This is the brand new Home Assistant SkyConnect! With this device, you can connect all your Zigbee devices AND Matter devices to Home Assistant. Let’s see what this can do!
⭐⭐⭐ NOTE: ⭐⭐⭐
This article accompanies a YouTube video. I wrote it for people who would rather read than watch a video. In order to keep doing this, I would like to ask you to also check out the video, leave a comment under the video, give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to my YouTube channel. This means that the video is offered more often to new visitors so that they also stay informed of the latest Home Assistant tutorials.
Thank you for your support!
This little device is the new Zigbee and Matter coordinator which is developed by Nabu Casa. I got the limited black edition, but the common version is blue. Nabu Casa also delivers a USB extension cable with the package because connecting a Zigbee dongle to your Home Assistant server works best if you use an extension cable because of interference issues.
Before we start, please subscribe to my channel and hit the thumbs-up button for this video. This way, you make sure that I can keep creating these videos for you!
So, what can this thing do?
This device makes it possible to connect all your Zigbee and Thread devices regardless of what brand they are to Home Assistant. So, you do not need to use a bridge or hub for the different brands that you have in your home. You can just use this dongle and all your Zigbee and Matter devices in your house will connect to it. It’s compatible with ZHA and should be compatible with Zigbee2MQTT in Home Assistant. I have to note that it still relies on the experimental EmberZNet support for Zigbee2MQTT, so results may vary at the moment. I tried to install it using Zigbee2MQTT, but I couldn’t pair a test IKEA lightbulb yet, so I think it’s too early to say that it works well with Zigbee2MQTT.
It runs on a frequency of 2,4 GHz and has a reliable range of up to 20dBm. At the time of this video, it supports x devices to connect directly to the dongle, but because of the fact that you build a mesh network, it can support far more than this number of devices to connect simultaneously.
The great thing about this stick is that it supports support Zigbee and Thread simultaneously so that you only need one stick to control all your Zigbee and Matter devices. Now, it’s still a Matter of time until Matter devices will be available so that you can use these devices too. The stick can be updated using Home Assistant, so you will always be able to run the latest firmware on this stick easily.
Let’s do a quick installation on ZHA.
Installing the SkyConnect in Home Assistant for Zigbee is straightforward. Just plug the SkyConnect using the extension cable into your Home Assistant server.
- Now go to Settings > Devices and Services
- Click Add Integration
- Search for ZHA
- Click Zigbee Home Automation
- Select the SkyConnect at the Serial Device Path
- and click Submit
Now you can choose to either restore a backup. I will cover the procedure to restore a backup in another video. For now, we’re going to set up a new network.
- Click on Erase network settings and form a new network
- Now you will already see some devices that you can add to an area if you like.
If you go to the ZHA integration, you can view the settings of the SkyConnect and start adding devices.
- Click on Add Device and put one of your devices in pairing mode.
- If everything goes well, your device will be found and you can add it to an area.
- Your device is now added to Home Assistant.
- To view the device, go to Settings, Devices and Services and search for your device
- Click the device name and you will see the controls and sensors of your device.
This is how you can install the SkyConnect using ZHA. I tried to get it to work with Zigbee2MQTT as well, but ran into problems. I also tried the edge version of Zigbee2MQTT, which works a bit better, but it’s also not reliable. If you are a daredevil, you can install it in exactly the same way as how I explain it in this video over here, so check out that video to see how you can install the SkyConnect in Zigbee2MQTT. The only difference is that you should point to the SkyConnect device instead of the Sonoff device. But, it’s very experimental and I wouldn’t recommend doing this in your live environment yet.
I will be experimenting with the SkyConnect over the next couple of weeks and will update you with my findings with posts on this channel. So, subscribe to my channel and tick the notification bell to get notifications about these updates. You can also join my Discord server to discuss the SkyConnect.
I’ve tested the SkyConnect for only a couple of days yet, and so far it works okay using ZHA, but I didn’t switch over to it completely. The SkyConnect is promising and I am excited to see it grow to a full functional stick in the next couple of weeks, but I will migrate my house slowly to the SkyConnect and in the meantime use my Sonoff Dongle with Zigbee2MQTT at the same time to make sure that my wife stays happy…
So, this was my short review of the Home Assistant SkyConnect. I am able to create these videos thanks to these awesome people over here who are my supporters. You can also support me through Patreon, Ko-Fi, or by joining my channel. See the links in the description below.
I will see you soon!