A wireless network used for home, building and industrial control governed by the ZigBee Alliance. ZigBee conforms to the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard for low data rate networks. Designed for low power so that batteries can last for months and years, many smart home devices use ZigBee to communicate. With a maximum speed of 250 Kbps at 2.4 GHz, ZigBee is slower than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The typical ZigBee range is roughly 50 meters, but that can vary depending on temperature, humidity and air quality. See 802.15
Zigzag Like a Bumblebee
Although ZigBee networks can be in a star or peer-to-peer configuration, it is ZigBee's mesh topology for which it was named. A ZigBee mesh provides multiple pathways between devices and eliminates a single point of failure. If nodes go down or are removed, ZigBee signals can "zig" and "zag" through the network to their destination.
Lots of Bees
ZigBee networks are simple control networks that periodically send small packets from sensors to regulate lights, motors and other equipment. A large building can have tens of thousands of ZigBee nodes, and a home could have several dozen.
Full and Reduced Function Devices
Full-function devices (FFDs) are complex nodes that conform to the full 802.15.4 standard and can serve as routers. Reduced-function devices (RFDs) are sensors that communicate with FFDs. All devices can be implemented with low-cost, 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) that derive their power from two AAA batteries. For more information, visit www.zigbeealliance.org. See Project CHIP