Universal Zigbee Hub and good hardware: Conbee II or what are your thoughts/experiences?

I’ve got OH3 (and node red) running on an Raspi 4 and among other devices some innogy-hardware (rollershutter, thermostat, window-sensor) and hue light-bulbs, both with their separate hubs. And Alexa.

Now I’d like to get some more devices like: thermostats, window-sensors, air sensors, motion sensor, light-switches to integrate in the wall (I don’t know the correct english term) and whatever else might make sense.
Before investing and then regretting, I’d like to hear about your experiences, like:

  • Which hub do you propose? I don’t want to get many hubs. So far, I tend to buy the Conbee 2. If I understand correctly, I can’t exchange the innogy hub with it (or is there a way?) but the hue-hub. More importantly, it looks like I this works with a lot of zigbee-products.

  • Any particular hardware you can recommend? As for window sensors, I tend to the Aqara MCCGQ11LM. For the rest, I’m not sure. Especially I’d be interested in your thoughts about thermostats and “power/light-switches to integrate into wall”. For the later, shelly seems to be good, but it’s only wlan and I’d prefer zigbee, if possible.

Have a look at the zigbee2mqtt website, they got quite a few sticks listed. Zzah is recommended often.
For sensors, i usually take Xiaomi sensors for door/temp/motion. They also got quite nice looking in wall smart switches.
Even if you don’t use zigbee2mqtt, have a look at their supported devices, it’s a quite good reference on what is out on the market.


Would propose to take a look here, quite similar question regarding the dongle:

Thanks, https://www.zigbee2mqtt.io/ seems quite promising.
I tend to get the “zzh! CC2652R Multiprotocol RF Stick” although it might take quite a while until delivery, but that’s ok.
Does anybody know if it creates a mesh-network with all the connected zigbee-devices? The conbee appears to do that but I didn’t find anything about that for the zzh.

There doesn’t seem to be a direct OH-Binding for that device. I guess I’ll get all the data via the mqtt-server and binding without problems?

Yes it will make a mesh - that’s part of Zigbee, irrespective of the controller. Works best if you have mains powered devices as they will work as repeaters, whilst battery powered devices will not work as repeaters.

Yes exactly. Lots of examples on this forum, but shout if you get stuck.

I can really recommend the Conbee II stick. I have migrated from HUE hub, Xiaomi Mijia Hub, Ikea gateway, Zigbee stick (ember on OH2) to only use the Conbee II. I run deconz on a separate PI4.
It has been “rock solid” - with maybe 60+ nodes - for over a year.
I use a lot of Xiaomi Aqara sensors, and have had absolutely no issues with deconz.
The Ikea Fyrtur Blinds was at best “flaky” with ikeas own gateway. Works like a charm with conbee/deconz. No disconnects or other issues.

Overall I have moved away from a “multi purpose” NUC computer, to a setup with 4 different PI:s.
1 PI4 running OH2, with only Z-wave binding.
1 PI4 running deconz
1 PI4 running OH3 (communicates with the Z-wave PI using the remote binding)
1 PI3 running MQTT/mysensors server.

This setup was born “by accident” when migrating/updating.
However, I am happy with it and will keep it like this, because for me it has been much more straightforward to maintain (No more issues with for example dependencies screwing up).

Sorry for going a bit “off topic” here…
My subjective recommendation (based on my personal experiences) to your query would be to go with Conbee2/deconz.

I have a question about your setup, I’m trying to figure out the best way to integrate my conbee II into OpenHab and your solution sounds like a good choice. I’ve already got OH3 as my main install, is OH2 required to work with the conbee? How does deconz communicate with openhab? I’ve been trying to get zigbee2mqtt to work (using mqtt would be ideal for me) but not all of my sensors seem to be recognized by zigbee2mqtt.

To what I understand (I am running z2mqtt for a long time now using a zzah USB stick which replaced my CC stick) zigbee2mqtt supports most zigbee devices. The question though is if they are automatically detected or not. There is a list of devices which have this auto detection, otherwise you can also make your devices “supported” manually.
I run IKEA, Xiaomi, Tuya (some generic light switches) all with it.

Otherwise conbee and deconz should be also supported in OH3 (?).

Easiest is to install the deconz software and afterwards use the binding to connect the software with the binding.

Works with OH3 as well.

As the other already answered, install the deconz software and then use the openhab binding. I see no reason to use OH2 if your doing a new install. My setup with several “computers” might seem a bit convoluted, but there is a reason for going that route. I want my mesh network coordinators (zigbee and zwave) to run on their own instances (zigbee “re-meshing” is not always 100% successful) . I do “fiddle” a lot with the system, both with testing “homebrew” sensors (mqtt) and scripts, rules etc. At the same time it is important that the system is 100% stable and always available (for the sake of the family).

Have anybody experience with conbee II in a hole buiding with 5 floors and so many stone walls?

Is it possible to install more than one conbee II within one raspi/OH3 (within docker) and share them via ethernet-to-usb-adapter in the hole building?

br hobaka

Thanks, I’ve been trying the deconz binding but can’t get past the ‘Initializing’ phase yet. Did your sensors/switches/etc also get recognized immediately in the phoscon app or web interface for deconz? I see my nodes in deconz but nothing is listed in phoscon and when trying to add new ones in phoscon nothing is recognized.

I include my devices from the phoscon app. They will show up directly. When you add the deconz gateway to openHAB, you must authenticate openHAB.

There must still be something not quite right with my conbee setup - my node map shows the sensors and a light I tested (but not the tap switch I have) but the phoscon app just shows the tap switch and the light and never recognizes the sensors.

I did get the conbee online in the deconz binding - I changed the default port for deconz from 80 and re-discovered the bridge so that’s good! I still don’t see my sensors in phoscon or auto discovery (or the rest api) - what could be causing it to recognize in deconz but nowhere else?

I do not believe your sensors are properly included in deconz. They should be identified with a descriptor rather than a hex number. Try to reset them and re-include from Phoscon app.

If I reset them ( deleting them in deconz) with the phoscon app open deconz automatically adds them like this (hex numbers). If I close deconz then phoscon no longer works and the phoscon scan fails everytime (whether I close deconz or not). I have also tried the ‘read’ method where I start a new sensor scan in phoscon then go to deconz and read the cluster info from one of my sensors.