Multiple Zigbee cordinators? Or which Zigbee binding?

I have now settled on Zigbee as the wireless protocol for my devices.

However, I am wondering how to organise the network or networks.
I have three buildings (interconnected with Ethernet): house, shed (like a house), and a three-port garage. The buildings are some 35 to 40 metres apart.

Should I run three coordinators?
One per building?

The house will have some 100+ Zigbee devices. Should I have two (or more coordinators)… or should I switch to zigbee2mqtt, which seems to ‘digest’ commands like long/sort press on switches, whereas the Zigbee binding does not handle long press.
I reckon, even zigbee2mqtt requires multiple coordinators?!

Any hints appreciated.

Why more than 100 devices?
I settled on Zigbee RGBCW dimable down-lights, which removed the requirement for control cabling like KNX, DALI or DMX; yet allowing for arbitrary groupings w/o the the need to predetermine these groupings. (And realise the groups/scenes in OH instead.) I now use Zigbee sensors, instead of 433 MHz ones; and also settled on Zigbee light switches that offer mains voltage switching.
After years of pondering about b!oody lights, this is my final, and believed to be the best, solution.

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For me at least I utilize the mesh network that zigbee provides and have placed devices in between the long distances to act as forwarders /relay hubs of the devices in my other buildings. So far it has worked very well for me. One of my buildings is a steel building that basically except for a window is a giant faraday cage so for that one I placed a Phillips hue light zigbee light bulb in a Lamp socket that is always powered on and turn it off using a slider switch in openHAB on the second floor window to relay into my building most all of my repeaters are simple switched plug smart outlets a couple of which are out door rated and add more benefits like holiday lighting controls as well as repeater. I have had no issues for a few years. I would give it a try first before adding the complication of multiple coordinators. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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There is a fixed limit for direct children of your coordinator, e.g. the Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus–ZBDongle-E has a limit of 32 direct children, but its firmware has no limit for total children.

If the direct children (and/or the subsequent routers) are slow in forwarding the Zigbee packets, it may make sense to use several coordinators - but AFAIK, you cannot force a device to be a direct child.

one important comment: All zigbee bulbs that I know act as routers in a zigbee network. This behavior cannot be changed (unfortunately). It is no problem if those bulbs are always powered. But it has terrible consequences if they can be switched off with a physical switch. Then the zigbee mesh looses this router and has to reorganize. Some devices are quick and successful while others never find a new router or coordinator. So they have to be paired manually again.
As a result I would not use zigbee for AC-powered devices if they might be powered off physically.

It’s cheap and easy to use zigbee smart plugs as routers to extend the range of your mesh. So if you have a (water protected) socket between your buildings this might work.

Another alternative is to use zigbee-to-Ethernet-bridges. There were some solutions (don’t have a link), diy and even out of the box.


Yes, these bulbs are routers and are always on.

That’s a good one… I thought about using an external light (bulb)…

Brilliant… as I have fibre between buildings…

Hmm, I am not clear how to connect these.
Firstly, is a hub a coordinator or a router?
If it is a router, how does OH consume the Zigbee protocol via Ethernet?

The ones I found are coordinators. So with those you would have different zigbee meshes in your buildings. I don’t think this is a big disadvantage compared to one big zigbee mesh.

The current zigbee standard only allows one coordinator per zigbee-mesh

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What wasn’t clear is how the OH binding would need to be configured to accept the data for the Zigbee Ethernet adaptor.

Looking at Greg’s video (Thank you, Greg, quite a nifty device), it seems HA has a multi-point software?!

While I get the LAN adaptor’s functionality, I do not understand how the Zigbee data gets to OH via Ethernet.

I would have to check, since it works with Zigbee2MQTT, maybe it supports data input via Ethernet. Or are two of these required, acting as routers in the Zigbee mesh, but extend the mesh via Ethernet, here, between buildings?!

I love the SLZB-06. It comes flashed with a coordinator supported by zigbee2mqtt but it can be flashed with router firmware instead.

You can have several (I have two). For each coordinator you need a separate zigbee2mqtt process. These processes need to be parameterized to not interfere with each other. The zigbee2mqtt site explains how.

Each zigbee2mqtt process uses the same mosquito broker used by OH, they do not link to OH directly. As most MQTT devices you can define a OH thing to check availability

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The zigbee2mqtt port is set to IP in the configuration. The zigbee signals hit the coordinator device antenna and is sent via IP to zigbee2mqtt software and the mqtt part in the configuration sends it to the IP of the mosquitto broker. It’s just the same as if you plugged in a USB dongle. Rather than go via USB port it goes via IP port.

That is how I understand it.