How far the can Hub reach?

How far does the Zigby and Z-Wave signals reach with the Hub?

I have a European house with a bunch of brick walls, 80 square meters, so I would expect the Hub to reach all corners of the house. Or is that asking too much of the Hub?

More specific I have a shed outside the house, where I want to install a SmartThings Motion Sensor, but I’m afraid that the Hub won’t be able to talk to it all that well.

So what should my expectations be? And are there ways to extend range / make it more stable?

There is a significant amount of information on range and repeaters already available.

I’d start with this blog post, then move on to searching for that thread about bulbs as repeaters and pretty much anything @JDRoberts posts… :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Zigbee and Z wave are both intended as low cost low energy mesh networks where messages get passed along from one mains powered device to another to extend the total coverage of the network.

Battery-powered devices do not repeat for others, as it would use too much battery life.

Different architectural materials can Block signal to different degrees, effectively shortening the range. Wood walls are much easier for signal to pass through than brick or adobe walls.

But what is inside the wall matters as well. If you have foil backed insulation, water pipes, or wire lathing inside a wall that can also block signal. So can foil wallpaper.

Basic rule of thumb for wooden walls for the range of a single device, including the hub:

zigbee: 13 meters
Classic zwave: 15 meters
Zwave plus: 30 meters

But again, the devices will relay the message from one to another, so it’s OK if the hub is 40 m away as long as there is a mains powered device that can repeat the message halfway in between the original device and the hub. This graphic is from the blog article that @viguera already linked to:

In a European home, a typical repeating device would be a plug in pocket socket or in wall relay. In a US home, it’s often light switches.

If the interior walls are cement, brick, or Adobe, then The range will be much shorter and may not be able to get through the wall at all. In those cases you have to essentially bounce the signal out through the doorways and down the halls.

The following thread discusses more about how to improve coverage. It is talking about zwave, but the same principles apply to Zigbee.

Although your home is smaller, the fact that you have brick walls means you have to deal with the same kinds of issues as someone with a very large house.

So if I am getting it right:

Having some IoT devices that are connected to the electrical mains will act as repeaters?

From what I can read, Philips Hue is using Zigby, and so is the SmartThings Motion Sensor.

Shouldn’t the Hue bulbs then make sure that the sensors around the house can connect without error?

I don’t own any Hue devices, but most community members highly recommend connecting Hue devices to the Hue hub and not directly to SmartThings. If you are also doing that, since they are part of the Hue hub network, they will not repeat ZigBee messages from SmartThings.

1 Like

© 2019 SmartThings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

SmartThings; SmartApps®; Physical Graph; Hello, Home; and Hello, Smart Home are all trademarks of the SmartThings, Inc.