Adding Zigbee devices to HomeKit

Zigbee2MQTT logo

One day, all home automation devices will just talk to each other. That day is not today. Until then, how best to get Zigbee devices to show in HomeKit?

There is a lot to like about Zigbee, especially compared to the older generation of HomeKit: The devices don’t consume IP addresses, can’t talk to the Internet and can have a lower power profile (so battery power is more viable).

But, I don’t want a whole bunch of apps and bridges to manage the devices and have to explain to my family. What I want is everything to show up in HomeKit, which the family know how to use. In this post, I’ll explain the route I took.

Essentially, there are four components to the solution:

The latter three can all be installed on the same device. You want something that is always available. I used a Raspberry PI. Install instructions for each package can be found on their respective sites.

To bridge Zigbee traffic, I used an SMLight SLZB-06 because it supports Power over Ethernet and is designed in Ukraine. If you use DHCP, remember to reserve an IP address in your router: Zigbee2MQTT needs to know the IP address of the adapter. The device will generate a configuration for you

SLZB Config

Once you’ve installed Mosquito and Zigbee2MQTT, edit the configuration for the latter and add the serial section. Your configuration.yaml should end up looking something like this:

homeassistant: false
permit_join: true
  base_topic: zigbee2mqtt
  server: mqtt://localhost
  keepalive: 60
  reject_unauthorized: false
  version: 4
  include_device_information: true
  port: tcp://
  baudrate: 115200
  disable_led: false
  transmit_power: 20
  log_level: debug
  homeassistant_legacy_entity_attributes: false
  legacy_api: false
  legacy_availability_payload: false
frontend: true

This is assuming you’ve installed Mosquitto on the same device, hence the mqtt://localhost line.

Once you’ve started up Zigbee2MQTT, navigage to the Web UI and start pairing devices. A large range of devices are supported out of the box. If your device isn’t, it’s pretty easy to develop a converter. Any paired devices will show in the main UI:

Zigbee2MQTT Screen

Click on a device to see the controls and data it exposes:

Individual Device

Once all the devices are configured, install Homebridge, click on the plugins tab and search for zigbee2mqtt. Choose the verified plugin “Homebridge Zigbee2MQTT”:


Click setings and configure the topic and server. Assuming you’re running Homebridge, Zigbee2MQTT and Mosquitto on the same device, server will be localhost:

Config for plugin

If everything is talking, you’ll see your zigbee devices show up on the accessories tab:

Device in Homebridge

Finally, add Homebridge to your Apple Home environment to control devices from your Apple devices:

Device in Apple Home