Add a lights hub to hubitat - Newbie

Hi everyone!

I am completely new to IOT. I just bought a Hubitat and I am waiting for its arrival. I am reading as much as possible before that and there is something I don't quite understand.

In the howto make a zigby mesh it says that there should be a separate network for light bulbs. Reading in the forum i just saw a topic in which an user advised to have ikea tradfri bulbs through a hub different from hubitat, and then link this one to hubitat.

I do not understand this. How can I link bulbs with another hub, and not hubitat, and then link the other hub to hubitat? How it it done in the web app? Maybe there is a tutorial i am missing but i can't see anything about that.

Thanks in advance!


Zigbee bulbs in general don't repeat very well and cause mesh issues. Hue light bulbs for example... There are Zigbee bulbs that do not act as repeaters that would work fine. As for linking hubs there is an app you can install to control multiple hubs called HubConnect.

The Hue hub connects to Hubitat through the hue integration app and the hue hub acts as a bridge to the devices that are connected to it.

In general its usually more cost effective to buy switches to control the lights for normal lighting and just use RGB in specific locations. Just remember that any smart bulbs you buy should have the switch left in the on position and controlled with triggers or automatons.


I’ll add that many people, myself included, buy a second Hubitat hub for Zigbee bulbs. It’s probably not necessary if you only have a few of them, but I have 70 RGBW bulbs. Buying a second hub and moving my Sylvania bulbs to that was so much cheaper than replacing them with Hue or Sengled that it was a no-brainer.


To add to the above, the general answer to this specific question: that this is a good question because the answer is that you do, indeed, need a way to link them. :slight_smile: To summarize, an arbitrary "lighting hub" like an Ikea Trådfri Gateway or a Sengled Hub won't work--there has to be some way to integrate them into Hubitat. To be more specific, as mentioned above, Hubutat's Hue Bridge Integration is one way to let Hubitat talk to Hue Bridge bulbs. The Ikea Trådfri bulbs work fine on a Hue Bridge, so this is a good option. A Hue Bridge is usually cheaper than a second Hubitat, plus IMHO it's easier to set up and more reliable for lights. But if you prefer a second Hubitat or if your lights are only compatible with Hubitat (e.g., Sengled, Osram, and probably others), then a second hub wit something like HubConnect would work. It should be noted that this is custom code and may be daunting to install if you are new to Hubitat. Hub Link is an older, built-in alternative. Being built-in, it has minimal prerequisites on your part, but the tradeoff is that HubConnect is far more powerful.

Additionally, it should be noted that the "Zigbee bulb problem" you mentioned is applicable to Zigbee networks that would otherwise have bulbs and non-light devices on the same network--for example, Trådfri bulbs plus a Zigbee motion sensor, smart plug/outlet, or other Zigbee device. If the only Zigbee devices you have on that network are bulbs and anything else on that hub is LAN or Z-Wave, you don't have to worry about this. (But even if that describes your network right now, I'd prepare for the reality that, some day, you'll probably at least want Zigbee sensors, too.)

Finally, what Trådfri bulbs are you planning on getting? The "fixed white" (dimmable) and "shades of white" (color temperature) bulbs work with Hubitat, or at least all I've seen have. The color-capable ones will not necessarily work 100% with Hubitat (due to how they implemented the color model; dimming and on/off should work, but color temperature and color control will likely not). This is reflected in the device compatibility list for Hubitat. The color bulbs will still work on Hue, but they'll have the same limitations (except that Hue will control most of what Hubitat can't if you do so manually through Hue).

I second the advice above to consider in-wall switches/dimmers if you don't need specific smart bulb functionality and are able to use these products (e.g., you don't rent, have neutral wires in the box as many require, know how to install them or want to hire an electrician, etc.). But that's another story. :slight_smile:


Thanks for your answer @Ken_Fraleigh! and @lewis.heidrick!

In that case, if i understand everything correctly, i wouldn't be able to make scenes combining devices from the two diferent networks, am i right?

For instance, turn on a light when the door is opened. If i have the door sensor on one network and the bulb on the other, I cannot mix that, right?

So, to do that, should i have a third hub? Like, a hub for bulbs, a hub for everything else and a hub to rule them all...

Wrong. That is exactly how mine is set up. All of my rules are on the hub with motion sensors, button controllers, etc.


There's nothing wrong with multiple hubs all playing together...

But the point is.. Smart Bulbs CAN be a problem. We can't say you have that problem... you have to answer that question, for yourself. The most common way to work around the problem is to put smart bulbs and only smart bulbs on their own mesh. Specifically so the bulbs don't harm all the other Zigbee you have.. contact sensors, motion, on/off switches, etc.

The simplest way to add a 2nd Zigbee mesh for bulbs only is a Hue Bridge. Not too expensive, easy to integrate.

The second most used option for another Zigbee mesh is through a second Hubitat Hub. It gives you the option of having a second ZWave mesh too. The integration is a little more difficult than using Hue, but HubLink isn't much more. Stepping up to HubConnect is much more powerful, but much more complicated because there's between 3 and 30 pieces of code to get added to the hubs.

I hope I've helped, not made it more confusing. :slight_smile:


Or get all bulbs that do not repeat. :wink:

I know the Sengled bulbs are well regarded. I'm not familiar with other vendors that play well others.

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Better yet :smiley: don't use SmartBulbs :slight_smile:

They are such a pain to reliably keep power on. Human nature just fights the idea of 'always powered'. Like many, one of my first Home Automation purchases was a smart bulb. I learned by that bad experience. :smiley: Now I only have two SmartBulbs, they are RGBW for to use color as another form of Announcement/Notification. Purple = Garage Door open, for example. Both bulbs are in fixtures that have had their power switches disabled. One was trivial, I just unscrewed the little knob on the side of the socket.

But the question seemed posed as a migration question, and so the answer of "discard all of them" didn't seem like a good fit. :smiley:

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I will just tell you of my experience. I have had the HE Hub for about 3 months now and I have about 60 various devices. I have 12 Sengled A19 classic, 4 Sylvania A19 and 4 Sylvania outdoor flood lights.
I know that the Sengled's don't repeat but the Sylvania's do, but I have had no problems with the operation of any of these lights. I have 10 Zigbee outlets strategically located throughout my house and this provides a pretty stable mesh system. Good luck on your HE adventure.


I have the kids use double tap to toggle their lights and another rule to keep the light switch on.

Now if only I had some bulbs to test that out on. :smiley:

I use it on my front porch lights also so someone doesn't turn them off between dusk and dawn. Same for my driveway lights.

And that is where we disagree. All of my lights are RGBW. They trigger on motion and set color temp based on time. Cool white in the morning and daytime, warm white in the evening and night. I also have special settings like gallery where the color temp is set between warm and cool for better color rendition on my photos and lights not pointed at pictures fill in the room with accent colors. In movie mode there are no white lights and only dim blues and greens.

The switches can't be controlled locally and the loads are not tied to any rules. The switch rules focus on overrides mostly. If a guest presses the living room on paddle it will turn on a preset white light scene. Special modes (gallery, movie) can override the scene with an on press and reset it with an off press.

I have my full control and there is still a user interface that is understandable to visitors. They can not disconnect a bulb at the switch.

The only place this falls down for me is if the hub itself fails since there is no local control. Although you can re-enable that by using the programming button on the Inovellis.

Since the first line of the OP was "I am completely new to IOT" I took it has he doesn't have any devices yet. :man_shrugging:

I've put all my lamps (Hue and Gledopto) on to the Hue hub. Since then my HE mesh (which is supported by IKEA repeaters) has improved. I link the Hue hub to the HE using the standard Hue integration. It works well although it relies on polling to the Hue hub to sync the lamp status in HE if you change it directly in the Hue app. So there can be a short delay in the 2 syncing to show the same status. This can be evident in the HE dashboard. So with this type of setup, it's best to activate all lamps from HE.

The only problem with Hue is that it sucks for multiple properties on one account. While you can add multiple Hue hubs into the Hue app, it's only possible to have the cloud (away from home) access to one of them. It really is an irritating clusterf##k of a mess.

Regarding the perennial argument of what is better, switches or lamps. The best solution is of course both. Because that will give you ultimate control. I tend to use smart lamps because I like Circadian Lighting and scenes with colour etc.

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Hi, i couldn't answer yesterday.

I know it would be better to use switches, but i was hoping i could use bulbs as well.

For instance:

When i get up at night (because a kid is crying or whatever), switch only half the lights in the corridor at 25%.
When someone enters home and does not press the button in 20seconds, switch on at 100% in red color all de light and start the alarm.

However, you are telling me i won't be able to use colors with a hue like the philips one, right?

Ok, so you have the hue hub with all the lights and it is linked with hubitat, which has everything else. Are you able to change colors in the bulbs? @bertabcd1234 said before i would lose that...

Another option i've read throught the forum is using groups to send the orders to the bulbs. What do you think about this?

That's true, i have nothing bought but my travelling hubitat.

Can you use colors in your rules?

I have both Smart switches/ dimmers and rgbw lamps. I'm now going to a 2 hub setup as I plan to expand and add energy monitoring sockets. There is no issue with having control from one hub to the other. When she use hub connect or link to hub the devices will be seen on the same hub. so in effect all your devices are in one place and can be controlled as if they are on one hub. If you use the Philips hue bridge you do not want to control it through its app you should only control it through habitats app. This is due to the polling mentioned above. Personally I don't like Philips hue you so I prefer to have secondary habitat hub as I get more from that. In my case I want two ZigBee meshes and two z-wave meshes because I want to separate old products from new ZigBee 3.0 and z-wave plus devices.