Considering Hubitat - Question on Timers


I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, or if this question has been answered before, but I tried a search and don't have the time to keep digging. I have been using Homeseer for several years, used Vera for many years before that (in fact I go back to the X-10 days), but Homeseer has become too unreliable, and I am considering switching to Hubitat. Most of the automations I do in Homeseer are fairly simple, so I have no doubt that Hubitat can do the same (for example, when I unlock the entry door from the garage to the basement with a Schlage Z-wave lock, Homeseer automatically turns on the basement lights and, if it's night time, turns on the kitchen light as well, then it turns off the basement lights 10 minutes later). But I do have one slightly complicated automation that I was wondering if Hubitat can handle.

My basement is below grade (I know, all basements are, but mine is completely below grade so there are no windows) so there is no light down there, day or night. Since, as I mentioned above, if someone enters from the garage, the lights will turn off 10 minutes later, I added several motion sensors in the basement to turn, or keep, the lights on. So, in Homeseer, if any of the basement motion sensors is tripped, a 10 minute timer starts running. After the 10 minutes are up, the basement lights are turned off. But if a motion sensor trips during the 10 minute countdown, the counter resets and then continues to count down. In other words, as long as there is motion in the basement, detected by any of 4 motion sensors, the lights will stay on, no matter what else happens. But once the motion stops, the lights will go off in 10 minutes.

Can I do this in Hubitat?

Thank you in advance. I will hopefully be joining your community soon.

Yes it can, with motion lighting app


Hubitat has a built-in app called Motion Lighting that does exactly this.

Regarding your Schlage locks. Do a search for Schlage and you will see that many people have had issues with their locks. Others have reported no issues. Because of the inconsistencies the Schlage locks were removed from the supported device list just recently.

Good luck.

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Your description of how you handle the motion and lights in the basement is how I handle several of the rooms in my house. That's no problem. As mentioned, read about the locks - they have been problematic for some people. I have one Schlage FE599 - it's a pretty old lock now - it works fairly well but I took pains to make sure I had a repeating device near the hub and one near the lock. That seems to be one solution. As far as turning the light on when you unlock - no problem, again that's something I do with my basement door.

Thank you for the quick reply. Unfortunately, this is good news/bad news. No support for the Schlage lock is a showstopper for me. Given the setup of my house (garage in basement; entry to the house is normally garage->basement) having the lights turn on when the door is unlocked is critical. To me, the point of home automation is to make life easier. As an electrical engineer, I love to tinker, but I'm at an age where I want things to work; I don't have time to tinker anymore. Set it up and expect it to work.

I'll search for the Schlage threads and see what the story is. Hopefully this is just a temporary measure while they fix the problem. I've used this Schlage lock for years with both Homeseer and Vera, and never had a problem, so I don't believe Schlage is the problem. It must be Hubitat.

Hey, I just took a look at the Motion Lighting app. That looks like exactly what I wanted. Pretty cool. In Homeseer I had to build the whole thing myself.

I'm not going to debate where the problem stems from.

FWIW - Depending on your setup you may be able to pair the locks with another controller IF you have problems with them on HE. I have my locks paired to another controller and It works flawlessly.

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Why is the unlocking critical for the lights? There are many other options. You could turn on the lights with a contact sensor or another motion sensor. Just throwing out ideas...

I didn't mean to create an issue. I'm just saying that I've had this lock, and another before it, for years now, and never had an issue. So I can't believe it's the lock. Even Vera, the most unreliable system on the market, in my opinion, worked flawlessly with it.

Hopefully it will get resolved. Door locks are a critical part of any HA system.

I know, but using the lock has just worked fine for years now. And, to make a long story short, due to the funky way the builder installed the door (door for 2x4 construction in a 2x6 wall), there is an issue with installing a contact sensor (I have tried several; none will fit in the crazy door jamb).

There is just something elegant about the light turning on when the door is unlocked. Just seems right to me...

Why not just install a motion sensor facing the door so when it's opened the light comes on.

I could, but why should I? The current method has worked fine for years now. And there is no delay waiting for the motion sensor to turn on the lights; they are on before I even get the door open.

I appreciate the suggestions but I shouldn't need a work-around for a problem that doesn't exist outside of Hubitat.

While I understand it should "just work," personally I would take a reliable HA system with a simple work around over dealing with an unreliable one as you stated in your original post.

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Agreed, but there are other alternatives out there (also looking at Home Assistant).

I have to disagree that the problem does not exist outside of Hubitat. A number of us who came over from SmartThings had odd problems that we now believe were due to the SmartThings "fix" for the Schlage Z-Wave lock problems - to reboot the Z-Wave radio (resulting in lost events from other devices). I'll say it may be a bad combination but I don't put all of it on Hubitat based on my experience and what I have learned since leaving SmartThings.

But, I understand it is important to your solution and you would prefer not to kludge.

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What kind of unreliable issues have you been having with Homeseer ?

I’m currently looking at their public beta and feel disappointed.

Hubitat seems in my eyes to be much farther ahead. Obviously it doesn’t have as much intergration but a few key pieces are still missing.

  • grouping multiple motion sensors (easytrigger sure but it’s not working in hs4)
  • Virtual contact sensors to trigger Alexa routines
  • so many plugins require updates
  • cost for plugins
  • lack of community drivers

There's a separate plugin from Alex available that does grouping of sensors far better. Kinda funny that EasyTrigger isn't working correctly when Spud is on HST payroll....

Not only contact sensors but motion sensors or variables. HS is way behind the game when it comes to voice assistants. Their MyHS isn't even stable.

This is why I stopped all of my development. When HS4 was first brought to the developers I looked at it and said WTF!!!! and said that quite loudly and literally... I'm not very welcomed anymore and I left my plugins to other capable developers... Michael has posted it was at least 50% re-write of Hubitat to work with HS4... no way was I going to do that much work just to support the stupid new UI with ZERO actual real new features.

Those plugins aren't easy and they take a lot of time. I value my time in development and more so it's hard to support that system when user's typically screw things up on their systems especially those trying to run Linux and no nothing about Linux.

What drivers? Everything is a plugin!!!

Lol to funny.

There’s just way to much features missing to replicate what I have with Hubitat.

I’ve lost all track of why I even started down this path. I’ve managed to get Hubitat working reliably.

Guess I’m cheap, and feel I have to give it a full in depth look over the next year since I paid for it.

But as of now, it’s lacking to much!

And forgot to mention the lack of ZigBee, which to be fair they are suppose to support.

In terms of drivers, something like the Aeotec doorbell 6 isn’t compatible.

Don't hold your breath as you will NOT survive.

there's a lot of devices missing especially newer devices. They are very very slow about adding devices and some they flat out refuse to. I personally think it's a lack of skill set to do so.

I would not be so sure. The app Reliable Locks have helpen many users with Schlage locks...