ZigBee ZHA repeaters available in Europe?


I’m just getting started with Home Assistant.
I’m currently using an RFXtrx433e, but also ordered an Elelabs ZigBee USB adapter to add some ZigBee devices.

Now while I’m still waiting for the ZigBee stuff to be delivered, I’m already somewhat worried about the range.
My apartment has pretty heavy reinforced concrete walls and covering the whole place with wifi was already a challenge.
Given that ZigBee also works on 2.4 GHz I’m already worried about reaching the far corners of my apartment, hence wondering about repeaters.

Now, as of my current knowledge, only mains-powered ZigBee devices will act as repeaters (battery powered don’t).
Also, the devices only repeat their own protocol. I.e. ZigBee Light Link (ZLL) devices like bulbs and some switches only repeat ZLL data. To repeat ZigBee Home Automation (ZHA) data, you’ll need a mains-powered ZHA device.

And that’s where it starts to get complicated.
Combining all those criteria: Mains-powered, ZHA protocol, available in Europe, ideally not outrageously expensive. I found it pretty hard to find any devices that match these criteria.

Here are my candidates so far:

  • Develco Smart Plug Mini: While label manufacturer. You can order a sample though for 53€.
  • CEL Z10 range extender: Perfect on paper. There’s even a EU version in the catalog. But in the shops I can only find the US version, which should work with an adapter though. Costs around 68€, which I find somewhat expensive.
  • SmartThings SmartPlug: Seems impossible to get. Discontinued? Also, could only ever find US and UK versions. Would it work though?
  • Xiaomi Mi Smart Socket ZigBee: Only chinese plugs? Does it even repeat ZHA data? I don’t know.
  • Osram Smart+ ZigBee Socket: AFAIK only supports ZLL, not ZHA.

Any other suggestions for a small, inexpensive repeater?


Looks like the Xiaomi sockets are not an option.
From http://ptvo.info/cc2530-based-zigbee-coordinator-and-router-112/:

This socket has a big problem (from my point of view). It can go to the deep sleep mode and cannot forward data packets from sensors.

So maybe building your own is also an option. But I’d prefer to buy one.

All mains powered devices will repeat signals belonging to the same zigbee mesh. The definition of ZLL and ZHA changed with zigbee 3 specification so you don’t really need to care for devices specifically using either.

Okay, I didn’t know about ZigBee 3, cool!
But if the device is still ZLL and doesn’t mention ZigBee 3 anywhere, I guess I’m out of luck, right?

So one should look out for ZHA or ZigBee 3?

I think most devices with latest firmware support 3. I guess you need to google that a bit.

In the simplest term, think of zigbee 3.0 as the newest profile (that is both ZHA and ZLL, plus more) on top of the latest zigbee stack.

Source: https://www.silabs.com/community/wireless/zigbee-and-thread/knowledge-base.entry.html/2017/06/15/what_is_zigbee_30-tCs4

Okay, got it.
So I either need ZHA or ZigBee 3.0.

So, for example, the Osram Smart+ ZigBee Socket is advertised as ZLL.
If they ship an upgrade to ZigBee 3.0 it should also act as a repeater for ZHA data.
In that particular case though, they say that firmware upgrades are distributed via their own gateway. which I don’t own. I don’t know if I’ll ever get an upgrade through the Elelabs USB stick. Probably not.

So I guess it’s best to buy devices that already support ZHA or ZigBee 3.0.

@Robban, can you recommend any devices that act as repeaters?


Any light bulb would be a repeater. Some people have bought a bulb just to put it on a cable in a box only to have a repeater

Any light bulb that runs ZigBee 3, right?
Assuming that the Elelabs USB stick doesn’t support firmware upgrades of the devices (I don’t know), I’d need to look at bulbs that already support ZigBee 3.
I hope that the companies provide information about the ZigBee version on their package.
For many bulbs I just read ZLL though. :confused:

Any Ikea or Hue probably. Don’t focus too much on Zigbee 3 because I think most devices support that, I think it is backwards compatible-ish

For the record:
I contacted @Elelabs about firmware upgrades, and it sounds pretty hard to upgrade ZigBee devices without the according gateway.
I theory it’s possible, but you’ll need to download the firmware upgrade binary, then run your own generic gateway which has ZigBee update support (maybe the Silicon Labs gateway), and then push the binary through that stack. Seems quite hard.
So probably no (easy) updates without the proprietary gateways. :confused:

For Hue, it is not possible since they are encrypted or something like that, where as Ikea it is possible since they post them without any special things. So deconz can actually upgrade Ikea devices due to this fact.

But it is no big issue, at least for Hue, they’re firmwares are very stable so I see no loss right now in running all lights in deconz.

If anyone in Europe (ideally in the UK) has a CC2530 with antenna they wouldn’t mind selling on, I’d love to skip the few weeks’ wait implicit with ordering from China…