My experience in converting from Deconz to Zigbee2mqtt

Removing a device or two shouldn’t “destroy the mesh.” I did it moving from ZHA to Z2M.

You want to migrate logically enough to keep a functional mesh for both networks. There might be a brief window with less than ideal redundancy, but chances it shouldn’t too difficult to keep things functional for both networks.

Even if you have to buy an extra plug or two to bridge a gap, it is worth it to have the ability to migrate at your leisure vs trying to do everything overnight.

I did make a low key strategy. Started out with all devices west of the coordinator. Then those in north east to create a path to a remote building in east side. Then the remote building and finally the devices in south east. Not scientific, however worked.
If you have a less optimal way, get a few plugs to help creating the new mesh. You can later use them for christmas:-)

Some really good tips in this post.


Thank you - this was very helpful and encouraging. Looking down the barrel of doing this after a bit more than year with deconz.

I’m sure this is a stupid question, but do I have to start the new z2m setup with a fresh install of HA?
Ideally I’d like to transition using my existing install so I have all my automations and dashboards as a starting point, and can just select the new devices and entities in them?

If you set up z2m in parallell you should be able to migrate device per device

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Exactly right. Running them in parallel will work just fine, subject to the points I made in the original post. Also note deconz and z2m use somewhat different ways of naming devices, so by default they won’t be called the same entity name. That said, you can go ahead and rename the new entities so scripts etc… don’t have to change.

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Thanks Robban and fresnoboy. Should I understand ‘in parallel’ to mean with two coordinators connected so deconz can keep running on one, and z2m on the other?

I only have one conbee2 stick at present so what I’m wondering is if there are any downsides to using my current HA install with all its automations and dashboards present, installing z2m add on and broker, and starting into pairing devices? Do I need to uninstall the deconz add on beforehand? Anything else that can avoid issues?

To make running them in parallel work, you will need TWO zigbee interfaces, the conbee for Deconz and another one for Z2M. You cannot run both in parallel with only one zigbee coordinator. I highly recommend getting the sonoff 3.0 zigbee stick, as it works very well, is supported by z2m and HZA, and has high power output and the latest chipset, and its very inexpensive.

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I pulled the trigger on an order for that interface just 5 minutes before I read your response: I figured even if I can use the conbee for z2m on its own, having a spare interface can’t hurt in case ‘life’.

So I’ll wait for it to arrive before I tinker, and I’ll do it in parallel as you suggest. The alternative was to do this at night when my gf won’t curse at me for lights not working, but nice self-loving option to get good nights of sleep and wait until the sonoff arrives!

Thanks again for your advice, ad for the thread as a whole. Much appreciated.

:slight_smile: It’s a great interface, and BTW, you can flash it as a Zigbee router if you want as well. Nice for helping extend the zigbee network in case some devices have issues with the signal.

BTW, I think z2m selects channel 25 by default. That is a good choice, but someone mentioned ZHA chooses 15 by default, which is bad because you get interference from 2 WiFi channels, not just one like channel 25. So before you start adding devices on the new interface, verify the channel is the one you want to use.

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PS If anyone is planning on running z2m on their conbee, please make sure the firmware is up to date as per the issues referenced in this thread: Switched from DeConz to Zigbee2MQTT and am having a hell of a time - #17 by rockets

Minor correction: z2m default channel is 11 (reference), which is not good either.

Also minor, sonoff has ~ 3 flavours of zigbee dongles by now, and I believe @fresnoboy is talking about the “ZBDongle-P” flavour, not the “E” flavour. a quick comparison here.

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ITead actually sell/sold 4 variant if you also count their CC2531 USB dongle too →

All correct. I used the ZBDongle-P model, and it continues to work well. I admit I am confused about why the channel defaults are set to frequencies in the “shoulders” of two wifi channels instead of 25 that only suffers with one. But in any case, starting a transition to a new zigbee network should always be done with 25 unless there is only sparse 2.4 GHz Wifi in the location. I have lots of AP’s in my house, and the zigbee network at channel 25 is still very robust and noticeably faster in responsiveness to zwave which doesn’t have interference issues…

The reason is that some older Zigbee devices did not support Zigbee channels 11, 24, 25, or 26 so for compatibity no generic Zigbee gateway implementation can use one of those Zigbee channels as default as not all devices would be able to connect. Zigbee channels 15 and 20 are the most dwvice compatible channels, but yes they do not take overlapping WiFi channels into account.

The general recommendation is to only use channels 15, 20, or 25 in order to avoid interoperability problems with Zigbee devices that are limited to only being compatible with the ZLL (Zigbee Light Link) channels as well as lessen the chance of Wi-Fi networks interfering too much with the Zigbee network. Note that especially using Zigbee channels 11, 24, 25, or 26 on your Zigbee Coordinator could mean it will probably not be accessible to older devices as those Zigbee channels are commonly only supported by relatively modern Zigbee hardware devices with newer Zigbee firmware.

I also went from conbee to the sonoff CC2652P.
I have to use channel 11 since one off my device (niko) only works with channel 11. (I change my wifi channels in stead)
So, I kept the conbee, and added the sonoff. Both on channel 11. This doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Then, I removed (deleted) the device from conbee. For most devices, this sets the device to pairing mode also. Because of that, I instantly could pair it with the sonof (Zigbee2mqtt).
This way, the process went smooth… Remove device from conbee, add to sonoff,…again and again…
This way, it was also simple to remember the names of the device.
I have to say, sonoff, although cheaper than conbee, works very good.
I was happy with conbee, and the guys working on the software did their best.
But, Z2M seems to me more versatile, more used, has more supported devices… and the sonoff has newer hardware too.

How did you guys let the devices keep their ids ? So the history of some wil stay.
I wil migrate from conbee II / deconz to sonoff dongle-p /z2mqtt.

Is it possible to let te devices keep their history?


No. That’s why I migrated early after discovering the shortcomings of Conbee & DeConz for me.

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With zigbee2mqtt those aquara sensors are more stable/reliable?

Do you have a med term experience now after few months?


For me the combination of sonoff zigbee 3.0 usb dongle and zigbee2mqtt works great. More stable than anything I’ve tried before. Plus I really like to be able to make backups (also the zigbee stick / network setup). That means if I ever want to migrate the network (to an other stick or setup) I can.