Comparison of Zigbee thermostatic heads

Nico   13 min of reading

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Comparison of Zigbee thermostatic heads

Since last year the government has been advising us to heat our homes to 19°C to save energy. Even more recently, a subsidy is offered, and as is often the case to benefit from it, it must be applied by a professional. Unfortunately this type of installation is often expensive. In the meantime, I offer you a tutorial on the operation of 3 thermostatic faucets using the Zigbee protocol. How much does it cost to homemate your heating using Zigbee?

This test aims to compare 3 thermostatic faucets and help you choose according to your needs. This comparison was carried out on a home-assistant instance and integrated using Zigbee2mqtt.

Secondly, I will tell you about the cost of such an installation with a home automation box.

Prerequisites

  1. Understand home automation
  2. a Home-Assistant home automation box with zigbee key
  3. a dry-contact micromodule (to control the boiler)
  4. Zigbee thermostatic faucets

Comparison

The comparison concerns 3 Chinese-made thermostatic heads, the integration presented is on homeassistant. So what are these faucets:

  1. Xiaomi Aqara E1
  2. Sonoff TRVZB
  3. Moes ZTRV-BY-100

Let’s start by detailing these various products

Xiaomi Aqara E1 SRTS-A01

Xiaomi Aqara E1 official information

Hardware side

The Xiaomi Aqara E1 is very well made, its price is around €45 access to battery change, the onclick function of the screen, the settings everything is well thought out, it is the only one to deliver the thermostatic head with batteries but it is also the most expensive. On the installation side, as you can see in the photo, it comes with adapters, instructions, in short, everything you need. Personally, I installed it without any adapter on a traditional radiator. The reading of the screen remains exceptional however it will not be suitable for all situations, in use I realize that many radiators can have the tap camouflaged by a corner of the wall and in this In this case, the data could not be read properly.

detail of the Xiaomi Aqara Zigbee E1 SRTS-A01 thermostatic faucet or head

The thermostat can be used with the majority of water radiators such as radiators, towel warmers or even underfloor heating. It takes readings from external Aqara sensors and adjusts the heating power accordingly.

The radiator thermostat can be used with the majority of water radiators such as radiators, towel warmers or even underfloor heating. It takes readings from external Aqara sensors and adjusts the heating power accordingly.

Xiaomi Aqara E1

By Aqara

The radiator thermostat can be used with the majority of water radiators such as radiators, towel warmers or even underfloor heating. It takes readings from external Aqara sensors and adjusts the heating power accordingly.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS :

Power supply3V ⎓ (2 × 1.5V AA) INCLUDED
Battery life1 year
CommunicationZigbee 3.0 IEEE 802.15.4
Maximum Zigbee output power<10 dBm
Zigbee operating frequency2405-2480 MHz
Operating temperature0°C ~ 40°C
Operating humidity0 ~ 95% RH, non-condensing
DimensionsØ 57×89 mm
Threaded connectionM30 × 1.5 mm

Function side

  • Support for Zigbee 3.0 and Matter protocol
  • External temperature sensor readings
  • Compatible with the most popular ecosystems and can be controlled by voice.
  • Window opening detection:
  • Configurable smart schedules: Schedules can be set for desired time periods, such as nighttime, and the transition between them will be smooth but as quick as possible.
  • Device grouping support: If you have multiple heaters in a room, all of them will be synchronized in the most efficient way based on the actual room temperature.
  • Colorful backlit display: Compared to similar products, the LCD screen of the Aqara radiator thermostat has a backlight, increased viewing angles, very high contrast as well as crisp and colorful icons.
  • 1 year battery life: batteries supplied
  • Geofencing and multi-home support: If you have more than one house, you will be able to configure independent automations for each of them and start heating before your arrival, so that when you enter the house, it will already be hot.

Aqara E1, Home-Assistant and Zigbee2mqtt

A multitude of functions are available to us, there are so many that we no longer know where to put our heads among the important functions we find:

  • the temperature setpoint
  • local temperature
  • setting an external thermostat
  • open window function
  • child lock

The rest is of less importance.

functions available in zigbee2mqtt of the faucet or thermostatic head Xiaomi Aqara Zigbee E1 SRTS-A01

On the other hand, a function that could have been integrated is a boost mode when starting heating as is the case with the Moes ZTRV-BY-100, but it is a function that we can implement with automation.

Finally, there is also a lack of an auto mode in the thermostat mode, which means that you will not be able to select auto mode in the home assistant thermostat interface, however this module still includes a program mode with various schedules to configure.

visual rendering in Home Assistant of the faucet or thermostatic head Xiaomi Aqara Zigbee E1 SRTS-A01

While waiting for the integration to be perfect in Zigbee2mqtt or Zha, this module does not allow you to fully exploit the automation functions of Home Assistant unless perhaps you create a suitable template, but that’s it. another story.

Sonoff TRVZB

Official information Sonoff TRVZB

Hardware side

Delivered in a high-end case, this thermostatic faucet comes with a whole range of adapters, the whole thing is carefully crafted with good manufacturing quality and all without frills. Access to the battery compartment is hassle-free and the assembly system is well thought out. Be careful though, you need 3 batteries to make it work. This is the only module to offer a display from above, at first glance it does not seem suitable but this is not the case, everything is displayed and is clearly readable.

detail of the Sonoff Zigbee TRVZB faucet or thermostatic head

However of the 3 adapters it is the one which is the poorest in information, but regardless the most important functions will be.

The SONOFF Zigbee connected thermostatic head allows you to control the temperature more precisely with less energy, giving you a more comfortable home.

Sonoff TRVZB

By Sonoff

The SONOFF Zigbee connected thermostatic head allows you to control the temperature more precisely with less energy, giving you a more comfortable home.

The onclick and wheel button provides modularity similar to the Xiaomi Aqara E1. Finally, it is priced at €32 and you will be able to see a little further down that it is rich in functionality.

detail of the Sonoff Zigbee TRVZB faucet or thermostatic head

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

ModelTRVZB
ColorWhite
Wireless connectionZigbee 3.0
Input4.5 V⎓ 3 x 1.5 V AA batteries (NOT INCLUDED)
Net weight154 g
Battery model1.5V AA LR6 alkaline battery
Case MaterialPC
Threaded connectionM30x1.5mm
Temperature adjustment range4°C to 35°C
Product dimensions59.4 × 59.4 x 95 mm

Function side

  • Smart Control: SONOFF Zigbee thermostatic radiator valve has all smart functions, including APP remote control, voice control, scheduled programming, group control, etc.
  • Open window detection: automatically turns off the radiator during ventilation, avoiding unnecessary energy waste.
  • Compatible with most heating manufacturers: fits existing “M30 x 1.5mm” radiator valves, and the valve adapters supplied in the package are compatible with most systems and heating manufacturers.
  • Fully functional: the child lock prevents children from mishandling the radiator. Freeze protection ensures that pipes do not freeze or burst, keeping your home safe. Supports 6 months of historical data query, you can use the data to provide ideas for starting heating earlier or later next time.

Sonoff TRVZB, Home-assistant and Zigbee2mqtt

functions available in zigbee2mqtt of the Sonoff TRVZB Zigbee faucet or thermostatic head

A less important range of functions in Z2M than the Xiaomi Aqara SRTS-A01 or the Moes ZTRV-BY-100, but it does not forget any important functionality unlike the Aqara, like the thermostat mode (off, manual, auto ) and the current operating state which will allow you to fully control these functions in HA. In my opinion it just lacks the Boost mode (easily configurable in Automation).

visual rendering in Home Assistant of the Sonoff TRVZB Zigbee faucet or thermostatic head

As described above, the Sonoff TRVZB offers control of all the interesting functions in the Home Assistant HVAC thermostat interface.

Moes ZTRV-BY-100

Let’s finish with the Moes thermostat

Official information Moes ZTRV-BY-100

We are clearly dealing with a white label of the Tuya range, unlike Xiaomi or Sonoff Moes markets products under its own brand but distributed as a white label for other brands and integrating the Tuya protocol. you will realize that the manufacturing quality is below Xiaomi and Sonoff. However its curve and its silky touch are successful but that’s not everything.

Hardware side

The Moes ZTRV-BY-100 has full lighting but a little too powerful, but it’s not that bad, like the Xiaomi Aqara E1 the display is on the side and in quite a few cases it will not be visible or readable. Unlike the other two, the Moes offers a touch interface and not a button with click/wheel function.

I find this interface less easy to use.

Also accessing the batteries is the trickiest of the three when it is not attached to the radiator. Once in place, if you rotate the thermostat slightly you will find yourself with it in your hand.

detail of the faucet or thermostatic head Moes ZTRV-BY-100

Last point, the battery lock is more than cheap, frankly the steel is as thick as a sheet of cigarette paper and the latch as a toothpick.

If you don’t want to break anything you’ll have to go about it delicately and that’s not for everyone, I know what I’m talking about. 🥹

New mini design, elegant curve with extremely graceful arc shape and rubber paint, feeling like baby skin which fits well with all decoration styles.

Moes ZTRV-BY-100

By Moes

New mini design, elegant curve with extremely graceful arc shape and rubber paint, feeling like baby skin which fits well with all decoration styles.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS :

Power supply3 V, 2 AA batteries (NOT INCLUDED)
ColorWhite
TechnologyZigbee
Maximum stroke4.5 mm
Precision± 0.5°C
Adjust the temp. Range5~45°C
Temp. display Range0~70°C
Ambient temperature0 ~ 45°C
Ambient humidity5 ~ 95% RH (non-condensing)
Storage temperature-5 ~ 45°C
Sync Error< 1%
Protection classIP20
Buttonscapacitive touch buttons
Included in the packaging1x Radiator thermostat
1x User guide
1x RA adapter
1x RAV adapter
1x RAVL adapter
1x Comap adapter
1x T + A Herz Adapter
1x Herz Adapter

Function side

The Moes ZTRV-BY-100 is the one that displays the most information on its dial, many functions are present such as:

  • child lock
  • open window detection
  • a programming mode (relatively complex for my taste)
  • a Boost mode
  • possibility of linking to an external sensor
  • an eco mode

Moes ZTRV-BY-100, Home-assistant and Zigbee2mqtt

This module looks complete and it is, you can see from the number of fairly impressive function updates that Tuya has worked well on its firmware.

For the moment Does not offer OTA updates

functions available in zigbee2mqtt of the faucet or thermostatic head Moes ZTRV-BY-100

Tuya has well integrated the operating status so important for home assistant but in the device mode you will only have heating mode no off or auto mode.

So I’ll let you think about how to turn off this module outside of the heating period and yes it risks eating up the battery.

visual rendering in Home Assistant of the faucet or thermostatic head Moes ZTRV-BY-100

However, you can select the very complete but also complex programming mode in the thermostat interface.

Cost of a complete installation

The cost is calculated on the purchase of 5 thermostatic faucets and a home automation box running on Home Assistant with pre-installed software. Why 5 taps? quite simply because soon a video of home automation of an apartment will see the light of day.

Here is the selected material:

  1. the box + Zigbee key (Home Assistant Green + Skyconnect key) delivered cost €145 at Seeedstudio
  2. Sonoff TRVZB thermostatic valve delivered cost €31.29 at domadoo or 29.87€ at the manufacturer Itead In both cases, free delivery is possible for the purchase of several units*
  3. A Gierier zigbee dry contact modulecosting less than €10 or a French module Nodon of superior multifunction quality at 32€ at domadoo, in order to switch on the boiler on request (this module will replace the existing room thermostat).

Let’s start with a purchase of 5 taps Sonoff TRVZB, a Nodon dry contact module and a box equipped with Home Assistant Green, it will cost you €309 and for this price with good configuration you will be able to save money.

The Haade team will soon broadcast a video on home automation of an apartment and calculating the cost of energy. Following this full-scale test I would be able to calculate a return on investment for you.

Editor’s choice

I had to make a choice, which was not so easy to make because despite their differences these modules do relatively similar work.

  1. Sonoff TRVZB - Best compromise Quality/price/functions - price around €34
  2. Moes ZTRV-BY-100 - Good but nothing more - price around €28
  3. Xiaomi Aqara E1 - Top quality - price around €44

Conclusion

Here is a full-scale test which could be more complete, keep in mind that the Xiaomi Aqara SRTS-A01 is difficult to control by automation therefore the return on investment is certainly longer. The manufacturing quality of the Moes leaves a little to be desired; the absence of the extinguishing mode will make this module more energy intensive.

And to finish our big winner of the contest the Sonoff TRVZB good manufacturing quality, a vertical visual that is fully configurable and controllable in Home Assistant for maximum savings for years to come.

The SONOFF Zigbee connected thermostatic head allows you to control the temperature more precisely with less energy, giving you a more comfortable home.

Sonoff TRVZB

By Sonoff

The SONOFF Zigbee connected thermostatic head allows you to control the temperature more precisely with less energy, giving you a more comfortable home.

Nico

Nico

Founding member of the Haade site, a home automation enthusiast with all the tricks that go well.

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