Which Smart Breaker is Better for Home Automation—ZigBee or WiFi?
A lot of homeowners set up smart breakers for smart home improvement. As smart breakers become more popular, people are wondering which networking option will be best for a smart life. Many homeowners may think that WiFi and ZigBee are competing for smart gadgets with each other. The reality, however, is that both technologies have their own place with the smart breaker.
What is a smart breaker?
The smart circuit breaker is a smart home device to make a home electrical appliance intelligent and schedule with one tap on the app with remote control. You have to use a ZigBee or a WiFi connection to install a smart breaker with flexible DIY integration. Then you are able to send voice commands to all the connected devices from anywhere worldwide. Voice control with voice assistants and smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home helps to free your hands. It can support power consumption management and read the data on the load and circuit usage. Some breakers can support various protections: surges, short circuits, overloads, high temperatures, overvoltages, residual currents, under voltages, and overpowers. It helps you to get peace of mind.
What is so good for smart breakers？
Safety and Reliability
Smart circuit breakers provide additional home security beyond that supplied by traditional overcurrent protection. Moreover, it also makes for a much quicker break of the circuit than the regular circuit breaker could have achieved. It is effortless to be forgetful when you get busy with other work and can also turn into something serious. For example, you leave your electronic devices on when you go out of the house for the entire day. That might create a dangerous situation that needs your attention to keep your home safe. You can check the current hazards with smart circuit breakers. It also quickly turns them off, saving energy.
Saving money is one of the most crucial goals for improving your home's efficiency. The primary characteristic of smart circuit breakers is energy control. Smart circuit breakers are becoming more effective and help to control power consumption. Using the latest technology, you may set up phantom loose, high-energy consumers like air conditioners, heaters, dryers, or washers. Thanks to technological improvements, homes and buildings may use power in a much more sensible manner through improved energy management.
It will be easier for you and your installer to understand historical consumption when you use smart circuit breakers. The peak power demand of these critical appliances might want to back up. Smart circuits can help you improve your home's energy-efficient circuit breaker system by providing insight into the energy management system. New developments in solid-state technology are helping circuit breakers monitor and limit power use more effectively by providing meter usage data for each circuit. These innovations make it possible to manage high-power utilities like air conditioning, heating, and water heaters while also enhancing operational continuity and efficiency.
Broad application scenarios
As a result of advances in search technology, operations can be more efficient and continuous. Smart breakers allow new functions as well as features to be added and controlled. In addition to improving energy efficiency at homes, smart circuit breakers can also benefit commercial and industrial markets. There is rapid involvement when it comes to utilities. It also regulates high energy-consuming utilities like air-conditioning, water heaters, and others. Commercial and industrial facilities use a lot more energy than homes, so digital circuit breakers can be really helpful to them.
What are the differences between ZigBee and WiFi smart breakers?
The WiFi smart breaker is based on IEEE 802.11. It has been developed with a focus on a high-speed data rate (100 Mb/s and beyond) to optimize the distribution of content throughout the home. The ZigBee smart breaker is based on IEEE 802.15.4. ZigBee is complementary to WiFi. It was developed for sense and control networks, where battery life was the primary development factor. ZigBee is a low-power alternative to WiFi and has a comparable indoor range.
The wireless operation makes WiFi and ZigBee smart breakers more convenient and makes installation easier. The 2.4GHz frequencies used by WiFi and ZigBee breakers provide a larger range and better penetration through doors and walls. If you have multiple devices that use the same frequency, they might interfere with each other. As a result, the greatest smart home systems, which use hardware that adheres to both protocols, arrange their parts in a linear, non-disruptive fashion. The WiFi-powered smart breaker has a far wider range than ZigBee.
Star and mesh networks are the two main network types used by smart home systems. A star network is used to link WiFi routers and WiFi devices together. As an alternative, ZigBee smart breakers link to one another over a mesh network to reach a ZigBee smart home hub. A mesh network enables greater connectivity and more consistent synchronization for ZigBee devices linked to it. It is significant to highlight that battery-powered ZigBee devices cannot act as repeaters and cannot transmit signals to other devices.
In terms of power use, especially, WiFi systems often use a lot more power than their ZigBee equivalents. ZigBee-based networks, on the other hand, often use only around 25% of the power of WiFi networks. Compared to WiFi, ZigBee smart breakers operate at extremely low power levels and use just a few microamps of electricity. If your endpoints will operate on batteries, ZigBee's battery life, which lasts for months on end and is far longer than WiFi devices, should be highly examined.
Speed and Bandwith
WiFi smart breakers use more power but are faster at transmitting data than ZigBee-powered ones. Compared to WiFi, the ZigBee protocol only supports data transmission rates of 250kbps. ZigBee smart breakers can use very little energy because of this slower transfer speed. Lower power usage is an advantage for these types of smart home appliances.
The WiFi smart breakers are more likely to experience interference and become inoperable. When you connect directly to your router's WiFi, your WiFi and Internet connection are put under a lot of strain. If too many devices are connected through WiFi and the load is too severe, this may likely result in slower internet speeds or worse WiFi connections. Wi-Fi smart breakers also rely on several internet clouds to function. Your WiFi smart breakers can become useless if the manufacturer decides to stop producing them.
On the other hand, ZigBee smart breakers are less likely to run across these issues. As a consequence, your WiFi network is not overloaded, and even if the manufacturer decides to stop, your smart home's components continue to operate as planned. Furthermore, ZigBee allows you to operate your smart home even if the internet is offline. ZigBee devices work regularly without an internet connection as long as the hub is connected. Additionally, if you connect your phone or tablet locally, your smart home will run even faster!
Which to choose, ZigBee or WiFi smart breakers?
Overall, WiFi and ZigBee smart breakers both have advantages, but they also obviously have drawbacks. With WiFi, you gain bandwidth but lose operability and battery life. While with ZigBee, you gain energy efficiency but lose range and bandwidth. Similar to any choice based on link budgets, it is essential to understand the tradeoffs of smart home products. If you still have questions about which product to choose—ZigBee or WiFi smart breaker. You can contact us for more information. We are here to help you find the best solution for your smart home improvement projects.