Iris vs HE range

With Iris, my V2 button will control an outlet in the bedroom about 35' away. With HE, the button loses connection when line of sight is lost at about 20'. A contact sensor that works perfectly is at 15' and in between the button and hub.

Does Iris have more range or are my multiple plugs and sensors meshing to extend the range?

Is the Iris radio interfering with the HE?

I have thick, solid wood walls but Iris works fine. Will HE range improve as more zigbee devics are added?

Well, your contact sensor is not a repeater. Only AC powered devices are repeaters. So, if you have repeaters on your Iris hub but not yet on HE, that could explain why one is working better than the other.

Any AC powered zigbee devices connected to your hub will definitely be acting as repeaters. Take my mesh for example...when the Iris Zigbee outlets with z-wave repeaters were on 65% off sale I picked up 5 of them. Now, when I look at my mesh with my Xbee (there's a thread on that if you're interested), I can see that NONE of my devices are connected directly to my hub. They all go through at least one repeater. That's because they've figured out that's what's best for them.

They could definitely be interfering with each other, if they are on the same channel. I don't know how you do it with Iris but you can find out what zigbee channel you are on from the zigbee settings menu on the HE web interface. It's not that the range will increase...your mesh will get stronger. You're really in a pickle here, if you do what's best for your mesh in HE, you will most likely lose your Iris mesh and things will stop working over there. Depending on how many devices you have, you might just want to bite the bullet and move them all over a weekend, like I did.

Start with those devices closest to your hub first and start with AC powered ones first. After joining a bunch, let your mesh "heal" for a while by just not adding any more for a couple hour or so, then join some more. Some people have said you should stop at 10 devices at a time some say you could do as many as 20. It all depends on how many you have and what exactly they are.


I'm hoping it's just the lack of repeaters at this point. I currently have 2 contact sensors in my garage without a repeater there, and they work fine on the Iris hub. I'll try a sensor in the garge on the Hubitat tonight and see if it works through the wood and brick wall like the Iris does. If it does not, then I will have to assume the HE radio is much weaker. I am ordering some ZigBee plugs today, so we'll see how much those help. I shouldn't have to put a repeater on the opposite side of the wall where the hub is located.

I will say that the pairing process and response times for the devices is impressive so far. I remain a bit leery on the range, though. Stay tuned.

If the new hub is on a new Zigbee channel, it's also worth checking whether you might have an interference problem with WiFi - there is overlap in the frequencies used.

I changed ZigBee from channel 20 to 25 with no improvement. I'll unplug the Iris tonight to make sure it's not interfering. I may also move the HE away from the router.

I never found out the reason but when I first installed Hubitat, it chose channel 25 (I think) for Zigbee. SmartThings was on Zigbee 14. The first couple of devices I moved over didn't seem to work very well. I switched Hubitat to channel 20 and the situation improved greatly. I kept it on 20 and eventually shut down the SmartThings hub and my Zigbee stuff has been pretty solid since. I only have 19 Zigbee devices.

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I switched to 25 because I saw where one of the staff suggested it in another post.....said that channel was less susceptible to wi-fi interference.

Button and fob both connect and work well until I turn the corner to the bedroom. They don't drop out at all and perform reliably until the "point of no return". I'll report back on tonight's trials. Thanks for your input.

You'll wanna stay aea from 25. Something like 20 is gooing to work better.

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If you haven't seen this:

Check it out.

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My setup is pretty much all Zigbee (100+ Zigbee devices versus ~6 Z-Wave devices), I can tell you first hand that channel 25 for Zigbee is a bad idea. The lower you can go in Zigbee channel selection and the higher you can go in Wifi 2.4ghz channel selection, the better off you will be. I currently have my WiFi 2.4ghz channel set to 11 and my HE Zigbee channel set to 14. My Hue hub, also Zigbee, is on channel 20. My farthest run device is a bulb that is 75' from my HE hub through 2 interior walls and 1 exterior wall. I have two smart plugs acting as repeaters in between the bulb and the hub and that bulb responds quickly and without fail.

One thing I will add is that Zigbee is a protocol that takes patience. The more devices you have, the longer it takes the mesh and routes to heal. So, when you change the Zigbee channel on your hub, bank on waiting about 12-24 hours (for a small amount of devices) before really testing. On my network, it typically takes ~36-48 hours for my mesh to fully heal when adding, deleting, or moving devices.

Just something to keep in mind.

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I agree. Many devices do not like the higher numbered Zigbee channels. 20 is the sweet spot for my home, especially with some older SmartThings Zigbee devices. YMMV, of course.

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Another +1 for this. I could not get my ST branded acceleration sensors to pair on 25. A couple people on the forum here recommended no higher than 20, so I changed to 20 and the ST sensors paired immediately.

That all being said, I had no problems with my Iris contact sensors on 25 before the change. Only changed due to ST sensors not pairing.

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I'll change back to 20 tonight. I have some ST multi-sensors on order, so that will eliminate a problem before it occurs. I'm more than happy to learn from the mistakes of others!!!!!!! Thanks for all of the input.


ST multisensor works at the far corner of the house in basement and on main floor. Iris button and fob both drop. It's either weak signals from them due to design or battery. I'll try new batteries in them.

Plugs here tomorrow. Will see how much a repeater will help. Learning something every day.