Why so few Zigbee Switch users?

Based on several posts in recent threads, it looks like most folks are using Lutron or various Z-Wave switches for lighting. Are there any good options for zigbee switches? I've seen that Jasco/enbrighten is an option, but most of what I've seen discussed here are the Jasco/GE/Z-Wave flavor.

And to be clear, I've no experience with either. Again, from the reading I've done in this community, many folks here feel zigbee is a more reliable network, but don't seem to use switches based on that system. As I plan my path forward, I'd like to focus my time and money on building one solid mesh (zigbee) and not two (zigbee and z-wave).

As a side note, does anyone have a recommendation of a good site to shop for these kind of things? The sheer number of choices on sites like Amazon are a bit overwhelming for someone just getting started. I would prefer a smaller vendor with a smaller selection of quality products.

Personally I try to choose Zwave since it’s not sharing frequency with 2.4Ghz WiFi and the signal will travel farther. That’s my main reason.


If you are in the US, both inovelli and Zooz are great home town / small company solutions.

If in Canada like myself, only inovelli will ship to Canada. For Zooz you have to go via Amazon and none of the sales are reflected.

And zwave vs zigbee is a huge ongoing debate. Myself, if it’s wired in a wall, I am zwave. If it’s a plug-in or battery, then zigbee. I have a couple exceptions like the inovelli 4in1 sensor that I am using for outside lux is zwave and my wired in Hampton bay fan controllers are zigbee, but in these cases I purchased for the function, not the radio

1 Like

I don’t believe either of those brands sell zigbee devices. I know zooz doesn’t.

1 Like

Sorry I thought it was a general question of where to buy devices. Yes both make zwave only I believe. Could be wrong about inovelli, they may have some zigbee. Dunno.


I think this is pretty much the answer to your other question: there aren't a lot of these, at least not in the US. The GE/Jasco you mentioned are one of few I know, plus a few "cheap" brands like Xiaomi that I'm not really sure are even intended for the US market. There are also a few in-wall modules (RGBGenie and...not sure there's a lot else in this space either), but that style just doesn't seem to be as popular in this community as full-blown switches/dimmers.

Inovelli has mentioned that they were planning on offering Zigbee analogs of their current Z-Wave switch/dimmer lineup. I think the pandemic and other factors may have delayed those plans, but if they end up doing so, my guess is that those will be good and reasonably featured. Unlike many Z-Wave switches on the market right now, I'm not aware of any Zigbee "scene" (like Z-Wave Central Scene) switches that support mulit-taps, much less cool features like the HomeSeer or Inovelli indicator/notification LEDs. Many of these are even cheaper, Z-Wave or Zigbee, than the less-featured alternative.

Oh, and if you're looking for smaller business to buy from instead of Amazon, I'd suggest RGBGenie (Zigbee and Z-Wave), Inovelli (currently only Z-Wave), or The Smartest House (Zooz's house store, though they also sell a lot of other brands; all Z-Wave). All are pretty active on these forums, too!


I have 50+ GE/Jasco Z-wave switches which I have accumulated over the last 7 years with a 50/50 mix between zwave and zwave plus. I have experienced a 15% failure rate with these so as they fail I have been replacing them with enbrighten zigbee switches. They seem like they are a lot more stable and I haven’t had one fail yet.


Thanks for the recommendations @steve.maddigan , even if they are Z-Wave. I have a detached shop/garage that I'm sure would benefit from the added range of the 900 MHz frequency. And thanks to you and @tivomaniac for the insights on why you might choose one technology over the other. Definitely helping shed light on the subject.

@Vettester, I'm glad to hear someone is using those products and found them to be acceptable. At $30+ per unit, I hate thinking that I'm part of some company's R&D team. I want to spend my time and money on products that just work.

1 Like

I have 4 Inle Zigbee single pole light switches installed and they are working fine. I got them on sale from Amazon, and so far so good.

I started out with around 10 GE z-wave plus dimmers and switches. I then got an amazing deal on 10 GE Zigbee dimmers and switches at Lowes a while back when they were clearancing their HA inventory. I couldn't believe how much more responsive the zigbee switches were, and have slowly relegated the z-wave plus to only outdoor lighting.


Inovelli has Zigbee on the long term road map but it's all Zwave currently.

1 Like

The answer is complicated. If all my home automation devices were switches, I'd use Z-Wave Plus exclusively. As it operates at under 1 GHz frequency, it is better suited for penetrating building materials, and it also has no issues interfering with wi-fi.

But it isn't that simple. Battery devices such as contact and motion sensors tend to be Zigbee, and you have to think about supporting that mesh too with powered devices that repeat. So I went back and replaced some Z-Wave Plus switches with Zigbee in strategic locations.


That is the original reason I bought the GE zigbee switches; supporting the mesh in a couple areas, because I wanted to add more motion sensors. After I replaced them, I saw that my motion lighting automations were quite noticeably faster.

There just are not a lot of options and the feature set it limited for those that do exist. Sinope are very good quality and supported by HE, but their features are pretty basic.

FWIW, I have 2 of the Honeywell/GE/Jasco Zigbee switches, bought specifically because I wanted Zigbee repeaters near my Hampton Bay Fan Controllers.

They work fine, but, I think they feel inferior to Zooz or Innovelli, or even the Jasco newer Enbrighten models.

Now that Jasco is offering Zigbee in wall outlets, I expect that i will continue to have a mostly Zwave+ mesh for light switches (and thus Zwave repeaters) augmented by a Zigbee mesh for sensors and buttons which uses primarily Zigbee in-wall outlets as repeaters.


I agree that Z-Wave's lower frequency makes it better to penetrate the building materials. At 2.4 GHz and ZigBee you are looking at double the dB loss compared to 900 MHz of Z-Wave with some material types:

Material Type 900 MHz Drop 2 GHz Drop
1/2" Drywall 2.03 dB 2.43 dB
Venetian Plaster 7.91 dB 16.22 dB
6" Concrete Wall 10.11 dB 19.41 dB
Glass Window 4.35 dB 4.38 dB
1/4" Fiberglass 1.62 dB 1.90 dB
Low Emission Glass Window 33.8 dB 33.8 dB
Brick 7.57 dB 14.66 dB
Solid Wooden Door 6.11 dB 12.33 dB
Hollow Wood Door 5.39 dB 10.11 dB
1/2" OSB Plywood 3.27 dB 4.91 dB
1/2" Solid Pine 2.01 dB 5.05 dB
1/2" Solid Oak 4.68 dB 6.11 dB

I've gone pretty much all zigbee at this point.
This wasn't due to any specific issues with zwave other than lacking group messaging support.
There's over 150 zigbee bulbs, dimmers and switches here, it's nice being able to send one command to the lot of them, or subset groups.
I've also taken to use level prestaging to manage brightness settings through out the day.

1 Like

My recollection is that at one point of time you had in-box relays with Picos in front of them. Still the same setup, except with zigbee relays?

yup, this is correct...

1 Like

That sounds great in theory..but in reality for most of us it's not a problem. I have three access points in mesh running 2.4 and 5Ghz SSIDs. I've switched as much as I can to zigbee at this point and have been rock solid. Most of what's left for me is zwave in wall switches. I use the IRIS outlets which are absolutely amazing repeaters for zigbee. So there goes your penetration problem. If there were more zigbee switches this would be even less of an issue. I also was an early adopter to the XBees, which allowed me to see very easily into my zigbee network and what was repeating to what. They also make excellent repeaters and for very little $$.

The Lutron switches were my substitution for lack of zigbee in wall switches. I have about 10 wall switches left that aren't a priority because they are working. Eventually those will be lutron also.

Xbee info:

1 Like