The Zigbee standard is a product of the open Zigbee Alliance. Typically Zigbee devices work with a smart home automation controller much like Z-Wave, but Zigbee its origins in the industrial side of smart automation rather than home. Lighting is Zigbee’s biggest strength. Philips Hue, the first widely popular lighting system, supports Zigbee.

[caption id="attachment_2528" align="alignleft" width="300"]Zigbee Wink Hub Image The Wink Hub supports not just Z-Wave but also Zigbee, Wifi, and BlueTooth[/caption]

Zigbee controllers often have their own hub, called a bridge, which talks to Wifi. Philips Hue lights will not work without one. One advantage of Zigbee capabilities is that, as is the case with the Philips Hue, is that the App is specifically designed for their products, so has lots of features. By comparison when you use a device where the app is that of the hub maker (ie. a SmartThings Z-Wave hub, then you are limited to what that hub’s app allows, so that you might not have full color choices with color bulbs. When the device manufacturer makes the app, such as Philips or Lightify, you should find maximum control of those smart lights, as well as many other devices, across your smart home network in one place.

Zigbee bridges start from well under $100.

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