Zigbee HA vs. Zigbee LL

Good questions … I am interested in following this Topic… so I’ve written up a few notes, but these are not official or verified:

Have you downloaded the full specifications from ZigBee.org for careful detailed comparison? You need to input your contact information in order to get the PDF, though I can send them to you privately upon request (I would just post a link to my copy of the files, but I guess that technically violates their copyright, geesh!).

Maybe these links to the PDF downloads on their site will work without form submission?

At first glance, I think that ZigBee HA contains (nearly?) everything in ZigBee Light Link. The Clusters for various types of lights (dimmable, color, etc.) seem identical… but, the documents are not in the same format so it is difficult to compare without a lot more reading.

Can you find some specific differences to focus on?

As far as what I’ve seen in SmartThings so far, except for SmartHubs with very old firmware, Light Link compatible bulbs (Philips Hue, GE Link, and Cree) have been able to be connected directly to the hub / cloud and handled with Device Type Handlers documented throughout the Forums; but certainly with various quirks still being worked out.

Current answer: I don’t think I would call the current situation “crippled”. Based on my observations so far, SmartThings is handling these natively “pretty well”. It would be interesting to determine specific native features of Hue or other native Light Link bulbs that are not replicable by SmartThings in some form. The mobile Philips Hue apps, for example, can define Groups of Bulbs and Scenes … but these are implemented in the app and/or in the Hue Bridge or Hue Cloud … i.e., not in the “network of bulbs themselves”. Thus, it should be easy to replicate this functionality in a SmartThings SmartApp or extensions to the SmartDevice Type.

The bulbs can alternatively be connected interchangeably to each other’s branded hubs (well – I have both Philips Hue and GE Link bulbs on a Philips Hue Bridge/Hub), and, in turn, these hubs have a local IP / http / REST-API that SmartThings can relay through. In this scenario, an independent ZigBee mesh network is created. This scenario is working well for me and many of us, as we can use both SmartThings as well as the Philips Hue mobile apps.

Again: Search the Forum for Philips Hue configurations: I recall reading that if you join a bulb to SmartThings hub directly, then you can no longer join to the Philips Hue Bridge. Is this just because a bulb cannot be on two networks, or does the initial join force a channel change? Is there a reset procedure?

Here is a note that discusses the different ZigBee HA or Light Link channels utilized on SmartThings hub vs. the Hue Bridge…

You may find this entire Topic Thread to be helpful in helping to understand ZLL vs HA in SmartThings:

If the HA network master (SmartHub) can handle all the functions of the bulb, what is lost by not being able to move it back to the LL network master (bulb firmware upgrades from the manufacturer, perhaps?)

NB: The points I’ve made above are based on my limited knowledge at this time; other Community members may join in. More research will be interesting.

Also: The Light Link examples integrated to SmartThings (in various ways) are applicable so far to light-bulbs, but not “Scene Controllers”. Indeed, many of us would like a wider selection of controller devices so we don’t need to rely on the mobile SmartThings App and/or automation. A few Z-Wave controllers have been found to be compatible, but I don’t know of any ZigBee controllers (yet). This paragraph is subject to edits :wink:!

Good-luck to us all!
…CP / Terry.

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