Zigbee protocol has become very popular in the home automation industry. Many smart home products rely on this function for connectivity along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The biggest advantage of using Zigbee protocol and devices is that it helps you to easily extend the range with the help of repeaters and routers.
As we know, the range plays a very important role in home automation. The smart devices should be within the range of the home network in order to work.
If you connect the devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the range will be limited. However, if you connect the devices using Zigbee, you can enjoy an extended range.
It is because some Zigbee smart devices work as routers or repeaters. Using the mesh network technology, the devices further extend the range and help you to connect more end devices in the network.
But not all Zigbee devices repeat. If you want to know how Zigbee devices repeat, follow this guide. We will explain to you about Zigbee repeaters and show you which devices work as Zigbee repeaters.
What Are Zigbee Repeaters?
If you want to increase the range of your Zigbee network, you can use repeaters. These are also known as routers. These repeaters can help you to easily extend the range of the network.
In the Zigbee mesh network, there is one coordinator, multiple routers and end devices. The coordinator can be the hub or home network. Routers are smart devices that work as repeaters.
These devices are connected to the coordinator and further connected to other end devices as well. However, repeaters are fully powered and functional smart devices.
When you connect these devices with the Zigbee network, they will extend the range and help you to connect other battery-powered smart devices with the network.
Zigbee repeaters con communicate with all the devices and talk to other end devices. They share the message received from the home network to the devices and make them work.
Most of the fully-powered smart devices which are designed as per Zigbee protocol works as Zigbee repeaters. Some common examples are Philips Hue Bulb, Zigbee Smart Dimmer, etc.
Apart from that, you will also get Zigbee dedicated repeater. These devices are specially used as a range extender. You can plug it directly into the power outlet to repeat the signal to other smart devices in your home.
How Zigbee Repeaters Work?
These repeaters or routers work as a messenger or a middleman. They transfer the message between the Zigbee network and the end devices. These repeaters can be any devices that are compatible with Zigbee and non-battery powered.
Most people use Zigbee repeaters to create a big Zigbee mesh network. A Zigbee smart home light switch is a perfect example of a repeater. It acts as a relay point for smart devices which are not in range.
However, there is one limitation to Zigbee repeaters. Zigbee devices will only repeat for other Zigbee devices. If the protocol changes, these devices will not work as a repeater.
When you place a Zigbee repeater between a hub and another Zigbee device that is out of range, the repeater will extend the signal and connect the other Zigbee device with the hub.
In short, it will repeat the communication with the hub and help in extending the range of the device. If you want to create a stronger mesh network, you can connect one Zigbee repeater with other repeaters. It repeats the signal from the hub and connects the end devices.
Do Zigbee Devices Repeat?
Zigbee devices only repeat if the other device works on the same protocol. The protocol of both devices should be the same. If the protocol is different, the Zigbee device will not work as a repeater.
For example, if you connect a Zigbee smart home light switch with a Zigbee network, it will work as a repeater for the Zigbee smart bulb, which is out of range. The smart switch will repeat the Zigbee signal and communicate it to the smart bulb, thereby connecting it to the Zigbee network.
As the smart switch is plugged always plugged in the wall, it will easily work as a repeater with devices using the same Zigbee protocol. You can choose different types of smart Zigbee devices to create a strong mesh network.
Benefits of Using Zigbee Repeaters:
There are many benefits of using Zigbee repeaters. Here are some of the reasons why you need to use these devices.
· Extending Range: The main reason to use Zigbee repeaters is that it helps to extend the range of the home network. Nowadays, most people are looking for devices that can stay connected at a longer range. So if you don’t want to invest in a dedicated repeater or range extender, you can simply use a Zigbee device. It will work as a router and help you to extend the range of the Zigbee network.
· Smart Functionality: It also helps to improve the functionality of the device. For example, if one smart device is out of range, you will not be able to enjoy the smart features of the device. But with the help of the Zigbee repeater, you can easily connect that device as well and improve its functionality.
· Power Saving: Zigbee repeater also helps you to save a lot of power compared to Wi-Fi. It will help you with power consumption as the devices consume less power in order to stay connected to the network.
· Mesh Network: With the help of these devices, you will be able to create a strong mesh network. When there are multiple routers or repeaters in a network, it naturally becomes strong. This way, even if one node is not working, the coordinator will use another node to make the device work.
Three Ways to Extend Zigbee Range:
If you want to extend the range of a Zigbee network, you can use these three ways.
· Zigbee Smart Plug: You can use a Zigbee smart plug as it works as a router or repeater.
· Zigbee Smart Bulbs: You can also use a Zigbee smart bulb and use it as a range extender.
Zigbee Dedicated Repeater: Lastly, you can use a Zigbee dedicated repeater to extend the range of the network.