How do Conbee2, Phoscon, raspberry,Node-red, zigbee2mqtt interact. What is what?

hi there,

im trying to get my head around about some of the basics of a node-red based smart home, and what "parts" are interchangeable.

short history: bought conbee2 stick, plugged it into raspi4 and installed it, installed node-red, going nuts about a Xiami Mi Smart Plug (is listed as supportet, but its not true: ConBee II Kompatibilitätsliste) not showing the current consumption (more details: Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug not fully usable (only switch feature offered) · Issue #4238 · dresden-elektronik/deconz-rest-plugin · GitHub), gooling and finding out that conbee2 is not open-source (i hate vendor lock), wondering if i can use the conbee2 stick with an open source software

so now i try to put all these "things" in categories to get a basic understanding how they are working together, and what is changeable i.e. node-red is interchangable to FHEM and what is the bare minimum to run a zigbee smart home on a raspberry pi server with node-red.

raspberry pi = Hardware Server
conbee2 stick = Zigbee Hardware
phoscon = closed source firmware/configuration software for conbee2 stick
node-red = Smart Home Operation system

so now im wondering:

  1. is the problem of the mi smart plugin, solvable if i switch the phoscon software for an open source software or is it more of an hardware issue that i should get another zigbeehardware stick?
  2. is zigbee2mqtt such an open source alternativ so i could ditch the phoscon configuration software for it?
  3. Edit: And what is deconz?


First of the Conbee Stick is only guaranteed to work with the proprietary software. It will maybe work with zigbee2mqtt.
The problem with the mi devices is that they say they use zigbee but than often slightly deviate from the standard which in turn leads to such incompatibilities which is why im not the biggest fan of them.

Kind of but the support for the conbee stick is experimental in zigbee2mqtt as far as i know but you could try it.

To answer your more general questions

FHEM much like openhab, iobroker or home assistant is a much more focused solution to run a home automation system.
You can do the same just with nodered but as nodered is a much more open ended universal tool which doesn’t have this single focus you will have to do a lot more of the thinking yourself.
This is great if you want a lot of flexibility and here really the sky is the limit but you need to be aware of this.
In the pure home automation based systems like FHEM you will have pre build things like a integrated hierarchical definition to present things like rooms or groups in your house, inbuild persistent to keep track of state and many more such home automation focused features.
You can build all those using nodered and many users here do but you have to be aware of the extra work that might be needed.
This is why many people here actually combine nodered with one of the aforementioned home automation systems.
This way you can use all the niceties of the inbuilt features there but use Nodered to for example orchestrate the more complex rules of your smarthome environment.
I hope this gives you some points to think about.


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Well thank you for your reply. after i googled around a bit, i can confirm that the power consumption thing is basically a problem with the mi plug and is a problem in different Home Automation systems.

so i guess i send it back and look for something more "zigbee-standardish" like shelly

Shellys are wifi based and not zigbee but many people here use them myself included as they work very well with nodered via mqtt.

There is Zigbee compliant plugs from Hue, Innr, Osram and Others but not sure which of those offer energy measurement.

chepeast i could find with measurement was Shelly Plug S Smart Wifi Stecker. Lets see if that will work in my setup

Depending on where you are in the world, some of the cheapest good Zigbee devices are the Ikea Tradfri range.

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