Understand Smart Home Zigbee Support

You can connect your smart home device to Alexa with the Zigbee wireless communication technology. With Zigbee, you don't have to build a smart home skill or connect a separate hub.

Zigbee is a global wireless radio communication standard designed to enable the control and monitoring of connected devices. It's a low-power, close-proximity solution suited for home automation. For details, see Zigbee Alliance.

Amazon Echo 4th Gen devices have built-in smart home hubs that seamlessly connect and control Zigbee smart devices, such as light bulbs, door locks, and plugs. After a customer sets up the Zigbee-enabled Echo, they can connect their devices by saying, "Alexa, discover my devices." In response, the Echo discovers and sets up the devices, and then makes them available in the Alexa app. For the list of Echo devices that support Zigbee, see Amazon-enabled device support.

Zigbee specifications

The Echo supports Zigbee versions 1.2 and 3.0 defined by the Zigbee Alliance.

The Zigbee technical specifications include the following wireless network communication definitions:

  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Range: 50 – 100 feet

For details about the Zigbee protocol, see the Zigbee Technical Specifications and Developer Resources.

Alexa-enabled device support for Zigbee

The following Echo devices have built-in smart home hubs that seamlessly connect and control Zigbee smart devices:

  • Echo 4th Generation
  • Echo Plus
  • Echo Show 10 (all models except 1st Generation)
  • Echo Studio

Currently, these Echo devices support Zigbee 1.2 and 3.0 with device types, such as:

  • In-wall switches
  • Plugs and outlets
  • Lights
  • Locks

Add Zigbee to your products

You can implement the Zigbee protocol on your smart home device yourself, or you can purchase components to add to your device.

  • To get started with a Zigbee implementation, review the Developer Resources page on the Zigbee Alliance website.
  • To see Zigbee components available for purchase, browse the Certified Products page on the Zigbee Alliance website.

Add Works with All Hubs to your products

Works with All Hubs (WWAHu) is a custom Zigbee cluster that standardizes best practices to improve security, reliability, and interoperability for Zigbee devices. For more details, see The All Hubs Initiative.

You can choose to implement the WWAHu cluster yourself, or you can ask the Zigbee stack vendor that your product uses for their WWAHu cluster implementation. Many Zigbee stack vendors have implemented the WWAHu cluster, including Silabs, NXP, and Ubisys. You can request the WWAHu cluster implementation and incorporate it into your Zigbee 3.0 products.

Obtain the Works with Alexa badge

Works with Alexa (WWA) is a certification program that establishes your product's compatibility with Alexa, helping to ensure that your customers have a better smart home experience. For details about the WWA program, see Works with Alexa Overview.

Before you apply for WWA certification for your Zigbee device, your product must meet the WWA certification requirements for Zigbee devices.

After you have thoroughly tested your device with an Zigbee-enabled Echo, you can submit your device for WWA certification. For details, see Apply for Works with Alexa Certification.

Test your Zigbee integration

After you have implemented the Zigbee protocol on your smart home device, test the protocol thoroughly with an Echo device.

Verify that Alexa can discover your device, and that you can interact with it by using the standard utterances for your device type. For sample utterances, see the Amazon customer guidance and the documentation for each interface that your device implements.

You can find a complete list of available WWA test cases in the Alexa Certification Console. Make sure that you complete the test plans for Zigbee and the smart home capabilities that your device supports, such as PowerController, BrightnessController, ColorController.

The following table shows some sample utterances.

Device type Example customer utterances
In-wall switches Alexa, turn on device name.
Alexa, turn off device name.
Plugs and outlets Alexa, turn on device name.
Alexa, turn off device name.
Lights Alexa, turn on device name.
Alexa, dim device name.
Locks Alexa, lock the device name.
Alexa, is the device name locked?

Test your Works with All Hubs cluster

You can download a testing tool that enables you to run the WWAHu test cases against your product. You can use the tool to pre-test your device, but passing the test cases in the tool isn't a guarantee that your device will pass certification. Test cases might change, and environmental conditions can play a role in certification test results.

To use the test harness, you need the following:

  • The test harness tool software, including binaries and instructions. Download the test harness tool from the Alexa Certification Console.

  • A Silabs Wireless Starter Kit (SLWSTK6000B). or If you already have a wireless starter kit, you need a radio board (SLWRB4161A).

To simulate a device under test, before you use your own device, you need the following:

To run the test tool

  1. Flash the test harness device.

    1. Erase the chip.
    2. Program the bootloader.
    3. Program the application image.
  2. Run the test harness for each test case. For example, to run test case 1, use the following code.

    python3 -m pytest test_01.py

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Last updated: Nov 22, 2023