Zigbee - How to start?

I have Rpi 4 with OpenHab OS. I would like to start with home automation based on Zigbee things. I read a few subjects on this forum, but there are so many comabinations, old posts… that I want just to confirm a few my points. So to use Zigbee I can:

  1. Use Zigbee Binding, but generally I have to use CC2531 chip (in Poland we don’t have a big choice ;)). I read that it isn’t the best choice, it can work only with not more than 30 devices, can be unstable etc. So…
  2. I can use Conbee 2 stick, but it doesn’t work with Zigbee bindings. Instead of this, I can install zigbee2mqtt binding and it will work. But I have to manually create things, transformations etc… So…
  3. I can use Conbee 2 with deCON binding, BUT I will need additionaly software from Phoscon which will grap information from things and send them via deCON to OH. Is it right?

Tu sum up. I can get “easy to use” Zigbee binding with old CC2531 stick or new and better Conbee 2, but I will need to do all staff manually… I exclude the third solution with Phoscon software.
Am I right?

this is my experience with ZigBee.

My problems are related to the Ikea tradfri Switch.
The OpenHab ZigBee binding it’s working with the Lidl/Silvercrest Gateway, at the moment without issues.
The only initial problem for me was the configuration of socat to redirect the TCP socket on a virtual tty device, at begin I had some privileges issue, resolved with the correct parameters to socat.
Lidl Gateway use a Ember Chipset.

Do you have this already, and a ZigBee device to try? Do you expect to have more than 30 devices connected to it?

I’m personally using a CC2531 with zigbee2mqtt and it’s completely reliable (though only ~10 devices at the moment). True, configuration is manual, but it’s a one time thing (and I use configuration files so it’s very easy to copy/paste/edit for new devices).

Note that the flow of information goes:

ZigBee device → ZigBee controller (CC2531) → zigbee2mqtt → MQTT broker (Mosquitto) → MQTT binding in openHAB

(and vice versa)

I have not tried, just read about it :slight_smile: . I don’t expect over 30 devices, but I am worried about reliability. However, if you say that it works I belive you :slight_smile:

In your configuration - could you use just Zigbee binding instead of zigbee2mqtt?

I think so, but not sure. Check the documentation for the ZigBee binding to see what it says about a CC2531. I was already heavily invested in MQTT so it only seemed natural to go with zigbee2mqtt!

Can you get this one?

1 Like

To be blunt and trying to keep it simple.

With CC2531 best to use zigbee2mqtt.
If you want to use the Zigbee binding, do not bother with CC2531, as the ember chipsets have far better support and testing in the binding, meaning you will have less issues. Just change the dongle for an ember one and you benefit from the much better support written into the binding.
Currently I don’t believe there is a single dongle that works well in both zigbee2mqtt AND in Zigbee binding. Choose which way you want to go and buy the recommended dongle for that project.

Also you may only have a few devices now, but consider what happens later on when you need to upgrade, do you want to open up walls to press on connect buttons all over again? For me the $30 on a new dongle is worth it and my CC2531 can be used as a sniffer or a router or there are plenty of DIY uses for it as well.

1 Like

Yes, I can get this one. Is it based on Ember chipset? Can I use it with Zigbee binding?

Thx fot the info. That is why I don’t want CC2531… I hope that this from previous post POPP ZB-STICK (ZIGBEE) (701554) is a ember based chipset :slight_smile:

Yes that will be good, just do a firmware update on it when you get it.
SiLabs = ember

I run solution 3 and it works great!

Don’t know if solution 2 has any benefits. deconz and openhab both run in a docker container on the same raspberry pi. That was easy to set up and works like a charm.

1 Like

I’m a bit late to this discussion, but let me just mention, that I use CC2531 and I have way more than 30 devices connected to my network.
All is working fine.
Please note, that devices like power outlets additionally work as repeaters.

I am using the Conbee 2 Stick with deCONZ binding and Phoscon App (which runs on the stick by itself) and everything is working fine. Ledvance LED Stripes and Bulbs, Hue Motion Sensors, Ikea Bulbs… it’s not hard to understand and there are lots of good guides online.