Homey Community Forum

How can I achieve stability of Homey’s Zigbee network?

How long does it take for a flow that is triggered by the Aqara sensor to run? You can easily check this by adding a notification to the action cards. That way, you can find out if it’s the Aqara-sensor part of the flow that is slow.

Likewise, you can create a flow for changing the Hue lights that you can test/trigger manually. That way, you can find out if the Hue part of the flow is slow.

Hi @robertklep et al.
Here are my observations.

1. Hue lights connected to the Hue bridge.
Sensor - Homey - Bridge - Hue Light - Hue dimmer
a. Aqara sensor (connected to homey, naturally) triggers the flow with a delay, about 500 to 1500 ms. I’ve installed 2 motion sensors in the long bathroom, by the time I walk the first meter from the door the light triggers. Sometimes it triggers earlier, sometimes after 2 meters, which is a bit late, and I have to take care not to bump into things : )
b. the Hue dimmers connected to the Hue bridge trigger without the delay
This setup is kind of acceptable.
c. However, removing Hue lights from the homey Zigbee network means losing valuable routers, the Hue lights are actually being used at the moment as routers for other devices.

2. Hue lights connected to Homey directly
Sensor - Hue Lights - Homey - Hue Bridge – Hue dimmer
a. Aqara sensor triggers almost without a delay. Hard to say how much but if I am idle too long in the loo, I just need to flinch a shoulder and the light come back right away : ), ie under 300 ms I guess.
b. Hue Dimmers simply do not work with Homey directly any longer, therefore the only way is to connect them to the Hue bridge.
Triggering the flow from a Hue Dimmer via Bridge takes about 2-3 seconds, which is a very noticeable lag. You are not sure if the flow has broken again or it’s just a ‘normal’ delay.
This is not really practical.

To remedy 1.c. I could install another device as a router. People recommend Ikea Signal repeater, however, I read as well that Aqara sensors won’t work via Ikea routers!
This is where Homey is letting us down, because their claim of integrating different devices doesn’t not hold, if you can’t even route devices via a dedicated repeater because they are incompatible within the same Zigbee network. Since we can’t influence how devices are routed in Zigbee, the only option is not to use conflicting devices that limits my options severely.

So if I understand correctly, the Aqara sensors work (much) better when you have more router devices (the Hue bulbs) in Homey’s Zigbee network. It sounds like those sensors are on the edge of your network, or there’s a lot of interference (for instance from WiFi), which gets mitigated by adding more router devices to your mesh.

As for triggering flows based on devices connected to the Hue bridge: that’s a known downside of using the Hue bridge, and is caused by the Hue app having to use polling to check the state of the bridge. I believe the default poll interval is 5 seconds, so worst-case it will take up to that time before Homey can react on a state change for bridge-connected devices. There’s not way around that.

This is where Homey is letting us down, because their claim of integrating different devices doesn’t not hold, if you can’t even route devices via a dedicated repeater because they are incompatible within the same Zigbee network.

I have plenty of Aqara devices that are being routed through IKEA devices just fine (not on Homey, though), so why that particular combination doesn’t work (well) on Homey, I don’t know. The controller (Homey) isn’t responsible for building or maintaining a Zigbee mesh. I would suggest buying a single IKEA repeater and see if it works in your situation.

Due to the polling issue with the Hue app the logical conclusion for me would be the following:

  • Move all the Hue lights and the Dimmer to the Hue bridge. This way they will communicate without any delay and will work natively, with updates, and the dimmer behaviour is out of the box without the need to create a bunch of flows.
  • Triggering flows from other Aqara devices that involve Hue light will result in a delay, but it’s acceptable.

I’ve got the IKEA repeater, nothing is routed via it yet, I will keep an eye on the mesh to catch the moment when it happens. At the moment most of the devices insist to be routed via the remaining Hue light in the network : )

Sending commands through the Hue bridge should not be delayed, there’s only a (polling) delay while reading from the Hue bridge. So things like device status will take up to 5 seconds (AFAIK) before it gets reflected back to Homey. Which, for me, would rule out connecting controlling devices (remotes, motion sensors, etc) to the Hue bridge, because 5 seconds it too long for my taste.

I’d installed an Ikea repeater and I can see Aqara devices in the mesh being routed via Ikea, so I have to take it back, it seems to be possible to use Ikea devices as routers, at least at the moment. They keep jumping from the repeater to a Hue light (connected directly )

I am wondering if it’s possible to exclude a router from zigbeen network to force connecting via the repeater : )

You can’t force a particular mesh setup with Zigbee, no.