what is zigbee

Everything You Need to Know About the Zigbee Standard

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Have you heard about Zigbee, the open-source radio frequency standard? It’s widely used in many industries and is quickly becoming a popular choice for connecting sensors, control systems, and other smart devices. 

Zigbee is a low-power, wireless communication standard. It is perfect for connecting all your smart home devices together.

Zigbee is becoming increasingly popular with tech enthusiasts. Here’s everything you need to know about this growing technology. In this guide, we’ll explore what Zigbee is, how it works, and some of its use cases.

What Is Zigbee?

Zigbee is an open-source, global wireless communications standard that enables low-powered, low-cost short-range networks based on a mesh topology. 

what is zigbee

It was created to help connect small devices with limited resources such as microcontrollers and sensors. 

With built-in security features, Zigbee allows data to be safely transmitted over airwaves at the push of a button.

Zigbee is a low-power, wireless mesh networking standard

Zigbee is a low-power, wireless mesh networking standard that enables connected devices to exchange data without a central device. 

Whether you’re controlling your AM/FM radio with the tap of a button or keeping tabs on home security, Zigbee can get the job done by creating its own network of communications. 

With Zigbee, there are no cables to be tangled up and quick response times; just pair devices and let Zigbee do the rest. 

It’s an efficient way to create a whole-home wireless connection, so why not make life easier? 

Check out what Zigbee has to offer and see for yourself why it’s quickly becoming the industry standard for short-range wireless communications!

How does Zigbee Works?

Zigbee uses a mesh network that consists of nodes that communicate with each other. The nodes (or routers) in the mesh contain radios, which send and receive signals. 

These messages can travel up to 120 meters(~400 feet) between two routers. Zigbee radios use channels and bands, allowing them to share the same platform while avoiding interference and transmission errors. 

how does zigbee works

The protocol sends small packets of data over the radio frequency, so it is ideal for low-power applications like smart home devices or wireless sensors.

Zigbee is used for connecting devices in the home, like light bulbs and door locks

With the smart home revolution, Zigbee has become the go-to protocol for connecting personal devices such as light bulbs, switches, door locks, and a variety of other smart items. 

Why? Because it’s low power, reliable and secure. You don’t need pricey extra equipment – it works with your existing router. Plus, you can use its mesh network capabilities to extend the range.

zigbee low power

It’s perfect for creating a smart home that lets you control all your devices from one app or interface. So if you’re looking for an easy way to enter the smart home world – look no further than Zigbee!

What Are the Components of a Zigbee Network?

A Zigbee network is composed of a coordinator, which serves as the controlling hub of the network. 

It is possible to have multiple coordinators in the same network, allowing them to communicate with each other. In addition, there are router nodes and end device nodes in a Zigbee network. 

Router nodes can be used to extend the range of the network and provide additional connections between devices. 

zigbee network

End device nodes cannot act as routers and are not able to forward signals as the router nodes can. 

Furthermore, all components of a Zigbee network must be connected with communication links – whether wired or wireless – in order for them to function properly.

Zigbee is an alternative to WiFi and Bluetooth

Have you ever encountered those awful dropped connections or painfully slow speeds with WiFi and Bluetooth? If you’re working on a project that involves low-power data networks, Zigbee could be the answer. 

It’s a powerful but reliable alternative to WiFi and Bluetooth that consumes far less power, uses shorter distances for transmission, and transfers data securely without compromising quality. 

And best of all – it doesn’t require any programming knowledge! With Zigbee, every project can get done faster with more efficiency and fewer headaches. 

So if your current wireless configuration isn’t cutting it, it could be time to give Zigbee a try!

Is Zigbee better than WiFi?

Which protocol is better and which suits you better?

wifi vs zigbee

Zigbee is cheaper and uses less power than WiFi

If you’re looking for a way to save some money on your internet bill and if your devices aren’t constantly streaming multiple HD videos or other high-bandwidth content, then Zigbee is definitely worth a look. 

Compared to WiFi, Zigbee is cheaper to implement and energy-saving as it uses lower power. 

zigbee is cheaper than wifi

It also enables significantly improved range and sustained connection speeds with fewer interruptions than traditional WiFI networks can provide. 

So why settle for WiFi when you can have the better bang for your buck with Zigbee?

Zigbee has a shorter range than WiFi

When it comes to “wireless range wars,” you’d best believe Zigbee and WiFi come out guns-a-blazing – albeit with a difference. You see, when it comes to the overall range, WiFi outdoes Zigbee every time. 

While WiFi can extend coverage up to hundreds of feet in open spaces, Zigbee technology maxes out at about 30 meters – about 98 feet. 

This is definitely something to consider if you’re looking for reliable and far-reaching connectivity options.

zigbee shorter range than wifi

If you’re looking for ways to extend the range of your Zigbee network, there are a few options available to you. 

One is to use a Zigbee range extender, which is a device that amplifies the signal between devices and helps to create a more seamless network. 

Another option is to use mesh networking, which allows devices to relay messages between one another in order to extend the reach of the network. 

And finally, you can use an app or software program that will help optimize your connection and maximize your Zigbee coverage. 

Whichever route you choose, make sure you take the time to set up your system properly – otherwise, you might not be getting the most out of your Zigbee technology!

Zigbee is more secure than WiFi

Zigbee is the bee’s knees when it comes to wireless technology. Not only is Zigbee more affordable than its WiFi counterparts, but its improved security features make it an appealing choice for any tech aficionado looking for peace of mind. 

For starters, Zigbee offers industry-standard encryption that keeps your data safe and secure without impacting performance or speed. 

zigbee is more secure than wifi

It also eliminates malicious network intrusion attempts, which means that you can sleep easier knowing that no one is accessing your information behind the scenes. 

With Zigbee, you can enjoy all the benefits of today’s ever-evolving tech world while keeping your secure information just too tucked away.

How to Develop Smart Home Applications With Zigbee

Developing smart home applications with Zigbee is a straightforward process. 

Firstly, the developer needs to build a Zigbee network by connecting all their Zigbee-enabled devices. This can be done either by using a coordinator node or by utilizing a variety of different mesh technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

zigbee develop application

Once the network is established and functioning properly, developers then need to begin writing software that will allow their smart home applications to communicate and interact with other devices on the same network.

It’s important to choose the correct Zigbee Frequency Channel

There can be many factors triggering wireless interference to your Zigbee network. These are the products you are currently using in your home (such as WiFi Networks, Baby monitors, Wireless Speakers, and Bluetooth). And it is difficult to replace them. But knowingly buying a new product can make things easier for you.

zigbee wifi interference

While trying to enrich your home with Zigbee products, you may find yourself in network chaos. That’s why it’s important to choose the right Zigbee Channel.

Zigbee also uses the 2.4GHz band for communication, just like WiFi.

As you can see in the chart I quoted from the Control4 “Best Zigbee Practices” guide below, there are many areas where Zigbee and WiFi interfere with each other. 

Zigbee Frequency Channels are named in a narrow range (2Mhz) between 11-25. 

WiFi Channels are named from 1 to 11 in a wider range (11MHz). For this reason, even 1 WiFi channel can interfere with many Zigbee channels.

zigbee channels wifi channels
Source: Control4

Pro Tip: For this reason, it will be better for the health of your Zigbee infrastructure to use the 15th, 20th, and 25th channels, which will have the least wireless interference.

What brands use Zigbee as a communication standard in their products?

There are many big brands that use the Zigbee protocol for communication. If we group them by product category:

Zigbee Smart Light Bulb Brands

Zigbee Smart Light Strip Brands

Zigbee Smart Light Switch Brands

  • Lutron
  • Leviton
  • Kasa Smart / Tp-Link
  • Meross

Zigbee Smart Thermostat Brands

  • Honeywell
  • Levoit

Apart from these, some of the brands that use Zigbee in their products are:

TL;DR / Conclusion

Zigbee is a solid alternative to WiFi and Bluetooth, especially if you’re looking to save power and money. 

It does have some downsides – shorter range and less security than its counterparts – but overall, Zigbee is a great way to wirelessly connect devices in your home. 

Have you used Zigbee before? What did you think of it? Don’t forget to read our review of the Best Zigbee Smart Light Bulbs.

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Philosophy: We want to make sure that our readers can use smart home products with maximum efficiency. Our ultimate desire in this blog is to ensure our readers use smart home gadgets to make their lives easier, more accessible, and safer.

Batu of CondoChance Team

BSc. Electrical Engineer & MBA
10+ years of industrial experience as an Electrical Engineer

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