At this moment I observed that the least expensive ZigBee devices are the ones sold by Xiaomi, but I don't want to use their own hub because I am pretty sure that Chinese language will be all over the place. Instead I am considering buying devices and connect them to a hub with better software like SmartThings or even OpenHAB.

I am referring to basic Xiaomi sensors: on/off switches, motion sensors, temperature ones.


3 Answers 3


Xiaomi sensors can be paired with SmartThings, according to this blog:

  1. Log in to the SmartThings IDE
  2. Create a new device handler using the sources provided on GitHub
  3. Click 'My Location', then 'Events'
  4. On the app, go to 'My Home' > 'Things' > 'Add a Thing'
  5. Push the button on each sensor for ~5 seconds to enable pairing mode
  6. Look for an entry named 'Catchall' in the events. Select the 19th-22nd digit of the hexadecimal string, as shown here
  7. Add a device, using the digits you found as the Zigbee Id and Device Network Id, as shown here.

There isn't any official support, but a user in the SmartThings Community forum has created some device types that should work with the motion sensor and on/off switch here:

I have created a simple device type for the Xiaomi Smart Button that can be found various places for around $10. Other users have stated that this device loses connectivity to the hub after a while, but I have only had the device in hand for a couple hours so I'll report back what I find.

The device should work with SmartApps that work with button devices like the Aeon minimote. It registers as button 1 pressed, and button 1 held if you hold it down for 4 seconds (configurable in preferences, but a lower number may affect reliability of the device properly distinguishing the two).

One user reports that the temperature sensor works without any handler:

You can pair door, motion and button with ST with a couple tries. For button and temp, follow my other thread on how to pair those.

But all except temp sensor requires custom device handler.

Therefore, as far as I can tell, you just need the custom handler for the on/off switch and motion sensor as provided in the thread I linked - otherwise, you can pair them as normal.


Here is one project that can expose a lot of ZigBee devices to a generic MQTT server. Then you can use them with any of the home automation hubs that you want.

My personal experience with it is great - the required hardware is about 20$ from aliexpress and it works on anything, even containers on ARM based machines.


  • it's open source so you can tinker with it if you so desire
  • the community is active and new devices are added monthly so even if you have something obscure you can get support easily
  • it's not tied to any one company so you do not have to worry for your hub becoming useless if they decide to discontinue it or go out of business


  • it requires some technical knowledge to set it up initially, but the docker container can greatly decrease the overhead and the onboarding process has been significantly improved as the UI can now handle all the config file manipulations from the initial versions.
  • the current USB for the hub is not very good looking, so you have to hide it until a better ones become available There are now better looking controller options.

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