Issues with HA Yellow & ZHA / Philips Hue after a long period - Help a noob

Hi all,

I’m a noob - please be gentle!

HA Yellow Info:

  • Core 2024.4.3
  • Supervisor 2024.04.0
  • Operating System12.2
  • Frontend 20240404.2

I’ve had an HA Yellow for a little while now with ZHA built in.
I have many Philips Hue bulbs & a hub.

First off, I am still very much a noob & what automations I’ve managed to get set up are from following tutorials or importing.

When I first got my Yellow, I upgraded the RAM then got to work with importing my many various brand smart devices. I also added a Bluetooth dongle.
Philips Hue:
I had set up some basic automations like, When Laundry Motion sensor detects motion, turn laundry light on, turn off when no motion.
Same with the master bedroom lights. Some months back all Zigbee automations stopped.
In my frustration I just ignored it due to issues being able to get into the android app.
Anyway. I went through & replaced batteries to make sure that wasn’t a factor.
I’m using Hue bulbs on the automations in question & various Tuya ZigBee motion sensors.

Nothing seemed to help, before they stopped they were working fine then just stopped for no known reason.

If i turn HA Yellow off then back on, it appears to jog things into gear & they work for a very short while.

Today I tried a test.

Hue Laundry Lightstrip - I deleted it from the Hue app, reset it & added it into ZHA.
I “duplicated” the original laundry automation & edited it to suit & deactivated the other automation - Hey Presto! IT NOW WORKS FLAWLESSLY!

I thought I would try to get the Master Lights automation back working but can’t see any issue with it the other automation but can only surmise the issue is related to the Hue Hub? The Master lights are still set up in the Hue app, I didn’t want to migrate them to HA yet due to constant bugs/issues I’ve been having with HA Yellow & app access, I’m not convinced to migrate everything over to it from the Hue App.

What other info can I provide to get help?

How many Zigbee Router devices have you added to ZHA and how close are they to the Zigbee Coordinator (Zigbee radio adapter built-into Yellow) and how close are the Zigbee Router devices to each other?

I bet the main root cause to much of your problems is that you have not added enough Zigbee Router devices to your ZHA Zigbee network.

Highly recommend that you beging reading this and start by adding a few “known good” Zigbee Router devices (also refered to as Zigbee repeaters or Zigbee range extenders) as well as doing your mest to make sure that you move the Zigbee Coordinator (in your case the Yellow) away from any sources of EMF/EMI/RMI interference:

For starters it is extremely important to understrand that Zigbee is not only very sensitive to EMF/EMI/RMI interference but due to poor radio propagation and low-power radios these devices use they totally depend on mesh networking technology (Zigbee network mesh topology that is automativcally built when adding mains-powered Zigbee products that act as Zigbee Router devices) in order for all messages send to reach its intended target without them having to be re-sent over and over, meaning you always need many Zigbee Routers as for robustness Zigbee devices need to have multiple paths to reach the Zigbee Coordinator.

This is why you should never begin by just adding battery-powered devices to a new Zigbee network.

Firmware upgrade is probably a also good idea and when doing that do change away from RCP Multi-PAN (multiprotocol) so move to Zigbee NCP only firmware if you have not already, see → About firmware options – Home Assistant Yellow (same applies if to use SkyConnect Home Assistant SkyConnect)

If all those actions do not help then the suggested next step would be to change Zigbee channel in ZHA.

Also read these which further explain why you should have loads of Zigbee Router devices and more:

Thanks for the reply.

I have 3 Zigbee Router Hubs total.
HA Yellow
Philips Hue

The hubs could be spaced apart more for sure but I’m not in the position to do that due to the location of ethernet ports in the house. Its something we are trying to address.

I have a heap, well over 20 devices with zigbee, motion sensors in all plugs, smart plugs all over the house, light bulbs & door sensors.
I also have 2 zigbee extenders to strengthen the network.
I feel like the network is ok on the zigbee side as I plugged in a Zigbee plug in the garage which is separate to the house & it connected fine.

A few days ago the ZHA automation I got working stopped.
Shortly after that I had a major network crash. I’ve had to power off the HA Yellow.
I will give your links some reading after I figure out this other issue.
I’m about to post a separate help request on that issue as it doesn’t make sense.

If you have three Zigbee hubs, you have three networks.

You say you have well over 20 Zigbee devices, but only the mains-powered ones actually contribute to a network, so by the sound of it you have about 20 devices… divided by three.

A device can only belong to one network - your Philips Hue bulbs, for example, will be doing nothing to support devices connected to ZHA in the Yellow.

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As above reply, you first need to understand that your other Zigbee networks and devices connected to those have really nothing relevant to with with the ZHA Zigbee network, (nothing to do with other Zigbee gateways/bridges/hubs/controllers/centrals), with the exception that they might cause small interference with each other if using the same Zigbee channel.

Secondly you need to understand the roles that different device types play in each Zigbee network, (again, they play no role in other Zigbee networks than the Zigbee network that they are paired and connected to). If you have Zigbee Router devices (which are sometimes also refered to as Zigbee repeaters/extenders) on other Zigbee networks then they do not do anything on your ZHA Zigbee network, (other than possibly cause some small interference if on same Zigbee channel, i.e. using the same radio freqency).

So, you must add Zigbee Router devices to your Zigbee network in ZHA for them to improve your Zigbee network mesh there. Read → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference + optimizing using Zigbee Router devices (repeaters/extenders) to get best possible range and coverage

Aslo read ZHA integration introduction and limitation below:

ZHA integration introduction as a Zigbee Gateway

ZHA integration is a hardware independent Zigbee gateway implementation that can replace most proprietary Zigbee gateways/bridges/hubs/controllers. It supports pairing/joining devices that use the Zigbee 3.0 standard and earlier Zigbee standards for home automation and lighting. It follows the Zigbee PRO specification, a low-power wireless communication protocol using small digital radios to create a private Zigbee network mesh that can connect compatible devices within a local area.

Before installing the ZHA integration in Home Assistant, you need to connect a Zigbee Coordinator radio adapter, that will act as the physical network bridge interface and single point of security controller for your Zigbee network. Those normally come in the form of a USB dongle that plugs directly into the same computer that is running your Home Assistant installation. The ZHA integration is compatible with many different “Zigbee Coordinator” adapters from various manufacturers. Be sure to note the recommendations in the respective sections below before buying a Zigbee Coordinator. A Zigbee network always needs to have one Zigbee Coordinator (it can never have more than one), and Zigbee devices can never be connected to more than a single Zigbee network, however, a Zigbee network can have multiple “Zigbee Router” devices and “Zigbee End Device” products.

Once ZHA has been set up with a Zigbee Coordinator it will automatically create a Zigbee network and you will be able to join/pair any Zigbee Router devices and Zigbee End Devices. With only a few limitations, most devices will join/pair directly regardless of brand and manufacturer. It is generally recommended to buy Zigbee 3.0 compliant devices if possible because those offer better interoperability, though a new Zigbee Coordinator is also backward compatible with older devices as well. Still, be aware that all functionality might not always be supported or exposed for every device out-of-the-box as some devices that use manufacturer-specific extensions to add non-standard functions and features could sometimes need device-specific code to fully work with ZHA.

Because a Zigbee relies on “mesh networking” technology it depends heavily on having Zigbee Router devices to expand the network coverage and extend its size. These are always mains-powered devices that route messages to other devices that are located close to them within the Zigbee network mesh to improve the range and increase the total amount of devices you can add. You should therefore make sure that you add many Zigbee Router devices and not just Zigbee End Devices or else its network mesh connection routes will be limited due to the short range and poor wall penetration of Zigbee radio signals. It is highly recommended that you read and follow all the general tips below about Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization).

Optionally you can configure Zigbee grouping of lights, switches, and fans (i.e. support for commanding multiple devices as a single group). In addition, you also have the option to bind some Zigbee devices, like binding a button on a remote control directly to a device or group (i.e. define relations between two or more Zigbee devices that will work even when the Zigbee Coordinator and ZHA integration is not available).

Limitations in ZHA integration

Note that ZHA only supports connecting a single dedicated Zigbee Coordinator radio adapter or module with a single Zigbee network and that the Zigbee Coordinator cannot already be connected or used by any other application. Any devices that are or have previously been connected to another Zigbee implementation will also need to first be reset to their factory default settings before they can be paired/joined to ZHA, please see each device manufacturer’s documentation.

Any Zigbee device can only be connected to a single Zigbee Coordinator (only one Zigbee gateway). This is a limitation in the current (as well as previous) Zigbee protocol specifications, governed by the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance). As such, it is a limit that applies to all Zigbee implementations, not just the ZHA implementation.

Support for commissioning Zigbee 3.0 devices via “Install Code” or “QR Code” via the ‘zha.permit’ service has so far only been implemented for ‘ezsp’ (Silicon Labs EmberZNet) or ‘znp’ (Texas Instruments) radio type in ZHA. Other radio types are missing support in their respective radio libraries for zigpy or manufacturer’s firmware commands/APIs.

ZHA does currently not support devices that can only use the ZGP (“Zigbee Green Power”) profile which is used in a few batteryless self-powered or energy harvesting devices, (such as for example; Philips Hue Click, Philips Hue Tap, and some “Friends of Hue” partnership switches).

ZHA does not currently support devices that can only use the ZSE (“Zigbee Smart Energy”) profile, that is however due to the “Zigbee SE” specification not being part of the standard Zigbee 3.0 specification and thus not implemented in most of the Zigbee protocol stacks that are commonly available Zigbee Coordinator radio adapters and modules.