Zigbee routers

In reading about Zigbee technology I learned that the 3 components are:

  1. The Controller
  2. Router
  3. End Point devices

In all my searching for Zigbee devices on Amazon, etc I've never seen a Zigbee router device.
What would be an example of a Zigbee router?

Do I need a router to get true mesh communication between my end point devices?
I have 1 Hubitat hub and about 20 end points devices.


any mains powered zigbee device is a router


Most line-powered zigbee devices function as routers. These include devices like light-bulbs and plugs.

There are also dedicated Zigbee routers that in my experience work extremely well made by TuYa. These plug into any USB port and will pair with Hubitat as a "Device".

Multiple routers make for stable meshes. I have about 80 zigbee devices on a non-Hubitat zigbee coordinator that lets me visualize the mesh. This mesh has been incredibly stable even through power outages for 1-2 weeks. I think I have about 20 routers in that mesh.

A sufficient number of routers will give devices additional paths back to the coordinator. So if one router falls offline, there's a high probability that the end-device will communicate with the coordinator via another router.


Thank you.

Thank you aaiyar. Your explanation helps.

I have 10 Sonoff plugs so should be good with routers.
You have 80 devices? Is that for your home?

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What Coordinator do you have?

Hubitat of course!


I think @aaiyar uses a separate coordinator for Aqara devices since they don’t strictly follow Zigbee protocol and tend to be problematic on Hubitat (and I think he got a bunch of them real cheap a while back).

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Ahh yeah, forgot, he brings those in via HA and Nodered...

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Just want to point out the popular Sengled bulbs do not work as routers. This is actually a very good thing because if a bulb is switched off physically it will not only be dropping itself from the mesh, but any other devices that were routing through it. I read they designed it so you could actually use the physical switch but in my experience it can take some time to rejoin the mesh, though that might not be a problem if you rarely change colors or white temperature.

Anybody know if this has any harmful effects on the mesh dropping and joining constantly?

It's not harmful as sengled are considered edge devices. Nothing is going to route through them, but they should be in a constant powered state to be effective. It's why I use pico controllers with table lamps.

That’s approximately half the total number of devices. What can I say - I like lots of sensors and automation :pensive:


Two zigbee networks - one Hubitat, one non-Hubitat. One zwave network. Most automations through Hubitat.

How did you generate this chart?

I thought only one router could be traced with Zigbee.

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That is not a Hubitat network. I just used it to illustrate that a sufficient number of routers can stabilize a zigbee network. This network is my zigbee2mqtt mesh. With HADB and/or Node-RED, zigbee2mqtt devices can be brought back into Hubitat for automations.

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Would love to see something like this of mine. (HE is my sole coordinator.)