Coming over from SmartThings


#1

Greetings,

After nearly 3 years with SmartThings I’ve decided to jump ship. I don’t like the “Samsung-ization” that’s going on right now; secretive updates, cloud issues, non-existent support on serious issues, etc.

I’m expecting the transition to be very slow. I’ve got over 400 devices on SmartThings (only 24 are virtual) to being across.

I’m looking forward to porting some of my DTHs and apps including the Iris smart plug Z-Wave Repeater, Utilitech Glass Break, and if I can get time to revisit, ArloPilot (and eventually hopefully a full Arlo integration) which I’ve not been able to put any time on. I have others that I’ve not released that I might share as well.

With the holidays just around the corner I’ll be taking things slowly but look forward to becoming a contributing member of this community. For anyone who has switched over from ST, your feedback is more than welcome. I’d like to know what worked and what didn’t work.

I’ll be starting my hub setup tonight. Wish me luck!


#2

It sounds like you have a large system.
My #1 thing to lookout for is large applications.
WebCoRE is a big troublemaker here, as well as things like
Homebridge for iOS integration can really slow the hub down.

And welcome!


#3

Welcome to the community! You'll see lots of familiar names over here. :grin:


#4

Welcome!

Good approach. Remembering this is hub that runs groovy, not a reincarnation of the ST hub of days gone by will be serve you well. This is an excellent, stable platform if it has the right devices, drivers and apps.

I too am ex-ST, but no where near the number of devices you have, so not expecting a 100% conversion and compatibility, while looking at devices that might need retiring as you go would be my best advice, based on what I've seen from other users that have that number of products to move. Where expectations are not met seems to be when an unrealistic expectation that every product, no matter the age or how difficult it is now to pair or join seems to create a common misconception that Hubitat is somehow under performing.

These are good points to keep in mind. If you have been on ST for three years and have that many devices, then there's little chance you aren't a big webCoRE user. The port for that level of devices and use has been largely unsuccessful based on the feedback from other webCoRE users that have now converted to Rule Machine. In general, former ST users that have tried to move webCoRE and just carry on with their pistons on HE have discovered that their system will, if not at first, slow to a crawl or lock up. Remove webCoRE and the hub returns to it's normal speedy responses. Your best success will come from spending time converting or redesigning your automations to run the native Rule Machine.

As Homebridge goes, I will say that if you're not running iOS devices, its moot to even talk about it. If you are, then my experience is if I reboot the hub without shutting down Homebridge, it throws API errors on Homebridge and HE slows or even locks up. But if I simply stop Homebridge, reboot the hub, then restart Homebridge it's absolutely no problem. Not everyone has my same experience with the reboot, nor do they share my successes with running Homebridge at all.

Good luck. Ask lots of questions, but make few assumptions and you'll be quite happy with your decision I think :wink:


#5

Welcome!

Ask questions as you go along, people here is really helpful. Also, if you figure out anything not already posted or successfully add devices not in the List of Supported Devices - Hubitat Documentation or the Compatible Devices Wiki, please post it so others can benefit...

Good Luck!


#6

Iris Smart Plug repeater works - the ones I have. Just pair the smart plug first then go into add devices again and hold the button in for 8 secs (or push it 8+ times). A new generic z-wave repeater device should pop up.

In my experience my only real issue was my Yale door lock and pairing/using. Others did not have a prob so likely it's something on my network. My advice would be to try the system apps device drivers first (in HE parliance DTHs are called drivers/device drivers btw) and then branch out to the custom stuff. Some really good devs out there like @Cobra and others.

I also used the Bridge at first and that help keep things running while I migrated over.

Customer support and forums are also very helpful. Don't be afraid to reach out everyone has been very helpful.

Last I have to say is today my firewall SSD crashed (NEVER had an SSD crash before!) and my network was down for a few hours while I cloned a new one. The whole time the HE system kept working (except for some cloud based stuff of course) !!!!!! That was an awesome display of the power/potential of the HE system.


#7

Good luck, you won't be disappointed :slight_smile: The two biggest improvements for me after migrating....first, no outages, whether internet connection related or platform outage related. Second, the response speed is incredible. No more issues being halfway down the hallway (or even all the way through) before lights turn on, etc. I never would have dreamed in ST about being able to issue 10 consecutive commands with 1 second delay between each and have them execute with any degree of accuracy.

Being able to pick and choose which updates are applied and when has been awesome too...no more forced upgrades and associated down time. I read the update and bug fix lists with each update that comes out. If nothing applies to me, I don't update. If something does apply, I pick a time when everything it quiet at home to perform the update so it doesn't mess with anything. Having restorable backups is a nice feeling too in case something doesn't go well for whatever reason. Every thread I read about platform updates over on that other forum reinforces that I made the right decision to switch.


#8

Backups have been mentioned and it would be good to point out that backups here on a Hubitat hub is two parts. There's a page under Settings where you can find backups. Every reboot causes a backup to be made, and every time you download a backup, it creates one. But be aware that this is a backup of the SQL DB -- not of the firmware version. There is no backup for that because it's not unique to you. The Hub stores a couple of copies of the firmware and you can "rewind" to a previous version. Those are separate, individual processes. Since ST has never offered a backup, understanding that you'll want to download backups, even if the hub has several, is going to help a lot at Restore time.

The Hub checks the DB at boot, and if it finds a critical error, it automatically uses an older instance of the DB. You'll notice.. rebooting takes a LOT longer when that's occurring. DON'T reboot quicker than 15-20 mins or you'll corrupt the DB again, it will boot slow, you reboot, corrupting the 3rd DB, and pretty soon, none of the DB on the hub are good. That's when you'll find that the backup you downloaded and saved gets you working again.


#9

OMGOSH! 400 things! That's a lot! I can't imagine you'd take it slowly. it's just going to take a long time to port 400 things over to HE. So it's more of a situation where you're just sick of doing it for a while. I agree with @SmartHomePrimer. Take this time to evaluate your setup and phase out older stuff. I think it'll be hard to take it slowly when you realize how blazing fast your HE automations are running compared to what is still on smartthings. Be aware that harmony is still relying on smartthings, but there is an integration in the forums. Also, be prepared to rethink sensor locations as there's no latency with this system. (At least not with mine). I had to move sensors inside of the rooms they were automating because the automations react immediately when they're triggered, so I didn't need a motion sensor to see me from 20 feet away so that it turned on a light by the time I arrived in the room. No one has mentioned support. It's phenomenal. It's rare that you'll have to wait long for an answer. Usually there is someone in the community to help, and a lot of knowledgeable users to fill in when a developer or HE staffer isn't around. Doesn't happen very often. Long story short, I think you'll be happy with HE. Welcome to Hubitat, and be careful of that rabbit hole. It's rather deep.


#10

In retrospect, un-pairing (excluding) the Z-Wave devices from SmartThings was my greatest challenge. If you have a Minimote (or can borrow one) it can make life easier. Also, the general exclude from the SmartThings main menu seemed to work when working from the device screen did not.


#11

I also don't have as much devices as you do but I still thought the whole process of migrating from ST to HE was going to be hard. I took someone's advice and did it room by room. Basically moving stuff that was too integrated with other stuff in the house. I also moved Webcore Pistons as I went but soon realized that my HE hub was crawling. I started to look at RM but I couldn't wrap my head around how it worked. However, I knew that I had to move away from WC if I wanted success. I started with little rules in RM and really started to get the hang of how it works. Really easy, just don't over think it with RM. I just have two WC pistons that I need to keep right now and I still have my iphone's as presence sensors in ST which I use Hub Link to pass the presence to HE. Like other users, the big difference is the speed at which things happen. The lights go on instantly when motion is detected. With ST, I would be down the stairs and in the room(in the dark) before the lights would turn on. So frustrating!


#12

7 posts were split to a new topic: Alternatives to using ST presence


#15

Im a bit late getting my hub going due to a flakey Schlage Touch Screen Deadbolt lock. ST support finally responded on some of the issues I've been reporting and uncovered that this particular lock was flooding the Z-Wave network with bogus messages. Had to spend time last night replacing and reprogramming it.

I saw that in my research. I use neither so I'm not too concerned.

About 2 months ago I migrated to a SmartThings v3 hub after a Z-Wave failure on my v2 hub. I took the time to replace all of my Gen1 Jasco Z-Wave (200 series chipset) switches and dimmers with Z-Wave plus devices. I also replaced some problematic devices as well. I intend to replace any other devices that have issues during this migration as well.

I wrote an advanced DTH for the Z-Wave repeater for SmartThings which includes diagnostics. I'm looking forward to porting it to Hubitat in the coming days. I have 47 of these things so its critical these work flawlessly.

I'm certainly willing to entertain any volunteers for the endeavor! :slight_smile: Your advise is sound. I actually have a sizeable pool of spare devices right now, thanks to holiday sales, so I'm currently working on test pairings with the HE hub. I'm also running trials ofg pairing them with ST then unpairing, and pairing with HE, to get an idea of how each device will respond, and which ones need a battery pull or full reset. Its very time consuming, but will save a big headache in the end.

Great advice. I was planning to do just that! Thanks.

Thanks all for the welcome. I look forward to getting the system up and running over the coming weeks!


#16

A question that I forgot to ask earlier. What are folks using for a GUI? I interact with the ST UI more than I would probably like to. I miss the ability to group devices by room. It makes it much simpler to manager.

I know I can build Dashboards, but thats a ton of work with 400 devices! How are others managing large mnumbers of devices?


#17

Dashboard. Either HE or SharpTools.


#18

The answer depends on your Design. For you, Home Automation means a specific something. You have 400 devices so you probably expect a lot of automation to just take care of itself. Door or Motion causes light(s). Humidity causes fan(s). Water level causes water refil in the Pool, etc.

However, many people design Home Automation around activities they or the family are already doing. Turn on a switch, push a button, tap a wall mounted tablet, etc. And have those actions do more than happened in their "dumb house".

I'm in the first group.. my family has never been exposed to the man-behind-the-curtain of either ST or Hubitat. We have buttons stuck to the headboards of our beds to control the lighting and fans within. There's only one person that even knows where the Hub is located.. me, and I use a browser, as intended. Yes, I have created Dashboards, but don't use them much, thus choosing a more customizable one such as SharpTools or HousePanel exceeds my time vs interest calculation.

Therefore, for me, there's nothing to miss. I hated SmartThings Mobile App because it exposed all the admin functions to every user. Hubitat distinctly differentiates Admin (the browser interface) and User (Dashboard), and that's a big important feature, to me.


#19

If you have v5.3 of SmartTiles you can get that working on HE. I edited the code to be an exception dashboard that shows me doors open, lights on, locks unlocked, etc since that is usually what I care most about.


#20

I really want a local-only solution. I've been using ActionTiles for about a year as the interface in which most people in the house interact with StartThings. Myself I use the SmartThings app daily. It's a vital tool for managing such a large system. I'm struggling with a viable replacement that doesn't require a ton of work to get started.

The built-in Dashboard would be an otherwise decent choice, if the it were were customizable. I'd be perfectly happy to even design my own tile templates. As it stands, it's too rigid and inflexible right now. Sharptools looks interesting but I'm on a "crusade" against using cloud services for vital parts of the system.

I hate the ST mobile app, but it's a necessary evil for such a large system. Whether I'm turning off devices that failed to respond to automation, manually turning on lights just because, or checking some of the advanced telemetry I collect from custom DTH's for UPS's, Raspberry PI's, Windows servers, even Iris Smart Plugs Z-Wave radios. Those are all DTH's that have a UI that is not supported in HE, which I need to find a solution for. Having customizable tiles in Dashboard would be a huge help.

I'm considering this. I may also enable the MakerAPI and just create my own at some point too.

Don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying working with Hubitat. I've already moved over 50+ devices which were cloud-connected as well as my Hue lighting. From an automation perspective, I'll be able to achieve everything I'm doing now plus a lot more. From a user-interaction perspective, I'm struggling to achieve a reasonable WAF.


#21

It's definitely lacking in flexibility, but if you get creative you can make it kinda customized...


#22

I would like to know how you customize this? I looked at the HE Dashboard but it seems very limited.