Multi-Way switches with multiple smart switches via zigbee2mqtt not working

I just installed my first three-way setup with 2 Inovelli Blue smart switches and a normal bulb.

First of all, I am a bit disappointed to see that the two rely on Zigbee to work together. At least that’s my understanding. I was hoping they would at least use wireline communication or something similar and not rely on radio or even a hub. The whole reason for using hardwire switches is that basic light control works without any fancy Zigbee … only my automations should.

Anyway, my understanding is that I need to put them into a group. Online are only instructions for ZHA but I use zigbee2mqtt. I created a group and just put both switches in.

The following happens:

  • When I act on the first switch, the light turns on/off AND the second switch switches automatically. I assume this is supposed to happen
  • When I act on the second switch (either physically or via z2m) then I hear only the relay click in this 2nd switch. But neither the light toggles nor the other switch.

Any advice?

EDIT: I somehow got it working (very unreliably): Every 3-4th time, the switches do not synchronize. Means: I tap the first, but the other does nothing. That’s pretty annoying and exactly what I was afraid of when not using a proper three way wiring but relying on radio.

Since I have no clue about endpoint and what to tick is there anything that could be wrong?

Zigbee bindings are local to the switches and don’t require a hub. Powerline is not a part of the communications featureset ever advertised. Switch bindings should be extremely reliable.

Endpoints matter. EP01’s should be grouped, then EP-02 should be bound to the group of EP-01’s.

I’m not a z2m guy but I know functionally how it should be set up.

EP-01 is endpoint 1 and is the CONTROLLED endpoint
EP-02 is endpoint 2 and is the CONTROLLING endpoint.

So if all EP-01’s are grouped, you have them all being controlled together. If you bind EP-02’s to the group, then that specific switch will control the group.

Hopefully that helps.

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Thank you very much for the explanation!
That’s very helpful.

It seems it’s configured correctly, so I’m very sad that the switches do not work reliably.
Out of 3-4 times, the tap on one switch does not synchronize to the other one.
This is especially true for “quick” switches. But with quick I don’t mean super fast, I mean 2-3s delay in between the taps.

That’s really a bummer and not what I was hoping for:

Unfortunately they are not. Zigbee as a whole is not reliable. At least not to the degree of proper wiring or even a simple switch. Again, my whole reason for using these switches are that their basic functionality works without any fancy tech.

I do not want anything critical to rely on radio. Neither Zigbee nor Wifi. That’s why it’s important that my doorbell, camera etc are hardwired/PoE, not Wifi.

“Powerline” is a misnomer. I do not talk about the “Powerline standard”. What I meant is simple communication over the switches over the wire they are connected with. Such a thing is indirectly advertised: Via the AUX switches: They work flawlessly incl the button presses. I do not know exactly how but since it’s a simple wire in between them they must use some sort of powerline communication (e.g., modulate tapping sequence on the wire). That two smart switches can’t do this (whereas one smart and one AUX happily does) is both surprising and disappointing to me.

Massive oversimplification.

The setup isn’t working right. Perhaps I misled you. Instead of blaming the technology, troubleshoot with us. It does work in mine and many other’s homes reliably. I’ve never had ANY issues with proper 3-way communication via bindings even when they were separated by ~50 ft.

We can support so long as you are willing to help us help you. These have never been wired communication switches (except aux, which even then is just a voltage sensing method not actual data).

I agree we should all work with each other. I’m also having issues with switches not working reliably with Zigbee binding. Randomly they work, randomly they do not. All of my switches are currently running firmware v2.08. None of mine are over 50 feet away, yet sometimes they just fail to update.

They use simple resistors. Each button has a unique resistance value. No modulation or other “smartness” is involved