How to Add Z-Wave & Zigbee to Home Assistant

by Danny
7 comments

READING TIME: 5 MINUTES

Looking for a simple step by step guide for adding z-wave and zigbee to Home Assistant in 2021? If so, then look no further than this tutorial. In this tutorial, I will show you how to configure both the zwave and zigbee integrations. Both of these can be installed in less than 10 minutes, so it’s really not as daunting as you may think. In fact, migrating from SmartThings to home assistant has been a LOT easier than I ever would have thought. If only I had migrated sooner…

Anyway, in this guide, I have Home Assistant running on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I chose this option over a VM using Home Assistant OS because I needed to utilize the raspberry pi’s USB port to install a Nortek GoControl USBZB-1 zwave/zigbee hub. This is what is needed to communicate with zwave and zigbee devices, as opposed to just wifi devices like my Ring, Roku TV’s, or Ecobee thermostat.


Prerequisites:

Update 6/15/21: I no longer use a Raspberry PI to run Home Assistant. I now use a VMware Workstation VM. Follow this guide to install Home Assistant on VMWare Workstation.

However, if you still plan on following this guide, feel free to! Everything below still applies.


1. Plug in Nortek USB to raspberry pi (or PC, if using Vmware)

First, unbox your zwave hub and plug it into an available USB port on your raspberry pi or VM.

After that, we need to make sure it’s detected correctly within Home Assistant.


2. Verify USB is detected by Home Assistant

Log into your home assistant web interface. Navigate to Supervisor > System. Under the Host System card, click the 3 dots and choose Hardware.

Under the serial section, you should see two USB devices. This is because the Nortek hub is both a z-wave and zigbee adapter.

Edit Configuration.yaml

Update 6/15/21: I’m not sure this section is still required to get zwave on Home Assistant. I believe you can just search for the addon called Jwave js.


The easiest way to edit the Home Assistant config file is by installing an add-on called File Editor. Do this by going to Supervisor > Add-on Store. I recommend toggling it to Show In Sidebar for quick access.

Open File Editor. Click the folder in the top left corner and then choose the configuration.yaml.

Next, just simply copy and paste these two lines of text below the last entry:

zwave:

 usb_path: /dev/ttyUSB0

Verify Config & Restart

To verify your configuration is correct before you get started, you can check it by clicking Configuration > Server Controls > Check Configuration.

If it comes back valid, you can restart home assistant from the same page.

After restarting, you should now a Z-Wave integration under the Configurations > Integrations page:

If for some reason restarting home assistant doesn’t show the z-wave controller, you can restart the entire raspberry pi by going to Supervisor > System > Reboot.


Adding Z-Wave devices to Home Assistant

The last step is adding your z-wave devices!

You could add these devices while sitting at your computer….but since home assistant can be accessed from a web interface, I found it’s just as easy to pair things from the home assistant app on your phone.

To add a device, simply click Add Node and then begin the pairing the device like normal:


How to Add Zigbee Devices to Home Assistant

Since I purchased a 2-in-1 zwave+zigbee adapter, you can also set Zigbee up in Home Assistant.

Just click on Configurations > + Add Integration > and search for “ZHA”.

Since we used USB0 for zwave, select USB1 for zigbee. Click Submit afterwards.

You should see a SUCCESS! message afterwards if it was able to successfully find the zigbee coordinator.

To Add a new zigbee device to home assistant, click the Zigbee Home Automation integration > Configure > Add Device.

Put your device into pairing mode like normal, and it should automatically pick it up. I have about 6 Securifi Peanut Smart Plugs around the house, and they all paired extremely easily.


Wrapping Up

That’s all there is to it! The hardest part about migrating from SmartThings to Home Assistant is the fact that I never knew which devices were zwave or which ones were Zigbee. With Home Assistant, I have to research which device uses which protocol before I can pair them.

Hopefully this guide helped you get your Nortek GoControl device connected to Home Assistant without any issues!


My Favorite Home Assistant Devices

Below are some of the Home Assistant-compatible devices I personally use in my home. I highly recommend each of them.

The full list of all Home Assistant compatible & recommended devices I use can be found on my Equipment List page.

7 comments

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7 comments

Ross February 24, 2021 - 7:05 pm

Thanks so much, this guide has been invaluable. Was able to get my HUSBZB-1 working on a VM running inside Proxmox by passing through the device from the host to the VM,

Reply
Danny February 24, 2021 - 7:19 pm

Great to hear! I’m glad I could help you get HA up and running.

Reply
David Cooke June 13, 2021 - 10:43 pm

Do you have options for zwave js.? Having some fail to start errors.

Thanks

Reply
Danny June 14, 2021 - 1:13 pm

I was originally on OZW, but when I migrated all of my devices just worked. What types of devices are you having issues with? Are you able to re-interview the device to see if that helps?

Reply
Rick June 15, 2021 - 11:05 pm

Zwave looks to have set up properly, but Zigbee has trouble. When I try to add the integration, I choose /dev/ttyUSB1 and the window spins for a long time before changing screens and saying “Pick a type of your Zigbee radio” where it looks like it’s asking me to manually config it. I try that too (Using EZSP as the Radio Type), but I just get an error message saying “Failed to connect”. I tried USB0 just to be sure, but no luck.

Reply
Frank July 14, 2021 - 7:34 pm

Rick, I am experiencing the same behavior and have not found a solution. If I do find a solution, I will post it here.

Reply
Rick September 16, 2021 - 4:44 pm

Frank, the solution was to buy a new hardware set. The first one I received didn’t work, and I’ve read a lot of similar reviews on reddit. I returned it and tried again and the new one is working just fine.

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