Zigbee options?

I’m investigating what hub to use for my home automation. I picked up some $15 Cree Connected daylight bulbs that use Zigbee, so I’d like to have a hub that can run them. I’ve seen a lot of guides talking about Z-wave with OpenHab, but not much about Zigbee. I did find some posts discussing some custom source/build to support it, but that seems way further than I want to go. And what options do I have for the hardware support on Windows or Raspberry Pi? I was searching around but the pickings seem to be slim and I wasn’t sure what a good bet would be.

There is a Philips Hue Binding which is based on Zigbee. With the hue bridge you can integrate more or less all ZLL products.

Wait, a “hue bridge” ? So like all Zigbee devices are controlled via one specific device or something? Would I need to buy Hue bulbs?

Since the binding is written for Philips Hue I would guess that you need at least the bridge. AFAIK you can buy the bridge without bulbs.

The Hue bridge works with other, non-Philipps but ZLL certified products - successfully tested in my setup.
To answer your question: you don’t need to buy Philips bulbs.

There is a ZigBee binding for OH2 which I’m in the process of bringing up to scratch with the latest ESH concepts which will allow it to better work with a wider range of devices without having to specifically define the devices.

This currently requires the CC2531 dongle from TI and it will likely be another couple of weeks before I’ve got this into better shape.

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In terms of manufacturer independence I would like to propose that a new Zigbee binding can work with any kind of “bridge/controller/dongle/whatever”. Do you think that this is possible?

Obviously that would be a goal, however, unlike Z-Wave which has standardised on the serial API, the standards for Zigbee when it comes to interfacing to the PC are, well, not so standard. This means that we need to write different software for each stick. :frowning:.

This is something I also want to see, and I started to split the library out so that this can be done, but there will not be a simple ‘it works with every interface’ solution - it’s not possible. Someone will need to implement a driver for each stick…

Maybe a missunderstanding: my proposal is that the binding is vendor agnostic but technology specific, e.g.

  • one Zigbee Stick that can handle all Zigbee products
  • one zWave Stick that can handle all zwave products
  • etc.

Of course, it is absolutely desirable that one stick can handle all protocols :smirk: But I guess that stick would be a kind of magic and in terms of size like twice of a soccer field.

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I’m not sure I understand your point, or maybe I also confused things by mentioning ZWave…

The point I was trying to make is that Z-Wave have created a standard API for communicating from a computer to ANY Z-Wave stick. It’s always the same protocol since they standardised it and this means that the Z-Wave binding will work with ANY stick you can buy.

However, this is NOT true for ZigBee - every manufacturer of ‘sticks’ supports a different protocol/API/interface to communicate with their stick. Therefore, we would have to write (some) different software for each stick.

To be clear though, it is just the low level interface layer that changes - once this is done, all the cluster library support to actually communicate with a device OTA is the same.

So, as mentioned earlier, the bottom line is it’s not possible to have a single solution that will work with any stick - there will have to be a different “driver” layer for each ZigBee stick we want to interface to (as things stand today anyway).


[quote=“chris, post:9, topic:9265”]
The point I was trying to make is that Z-Wave have created a standard API for communicating from a computer to ANY Z-Wave stick. It’s always the same protocol since they standardised it and this means that the Z-Wave binding will work with ANY stick you can buy. [/quote]
Alright, understood. I was expecting that the members of the zWave Alliance play the bad gabe as the Zigbee allies.

"ç%&*** :rage:
Yes, I know. That’s why I was hoping that a “generic zigbee binding” could be written instead of a “Philips Hue Binding” and an “Osram Lightify Binding” and “another-would-like-to-rule-the-world-vendor-binding”.

Thanks for clarification. That makes me thinking if my further planned investments in Zigbee products are future-proof.

At product level, yes, I would say it’s fine. The issue is that if you buy a new stick, then you need new software. It’s not to say that with one ZigBee binding, using a specific stick in the PC, that you can’t talk to Hue/Osram bulbs, Ubisys switches, and movement sensors, and smoke detectors etc… This is now (almost) possible - but you have to use the TI stick (which costs about $10).

My hope is that we can split out the stick dependant parts so that it’s (relatively!) simple for people to write a driver for a new stick, and the majority of the binding (ie all the part that deals with communicating with devices) remains the same.

I have 2 NXP USB zigbee sticks. that came with a development kit. are you located in the states? I could send you one.

No - I’m in the UK…

I would like to see more sticks supported, but I’m not sure when I will get the time to do this. I started to split out the network manager functionality so that it would be possible to add such support, but there’s likely a little bit to do I think…

Thanks for the offer though :slight_smile:

I’m also interested in Zigbee support having acquired a Rasbee Zigbee controller board for my RPi. I guess a lot of work has happened since then to write the low level drvers. Any update? or is there a place on the community such updates are posted?

Please see the ZigBee binding documentation for supported dongles. We now support 3 dongle types :slight_smile: - unfortunately though, this doesn’t include the RaspBee at this time.

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Thanks :slight_smile: I’ll check out the supported dongles. A few weeks back looking at home automation I first fell onto Home Assistiant / HASS, ordered the RaspBee in preparation, and then found OpenHAB and its community, which felt a better fit for me and what I’d like to do.

Shame about the RaspBee support - is there any demand for it?

You can use the RaspBee with:

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