Please share some Zigbee clue? ... Zigbee lockup, reset required, etc

As Hubitat is my 4th Z-wave capable hub I've fought Z-Wave issues many times before. I can spot, diagnose, and fix most of those pretty quick.

Hubitat staff clearly prefer Zigbee... and Mike gave some serious love to the RGBgenie color controls. So we got one to try it out. But we're still seeing the kind of confusing inconsistency that seems to always plague Zigbee in our urban 2.4ghz-super-polluted environment.

Namely, this control sits 7-8 feet away from the Hubitat C5 in the same room. This should be ideal connectivity, right? But when we use it every 4th or 5th tap just doesn't happen. And if we use it more than 2-3 minutes at some point it just stops responding. After a lot of testing, I found that I can pull the battery and pop it back in and it instantly starts working again. Swapped this with a friend who has zero Zigbee problems, and my controller worked perfectly for him and his worked equally bad at my house. So it's clearly the environment and not the controller.

So if this was Z-Wave I'd be looking for a bad relay, and mesh routing changes which cause the connectivity loss. Even without scanning for mesh routing changes, I could power off stuff until it worked, or power everything off and then power them on one at a time until I got the failure. Lose an hour once, solved forever.

So Zigbee fans... what can be done here to isolate the failure?

The only Zigbee devices in my house are 15-ish hardwired Lightify BR30 RGB bulbs, 3 gardenspots, an Iris motion sensor, and an Iris 3210 plug. None of them are farther than 15 feet from the hub because Zigbee just doesn't work at any farther length here (probably due to 2.4ghz pollution)

I'm already tried pulling the Iris plug and gardenspots because those are easy. I've even turned off the 2.4ghz radio on my wifi routers to eliminate local contention. Zero impact on performance or consistency.

What else can I do? Turning off the BR30s downspots is pretty much every light in two rooms and can only be done at the breaker :frowning:

Terrible repeaters. You should have them on a separate Zigbee network. And it doesn't matter how close a device is to your hub, with that many repeaters, it is not going to directly connect to the hub. It's going to use a repeater to allow more repeaters a direct connection to the hub. Try turning the power off (or just partially unscrew) the lightify and see if you have the same problem.

You can also just partially unscrew them from the socket until they turn off.

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Older generations had issues. I got the newer generation, confirmed in both serial and FCC-ID and and even ran mine through tests to validate forwarding. If you know of issues with the newer generation, please be specific.

How would adding another radio that increases the 2.4ghz congestion improve performance... exactly?

P.S. when I was debugging issues with the gardenspots I did power off the breakers for all the BR30s and it changed nothing about the problem. I'll try the same tomorrow for the RGBgenie.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. These are recessed hardwired fixtures. There is nothing to unscrew. If the light ever fails, the entire fixture must be replaced.

What he means is that almost all light bulbs are perfect repeaters, just only for ZLL (which is a subset of the Zigbee protocol used for lighting only) so if the rgbgenie uses anything outside the scope of ZLL the bulb won't repeat it properly. But the bulbs will present themselves to the mesh as repeater and therefore the rgbgenie is likely to use that route.

The advise is to create a secondary mesh only for ZLL devices (mostly bulbs). The pollution and interference of 2.4ghz band can be managed by analyzing the channels of wifi and choose the two zigbee meshes around that. If you Google on "wifi zigbee channels" images you get multiple diagrams explaining where every channel sits within the total band.

For instance my WiFi is on channel 6. My ZLL network (Philips Hue Bridge) is on channel 25 and my HE zigbee mesh is on channel 15. I tend to stay clear of zigbee channel 11 and wifi channel 1 because (in the Netherlands) those are used quiet a lot by default and are therefore quiet polluted.


That always adds complications.. But repeaters repeaters repeaters.. The goal being .. Make your signal louder than your neighbors.. :smiling_imp:

I always say.. Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has them... A large percentage of the vocal members of this forum, not just staff, prefers zigbee.. I prefer Z-Wave...

In theory... But theory and real world when it comes to RF are 2 completely different things... With a spectrum analyzer I could tell you for sure.. One thing I might look at is what channel your zigbee radio is configured for..

That was a good test.. There are some things that operate in 2.4Ghz that are horrible for wifi and zigbee alike.. Some cordless phones, leaky microwave ovens, wireless analog video transmitters that operate in 2.4ghz, baby monitors (2.4ghz).. Etc..

Ouch.. Those are zigbee mesh killers... I actually have lightify on a separate hubitat hub on a different zigbee channel... They work great as long as they are just repeating for other bulbs..

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Then they can't possibly be BR30 light bulbs. Light bulbs screw into a socket. So, why don't we try this again. What EXACTLY are the lights you are referring to?

Could be talking about the recessed kits..

Or could be talking about the recessed cans themselves with BR30 bulbs in them.. I automatically make allowances for miscommunication of technical terms..

Either way.. Problem is the same..

Mesh killers need to be on their own mesh..

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I prefer Z-Wave too but honestly it's because I've learned enough that it's not a mystery to me, and I've been able to solve all my Z-Wave problems. The reason for creating this thread is to hopefully become less ignorant about Zigbee.

Yeah I've been down that road a few times. Seems like every time a new renter moves into one of the apartments nearby I have to borrow expensive analyzers from work and find a new channel :frowning:

In this case I'm curious about the Zigbee lockup -- battery reset instantly solves it. That's a very different situation from most Z-Wave problems.

Yup, and we have none of those except a microwave, and I carefully selected our microwave based on FCC reports and feedback from the wifi pros at work. We do have 30 feet and several walls between this and the nearest other unit so I would hope that this would be enough to shield us from their bad toys.

That's not out of the question. If an $80 hub does solve all the problems it's worth it for me. But it's hard to grasp why adding all of the following is an improvement:

  • Yet another 2.4ghz radio / conflict
  • A huge piece of code that appears to be fast evolving / not-stable for hub->hub sync

As these lights are only possible to be controlled via smart hub, a significant portion of keep the wife happy involves not breaking things like lights. She puts up with a lot, breaking this would likely cross that line.

Normally I would agree with you.. But they advertise themselves as repeaters.. But do so very badly with anything other than other bulbs

For the love of god, would you just once do a google search before coming up with one of these accusations? Try googling recessed lighting :man_facepalming:

As I told you in private chat, you'd be a lot less hostile if you made it a question.

I've never heard of a light that didn't screw in. What is this?

...and then I could reply and this would be helpful to everyone rather than a conflict that turns people away.

I really didn't want to do this because I truly see value in your knowledge, but I'm exhausted by your inability to stop attacking and insulting me. Please do exactly what you promised, and stop responding to my threads. I'm looking for knowledge sharing and growth, not insults and attacks.


The older, pre-SMART+ versions had issues. Everyone who reported the technical details on the older issues does list the new versions (which I confirmed I had before I installed them) as not being subject to that problem. I try to avoid blacklisting entire brands for problems which have been fixed.

Everything is code that evolves. I don't judge Hubitat on it's 2018 features or bugs, or even 2019 when I bought it. I judge Hubitat based on what their team will fix and improve today :wink:

That being said, I'm not blind and I do believe in testing. I'm going to power them off today and test this Zigbee controller without them available for relays.

Possibly.. Hadn’t heard that.. If that is true then you can ignore my suggestion

BR30 Bulbs.

Correct or not?

I am doing no such thing. How have I insulted you? I have said nothing at all about you. You stated that you had BR30 bulbs but then you said that your lights were permanently wired. So, which is it? We can only help you if the information you give us is accurate.

I am exhausted by you inability to listen when someone doesn't tell you what you want to hear. You've done it with me and you've done it with Mike.


I'm going to quote you in reverse to deal with the simplest closures up front and leave the ongoing question at the end.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm quite familiar with the channels and mapping, and how Zigbee channels are completely different numbers yet still overlapping with wifi 2.4 channels. In my experience, none of the wifi mapping tools available from routers/phones/etc are effective for finding safe zigbee channels. I have to borrow a $5k unit from work to get a good result. I'm lucky to have that option, but we're under pandemic lockdown so this isn't possible for me anytime in the next month.

I think this is what makes me question why everyone loves Zigbee. Okay, so to run a stable Zigbee network I must buy multiple hubs and run complex, unsupported, fast-evolving code to sync these together... and where the answer from Hubitat on any problem related or not will be to disable this hub sync and lose control of the lights. (Note that Hubitat staff have all admitted that they run code they've never released for hub->hub sync, not HubConnect)

And now for the actual diagnostics :wink: ...

So there's some questions I have with this diagnosis:

  • The controller does work for a period of time, so clearly the commands are getting through

  • There's no specific command being sent which doesn't get through. I can keep hitting the same commands back and forth and eventually it stops working.

  • I have an Iris motion sensor which is too far away to reach the hub without a repeater so I know for a fact it's being repeated by these lights (tested on/off to confirm) and it has zero problems with Zigbee communication.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but the symptoms don't appear on their face to match the diagnosis.

Either way, turning off the lights will prove this right or wrong, no?

The information I gave you was 100% accurate. There's a picture at the link I sent. It's a hardwired BR30 bulb. It has no socket (other than an adapter you can use for testing a bulb separately, which is removed when installed).

I came here asking for information I didn't have. You've provided no information, only constant attacks saying I'm wrong. Like arguing with me about bulbs. Dude, use google or walk to home depot and ask a few questions, seriously.

You can provide information without constantly attacking and insulting people. You should give it a try sometime. It would be a huge benefit to everyone here.

I initially had many zigbee problems when I had a bunch of lightify (sylvania) bulbs .. I went through and purged them all out and replaced with z-wave and my zigbee network started to perform as it should..

Recently though I found some sylvania fixtures at pricing that I couldn't pass up.. With my past experience with these devices, I decided to not chance it and ordered another hub to put them on..

If the bulbs were the only repeaters available in the system, the switch may have issues connecting to the hub when the bulbs have been turned off. If you have other repeating devices scattered throughout, having the bulbs off would be a reasonable test.

I'm sitting in the same room with the hub, the hub and the rgbgenie have line of sight 6-7 foot range connectivity.

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I went back and reread your first post after I posted and saw that. You should be good.