iOS app - it works well :ok_hand:t2:

Tip is to research each new device before you buy as some are known so the community can say if it is bad Zigbee Router devices that do more harm than good if they do not pass along all messages. See:

The is as very good reason it is not the default. Zigbee channels 11, 24, 25, or 26 are commonly only supported by relatively modern Zigbee hardware devices with newer Zigbee firmware, so be aware that if using any of those channels then your coordinator may not be usable with some older Zigbee devices. Almost all solutions use Zigbee channel 15 as the default because it offers the best compatibility with old Zigbee devices as well it offers less chance of interfering with the most commonly used Wi-Fi channels compared to the other Zigbee channels that offer the same compatibility with old Zigbee devices, (that is why if possible it is generally much better to change the Wi-Fi channel on your WiFi access-points then to change Zigbee channels).

Again, adding more Zigbee Router devices is still recommended. Zigbee network will become more robust as add more and more Zigbee Router (ZR) devices, but those don’t all have to be dedicated.

That is why many people instead choose to only buy a couple Ubiquiti’s WiFi access points (which price is surprisingly reasonable) and just use them in stand-alone mode using a separation of concerns design principle approach in which modem, router/firewall, and WiFi access-points are separate devices (instead of an all-in-one that will be Jack of all trades, master of none), so then you likely want to use them in combination with some other flexible router/firewall solution like for example something like the Firewalla product series if want an easy to use router/firewall with parental control features, (someone else might alternatively prefer pfSense and OPNsense if they wanted a DIY router/firewall that is extremely advanced). Combining a few Unifi Access Point WiFi 6 Lite with a Firewalla Purple or Firewalla Gold (together with maybe an UniFi Lite 8 PoE switch for wired devices and Power-over-Ethernet to the WiFi access-points) is a very powerful yet relatively user-friendly solution if want the best of both worlds on a budget. Check out this review with a similar setup:

Tip is that you get the Firewalla Gold series then it can run Unifi Controller as Docker container image:

Anyway, it is sadly true that while Ubiquiti’s UniFi gateway/firewall router feature set does have Network Traffic Management and Traffic Rules for blocking sites/services, it does unfortunately not yet have any real Parental Control features for easily blocking access based on the time and day, etc., (though there are workarounds, and being a parent myself and had an Unifi Dream Machine for many years now I first selected to simply set up a dedicated SSID for the kids and automating times to turn off and on that whole SSID by temporary disabling/enabling it with the UniFi Network integration for Home Assistant, however, that workaround will not work if have large age differences between your kids as UniFi APs are currently limited to only four SSIDs, but once a kid gets their own cell/mobile-phone they quickly figure out how they can use it to get around blocks so then the only solution I found was to take their device when we do not want them to use it).

I believe the reason why Ubiquiti’s UniFi gateway/firewall router functionality is missing Parental Controls is that their product lines have never really been meant for home users and instead their target audience has in the past always primarily been commercial installations, at least until Ubiquiti more recently released their non-Pro “UniFi Deam Machine (UDM)” all-in-one WiFi-router so hopefully the feature set for the Dream Machine series might change in the future because of that product.

Well that want way too much off-topic, so I will stop discussing alternative WiFi solutions in this thread.

I would have loved to see/read this summary before I waisted money on ZigBee/matter devices! Wasted so much (specially time) to learn this the hard way!

I don’t know if it is because ZigBee only uses polling but esphome wifi devices with local push just perform on a completely different level! I will stick with them!

FYI, Zigbee devices does not only use pulling, it uses both local push and local pull as I understand it. ZHA uses push when you change state and pull when you check something like power monitoring, so I know it is confusing that the ZHA integration say that it uses pulling but by that they only mean that the the integration uses pulling however it also uses pushing too depending on the command. I asked if ZHA developers cpuld clearify this in the documentation, see → Is the ZHA integration only "Local Polling" or also "Local Push" depending on the device? · Issue #26125 · home-assistant/ · GitHub

Zigbee performance is exellent and respose time is instant if you do not have serious interference. But if you have serious interference then messages will need to be resent which causes delayes and latecy, as such if you see delays then that is usually a symtom of interference.

Then you just to have to deal with the fact that you need enough Zigbee Router devices for proper coverage and range extension which will depend on building materials, floorplans and location of the devices. Proper setup and good Zigbee devices give you instant responce with no latency or delays. So that can be a problem when starting out with only a few devices in a large home, especially if the user did not know about this and only bought battery operated devices (which will always be end devices) and no mains powered devices (which in most cases will be router device).

Also not be unfortunate to have a buggy rouge Zigbee Router devices that pass along all messages but that is a different issue for a seperate thread. If you have a device with such buggy firmware that is a Zigbee Router devices but do not pass along all messages then you can see intermittent issues which can be very hard to troubleshoot if you also have interference too. Howveer if you already do your best to avout interference and have at lest a few ”known good” Zigbee Router devices then it will be easier to get help with troubleshooting as you can share diagnosics logs that are not also filled with other symtoms from interference as well.