ZigBee bridges, also called hub or bridge in English, that is not what is missing. Of ZigBee Philips Hue hub dedicated to Philips Hue products at ZigBee Zemi bridgesmart for Tuya devices / Smart Life, via the famous Aqara gateway, that's not what's missing, but many of you asked us for our opinion on another model from a well-known home automation brand: the Sonoff ZBBridge.
Offered in pack with various elements such as a temperature / humidity sensor, a motion detector, a door / window detector, a wireless switch or even a Sonoff Basic version ZigBee, we will start our small series with the Sonoff ZBBridge hub and the temperature / humidity sensor.
Sonoff: the cute and mini ZigBee
It was in a very small package that we received the Sonoff Zigbee pack with ZBBridge and its sensors, the bridge being the most imposing element of the whole. We will also be interested in him first.
No excessive excess on the presentation and the quality of the packaging, to say the least, but the products inside are perfectly intact and that is the main thing. On the front, there is a representation of the product contained in each box, as well as the icons eWeLink Smart Home, Google Assistant et Amazon Alexa.
On the back of the box, the description of the content and technical characteristics from the bridge. On the sides the different Wi Fi devices taken into account such as the DIY Smart switches, Smart wall switches, Smart Plugs and Smart Lighting, in other words, a wide range from switches to bulbs, including sockets and buttons. The top of the box indicates the reference of the bridge: Sonoff ZBBridge.
Once out of its packaging, we discover a small square of 6.2 cm x 6.2 cm x 2.0 cm with rounded and bevelled angles weighing only 35 grams only ! The Sonoff ZBBridge is therefore a real featherweight all dressed in white. It is accompanied by a small quick installation leaflet in eight languages including French, succinct but well done.
On the front are:
- On the right, the USB port to power the bridge. Note that neither cable nor adapter are provided.
- On the left, the orifice to be used for the function reset. If necessary, the tip of a pen pressed for 5 seconds until the LED on the top on the left flashes green then the one on the right of the Wi FI in blue: two quick flashes then a long one will put the bridge back in mode pairing.
The underside of the case tells us about the IEEE transmission standards in ZigBee and Wi-Fi, both using the 2.4GHz band.
As said before, today we present the bridge with one of its accessories, the Sonoff SNZB-02 thermometer / hygrometer because on its own it does nothing, since it simply serves as a communication relay with the devices attached to it.
It too is in the same type of packaging, thin and orange cardboard with, of course, its representation on the front and its reference on the top: Sonoff SNZB-02. Here too we find attached a quick start leaflet, the quality control certificate and a 3M adhesive of the same format (for wall mounting for example) as the small thermometer which measures: 4.3 cm x 4.3 cm x 1.4 cm for 28 grams only battery included! Miniaturization is fully expressed here. Designed in the same quality of plastic as the bridge, it also follows its shape with the four rounded angles, two of which are bevelled. These also ensure a perfect grip.
On the front face is engraved a drawing of a thermometer which leaves no room for any doubt as to its function. On the top the sensor hole. On the back, a reminder of the dual function of the device: thermometer / humidity sensor and the battery model that powers it: CR2450 3V (provided).
Below the function button for pairing to the bridge or to a speaker Amazon Echo having a built-in bridge because, yes, it can be paired directly, although this unfortunately does not add much for the moment.
Access to the battery compartment is made by unclipping the back of the case. This is protected by a film which must of course be removed to put it into service.
Having toured the two modules, let's see their respective technical sheet.
Temperature and humidity sensor
Attempt on the integrated bridge Amazon Echo
This small sensor being powered by the ZigBee protocol, it was tempting to pair it directly to one of our devices. Amazon Echo with integrated hub such as2nd Generation Echo Show or the new one Amazon Echo 4. After removing the battery protection then pressing the button and asking « Alexa detects my new devices », we were delighted to see that it was well recognized by our favorite vocal assistant (although she told us the opposite, just to confuse us…). Better yet, routines were possible… Awesome! Well, almost, because there is a catch ...
Sonoff ZBBridge: installation and use with eWeLink.
We will therefore turn to the application ewelinka, which obviously supports this hub and the associated accessories. An application that we know well since we presented it to you in our Sonoff Basic installation tutorial, but which has since changed a little in appearance and is more pleasant to use.
Once electrically connected, the Sonoff ZBBridge goes directly into pairing mode by flashing twice quickly then once slowly. Then click on the "+" In blue at the bottom of the page. On the news that is displayed, it is suggested to use the quick pairing mode. Oddly enough, detection is easier when you choose "Add multiple devices" which "Add one device", we therefore recommend this first. It is necessary to grant access to the position to continue the installation.
Also consider, especially if you are using a mesh type router Tenda Nova, to place your smartphone on the 2.4 GHz band. After having indicated the name of his WiFi network and his password, the search starts and if everything has been done well, a few seconds later, the detection displays the Sonoff ZBBridge that you can of course rename to simplify its management.
Once the hub is installed, you must now add the accessories it will support. We are therefore going to proceed with the installation of a device, in this case the Sonoff SNZB-02 thermometer / hygrometer. Nothing could be simpler, the procedure is even faster. Select the bridge, press the positioned button then the sensor appears under its generic name which it is also possible to rename here. Temperature and humidity rises appear immediately once the device is installed. One click on it and you can enjoy them in full screen.
A click on the three small dots at the top right gives access to the device parameter page and in particular the possibility of assigning a part to it.
But the temperature sensor Sonoff SNZB-02 will take all its interest within a manual or automated scenario ...
By simply filling in the form with the condition "IF" (the trigger) then " SO " (the action to be performed), it is possible to perform many scenes. You can, for example, create a scenario where if the temperature or humidity crosses a high or low threshold, a shutter will have to be closed. Better yet, if your radiator is connected to a Sonoff switch, you can use it as a thermostat. All that is required is for the device to be registered on the eWeLink application. Smart Home, but it doesn't matter whether it's WiFi or ZigBee.
With Amazon Alexa
It is possible to directly pair the device with speakers Amazon Echo with a “connected home” hub… But that is of little interest, so we advise you to use the Sonoff SNZB-02 thermometer / hygrometer directly via the bridge Sonoff ZBBridge. This done, it also goes back into the app Alexa with the name assigned in the eWeLink application via the dedicated skill (see below).
But… No question of routines! Alexa will just answer the question: "what is the temperature [name given to the device]" and will not display more information via the dedicated screen. No humidity, too bad, but Alexa does not yet know this parameter ... In short, once again, this type of device faces a cruel lack of compatibility. Especially since the eWeLink scenarios do not go back up in the application. Alexa… In short, Itead could really do better!
With Google Assistant
Here too, the device goes back if you have associated your eWeLink account in Google Home via the traditional “Parameters” menus (the toothed wheel at the top of the page) then "Works with Google". You will be able to question the Mountain View wizard via the classics Google Assistant commands by asking the temperature or humidity. A good point for this integration compared to that granted for Alexa but, here too, the device is not able to trigger routines. Pity !
Our opinion on Sonoff ZBBridge and its thermometer / hygrometer
Indeed, the compatibility with the voice assistants of the Sonoff SNZB-02 connected thermometer / hygrometer is all relative, but it should nevertheless satisfy the users of the Sonoff ecosystem. In the eWeLink app Smart Home, it can in fact be used as a trigger and allows the creation of scenarios with various choices of temperature and / or humidity conditions. Corn the absence of routines as well in Alexa that Google Assistant is frankly regrettable because that greatly limits the possibilities.
Nevertheless, the low price of these associated devices and the possibility of flashing them - untested, but apparently it works - should undoubtedly satisfy users of a. Home Assistant home automation box or even Jeedom.
On the positive side, the reduced size like the design of the Sonoff ZBBridge and associated devices allow them to be placed anywhere, but it's a bit like at Xiaomi / Aqara in fact: you are locked in an ecosystem if you do not have a home automation box.
Is it enough to pass over the regrets we have? We will say a big yes when the use with voice assistants is fully effective. In the meantime, for the price, the Sonoff ZigBee solution still remains promising.
Sonoff ZBBridge and its temperature / humidity sensor€23.99
- ZigBee device
- Possibility of having the humidity level in voice with Google Assistant
- No humidity level recognized by Alexa in vocal
- No routine possible with Google voice assistants or Alexa