Zigbee hub

zigbee
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f601312dea8>

#1

I have a pi3 (HA) and telldus 433+zwave. It’s about time to move to lighting and zigbee seems to be the way to go. Now, which hub to select? Any good/bad experiences?

Checked a few, e.g. Smartthings, Cozify, IKEA… Each seem to have some issues. Just googling, and:

  • IKEA supports 30 zigbee devices (I’m going to have eventually way more) and possibly (?) has limited 3rd party integrations
  • Cozify as well supports 30 zigbees, and is thus expensive (250eur) as I already have z-waves & all.
  • Samsung Smartthings seems great, but many different opinions on its offline capabilities. I can’t figure out if it’s simply useless in case internet connection is down.

None of my automations are in internet anyway, don’t feel comfortable in stuffing automations to cloud. Because I don’t need to. My local pi3 is great. And, I don’t really need any automation capabilities in the hub itself (I think), I’d do everything in HA. I’m not exactly a programmer, so DIYs are out of question.


#2

I came to Home Assistant from Smartthings and haven’t looked back. It’s been almost a year, but at the time you are correct - if internet went down (or their servers, which was at least monthly), you were out of luck. Local processing is what drew me to Home Assistant.

This may not be what you were looking to hear lol, but I also just recently ditched all of my zigbee equipment. Native zigbee support is still very much under development, and I couldn’t stand the instability (but greatly appreciate the work the devs are doing on it!). For the lights I had that were zigbee, I switched to TP-Link Wifi bulbs. Only been a week or two, but so far no complaints! These are also locally processed - I didn’t even have to connect them to TP-Link’s cloud service or create an account with them; just used the app to connect the bulbs to my network and added them to HASS.

All this being said, if you are still wanting to pursue the zigbee route, I have a Sylvania/Osram Lightify Hub and four bulbs that I am looking to part with… :slight_smile: Since these can connect to the hub and use the Lightify component they were pretty stable, but since I was getting rid of all other zigbee equipment I didn’t make these an exception.


#3

I personally opted for the Zigate device (www.zigate.fr) which is 40 euros, connects to the pi via usb and is vendor neutral.

In fact it’s firmware is open source. I use it in HA with a custom component in order to use my Xiaomi devices.

I found its range and stability quite good.

I also have a Philips hue bridge because that’s what I started with.

Don’t know what (if any) limit there is on the number of devices by the way. I think that also depends on if your Zigbee devices are connected directly to the hub or if their messages are relayed through other Zigbee devices. The limit is the number of simultaneously, directly connected devices if I have the Zigbee specs correctly.

Edit: link to custom component thread - New custom component : ZiGate


#4

thanks @Brett_C. WiFi is not a great option due to distances in my ranch (not really ranch). Zigbee/Z-wave’s mesh is quite attractive. Seems like all of them (also) have a lot of pros/cons. Price (z-wave), reliability (e.g. 433), range (wifi, 433), non-standards (zigbee)… Sigh.

@mvdkleijn, Zigate seems to be out of stock. Open source would be nice, even just philosphically. But that’s very interesting point if the device limit is only for those connected directly to hub. I guess bulbs could decide to go serial, only one connecting to hub, never going to limits? Sounds bit… Ok, well, suppose there are limits in mesh as well - not necessarily though, I know a company making full mesh sw stack, tested with 500 hops without issues. Hm. Just wondering, a limit might be hub’s internal automation capabilities, or performance. Automation capabilities doesn’t matter, as I’d use HA anyway. Guess hub just listens to radio and relays the messages to pi. Performance could be an issue, but I doubt bulbs are too talkative.


#5

Hmm too bad it’s out of stock. It was a kickstarter originally and I guess it’s more popular than they can handle?

From what I understand, the whole relaying thing is also used by Hue for example. For their new entertainment area option, they even ask you to show the layout of lights and calculate which lights are closed for optimal relay speed.

As for Zigbee non-standards… I thought the same but the Zigate guys figured out that lot’s of Zigbee things are actually mostly using the standard. For example, Xiaomi is the Zigbee Home Automation standard. In other words, you don’t need their gateway device despite them saying you do.


#6

Part of my experience with zigbee was also that the controller needs to work with the device; meaning just because both support ZHA standard, doesn’t mean they work together out of the box. It’s possible I just had faulty/cheap devices, but there were two or three things that I simply couldn’t get to work with Home Assistant’s ZHA component even though the devices were ZHA. Someone more in tune with the ZHA standards may be able to speak to this more eloquently than I lol…


#7

I’d recommend you looking in to a Conbee usb-stick with its deCONZ software. It is not open source but it is actively developed by the company and supports most devices on the market.