ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh network standard.
ZigBee is based on an IEEE 802.15 standard. Though low-powered, ZigBee devices often transmit data over longer distances by passing data through intermediate devices to reach more distant ones, creating a mesh network; i.e., a network with no centralized control or high-power transmitter/receiver able to reach all of the networked devices. The decentralized nature of such wireless ad-hoc networks make them suitable for applications where a central node can’t be relied upon.
ZigBee is used in applications that require a low data rate, long battery life, and secure networking. ZigBee has a defined rate of 250 kbit/s, best suited for periodic or intermittent data or a single signal transmission from a sensor or input device. Applications include wireless light switches, electrical meters with in-home-displays, traffic management systems, and other consumer and industrial equipment that requires short-range wireless transfer of data at relatively low rates.