A few questions before pulling the trigger

Yes the motion sensors are best paired to the Hubitat network, otherwise you don't get reports from them immediately.

The newer version of the Advanced Hue Integration Community app / drivers now gets push notifications from the Hue bridge, and I'm pretty sure CoCo Hue does as well.

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I have had this Hubitat C7 for a few months and this thing is amazing, the community is what makes it shine. It feels like there are no limitations to this thing because of the people here. I feel like I can grab just about any piece of hardware and it will work with it.

The box itself is solid and just works so far. I came from a closed system that had built in cellular and batter backup so now I have to do that part on my own. I have an APC UPS that has a USB port on the front which is what the Hubitat is plugged into. I also have a Ring alarm system that has cellular backup. So I have the backup data on that thing.

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Absolutely. While Hue sensors like their motion sensors can be paired with the Hue hub, it is much better to pair them directly with Hubitat. If you pair them with Hue, Hubitat cannot "see" the sensors. That limits their utility. The Hue motion sensors a fully Zigbee 3.0 compliant, so they work quite well with Hubitat directly. However, like others have said, the Hue lights are designed to use ZHL, so they do not integrate well with ZHA devices. Keep the bulbs on the Hue hub and use the excellent Hubitat integration to bring them into Hubitat.

Currently I do not have a lot of Hue stuff. I bought a starter kit with a hub and three bulbs and the wireless dimmer, then another wall switch.

But what then disappointed me was that there was that there were not a lot (in fact, none at that time) zigbee modules available that I could just put behind existing switches. So I left it at that. The only thing I did was install Shelly modules in the cellars so that we could switch off the lights there when we forgot. We need to go outside to go in the cellar, so this is handy (and my wife is very big on switching of lights...). And I started also considering Z-Wave.

But now we are renovating. And I am working on a solution for the lights. Main wish is that I want to be able to change the colour temperature depending on the time of day. Cold white when cleaning for example, warm white in the evening. Being able do do crazy things during a party is a bonus. The Philips Hue range has nothing that fits (fixture depth needs to be less than 5cm)

So I will end up with a lot of Zigbee lights, but none of those will be Phillips Hue. I will add a lot of Shelly switch modules and dimmers, and maybe Z-Wave sensors. So the Hubitat is a good fit, and I was hoping not having to keep that Hue Bridge just for those few lamps (I might even get rid of them).

Anyway. Hubitat has been ordered (from Vesternet) and is on its way. Will be interesting to get started with it.

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The Advanced Hue Integration has started allowing sensors to be paired to the Hue bridge and updates pushed to the HE hub. I have transferred a couple from memory. I plan to move all my lights and accessories back onto my Hue bridge. The same is true for switches. It is still under development to a degree (I believe), for the half-dozen lights and a couple of switches and sensors, they all seem to be working fine for me so far.

CocoHue I believe is also heading down the same path, not sure about the status of accessories.

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Consider Sengled bulbs then.. they do not repeat which is a good thing for smart bulbs. Also you do not have to get color changing bulbs to get temperature changes - for certain areas this may save you money and you would still have the ability to go from daylight to warm white.

One other suggestion - I would also consider getting smart switches as well. Why? Because with smart bulbs you will be constantly worried about people physically switching off the power. Zigbee handles this much better than Z-Wave but it is not an ideal situation. With newer smart switches you can set a "smart bulb" mode which disconnects the physical switching from the load. I have this in my den (8 Sengled BR30s plus 2 A19s) and it works great.

Also when turning bulbs all on or off if zigbee use a group with Zigbee messaging checked - reduces/eliminates the "popcorn" effect where individual lights come on at slightly different times.

One other piece of advice - be very careful about buying off brand cheapo color bulbs. The quality control is terrible. I bought some "Liokke" bulbs a while ago and had ALL of them fail/operating erratically within 3-6 months.

Edit: Instead of smart switches for the bulbs a "physical" alternative would be using switch covers - something like this.

I've used these for some client projects. They are fairly inconspicuous and easy to remove.

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I actually do not have a lot of use for bulbs. In need recessed lights that only require about 5cm depth. One I am considering is this: gledoptoZLL
I would need something like 20 of those.

Regarding switches: That is where those Shelleys come in. They fit nicely behind exiting switches. I live in Switzerland, and so anything that is intended to be used in typical US wall boxes will probably not work. Wall boxes here are either round or square, with often multiple stacked on top of each other.
A typical combination looks like this:


I cannot just replace the buttons with a button/relay combination. The best way to automat this is a module that I place behind the switches and wire to them.

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That sounds like a good plan.. Apologies for making some very US-centric recommendations.. hopefully the ideas are universal enough though.

I have a few behind the switch relays and they work great - have used Aeotec and Fibaro, also have a zigbee relay for a closet light.. My style of switch is the "toggle" style which limits my smart switch choices a bit.. "paddles"/decora seem to be much more common for newer builds over here.

I’ll also say “leave the Hue on the Hue bridge”. Hue lights are disappointing without the bridge to enable their special features. If you use Homekit, enable “Adaptive Lighting” to get white light during the day and warm light at night. There is a community Homebridge integration as well for devices on HE.

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Regarding adaptive lighting with Homekit: How does that work? The idea is still that you would just press a switch to turn the light on.

Regarding switches, I have a battery powered button or multi-button blue-tacked over the original switch in most rooms, which performs on-off as well as in some cases scene changes, of any smart bulbs in the relevant room. I didn't fancy wiring controllers for a couple of reasons 1) it seemed a hassle and switch wiring make my brain boggle, and 2) if we did move, we could just pack up the smart devices and the house would still be working as a normal house for anyone who moves in.

Unfortunately blue-tacking stuff over the existing switches is a complete non starter here. Will never get that past my partner. Basically WAF is very important.

Be warned that Sengled bulbs do not pair well in groups larger than 3 bulbs. They have unofficial, and spotty support for Hue Hub (if that is being considered), so they don't fully integrate well into the Hue system. And according to @justin.rodko, the performance and reliability of the bulbs in Hubitat is horrible.

There is a Sengled hub available that drives their bulbs, but it only integrates with Alexa, HomeKit, IFTTT, etc... There is no public API so any support for accessing the hub from Hubitat would be a crapshoot.

I find it absurd that every smart home company wants to make a hub and lock users into just their ecosystem. They would get more sales if their systems were openly available. Hue is still a leader in lighting hubs because they have public APIs that allow for local and/or remote integration. They started off tightly integrated to only their ecosystem and has learned the value of 3rd party integration. I gave high hopes for WiFi based solutions, like Govee, that have public API but are limited in features, to hopefully offer local control.

In my opinion, perhaps the best solution you will find for performance, and capabilities, will come from the new LiFX WiFi support in Hubitat, because of its tight integration with Hubitat now, and the HE developer's commitment to make this the preferred lighting solution.

There are issues with WiFi for smart home though. They require a router in addition to the smart hub. A single WiFi AP has a limit to the number of nodes that can be supported, and a single Ethernet network has a limit. Historically, the limit has been right around 128 devices, but thanks to switches, and MIMO WiFi technologies those limits have grown larger -- though the router may not handle all those WiFi bulbs, so that typically means a 2nd WiFi network for lighting.

For all local access, if I were to build my smart home from scratch all over again, I would do what I have already done, with a few tweaks. I would:

  • Use a single brand of smart dimmers with Central Scene support (gen 7 Z-Wave only) to replace every single switch/dimmer in the house. For me, that is Inovelli, because they have the best customer service, and the products are priced right for an elite dimmer. And they have SmartBulb control logic, so as to know how to handle lights that should not be load controlled, or should be load controlled, but dimming should come from the controller, not the dimmer.
  • Put all smart bulbs in fixtures that need color temp or color controls. I would use LiFX for my smart bulbs, so I only have Hubitat as my smart home controller.
  • Setup a private WiFi mesh (802.11ac or WiFi 6) just for the SmartHome (Hubitat, lights, anything WiFi or ethernet based that integrates to the hubitat)
  • Use three (3) Hubitat Elevation hubs all participating in Hubitat Mesh.
    • One for built-in device support. The only job of this hub is to speak to devices.
    • One for 3rd party integrated devices that are not Z-Wave nor Zigbee, like Roku TVs, Govee, Orbit B-Hyve, Hue bridge (integrated or 3rd party). The only job of this hub is to manage and speak to 3rd party integrated devices that HE will control. The reasoning behind this is that the Hubitat is a great hub, but 3rd party apps can cause reliability issues with the primary hub. When 3rd party services go offline, the hub can get hung up waiting for timeouts. I just submitted a bug fix for my Kevo Plus smart lock controller, which would take down my hub when the Kevo service becomes unreachable. This could be internet outage, or password change, or a number of things. You don't want to put your smart home's functionality at risk.
    • And finally, one hub to rule them all, the rules engine hub. This is where you connect Alexa, IFTTT, and other assistive systems for controlling devices and rules processing. This hub manages your home security, and hub modes. By putting Alexa, GoogleHome, IFTTT, SharpTools, etc.. here, you can decouple the physical devices from the logical ones used for rules. What this means is that if a device fails, or an integration breaks, and you have to recreate new devices, on the controller node, you will be able to simply link the virtual device of the mesh to the new physical device that we just added to the other hubs. Now, you never have to re-setup Alexa, or IFTT, or any other service when a device failure occurs resulting in replacing the device. This also means that rules are processed with the interruption other device control processes which may be busy working, which could prevent, or slow rule processing. The hub mesh solution if very fast, and efficient.

You can setup with one hub now, and grow it later. And hubitat is totally capable of being used in a single hub environment, which is how I have run things for years. But this recommendation comes from personal experience and lessons learned, and still being learned to this day, that have impacted the acceptance of a smart home by family members. The last thing you want is to struggle to figure out how to turn on / off a smart light in the middle of the night, during an internet outage, when your hub goes offline because of some random bad code in 3rd party apps.

My 8 recessed bulbs + 2 in table lamps in my den and my office table lights and some others would like a word with you then.. :smile:

I have had 0 problems with the setup and have them grouped + zigbee messaging on.

Now I am running this on a C-5 but I think the ZB chipset is the same between C7 & C5.

edit1: also not sure why the left/right den table lamps are set to the generic driver.. will have to change that.. also note that my Z-Wave devices are on a separate hub - a C7.

edit2: Should ALSO mention that I run node-red so no local hub rules. Maybe that is the another difference.

They're using the proper Sengled driver - but likely were originally discovered and assigned the Generic - so it sticks around in the "Name" unless you change it

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I have four candelabra Sengled bulbs in my master bedroom ceiling fan. They are all in a zigbee group. One (and it changes which one) does not behave correctly -- every time. Turn on, only three turn on, turn off, and turn on, and eventually the failing bulb changes to another bulb.

Pairing them was a pain too. I had to try several times. I have my hub 15feet away with only 1 wall between. Moving the lights to a little table-top candle light fixture, and placing 5ft from hub didn't change things. Maybe I need a firmware update, who knows? They don't offer firmware updates unless I buy their hub.

Not everyone has the same experience, and that is why I included a link to the same issues others have had. I wanted to make it clear that there are issues, and like all things, your mileage may vary.

Personally, I think my Sylvania Lightify are much better, and at a better price, as they worked out of the box, and no issues. And since I invested in Hue, they all went to my Brother-in-law, and the Sengled LEDs will go to a new home too when I get hue compatible bulbs to replace these, and can move the light fixture over to Hue.

Note also, that I did not mention in my response, my personal preference for the Hue system, and that I would keep hue, because I think the average user wants a smart home solution that works even when the hubs crashes, and hue makes this difficult without using a phone as a backup controller. It can be done with enough adjustments, just not easy, nor fun to setup and work out all the details.

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Very cool - didn't know about these. Just ordered a couple to try in spots where the family sometimes forgets to leave the $@#(!@#$ switch alone! :wink:

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I hear you! All this means is... it's complicated. I have never used the candelabra lights - but have been curious as I have a chandelier that could use them (or a no neutral dimmer) so that is good info to know. My sengleds are either BR30 or A19s - I wonder if the smaller form factor impacts the electronics any.

Another option is a Zigbee dimmer that fits over the light switch, so you still have a perceived level of manual control.

These types of dimmers are getting harder to find, but this one from Lutron is a fairly new product, and easy to get. Makes a typical wall switch look like the paddle dimmer.

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