Zigbee issues

Folks,

I'm new to HE, having recently migrated from Wink. Most of my system is Zigbee lamps and Z-Wave motion sensors. The majority of the lamps are Wink's own GE/Links, four Sengled Elements (which I stopped buying when I discovered they don't act as repeaters), and a number of Osram Lightify lamps, most of those RGBW. Aside from a siren, door sensors, and a couple of Lutron Caseta dimmers, I have about 50 lamps. The Link lamps are detected as Zigbee generics, and they work fine with HE. All was well until a power failure on Halloween. After I reset and added back all of the lamps which went missing as a result, they have been going offline in groups. I'll reset them and add them back, but some hours later, many are orphans again. in most cases, as I say, they go out in groups. The kitchen has seven lamps, and they all become orphans at once. I've tried leaving them off overnight before re-establishing the pairing, but that doesn't seem to help. I've tried the trick of leaving the hub powered off for at least 20 minutes, but that didn't help, either. Since my hub is a C5, I think my ability to run Zigbee diagnostics might be limited, but I'm hoping there is something I can do to debug this.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff Broido

Refer to this post:


I got my @ss handed to me with these.
[EDIT]

I experienced the SAME thing. Come to find out bulbs are not great repeaters. There is an explanation why out there that is more technical, but the gist is small memory so they get funky. You could try adding some zigbee repeaters or look into an xbee. I'm looking into xbee, but I did purchase repeaters for the meantime. The consensus is that the zigbee radio might not be as robust as the other platforms, so repeaters must be added. I found out that there is a magic number of Crees. 8. Go above that and you'll have troubles. That's what happened to me. I ended up pulling all of my crees and replacing them with sengled. No more drops, although my mesh is still healing and could use more repeaters. I currently have 2 peanuts, but ordered up some iris plugs.
You can look at your routing info http://your_hub_ip/hub/zigbee/getChildAndRouteInfo

[EDIT AGAIN]
I asked if there was a magic number for repeaters. Someone was thinking somewhere around 1 repeater for 8 devices. Sounds like you have quite a few zigbee devices and no really strong repeaters. People have had great luck with xbee and as of now, I know absolutely nothing about xbee, other than they're very robust repeaters and can map your network. Still researching. Something to look into. Might be visually better for you to go that route.

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Jeff,

Take a look at the routeinfo and see if there are any repeaters the problem lights are associated with that could be your problem:

http:///hub/zigbee/getChildAndRouteInfo

I only had a few of the GE Link lights, but one of them being a "bad repeater" was causing issues with multiple devices. I replaced them all with Sengled RGB this week.

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I'll mention that you don't have to reset any previous device that paired. Just put the device back into pairing mode and put HE into discovery and HE will re-include back into the radio.

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I'll echo what April said above: the smart bulbs are almost certainly the source of your woes. You can find many threads here (and in other forums) complaining of these issues, which boil down to the fact that most Zigbee smart bulbs are poor repeaters for any Zigbee device that isn't another bulb. Some are worse than others, and I'm pretty sure the GE/Link ones are widely reported as among the worst. Some people are luckier than others, but I'd guess on Hubitat you aren't one of them. :slight_smile:

You can also see more on this in the documentation here: How to Build a Solid Zigbee Mesh - Hubitat Documentation (read the very last section). The Sengled bulbs that don't repeat are actually good for this reason--they won't cause these problems. However, since they are all end devices (i.e., non-repeaters), you will need to make sure that you have enough Zigbee repeaters elsewhere in your network to handle both the range/distance and number of bulbs (the hub can only connect to 32 Zigbee "end devices" directly; repeaters expand this capacity indefinitely, but each repeater also has its own limit--the docs also explain this).

Besides Sengled, another solution is to segregate these bulbs to their own network. If they're all ZLL, you can use a Hue Bridge. It works quite well for this purpose and has a lovely integration with Hubitat. If they're a mix of ZHA (Sylvania/Lightify/Osram and Sengled--though with just the former you again don't need to worry--are the only ones I can think of) and ZLL (most other Zigbee bulbs) or if you just prefer this option for some reason, a second Hubitat could be used in conjunction with something like HubConenct to link the devices.

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For me I found that magic number to be just 1.

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@lelynch Mine are all off of my network. And it's running so much better, although I need to add repeaters, I noticed the difference the second I removed those bulbs. Also had about 10 or so Xiaomi motions on my network. those have been eliminated now too.

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@april.brandt I only had a few bulbs at the time. About 5 or 6 Sengled and the one Cree. I kept having issues with my Zigbee devices not working as expected. I added a few more plugs as repeaters but they didn't help. When I read about the repeating issues with bulbs other than Sengled, I removed the one Cree and have had no issues since!

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Crazy that my mesh handled 8 and yours only one. Goes to show you that meshes are not a cut and dry science.

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THIS! I actively read the Zigbee specs for fun and understanding (how my wife finds me interesting is just short of incredible lol) and I still get things wrong when it comes to information and making my mesh bulletproof.

Zigbee and Z-Wave both always seem to throw in the weirdest kinks just when you think you have a grasp on everyting.

Honestly, I'd rethink this. I've had a plethora of bulbs over the years and finally settled on the Sengleds specifically because they don't repeat (only bulb on the market that doesn't, if I'm not mistaken). The reason this is a good thing is that bulbs in and of themselves make horrible repeaters in a ZHA profile mesh. They usually have small buffers and an even smaller memory space for command storage before transmission. What that means is that a small flood of messages coming in is all it takes to cause a buffer overflow and knock the bulb out which usually requires a power off/on to reset it. Osrams, Crees, and Links are VERY susceptible to this.

I have ~50 Sengleds now (I just added two more on Tuesday) and my mesh is very responsive and stable. So, I'd go with more Sengleds and add repeaters wherever possible (I have 1~2 in every room of my house plus 6 outside) and ditch the Osrams and Links.

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Thanks. That's what I meant by re-pair. The only way to get Link lamps into pairing mode is to do a factory reset, which is tedious, but when HE discovers them again, it properly identifies the lamps as defined when first added. Thanks again, Jeff.

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Crees and GE Links don't repeat either, which is a problem because they think they do. :rofl:

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Robert,

That would make sense as they were one of the earliest Zigbee lamps available (in both HA and ZLL versions, with no indication of which was which on the identical packaging), and certainly the least expensive, at $13 each in 2014. My mesh has been fine, more-or-less, since 2014, just as it is, with mostly Link lamps, though there was an early issue with a strange chandelier (which was rescued from a theater on New York's lower East side which was built the same year as my house, 1900) in my equally strange two-level front hall. There are nine lamps in the fixture and Wink had a problem adding them all at once, but I couldn't isolate them for reset/rejoin processing as they are all on one wall switch and difficult to access physically as the fixture is 20 ft. up, over a hole in the front hall ceiling.

But Wink fixed that issue, after working with me on-and-off for six months and, as I say, my Zigbee mesh has been stable aside from a few times, such as this past Halloween, when a grinding power failure screwed them all up (Links, Sengleds and Osram/Sylvanias all). In the past, I did just the same as I did this time, and reset- and added them back a few at a time, but this time is different as I simply can't get them to stay connected. Yesterday evening, I found that two lamps in the hall downstairs had become unresponsive, so I turned them off at the wall switch. This morning, I turned them back on and one of them started turning off and on at a high rate of speed, continuously, so I just replaced that lamp. I'm hoping that the lamp in question has been failing without symptoms for some time and might be the potential and elusive bad repeater. One problem with Link lamps is condensation on the inside of the envelope, and this one is particularly wet, so that might be the cause of the failure.

My HE C-5 is in the living room, where the Wink Hub 2 was, to keep it away from my router, and I've never had any issues with the the mesh not connecting to the furthest reaches of my house, this despite the plaster and lath walls, with the conventional wire mesh behind the plaster which, unfortunately, becomes a Farady cage. I think the open plan of the house mitigates this to a large extent, however and, as I say, the only problem I'm having is these mysterious group-by-group freezing-up issues.

Here's a question: If, say, a particular group of Zigbee lamps goes out of contact with the hub, like the seven in my kitchen, do they continue to participate in the mesh?

Having replaced the obviously bad lamp, I'll go 'round, now, and start resetting- and adding the non-communicating groups of lamps back, and we'll see what happens. One of the other kind responders to this post pointed me to HE's built-in Zigbee mesh report and, today, I'll try to figure out how to interpret that data.

Thanks again,
Jeff

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As @bertabcd1234 suggested, adding a Hue bridge and segregating your bulbs will be a huge help.

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Bill,

Thanks! I can't figure out much from the report, except that two of my four Sengleds are, indeed, at the end of their chains. I'll search, today, for documentation regarding interpreting this report. Here's what I get right now, with about half of my Zigbee lamps not responding at the moment.

Parent child parameters
EzspGetParentChildParametersResponse [childCount=2, parentEui64=0000000000000000, parentNodeId=65535]

Child Data
child:[Living room SW lamp 1, 0E44, type:EMBER_END_DEVICE]
child:[Living room SE lamp 1, 2390, type:EMBER_END_DEVICE]

Neighbor Table Entry
[Nursery one, 1F2F], LQI:248, age:7, inCost:3, outCost:0
[Upstairs Hall, two, 2C9A], LQI:253, age:4, inCost:3, outCost:7
[Living room floor lamp.1, 2CE1], LQI:253, age:6, inCost:3, outCost:0
[Living room floor lamp, 365F], LQI:250, age:3, inCost:3, outCost:3
[Upstairs Hall, one, 5964], LQI:242, age:4, inCost:5, outCost:7
[Rotunda entry one, 6218], LQI:252, age:4, inCost:3, outCost:7
[Rotunda entry two, 819A], LQI:253, age:4, inCost:3, outCost:7
[Living room SW lamp, B53B], LQI:244, age:7, inCost:5, outCost:0
[Pantry two, B7DC], LQI:249, age:7, inCost:3, outCost:0
[Den fan light, B8B7], LQI:253, age:5, inCost:3, outCost:7
[Den floor lamp, C65D], LQI:192, age:6, inCost:7, outCost:7
[Bathroom two, D6D9], LQI:149, age:7, inCost:7, outCost:0
[Lavatory, DEB7], LQI:227, age:5, inCost:5, outCost:7
[Chandelier eight, F7B5], LQI:234, age:7, inCost:5, outCost:0
[Jeff bedside lamp, F853], LQI:253, age:4, inCost:3, outCost:3
[Den desk lamp, FD24], LQI:251, age:3, inCost:3, outCost:7

Route Table Entry
status:Unused
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Den floor lamp, C65D] via [Living room floor lamp, 365F]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Rotunda entry two, 819A] via [Rotunda entry two, 819A]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Upstairs Hall, two, 2C9A] via [Jeff bedside lamp, F853]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Living room floor lamp.1, 2CE1] via [Living room floor lamp.1, 2CE1]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Jeff bedside lamp, F853] via [Jeff bedside lamp, F853]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Rotunda entry one, 6218] via [Rotunda entry two, 819A]
status:Unused
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Nursery one, 1F2F] via [Nursery one, 1F2F]
status:Active, age:64, routeRecordState:0, concentratorType:None, [Upstairs Hall, one, 5964] via [Jeff bedside lamp, F853]
status:Unused
status:Unused
status:Unused
status:Unused
status:Unused
status:Unused

Thanks again,
Jeff

If they really "fell off" the network (the most likely explanation for this behavior), then no, and if there aren't other repeaters in range, this could cause problems with other devices.

As another workaround for the woes with these bulbs, have you considered using a smart switch or smart dimmer here? If you don't need color control, even with seven cheap bulbs, the cost would end up far less in the end. Inovelli should be releasing a new dimmer within a few days that doesn't require a neutral (if you don't have one), otherwise Zooz, GE, and other manufacturers also have a lot of options--and then you won't have to worry about bad repeaters. :slight_smile: (These are Z-Wave, however. GE makes a Zigbee one too, but I'm pretty sure it only comes in switch and not dimmer varieties. Most are only paddle style, but GE and Zooz have some that look more or less like a toggle as well.)

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When you see this, you have issues. You need more stable repeaters in more locations. Any inCost greater than 2 or 3 is cause for alarm.

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I do have a couple of Z-Wave wall-mounted dimmers, where appropriate, where I don't have A19 sockets. They're Lutron Casetas, which I haven't even tried to migrate as I understand I'd need a Lutron bridge (even though they were natively supported by Wink). And, indeed, I have no neutral in the switch boxes, most of which are ceramic and go back to the original knob-and-tube wiring days, which is why I have the Casetas in the first place. Thanks for the tip re. Inovelli; I'll check that out, today.

Jeff

Thanks! That should give me a good start. Jeff

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When you said "plaster," that was my assumotion (my house is 100 years old and I understand--trying to update the electrical over time). :slight_smile: Caseta only work with Wink because Lutron allowed them to license their proprietary protocol, something I'd say they're unlikely to do again with anyone else. The Pro Bridge is the solution here, though unfortunately a nearly $100 solution. If you otherwise like Caseta, that's certainly an option worth considering instead of the Z-Wave switches; otherwise, as I mentioned, the Inovelli dimmers (not switches) can work without a neutral and should be here soon. I preordered a while back, and mine were just boxed up for shipment a day or two ago.

As mentioned before, segregating problematic bulbs to their own network (a Hue Bridge or, with some effort, another Hubitat) is also a solution. It might be cheaper when you consider the cost of replacing the bulbs or switches. Unfortunately, then you'd have to make sure your second mesh is also strong (but if you have lots of bulbs everywhere, you may not need to worry about that network, and hopefully you have enough repeaters in the other).

Hope you find something that meets your needs, no matter which way you go!

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