If you were to start from scratch...?

So, after many years skirting around it I decided to jump into Home assistant world…
As a primer I bought myself a Sonos USB Zigbee dongle and a couple of lights and switches.

So struggles getting the ZB Dongle to work (ZHA works great - Z2M not so much), I have the basics running on a rPi. Some future plans will include lots of espHome stuff as I like to tinker with these.

I’m really concerned about flooding my 2.4ghz space so I’m wondering what people think about Zigbee and whether or not I should perhaps look into ZWave for as many devices as possible (lights, switches etc).

If I end up with 30+ lights and switches on ZB, will I cripple my existing 2.4ghz network or will channel separation be good enough to prevent that… I’ll definitely try and avoid the standard 2.4 wifi devices for this reason…

Just wondering what people think…

No. Not if you choose your zigbee channel wisely.

I have 3 wifi access points on channels 1, 6 and 11. I can still run a perfectly stable zigbee network on zigbee channel 11. I have mostly zigbee contact sensors though.

And 2.4GHz wifi is for low bandwidth IoT devices (over 100 at last count). 5GHz for high bandwidth mobile devices.

Also if I were to start from scratch I’d buy a lot more smart switches and a lot less smart bulbs.

I currently have 53 zigbee devices, most of them light switches. I started with wifi light switches from tuya and sonoff but I soon realized that this won’t work. Frequent disconnecting, pairing again was pain in the a##, tuya switches sometimes went wild and started to toggle lights on off for no apparent reason, I decided to try zigbee.
And I didn’t regret it. Yes, some devices sometimes do became unavailable but this is usually due to the fact that someone just plug out smart plug working as router. If something go offline it’s easy to pair it again.
If I can start all over I will never buy any wifi switch again.

No, Zigbee is a low power network, wifi will always stomp on it. (think standing next to someone yelling through a bullhorn. That’s the kind of difference in signal between zigbee and wifi). More likely if you don’t plan your 2.4 Ghz network correctly zigbee just doesn’t work… But no, it won’t ‘saturate’ anything.

Thanks guys… So great responses here…
And what about ZWave? Are there dis/advantages in going that route for the bulk of my devices?

I use all three (zwave, zigbee, wifi).

That way I have the best opportunity to get what I need if it’s only offered in one protocol and not the others.

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Personally, I use ZigBee whenever possible. Z-wave if I can’t use ZigBee. Wi-fi if I can’t use Z-wave or ZigBee.

I have two ZigBee networks. One is ZHA the other is Z2M.

Make sure you choose your channels carefully. Use extension cables for dongles.

Also, the more ZigBee devices you have, the better the mesh gets.

Can I ask how you’re connecting with ZWave? I think I’d like to also have flexibility to have both…

I actually have two ways…

I have an Aeotec Stick that I use for my normal production stuff. And I have a HUSBZB-1 that has a zwave radio in it for a backup. I don’t use it unless I’m doing testing but I have it in case may main one dies.

You could easily just get the HUSBZB-1 (if they are still available?) and use that for both zwave and zigbee.

I was actually looking at both of those devices… I just wasnt sure if the HUSZB-1 used the Australian Z-Wave frequencies…
Are they both supported by Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA?

HUSBZB-1 isn’t supported by zigbee2mqtt but it works with ZHA.

I assume you can get them in Australian frequencies but I don’t know that for sure.