After researching a number of various Zigbee solutions, I have come to the conclusion that Deconz with a ConbeeII is probably the best one available, covering the two HA1.2 stacks and ZLL stacks with the widest compatibility range, even better than the ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT components of Home Assistant, and also the best maintained with regurlar firmware updates. It is really an equivalent to z-way but for zigbee. It has a rest API so I am dreaming awake of a bridge for openLuup here...deCONZ REST API
Could be a good project? I may get one to play with... It could potentially enable unifying the hue devices into one network.
Kicking off this section with a quick write up on Zigbee 2.4GHz channel utilization.
Zigbee has become a very popular protocol over the past few years mostly due to its low power consumption, low chip cost (not being proprietary like z-wave was) and ease of inclusion.
It does come with a couple of downsides however ranging from single controller topography (aka single PAN coordinator) to what the title says: It uses the 2.4GHz (ISM) band which is possibly ultra saturated by other wireless protocols and even a variety of other more or less proprietary zigbee stacks. (i.e philips hue, Ikea Tradfi, Xiaomi, Plantlink etc...)
It is therefore important to make sure they don't interfere with one another.
This is a good article showing the correspondence between Zigbee and WIFI.ZigBee and WiFi Coexistence
ZigBee and WiFi channels both exist in the 2.4 GHz band, existing in the exact same frequency space. When deploying both WiFi and ZigBee in the same environments, careful planning must be performed...
Interferences lead to range reduction, dropped packets, more retries and lags. I have a 2.4GHz spectrum analyzer I can post some results from. I read through the zigbee alliance presentation claiming low interference but my experience demonstrates quite the opposite. When I was using SonosNET and Hue at the same time on neighboring channels, playing SONOS would kill the philips hue network.
Have deconz on hass, with conbee2 works like charm! Beatifull interface in hass and with vnc. Only downturn is philips_hue firmware updates, thats not easy due to lack of firmware files.
Alright after now well over 6 months using the vera zigbee chip, I have decided to bite the bullet and move to conbee2.
I found it interesting while shopping that Aeotec is selling the razberryII for less than $18 and that there is a deconz equivalent with the raspbee II sold for the same price as the usb version. Let's see how this goes. Not giving up on the idea of a bridge for openLuup.
Not giving up on the idea of a bridge for openLuup
Currently I’m working on new concepts for plugin implementations, taking Shelly as an exemplar. If successful, this could be a framework for other protocols.
Unlike the other place, I’m looking for a seamless evolution of API and capability. The BIG IDEA is to implement ‘plugins’ as CGI files which could be run under almost any web server. A significant part of openLuup’s extended functionality is already implemented in this way (Historian, Console, ...) For a complete transition, I would need to wrap some existing parts (Luup requests, bridges, ...) as CGIs. This would, eventually allow me to lose the weakest part of openLuup, which is its own web server...
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@rafale77 I've not invested so much into Zigbee, but count me in if you want help. I could afford a controller+some devices
@akboer this sounds great. I was toying with the ability to explicitly implement ha bridgefeatures in LUA and offer Alexa's support natively. in general, this could help the addition of different APIs to openLuup and this sounds great!
I have not invested a whole lot in zigbee either. The device/mesh management is much easier than zwave on one hand but the controller implementation and stack complexity are big downsides.
Thanks for the support guys! I am trying to get away from having this done in home assistant. In spite of the evolution they have made, I am finding the configuration/entity setup they implemented very cumbersome and vastly prefer a z-way bridge type integration into openLuup.
My only Zigbee experience is through the Hue bridge and @amg0's excellent AltHUE bridge. I have installed some LED strips with compatible drivers, and they (surprise!) actually compatible, so they work fine too. Current lighting strategy is Hue for individual bulbs/strips and Shelly for relay-controlled clusters. The only other Zigbee device I have is actually a Hue motion sensor, and that seems to work well, but I have no real plans to extend the Hue network (a bit expensive.)
Shelly forever! (well, for a while, at least.)
Yup, same technology.
I was thinking of getting myself a conbee and try some zigbee. So a bridge for openluup would be very welcome! I will be monitoring this!
I went the lazy way for now for lack of time and just dropped in the conbee directly to replace the vera plus into home assistant using the zha component then into openLuup instead of using deconz. I would have to pick up another conbee and really start from a deconz installation to get going on a bridge...