Is Zigbee a Con? Overpriced?

I was about to order my first Zigbee devices but this morning I saw this guys opinion of Zigbee vs WiFi.

What does this community think?

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I watched the first minute.

  • zigbee yes uses the 2.4ghz (but it doesn’t route out to the internet to cloud control solutions)
  • zigbee can be found for used good devices on eBay (pack of 10 or more iris v2 motion sensors for anywhere between $60-$100)

And to finish this off. Zigbee is a mesh network where traditional wifi devices speak to one destination and its routed and communicated over tcp/ip.

And finally big players like control 4 solutions build their systems around zigbee.


Just clickbait.


This is the same guy that has no issues with using a Chinese automation platforms cloud services. I like his humor but his facts are questionable. He did have a good point on the Hue lighting products a few months ago.


ZigBee benefits from more devices on the mesh. It gets better and better as new devices are added. You can easily add hundreds of devices to your HE hub. WiFi, on the other hand, gets less and less reliable the more devices you have competing for bandwidth. It likely isn't a problem with a few devices but if you depend on the ISP supplied router, you will have issues much sooner.
WiFi devices are usually "app" controlled, which oftentimes means cloud-based. Wrestling control away from the cloud service when trying to control things locally is often frustrating. There certainly is a place for WiFi, but not for most things related to the smart home.

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That guy is either an idiot/doesn't understand the differences between wifi and zigbee, or he does know the difference and is just an a-hole trying to generate clicks.

Those are the only options I will accept as true. :wink:


Are they mutually exclusive or can both be true? I vote for both being true!


Let’s be fair, you can spread access points throughout your house via mesh. Grant you, you will be paying s lot more for access points to get more of enterprise solutions to do this.

At the end of the day, from my little experience. Go with zigbee and look for used equipment for dirt cheap.

That’s what I’ve done.

This type of content frustrates me. It is along the lines of advertising using language like "no hub required" and people believing it is some new magical technology.

Zigbee/Zwave is reasonabley priced but I do wait for deals and sales. Zwave plug for $4. Iris sensors for $4.60 each. Sylvania sensors for $6 each. ADT zigbee compactible water sensors at $10 a piece.

I started with cheap Chinese wifi devices. I have removed them all and replaced them. The cloud is awful and I didn't like sending China info or becoming part of their bot net.

Zigbee and zwave all the way!


While @mik3 makes a good point, a WiFi mesh and a Zigbee mesh have little in common really.

But otherwise I Agree!

I'm not a big fan of WiFi for smart home devices. About the only benefit is they are plentiful and relatively cheap. But almost all of them rely on custom apps or walled gardens.

But as usual in Home automation, YMMV.


to be frank, I have never had a reliable zigbee device, like ever!
I use ubiquiti WiFi mesh, LAN connected devices 99% reliable Zigbee takes up the other 1% a lot depends on, construction of your building, other band users (ZigBee is a very low power service) I think in a wood framed house with your nearest neighbour 75 Ft or more away, ZigBee would be great!
I fulfil none of those criteria!
2.4GHz band is a horrible soup of radio frequency energy!
I have thick brick walls, and ZigBee (and to a great degree Bluetooth) is completely unusable, the two ZigBee devices I still own, are no more than 5 feet away from the hub, and still fall off the hub.
with the three Ubiquti APs (the house BTW is only really tiny 2 up 2 Down) WiFi works a treat, especially the 5GHz band!
so for battery powered devices I use zWave (and to be frank they have been remarkably reliable, I use a few outlets as boosters too) for ALL my lights I use WiFi I never want to see another ZigBee bulb in the bedroom, EVER they just came on at random times in the middle of the night two or three times a week!
the last one (I used in a cupboard) was a lightify by Osram.. it died last week.. I won't miss it, or the 19 others none of them lasted a year
I haven't watched the video but my advice for what it is worth, is don't buy into a lot of anything, until you have had a few, working reliably for months!
and, think about the environment you live in!
love and peace

I prefer zigbee to wifi. My observation, being based in Asia and buying from AliExpress, Lazada, Shopee etc, is that there is now a profusion of cheap wifi devices from China....lights, switches, sockets, etc. There are very few zigbee devices in comparison and they are uniformly more expensive. I bought some Magic Home WiFi lamps for 10 bucks each and they are sh1t. No range at all. There is now an integration for Hubitat but its not perfect by any means. I bought some zigbee bulbs based on a recommendation on here. Twice as expensive, but twice as bright, and they never drop signal. I bought some WiFi sockets and switches and fitted them, with IFTTT integrations. They are also sh1t. Slow. Missed actions. I'm in the process of replacing them with zigbee devices I've just purchase (yeah from China so let's see how they perform). The best IoT devices I've bought so far is Hue (bullet proof), my other cheaper zigbee lights, Netgear Arlo, Aeotec siren, and the Xiaomi gear (temp sensors, cube controllers, smoke detector). All of these seem to work almost perfectly. The worst is the Chromecast beta integration (which drops regularly), the iris v2 sensors (also drop regularly) , and all the WiFi rubbish I've bought.

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This guy has good reviews overall and does dedicate a response video if was wrong. Great example is his review and re-review of Hubitat after many of us pointed out his inaccuracies.

Well I really think he is sponsored by Tasmota. The maker of control boards that power his devices. If he wants to risk using devices with unsecured MQTT or Chinese government approved MQTT with the back doors it's his choice. As before his video's are entertaining but his technical depth leads much to be desired.

Looks like an ad for the Ubiquity router IMHO. He also doesn't address the difference between the power consumption of wifi vs. zigbee devices.

Look at the pinned comment in the comments section:

TOTAL click-bait.


I can't argue with them being over priced, the radios are less expesive, they are one frequency worldwide, the protocol and clusters are more uniform, I don't get it...


I think the situation has gotten better. Ikea outlets are $10 in the US and Zigbee 3.0 certified. I think it is helping that Amazon has Zigbee available on some models of the Echo. Also saw Home Depot had a bulb and can light go through Zigbee certification so I think we are seeing more.

But there seems to be the allure to sell a crappy WiFi bulbs or outlets because it require no hub and people buy the idea. If all you want to do is turn on and off one bulb I guess a WiFi device does that but its going to be limiting.

Not only are the IC's low cost for Zigbee they often can also be used for Bluetooth so they should have decent volume making their use for Zigbee more attractive.

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And at least as far as the Sengled bulbs go...they are the same price for WiFi or Zigbee.

I wish I could get ZigBee to work... tried Hue, tried Lightify, tries ST with it's original accessories, tried Hive, all have been an unmitigated disaster!
I will take the increased power consumption of WiFi over the total innoperability of ZigBee! I have said before, my problem is a hairy great WiFi mast on top of a local telephone exchange it entirely swamps ZigBee WHERE I LIVE that is why I advocate trying a few before becoming heavily invested in a technology god knows how much I have lost in ZigBee bulbs!
to those who are having problems with the range of "Cheap Chinese" stuff, who do you imagine makes the Zigbee stuff?
if your range is that poor, I suggest looking into your WiFi as it won't be much use what it is intended for!
top and bottom, you are going to get stuff home, and try it!
at least zWave uses a (relatively) unused part of the spectrum whoever thought ZigBee would coexist with WiFi wants a slap! there are other ISM bands that would have been much better suited, the protocol is good, the band choice was terrible!
Love and peace

I think what many people object to is not the country of origin for the hardware itself, but rather that WiFi devices connect to servers in China.