Zigbee / Zwave question

Is Neeo an actual hub for my sensors, or does Neeo simply control my sensors through my existing hub? 

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  • Chris, I'm fairly certain (based on my earlier followings around this same topic) that the Neeo can act as both primary ZWave controller, meaning there is no need for anything else but also as a secondary, if you prefer to use another controller.


    regarding zigbee, it is my understanding we still need an additional hub.


    hopefully someone can confirm both points for sure, but this is how I understand it!

  • NEEO can be either the primary or secondary controller in a Z-Wave network.

  • Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately most of my devices are zigbee, so it sounds like I will need something to plug into the NEEO to see/control those. 

    I'm not sure if I fully understand the difference- years ago I read the zigbee was faster and more reliable so I bought zigbee whenever I could. Is zigbee not as popular these days?

    • Chris The general Problem in the Smart Home Industry is that there are to much different protocolls available. As much as i know the NEEO Brain Support both Protocols, so you are able to controll the most of your devices without the addition of other controllers. But i'm not able to say if it is working from the Start! The Specs can be found on neeo.com/brain

      • Patrick
      • Community Manager
      • Patrick
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris Would be very interesting to hear what zigbee devices you actually own. In addition to all the the many different protocols which Markus Mahr has already noted, ZigBee itself comes in many proprietary versions since manufacturers have added there own stuff. That is the reason I am asking for the actual devices.

    • Markus Mahr shame that spec doesn't state clearly if the Neeo has ZigBee included or support ZigBee USB dongles and I can't find "Hue" in the support database.

       Nim Wickramasinghe Note that in the UK a lot of the light circuits are wired with live wire via the switch only (called "2-wire system") compared to live and neutral both present in the switch box ("3-wire system"). With only two wires it can be tricky to power the smart device in the switch box (there are a few which work with an 2-wire system).

      If the Neeo Brain supports ZigBee (and Hue with ZLL) then you could add Z-Wave easily into your setup without an additional hub. I don't have a Neeo yet so can't try. In addition I've stayed clear of ZigBee due to some limitations past and current (uses 2.4GHz which easily gets killed by a not properly shielded USB3 device and is an already crowded frequency, mesh/routing didn't work for a long time so devices had to be in close proximity, too many incompatible modes/profiles, vendors not required to publish protocol settings for their devices resulting in many more compatibility problems than with other standards).

      I had a similar objective in that I had wanted to keep the function of the existing light switch (for users unaware or unfamiliar with "smart" home) but allow for the advanced usage for "educated" users. The way I've set it up is that I added a switch like the "Z-Wave Qubino Flush Relay x 2 Plus" to the switch box using the existing switch as input to the module keeping the existing face plate etc. . The module then triggers scenes/actions via the Z-Wave master controller. In addition the module is paired with essential targets (e.g. lights) to even switch them when the master controller is out of service.
      The result is that the lights in a room can all be turned on/off as usual with the light switch but can be turned on/off/dimmed/coloured (e.g. if the light is something like a RGBW led strip) from the mobile or remotes.

      As mentioned by others already DO NOT put a real dimmer in line/series with your Hue lights. The reason is that a real dimmer switches on/off power to the light very very quickly. The Hue with it's built in computer (zigbee receiver) will very likely see this as very noisy mains and cease to work at least temporarily.

    • Andre Breiler There is no USB-Connection on the Brain... Therefor it is included in the Brain as all other Supported Protocols and specs also.

    • Markus Mahr true, no USB. I noticed while looking at the Homematic part (e.g. if one could connect RFPlayer to extend protocol support substantially).

      On the ZigBee side the spec only states "IEEE 802.15.4 dual antenna (6LowPAN and ready for Thread, ZigBee)" which I read as some provision is there (one could assume hardware complete but it could be read as an option to be added later too) but not operational yet.
      Even if Zigbee is present then it will be interesting which of the many profiles are implemented.

      In the context of this thread I'd be interested that Neeo ( Patrick ?) makes an statement if Zigbee works already and if so what profiles esp. if ZLL is supported or and indication of time frame for it.
      If the Neeo Brain supports ZigBee ZLL then the light bulbs mentioned could be addressed directly by the Neeo without an additional hub.

    • Andre Breiler If you want Infos for the Availability of a specific device the only way at the moment is to use the works with neeo page. If you Tipe the exact manufacturer and the device name, maybe somebody of The NEEO Team can give you better Informations. But if the Device is not allready supported, the only thing needed for them to integrete is the Codes that were used. If possible, just reply by the manufacturer and the device name and somebody will check it.

    • Markus Mahr do you mean IR codes when you refer to "Codes" ? The "Works with NEEO" data base doesn't know about PHHUESB (Philips Hue A19 bulb).

      But the question is about a full specific "standard" protocol, in this case ZigBee with ZLL profile. (ZLL is ZigBee Light Link).

      This is why I was hoping someone from the NEEO company could make a statement.
      I've dropped a request for the specific device in via the "Works with NEEO" page and pointed at this planet thread.

  • *Smarthing smart sense multi sensors

    *Securifi Peanut Plugs

    *NYCE NCZ-3041-HA

    *NYCE NCZ-3043-HA 

    *GE Wink Bulbs (many different models)

    *Cree Connected Bulbs. 

    About 85% of my system is Zigbee. Smarthings seems to be one of the front runner HA systems here- though I dont use their hub, I use their zigbee sensors, they are quite common. Also the only HA bulbs that are stocked at big box stores like Home Depot other than HUE are the above mentioned Cree and Wink. Probably by far the most widely used outside of HUE.

      • Chris
      • Chris
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

       Patrick Any feedback on these sensors? 

      • Patrick
      • Community Manager
      • Patrick
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris Sorry, I didn't have a chance to check these yet. I will let you know as soon as I know more.

  • I'm quite interested in this actually, but have literally zero experience with either zigbee or z wave outside of the Philips Hue system, of which I have a number of bulbs in use. Being in the UK, the whole 'parallel' dimmer switch side of things is irritating me - people keep switching off the light switch instead of using the hue dimmer. I've been looking into z wave switch control, but wasn't keen on adding ANOTHER hub to my already (relatively) crowded system. I presume this means that the NEEO could act as a primary controller if I installed some z wave dimmer switches to control standard bulbs in some of my rooms?


    many thanks

    • Michael Kohler many thanks Michael. Its irritating that Hue bulbs don't play nicely with third party dimmers. I'll keep the motion based Hue lighting and get rid of the others, replacing them with z wave switches and standard LED bulbs through NEEO then. Cheers!

    • Nim Wickramasinghe why? with neeo you can use zwave switches to switch your hue bulbs. No need to replace them. Also you could use the Busch-jaeger ZLL switches.

    • Niels de Klerk thank you. I am totally new to z wave/zigbee. I was under the impression that Hue bulbs did badly with dimming switches other than their proprietary dimmer...certainly with traditional dimmers they don't work. If they work ok with z wave/zigbee dimmer switches that would be amazing! The Busch jaeger ZLLs look good - presumably they wire into an existing standard 86mm light switch backbox? I will ask my electrician to look at this if so. Cheers! Already loving planet NEEO as a place for answers and advice 😁

    • Niels de Klerk check that - have just seen the spec sheets for the ZLL - 64mm, not 86mm. I also have no clue where to start with this, it's a bit above my head at the moment. I'll have a read of some basic zigbee and then x wave principles and try to figure out what would work best for me. Thanks again.

    • Nim Wickramasinghe I have my hues always on power. And switch with the Busch-jaeger switch. You can also use zwave switches and make a recipe with neeo to turn on your hue lights when the zwave switch is on. So the neeo will act as an in between.

    • Niels de Klerk ok that makes sense. Whilst I appreciate that the risk is low, does that mean your light bulb socket is live all the time e.g. if you ever need to change bulbs?

    • Nim Wickramasinghe I'll cut the main power group of the light group.

    • Niels de Klerk makes sense, thanks. If internet goes down (which sadly mine does not infrequently), I rely on the physical switch for my hue lights. Presumably that would impact on a z wave/zigbee switch, which wouldn't work if the NEEO is not connected to the internet?

    • Nim Wickramasinghe as long as your local network is up and running it's no problem. With the ZLL switch the hues can be connected directly, no wifi and iR internet required.

  • Patrick said:
    Would be very interesting to hear what zigbee devices you actually own.

     Start with SmartThings / Centralite devices.

  • Nim , depending on whree you are based, there are more (and potentionally lower priced )alternatives to the Busch Jaeger solution. Gira and Jugn for example also do list ZLL switches that can be programmed to control your lights - I don't know abiout the Jung, but tested the Gira and since based on Touchlink, it even doesn't require the Hue Hub to be involved at all. Still, everything outside this ecosystem feels a little clumsy to implement adn thus I am preferring to mechanically hack the Hue Tap into an Enocean switch of my lighting system. Not exactly cheaper but it keeps the esthetics and is more versatile. I am very curious to finally explore how smooth Neos integration of Z-Wave dimmers into the Hue system works - actually I want to go the opposite way and use Z-Wave dimmers to control my remaining non Hue lights within one GUI.

    • Klaus Grosser thanks for the info. The Gira stuff looks promising. I'll check out the prices.

  • Nim Wickramasinghe said:
    I was under the impression that Hue bulbs did badly with dimming switches other than their proprietary dimmer...certainly with traditional dimmers they don't work.

     I'm not sure if everybody is talking about the same here (you are talking about dimming while most answers refer to switches).

    To my limited knowledge (but I just installed some Fibaro z-wave switches & dimmers) it's *not* best practice to have a dimmer "in front" of another dimmer. This typically does not properly work with traditional lamps (e.g. halogen) but will not work at all with LEDs. I understand to dim LEDs the power is pulsed (switched on and off) at a high frequency and adding another dimmer (even one that is able to handle LEDs) will not be in sync with the pulse of the other dimmer so I think:

    • You should (can't?) add another dimmer e.g. in front of a HUE system (as it is using LEDs and has an integrated dimmer). What you can do is add a (e.g. z-wave) *switch* (I think that is what Niels de Klerk is talking about)
    • If you have a LED lamp without a dimmer: you need a (z-wave) dimmer which can be used with LEDs (e.g. Fibaro has one called "RGBW Controller") or a switch
    • If you have a traditional lamp you want to dim via z-wave you should remove the original dimmer of the lamp (or use a switch)
    • Tom Schneider Niels de Klerk Thanks all for your replies and your help. Apologies that I've not been very clear. Im UK based, and use a mix of Hue bulbs through the hue bridge with HomeKit and normal non smart bulbs. I use Hue dimmer switches at present but my main bugbears are 1) the Hue dimmers aren't THAT reliable (I get dropouts and failure to action not infrequently) so I often have to revert back to physical switch off and on again to get light and 2) the Hue dimmers have to sit next to the existing physical switch, which my wife frequently turns off. She won't have switch covers, so I'm looking at replacing the physical switches completely with zigbee or z wave dimmer switches. I feel like the z wave option suits better because of the existing non smart bulbs which can also be z wave automated via NEEO, whereas zigbee switches will only work with the Hue bulbs (I think). Thanks again, hope this is clearer!

    • Tom Schneider you don't want to dim the power to the HUE indeed. What I meant is controlling the hue throug the NEEO. The hue bulb can dim itself.

    • Nim Wickramasinghe I think the nicest solution are the Busch jaeger ZLL switches: they are quite expansive but I haven't seen others companies doing it like this.

    • Nim Wickramasinghe I think I understand but If I understand Hue correctly (I don't own it) the "Hue Dimmer Switch" is probably not a real dimmer but rather a remote and the dimming is happening in the Hue bulb itself. Therefore I think you *can't* replace the dimming functionality by using *...dimmer switches* but need something that can (remote) control the built in hue dimmer.  Niels de Klerk correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Tom Schneider : correct, those (as the 3rd party unitsa) are not exactly dimmers but rather multiple button remotes instead where you can assign dim up/down to dedicated buttons. The BJ are a little exception here as they also offer integrated dimmer or switch options, whichmeans you can control this through HUE as you would with the now obsolete Living White Plugs (or Osram Lightyfy plug sans dimming).

    So there are actually 2 scenarios to separate:

    1: Dim ZLL bulbs (e.g Hue) through Zigbee or Z-Wave remotes (Hue Tap,Hue Dimmer Switch, Gira, Fibaro switch)

    2: control 3rd party dimmers like BJ ZigBee or Fibaro Z-Wave through NEEO

  • Hi everyone,

    Been following this thread since the beginning as I'm working with the beginnings of a Zigbee setup at home. Just thought I'd share my experiences so far and what I'm planning in the future.

    I currently have one hue bulb, the rest is based on FLS-PP Lp and Raspbee Gateway from Dresden Elektronik and I also have two Lightify plugs from Osram. The advantage I find from using this gateway vs. the hue hub is that the Raspbee is not only ZLL compatible but can also deal with some HA components. I have recently purchased a Rainbee 16 to control irrigation and it was easily recognized and setup.

    Most of my main lighting is still non-smart, though and I've been controlling everything smart via the webapp provided by the Raspbee, except for the one LED-Strip which I'm turning on and off via conventional switch (e.g. cutting the power to the wireless ballast).

    My next challenges will be including the normal, non-smart lighting in this system (don't want to change all the bulbs in the house to hue, too expensive) and changing the switches at the same time. Only way I've found until now that might work (have not tested it yet) is with the Busch Jaeger program. I've checked out the Gira and Jugn and they both look very good. However, the main difference between those two and Busch is that Busch provides switching and dimming inserts to be installed in place of the current switches. These would then be added to the ZLL network and you would be able to control standard lighting via Zigbee. You can (and should) then add a control surface over the top of said insert to send ZLL commands. Gira and Jugn only provide switches that send ZLL commands, as far as I can tell from what I read. There is also an insert from Osram Lightify Pro, however it would not be compatible with the Raspbee and I'm not looking to change my gateway as I would loose other compatibilities.

    Now, the only thing I'm currently missing is a nicer way of controlling this system via phone, tablet or laptop. While the Raspbee's webapp works well and has all the basic functionalities, it does look a bit dreary and the sprinkler circuits are displayed as lights. I've found the iSmartenit App to look more the part, with the possibility of creating and managing rooms, etc. However, it will only work with a Smartenit gateway, which won't detect most of my system. There is an option on the Raspbee's webapp to register 3rd party apps to control it (i.e. the hue app controlling the Raspbee for example) but so far nothing I've found that would suit me. I should maybe point out that I've only very basic and outdated HTML and PHP coding skills, so I won't be able to develop anything anytime soon.

    As for NEEO, well, I'm excited to see how it will play into all this. I was essentially thinking of including lighting in my recipes. Turning down the lights (if they are on) as soon as I turn on the TV, for instance. It will also allow me to not reach for my smartphone, unlock it, open a webpage to control lighting in my home. Ideally, I would like to add some blinds control via the io-homecontrol protocol, but there's no word on whether NEEO will be capable of working with that protocol or not.

    Sorry for the long post, hope it will help out some people looking for answers and, who know, maybe someone has a suggestion for a control app/web--interface...

  • Andre Breiler said:
    I can't find "Hue" in the support database.

     If you refer to the "Works with NEEO" database, my understanding is that it currently only lists IR devices.

    Hue is supported through an API, not Zigbee.

    • Paul Spee aha thank you. (Yes I did refer to the "Works with Neeo" database because I don't have a Neeo yet and as far as I know that is the only searchable database for device support available to me right now).

      From the information that Hue is supported via API the answer to Nim Wickramasinghe is that if he isn't using the Hue hub (or similar with his Hue light bulbs as yet) then he would need an hub to enable Neeo to interact with his Hue light bulbs [unfortunately].
      If he then opts for a Z-Wave device (e.g. as light switch) in addition he wouldn't need an additional hub for Z-Wave because the Neeo can work as Z-Wave master controller.