Wireless Zigbee (or alternative) thermostat Battery

Hi Folks,

I’m looking for a wireless battery controlled zigbee room thermostat.

Here’s the setup:

Each room as it’s own wired zigbee thermostat. This turns on underfloor heating valve for that room which inturn turns on the boiler/pumps which Gives me individual room control.

However what I now want is a “Global” thermostat. That controls the whole house/sync each room thermostat when it’s changed. And stays on until all rooms above set temp (all written in openhab rules) ie if Min(roomstats) < set_temp; turn on heating.

I’m struggle to find such a device. All i really want is an additional thermostat that uses purely Zigbee to communicate/no wires or relays hence battery powered. (It’s for relatives that aren’t familiar with room thermostats or Apps of any kind and in their words “I just want the boody heating on in the whole house, is that too difficult”)

Technically in the above plan I’m not using the temperature sensing feature of the “global” thermostat. So really all i want is an input/output device for setting temperature. However, I say I’m looking for a thermostat as i imaged that would be more readily available however if a generic input/output zigbee device exists please let me know.

I’m using Zigbee temp sensors along with other devices to run my wet underfloor heating. The problem you have with underfloor heating is its response times, my house takes forever to heat up to the optimal temperature of 21c. I’m not sure how a device for your parents would make a difference if the temp should always be around 21? I’m not sure if you are from the UK but it seems like people here just don’t get how underfloor heating works they think it’s like a radiator that they can turn on and it will instantly kick out heat, it took me a while to get used to mine. What you could do is work out average room temps and have an average temp for downstairs and upstairs or the whole house, I use this rule to work out the average temp in a room as I have found my thermostats are 1 or 2 degrees higher, so I have a zigbee temp sensor at the opposite side of the room, I take both readings and create an average temp so it brings down the temp of the thermostat and balances out.

rule "avgtemp"
    Item Lounge_Temperature changed
    Item Kitchen_Temperature changed
    var t = ((Lounge_Temperature.state as Number) + (Kitchen_Temperature.state as Number)) / 2

You will have to create a group for your items

Group:Number:AVG DS_avgTemp

Number Lounge_Temperature         "Lounge Temperature 	    [%.1f °C]"		<temperature>    (DS_avgTemp)	 
Number Kitchen_Temperature        "Kitchen Temperature       [%.1f °C]"		<temperature>    (DS_avgTemp)				

I’m not sure if this is what you are after and I’m certainly not an expert at openhab and I’m sure someone on here will have a different way but the rule above should give Downstairs_Temperature an average temp from both rooms, it works for me. Or you could just run all of your thermostats at 21c. I use Alexa to control mine, dropping the temps in each room at different times of the day. One of our rooms takes ages to heat up so that normally comes on first. Its great to be able to drop individual temps in different rooms depending on the time of day. I also have zigbee contacts on the doors so I can drop the temps in rooms that have outside doors or windows, so if the back door is open then the thermostat isn’t calling for heat.

I doubt you’ll find a thermostat that only uses Zigbee. The vast majority of people would want it to be wired to a device. You could find a Zigbee-capable thermostat that’s battery-powered, but that’s going to be more than you want to spend for functionality that you mostly don’t care about.

And you’re doing this to satisfy:

Nope, it’s not difficult. Mount an Android phone/tablet on the wall running a Page/Sitemap/HabPanel that does only four things:

  1. Displays the current temperature
  2. Displays the target temperature
  3. Enables you to change target temperature
  4. Turns the heating on and off

The HabPanelViewer app will let you turn the screen on and off using rules. Alternatively, Fully Kiosk Browser can sense when people are standing in front of it, so no rules are required. If the display is on when they approach the “thermostat”, they’ll never have to think about anything but tapping an up or down button.

You can even add a rule to wait 10 minutes and then change the setting back to what it was. That might be useful if you have relatives who prefer for it to be unreasonably warm or unreasonably cold.

Thanks Both.

Was hoping there’d be some sort of thermostat looking device to solve my problems.
Make it feel less daunting. The android tablet idea is nice but again it’s a touch screen/app. That’s a tougher sell than the thermostat with physical buttons I was hoping for. Ideally, it’ll look like a “dumb” system with smart capabilities (easiest sell to relatives)

But thank you, shows me my options are either compromise/convince them touch screen isn’t a nightmare. Or get creative with some SBC’s/Arduinos and buttons. Or just add another wired zigbee thermostat and not use the switch wires.

It seems like this is a category of devices that is available

Nice find. Makes sense as an extension of a Wiser heating system.

That’s why I listed four things to put on the screen, so that you’re delivering exactly to their expectations. It’s not the form factor that matters–it’s the simplicity.

The tough sell comes from the preconceived notion that something will be difficult to use. This isn’t an age-specific thing–we all react similarly when something seems complex or overwhelming to us. It’s why people who have been driving for decades fear learning to use manual transmissions, and why many people say they “can’t cook”.

(My personal pet peeve is when devices are presented as simple because they only have one or two buttons…but then you have to memorize all of the different ways to use those buttons. Just give us a reasonable number of dedicated buttons!)

That’s the brilliance behind Apple’s “it just works” philosophy. In the early days, Apple knew that they had to limit what a user can do with an iPhone, so that people wouldn’t reject them out of frustration. They also knew not to burden OS updates with huge UI changes that would confuse users. Google has never figured this out (and I say all this as a heavy Android user who doesn’t own any Apple devices).

People are funny. We’ll be given a new method that’s easier, but less familiar than what we’ve always done. And then we’ll fall back on the familiar thing, even if it’s more complex, slower, and less effective. I know I’ve done this as much as anyone else.

On that note, if touchscreen buttons for up/down are a bridge too far, you could put a ZigBee button next to the Android device with big labels on each button. But I think the touchscreen will be fine so long as they can touch a button and immediately see the target temperature go up. That matches expectations and enables them to grasp that it works without having to think too much about it.

Yes it’s the physical button that’s the biggest hurdle I believe. I think the wiser solution is what I’m after. However tablet plus buttons of some sort would also solve it.
With tablet I think I’d be worried that locking specific app always open would be my challenge, do kioske modes support that? but thanks for the suggestion.

Apologies didn’t mean to imply age was the cause. It’s just with my elderly relatives their familiarity with touch devices is very minimal.

They push the screen like a button rather than tap. A distinction I’d never really thought about until I saw them try use a touch pad to type and ended accidentally typing in caps due to holding each key.

Thanks all

Yep, that’s the basis of a kiosk mode. I have an Amazon Fire HD 10 on my wall that serves as my thermostat. It’s on all of the time when I’m home, and turns off when I leave or go to bed, without fail.

No apologies needed. I added the comment about age because it’s very often assumed. That’s why I used the manual transmission as the example, to show that it’s more about familiarity than anything else.

(I work at a university, and coworkers often comment that “students don’t read”. That’s wrong. People don’t read. I don’t read, and neither do the people making those comments. It’s just human nature.)

Like I said, it’s about expectations. Physical buttons don’t all respond the same way, and yet we figure it out. The real issue is when there’s lag between the input and the output. As I think about it more, you might run into that with a tablet and separate buttons.

For the record, I don’t like touchscreen controls in general, and particularly in vehicles. When you’re driving, you can find a physical button/switch by feel without taking your eyes off the road. Good luck doing that with a touchscreen. That shouldn’t be an issue here, though. If they press a touchscreen button and there’s an immediate response, I believe they’ll adapt quickly.

And yes, I’m choosing to be optimistic-verging-on-naive. I believe in designing this way…and also being prepared to fall back to reality. :wink:


Do you use this with zigbee binding. I’m having some issues. Can see its supported by zigbee2mqtt but seems to be missing some key channels when using zigbee binding.

Just wanted to check if someone else was using it and if I’d somehow configured it wrong

Confirmed, this doesn’t work with zigbee binding, seems the main feature of setting temperature isn’t true zigbee.

Works with zigbee2mqtt but I’ll keep looking for an alternative in the hopes i dont i have to sink the time in to migrating everything over to zigbee2mqtt.

I would suggest to search for a certified device available in your country and then ask the community or @chris (or rather the Zigbee Compliance Document and the source code of the Zigbee Binding …) whether the device is supported.

Hello @Matt_Jayne indeed I use Zigbee2mqtt i have had nothing but good experiences with it, even for devices that sometimes claimed “to not be Zigbee devices”, or similar statements.

You don’t need to port your entire setup to Zigbee2mqtt but not doing so would require another dongle and require you to run two networks. Start out small and work your way up