Not all bulbs are created equal

Just another little fyi out there. I know how exciting it can be to do the quick automation. I'm going to save you some tinkering time and reiterate that bulbs are great, but only use them where you need them. Bulbs make awful repeaters. I now use non repeating bulbs and I'll link to my story to say why. TWO WEEKS of hell. Is why. This is my story:

Now there are ways to use your unfriendly devices in a safe way. :grin:
Add them to a separate hub. There are several options, and one of them is to wait for a sale and add a second hubitat to your environment. It's not always a bad idea to separate your troubled devices and cloud services to their own hub and keep them connected with hubconnect. It's an amazing add-on that creates peace and harmony within your environment.

So, obviously, there are other devices that are going to give you troubles. My suggestion is to search here where that magnifying glass is. You'll find a ton of usefull information. It's so important that you know what you're getting yourself into BEFORE buying that cheap bulb or knockoff sensor.


I'd add to @april.brandt 's last comment and say that I have always taken the approach of starting small whenever I move into a different aspect of my smart home, whether that be buying smart bulbs for the first time, or new types of sensors, perhaps a different brand's products, etc. Buy a couple and try them out, make sure they will integrate with other parts of your home and do what you need them to do, then look to introduce more once you are happy with the results. You may even find a different way of achieving what you wanted to do in the first place and save yourself some money along the way.


I only feel that your response justifies the appropriateness of the following link. :grin:


That does remind me that I literally have an example of that sitting next to me, 4 of what read as smart plugs with energy monitoring which apparently do not have that function. Didn't follow my own advice and bought 4 at once. I should add to that post...

Basically, not all smart plugs are equal either...:grin:


Ain’t that the truth! You get what you pay for sometimes. I found that out the hard way with peanut plugs. A couple didn’t seem to help at all, so I added more. Still would have bulbs dropping off the mesh, so I added a couple Samsung plugs and things were suddenly much better, but stll had some bulbs dropping. I bought a second hub and moved all of my non-bulbs to it and added more Samsung plugs but still had issues with bulbs that were now on their own hub with just bulbs and peanuts. Removed all Peanuts and placed in drawer of shame and added a few GE zigbee in-wall dimmers. No issues since.


What are the best Zigbee repeaters?

There are several. When you're looking around for the deals, do a search here, or ask about them and you'll get answers. I can say, stay away from peanuts. If you can find the iris plugs, they're pretty good, but I'm not an advocate of the z-wave connection they provide. Really, there are a lot of good repeaters out there as long as you stay away from bulbs.

What do you mean by peanuts? Any other recommendations other than the iris plugs?

Peanut is a plug that causes questionable issues with zigbee mesh. anything powered should repeat. Like plugs and outlets. It's just using what works for you. If your environment is young, then maybe get a couple of plugs that you can move as your environment grows.

Would this be a good repeater?

those just came out a couple of days ago. So, I'm not sure. Haven't heard.

Ikea Tradfri seem to be pretty good repeaters. At least in my experience.
Just note that 1 repeater will NOT improve your mesh.
The goal is to create multiple path ways for the Zigbee radio signals. :blush:

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Thanks all for the helpful replies. Are a couple repeaters per floor in an average sized home good enough?


Following up on Nic's suggestion, these are what he is referring to:

Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlet

Ikea Tradfri Signal Repeater

Both devices are good zigbee repeaters.

I have eleven of them (put together) supporting a zigbee network with about 40 end-devices (sensors and Sengled bulbs)

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Tough to answer. One of my zigbee networks has all non-standard devices (Xiaomi Aqara). I find that having a ratio of one repeater per 5-6 Aqara devices has kept them online and working well.

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Do you have the Ikea plugs/repeaters? Have you faced any disconnection/performance issues with the Aqara sensors?


Largely. no. However, the Tradfri devices are the ONLY zigbee repeaters on that network. All my Aqara-incompatible zigbee repeaters are on a separate zigbee network (I have two Hubitats).

Edit: Also - as I said, I have 11 of the Tradfri outlets & repeaters in total (that's a lot).

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Very hard to answer with any certainty as there are many variables.
House construction, hub location ( central or in attic/ basement), radio interference and devices being used.
If your hub is central then I’d certainly start with 2 -3 repeaters per floor and anticipate adding more as required.

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I’ve avoided those Aqara sensors due to other users experiencing constant ongoing issues.
To me they just did not seem to be value for money compared to Samsung sensors which work great, are only slightly more expensive and do not require hours and hours of troubleshooting. YMMV of course.



This is a very valid point. I have drawerful of Iris v3 sensors to use if my Xiaomi devices ever crap out.

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