ZHA vs Zigbee2Mqtt - which is the most stable?

Z2M should be much more reliable than ZHA when you consider that anytime HA restarts (for updates, config changes, etc…), your zigbee network is completely restarted and reinitializes. Also, you can’t update HA without also updating ZHA, and possibly introducing instability due to the new release. Zigbee networks take a while to come back completely after such resets. And ZHA zigbee coordinators tend to be plugged into the system running HA.

Z2M can run on a remote pi that be located in a better place to be able to contact other zigbee devices. Z2M doesn’t reset the mesh when HA reboots or resets, and Z2M doesn’t can be updated separately from HA, so if your zigbee network is stable and functional, you don’t need to update it.

And Z2M usually has better device support than ZHA as well. All this makes Z2M I think the clear choice for reliable zigbee networking.

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The same can be said for HA. If you don’t want to update, you don’t have to, and it will remain stable as long as nothing else in your system changes, and you don’t want/need any new functionality.

Anyone using HA for as long as I have will be laughing right now. That’s just not how we do things. We’re always tinkering. There are always breaking changes. There are always bugs not listed in the breaking changes. There will be new hardware to try out. There will be vendor changes to deal with. HA is a very “hands on” project for most of us.

Well into my fourth year with HA now, I’m starting to fall back to the old “KISS Principle.” Minimize the number of hardware devices it takes to run your implementation. Minimize the number of integrations you use. Everything you add will want a long-term commitment in support. It’s fun at first. It gets tiring doing it every day.

Is Z2M great? Sure! Have I ever needed it in the last four years? No. If and when I ever do, I’ll get all the additional hardware, and make the additional learning, installation and support commitment.

Do it if it brings you clear value. Not just because it’s there.

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Not accurate, if HA is thecenter of the world for you, then yes, you are right,
But the usage of Z2M is like cloud for zigbee, as tuya as many other devices.

If you want to run HA as hub for monitor and control only while the driver is decoupled, it’s better better to use z2m.

Before switching all my devices to zigbee i used zwave, same story.

According to the KISS methodology it’s best to use HA as OS, for those how would like to have different flavors of solution with more flexibility and isolation it will not work.

Yes, I’m trying to center my home automation/monitoring around HA.

To me, adding additional hardware, a new protocol, additional wiring, power, network connection and another integration would be far from “simple.” It would also involve a learning curve and several more hardware and software components subject to ongoing maintenance and support.

My first and most important tip to new users would be this: Minimize the number of different types of components, protocols, integrations and external dependencies (especially, “cloud” dependencies) to the extent possible.

As I said, we all like to tinker. But there’s a downside to jumping on every new (or existing) technology which strikes your fancy. Building complexity builds a long-term support commitment.

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Just wondering, you would need 2 different Zigbee gateways for this to work, correct? I am now using ZHA, but I have one device that does not work on ZHA, and I do see it available in Zigbee2MQTT so would also like to use both.

Yes, you need two gateways (coordinators).

ZHA all the way, my friend.
I have experience with both, and I ended up trashing zigbee2mqtt.
ZHA is very well-tuned for home assistance.
I would even say the conbee 2 works so well with ZHA in comparison to zigbee2mqtt.

Agree to avoid zigbee2mqtt if you have the conbee. It’s always had issues with it and for awhile was listed as “experimental”. It still has ongoing issues.

I do use zigbee2mqtt with the zzh usb stick still and haven’t had a problem, but, like I posted higher up, zigbee2mqtt seems fussier with adapters vs zha

Hi, since two years i use zigbee2mqtt with a CC2650 usb key and sometime i had to restart, i lose all my zigbee network, i just bought a new sonoff usb key and it does the same in just two days, so i decide to switch to ZHA yesterday, i will told you if it’s better or not.

It’s a bad time to switch to ZHA since that integration currently broken (keeps going into an initialisation loop) for many users.

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I am only one user but I have never had an issue with ZHA. I don’t have a very big network so not certain if that helps. My biggest problem was the Ikea devices I started with needed new batteries before they were reliable.

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Day-to-day stability mostly depends on a combination of the Zigbee Coordinator adapter hardware/firmware setup, Zigbee devices you add to your Zigbee network and most importantly following best practices to avoid interference + adding enough (well-working) Zigbee Router devices, see these tips → https://community.home-assistant.io/t/guide-for-zigbee-interference-avoidance-and-network-range-coverage-optimization/515752 …if you do all that not buy brand new devices directly when they are first released then you should not have too much trouble regardless of which Zigbee gateway solution you are using.

Before following those best practices I had loads of connectivity problems in the beginning when started to use Zigbee due to interference and too few Zigbee Router devices. Now I advice all to use a long USB extension cable to USB 2.0 port (or USB 2.0 hub) and add at least three “known good” Zigbee Router devices in strategic places around your home before start adding any other devices.

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Running ZHA for a few years and it hasn’t failed so far. It never broke for me and I keep it up to date.

I’m using Hue, Ikea, Innr, Sonoff and Aqara and everything works so far. https://zigbee.blakadder.com/ contains a list of compatible devices. I guess ZHA and ZigBee2MQTT will both work for most users.

Edit: I’m aware of the ZHA hotfix this month. It just didn’t seem to affect me.

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FYI; @BeardedConti posted this pros and cons video about ZHA versus Zigbee2MQTT for new users:

While it does not cover all caveats/ limitations in different scenarios, I think he does a great job at very quickly presenting a summarized comparison based on the current state of these two Zigbee gateway solutions for use with Home Assistant.

I do however think that it should be added that the development of these two projects (and the code components that they depend on) is moving relatively fast, so what is a fact on how they work today might have changed in a year from now, especially on the user-interface and end-user experience sides which become more and more mature in these projects.

Regardless, I highly recommend all Zigbee users read these to get a better general grasp on the caveats and limitations in common setups and different scenarios:

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not really - https://smarthomescene.com/guides/how-to-use-zigbee2mqtt-and-zha-with-a-single-coordinator/

Is there any disadvantage to using this type of network coordinator over a USB coordinator that everybody seems to be using?

Disadvantages? No. Advantages? Plenty.

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I use a SLZB-06M, my HA is in a VM, so a network coordinator is best for my use case

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Thanks for the link, I’ll check this out.

I’m running a VM too, and that makes sense about a network coordinator being simpler to integrate.

I had an issue with something in Proxmox getting broken when I made what I thought was an unrelated change for a new USB pass through. It was a little bit of a PITA to figure out and fix. Made me want to avoid those configurations at all cost.

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:ok_hand:t3: thank you!

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