Am I using Hub Mesh properly?

I decided to try out the Hub Mesh feature. I have two Hubitat Elevation Hubs... my original is a Rev C-5 and the new one is Rev C-7. My original hub is located in my detached garage, which is just about 6 feet from the house.

The detached garage is my "computer center" where I have a 42U rack largely filled with different servers and network hardware. The way my house was built, it has an attic in the front and rear of the house; the detached garage is situated alongside the rear of the house. I have installed enterprise-grade network switches in both attic spaces, as well as my "computer center" and all are interlinked with 10GBase-SR fiber. For WiFi, I have installed Unifi AC Pro access points in each of the three locations where network switches exist and it works lovely. When I read about the Hub Mesh, I was thinking of doing something similar to my Unifi WiFi system, but instead of getting two more hubs, I'm starting off with one; which I plugged in to my front attic switch.

When I received my second hub, I believe I followed the instructions currently to link the two hubs. All of my devices were natively paired to the original hub but on all of the devices that exist in the house, especially those in the front of the house, I have shared them with the new hub. If I log into the new hub, I see all of these devices where instead of the "Source" column showing "System", they say "Linked." All the dashboards are on the original hub. At the moment, I have three dashboards... my primary dashboard, one specifically for Christmas lights, and a third for tracking battery levels of all the battery powered devices. Every device works as it should and I'm not sure if it is true or not, but devices in the front of my house appear to be more responsive than before I added the new hub, but I don't know if that is just my imagination or if the new hub is doing anything at all. Is there anyway to know if my new hub is actually controlling anything?

I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, but Hub Mesh doesn't inherently do load balancing or anything with apps, drivers, or your "Z" meshes. The only thing that would happen on your second hub is what you do on that second hub--e.g., if you have an app controlling a switch that happens to be a Hub Mesh switch that really "lives" on (is paired to) the other hub, then the second hub will send a message across your LAN to tell the other hub to turn it on or off or whatever your automation is doing. Along the same lines, any time an event happens with one of your shared devices, the new device state is broadcast to all your linked hubs so the attributes ("Current States" on the device page and everything this affects) can be updated.

So, if you just have a bunch of Hub Mesh devices shared with and added to your second hub with no automations running on that hub, then it's not doing much besides receiving events from the other devices (basically nothing since it's not doing anything with them). But even if it were running automations, only the work of that particular automation (app/rule) would be offloaded to the "shared" hub--the commands to the "real" device are sent across your LAN back to the hub where the device really lives, and that's the hub that still takes over the work of actually communicating with the device.

My understanding of mesh networks may or may not be correct. What I envision it is doing is attempting to find the fastest method to pass a message from one device to another. If the two devices cannot directly communicate with each other, they will try to find the fewest and fastest pathway to send the message. My concern with my Z-wave mesh is that the message would have to be repeated multiple times to get to the far reach of my house. My thought process in adding the Hub Mesh is that the new hub could add a possibly faster and more reliable pathway with fewer hops by moving the messages off of the Z-wave wireless mesh and onto my wired network. I was looking to see if there was anyway to tell if that is happening.

"Mesh" here has a totally different meaning. It's just a way to share devices from one hub to another hub (or more). It allows you to, for example, pair devices to one hub while keeping automations on another or combine devices from multiple hubs into automations on a single hub (so that, from the perspective of your app, there is no difference). It is an alternative to Hub Link/Link to Hub and HubConnect if you are familiar with those, though it has some advantages that those app-and-driver-based approaches can't quite replicate.

But as mentioned above, it does not provide any other functionality and will have no noticeable effect if devices are simply shared but not used (and even then the effect is scoped to the above).

It should also be noted that Zigbee and Z-Wave devices can only be paired to one hub (controller/coordinator, ignoring things like secondary Z-Wave controllers). Hub Mesh does not (and cannot) change this. But Z-Wave and Zigbee are designed to be mesh protocols, so if you aren't having mesh problems and don't have concerns like a square footage too large for the specs (really mostly an issue width Z-Wave given the hop limit), I wouldn't worry about that too much. But if you wanted to reduce that, what you'd need to do is start a separate "Z" mesh (or two) on the other hub, whose devices can be shared via Hub Mesh if needed. In some cases this will be worse because you create two separate networks and now have two mesh healths to worry about. In others, it may help. In many, it probably makes little difference. :slight_smile: But I can't speak to your particular situation.


I think I have the same question but want to ask differently. I thought the hub mesh was a "share the load" setup when it came to servicing the shared devices. Tonight, I went to update my main hub thinking the 2nd huh would keep things running as usual. Not at all the case. Not until the main hub came back is when everything started working again. Am I missing something? I have 2 C5s both running the same version.

I have almost all the devices shared between the hubs at the moment. 3 story house. 1 hub at the to floor the other in the basement. Is this the best use?

Yes. Hub Mesh is just a way to share a device paired to one hub over your LAN to another hub, making it usable with apps and whatnot on that hub. Zigbee and Z-Wave devices can only be paired to one hub; it cannot be used as a "failover" and will not do anything like "load balancing" on its own . If you're only sharing devices to other hubs but not actually using them on that hub, Hub Mesh is doing nothing for you. Even if you are, the "real" hub (the hub the devices are actually paired to) has to be on for it to work, given that it just sends events from that hub to the other hub(s) over your LAN.

I would suggest reading what I wrote above in response to a similar question. I'm pretty sure this is basically what I said above, but it's been a couple months, so maybe this additional explanation I wrote before I checked that will help too. :slight_smile:


Thanks for responding. So i scrolled up and read some of your messages that provided more detail as you mentioned. In my personal setup - i live in a 3 story house. I have the 2nd hub (i'll call it that because it was the last one i bought) plugged in upstairs (3rd floor). On that level I have all Zigbee light bulbs and plugs. walkin level - mixture of zigbee and some zwave, and the basement level i have the primary hub with zigbee and zwave devices. I could move the devices closest to the top floor hub and attach them to it...along with any automations they go with those devices...seems like that will reduce some of the load on the main hub. I see that working but the concept of the mesh in this scenario, I'm still not making the connection. Sorry for being an idiot here.

Another way to think of it: just because you have multiple hubs doesn't mean you have to use Hub Mesh (or any similar solution). In your case, if you can put specific devices and all their automations on one hub (i.e., you don't need to use events from those devices elsewhere--e.g., in a rule or app on that other hub, including something like Hubitat Dashboard unless you want to go to a different hub/URL for that, which also works), then I don't see a reason to.

With your "Zigbee bulb" hub, you might want to since I'm assuming your doing that just to keep these "problem devices" off of any of your other hubs. I'm again assuming you might want to share these devices with one or more of your other hubs so that they can participate in automations there, e.g., turning on a light when a sensor detects motion. (Sharing the sensor to the "bulb hub" would also work--just wherever you want to write the automation.) Without something like Hub Mesh--or a third party solution like HubConnect or older solution like Link to Hub/Hub Link--you wouldn't have a way to share these devices, so the hubs would both be their own, independent islands. Now you can share device events from one hub to another as needed for use in apps and whatnot--a LAN integration between to hubs.