Wifi mesh is better than zigbee mesh?

I am breaking the 300 devices point and finding myself spending more time repairing my system almost every other day. Usually with ZigBee devices.
When one of my zigbee repeater went offline. All my zigbee devices using that repeater also went offline and the only 2 ways to get them back is either re/Re the battery or reset the device. Dont they not try to find a new repeater after a period of time. I don’t have this issue with my wifi mesh at all.

Following! Im pretty sure this is my issue with my pantry. I have a door sensor and dog food sensor both Zigbee. I also have a lightify zigbee bulb that seems to go offline regularly. This in turn knocks the sensors offline. Very annoying.

First of all, most Wi-Fi routers can only practically support 150 or so devices with a hard stop at 250, where Zigbee can go into the thousands so that’s why the light bulb manufacturers have mostly gone with zigbee.

Second, Wi-Fi devices use 3 to 4 times as much energy as zigbee devices, so they don’t tend to be suitable for battery powered devices at all and they’re more expensive for everything else.

Third, I doubt very much that the problem is zigbee itself. It’s almost certainly the SmartThings implementation of it. Control 4 is a very expensive high-end home automation system which relies on zigbee so they can get that higher number of devices, and their client base would never put up with much instability.

@johnconstantelo might have more to add. But I doubt if the issues you’re seeing are specifically due to the protocol.

Of course you can try Wi-Fi devices if you prefer, but based on reports in the forums, I think people tend to report just as many problems, if of a slightly different nature, with Wi-Fi devices connected to SmartThings. :disappointed_relieved:

We use solar power at our house, so we will always have a preference for lower draw devices, but even if you don’t care about the energy draw, I don’t think switching to Wi-Fi will solve your problems, especially once you get over three dozen devices. But as long as you buy from a place with a good return policy, it’s always worth a try. :sunglasses:



Thanks JD! I too am breaching 300 devices, all but just a couple are wifi, with 155 being zigbee devices. My Zigbee mesh is by far super strong. I have more issues (offline, speed, dropping) of my zwave devices than anything else, but it’s getting better.

My zigbee mesh strength is attributed to having a repeater in every room possible, and probably a little related to hub placement in relation to my wifi router and access points.

My zwave mesh is improving as I’ve started to strategically use zwave plus devices in key locations, and I have seen improvements with my zwave mesh.

John, are you using any zigbee bulbs connected directly to the hub? I’m just seeing more and more reports of these being unreliable repeaters in a smartthings set up. Also the Xiaomi outlets.


Thanks guys. I do have zigbee repeaters in every room. Some even with 3! My problem is when I have a repeater issue. The devices using the failed repeater won’t jump to another repeater even with a mesh heal. We should have something similar to z-wave repair.

Yup, 9 Cree Daylight bulbs and 3 GE Daylight bulbs. I use to have problems with the GE 2700k bulbs, but I got rid of them. My bulbs are rock solid.

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You don’t need a separate repair utility for zigbee. The network will heal itself over time, although it can take several days, but if you want to force it you just take your hub off of power (including taking out the batteries) and leave it off power for at least 20 minutes while all of your other zigbee devices are still on power. When the hub comes back online, all the individual devices will rebuild their neighbor tables. This can take time, so you may not see the full results until the next day.

So if you have a repeater go bad, the network should eventually fix itself, but as I mentioned it can take a while, it’s not an instant thing.

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