Considering Hubitat - a few questions

Hi everyone,
I have a device I bought years ago for lighting control but have had more issue than I would have liked.

For example, just tried to log back in to my account (after a long time of being inactive), didn't work, and said my email wasn't recognized... moving on.

So, I saw a few videos about Hubitat & it looks pretty good. I do have a few basic questions:

  1. What's the current "state" of mobile interfaces? I saw an older thread here, but it ends in 2019. There were some initial complaints about the icons/squares not fitting to the screen. Also, some interfaces with background images look kinda busy :slight_smile:

  2. I am of course interested in controlling lighting - also consider Lutron/Leviton. However, something we really would like to be able to do is to add some color-controllable lighting as well, e.g. Hue. Any recommendations?

  3. Also looking for recommendations for what is currently the "best" method of integrating cameras to the mobile apps, if the effort is worth it. Currently I have some cameras set up, but they're all Blink cameras and run separately from everything. They function well for motion detection, so not sure if there's a way to integrate that into Hubitat controls.

  4. Kinda separate question, but also looking for recommendations for compatible garage door controls.

thanks!

A few short answers as an ST convert in the last year...

  1. The mobile app is pretty rudimentary and "manully-intensive" compared to soemthing like ST's app. You have to build your own dashboards - that's a blessing and cursse. Blessing because it gives you a lot of control over how & what you want to display and control thru the app. Curse because it's a steep learning curve at first - nothing too crazy, but be prepared to throw a few hours at it. Once you get your head around it, it's fine. There are a ton of customizable options, but I just use very basic "stock" to build my dashboards, and that all works fine for me.

  2. Hue works fine - there's a native integration for it, or a community option (CoCoHue) that's actually more robust. When I first converted to HE, I vowed to use just stock/native stuff, but I've since changed my tune. Many of the community drivers/apps on Hubitat are really impresive, and CoCoHue is a great example.

If you have a "Pro" Caseta hub or RA2, the Lutron telnet integration is amazing - the ability to use Pico remotes for anything is really cool, and the Lutron responsiveness is instantaneous.

  1. Sorry, I don't have any cams integrated.

  2. Lots of GDO options to consider, especially z-wave units (Zen 16/17, Linear, etc). I use a Zen17 for my 1-door garage and it gives me exactly what I wanted for control and door status info.

One warning - the Hubitat Elevation (latest hub version) is a "700" series z-wave hub - long story, but it has some "ism's" to watch out for when adding z-wave devices and building your z-wave mesh. If you do all that carefully, you'll be fine, but just be slow & very methodical when you add z-wave stuff.

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Hi @androidnj

A newbie here, but already really loving the HE ecosyteem! Any issues I ran in to I could solve my self (searching the internet or by finding a work around), or asking the community for help. There is a learning curve, but which smarthome doesn't?

  1. I think it's great and versatile, because of the implementations of CSS you can make it almost anyway you want it. You want a static design? or and responsive (resizable) layout? CSS gives you that freedom. Or you can make a specific dashboard for specific device. Currently I'm working on a map (floorplan) layout.
    There are also third party apps available, Fully Kiosk and smartly if remember correctly.
    Show Off Your Dashboards! - #271 by stephack

  2. This I can not answer, which device you should use.
    Have a look at this post:
    Advice for getting started with Lutron Caseta

  3. I haven't done it myself but as far as I have read there are at least 3 options:

a) Using a camera with RTSP/Onvif protocol (and especially an MPJEG stream!). Place that MPJEG stream on your dashboard and link it to the website/app of the manufacturer. It's not fully integrated, but it's free..
b) Smartphone Software: TinyCam. Runs on your phone (but needs a permanent connection and maybe a subscription? not sure about that).
c) software: Blue iris. Placed on a server or VM. I personally think this is the best method because of the insane amount of controls you get. But it will cost some money.

  1. I don't have a garage door, but I'm confident there are a lot of zigbee/z-wave relays you can place to contol your garage door.

Hope this helps you decide :slight_smile:

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I want to add to @hydro311 's and @ShadoW's answers:

  1. Dashboards - recent changes to the platform and mobile app have made some devices (lights/outlets) show up automatically in Rooms, without any effort on the users part.
  2. There are also several external commercially supported Dashboard integrations (SharpTools, ActionTiles), in addition to a number of community Dashboard integrations.
  3. There are Hubitat-compatible controllers available for RGBW lighting that can be mounted in a gangbox or used as a handheld remote. (https://rgbgenie.com). One of the principals (Sean Gnant) at RGBGenie is an active and helpful member of this community (@Gnant).
  4. There are a myriad of z-wave and zigbee garage door control options available - including the Zooz products indicated by @hydro311. @agnes.zooz from Zooz is also an active/helpful member of this community. Not to leave them out, that same characterization also applies to @Eric_Inovelli from iNovelli. There is also a community integration for MyQ garage door openers.
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Active and helpful is an understatement. I have heard of iNovelli before, but never used it.

Yesterday (by coincidence) I've read some posts about them and wow! This is a company that cares about his customers and products!

I just wanted to give them a shout.
Even though I'm not a customer (yet).

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Wow! Did not expect so many answers this quickly... thank you...

@hydro311 - my background is design so I certainly don't mind putting in some design time... I don't have Hue / Caseta yet, but do have a number of Z-Wave devices, so that's good news.

@ShadoW - Good to hear it. CSS is interesting - I am pretty familiar with it via web design... can you recommend any current videos/tutorials? Would love to find out more. I saw the floorplan stuff here in the forum before joining and a general floorplan would be something I'd like to do. Will check out the camera information too.

@aaiyar - Sounds good about the rooms. I don't know a ton about it but realized some of the info I've watched/read is out of date. Actiontiles looks really interesting too. Great info about the lighting and z-wave (I mostly use z-wave.. some insteon) stuff as well.

Excellent to find out some of the people actively involved here :slight_smile:

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Hubitat has a document and video tutorial for all the basics.

HE Documentation

Hubitat Elevation Documentation - Hubitat Documentation

List of Compatible Devices (a great list of plug and play devices. This list is not definitive! There are also a lot of user made drivers to make it work.)

List of Compatible Devices - Hubitat Documentation

For some more difficult question/problems just type in google: "Hubitat topic/problem/device". Most of it is already documented :slight_smile:

For the CSS part:

The noobs in complete guide to css for hubitat

The Noob's (in)complete guide to CSS for Hubitat

And anything you can find on: w3schools.com

CSS Tutorial

A lot of text, but then again a lot of possibilities. Have a look at: "Show Off Your Dashboards!" in my first post.

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  1. I think everyone else has covered it well, but i would also add that in general many have the idea the idea with Hubitat is generally to automate and prevent the need of dashboard. Certainly you can use a dashboard for manual control, or overview of several devices but because of the power of Hubitat you may find that isn't needed most of the time. I very rarely look at my dashboards. I use Action tiles which is technically in beta on Hubitat. It is the same overall setup though that was designed for Smartthings and as such it has good bones and should be a great experience.

  2. I believe the Hue components were one of the first external integration Hubitat wrote for the hub, and others have said user integrations expand on that functions. If you have something other then Hue ( i won't personally don't think the overpriced hue stuff is worth it) just check for compatibility. Zigbee and Zwave colored bulbs like Sengled will work fine and give you color controls with the right bulbs. They will probably give you the best overall experience. Wifi based color light devices may work, with limitations on compatibilty. There are allot of options out there just have to check for compatability.

  3. Cameras are a tricky thing as there isn't anything that is really setup to integrate them. I have Arlo and Eufy cameras. Each with their plus and minus's. I use one of the previously posted suggestions to integrate the Eufy cameras into Hubitat. For Eufy I use a Community app called "TinyCam Connector" that creates a HTTP endpoint for another software i run at home called Motion. Motion then watches the Camera's RTSP stream and when motion detects motion in the stream it then tells the TinyCam Connector http endpoint. This seems to work well but is as reliable as my Motion software being able to see the camera stream. The arlo cameras are a bit more difficult because of how they are a closed system. For the Arlo Cameras i actually use Smartthings as a cloud aggregator. So i have a Smarthings hubless configuration. Then i use Node-Red as a middle man using it's Samsung Automation Studio pallet, and the Hubitat Pallet (pallet just means addon) to receive updates from Smartthings and then update virtual devices in Hubitat. It has actually worked really well, but the setup can be appear a little daunting if you are unfamiliar with how to setup all the needed parts. I have a home server, but it can all be done from a Raspberry PI. My point though is that to integrate cameras you may have to be a little bit creative. You can actually point the dashboards directly at Motion for video on dashboards. That has worked well, for Eufy, but arlo is much more dificult. It would have to use TinyCam Pro on a android device to watch the cameras then you would have to point the dashboard to it's URL. .

  4. At this point probably one of the better options would be a Zooz Zen17 and then some kind of sensor on the door to know when it is opened are closed. Linear also use to make a good kit that allot of folks seems to like. I am not 100% sure if they are the original oem or GoControl but that is the name that stands out. I think it was rebranded by allot of companies. The Zooz Zen17 is the new zwave 700 version, so firmware updates may be need, but the Zooz Zen16 is the zwave 500 version and probably fine as well. I have a Zen17 working with my fireplace now. it is pretty slick when you start to realize the flexibility of the device

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Linear/Nortek Control/GoControl are a single company with products sold under three brand names ...

Edit - just viewed their website. Looks like it is a lot more than three brand names now.

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Blue iris, sharptools, webcore.

=)

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Lutron is the way to go. Get the Lutron pro hub (not the regular hub) and set up the Lutron integration. Rock solid and just works. None of that ZWave crap.

Hue is also the way to go. I have all my ZLL bulbs on Hue and use the Hue integration. Most of them are overpriced Hue bulbs but I also have a lot of el cheapo Cree bulbs on there too. They just work a lot better on the Hue hub than they do attached to HE directly.

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If you want bulbs that will be connected directly to Hubitat, go for Sengled (Zigbee) or Inovelli (Z-Wave). The Inovelli dimmers allow a bulb mode that will keep power to the bulbs while allowing them to be controlled via the switch. That can be useful.

Another option that works very well is to use a Lutron button controller to control them. There is a community app that works extremely well with the controllers to adjust bulbs.

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Even better would be ZigBee 3.0 lamps or light fittings, I have a number of different manufacturers and so far I have had no issues. Unlike the older crappy devices which used LL. My ZigBee mesh is mostly built on ZigBee 3.0 lamps, there is now a few ZigBee 3.0 socket devices and a ZigBee 1.2 in wall socket. Then button battery devices work off it perfectly.

I still have some LL devices but they are on their own 2nd Hubitat hub.

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Hi @mavrrick58 - fwiw I consider dashboard control to be automation, in the sense that I can use a single control, for example, to set many things at once, such as "Movie" to set all the lighting to certain levels. That said, it's because we always have our phones; if I had a handheld remote on which a button could be set to do (or undo) the same thing, all the better :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info on the Hue alternatives. My kids both have LIFX color bulbs they use with the app, but I haven't looked a those in terms of use with Hubitat yet.

Cameras... yeah. I've had cameras set up for a long time using an ISY device & also have Blink cameras. They've worked fairly well - my main desire when it comes to integration would be to use the cameras' motion sensing to trigger other things - lights, an alarm, etc. I know there are a ton of variables with these.

Garage doors - thanks, will check out the Zooz!

Thanks - these look really interesting.

Hey! I've had pretty good luck with Zwave :slight_smile: I'll check out the zigbee stuff too.

Interestingly I was looking on Amazon to see if there were Prime Day deals on a Lutron system with the Pro Hub and don't see anything.

What is "HE" ?

Was just reading about Inovelli as I'd never heard of them before. Not sure what you mean by "power to the bulbs while allowing them to be controlled via the switch" though - don't all switches keep power to the bulbs?

Any idea what that community app is called? Would still like remote control / monitoring of lighting if possible.

Thanks for the note - what's changed with Zigbee 3.0? Looks like it's still a higher frequency than Z-wave so I assume there would be more frequency and structural interference... ?

Which button battery devices? I'd like to look those up too.

HE = Hubitat Elevation or C-7 (the latest version of the Hubitat hub).

Lutron stuff doesn't go on sale very often - maybe check eBay too for the Pro hub.

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Just my two sense on camera...(Recent convert from ST)

Blink's integration with any smarthome system has been limited since it was purchased by Amazon.

I haven't used yet, but this driver looks promising (still converting from ST so that will be later in the process)

I experimented with a lot of options while on ST, even considering building something using the old API endpoint.

  • If you have Alexa, there is a skill for blink in which you can activate a virtual switch based on motion. It is limited to certain models of the blink cameras, it works with the blink mini and XT2 but not the original or XT.
  • There is also IFTTT integration for blink but latency is always an issue for me with IFTTT.
  • Current temporary-ish setup (same as I was using on ST) with the older XT models is to use a combination of Tasker and Webcore to watch for notifications on an old android tablet and turn on a virtual switch/motion device. Fairly reliable as long as the tablet stays active. (Also works with my Wyze cameras, no integration there either)
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Download the Hubitat app