Adding a Range Extender


The Spruce Gen 2 Controller can utilize range extenders to increase the sensor range and coverage.  Below is a list of recommended range extending outlets.  The important designation to recognize is that it is ZigBee – this is mandatory for the outlet to pair with the Spruce Controller and act as a repeater for the sensors.

Adding an Outlet

The outlet can be added just like a sensor:

  1. If the outlet has been joined previously or added to another hub, remove the outlet from the other network
    1. Plug in the outlet to the wall while holding the button on the outlet
    2. Release the button, once the led on the outlet lights up
    3. This removes the outlet from any network it was previously connected to
    4. Unplug it from the wall
  2. In the Spruce App, Go to “Add Device”
  3. Select Sensor or Zigbee Outlet
  4. Once the search is started, plug in the outlet
  5. Spruce will identify the outlet

The outlet will now act as a range extender for the sensors.  The Sensor network which uses the ZigBee repeaters will re-route the signals depending on signal strength.  The re-routing process is not always immediate and may take time to go into effect.

I’ve added an outlet, but it the signal strength didn’t improve

Update: Firmware version 2.6 and above has improved route handling and will typically update the routes in about 1 hour.  Unplugging the controller should no longer be required.

A ZigBee device (such as the Spruce Sensor) will tend to stay on the same “route” or “connection pathway” once it is established. Therefore, if you add an outlet to a controller with sensor routes that have already been established, the sensors likely will not switch over to connect through the outlet/repeater, even if the signal strength would be better via the outlet/repeater.

To force a rebuild of the Zigbee mesh, unplug the Spruce Controller for one hour. This will allow any connected ZigBee devices to forget their routes.  When you plug back in the Spruce Controller, the joined sensors and outlets should reconnect automatically via the route with the strongest signal.

Note: Don’t leave your Spruce Controller unplugged for more that 2 days – if the Controller network is down for too long, the sensors will eventually forget their network association, and will need to be re-joined with the magnet.

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