Migrating to Zigbee stick from Hue and Aqara


Today I am running 2 zigbee networks in my home - Hue, having hue lights, sensors and some 3rd party lights, and Aqara, having door/window sensors and leak sensors.

Both work flawlessly apart from very minor flukes. Because I like to tinker, I was thinking of optimizing this and uniting under one zigbee network. I bought conbee 2 stick which I am going to connect via extension cable to my RPI4 running Home Assistant OS. All my lights are also always connected, unless electricity goes out and my UPS runs out (which happens like 1-2 times a year).

I am still deciding between deconz and ZHA but are leaning to using ZHA since it is native in Home Assistant and does not require docker container.

I will receive my stick in a few hours so I have done some research and found that:

  • Hue lights do not seem to be a good repeaters
  • And Aqara devices can drop out of network, especially if electricity is lost and lights reboot.

So now I am wondering if it would be worth it migrating everything. I have around 50 lights and 20-30 sensors. Can anyone share their experience with similar setup? Are aqara sensors still dropping as per Aug 2022?

Finally migrated my 31 devices out of Hue into ZHA.

First, I tried Deconz, but I had many issues with it, including slow reactions, disconnection between Home Assistant and deconz after reboot/update, random reboots…

So I gave ZHA a try, especially because ease of use, native integration in HA and ease of backup/restore/transfer. After a few hours, I am fully migrated and everything is rock solid stable and reacts instantly. I have not yet created any groups, looking forward to doing it later.

  • Using Conbee II
  • Channel zigbee 15, with my APs using channels 1, 6 and 11.
  • Using 5m high quality active usb 3 cable, Conbee is placed in attic (easier to go through wooden ceiling than concrete walls)
  • Plugged into USB2 of RPI4
  • Devices are IMMAX Neo (e14 and e27 lights), Hue (lights), Ikea (lights and 5 button controller), Gledopto (led strips)

I chose to keep Aqara devices (all battery powered window/door sensors and leak sensors) out of ZHA for now because of all the possible issues I read online. If I notice any dropouts I will consider joining them. I also read that the Aqara gateway is using zigbee channel 11 with no possibility to change.

Loving this setup so far, will update this once I have any news.

That may be true of the gateway (I don’t know), but sensors will be ok on pretty much any channel (not sure about 26).

If you decided to move the Aqara stuff you have the luxury of testing things out slowly. It’s not like all them have to move at once. Pair a couple and see how they do.

Overall, the MCCGQ11LM door sensors have been very stable for me under zigbee2mqtt, but they aren;t perfect.

The door sensors’ biggest issue is they are VERY sticky to the router they join to and do not readily move between routers. Events will be lost if their router device goes out. If a router goes down, my experience is they will most likely EVENTUALLY re-route, but it will take hours or more. You would not want them routing through a bulb where a physical switch could cut power.

No experience with their leak sensors. The door sensors seem to the the worst, my Aqara motion and temp sensors reroute pretty readily when their router goes down.

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Hey thank you for the answer! That is exactly the sensor I am using.
Did you experience any disconnects and need to repair in case of electricity outage?

No disconnects or absolute need to re-pair, certainly not for short outages.

My HA server has enough UPS to run for a day or more. In the one extended outage we had, everything battery that was remotely in range had paired directly with the coordinator by the time the power came back. Most other devices eventually rerouted on their own, but as I said, the door sensors are very sticky and would not move off the coordinator until I manually re-paired.

If ever faced with something similar, you DO NOT need to delete the device from ZHA or zigbee2mqtt before re-pairing. Enable paring on the server and then place the device into pairing. The existing entity will be updated without need to rename or edit.

FWIW, I’m zigbee2mqtt, 70+ devices, Sonoff ZBDongle-P coordinator, with three additional Sonoff ZBDongle-P units flashed as routers. There are other mains devices capable of routing, but most devices end up attaching to one of the sticks. Most of my lighting is smart switches, not smart bulbs. Anything zigbee on mains is always on. I won’t use a zigbee bulb anywhere a manual switch could cut power. That may be over-cautious, but my zigbee has been rock solid.

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