Pairing our Zigbee Controllers to their respective remotes can be a little bit different than pairing our RGB/RGBW Radio Frequency controllers. Because of the different protocol assigned to them, Zigbee comes with its own idiosyncrasies and you must always ensure that when you buy a Zigbee controller, you make sure that the remote is also Zigbee approved - you cannot mix and match Zigbee with RGB/RGBW RF!
In order to pair your Zigbee controller with a remote control, just follow these steps.
If you are using home automation hardware, such as Amazon Echo Plus or Phillips Hue Smart Home, you can easily pair our controllers to them, on the provision that the hardware is the latest version which features a built-in Zigbee hub; if you are using Google Home you will need to purchase a Zigbee hub from a third party.
Let's go with the Amazon Echo Plus.
First of all, you need to ensure that your LED strip is wired into the correct Zigbee controller (Single Colour Zigbee for Single Colour tape or RGBW Zigbee for RGBW tape). This is then wired into your chosen Non-Dimmable Driver (non-dimmable referring to the fact that remotes are taking care of the dimming).
With the basic set-up done, next comes the Echo Plus device. The first time you use the Echo Plus, you’ll want to download the Amazon Alexa app from your app store. From there, follow the instructions to sign in with your Amazon account and your Wi-Fi Network. At this point, you will have your Remote Control on hand also. When you power on the Zigbee Controller, you will have a window of 5 minutes where it is "available" to be paired with; this is important to remember when you are first connecting your strips to your Echo Plus and remote control. If you miss this window, don't worry, it simply comes down to you having to restart the controller by turning it off and back on again.
Powering on, you may have to re-set your Zigbee controller if it’s been paired with another device in the past. You'll want the LED’s here to be pulsing. This means it's ready to pair to your Amazon Echo Plus. To re-set the device, click the programme button 5 times. If after this they’re not pulsing, repeat the process until they do. They’ll do a solid flash then continue to pulse.
Next, go to your Alexa app, select “Smart Home” > “Add Device”. Select “Light” and then go down to “Other” when it asks what brand. Then click “Discover Devices”. During this process, the LED’s will flash to show they’re connecting, it may take a while for the app to catch up but once it does so you should see the message: “First Light Connected” on the app. You can change the name of this to anything you wish, using the app.
Now you’re connected to the Echo Plus, you can see in the app all of the available colours that Alexa will be able to use for voice commands. You can change them using the app, as well as the brightness, and the same goes with voice commands:
Let's talk about the white channel if using the Zigbee RGBW Controller. Using the Zigbee controller and the Echo Plus without the Remote Control gives you certain white options. The “white” option in the middle is mixed mostly with the white channel on your LED strip, however the rest of them use a combination of the white channel and RGB to imitate warm, cool and natural. So it’s not entirely a “true” white shade using only the white channel of your strip. So in general, if you want them warmer, go for the RGB+Warm white; if cooler, go for the RGB+Cool White.
Now you'll want to connect your Remote Control to Alexa as a device, and to your ZigBee controller. Firstly, it’s a good idea to reset the remote: Hold the on/off button until the red indicator light (in the top right) turns on, now short press the on/off button 5 times - the red indicator light should flash.
Remember the 5 minute time-out for the controller to be able to pair. You can power off and on quickly and now it should be available to pair with. The LED’s wont be pulsing like before, as they’re already connected to Alexa.
So, we first have to connect this remote to the Echo plus. Go to the app, select “Smart Home”, and “Add New Device”. Next, you want to select “Switch” and other when it asks what brand.
While the app is searching, hold the on/off button down on your remote until the red indicator light flashes, and then short press S1 (bottom left). This may take a while and once it’s stopped searching you should see that a switch has been detected on the app.
Now we have to connect the Zigbee remote control with the Zigbee controller using touch link, and for this the remote and controller have to be close to each other, about 10cm max. Make sure your controller has been powered on within the last 5 minutes, Turn on the remote, Press the zone you want to pair the controller in, so in this example we’ll use zone 1, hold the on/off button till the red indicator light turns flashes, then short press S2. The LED’s should flash a few times to show it’s connected. Again, this can take a while.
And now we have control via the remote, the app and with voice commands.
Now you’re connected. You can use more ZigBee controllers if you need more than one zone, just follow the same steps to connect it. This will also work stand alone with out having to connect to another ZigBee device like the echo plus, you’ll need to just follow the last step, but please note if you then add an echo plus in the mix, you’ll have to reset both the remote and controller and start these steps from scratch.
For more information on pairing our Zigbee controllers and remotes, please see the following video guides: