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What is ZigBee and What Devices Can it Work with Within the

ZigBee is a wireless mesh networking technology that delivers low-power and reliable communication for connected devices. The most common use of ZigBee is in the Smart Home sector where it provides connectivity, security, and device control between smart appliances.

Zigbee is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other. It’s compatible with over 300 products and has the ability to work within the “Smart Home”. Read more in detail here: zigbee compatible devices.

What is ZigBee and What Devices Can it Work with Within the

 

 

The smart home sector has exploded in popularity in recent years. From air conditioning and cameras to lights and so much more, there is a device for practically everything you can think of.

Notably, there are a slew of gadgets that aim to link everything you own and ensure that diverse devices can communicate with one another. One such gadget is ZigBee, but what precisely is it and how might it benefit your smart home? Let’s have a look.

What exactly is ZigBee?

To grasp the concept of ZigBee, we must first consider the smart home. To make your house really smart, you’ll need gadgets that can connect with one another. For example, you could want your kettle to start boiling as soon as you walk through the front door. Alternatively, you may want the thermostat to lower the temperature when you go to bed.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that aims to link all of these gadgets. This allows them to exchange data without having you to run each one separately. To do this, they must all speak the same language. However, this is not the situation at the moment; the majority of gadgets in a normal house are made by various companies and speak different languages.

Then there’s ZigBee. You may be curious in the origins of the concept’s name. When bees return to their hive, they use a waggle dance to relay their discoveries from the outside world to their hivemates. This zigzag communication dance is a fantastic moniker for such a unique communication technique.

ZigBee is an open communication technology that works wirelessly using the IEEE 802.14.4-2006 IP layer. Let’s take a look at it from a different angle if it seems like Greek to you. Consider how Bluetooth or wireless devices communicate with one another. In a nutshell, ZigBee allows devices to’speak’ in an equally easy way. As a result, for certain devices, it may be a viable alternative to WiFi and Bluetooth connection.

Radio frequencies are used by ZigBee devices to communicate, with 2.4GHz being the typical frequency. These gadgets are divided into three groups:

  • Routers – These devices pass signals and increase the network’s range.

  • Coordinators – These are the people in charge of the network’s creation and security.

  • End Gadgets – These are the smart home devices that we’re interested in. They have specialized functions in your smart home, like as turning lights on and off and controlling the temperature. For example, if you have a ZigBee-enabled light bulb and a ZigBee-enabled light switch, you may use the latter to operate the former, even if they are from different manufacturers. They both speak the same language, so communication is not a problem.

What is Mesh Networking, and how does it work?

The fact that ZigBee does more than just permit communication between two devices makes it perfect for home automation. Bluetooth, for example, can only send data over a limited distance from one high-power gadget to another. However, ZigBee is based on the concept of a’mesh network.’

A mesh network is a sort of network that distributes its connection across a number of wireless nodes. These nodes can connect with one another and share a network over a considerably broader range than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi can.

The nodes resemble miniature transmitters that function similarly to wireless routers. Because of their capacity to send data across a large region, they can increase the range of data transmission while maintaining stability.

In the context of home automation, it’s important to understand ZigBee.

If you’re utilizing ZigBee in your smart home, you’ll still need a coordinator. A smart home hub, such as the Amazon Echo or Samsung SmartThings, may serve as the coordinator, which will operate as the primary node. If one of the network’s nodes fails and is unable to interact with another, the main node may still communicate with the other.

They’d have to talk to a third node on the same network, as long as it’s within range. Every node in the network acts as a repeater, and all nodes work together to spread data.

The term mesh network comes from this. Every interoperable gadget functions as an outpost inside the mesh. The notion may function without a single hub thanks to its technology and still send information throughout the mesh network.

A single ZigBee network may accommodate up to 65,000 nodes. The range of communication is around 35 to 70 feet (10-20 metres). Though alternative communication protocols, such as Z-wave, may communicate farther, ZigBee’s key advantage is its speed.

ZigBee is also gaining popularity in business applications because to its IoT features. Its architecture makes it excellent for monitoring and sensing applications, and it is quickly gaining traction in these fields.

What Devices Can ZigBee Be Used With?

In 2002, the ZigBee Alliance was founded by ZigBee’s creators. The industry association is made up of businesses that have agreed to implement the protocol. There are now approximately 400 members and 2,500 devices registered with the alliance. The alliance presently has most of the industry’s prominent names as partner brands.

The ZigBee protocol is supported by the following devices:

Instead of installing each of your ZigBee devices separately, you’ll need a single hub to manage them all. You may utilize a Wink hub to fulfill this primary position in the network in addition to the aforementioned Amazon Echo Plus and SmartThings.

The hub will scan your network for all ZigBee devices, saving you the time and effort of setting up each one individually. It also allows you to control all of your gadgets from a single app.

What do you need to get started with ZigBee?

To get started with ZigBee, all you need is a hub to function as a coordinator. The Amazon Echo Plus is one of the better possibilities. This gadget, which is now available for $149 on Amazon, connects to and manages all Zigbee devices without the need for a separate hub. With Alexa, you can use voice commands to access and operate all Zigbee devices.

You don’t need anything else to connect ZigBee devices since the Amazon Echo Plus has built-in support for them. When you want Alexa to find your gadgets, just say “Alexa, discover my devices.”

Is Google Home Zigbee compatible?

Unfortunately, Zigbee is not supported by the current Google Home device lineup. There are, however, several workarounds and hacks for getting Google Home devices to function with Zigbee-enabled devices.

Google Home Zigbee Workarounds & Hacks

It’s crucial to understand how Google Home works before we go into the hacks. Wi-Fi is used to connect Google Home smart speakers to other compatible devices. As a result, Google Home may communicate with any smart devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. There is no need for an intermediary in such situations.

Some smart home devices, on the other hand, communicate via the Zigbee protocol. A mediator, such as a bridge or smart hub, is required to connect such devices with Google Home.

Consider the intermediary as an interpreter who bridges the gap between two parties who speak different languages.

Let’s look at several sorts of translators to see how we can get these gadgets to communicate.

Making Use of a Smart Bridge

A bridge, as previously indicated, is one form of translator that may assist you in connecting the two worlds. But, exactly, what is a bridge?

What is a Smart Bridge, and how does it work?

Having a smart device collection isn’t enough to make your house smart. You can’t always control or even get these gadgets to interact, as is the situation with Zigbee and Google Home devices.

A bridge will operate as the missing link to connect your gadgets in such circumstances. A bridge is simply a link between your smart devices and your command center. When the gadgets you use speak multiple languages, it’s a must-have addition to your smart home.

It basically works behind the scenes to interpret information and provide it to both parties in a manner that they can understand.

How to Connect Google Home and Zigbee Using a Bridge

Let’s look at the Philips Hue as an example of how you can allow Zigbee and Google Home devices to connect via a bridge.

Philips Hue offers a line of light bulbs that utilize the Zigbee protocol and so can’t connect with Google Home directly. Philips Hue recognizes this and offers its own bridges. They’re included in the beginning kit for light bulbs.

Here’s how to get the connection set up:

  • On your smartphone, open the Home app and press the Menu button (three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner.

  • Choose “Home Control” from the drop-down menu that displays.

  • Tap the Plus (+) button on the bottom right side to add more devices.

  • Choose “Philips Hue” from the device list.

  • Follow the on-screen prompts and press the Pair button.

  • Press the top link button on your Philips Hue Bridge.

  • Allow time for the two to form a bond. When the procedure is finished, you will be notified.

  • Now that your Google Home and Philips Hue can communicate, you can begin setting them.

Despite the fact that the following technique utilizes Philips Hue as an example, the bridging process is same for any Zigbee devices that you wish to connect to Google Home.

After you’ve connected your Google Home to the bridge, you can assign devices to certain rooms, set up routines, and do whatever else you need to make them work together.

Making Use of a Smart Hub

As previously noted, you may link Google Home and Zigbee via a smart hub to make them function together.

What is a Smart Hub, exactly?

A smart hub, in its most basic form, is hardware or software that connects devices on a home automation network. The gadget is in charge of communication between connected devices as well as communication between you and your devices.

While some smart hubs link locally, others connect to the cloud when it comes to hardware (software). The utilization of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that utilize the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols instead of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth requires such hubs.

The hub’s role is so critical to a network’s seamless operation that it is sometimes referred to as the network’s heart. This is due to the fact that it connects all of the disparate components into a centralized platform.

It also makes device management easier by enabling you to control everything from a single smart home app. When required, the hub may also reroute traffic away from your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network to relieve network congestion.

Connecting Google Home and Zigbee with a Smart Hub

Now that we know what a smart hub is, let’s see how we can use one to connect our two worlds. We’ll look at how to link Google Home and Samsung SmartThings for the sake of example.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Create an account after installing the SmartThings mobile app for iOS or Android.

  • On your phone, open the Google Home app and choose the Home tab.

  • Select the + sign.

  • Choose “Set Up Device” from the drop-down menu.

  • Tap “Have Something Already Set Up?” after scrolling to “Works With Google.”

  • Select “SmartThings” from the drop-down menu.

  • Tap “Next” after entering your SmartThings or Samsung account email address.

  • Select “Sign In” after entering your account password.

  • Select your SmartThings location from the “From” option.

  • To approve all procedures and devices from this location, tap “Authorise.”

  • You may press Done>Got It or allocate your gadgets to rooms from here.

Everything is now ready to go, and you can use Google Assistant’s voice control to operate Zigbee devices straight from Google Home.

When you give Google Home access to your SmartThings account, it will have access to all of the devices that SmartThings supports. All Zigbee devices fall within this category. You may, however, change the order of the items in the list to suit your needs.

Is Nest Zigbee-enabled?

The Google Nest Hub, like the Google Home, does not support Zigbee. As a result, a bridge or hub is required to operate any Zigbee devices using Nest.

How to Get Started with Zigbee Setup (Steps to Take)

One of the most difficult aspects of creating a smart home ecosystem is the vast number of gadgets from which to pick. They may make the assignment seem like an impossible logic problem.

You may make this a lot less difficult by dividing it down into pieces, just like you would any other assignment. Let’s have a look at how you may set up your Zigbee ecosystem:

Step 1: Decide on a network backbone.

The majority of smart homes begin their Zigbee journey by locating a simple central device that will serve as their network’s backbone. As you’ve already discovered, you’ll need such a device to manage all of your gadgets from a single app.

Using a starting kit of the devices you want to use is one of the simplest methods to achieve this. The Philips Hue beginning package, for example, includes a bridge and a set of lights, as previously discussed.

The bridge serves as the network’s backbone, acting as a gateway to your system. It will serve as a network controller, ensuring that the software you’re using can connect with all of your devices.

It will also be used to connect your computer to the internet. You can operate your smart home from anywhere as long as you have internet access with this connection in place.

You might also consider the Wink hub, which supports this protocol in addition to the Samsung SmartThings smart hub. However, it does not have the same product selection as SmartThings.

While Wink has a more user-friendly interface, SmartThings is far more powerful, with a lot more functionality behind the hood for those who want to dig deeper.

Step 2: Create your Ecosystem by choosing devices.

The next step is to choose gadgets for usage in your smart home now that you have the backbone to operate your network. Starting with a few devices and expanding from there as the notion becomes more familiar is the best way to go.

Consider the procedures you’d want to automate to assist you make your selection. Do you like the notion of using your voice to switch lights on and off or modify brightness? Would you want to use a smartphone app to lock doors and modify thermostat settings?

The smart home automation devices you pick will be determined by your requirements and desires. Because you’re constructing a Zigbee ecosystem, you’ll need to choose devices that support Zigbee specifically. As a result, before purchasing any device, make sure it is compatible with the Zigbee protocol.

You’ll probably find that narrowing down your choices to a tolerable quantity by selecting devices based on your tastes and compatibility.

When creating a Zigbee smart home ecosystem, most users prioritize the following device categories:

When it comes to automating your house, smart lights are a wonderful place to start. You may use voice commands or a smartphone app to control groups of lights or individual lights with such bulbs. Scenes may also be created to make things even simpler.

You might, for example, pick different colors and brightness levels for different times of the day, such as bedtime. You could like romantic, ambient lighting and keeping things low-key with lesser lights at this time.

It’s also possible that you want lights to switch on and off at specified times depending on predetermined triggers.

You may pre-set everything to automate the procedure you want with smart lights on hand. Philips Hue smart lights are one of the most popular Zigbee solutions since they have so many possibilities.

It’s worth noting that, in addition to smart bulbs, smart switches may be used to regulate light in the same way.

Another wonderful addition to your Zigbee smart home is a smart thermostat. These not only provide convenience by allowing you to manage temperature settings from the comfort of your sofa, but they also help you save energy when used properly.

Some thermostats, such as Ecobee, control heating and cooling using data from your routine. You may use them to change the temperature depending on factors like the time of day and whether you are at home or away.

The following thermostat brands, in addition to Ecobee, support the Zigbee protocol:

  • ComfortChoice Carrier

  • CentraLite

  • Control4

  • Energate

  • Honeywell

  • Fidure Corporation

  • Leviton

Security is another critical part of your smart home that deserves your attention. You might obtain Zigbee smart locks, doorbells, security cameras, and sensors under this category.

Smart locks come with a variety of features, including the ability to lock and unlock your house remotely through a smartphone app, the ability to provide temporary access to a visitor, and the ability to lock and unlock with your finger.

Smart doorbells, on the other hand, allow you to see who is at the door from the comfort of your own home, through your smartphone or television. When you are not at home, security cameras may capture video and give you notifications.

These operate in tandem with motion sensors, and in certain situations, you can purchase a single package that addresses all of the aforementioned security concerns.

Products that support the protocol include Yale Smart Locks and Bosch Security Systems.

Step 3: Getting Everything to Play Nice

It’s time to connect everything now that you have a backbone for your ecosystem and a few gadgets to get you started.

This step is straightforward if you’re using a Zigbee smart hub like SmartThings or Wink. Here’s how to link your gadgets to the SmartThings hub:

  1. Become a SmartThings member.

  • To begin, install the SmartThings app on your iOS or Android device.

  • To sign in, open the app and hit “Sign In.”

  • Tap “Create Account,” then accept the terms and conditions as well as the privacy statement.

  • Please enter your email address as well as your password.

  • Verify the password.

  • Fill in your name, address, and date of birth.

  • After that, pick your nation by tapping Next>Done.

  • To begin using the app, tap “Continue.”

  1. Create the Hub

  • Tap the plus (+) symbol on the app’s Home screen, then choose “Add Device.”

  • Select SmartThings>Hub>SmartThings model number from the menu.

  • To connect your hub to electricity, follow the on-screen instructions.

  • “Next” should be tapped.

  • Scanning the QR code on the back of your hub or manually entering the serial number, then tapping “Next”

  • If you’ll be using Wi-Fi at any point, choose a network, enter your password, and click “Connect.”

  • Tap “Done” once you’ve chosen a location for your hub.

  1. Connect Your Electronics

  • Tap the plus symbol on the app’s home screen and choose “Add Device.”

  • Select the device’s brand or category from the drop-down menu.

  • Touch the device’s name.

  • The hub will look for the device and display pairing instructions on the screen if it is found.

  • You will get a message to that effect after the procedure is completed.

  • To rename the device, tap “Edit.”

  • To finish the procedure, tap “Done.”

That’s all there is to it when it comes to creating a Zigbee ecosystem using SmartThings as the hub or backbone.

Z-Wave vs. Zigbee

Smart home devices employ a variety of wireless protocols, including Zigbee and Z-Wave. They provide creative alternatives to the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth items with which you may be familiar.

Interestingly, although having some evident parallels, the two do not link. They also have notable variances, as well as benefits and drawbacks. To keep your smart home running smoothly, it’s a good idea to compare the two and see which one best meets your requirements.

Characteristics of the Zigbee and Z-Wave Protocols

Closed Source vs. Open Source

Z-Wave employs a closed standard, while Zigbee uses an open-source protocol. This is both an advantage and a drawback for the former.

The code is open to anybody to examine, and since no one owns it, it is likely to last a long time. It does, however, imply that anybody may use the code and modify it to fit their requirements.

The Philips Hue series of products is an excellent example. These are some of the most widely used Zigbee protocol devices. However, since the manufacturer changed the protocol, you’ll need a Philips smart hub to utilize them.

Silicon Labs, on the other hand, owns the Z-Wave standard. However, it has changed ownership many times throughout the years, which may be considered a negative. However, being a closed-standard system, it provides a high level of security.

All Z-Wave items must fulfill pre-determined specifications in order to prevent incompatibility problems that might occur with Zigbee products. As a result, they are almost always interoperable.

Range of Mesh Networks

Both protocols employ mesh networks to communicate with gadgets in your home environment, but that’s about all they have in common. The Z-Wave network has a significantly greater range and can connect to devices up to 330 feet away. The greatest range of Zigbee is around 60 feet.

Since a result, Z-Wave may be better suitable for consumers with bigger houses, as it can cover greater distances.

Hopping from one device to another

Mesh networks eliminate the need for devices to connect directly to a central hub. Rather, they may form a chain from the hub by connecting to neighboring devices. Signals hop from device to device throughout the network until they reach the hub.

The Z-Wave protocol allows for a maximum of four hops. As a result, each chain must include a hub that connects to a maximum of three devices. Otherwise, the chain will be broken, and the devices would lose contact.

There are no jumping restrictions with Zigbee. It can get to the hub by hopping across any number of gadgets that are in the way.

Consumption of energy

Low power consumption is a hallmark of both Zigbee and Z-Wave technologies. They both use a fraction of the energy that Wi-Fi does. Zigbee devices, on the other hand, use a lot less energy than Z-Wave devices.

The Zigbee ecosystem will live longer before needing to be recharged than Z-Wave devices.

Issues with Congestion

Zigbee networks are more likely to be congested than Z-Wave networks. This is due to the fact that the latter uses a less commonly utilized radio frequency, 908.42 MHz, whilst the former uses 2.4 GHz, making it a Wi-Fi rival.

As a consequence, congestion between devices on your Zigbee mesh network, your Wi-Fi network, and even your neighbor’s network may quickly build up.

Frequency of radio

Zigbee uses the same radio frequency, 2.4GHz, in both the United States and Europe. Radio frequencies for Z-Wave, on the other hand, differ from nation to country. The frequency in Europe, for example, is 868.42 MHz.

As a result, if you relocate to another country, Zigbee may be more convenient. On-device power adapters are likely to be the only adjustment you’ll need to make. However, if you’re utilizing Z-Wave, you could require a whole other set of equipment.

Security

The AES 128 encryption standard is used by both Z-Wave and Zigbee, which is the same standard used by banks and governments. This makes it very unlikely that hostile attackers could use the signal to take control of your smart home. This holds true for both procedures.

Capacity of the network

The capacity of the Zigbee network is much greater than that of the Z-Wave network. While the maximum number of Z-Wave devices is 232, Zigbee can potentially support up to 65,000. Please keep in mind that these are merely hypothetical statistics, but they give you an idea of how powerful the two are.

It’s unlikely that you’ll ever need that many gadgets in your smart home. On the other hand, you never know!

Support for Devices

The Zigbee protocol also has the benefit of supporting more devices than Z-Wave. However, the difference is insignificant, since the former supports around 2,500 smart devices while the latter supports about 2,400.

In addition, the Zigbee lineup includes several well-known names like Philips Hue and Amazon Echo Plus. Bring a ZigBee device home, and it will be integrated to your app instantly.

The Samsung SmartThings Hub, which costs $62.70 on Amazon, can also operate ZigBee devices through its Samsung Connect smartphone app.

 

Watch This Video-

ZigBee is a wireless mesh networking protocol that was designed to be used in the Smart Home. It uses low power radio frequency signals and can work with devices like sensors, switches, and lights. ZigBee devices are commonly referred to as “ZigBots”. Reference: zigbee hub.

Frequently Asked Questions

What devices work with Zigbee?

A: Zigbee is a wireless standard that works with most devices. It uses the 2.4 GHz frequency band and operates in the 868-928 Mhz range, which is an unlicensed spectrum shared by Wi-Fi routers and televisions.

How many Zigbee devices are there?

A: There are 19 Zigbee devices in total.

What is Zigbee example?

A: Zigbee is a set of technologies for low-power wireless personal area networks.

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