Do I need a c-8 pro vs a c-8 or stick with a c-7?

I bought a c-7 about a year ago and finally in the last month or so I decided to start using it. It will be replacing an system. No, I don't have alarm monitoring so that isn't an issue. I bought a new house with a few Z-Wave devices, garage door, front door lock, thermostat, one on/off wall switch and one plug in dimmer.

I was locked into a free subscription with with a Qolsys panel. Their rules are all based on an alarm going off or being triggered. They want you to get an alarm monitoring subscription so everything is based around the alarm going off first. The vendor wouldn't release me from the contract so I thought just go around them.

I had used Home Control Automation, a software package that does support Hubitat using the Maker app a few years ago. Based on HCA's recommendation and the fact that Hubitat doesn't require a cloud subscription I bought the C-7.

I added the c-7 to my network. It was a nightmare to get it registered. I upgraded the firmware and that didn't help. I spent 3 weeks trying to get it to register. Then this past Sunday, I was able to register the thing. I tried to update firmware on a test Zooz 0-10V dimmer. It ran for about 10 hours and didn't get to 50%. So I downloaded Simplicity Studio and I'm able to upgrade firmware. Yes, I have 2 Zooz USB sticks. I'd rather use my hub.

Along the way Hubitat released the C-8. I like the fact that the C-8 is faster and the Pro is fastest. But really, some of the benchmarks I'm seeing are less than a second and is timing like that really needed in a home automation system? Also, how fast is a Z-Wave firmware update? I haven't bought a Hubitat subscription yet and I want to get some answers before I make that jump.

C8 has the exact same CPU, RAM, and everything else as the C7. The only difference between them are the ZigBee and Z-wave radios. The C8-Pro is about 2x faster than a C7/C8.

Both models of C8 are going to be significantly faster than a C7 for things like doing firmware updates, since that's almost entirely based on how fast you can push bits through the air to the device, and both models of C8 have a WAY better antenna. I can't imagine a C8-Pro doing a firmware update any faster than a C8, but both C8 models will be faster than a C7.

I'd recommend using your C7 for a few months to make sure you're happy with Hubitat before buying a C8-Pro. Why spend more money until you're sure Hubitat will meet your needs. Once you're sure you're happy, then get the C8-Pro.


Will likely be faster. This is fully dependent on the Z-Wave mesh.

If you have any of the more recent Qolsys panels, you can actually reuse it with control from Hubitat using these awesome drivers:

The benefit is that you can reuse your existing sensors tied to the alarm panel. Even if you never arm/disarm it. It's really hard to beat the range and battery life of those RF based sensors.

Sorta... the C7 will likely be pushing bits across a mesh. The C8 with its better antennas is FAR more likely to be pushing the bits straight from the C8 to the end device. I went from probably 80% "meshed" devices on a C7 to around 90% directly connected devices on a C8. Only a handful of battery devices in my detached garage are running through repeaters.

Qolsys/DSC trying to get into the general home automation/control device business. PowerG locks, switches/dimmers, and plugs. They figured out long range before the Z-Wave people could. They ding Z-Wave pretty hard in one of their recent YouTube videos in spite of their representation on the BOD.

I "think" that if you desire Z-wave LR, with better range, you might want to look at the C8. If you have no need for LR than the C7 should be fine, since Z-wave & Zigbee are both mesh protocols, you can theoretically extend your mesh with repeaters, provided they play nice with HE.

I probably should have added I want one place to control everything. With HE & the Qolsys panel I now have two locations. I also had to pay to an vendor to get to their app and web interface and I don't want to pay for both and Hubitat. One of the things that really upset me were that I was unable to get the dealer code or installer code for the Qolsys panel. The vendor wanted $200 per device to install each z-wave device. No thank you. Yeah, I can now, but I'm paying $45 a month.

I have about 90% Zooz devices and most of them are 800 devices. I do have a GE hot water heater switch, Honeywell thermostat, a yale door lock and a garage door opener. Most devices are in within 30 feet of the hub. I also have built a Z-Wave landscape light controller and a z-wave irrigation controller. Both of these use Zooz ZEN51 dry contact relays (Irrigation) and ZEN54 LR 0-10V dimmers (landscape).

As I said, I want one location/dashboard/panel/whatever that controls everything in the house. When I started on the journey I found devices that were what I call Z-Wave adjacent. I found a Z-Wave landscape light controller for $500. Not going to spend that when I can put one together for $200. I found an irrigation controller that was nice enough to allow me to turn on all zones all at once and turn them off. Forget putting them on a schedule. Again I could spend $350 for the controller or just buy the relays from Zooz for about $100 and buy some transformers and put them all in a box.

I think with what everyone is saying I'm going to get a C-8 and not the pro model. Thanks everyone! charges for remote access to the panel using their app and z-wave control. You can move all your z-wave devices to HE...that's not what I was referring to. I meant that if you use any of the 2GIG/IQ sensors with the panel, you can use the driver I linked to get those into HE for use in rules and what-not. So you still do everything in HE, but get the ability to re-use those 319.5 MHz sensors that HE cannot directly support.

If you only have Z-wave devices, then yeah, ditch the panel.

Unless you paid a dealer to install the system, then the default codes are 1111 for installer and 2222 for dealer. does not control these.

The original vendor changed both codes. They would not release them to anyone. They were a real pain. They wouldn't release the panel so I couldn't select another vendor until I wouldn't pay them. Even then they took 2 months to release the thing. The new vendor did provide me both codes. The panel only has Z-Wave devices attached. They tried to sell me additional Qolsys devices but I wasn't interested. When they said it was Z-Wave compatible I wanted to go that way. Yeah, the Qolsys panel will be gone within 2 months.

check your memory leakage on your C-7. If to bothers you and you don't want to reboot every night, then get the pro; which has 2x the RAM.

Don't ditch the panel, the IQ2 and IQ4 panels are very good alarm panels. Qolsys devices are, in my experience, rock solid.

If you're paying $45 a month that's too much for access. Check out Advanced Security LLC, I'm paying much less. No connection, just a happy customer.

I have a few critical things like z-wave water shutoff valves and thermostats on the IQ panel. Other non-critical z-wave stuff is on HE. No reason you can't run both.

I didn't even catch this. The plan that includes home automation support (Surety Home) through SuretyDIY is $22.

I don't disagree with what anyone says about Qolsys/ It is a great panel.

The thing is, the Qolsys panel only triggers on very limited events. An alarm going off, the panel being armed/disarmed, a person crossing a geofence or the doorbell camera scanning movement. And I keep reading about issues with geofences being crossed and nothing happening.

I have a HUGE problem with wild hogs tearing up my lawn at night. Every 6 months it costs me around $750 to replace the sod the hogs snacked on. if the lights go on them at night, when they are attacking the lawn they run back into the woods next to my house. I know, I came home late one night while they were having dinner and the headlights hit them and they ran away damn fast.

What I want to do is put up a bunch of outdoor motion sensors and when they are triggered I want to light up about 8 flood lamps outside the house and spray the hogs with the blast of light. Because of the Qolsys rules I can't do that.

And today I found out something interesting about the Qolsys panel. if I do a Z-wave formware update to the panel I have to reset the entire Z-Wave network. I have to remove all devices, do the upgrade and then add the devices back in. I already have 34 devices in my configuration. I'm going to be adding at least another 2 dozen, a dozen alone with my irrigation system and my landscape lights.

So why have the Qolsys if I don't need any features in the panel and the z-wave update is a pain? That's another device that would be need troubleshooting if something goes wrong. The only thing I would lose with Qolsys in the end is my doorbell camera and I can replace that with one that Hubitat supports.

The question now is c8 or c8 pro.

If buying new, there is no reason not to get the Pro vs the regular C8. The delta in price is small enough that I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about it.


I believe what @dcaton1220 was referring to is keeping sensors on the Qolsys panel and integrating them to Hubitat. You can run any automations based on those sensors in Hubitat. No need to run the automations on the panel. If you have anyPowerG sensors they are really pretty nice and you can continue to use them in Hubitat. PowerG is long range that works and is actually implemented (as opposed to Z-Wave LR which is only a theory at the controller level). And, agree, C8-Pro is the right way to go.

I don't see why not. But first, you have to understand the Qolsys panel is primarialy an alarm system. As a home automation platform, it's pretty basic and doesn't allow you to create the kinds of rules you can in HE.

If you want to put up a bunch of Qolsys outdoor motion sensors connected to the alarm panel, which trigger a bunch of lights, you should be able to do that in the interface. I don't have any motion sensors on this particular panel, but if I did they should appear under "Sensor Activity"

If that doesn't give you enough control, you could use my IQ panel drivers to get events from the motion sensors on the alarm panel and react to those events in Hubitat.

You could of course just use zigbee or z-wave motion sensors connected directly to Hubitat. However, as has been pointed out, you're going to get much better range and reliability using PowerG sensors connected to the alarm panel. Since you want to use outdoor motion sensors, range might be an issue. PowerG devices used with the IQ panels have an open-air range of 2000 feet. You're not going to get that with any Zigbee or z-wave motion sensor, unless you can find a z-wave long range device, but Hubitat doesn't support those. At least not yet, and nobody knows if or when that might happen.

Takle a look at this: How Do I Upgrade the Z-Wave Firmware for My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus? - Alarm Grid

Specifically: "Clearing all Z-wave devices is only required if you update the firmware and then begin having issues with Z-Wave devices that were working before the Z-Wave firmware update."

Don't you need or want the intrusion or fire alarm capabilities? If you do, then keep the IQ panel and use it for that. Hubitat is not a suitable platform for intrusion or fire protection. Likewise, the IQ panel is not a suitable platform for anything other than basic home automation.

Move all your z-wave devices to Hubitat, except for those devices that are directly responsible for the safety of you and your property. For example, I have z-wave thermostats controlled by the IQ panel because if a smoke detector goes off, the air handlers will immediately shut down. I also have PowerG leak detectors on the IQ panel, which will activate a z-wave water shutoff value also connected to the IQ panel. I trust my personal safety, pets and property that these things will work if/when they need to, because the IQ panel and the PowerG protocol is rock solid. And I know I will be notified about such critical events because of the cellular radio and wifi backup in the IQ panel. Hubitat has no such mechanism.

For other tasks like turning lights on and off on schedules, etc., or for complex rules, Hubitat is the better platform for that. If you want to monitor IQ panel sensors in Hubitat, my IQ panel drivers allow you to do that.

Bottom line is that it doesn't need to be one or the other. Use the IQ panel and Hubitat to do the things each one does best.

Here's another example of how you can leverage the power of both the IQ panel and Hubitat.

I have outdoor PowerG PG9312 contacts on my backyard gates. These are hefty beasts with large magnets, two AA batteries and a heavy-duty case, and have no trouble spanning the distance between the gates on either side of my house and the alarm panel.

I have these devices set up on group 25-Local Safety Sensor, so they only announce and won't set off the alarm. I don't want the alarm going off if we're not home and the lawn service opens the gate.

What I do want is to know when any gate is open so I don't accidentally let the dog out. So, I have rules set up in Hubitat to trigger on the gate contacts opening, and when any one does it uses the Echo Speaks app to play an announcement on all the Alexa devices in our house.

You could do this exclusively with Hubitat, but you'd need to find a reliable outdoor contact that had the range you needed, or perhaps rely on repeaters. The PowerG devices are just far more robust, because they're designed for security purposes.

I think they mentioned above that they have no desire for the monitoring an none of the 2gig/power/IQ sensors.

Didn't notice that. Sounds like the house came with an IQ panel though, so there must be alarm sensors and maybe smokes, so why not use them?

But if that's not desired, then drop the subscription and just use the IQ panel as a hub for PowerG sensors, and react to events from them in HE.

He already owns the panel. He's looking to install outdoor motion detectors and I would go with PowerG detectors for their range, encryption, etc.

I'm probably going to get one of these. One issue with PowerG devices is that they're significantly more expensive than other sensors. The cheapest I can find for the PG9312 is $103. On eBay ~$60. The Ring outdoor contact sensor works pretty well, but I have a spot where it doesn't. $50 retail, $40 on eBay.