Zigbee is one of the wireless technologies in Homey, and is used by quite some popular brands like IKEA, Philips Hue, Xiaomi Aqara and more to control devices.
The Zigbee technology creates its own mesh network in your home, which is used to relay commands from and to devices. To make sure your Zigbee network is as stable as it can be, we have the following tips when building a Zigbee network with Homey:
1. Pair Zigbee routers first
Zigbee has three types of devices: Coordinators, Routers and End-Devices. Homey is the Coordinator. All other devices are either routers or end-devices. Generally, Zigbee devices that are mains-powered, i.e. they are connected to your home's electrical system, are routers. Battery-powered devices are end-devices.
Homey can handle up to 15 direct 'children'. These are either routers or end-devices that are connected directly to Homey. This does not mean, however, that you can only connect 15 Zigbee devices in total to Homey: devices can also be connected to Homey indirectly, via routers that relay the commands.
Therefore, we recommend to start building your Zigbee network by pairing a number of routers first. Ideally strategically placed throughout the range of the network. These routers will then allow more end-devices to be paired to Homey.
Note: in the case you have paired 15 end-devices to Homey first, all the Zigbee slots in Homey are filled. To extend your Zigbee network, first remove one or more end-devices, add one or more routers, and then start expanding.
2. Don't build too big
Using Zigbee routers you can create a stable Zigbee network of around 30-40 devices with Homey. It is possible to add more Zigbee devices and keep extending your network. However, we do not recommend creating these bigger Zigbee networks with Homey. Adding more devices will put more stress on the network and might therefore negatively impact communication, reliability and speed.
The limits of what is workable depends a lot of your specific situation. If you notice Zigbee performance dropping after extending your network to a larger-than-recommended number of devices, you are probably pushing the limits of the Zigbee network in your home.
3. Add a number of routers for a stable network
Zigbee routers can repeat/relay messages and improve the overall stability of your Zigbee network. That is why we recommend to place at least one router for every five end-devices in your Zigbee network.
This is no hard limit, and it is possible to add more end-device to your network without adding more routers, but for the general stability and reliability of your Zigbee network, it is highly recommended.