Novice home automation user here. All of my current switches etc. are zwave (98% inovelli.) and I use smartthings. No issues with anything I currently have and it does exactly what I need. I do wish to stick with Inovelli products if I can.
In light of the current status of zwave, especially with Inovelli products, and the discussion of the new blue series switches, are there any issues combining zwave and zigbee with smartthings? I honestly have not checked but will ST work with zigbee?
Hey great question! I’m sure others will comment, but figured I’d give you my personal experience as I’ve been beta testing the ZigBee switches and run SmartThings.
Short answer is yes, you can run both Z-Wave and ZigBee on SmartThings and as long as you’re within range of the hub, both protocols will work.
One thing you may have to do is rearrange some of the products – but this is only if you start experiencing network drop-offs. For example, if where you’re putting your ZigBee product is on the very outskirts of your house and there’s no other ZigBee repeaters, then you may have issues and may need to either buy a ZigBee repeater (I believe it’s the same as Z-Wave where any non-battery powered device repeats the signal, but I’m not sure) or replace one of your Z-Wave switches that is close to the hub (and put that Z-Wave switch at the outskirts).
Edit: To add, I’m actually very surprised at how well both protocols work together and how fast ST’s gotten. I have 4x Z-Wave bulbs that I use for backlighting behind my TV. I’ve set it up to where when I press the configuration button on the ZigBee switch, it turns on the Z-Wave lights. It happens in less than a second, it’s really amazing.
Basically what Eric said, with one note since you’ll be starting fresh with Zigbee to check what channel you’re using on Wi-Fi and make sure it and Zigbee won’t be overlapping so you avoid interference.
Below is a nice visual of your options and how they’d overlap with the different wifi channels. Generally speaking, you’re going to do something like Wifi Channel 1 or 6 and Zigbee Channel 25 (not 26, info below). or Wifi 6 and 11, with Zigbee 11. There are some reports that some Zigbee devices may not work well with the higher channels, this hubitat forums link has a snippet from Silicon Labs referenced talking about some manufacturers completely skip channel 26 and why, so may be better to use 25 if you go with the high range (I am personally and haven’t seen any issues with my handful of Zigbee devices).
Or just see if it works . . . .
I’ve been using a mix of Zigbee and Zwave at 2 locations for a long time without issue and without any consideration of channels. My Zigbee devices are mostly battery powered, so adding a few blue switches will serve as repeaters and strengthen the mesh. As Eric pointed out, Zigbee buttons work great to control Zwave switches.
I just bring it up because when I first turned on my Hubitat Zigbee radio my wifi speed to my PC went from over 100Mb/s to 10Mb/s…swapped channels and everything was good again. If it causes issues, quicker to get from the start than once you’ve got several devices and need to repair them.
Yep, certainly good stuff to know if there are issues. Just wanted to make it clear to a non-technical user that there is a not a technical assessment that absolutely needs to be made up front. More than likely, unless you have a massive amount of devices, at least with ST, everything will co-exist just fine. Don’t want to discourage a new Zigbee user who might avoid adopting the technology for fear of not understanding technical issues.
This was my first major Zigbee mistake, using channel 26 since it was the one with the least WiFi interference. I struggled keeping pretty much every Ikea device connected since Ikea apparently doesn’t support channel 26 very well.
The “most compatible” Zigbee channels are 11, 15, 20, or 25. 11 has pretty significant WiFi interference so try sticking to 15,20 or 25. These are known as Zigbee Light Link channels which are intended for OTC consumer lighting applications. Minimizing interference takes a little planning. You need to look at what you can control (essentially your Zigbee channel and your WiFi channel) as well as things you can’t control (your neighbours WiFi channels for example).
You could try plugging it in and seeing if it just works, but 5 minutes of checking WiFi congestion around you and selecting the best channel based on that can save you hours of headaches in the future. Remember, if you change your channels after you need to go around and re-pair all the devices, so you may as well do it while you’ve got a clean slate.
I have a Smartthings mix of Inovelli Red Dimmers, Eaton Dimmers and Outlets and a few Zooz Dimmers, motion sensors, and thermometers all using Z-wave. I had to also use a couple Aquara ZigBee switches as they are the only ones that make no neutral doubles which i needed for my Kitchen ceiling and back porch. I also use two of their regular no neutral switches for a half bath and a pair of 4 Ft. LED non dimming lights above a suspended ceiling. They all work great together.
This is an old farm house, so I only had neutrals for the switches next to outlets, that is where the Eatons are paired. The Inovelli switches are used in the stairways, and dining room all controlling multiple lights. The basement switch/ GE Aux combo controls the light at the bottom of the basement stairs, two Eaton switches, a Zigbee plug and a Zigbee bulb, the ZigBee and Z-wave switches all respond equally fast.
The upstairs bottom switch, controls the hallway/stairway ceiling, The Aquara in the half bath and a Zigbee Bulb in a table lamp in the hallway. This switch is paired with a Zooz remote in the upstairs position. It controls all of the above plus the eaton outlet that controls my bedroom fan.
To make it more complicated I also have three Lutron switches in the upstairs bedroom and study. So, throw in the Wi-Fi Sensi thermostat and Smartthings handles it all with ease.