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Guide to Zigbee Controllers and How It Works

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Zigbee is one of the leading protocols in helping smart home hubs control the tech in your home.

You may have heard of this as it is common in a lot of new smart home tech and included in Amazon Echo too.

What is Zigbee and how it works?

Zigbee is based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Association’s 802.15 specification, a low-data rate wireless.

Zigbee is commonly used in a lot of smart home devices, this is because it easily allows smart devices to comminuted with other smart devices.

Zigbee 3.0 is the latest version and it also benefits from 128 bit symmetric encryption and works at 2.4GHz. This speed is ideal for small data transfers of information to turn on your Philips hue lights, or adjust the brightness. 

Zigbee Wireless Mesh Networking

A key feature and part of the Zigbee protocol is mesh networking. This allows a network to be created between all the zigbee network nodes creating dynamic pathways for information to be passed between devices. 

zigbee mesh

For example, with hue lights, the bridge is the gateway, however each bulb and Hue switch can pass information between to reach the correct bulb to turn on, this is great for helping to improve range and network signal.

What other products use Zigbee?

Many tech products use Zigbee and it maybe more than you think, here are just a few products that include this technology. 

  • Amazon Echo
  • Abode
  • Belkin WeMo
  • Bosch Security Systems
  • Hive Active Heating and accessories
  • Honeywell thermostats
  • Innr
  • Ikea Trådfli
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Belkin WeMo Link
  • Yale smart locks

Zigbee Controllers

Zigbee controllers and gateways control your Zigbee devices and products. Connecting your controller to your wifi router allows our to create a zigbee network and control any devices that us Zigbee on that network mesh. With it also contacted to your internet router you also have access when away from home where you can also connect to the internet. 

Philips Hue uses Zigbee and the bulbs and accessories from Hue create a network mesh, this means that you can have bulbs a long way from the bridge which can then pass the info to closer bulbs before reaching the bridge, this makes it great for creating strong networks.


Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

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