Proper planning of the placement for your hub will greatly improve the Zigbee and Z-Wave™ radio performance. Here are some tips one where to place your shiny new Hubitat Elevation hub. Setting up your mesh network properly is as important as your hub placement. Repeaters (non-battery powered devices) are necessary for most homes work effectively. For more information on setting up Zigbee and Z-Wave mesh devices, see How to Build a Solid Zigbee Mesh and How to Build a Solid Z-Wave Mesh.
- Hubitat Elevation works best with a constant wired connection to your network. While this may limit your available location choices, it may be worth relocating your router or switch to a more ideal location whenever possible. If it isn't possible to relocate your ISP router, consider using adding a mesh router or powerline adapters. Many mesh routers will allow a device like a hub to receive IP packets via the Ethernet port on one of the remote wireless node. Alternately, powerline adapters allow you to extend Ethernet connections by using a set of special modules to send data by converting Ethernet to transmit over your home power mains. Alternatively, you can add a compatible WiFi adapter, but Ethernet will always be the preferred way to connect your hub.
- Try to place your hub in a central location of your home whenever possible. While Zigbee and Z-Wave both claim to have enough range to cover most houses, the reality is that every wall, floor, piece of furniture, as well as other electronic interference will reduce their effective range. The more central you locate your hub, the more you can help reduce your need for Zigbee and Z-Wave repeaters. This range extends vertically, too, so if you place your hub in the basement you may have a harder time reaching the upper floors. Radio signals can also have trouble passing through cement and stucco so you may need to rethink your hub placement or have strategically located repeaters to get past cement floors and walls.
- Maintain a minimum of 1 foot (0.3 meters) of separation between your router and hub to prevent potential interference to the Zigbee radio, which also operates the 2.4 GHz radio spectrum.
To avoid interference, do not locate your hub directly on top of (or directly underneath) your Wi-Fi router!
- Metal is not a friend of radio transmission. Zigbee and Z-Wave use radio frequencies that cannot pass through metal. Metal surfaces, structures and objects will reflect all radio signals and reduce their ability to travel long distances. Avoid metal shelves; large metal appliances, such as refrigerators; vehicles; etc.