I completely disagree with the practice of pairing any ZigBee devices next to the hub and then moving it to it's install location. As @mike.maxwell has mentioned at least a few times, ZigBee devices should be paired in situ, so that they establish the network route they will be using from the start.
I also disagree that Xiaomi / Aqara devices aren't able to change their mesh routing on their own. I've watched it happen using one of my XBee devices. Stubborn to change in some cases, yes, but not all the time. Again, they should be paired at their intended install location, like all ZigBee devices.
Under normal circumstances, the user has no control over what nearby repeater a ZigBee end device will choose to route through, and without the use of an XBee (or ZigBee sniffer), there's no way to confirm the routing of an end device.
With apologies for repeating what I just posted over on the Xiaomi / Aqara device driver thread, I also want to add:
The main goal for the harmonious existence of Xiaomi / Aqara devices on your Hubitat's ecosystem is to ensure they do not route through "incompatible" ZigBee repeater devices. When I say "incompatible" repeaters, it's not always just because they get "impatient" waiting for Xiaomi / Aqara devices to check in. I have witnessed and read about a host of other issues such as difficulty during pairing, devices never getting past the initialization stage of pairing, and also messages not being sent through to the hub.
If you want to make sure there's no way your Xiaomi / Aqara devices will connect through an incompatible repeater, there are three methods:
- Don't use any incompatible repeaters at all.
- Make sure incompatible repeaters are distant enough that Xiaomi / Aqara devices don't route through them. Only an XBee or ZigBee sniffer can help verify this.
- "Sandbox" your Xiaomi / Aqara devices on a different hub (e.g., a second Hubitat, or another home automation solution that works with Xiaomi / Aqara devices - but preferably not a SmartThings hub because too much functionality can be lost)
Therein lies the rub. Lumi/Xiaomi have made it clear they want to enter the U.S. home automation market, and these new ZigBee 3.0 compliant devices are likely part of the plan. This means selling through "normal" channels (i.e., not through Banggood, etc. with super-cheap direct-shipping of "ePacks" from China that take advantage of the Chinese-US Postal agreement that is soon to end). That will raise costs. And selling to wealthier Americans / Europeans? Of course it would be in their best interest to raise prices!
But time will tell...