Zigbee router/repeater range

Hello all,

I’m trying to make sense of what the coverage range is for most Zigbee routers/repeaters. I understand that every repeater might have a different coverage range, but I don’t seem to have a clear way to make sense of whether things are too far out of range or not. I’m trying to go based on the network visualization in ZHA to do this, but I’ve also read other users stating that every device reports the LQI reading differently, and as such the connection shown in the network visualization is not necessarily correct.

For example, I have my bed under glow that consists of two Zigbee strips, each acting as a repeater, and two zigbee motion sensors, each located practically right beside each of the repeaters. I would expect the connectivity of the motion sensors to be very reliable since they’re next to the repeaters, but yet they’re anything but. They seem to be finicky and prone to very high latency, sometimes not triggering at all. The light strips seem to be reliable and work normally whenever I access them via ZHA.

I’ve tried various things to improve connectivity around the house, from selecting different channels to even switching from my SkyConnect back to a Sonoff Dongle-E coordinator, hoping that the Sonoff will have better range. My last option is to add Zigbee smart plugs randomly around the house, and maybe a couple of Ikea smart bulbs in hopes of expanding the coverage somewhat more. But I still can’t make sense of the actual coverage. I don’t want to continuously and randomly add smart plugs everywhere around the house just to try and blindly improve coverage.

Any suggestions on what I should try and do?

I’m afraid the answer to your question is… “It depends”.

Factors which affect range include the structure of your house - what walls are made of, how big rooms are (bigger is better) - and what router devices you have - some have a stronger signal than others (generally plugs and sockets are better than bulbs).

In the right setting a Zigbee signal can reach quite a long way, but I believe the recommendation for a stable network is a router every 10-15 feet.

Bear in mind that messages don’t just need “a path” from A to B, they need many different paths. Routers change their connections all the time depending on traffic. Looking at your map, you only seem to have five routers and there don’t seem to be many paths between them. Mine looks like this:

(The paths shown in the map are not necessarily the ones being used - the represent every possible path Zigbee has discovered.)

A good approach is to build a network of routers with lots of connections between them, and then add the end devices. Be careful what devices you buy - there are a lot of cheap buggy ones out there which will cause problems however strong the network is.

You’e probably read up on the community guides already:

Hi @Stiltjack, thank you very much for your reply, and apologies for my late follow-up. Really appreciate all the information you’ve shared with me. I’m actually really green when it comes to Zigbee and so all those info you linked me to will be very useful.

I also went and purchased a few Third Reality smart plugs to place around the house to bridge all the other existing routers and create a more dense network. It seems to have helped improve the connectivity and reaction time of all the end devices so this is very promising. I also decided to purchase a few more of those dedicated USB repeaters to plug them in various corners of the house and further expand the coverage.

Looks like I’ll have more routers/repeaters than end devices LOL.

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