Zigbee Utilization 90%, normal for 130 devices?

Holy crap! Talk about a nightmarish, useless graph. You probably need to zoom in 100x to make sense of it.

FYI, while not updated the ZHA docs, it is no longer such a hassle when changing the Zigbee Channel.

With later versions of Home Assistant’s ZHA integration, there should no longer be a need to re-pair ALL your devices as you had to before. As mentioned above; be aware that when changing Zigbee channel you might need to power-cycle a few devices and sometimes even have to re-pair a few battery-powered devices if they do not reconnect automatically.

That is, if you simply click the change channel inside the ZHA UI now then the Zigbee Coordinator will send out a broadcast message to all connected Zigbee devices on the network informing them that the Zigbee network will change the channel and thus they will need to change too, and if devices receive that message then they should automatically switch channel if they have properly written firmware.

The chance is that all your sleepy end devices (i.e. battery-powered devices) are not awake when that broadcast is sent and will thus not receive the message to change the channel, and depending on how their firmware is written you might just need to power-cycle them for them to start looking for other channels or you might need to factory reset and re-pair them.

However at least most if not all mains-powered devices do now normally change the channel without the end user having to power-cycle or re-pair them as before. Just give them an hour or two and most mains-powered devices should reconnect automatically to the new channel.

You obviously need to make sure all devices have before and are connected or else they will not get that channel change announcement broadcast. Again, do also make sure that you first already physically moved Home Assistant Yellow away from all other electronics (especially any WiFi and USB 3.x/4.x devices), as otherwise the is a chance that the channel change announcement broadcast will be jammed so more devices do not receive it.

Please feel free to update the ZHA docs → https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/zha#defining-zigbee-channel-to-use


Wow, that is great news. I’m a Z2M user so I haven’t followed ZHA as much, but that would be a very welcome feature for people who may have to try several channel combinations in order to land on one that works.

during my research, obviously a few details fell through the cracks.

you have opened my eyes to bulb/routers/off being the problem.
(in my defence) kudos to hue hub experience for allowing me to stay completely oblivious to this zigbee design outcome (you see how my perception has changed?)

i physically moved my yellow a half a meter away from anything else, to an experimental spot. i see improvements in energy measurements, especially channel 25 is nicely used. so i no longer think of moving my zigbee channel, if you dont urge, in the current conditions.

wifi is on channel 6, thats supposed to be acceptable. Currently I cannot go to channel 1. But I read shi!storm begins north to channel 6. so i should also be fine here, right?

but with my opened eyes, when all router bulbs are on, the experience is muuuuuuuuuuuuch more smooth (exactly, theeeeres my problem). There are still a lot of errors in my logs, thats my next priority.

before i make a strategic change (deleting dumb switches is suddenly an option, moving yellow to another spot is another) i would like to understand one thing about “physical location of things”

As far as i read, i should preferably pair stuff at their ultimate location. There are a number of devices (I lost account) that have been moved after pairing. How bad is that? and if thats bad, then when i move my yellow, thats also bad??? for people who move things around, isnt there a “rebuild the network” option.

i am grateful for your time.

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a useful photo of a tree, is useless to document its leaves.

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I bet you would see even better results if you could move your Yellow further away from everything else.

My advice would again be to buy and add at least three dedicated Zigbee Router devices. The products I suggested for this are not expensive yet adding them should give you a much better setup as more devices should connect through those instead of your other non-dedicated Zigbee Router devices.

As I wrote above:

For a large home I personally recommend buying a few (suggest three or more) dedicated Zigbee Router devices, meaning products that was desigbed to be nothing other than Zigbee Routers.

So for a quick no-effort fix on this topic I normally just recommend that people new to Zigbee who have big houses and large areas or buildings with dense building materials make it easy for themselves and just buy a bunch of “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” devices from the start to get them a good mesh network backbone as a baseline. This is because while not as strong as these Zigbee USB dongles with an external antenna, the “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” comes with good firmware by default and are very inexpensive, so you can make up for them not having the highest performance by simply buying more of them, (and they are still more powerful than almost all other commercial Zigbee products that are not designed to be a dedicated Zigbee Router device).https://www.google.com/search?q=IKEA+Tradfri+Signal+Repeater

However, if you want to get the best setup then the best AND most cost-effective Zigbee Router that money can buy today is just to convert a few of ITead’s “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus V2” (model “ZBDongle-E” based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 into dedicated Zigbee signal repeater / Zigbee range extenders by flashing them with Zigbee Router firmware and powering them with a simply USB-chargers. While maybe not the prettiest solution to look at, if you make sure they are permanently powered then joining/pairing three or more to your Zigbee network and spreading them around in your home will create an extremely stable backbone in your Zigbee network.https://community.home-assistant.io/t/itead-s-sonoff-zigbee-3-0-usb-dongle-plus-v2-model-zbdongle-e-based-on-silicon-labs-efr32mg21-20dbm-radio-soc-mcu/442695

There is no “rebuild the network” feature with Zigbee (like there is with Z-Wave), the actual meshing of your Zigbee network mesh is done automatically by every one of the Zigbee devices themselves and there is nothing you can do to affect it via software settings or configuration, so the only thing you can do to affect it is to add more Zigbee Router devices and physically relocate devices for more optimal placement. That is why my go-to saying is; when in doubt, just add more Zigbee Router devices :wink:

It is true that if possible then the general best practice recommendation to pair devices in their final location, and it can be a good idea to repair a device if you relocate it as it will then connect directly to the Zigbee Router with the best connection for it. Also, all battery-powered devices can be very slow to connect to better Zigbee Routers and thus it might still be a good idea to simply re-pair it if you know that you will be permanently moving it from one area to a other area.

But all in all, if you have already done as I recommend above and have added several “know good” (or better yet “known great”) Zigbee Router devices in your network that are in their permanent t locations and always have power then it should rarely matter as those will in practice make up a stable backbone-network/core-network of your Zigbee network mesh. There are of course always edge cases.

You see, Zigbee devices with properly written firmware should by design constantly reevaluate their possible connections and move to the best Zigbee Router for it about once every 24 hours or so, or in a scenario when the Zigbee Router it is connected to is no longer available then it should move quicker.

The problem is Zigbee devices with poorly or bad written firmware which will not automatically move to a better Zigbee Router and instead always stick to the first Zigbee Router it is connected to no matter if that is still available or not. Aqara and Xiaomi devices are for example infamous for needing to be manually repaired/rejoined if a Zigbee Router device is no longer available or if you add a new Zigbee Router later than you want devices to connect via instead. Devices with bad firmware are rare than Aqara and Xiaomi.

So as long as a device has a properly written firmware then you can in theory pair/join it at any location and move it later then wait around 24 hours for it to move connection, but the issue with that is then that move can affect other devices if that device was a Zigbee Router device, as then you can get a cascade effect that could, in theory, take several weeks for the whole Zigbee network mesh to rebalance itself and settle down.

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thank you.
ikea repeaters have been ordered.
i am eyeballing the sonoff alternative in case things dont pick up.

thank you for clarifying the design principles.
I can always throw away incorrect implementations.

even when all my routers bulbs and power switches are on, sometimes some devices dont react on time. when the ikea repaters are added, i will reevaluate my whole situation. I already explained to the family that they need to part ways with “dumb switches”. I also need to nurture that. I will possible mechanically bypass them. (They used to make an excellent backup for when the zigbee mesh is screwing around)

thank you.

Have you considered changing the dumb switches for smart switches? This would allow the removal of many smart bulbs, and would resolve the issue of the power being removed from the bulbs. Smart switches are often a much better solution, as they allow for manual control via the in-wall smart switch, with no negative impact to the Zigbee mesh network. This usually vastly improves the end-user experience and reduces the frustration level. Also, smart switches can control multiple dumb bulbs in a lighting fixture. Thus, the total number of nodes in a Zigbee mesh can be greatly reduced. Most in-wall smart zigbee switches/dimmers will perform better than smart bulbs as Zigbee repeater devices. Many older Zigbee bulbs, like GE Link, Cree Connected, gen 1 Hue, and Osram, are known to perform very poorly as Zigbee repeaters in large Zigbee networks. Newer Zigbee 3.0 bulbs seem to fare better, due to updated Zigbee radios and firmware. As previously mentioned, Sengled bulbs are designed as non-repeaters to help mitigate the issue of them being powered off manually via a dumb switch.

Hope you are able to get things resolved and running smoothly! :crossed_fingers:

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Note, do not yet update the firmware on the IKEA Trådtfri Signal Repeater as many are having problems with the very latest IKEA firmware on many different IKEA devices.

This the solution I also prefer for any lights connected to wall-switches. That is, use smart switch modules with dumb lightbulbs. There are are cord-switches and cord-dimmers that tou can replace dumb cord switches with and thus use with dumb lights.

I have personally relaced all our wall switches with smart switches as well as replaced dumb cord switches where we still have them, though in the cases where we have smart lightbulbs I have removed the cord switch completly.

I do not have any switches at all where we have smart lightbulbs as they do not make a good combination because smart switches also break the curcuit.

Pro tip is to buy quality dumb dimmable lightbulbs, i prefer Philips warm glow series of dumb lightbulbs.


My entire house (in the USA) is full of Lutron Caseta smart switches, dimmers, and fan controllers. I also love the flexibility of using Pico remotes!

Same here! These have been the best dimmable LED ‘dumb’ bulbs that I have found.

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I live in the European Union and here there is not one standard format for wall switches so instead it is we more common that we convert our dumb switches into smart switches via smart dimmer modules and smart switch modules.

In our house have just as many Z-Wave devices as Zigbee devices and personally I have installed Qubino, Fibaro and Aeotec Z-Wave dimmer modules that convert our dumb switches into smart switches.

Replacing all switches in the whole house also have the benifit of creating awesome backbone-network/core-network since they are installed in every room at a relativly regular distance from each other.

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Why not both :slight_smile:

Because if you connect them in serie then the smart switch will kill the power to the smart lightbulbs, and thus having both in a serie is just as bad as having a dumb switch to a smart lightbulb that is a Zigbee Router device.

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Or, you install a smart switch with a “smart bulb” option that doesn’t kill power.

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I had assumed that smart switches would still need to be connected to smart bulbs for dimming/changing temperature. (therefore never dove in). i realize now, that if i were to drop “changing temperature” from the requirements, i can still use it to dim “dumb” lights, right?

I am diving in.


thanks. i will also give more thought to smart switches. Not touching the physical world had been fundamental before i took the HA Yellow Leap. It is time to break the glass ceiling.

let me make sure, the tradfiri repeaters go into my zha integration (i pair them) but if firmware update appears, i shouldnt click it to update the firmware right? until the very recent feature upgrade, i had never updated firmware from zha (HA). So I am green-fields when it comes to firmware updating.

That is correct.

That is corrent, and there the Philips Hue Warm Glow series of dimmable dumb LED lightbulbs is a good comprimise because they are design to automatically change to a warmer termperature when you dim them down (thus replicating the effect of old fashion incandenace lightbulbs)

That is correct, (though I actually believe that they have now temporarly disabled IKEA firmware updates by default in the ZHA integration for this precise reason, so they should not even should unless go in and manually enable IKEA updates via YAML configuration).

With the exception of the Zigbee Coordinator (which have to be updated seperatly anyway and can be downgraded regardless), the golden rule if to not update Zigbee firmware on devices unless you are having problems with a specific device, so do not try to fix non existing Zigbee issues with firmware update, (again with the exception of the Zigbee Coordinator with is it a good idea to aim to update on a annual basis or so).


smart switches are also on their way. got two each of two different brands to maximize learning experience. (I see the water around the car, theres my problem)

tradfri repeaters will arrive soon. I am already thinking about the best placement for the quartet.

  • is there any meaning, plugging it right next to (not on top of, of course) a smart-power-plug (which is also a zigbee router)? is there any downside for placing units too close?
  • is there a directionality (does it matter which orientation it gets plugged in)
  • how well do “we” travel through glass? my outdoors innr light in the backgarden very commonly falls out of grace (to the point of early retirement), I have large windows through which i assume “we” can travel = innr is actually close to a smart-plug-router, so this ties to the first point.

As far as troubleshooting, how dark are we in (software)? Is there a way to monitor only the “non responsive” routers (instead of fishing them from the graph to figure out which network id belongs to which router). I have debugged legacy code for years. The fact that I cannot dig “what is preventing THIS switch to turn on THAT light” in a focused way in HA is somewhat is frustrating… Digging itself becomes the focus (check this log, with this info go to that log, with that info go to graph (or db), and rinse and repeat) which is somewhat disorienting. I browsed the zigbee sqlite db, but couldnt see the light yet. I am busting my chops to come-up with “markdown” based cards to report which states are unavailable per domain, integration, device_class etc. So I am developing my monitoring tools already :slight_smile:

and how dark are we in for hardware: how about monitoring the EMF radiation (pollution) in a house? is there an antenna that i could move around in the house to find “Good/Bad/Sweeet/Ugly” corners in the house?

thanks in advance

The benefit is when you spread out Zigbee Router devices, there are no benefits to keeping Zigbee Router devices way too close, but it does not hur to have several in one one room (as long as you still try to have one in each of the other rooms as well).

Try to aim to have at least one good Zigbee Router device per room and preferably also one great per floor if possible. Again the more the better.

Not antennas that are built-into devices, however if you convert a Zigbee USB adapter with external antenna (like the ZBDongle-E) into a dedicated Zigbee Router device then you could buy a directional 2.4GHz antenna same as you can with WiFi adapters, but in practise that would only be useful if you need to reach a far away sensor that is location in a remote building like for example a detached garage.

Again, more is better. You can have an unlimited amount of jumps to better to add many devices in series.

I do not know. If you want to know such details then better research 2.4GHz “radio propagation” (RF propagation) for low-energy devices. Remembering that Zigbee is low-energy radios (and not relativly high energy like WiFi access points) so have lower penetration of radio freqency signals compared to higher energy signals. While not always true, a good general rule if a building material is denser and thicker the worse it will be.