When Zigbee **isn’t** 2.4 GHz (EU Regional frequencies)

The IEEE has approved a single “global“ frequency for zigbee, 2.4 GHz, so we usually say that there is only one zigbee frequency worldwide. And that’s true for the global standard.

However, that’s the same frequency that Wi-Fi operates at, and a few regions are so congested in that band that the zigbee alliance has approved some different regional frequencies.

There are three of these for the EU, and they are becoming increasingly popular, particularly since the UK has a new requirement coming that all appliances be able to communicate with smart meters. This will be done using zigbee on the 868,3 frequency.

A good example are Bosch devices. Although their global frequency zigbee devices like the motion sensors sold in the US generally work well with the smartthings hub, the light switches sold in Germany are zigbee 868,3 and cannot communicate with a smartthings hub.

(Note That zwave In the EU is on a slightly different frequency, 868,4 )

Some references:

https://gr.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Microchip-Technology/ATSAMR30M18A-I-RM100?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtJacPDJcUJY8XgHoGMqQj37wSxB5VWfTy61j7YsZBqbA%3D%3D

I Haven’t heard of any plans to add a regional zigbee frequency radio to Any smartthings hubs in the EU, although there may be some market pressure to do so in the UK once the new laws go into effect.

Also my thanks to @jelockwood Who first brought the UK regional zigbee frequency issue to my attention last year during discussion of smart meters. :sunglasses:

@tpmanley

3 Likes

@JDRoberts
Based on discussions in UK smart meter forums it seems one of the reasons why a local frequency is being used for smart meters is that it has a greater range than the more common 2.4GHz frequency.

This helps out when the smart meter is either hidden away in a cupboard or even on an outside wall of a house and then allows it to reach the IHD - In Home Display which is linked via Zigbee to the smart meter. It can also help when meters in flats are in a common area some considerable distance from the individual flat.

Often traditional meters are in under-stairs cupboards or on newer properties they have been in cupboards mounted on the outside to allow manual meter reading by the energy firms. Of course with smart meters the benefit of having the meter outside no longer applies so this may stop happening.

Yes the requirement for appliances to communicate with the smart meter is for the eventual ability to schedule such appliances to run at cheaper low demand times of the day to even out the load on the energy grid.

I am not fully aware of the situation in the US but I get the impression that in these areas and others the EU and even the UK are well ahead of the US. However in comparison the US is far ahead in schemes for managing water usage although the average US house hold still uses far more water than a comparable UK/EU house.

This ‘green and pleasant land’ that is England may not considered to be anything like as short of water as California etc. but population and demand have been growing and there have been years of low precipitation. As a result due to extraction of water a number of rivers and streams have completely dried up. One might expect climate change to increase this problem although there is some argument that at least here in the UK global warming might lead to increased rainfall. (This will not be true in many other parts of the world.)

1 Like

I heard that the new sensors from Wyze Labs use some form of low frequency ZigBee.

My town (in north central Texas) has had electric smart meters for I’m guessing about 7-8 years. We just had smart water meters installed this past year. Both provide Web-based and app-based monitoring. For electricity it’s daily updates. For water it’s by the hour.

And yes, we use a lot of water. Much of that is because summer is 9 months long here and VERY hot. Those yard sprinklers are thirsty even with a smart system.

They use 915 MHz , which is one of the regional zigbee frequencies for the US, but I don’t know for sure whether it’s zigbee or not, it could be a proprietary protocol on the same band.

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.