MQTT - How to add Zigbee Devices?

I am trying to move from Domoticz to OpenHAB, but I have trouble setting up my ZigBee devices. I want to have sort of the same setup I had with Domoticz (with eclipse-mosquitto and zigbee2mqtt).

Setup: docker containers (on a QNAP NAS), OpenHab version 2.5.9.

I have done the following:

  • Installed MQTT addon
  • Created a connection to eclipse-mosquitto. That also works (server reports connection)

Now I am trying to add a zigbee device, but I am lost on how to do that.

  • I created a channel for the MQTT broker. mqtt topic: “zigbee2mqtt”. Channel ID: just filled something in (no idea what it is used for).
  • When I pair my devices, they show up in zigbee2mqtt, but nothing in the OpenHab paper UI.

Where do I go from here?

MQTT has no auto discovery feature. You have to add the the things manually.

Here are some informations

There is a Zigbee binding for openHAB that, I believe, has auto discovery.

I have a few things connected to openHAB via zigbee2mqtt and Mosquitto. @chrode has linked the post that got me started with it all. I wrote the following tutorials which might be useful:

Bulb - IKEA Tradfri dimming bulb
Bulbs - 3x IKEA Tradfri GU10 dimming bulbs
Switch - Xiaomi multi-press button
Switch - IKEA Tradfri dimming switch

Not 100% correct. Indeed, for zigbee2mqtt there is no automatic discovery. But for any MQTT device that follows either the Home Assistant or the Homie standard there is automatic discovery of devices.

Manually create a Thing for each device.
On that Thing, manually create a Channel for each sensor reading or actuator that the device handles. The subscription Channel is how the device communicates to OH. The publish Channel is how openHAB communicates with zigbee2mqtt.


Example - cheat sheet

if you already have a broker setup / Mine is mqtt:broker:myMQTTBroker

Thing mqtt:topic:myMQTTBroker:Absorbar "Absorbar" (mqtt:broker:myMQTTBroker) @ "Kitchen"{
      Type switch : Power "Power" [ commandTopic="broadlink/absorbar/power", stateTopic="broadlink/absorbar/power", on="ON", off="OFF" ]
      Type switch : Light "Light" [ commandTopic="broadlink/absorbar/light", stateTopic="broadlink/absorbar/light", on="ON", off="OFF"  ]
      Type string : Move  "FAN Move" [ commandTopic="broadlink/absorbar/move" ]
      Type switch : switch "Lights" [ commandTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights/set", stateTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights", transformationPattern="JSONPATH:$.state", formatBeforePublish="{\"state\":\"%s\"}", on="ON", off="OFF" ]
      Type dimmer : dimmer "Dimmer" [ commandTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights/set", stateTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights", transformationPattern="JSONPATH:$.brightness", formatBeforePublish="{\"brightness\":%s}",  min=0, max=255, step=1 ]
      Type switch : secondswitch "Test 2Lights" [ commandTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights/set", stateTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights", transformationPattern="JSONPATH:$.state", formatBeforePublish="{\"state\":\"%s\"}", 1="ON", 0="OFF" ] 


Absorbar "Absorbar" Thing name and label

(mqtt:broker:myMQTTBroker) Is the name of the mqtt broker you have setup`

@ "Kitchen" Where it is, location

You can see 2 technologies used in mqtt channels here broadlink and what you are after.

Type switch : switch "Lights" [ commandTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights/set", stateTopic="zigbee2mqtt/living_room_lights", transformationPattern="JSONPATH:$.state", formatBeforePublish="{\"state\":\"%s\"}", on="ON", off="OFF" ]

Need to install JSONPATH transformation

Type switch is the same : switch is the channel name and needs to be unique within the same thing "Lights" is the label

// Item File
Switch Absorbar_light "Lights" {channel="mqtt:topic:myMQTTBroker:Absorbar:switch"}

So the channel mqtt:topic:myMQTTBroker:Absorbar:switch Absorbar is thing switch is the channel name

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Thanks for all the feedback. I was already suspecting there was no auto discovery.
@chrode. thanks for the confirmation.

@Bruce_Osborne. I already tried the ZigBee binding. When setup the 1st time, it works. But after reboot, it does not work anymore and I get WARN’s in my log about a stuck bootloader (I am using a cc2531) and the ZigBee devices do not initialize.

I am trying to add few Aqara Temperature / Humidity devices to get started.
Zigbee2mqtt looks like to support more devices than the ZigBee binding (but not sure if that is actually true). Looks like I have to dive a bit deeper. Thanks for all the links to help me with it.

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I managed to get it to work (following the example from [hafniumzinc]. I have 2 questions remaining

  • How do I link the Channels from a Thing to Items without doing it manually in PaperUI?
  • When you have -for example- 8 of the same type of devices. Do you need to copy/paste it all or is there something smart (such as wildcards, macros, ???)


Bridge mqtt:broker:MosquittoMqttBroker "Mosquitto MQTT Broker" [

Thing mqtt:topic:tempSensor1 "Sensor 1" (mqtt:broker:MosquittoMqttBroker) {
	Type number : temperature "Temperature"  [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/temperature" ]
	Type number : humidity    "Humidity"     [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/humidity" ]
	Type number : pressure    "Pressure"     [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/pressure" ]
	Type number : voltage     "Voltage"      [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/voltage" ]
	Type number : battery     "Battery"      [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/battery" ]
	Type number : linkquality "Link Quality" [ stateTopic = "zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/linkquality" ]


Number Sensor1_Office_Temperature "Temperature [%.1f °C]" { channel="zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/temperature" }
Number Sensor1_Office_Humidity    "Humidity [%.1f %%]"    { channel="zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/humidity" }
Number Sensor1_Office_Pressure    "Pressure [%.1f hPa]"   { channel="zigbee2mqtt/tempSensor1/pressure" }


sitemap zigbee label="ZigBee"
    Frame label="Sensor 1: Office" {
        Text label="Temperature"  item=Sensor1_Office_Temperature
        Text label="Humidity"     item=Sensor1_Office_Humidity
        Text label="Pressure"     item=Sensor1_Office_Pressure

Paper UI is not in OpenHAB 3 and is replaced by a different UI

I use VS Code as my editor to edit config files to do most things in openHAB

I use to openhab extention to add Items from things it takes only seconds to add all my items for a thing. Eg

Also your Items should look like

Number   Sensor1_Office_Temperature   "Temperature [%.1f °C]" {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:temperature"}
Number   Sensor1_Office_Humidity      "Humidity [%.1f %%]"    {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:humidity"}
Number   Sensor1_Office_Pressure      "Pressure [%.1f hPa]"   {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:pressure"}
Number   Sensor1_Office_Voltage       "Voltage"               {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:voltage"}
Number   Sensor1_Office_Battery       "Battery"               {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:battery"} 
Number   Sensor1_Office_Linkquality   "Link quality"          {channel="mqtt:topic:tempSensor1:linkquality"}
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To reiterate @denominator

You’ve already linked your Channels to your Items using lines such as the above in your Item definition. However, your syntax is incorrect: you need to be referencing your Thing and your Channel in this line, not the MQTT topic (that’s already referenced in your Thing Channel). So your above line should be:

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@denominator, @hafniumzinc. Thanks that fixed it. Still struggling a bit with the syntax :wink:

As for my other question

  • When you have -for example- 8 of the same type of devices. I have now copy/pasted it 8 times, but I was wondering if there is something smarter (such as wildcards, macros, ???)
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@denominator essentially answered that one. If you don’t like copy/pasting, then get Visual Studio Code setup with the openHAB plugin - this speeds things up a little bit.

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