ZigBee Green Power

i dont really see the benefit of this.. how much power can the radio really use in a device sending a message.. i understand for appliances etc.. but i cannot imagin there is much of a savings reducing the broadcast strength of your radio? Unless I am missing something..

There are some devices (e.g. wall switches) which have been created that use no power source at all (battery or wired) and the act of pressing the button creates enough power to send the zigbee green power radio message. These are unbelievable useful as they can be placed anywhere with no need to add additional wiring and no requirement to go around replacing batteries all the time - and as a bonus it’s probably a better environmental option. I do think this is something that should be included s in whatever the next revision of the hardware is.


We will more than likely do green power at some point, it's not been a high priority, while a novel concept most find the actuation force requirements to be quite high along with anything but quiet operation...

Green power isn't a Zigbee 3.0 spec item. Philips Hue has been supporting it for as long as they have had a bridge...

Think old school battery less barbecue lighters, it's almost that bad...

This 100% - and they feel and sound exactly like a piezoelectric lighter.

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I use these all around our house (using openhab as a bridge to get them connected) and honestly you’re making a mountain out of a molehill here. Yes they click. Really there is nothing more to say about it, it’s neither good nor bad… we never even think about it - I mean it’s a button on a wall that clicks as you press it.. nothing that crazy about it!


I guess I’ve been spoiled by silent Button controllers like Picos :smiley:


How many do you have? I used to have a battery powered option before I installed these - but with over 20 the house we were always having to change the batteries- such a ball ache. Now I never have to think about it these switches will just always work forever. It’s a much better solution. They are also super versatile if you want to do level change as you hold them then that’s supported etc etc - and they look amazing, like a professional HA install, rather than a small remote stuck on the wall.


Picos have a battery life of 10 years...


About 15 Picos. I’ve had some since 2013. Haven’t changed a battery yet.

FWIW, Picos don't look like that. They match (in looks and dimensions) Lutron Caseta switches (and Radio RA2 switches). So they can mounted as a wall switch, and when this is done - look like a switch.

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Fundamentally, this has nothing to do with saving power for a button, or designing buttons that "generate" power when operated. It's mostly about saving power for other devices. And the side effect is that this new standard is not radio-compatible with legacy Zigbee. As a result, they don't currently work with Hubitat and it's not something the community can solve because it's too low-level.

The buttons mentioned by the original poster are completely normal buttons with a coin battery (that lasts 2+ years). They contain a PCB with normal buttons on it, and they click no more or less than any other button you have operated.

And while Green Power isn't Zigbee 3.0 specific, the radio communication specs have been enrolled into the Zigbee 3.0 specifications (according to the Zigbee Alliance).

That's not the main issue. As I said: normal buttons and a coin battery can be used, as long as the specs are followed.

Being sufficiently power efficient (battery lifespan) is enough to get the Green Energy label. But this also requires using the updated radio specifications.

In my case the product is this one:

The full compliance document is here:

This has nothing to do with using "old school battery less barbecue lighters". If it did, the devices would not be as widespread as they are. And Philips would never allow the Hue brand to be tainted by them. These are perfectly normal devices with normal buttons, long battery life, and radio specs that don't currently play nice with Hubitat (but plays well with many other hubs and devices).

As I understand it, the specifications are these:

I am assuming that something in there, like encrypting the contents of data packets or supporting new attributes is preventing correct interaction with Hubitat.

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That doesn't seem to fit with the Green Power agenda described by the Zigbee Alliance; the standard was designed to permit smart devices that don't require batteries thereby eliminating battery changes (for example, the Phillips Hue Tap button is a Zigbee Green Power kinetic energy powered button that doesn't use a battery).

Certainly this doesn't rule out buttons that contain batteries, but that really isn't the point. Two-year battery life doesn't require a new standard-- It's not unusual for conventional (non-Green Power) Zigbee buttons to go that long without battery changes (even some of my Zigbee motion and contact sensor batteries last that long). Green Power devices can eliminate the battery (and battery waste) completely and are intended to be maintenance free.

They're strictly source nodes, unlike conventional Zigbee sleepy devices which receive and transmit-- they aren't required to periodically wake up and communicate with a parent router. They can remain completely unpowered until activated by a kinetic energy harvesting mechanism; the use of specialized, shorter data frames reduces the amount of energy required to transmit a message by factor of 5 or more. They do require a special proxy node (a function provided by the Hue bridge) that will tunnel these shorter frames within a conventional Zigbee frame format for transmission through an existing mesh. The 'sink' node (the hub) would need the ability to interpret the tunneled Green Power frames.

There's a good overview of the positioning of the Green Power standard here: https://zigbeealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Green-Power-White-Paper.pdf
More lower level detail here: https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/user-guide/JN-UG-3095.pdf

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I'm not sure where you are getting your information from but the switch you linked to is almost certainly batteryless it looks identical to the one inside the hue tap and other enocean / ZGP devices... and yes... this a good thing - having a home filled with battery devices is a total pain.

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Politely: I have it in front of me, I have taken it apart, and it absolutely contains a battery (specifically CR2430). Battery life is reported as minimum 8 years.

As the device is approved by the alliance and figures in their product database I am pretty confident that it's within specs.

As for where I get my information, the answer is simple: From the Zigbee Alliance home page and official specs. Links are in prior posts.

I suppose then there is a follow up question- why buy a battery powered version which you’ll have to replace some time when there are plenty of battery less zgp ones that you could get that don’t have the headache?

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The specifications I posted above are from the exact same download page that you pulled the whitepaper from. Yes, it's clear what the intentions with the standard are, but it's ALSO clear that devices with batteries are allowed if they comply with the efficiency requirements. And many (many) devices fit this description, including devices in the "Friends of Hue" category.

The core of the problem is the altered specifications on data transfer. I don't know much about Zigbee, but if this was regular Ethernet I'd call these Layer 2 changes. It is changes to data transfer control, payload encryption and packet attributes that are extensions to regular Zigbee. This layer is not available to the Hubitat community, so any future support depends on core developers picking this up.

As the standard is expanding in use, the problem increases. It is amplified by such devices simply being marketed as "Zigbee" when in fact they only work with "Zigbee Green Power" and "Zigbee 3.0". As far as I can tell, compliance with Zigbee Green Power is embedded into Zigbee 3.0.

As an observation, a lot of hubs and products do work with Zigbee Green Power, but not Hubitat (yet). If money is an issue sign me up as someone who'd be willing to pay for an upgrade. I realize most Hubitat customers are used to getting free upgrades, but I'd rather throw more money at the problem than start replacing my ecosystem with something else. Perhaps make payment voluntary so it doesn't anger the masses?

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Because these are the only ones that fit seamlessly into my existing electrical installation. They look and feel like the most common parts where I live. No other device does that. And with an 8+ year lifespan on the batteries, the presence of the battery was not a concern.

It's a moot point off course, because Hubitat doesn't support it. And I am not going to add complex services like Home Assistant or OpenHap along side Hubitat. I have tried such steps in the past and it eventually ends up being a house of cards that always collapses when my wife or kids need it the most and I am not at home. I don't want more battles in the family about "finicky IoT installations". :slight_smile:

I'll have to wait until Hubitat either implements the necessary Zigbee Green Power specifications, or the full Zigbee 3.0 specifications. Both would solve my problem, as Green Power data transfer requirements seems to be enrolled into Zigbee 3.0.

Ok well just for info in case they ever add it - here is what looks to me like the same spec switch - but without the need for a battery: Energy Harvesting Wireless Products in 2.4 GHz for Worldwide usage | EnOcean - Products | EnOcean

I think what we can conclude from all of this is that there are a lot of reasons that people may want to use ZGP which is why it should be added to hubitat!

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Thanks, I appreciate the suggestion :slight_smile:

It's way too think/deep though. According to specs it's 4 mm. bigger, which would make it impossible to fit into existing housings/mounts even with DIY 3D printed hacks and tricks. And as mentioned, with 8-10 year lifespan the batteries aren't much of an issue.

The major issue is that this switch also uses the Green Power specs, so it's not compatible with Hubitat without upgrades to the transmission portion of the network stack (Layer 2 in Ethernet terms - no idea if the same are used in Zigbee).

I have green power switches that connects to 230v mains. Still the same still need Hubitat to support them, because they are green power.

There is a bit of a kind of work around though. Not ideal but it works depending on your requirement. If you have ZigBee 3.0 devices some allow you to join the devices directly. So you join the output to Hubitat and the input but the input is only connected to the output/s.

The issue is then HE doesn't know that the state has changed and you can't use it as a button.

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Download the Hubitat app