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What Is Zigbee?

18th December 2021

Smart home devices are the latest trend! 

These devices use The Internet of Things technology to communicate with each other. For example, your smart home light switch can link with the home network.

You can remotely control the smart switch from your phone or via voice control to switch off, switch on or dim the bulb. However, in order to connect all these devices and operate them, you need a single network.

You can connect these devices via wireless technology like Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi to the network. However, there are many limitations of these two protocols. 

Because of this reason, most people are now using the Zigbee protocol to connect smart home devices. It is a wireless technology that is used to connect smart home devices.

If you want to know more about Zigbee, follow this guide. In this article, we will explain to you about Zigbee, how it works and why should you use it. 


What Is Zigbee?

Zigbee is a wireless smart home technology. This network protocol helps you to connect different types of smart devices with the central home network. 

For example, you can connect the smart lights with the home network to control the lights remotely. 

It is based on IEEE’s 802.15.4 wireless standard. Zigbee protocol works on 2.4GHz frequency. It is an alternative to Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

The best thing about Zigbee is that it is a standardized wireless protocol. It helps you to easily connect smart devices manufactured by different companies. These devices can easily talk to each other.

Zigbee works on mesh networking. This way, multiple connected devices can send and repeat signals to other devices, thereby increasing the range of the original network. 

It is a cost-effective solution for connecting smart devices. Compared to Wi-Fi, it consumes less power. So, if you want to save battery power, this is an ideal solution.

Apart from that, it is safe and secure as well. With 128-bit AES encryption, it keeps all the information safe and secure. There are no security threats in using Zigbee technology.

You will get a 10 to 20 meters indoor range. You can easily connect multiple smart devices using Zigbee wireless technology. The outdoor range is 75 to 300 meters. 


How Zigbee Works?

In the simplest terms, Zigbee works as a mesh network of repeaters that allows each device of the system to connect with any other device in the home. Then, signal transfers can move freely from one device to the next. 

There are three types of devices in a Zigbee network, i.e. coordinator, routers and end devices. All these devices connect and work with each other to transfer the messages from the home network to the end device. This is how it works.

· Coordinator: For every network, there is one coordinator. It works as an administrator for the network. It is the central point that helps you to set up the network. It is mostly Zigbee smart hub. You can use the coordinator to get permission as well as allow other devices to access the network. A coordinator scans different channels to connect the devices and assigns an ID to the network. It also gives an address to every device and helps you transfer messages within devices. 

· Routers: These are the non-battery powered devices connected to the coordinator. They act as the router and repeats the signal. The routers can communicate with other devices on the network. These devices help to transfer the message to other devices on the network. They receive a message from the coordinator and then send it to other devices. 

· End Device: These are battery-powered devices that you can connect to the network via routers. They don’t repeat or forward the signals. Apart from that, they don’t even communicate with each other. It is also known as reduced function devices. They receive the message from the routers and then function accordingly.


What Is Mesh Networking?

It is a type of network where there are multiple devices connected to each other. The devices take the role of routers and are connected to the central coordinator. 

These routers repeat the signals and communicate with other end devices. This is how Zigbee connects multiple smart devices to the network. 

The signal hopping increases the range as well as connectivity within the network. It is an advance than star network where the end devices are directly connected to coordinators. 

The presence of routers or repeaters in the network makes it ideal for home automation. It is also known as a self-healing network. For example, if one node is broken, the Zigbee protocol will automatically connect it with another node. 

For example, you purchase Homey as a smart home hub and connect it with a smart home light switch. Now, you purchase a Philips smart bulb that is not within the range of the hub. It will still get connected to the network. Here, the light switch will work as a repeater or router and connect the bulb with the home network.


What Devices Use Zigbee?

Zigbee protocol has become very popular in the home automation industry. An alliance is formed were 400 member companies have signed up to use it. 

These companies are designing the products and devices in such a manner that their devices can work with Zigbee. There are more than 2,500 products that work on this protocol.

Some of the big names in the home automation industry are Samsung, IKEA, Amazon, Philips, Nokia, Bosch, Comcast, Honeywell, Huawei, SmartThings, etc. Here are some of the smart home devices which work on the Zigbee protocol.

· Amazon Echo Show

· Philips Hue

· SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor

· Ecobee Smart Thermostat

· Honeywell Home Energy Manager

· Yale Smart Locks

· Tuya Temperature and Humidity Sensor

You can purchase these devices for home automation and connect them with the Zigbee protocol. It will help you to save energy as well as connect devices in the long range. It is a cost-effective way to connect devices. If you don’t want to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect smart devices in your home, you can use this technology. Nowadays, most people are using Zigbee to connect smart devices. 

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