Bluetooth mesh models overview

A Bluetooth® mesh model is a standardized component that defines a series of states and related behaviors. Models encapsulate a single feature of a mesh node, and expose this feature to the mesh network. Each mesh-based product implements several models.

States, either simple or complex, are used to indicate the condition of a device, for example whether it is on or off. Some states are bound to other, which causes them to mutually update their values.


Each model is classified into one of the following categories:

  • Server – which contains states.

  • Client – which reads and writes the Server’s states.

Moreover, some models also include a Setup Server model instance. The two server model instances share the states of the server model, but accept different messages. This allows for a fine-grained control of the access rights for the states, as the two model instances can be bound to different application keys. Typically, the Setup Server instance provides write access to configuration parameters, such as valid parameter ranges or default values.

Both server and client models can be extended, but because client models do not have states, there is generally no reason to extend them. None of the specification client models extend other models. All server models store changes to their configuration persistently using the Settings subsystem.


You can configure mesh models in nRF Connect SDK using Kconfig options. See Configuring your application for more information.

The options related to each model configuration are listed in the respective documentation pages.


States may support non-instantaneous changes. Such states make use of bt_mesh_model_transition to specify the time it should take a server to change a state to a new value.

The transition to a new value can be postponed by the time defined in bt_mesh_model_transition.delay, and the current value of a state remains unchanged until the transition starts. The delay should not be taken into account when calculating the remaining transition time.

Server models are taking care of publishing of status messages, when receiving a state changing message, as well as sending a response back to a client, when an acknowledged message is received. If a state change is non-instantaneous, for example when bt_mesh_model_transition_time() returns a nonzero value, the application is responsible for publishing a new value of the state at the end of the transition.

Common types for all models

All models in the Bluetooth mesh model specification share some common types, which are collected in a single header file. These include transitions, common IDs and other types that are rarely actively used.

Each model can also contain its own common types, listed in the respective documentation pages. For the types common to all models, see the following section.

The following types are common for all models:

API documentation

Header file: include/bluetooth/mesh/model_types.h
group bt_mesh_model_types

Collection of types exposed in the model definitions.



Maximum permissible transition time in milliseconds


Delay field step factor in milliseconds


Maximum permissible delay time in milliseconds

BT_MESH_MODEL_USER_DATA(_type, _user_data)

Utility macro for type checking of model user data.

Produces a “Comparison of distinct pointer types” warning if _user_data is of the wrong type.

This macro abuses the C language a bit, but when used in the BT_MESH_MODEL_ macros, it generates a compiler warning for a bug that is otherwise very hard to detect, and relatively easy to make:

As the bt_mesh_model::user_data is a void pointer, it does not have any type checking. The mesh model implementations wrap this macro, often taking a pointer parameter to a context structure, passing it to the model user data. As the BT_MESH_MODEL_ macros are used in listing of models, users are likely to copy and paste them, but only change the suffix. If they do this, but fail to change the context pointer, the resulting misbehavior will be confusing, dangerous and potentially hard to detect.

  • _type[in] Expected type of the user data.

  • _user_data[in] User data pointer.


enum bt_mesh_model_status

Model status values.



Command successfully processed.


The provided value for range min cannot be set.


The provided value for range max cannot be set.


Invalid status code.

enum bt_mesh_rgb_ch

RGB color channels


enumerator BT_MESH_RGB_CH_RED
enumerator BT_MESH_RGB_CH_BLUE


static inline int32_t bt_mesh_model_transition_time(const struct bt_mesh_model_transition *trans)

Get the total transition time.

  • trans[in] Transition time, or NULL.


Total time of the given transition, in milliseconds, or 0 if trans is NULL.

struct bt_mesh_model_transition
#include <model_types.h>

Generic Transition parameters for the model messages.


Time can not be larger than BT_MESH_MODEL_TRANSITION_TIME_MAX_MS and delay can not be larger than BT_MESH_MODEL_DELAY_TIME_MAX_MS.

Public Members

uint32_t time

Transition time value in milliseconds

uint32_t delay

Message execution delay in milliseconds

struct bt_mesh_tid_ctx
#include <model_types.h>

Transaction ID context, storing information about the previous transaction in model spec messages.

Public Members

uint16_t src

Source address.

uint16_t dst

Destination address.

uint64_t timestamp

System uptime of the transaction.

uint8_t tid

Transaction ID.