Advice for going from C-5 to C-7

I am currently running a C-5 with a around 30-40 ZigBee devices and 20-30 z-wave devices. Many of those Zigbee devices are old Lightfy bulbs, V1/2 iris sensors and a few peanut plugs for repeaters. Everything is working fine from a consumer perspective, I haven’t dived into the logs to see if I have anything abnormal going on, mostly because I wouldn’t know if something was acting irregular by looking at them.

I just purchased a C-7 hub in hopes of improving my Z-wave network and getting to utilize the Z-wave map tool, mostly for fun…I’m looking for advice on if I should migrate everything to it, or if there is a good reason to only take the Z-wave network and leave the ZigBee on the C-5. As I understand, Zigbee does not gain anything from upgrading to the C-7 from the C-5, only Z-wave is improved. From my perspective, as I understand things, these would be my pro/cons of leaving my C-5 for Zigbee and upgrading my Z-wave with the C-7.


  • The working Zigbee network will continue to work without a chance of something going wonky in the migration.
  • Offloads network traffic to specific hubs instead of it all being on the same hub. (this might not really be a consideration since I have a smaller network but load balancing always seems good?)
  • Gain new Z-wave features from the C-7.


  • Will need to run two devices utilizing another network port on the switch and another power plug on the UPS.

Notes about the house where the hub operates: Two story, 2400 sqft house with a boxed and mirrored top/bottom floorplan. Hub is currently in the center of the 1st floor where 90% of the devices live.

My main question is are my pro/cons valid or are they just misinformed? I’ve been catching up on all of the horror stories of people migrating from C-5/7 to C-7/8 and am hoping to increase my chances of success without turning my weekend project into a month+ nightmare.

There is no migration for Zigbee to the C-7, only the C-8. So, if that changes your mind, that's one reason. :slight_smile: That being said, it's not that hard to "manually" migrate Zigbee--just restore the hub backup (cloud in your case since you need that for Z-Wave), then reset and re-pair each Zigbee device. You do not have to remove the devices first, and they'll be recognized as the same. If this still sounds difficult, keep in mind that I''m saying "not that hard" relative to Z-Wave (though we've had the automatic cloud option for that for a while now).

If your one current hub is working fine, it should continue to be fine after migrated whole (or as whole as you can) to the C-7. As always when swapping physical hubs, some cloud integrations (and local if they rely on a "static" IP) may need adjusting, but most of those are easy to handle. If you want to split it for some reason, there's nothing wrong with that, aside from the cons you mentioned plus needing to manage (update, etc.) two hubs and remember what is where.

There's also no way to "split" a database (backup), so you'd either have to start with what you have and remove things you don't need or start over and built again that way -- in case that's another thing that changes your mind.

Yeah migration of Zigbee might have been a poor word choice for this case. Looking at the documentation for migrating from C-7 to C-8 it appears that during the cloud restore there is an option to only restore Z-wave or only restore Zigbee. So if I was going to split the hubs wouldn't I just do a migration backup, only migrate Z-wave to the new hub, turn off Zigbee on C7 and turn off Z-wave on C5?

Right now I'm under the impression if I leave Zigbee on the C5, it will continue to work without ANY possibility of issues when I migrate Z-wave to C-7. Is that wrong? So Should I just pull the plug and fully commit to taking everything to C-7?

Also I think the real decision maker will be, do I really gain anything by keeping the C5 active since my network is small?

No, you won't even see that option on the C-7 since Zigbee migration to a C-7 is not supported. That option will appear only on the C-8. However, even if it did appear, it doesn't affect what devices appear in your devoces list afterwards (meaning under "Devices" on the hub). That is part of your regular hub database, which any local or cloud backup will have. Checking/unchecking the Z-Wave or (C-8 only) Zigbee boxes relates to restoring radio information that will determine whether these devices are actually functional after the migration.

No, your understanding is correct (though as above, you'll still have non-functional devices in your list for the Zigbee devices on the new hub; they can be manually removed).

Okay so it sounds like I should just go all in on the C-7.

Worst case if I need to restore the C-5, will I just need to turn the C-7 off, plug the C-5 and re-pair all of the Zigbee devices? Or what other Z-wave magic will I need to do?

Sounds like it should work to me! (Just make sure to not reset the C-5 Z-Wave radio until you're confident you won't need it, assuming you want to be able to jump back without needing a backup.)

I'd also suggest doing some steps that are in the C-8 document but really applicable to any model of hub, notably, the steps for LAN and cloud integrations (including the Hubitat mobile app if you use it).

Awesome, thanks for your help! After I get everything setup on the C-7, should I consider moving all of my Zigbee light bulbs to the C-5? I was reading in the How to build a solid Zigbee mesh that lightbulbs are bad because they try to act like repeaters.

What kind of bulbs are they? Some, like Sengled, don't repeat and aren't subject to this issue. Some, like at least a few models from a few brands, are known to be problematic because Hubitat staff watched traffic with a network sniffer and saw things that were supposed to be repeated disappear before their own eyes. Anecdotally, many community members seem to have better luck with newer bulbs (most/all Zigbee 3.0, though I don't think the specific profile is what matters, even though most of the problematic ones are also ZLL). However, I am not aware of anyone having objectively tested them in this way.

So, it's unlikely to hurt (unless you end up with two weak Zigbee meshes as a result), but it might not help unless your bulbs were problematic. If you didn't notice problems before, it's possible yours are good.

I will have to lookup their exact model when I get home. They were "older" when I got them back in 2019 from the Sylvania Lightify Recessed and Sylvania Lightify A19 model line. If I remember correctly, I did have some issues with them not liking rule machine telling them what brightness to be (like they just wouldn't visibly turn on even though the device page showed that they turned on correctly) when activated via a motion sensor...but I either resolved or found a way around that years ago and haven't modified anything with them since then. Just moved into a new house though so some of my rules might change but so far the old ones have adopted well.

That's normally not a good sign. :smiley: (I think. I can't remember if ones labeled Osram and/or Lightify -- they've changed naming a few times, it seems -- were better or worse. but I know at least one was on "the list.")

One thing I'd check for that is to make sure any "prestaging" options are turned off in the driver (on the device detail page). It is by default, but some seem to have enabled it out of curiosity and wound up with these problems.

It's also possible the bulbs were simply missing the command, which could be one of these problems (though often it's other devices missing commands the bulbs were supposed to route to them).

Yeah, I think they might be on the list...though at the time I got them for like $5 a pop and the recessed were full color so I couldn't resist all the fun things I could do with them. Hopefully they remain working as well as they are now...

So the logs would show the motion trip the rule like it was supposed to, the rule running, the bulb responding, turning on and setting its temp and brightness. But the bulb wouldn't do anything visibly. Except then the rule was set to turn off when motion went back to I'd watch it go inactive and the light would INSTANTLY be on and fade off following the rule's design...It was strange and I don't remember how I fixed it...I think it was something dumb though like the brightness had to be within a certain % threshold.