Questions on improving reliability

I have a question.

I have about 20 zibgee devices in my mesh.

Real basic automations like on and dusk and off at dawn and a couple motion sensors.

I do see some reliability problems with some of the lights... for example, at dusk, maybe 9 of them come on but one stays off for some reason... this might happen every 10th day.

So overall... not horrible... but nagging.

What do you think? Is there something simple I can do to verify that all the desired units came on and if not, turn them on again or something?

Thanks for any thoughts!!!

I made a RM to check the state of the group master and if any of the members don't match, to set them again. You need one for off as well. A pair of these for each group.


The first thing that comes to mind is what devices do you have on your mesh? What kind of light bulbs are you using? How many repeating devices do you have (mains powered or plugin type devices like outlets or switches)?

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Sounds like a weak mesh to me

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That's where I was going with it as well.

How does one determine if there is a weak mesh?

The one particular light that often has an issue is about 15 feet from the hubitat. I have mostly peanut plugs and a few GE switches here are there.

A weak mesh means that your Zigbee (or Z-Wave) network isn't routing messages well and/or dropping messages. This is usually caused by having not enough repeaters OR having something attached to the hub that isn't a good repeater (Hue bulbs, OSRAM Lightify bulbs, GE Link bulbs, etc). It can also be caused by the Zigbee channel receiving interference from a noisy 2.4ghz WiFi network. An old microwave can cause massive interference.

Peanuts are usually good Zigbee repeaters and while GE does make Zigbee switches, most people usually have the Z-Wave version. If that's your case, then the only thing that is repeating is the Peanut plugs on the Zigbee mesh.

That's why I was asking what kind of bulb is it. That's usually the first suspect.

Hello and THANKS! It is just an LED bulb on a GE Zibgee switch. It is just a couple feet form the hubitat and a couple fee the other way from two Quotra dimmer switches (wired in-wall) and about 40 feet from the first peanut.

Maybe I can put another peanut in that area for good measure and see what happens... but the price of them went up... which irritates me :slight_smile:

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Try the Ikea plugs..

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Ahhhh, ok, so not a smart bulb at all? That helps! So, we can pretty much narrow it down to the switch then. Personally, I'd get either an Ikea plug or a SmartThings 2018 plug. Both are EXCELLENT repeaters.

How old is the GE switch? I've found that mine typically went south after about 3 years. Not every one of them, but enough to get me away from GE/Jasco switches.

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Good suggestions @erktrek and @corerootedxb. I agree with that another repeater (IKEA being a good buy) will probably help. At 40 feet, the dimmer is at the fringes. Some devices don't go quite that far and if they're radio is developing issues and/or there's interference, that can worsen the problem.

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Is there a way to turn off the repeater feature for a device "that isn't a good repeater (Hue bulbs, OSRAM Lightify bulbs, GE Link bulbs, etc)." ?

Nope. Repeating is either a do or do not concept. Your best choice is to avoid devices (or place them in a configuration) where they either can't repeat or are overpowered, so to speak, by better repeaters.

For instance, Hue bulbs are great repeaters... when attached to a Hue hub. When attached to anything else, they can wreak havoc on a Zigbee mesh. OSRAM Lightify bulbs are horrible repeaters in any circumstance because of their tiny buffers and they can get overwhelmed quickly.

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People here usually recommend Sengled bulbs because (I think) they do not repeat.

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Yup. Sengleds are the only bulbs out there that I know of that specifically do not repeat (by design).

[Edit]: Ikea Tradfri bulbs are also excellent repeaters for both ZHA and ZLL Zigbee meshes. They seem to perform equally well when attached to any hub (Hue, HE, ST, HA, etc). Currently I have a ton of them around the house, but they are paired to my Hue hub rather than directly to my HE hub.

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The only way is to have them on their own Zigbee network. Devices repeat for the network they're paired to and no others. If you put ALL Bulbs on a Hue hub, it has it's own PAN and whatever you attach directly to the Hubitat Hub will have a completely different PAN. The downside is of course, each Zigbee network needs to have their own repeaters.


Just reading this, the distances from the hub seem pretty modest - 15ft? Couldn't WiFi or other interference also be a potential cause?

  • Is your hub close to your wireless router or access point?

  • Is there anything else around (microwave, cordless phone etc) that could be interfering?

You could try changing the broadcast channel of your wireless router and the zigbee channel on your Hubitat Hub so they don't overlap.

This caused me endless problems with zigbee and smartthings (hence I chose a z-wave dominant system with only a few strategically placed zigbee wall switches to form a basic mesh but ensure coverage to the few lights and sensors I have on that mesh).

Even moving the hub 20 ft away wasn't helpful untiI I changed channels.

Wifi channels 2.4 MHz

Zigbee channels 11 - 26

With Hubitat is very easy to change channels from the factory default (under Zigbee settings). I believe it can take several hours for the change to be effected (during hub housekeeping activities I guess).

Worth a try before buying more repeaters?


@Linvale makes a good point.

One thing to note is that if you want to have the Zigbee channel update faster (and some say more reliably), is to turn on ALL Zigbee devices (lights, switches, outlets, etc) before you change the channel and leave them on for a few minutes. It's a ZLL profile feature that recently made it into the ZHA profile. It is supposed to allow Zigbee devices to update their local network topology faster.

However, note that when you are troubleshooting a mesh issue, this should be a last effort as it can destabilize your mesh while it is being rebuilt.

[Edit: Forgot to add the length of time to how long to leave the Zigbee devices on]

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I currently have 5 zigbee bulbs, and 1 Osram Zwave bulb on one of my Hubitats, and 3 zigbee bulbs (2 are sengled) and a Linear Zwave bulb on the other Hubitat . They don't seem to be causing any issues on my far.

Z-Wave and Zigbee are completely separate meshes. So, the bulbs that are Z-Wave won't interfere with the Zigbee bulbs.

As for your setup, I don't forsee any problems there. What brand are the Zigbee bulbs (just out of curiosity)? The Sengled bulbs are rock solid. I've got 4 of them so far and they work reliably every time.

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