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Home Automation with Zigbee

What is Zigbee?

zigbee iconZigbee is a protocol for communication among electronic devices. It is the “Internet of Things” industry leading standard applied in the creation of connected homes. Connected, or Smart Homes, in turn enhance the comfort, convenience and security for the owner. Examples of their use include: Smart Homes, Smart Sensors and Smart Lighting.

 

History of Zigbee

ZigBee was originally developed by the HomeRF Alliance in 1997, and is now managed by the Zigbee Alliance. And there is a strange thing about that company: Even through the development began at this time, very few products existed in the home automation space. The first standard was published in 2003 only to become obsolete in 2006. Now however, it is the first choice across the world for retailers, installers and service providers. We can see that clearly in the most recent version of Zigbee Home Automation. It adds several important new features and functionalities. These decrease the battery consumption of security sensors, and improve their life to over seven years. These features have a significant impact on operational and device costs to service providers, and increase the quality of service to consumers.

Zigbee home automation products are all certified to perform with high efficiency, regardless of manufacturer. Customers are enabled to buy with confidence. Zigbee Home Automation delivers a standard that can make every home smarter, more secure and more energy efficient.

 

Some general challenges

As we know the Zigbee Standard uses RF for signalling and control, and it is made to operate on IEEE 802.15.4 radios. These radios have many mismatched protocol stacks, as evidenced by extensive reports of incompatibilities among brands. The devices are also a little more expensive than their competitors in the market, such as Z-wave and Insteon.

 

 

BASIC Advantages of Zigbee Home Automation

Configuration

It is considered to be a mesh network, yet what is that? The signal begins from the central hub in mesh networks similar to Wi-Fi networks. However, in Zigbee networks the connected devices don’t need to directly communicate with the central hub.

This distributed network architecture allows the connected devices to act as a repeater, which passes the signal between the devices. This is the main reason why the network can cover greater distances and is not limited to any number of connections. They can connect up to 65,000 devices and work around obstacles. (However, connecting that many devices will create bandwidth problems.)

 

Power consumption

ZigBee is a low-power consumption device as it uses a fraction of the power required for WiFi. This is the major benefit that makes it such a popular choice for smart home devices. There are many applications that won’t have access to hard-wired power. These applications will need to be run with batteries.

Some devices using ZigBee can run on a single coin cell battery for several years. However a device that tries to maintain such a connection through Wi-Fi won’t last long and would be dead soon.  In order to operate properly, devices that act as repeaters will need more power consumption. It is for this reason; most of the devices that run on battery are not programmed to act as repeaters. These are few of the major points you need to keep in mind and consider while building such a network.

 

Further advantages

Zigbee provides an easy to install, self-configuring, self-healing network. Furthermore, application level standards are implemented such that device functionality is well defined and provides inter-operability. For instance, LED light bulbs are defined and anyone with a ZigBee Certified product can inter-operate with them.

It was designed after Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and was designed specifically to co-exist with technologies in the ISM band.

ZigBee networks choose the quietest channel to operate and can even change channels as conditions warrant. These devices are generally asleep and packets are tiny usually doesn’t have any problems over-the-air.

 

Supported Devices On Zigbee

There are many kinds of devices supported and they are divided into:

 

zigbee-modules
Generic Zigbee Device

Generic Devices

These include:

  • on/off switch
  • scene selector
  • Remote control
  • Door lock
  • smart plug
  • Meter interface
  • level control switch
  • on/off output
  • level controllable output
  • configuration tool
  • combined interface
  • range extender
  • main power outlet
  • Door lock controller
  • simple sensor
  • consumption awareness device
  • white Goods

 

Osram-Lightify-LED-bulbs
Zigbee Smart Lighting

Lighting Devices

These include:

  • on/off light
  • Dimmable light
  • Color Dimmable light
  • on/off light switch
  • Dimmer switch
  • color dimmer switch
  • light sensor
  • occupancy sensor

 

Bosch IAS
Zigbee enabled IAS security device from Bosch

Intruder Alarm systems (IAS)

These include:

  • Zones
  • Warning Devices
  • Control and indicating Equipment
  • Ancillary Control Equipment

 

Closures

These include:

  • Shade
  • shade controller
  • window covering device
  • window covering controller

 

CoolLinkNet
HVAC automation device

HVAC

These include:

  • Heating/cooling Unit
  • Thermostat
  • Temperature sensor
  • pump controller
  • pressure sensor
  • Flow sensor

 

Get more information

Based on customer reviews, you can see how easy it is to install the system. Customers can control it very easily from anywhere in the world using their smart phone. Furthermore, Internet connectivity is provided. You can easily monitor the power usage by turning the devices on or off remotely, and don’t forget about how customizable your home will be as you can create scenes and control light levels. The built-in security system is affordable, easy to use, ensures Safety and Security, and is inter-operable. Get in touch through the form below to see how you can automate your home with Zigbee!