Extending my smartthings hub range

Hey Smartthings family,

If you have multiple devices connected to one hub .And you want to connect some other devices to your Automation network but they are out of your hub range .Can I integrate a second hub to extend the range or do I have to build my mesh system to accommodate the devices that are out of range.

Generally speaking, you extend the mesh. ST does not support more than one hub per location.

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Which model SmartThings hub do you have? The answer will be different for some models.

The link @nathancu gave you applies to most of the models. However, the model which is also a Wi-Fi mesh router is intended to have additional hubs of the same model as “sub hubs“ and you can have up to 32 of these. However, you cannot mix these with any of the other hub models, it only works with the ones that run the plume software.

But there’s no real advantage in terms of Z wave or zigbee mesh, the sub hubs just work like any other repeater device would, such as a light switch or in wall outlet.

I have the smartthings hub V3.

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Then use the answer @Nathancu gave you, your network will have only one hub.

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Thanks man

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Ok thanks much appreciated

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You can extend the range of your Smartthings hub by adding constant powered devices (not battery powered) like a light switch. Install a few around your house and it will greatly increase your coverage.

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What is the maximum distance recommended when adding powered devices to extend my range.For example if i want to extend my system to outside of my house and integrate some yard lighting. But considering the size of the yard i believe i would be out of range, and it already has outlets wired outside in the yard for the yard lighting. If i am to change these outlets to z wave powered outlets would this solve the range problem which is about 300ft away from the main source to the last device and the first outside outlet is 100ft average from main hub and 50 feet apart distance each between the first outlet and the Three other outside outlets. what is my options if i want to control these devices all within my home automation system?

First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“

In this case, it’s the protocol that matters.

Zwave plus devices have significantly longer range than zwave classic devices.

And there is a new generation, zwave plus V2, which will have even longer range yet, although I don’t expect to see devices with that available until 2022.

Anyway, one of the other issues for Z wave devices is that they don’t tend to transmit very well through rain, snow, or high humidity. So that can reduce the effective range, although they will do very well in dry clear air.

Also, I was a little confused by your description of the network layout.

Z wave is limited to four hops per message, which doesn’t count the origin or destination devices. So it’s like a relay race Passing the baton from the first device to a maximum of four “runners“ and then the destination.

In practice in a building with wooden walls and not too much insulation and no interior wire framing you can expect zwave plus to have a good range of about 75 feet for each “hop.“ You may get double that if you’re lucky, but it’s not something you can count on. And again it may be somewhat less on rainy or snowy days if one of the devices is outdoors. But if you have brick or adobe walls or walls with interior lathing or large metal objects (including automobiles) or trees in the way that can all reduce the effective distance.

Even in bad weather conditions you should be able to use zwave plus to cover 300 feet with four hops from the hub to the furthest device. But I’m not clear on what your layout will be. :thinking:

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Thanks Roberts , that clarifies alot. Where I live the weather conditions isn’t that bad and the layout is basically a driveway to enter to my house.So along the driveway wall I have plugs wired to accommodate yard lighting.i wanted to change these plugs to z wave smart plugs which will also be extenders for my mesh circuit.My main concern was I didn’t know the maximum number of hops a z wave signal can make from one device to the other and the distance it could cover which you explained earlier. But from your explanation I believe it should work with the layout I have. Thanks man

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Hello Christopher. I am somewhat new to Smartthings so please pardon my newbie type questions. In your advice here about extending one’s Hub, you advised to add some “constant powered devices.” What did you mean by that? Did you mean additional Smart devices? I’m not really sure what you mean here. I believe I am having issues that require extending the range of my Smartthings Hub (3rd generation)

Thank you,
Bob Behnke

Most mains powered zwave or zigbee devices (The kind you plug into the wall) will act as repeaters. This allows them to pass along a message from one of the other devices. So plug-in smart plugs, light switches, in-line relays, even, in some cases, lightbulbs. Using repeaters allows you to extend the square footage your network can cover. :sunglasses:

In contrast, most battery powered devices are not repeaters because they would use up too much battery just passing along messages for other devices.

There is a community FAQ on wireless range and repeaters which should answer most of your questions and act as a good introduction. Start with post 11 in that thread (I will link directly to it), read that, and then go up to the top of that thread and read the whole thing.

The topic title is a clickable link.

What @JDRoberts said! Essentially any device not powered by a battery can be a repeater. Light switches are a great example.

the BEST z-wave router/repeater that i have found is the plug-in aeotec gen5 siren. i have seen them for $20+ used on ebay. do note that some do have a known issue with low hiss, growl, squeal so make sure you ask the seller before purchasing. though, if used in out of the way rooms like utility rooms, garage, or shed, you wont even hear those sounds.

z-wave devices in the same and surrounding rooms like to jump to the siren. also, the sirens like to link to each other from room to room. max z-wave hops is 4.

if you ever see a z-wave path going thru a battery operated z-wave device you have problems with your z-wave mesh.

In general, yes, but it is optional and some manufacturers choose not to make their mains powered devices repeaters. Sengled is probably the most popular example: even their plug-in smart plug is not a repeater. :disappointed_relieved:

Also, most smoke detectors, even if mains powered, are not repeaters because they don’t want to delay a smoke alert just because the device is repeating a message for some lightbulb somewhere.

There are even a few battery powered repeaters, although only a very few, and generally only for very specific situations like backup during a power outage. The Ring repeater is a good zwave example of this category.

Centralite also makes a Zigbee one.

Both of these devices are intended to normally operate on Mains power, but to switch over to battery power and to continue repeating for about 12 hours during a power outage. :zap: This ensures that security sensors, in particular, can continue to reach the hub.

So you just need to check the product description carefully for each device you are considering to see if it is a repeater or not. :thinking:

Thanks for all the assistance. The repeaters did the trick. I did find out that some of the Sengled colored flood lights I bought still don’t work (2 worked, and 2 did not - even in the exact same location). Does anyone have experience with Sengled bulbs and their reliability?

Thanks again for all the advice!

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What specific repeaters did you add to your network? Are they Z-Wave or Zigbee devices?

Based on your answer to the first question above, we’ll be able to help you better with your Sengled lighting.

Also, which specific Sengled lights are you using? Sengled has Zigbee and WiFi variants of many of their devices.

In general, I have found Sengled Zigbee lighting to work extremely well, and is very reliable…as long as you have a strong Zigbee Mesh Network in place in your home. Since Sengled Zigbee devices are designed to NOT be Zigbee repeaters, they do require other mains-powered Zigbee devices that act as Zigbee repeaters to be part of one’s Zigbee Mesh Network, especially if they are further away from the hub.

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@behnkebob has another thread with the details of the project. We should probably continue this discussion there. :sunglasses:

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Sorry for replying to the other thread.

I am using the Sengled BR30 (indoor flood) color bulbs. They are Zigbee certified. The reason I think the bulbs themselves are the issue is from my troubleshooting. I installed 3 such bulbs - only 1 could connect to SmartThings. I moved the working bulb to other fixtures and it still worked. I moved the ones not working to other fixtures (including the one where the first bulb worked) and SmartThings would not connect to them. I don’t believe it is a weak signal issue because I installed a repeater no more than 10 feet from the fixtures.

I am using the repeaters recommended by @JDRoberts - the TRADFRI smart plugs from IKEA.

Thanks!

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