Moving toward Z-wave and Zigbee

I have a very mixed network; the majority of my items are Insteon, but I also have several hue bulbs and a few Wi-Fi items (Smart Life, Magic House & Tuya). I have a z-wave deadbolt arriving today that works with August. I can control most everything through OpenHab (except the Tuya stuff which I haven’t worked through yet). I would say about 40% of my lighting is automated.

The Insteon stuff is rather expensive and it looks like Z-wave is a little cheaper. I’m considering going that route and would like to get impressions on the best way to implement it.

Does the SmartThings binding work with the latest hub to control both zigbee and z-wave items? Does anyone have any experience with this fan controller or these light switches? Has anyone had luck controlling hue devices through the SmartThings hub - I already have a hue hub and an insteon hub - it would be nice if I could replace the hue hub rather than having to have 3 hubs running.

I have tried searching the forums, but things change over time and it’s often difficult to understand what information really is current, what is true, and what is just people’s opinion.

TLDR I want to control Zigbee (including Hue) and Z-wave devices with OpenHab through a SmartThings hub. Is this a good idea?

Curious why you would want/need to insert SmartThings between openHAB and your zwave/zigbee devices? @chris has done an excellent job on the zwave and zigbee bindings for openHAB. The zwave device database is extensive, and is updated with new devices frequently.

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Since you mention Z-Wave it would be useful to know your location. Z-Wave divides the world into incompatible regions.

yeah same here, a good usb stick is cheaper then the hub. The smart things binding is prerelease but moving toward being merged into OpenHAB. It works but isn’t plug and play. It requires installing Bob’s smart app thingie on your smart things hub which requires you logging onto smart things online and setting it all up. I got it working but quickly gave up because smart things sensors are junk. The hub worked until I unplugged it but never tried to use it with anything other brands or zigbee or zwave sensors. Bought a Nortek USBZ or what ever it’s called
If you already own the hub and want to give it a good, have at it. If not I’d buy a stick

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I’m in the US.

Is there a combined Zigbee & Zwave stick, or do I need two sticks? Does the Zigbee binding let you control Hue?

The Nortek HUSBZB-1 has both radios. I have one that I now use for testing.

Here is one example.

I guess I’m worried about the prime reliance on my OpenHab server. I had a drive die on my recently and it took a while to get everything back up and running. Without a hub, we would have had no voice control (through Alexa) of our lights until it was back up and running. I guess I like the redundancy.

I’ve considered moving to Raspberry Pi, but every Pi I’ve ever had (4 or 5 of them, version 1, 2 and 3) has burned out within a year. Are the newer ones more reliable?

You use it for testing?
So what is your “production” way to control zigbee & z-wave?

I just use Z-Wave and for a Zooz ZST-10 USB stick for a good price. In my experience, they have good products at a reasonable price. Their product support is top notch and they are working with us to get all their devices into our Z-Wave database.


Their online store:

By the way, the mention of S2 is just marketing. S2 is a device-specific feature, not controller.

@chris, our lead developer could best answer this.

I run OpenHAB on a small desktop PC. $300 usd I3 8Gbs & spinny H/D

Yes - Hue bulbs are standard ZigBee devices. There is an incomplete list of devices in the binding doc.

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Yep - me too. After my HD failed it took me a week to get a new one and get things set up again. I lost some of my configuration for my HabPanel and I’ve not had time to get that set back up, so I have a blank iPad on the wall - not winning the WAF battle there…

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Several of the reviews on this indicate it has limited range. I know both Zwave and Zigbee can do mesh networks, but I need to understand how close the nearest device needs to be.

Also, there is no indication of how many devices this stick can support.

Are the zooz switches compatible with the stick you mentioned? They are quite a bit cheaper than anything else I’ve found ($22.75).

I have used them with both sticks.
The first switch I bought was defective and developed a mechanical problem within the first day in service, but Zooz promptly replaced it with a tested unit that has worked fine for months, first on the Nortek stick and now on the Zooz one.
I contrast that with trying (& failing) to get a cheap Chinese Neo Coolcam sensor replaced under warranty.

I would suggest a mirrored raid setup. This way if one drive does then the other will work. It would keep running if a drive failed.
You would simply then need to replace it and raid does the rest.

I would also suggest some backups off site. To something like google drive Dropbox or one drive. Rclone or Amanda could be a handy tool for this.

You may also want an external drive that you burn a full image from time to time.

On the pi I have 3 and the only issue I had was corrupt as cards. I have disabled logging on 2 of them and went to an ssd on my openHAB.
The key to keeping them going is good ventilations and power supply.

A UPS that properly shuts down the computer is good insurance against unexpected power outages.
I think a majority of filesystem corruption reported here has been due to unclean shutdowns due to power outages. No UNIX-like system tolerates that well.

How did you hook the SSD in? I have a spare small SSD (32GB I think) that I could do this with. But of course it would still require some level of backup and a spare PI just in case.

This kit includes a fan and a couple of heat sinks - is that a good starting point? What level of RAM would you suggest (1GB, 2GB or 4GB)?