Slow response (?) of Sonoff ZBMiniL2

Hi community. I have recently installed my first Zigbee device, a Sonoff ZBMiniL2 (light) switch. Although installing and pairing the device went flawless, I feel like the response time is a bit slow. When I turn on the switch via Home Assistant, it takes about a second for the light to turn on.

Because I have never used Zigbee before, I’d like to ask the following question:

Would you consider a response time of about 1 second to be reasonable?

If not, do you have any suggestions for improving the response time of the device, aside from device positioning? For context, my Home Assistant setup runs in a virtual machine (UTM) on a M1 Mac Mini. My Zigbee devices are connected through a Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB, using ZHA.

Something else that might be important to consider is the response time of my Philips Hue Zigbee motion sensor, which is my second Zigbee device. Motion is detected pretty much instantly, i.e. by judging how quickly the state changes in Home Assistant. So this would lead me to believe that the problem is not necessarily the positioning of my devices and the Zigbee signal strength; both devices are in the same room, about 3 meters away from the Zigbee USB hub (with one wall in between).

Thanks for reading!

Well, it depends. One second is certainly not instant but was often what I got with different brands of devices when I still used zigbee.

Nowadays I only male use of wifi devicrs running esphome with thw native api. That way everything is instant (for human brains) and no lags at all.

Thanks for your reply. I wonder though, many people recommend Zigbee specifically because it does not use WiFi. Why have you decided to stick with WiFi instead of Zigbee? Primarily because of the (lack of) lag?

No, the lag isn’t even a problem for many scenarios. For me it was more the inconsistency of functions across the different zigbee devices and brands. Some times even rudimentary or basic configurations are not possible (like a power on state or detached mode). All that combined with the rather weak (compared to wifi) zigbee mesh didn’t allow me to run only 30 devices of which 15 line powered repeaters in a stable fashion.

I believe it might be a bit of a trait of the ZBminiL(2). Since it’s only powered by leaking power through it, it probably enters a kind of standby mode. Does response get faster after an initial switching?

I have almost all my lights on the regular ZBmini’s and they respond instantly, insanely fast even.

1 Like

Good point. I feel like the first response after it hasn’t been used for a while is indeed a little slower, but that might be due to confirmation bias. Because even after switching it on and off a couple of times in a row, the response is still not instant and varies every time. Never more than 1-2 seconds, but it is noticeable. Occasionally (maybe once every 10 tries) the response is pretty much instant though, so I’m really breaking my head what the cause could be.

I see a small lag, but usually nowhere near a full second. It may be both network and device dependent. I have one SONOFF device at the far periphery of my network which is often slow (up to a second) and sometimes unresponsive the first try.

All my other Zigbee devices work almost immediately. In other words, not quite as quickly as a physical switch, but close enough. Certainly faster than a cloud-based solution.

Any chance you can run a neutral to the ZBMiniL2 position and try a different module which does use neutral? I’ve never seen any lag on my zigbee devices, though none of them are wired using live only.

@SgtFlippy’s reply pretty much nailed it - your ZBMiniL2 is an “end device”, so it tries to sleep most of the time to preserve power, despite the fact that it’s wired.

I have some of them at home, but when I first tried them, they turned on and off at random, sometimes 10x in a row and then stop. At the same time I could still turn them on or off myself too. But after a while I removed them.
They were probably wired wrong, I need to try again. I think I put them somewhere between, while they’re supposed to at the end of the line of switches when using multiple.

Will report back my findings when I add them to my system again. Was planning on giving them a second shot, wired correctly.

I installed a couple last year, and I was disappointed with them. They were pretty much the slowest zigbee devices I’ve ever used. I’d previously used many Zigbee sensors, which were always extremely responsive. I don’t think I’ve used any other Zigbee in-wall relays. I used a lot of Z-Wave in a previous house, but in my new house, I plan to use Shelly WiFi devices for as much as I can.

EDIT: I have actually used some Zigbee in-wall dimmers, and they definitely respond much faster than the Sonoff relays, even though they also work without neutral wires.

Think it’s not much to do with being Zigbee, more the way it works.

My other Sonoff ZBmini’s are lightning fast. When I migrated to local HA instead of Smartthings, I couldn’t believe how fast they were. Mine feel as if they predict what button I’m going to press, before I lift my finger off my phone or mouse the light is on.

Just installed the (older) ZBmini-l, not the 2, but it’s indeed a noticeable delay.
It’s not terrible, but the regular ZBmini reacts much faster.

The benefit for me is mostly the ability to hook up multiple switches with just the end wire. I have some AliExpres switches on the way that have neutral and also support this. The ZBmini only supports switching from a loop.

Looking at this post, 8 hours in and it’s not responding anymore :sweat_smile:

Good suggestion about running a neutral, though this is unfortunately not possible in my case since I rent an apartment. Also, if I’m not mistaken I have seen videos where people installed a ZBMiniL2 (no neutral) that respond pretty much instantly.

Something else I’m willing to try however is add a Zigbee extender right next to the ZBMini, even though there’s just a few meters and a single wall in between my Sonoff Zigbee USB and the ZBMini. I have attached a screenshot of my ZHA’s visualization tab to this post. Considering this, would you think that adding an extender might make a difference?

My other Sonoff ZBmini’s are lightning fast.

Do you have the ZBMiniL2, or a different model?

I use a couple ZBMini’s (ZBMini, ZBMiniL and ZBMiniL2) and all ZBMiniL2 respond slow.
It takes approx 1 sec before they respond. Light on/off.
Firmware update won’t help.
I’m afraid you have to live with that. :frowning:

You could try an extender. It won’t hurt but I doubt it’ll make much difference either since:
a) The LQI on your motion sensor is lower, yet it responds instantly.
b) 3m from coordinator with 1 wall isn’t bad. I’ve got directly connected devices which are at least 8m away, with 18cm brick walls and a concrete floor with no delay.

How are you testing this exactly? Turn on debug logging for ZHA and try to switch on the sonoff from HA. The logs might shed some light (pun intended) on the issue, but don’t get your hopes up.

Judging by other people’s answers, it’s probably another of sonoff’s shitty products. The only zigbee devices of theirs I trust are the coordinators and maybe routers - there’s plenty of other complaints in this forum regarding the rest of their zigbee end devices.

I have 2 ZBmini’s with neutral in the same 3 switch box als the ZBmini-l and it still gets lost…

I am currently testing the ZBMINIL2 (end device) and the ZBMINI (router). They are placed next to each other, and the ZBMINIL2 has a response time of about 0.5-1 second, while the ZBMINI’s response is always instant. I assume that since the end device is asleep most of the time, it takes longer to receive messages. This is all my assumption; however, I will be installing the ZBMINI everywhere where it is possible and where response time matters, such as in motion detection, etc. The benefits also include its lower cost (although I will have to hire an electrician to install additional boxes), and it will improve the mesh network.
Note: I am on Zigbee2mqtt.

Have you updated it?

After my last response that mine dozed off completely, I have installed some different switches behind the same switch set, so I had access to it again. I’m on ZHA, but it offered me update after update. Once it was all updated it was noticeably more responsive. As you say, it was still slower than the regular ZBmini’s, but it was not as annoying anymore.

It’s swapped out again now though. Have a Moes dimmer switch now.

On ZBMINIL2 I have last firmware I get through OTA in Z2M which is 1.0.14. ZBMINI doesnt support OTA in Z2M therefore I am on firmware build 20200927. I noticed there is 2.0.0 for ZBMINI but I dont know how to update (if it is even possible) so I didn`t bothered.