I think ‘routing and reach’ are underrated but critical components in the Zigbee product discussion. There is a small niche of nerds in this market (self included) who work religiously to optimize their Zigbee networks - validating new products act as routers when they should, shunning those who don’t, keeping 2.4 networks appropriately segmented, strategically installing devices to extend coverage where its weak, etc.
I didn’t see ‘Router’ vs ‘End Device’ mentioned anywhere, so maybe it’s just a given based on Zigbee 3.x compliance, but I’ve made that assumption and been burned in the past (cough Lumi cough). And anything that extends and enhances the existing network, e.g. solid antenna hardware and optimized transmit power, would be welcomed (bad place to cut costs imo).
While I don’t expect avg consumer to spend time validating each device’s LQI and RSSI stats, I DO expect them to apply broad generalizations about home automation tech - we’ve all read/heard the civilian comment “smart home tech just isn’t ready yet - it’s too hard/unstable/unreliable/etc.”. If Blue helps more Zigbee devices work reliably in more rooms, you’ll be on the right track - and have some marketing fodder to boot. Tweet-worthy if nothing else.
Update here (sorry, we were in a holding pattern until we got official pricing) – great news, we will be officially moving forward with the 2-1 Switch and the manufacturer was still working on this in parallel with our pricing discussion in good faith we’d come to an agreement.
That day has finally come and I couldn’t be happier. We managed to negotiate an incredible price and both teams worked hard together to ensure both companies were happy with margins.
Let me try to answer as best as I can some of the questions/comments above:
Don’t mind at all!
Great question – yes, like literal security companies (ADT, Frontpoint, Alarm.com, etc). The companies we’ve talked to and who are interested in our products are interested specifically in bulbs, sensors and switches. We’re going to transition to be a lighting oriented company – so we’ll be focusing on switches and bulbs. The sensors are really only in the portfolio right now bc the alarm companies want them and I tried to discontinue them myself, but everyone in the forum wanted them so I kept them haha.
Yes, the plan is to have the exact same switches, bulbs, etc across both protocols. The only difference will be the protocol within the products.
Yeah definitely – we feel the same. Z-Wave is an incredible protocol and for the people who really understand the benefits, we believe they’ll buy our Z-Wave products. In addition, the security companies who require advanced security, they will also buy our Z-Wave products. For anyone who doesn’t care about protocol and wants something that works with their Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple product, they can choose the ZigBee/Matter version.
Hope this helps?
NET: We plan on offering the same products across both protocols.
Yes, sorry – we are still on track from a timeline perspective – I was just waiting to solidify pricing before updating anyone. It was getting sketchy for a minute bc the costs were higher than what we could work with for the 2-1 switch, so we weren’t sure if we’d have to go back to individual switches or stick with this one and luckily we were able to get pricing down on the 2-1 so we could go with this particular model.
Now that we’ve come to an agreement, we should be progressing much faster.
You and me both
The good news is that in theory it should work using ZigBee 3.0 – but if, for some reason, it doesn’t, Philips is part of the Matter protocol, which is the end goal of this switch, so eventually it should work when everything converts over to Matter.
Definitely an interesting idea and with an investment on it’s way, we now have the ability to innovate more. Motion switches have been on our hitlist for a bit so I think we could probably pull this off. It will definitely be a different SKU, but still, something that we’d love to create!
Are you open to beta-testing for us? If I’m being honest, I’m a Z-Wave guy and this is new territory for myself (and the rest of the team), so I don’t want to overlook anything while developing this.
Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on ZigBee and what it should do (and a wishlist).
If not, no worries – we can chat in this thread lol
Nice - maybe specific to Neutral-connected switches? I picked up a few Aqara Lumi non-neutral switches a while back (3.0 stamped) only to find out they connect as end devices (clearly noted in their docs - my mistake). Aqara might have been bending the spec however - those switches initially presented as routers, at least when connected to a ‘standard’ network.
I’ve messed around a tiny bit and building a new network of mostly-ZigBee devices, so would be more than happy to help. I’m hoping to use Blue so I can disable their relay and bind them to Hue cans/strip lights.
Excited to hear an update. I’m hoping that the switches will be able to repeat Xiaomi zigbee devices. Xiaomi devices are popular because they are cheap, but seems that they don’t implement the full zigbee spec so not all zigbee repeaters work with them.
The dimmers and switches do not rely on the hub to operate. If you press on/off or dim, the switches directly control the load (unless you disable local control). They perform their action, and send a signal to the hub to notify the hub of the event. If the hub sends a command to the switch, the switch responds to that command, unless you disable remote control).
The switches and dimmers can also be members of z-wave groups (association groups). So if you power on/off a z-wave switch, it will notify all the other devices in the group of the event and they will respond without the hub to control them.
Would love to beta test Blue. I have a mixed network of around 50 ZigBee, Zwave, and Wi-Fi devices connected to a SmartThings hub currently. I have a number of dumb switches and dimmers left to replace.
Sweet, love the chart lol! What program is that from?
We’ll definitely get a beta team ready once we move closer and I’ll reach out – thanks for volunteering!
Yeah, we have a nice core group that tests our Z-Wave devices, but we’re definitely looking to shake things up a bit for ZigBee/Matter as it’s a separate protocol and demographic.
Specifically, we’ll be looking for people who have Hue, and Amazon Alexa (the ZigBee compatible one) to start as a lot of testing will go behind those platforms. But, of course, we’ll still need SmartThings, Hubitat, Home Assistant and any other hub that supports ZigBee.
Happy to send a DM when the time comes and if you don’t hear from me, shoot me one – I may forget tbh lol
In theory they should! I’m a huge fan of Xiaomi myself from a branding standpoint. Their story is incredible (The Xiaomi Way is an incredible book that we’ve taken a lot of ideas from).
I think so – but I’ll let @EricM_Inovelli speak to the specifics. I’m not as versed in ZigBee language as I am with Z-Wave (bc in Z-Wave you can directly associate).
I got you – we’ll probably get everything situated in the next month or so now that we’ve officially kicked everything off.
Hey there… I’ve got a Hue Hub, Hubitat (primarily Innr Smart Plugs in the mesh), and an Echo w/ Zigbee hub. Let me know if you want another guinea pig. I’ve got a perfect central closet light to play with that won’t annoy my family in the event that something goes wrong.
Thanks - it’s just the native ZHA network map in Home Assistant. It does a nice job showing weak points in the mesh, nice eye candy, but it’s a little unruly imo - could use a few more options like ‘group by location’, save updated layout, etc. The ZW JS2MQTT map swings the other direction - high utility / ugly, all work / no play:
Hey @fatherdoctor - curious, are you running independent Zigbee networks, e.g. Hue lights to Hue hub, Innr to Echo, etc., or is every Zigbee device connected to a central hub? I’m caught waiting on the new / brighter Hue bulbs to drop and have been glancing at Innr on occasion - curious if they play nice in a mixed-vendor mesh…
I’ve got all of my Hue bulbs paired directly with the Hue hub on one channel and anything Innr paired to the HE on a second. The Innr mesh (which also includes some Philips branded buttons and Hue branded dimmer switch remotes) has never caused me a problem, but even keeping the Hue branded items together I occasionally get a bulb that doesn’t receive it’s command.