Deciding between series 1 and series 2 XBee module

I need help deciding between an 802.15.4 or Zigbee XBee module. I know it depends on the type of application, so I’ll explain what I’m trying to achieve.

I understand the following:
Series 1 => 802.15.4
Series 2 => ZigBee
Series 2 is not ‘better’ than Series 1.
Series 2 is more complex than Series 1, so does it implies that it gives you more choices?

I’m building a simple home automation system, where I want to send/receive data from a central XBee module to/from other XBee modules around the house. The central module will be connected to a Raspberry PI. For some of the devices, for instance controlling lights, I want to switch a relay directly from one of the output pins on the XBee module. Because there are multiple devices, I cant use the Transparent Operation mode, but will have to use the API Operation. I also need to use the API Operation in order to toggle some of the output pins on the module. What is also important is that the end devices are low power.

As far as I know, with Zigbee you can create a mesh network, so is my central controller is out of reach to an end device, it can relay messages to that devices via other devices that are in range? Would this be possible with Series 1?

For my application, what is the advantage of series 2 over series 1? Would I be able to achieve all of this with a ‘Series1/802.15.4’ module? In what circumstancs should I choose series 2?

Also, not sure if somebody knowns this, but would it be better to connect the module to the raspberry pi via usb or directly to the serial pins?

Thank you

Please see this explanation of Series 1 vs. Series 2 radios which includes an explanation of 802.15.4 vs. ZB vs. DigiMesh firmware

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Yes, the 802.15.4 modules are a Peer to peer, point to point, point to multi-point product. That means that your base or master node can only talk to your end nodes if they are in range.

For your application, I would suggest looking at the XBee ZB SMT modules and associated Development kit. It will offer you the greatest amount of options with respect to a Coordinator, router and end nodes as well as the lowest current draw. It will also allow you to use the Home Automation profile as defined by the Zigbee Alliance if you so choose.

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The link you provided mentions: “XBee is significantly faster than ZigBee”. What exactly is meant by this and do you think l will I notice the difference? Thanks

Thanks, that help a lot. On the Sparkfun page for the ZB module, it says “The Series 2 requires considerable setup and configuration”. Is it really that difficult to get it going? Will I be able to get it up and running in 1 hour? I have a lot of programming experience but not with these devices.