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Moving away from Z-Wave and using only Zigbee

February 27, 2024 — Nico Cartron

The reason

As I reported in this previous article, I simplified my Home Automation setup recently.

I wanted to do it for a while, as having 3 different protocols/types of devices to maintain was annoying.

In the end, I decided to stick to Zigbee, and get rid of my Zwave devices (which I sold since then).

There are 2 main reasons for choosing Zigbee over Zwave:

  1. Zigbee devices are cheaper and there are more brands using it - heck, heven Ikea with their TRÅDFRI products uses Zigbee!
  2. The Zwave implementation in Domoticz changed a lot, and when I checked the Z-Wave JS UI project page, the only installation possible seemed to be Docker, which I didn't want to use. (For those who didn't follow, I'm moving as much stuff as possible away from Linux and migrating to FreeBSD).

Compare this with the super nicely done ZigbeeForDomoticz project, and my choice was indeed easy! :)
(side note: I should write an article about ZigbeeForDomoticz to show how good it is, and how vibrant its community is!)

What I chose

Apart from ZigbeeForDomoticz (which is in fact the new name for the Zigate plugin), I went for:

  • Zigbee controller: Sonoff USB Dongle Plus,
  • Devices:
    • Door/Window sensors: Aqara devices,
    • Temperature: Aqara as well (I already had a few),
    • Motion detection: I also went for Aqara devices,
    • Smart plugs: I had a few BlitzWolf, but they are a bit painful to integrate, so I ordered one Aqara to test it,
    • Quad button: I loved my Aeotec wallmote quad, so I ordered something similar for Zigbee - an Aqara "double button" and a Moes "quad button"
    • Switch module: I have integrated a Moes one, to switch my radiators on/off - it works well, so I'll order a few more
    • Relay switch: in order to control my portal, I'll add it a Nod-On SIN-4-1-20.

First feedback

I now have 30 Zigbee devices, and the whole setup works flawlessly. I think it's thanks to:

  • the new Zigbee controler (SONOFF USB) which seems more performant than the ZiGate I had before),
  • the ZigbeeForDomoticz plugin who keeps being improved.

I had absolutely no disconnection in the past few weeks since I've been running that setup, even though I doubled the number of devices I'm using, so I'm really happy.

Tags: Automation

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