Is there such a thing? I’m looking at putting 2 ZigBee lights outside on both sides of my garage and I’m not sure if the signal will reach them. I was thinking I’d replace one of my switches at the front door so there is a repeater within a few feet of one of the outside lights. I’m thinking that would extend the mesh outside where the closest light could pick it up and send it on to the light further away. But, I really don’t what to spend another $50 to do it.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of any inexpensive ZHA light switches. There just aren’t very many made.
As of today (January 2017) I think the least expensive reliable ZHA repeater is the iris smart plug available at Lowe’s. It retails for $35, but it’s pretty easy to find a 10% off coupon for Lowes, and sometimes you can even do better, so that brings the cost down to around $32.
There are other less expensive devices , but the reliability is the issue there, and for many people outdoor lighting is a safety feature, not just a convenience.
Thanks JD. Lowe’s does have one that I think should work for $38, but the stores local to me do not stock it and I can’t do a ship to store… so the extra shipping puts it right back at about $50.
I don’t have an outlet within line of sight to the garage lights, so I’m not sure the one you linked to would work. I think my best bet might be to just use a chain of lights to extend the mesh out there. At least that way the funds are at least going to building up my lighting base. Who knows, I might get lucky and the two lights I want to do might pick up the signal just fine.
Thanks for the info guys, I’ll have to give these options some thought.
I did picked up 3 of the Lightify bulbs for my front porch and on both sides of the garage. I was able to pair all three lights with my ST Hub, but the far garage light would not respond to commands. I ended up taking the ZigBee outlet from my “smart office chair” experiment and plugging it in inside the house next to the front door. It’s about 4 feet from the porch light. Doing this made the far garage light work.
Seems kind of odd since the outlet is further way (and inside the house) from that light then the other garage light (that works just fine without the outlet close by). I tried putting the outlet in the garage just on the other side of the far light, but the outlet only worked sporadically there and the far light not at all.
They actually had stock.
I bought them all and picked them up yeaterday though. Dirt cheap with their current sale minus $15 off $50.
I checked about 20 more stores (online), oddly enough, my store was the only one with stock…
The protocol question is a good one. At the present time, none of the Z wave lightbulbs are rated for outdoor use, but some of the zigbee bulbs are.
Also, there are zigbee bulbs available in the BR30 and PAR38 “flood light” form factor, while the Z wave bulbs are still available only as A19’s or A21’s, the “regular” indoor shape. And in the existing offerings the floodlights are also significantly brighter.
Additionally, while it is true that Z wave plus has a longer range, for technical reasons zigbee is somewhat better at transmitting through humid conditions, including rain and snow. (This is detailed in the various “zwave versus Zigbee” forum topics.)
So you put all that together, and most people use zigbee for outdoor lightbulbs.
As for why any particular repeater placement works one while another one doesn’t, it’s usually just local architecture. Both signals are Omnidirectional, and some surfaces are reflective while others block signal. The signal might be bouncing up a floor and out a window down to the other device. Or it might be taking the long way round and it happens that in the successful location the message is actually going backwards over to another repeater which is then sending it back forward to the eventual target.
Smartthings doesn’t give us network mapping utilities, so we can’t see any of the pathways. But as long as the message is getting through, that’s what matters.
I did do the mesh repair, but I did not way a day or two to see if the results were better. I just moved the one plug in outlet I had to act as the repeater. I too had read that bulbs are not the best repeaters.
As to why I’m using ZigBee over Zwave Plus bulbs, both Lightify and Hue bulbs are ZHA so I have no choice (based on the choice of using those two brands). I would much rather stick to just Zwave for all of my devices, but that does not seem to be possible with product holes in both standards