Do I need Hubitat

Hello. I am trying to figure out if/why I need Hubitat. Here's what I currently have:

  1. About 30 hue lights tied to a hub that are all automated to turn on at sunset and half of them go off at 10PM while the others around sunrise.

  2. Ring doorbell and security cameras that alert me when I have someone on the door or areas where I've turned on notifications for

  3. Some Ikea based lightbulbs with the hub for a specific part of the house. I through I'd try Ikea as its much cheaper that Hue but didn't find it as reliable,

  4. HomePod Minis in 4 rooms. A couple of Google/Amazon voice assistants as well. Also have Sony Android TV and Apple TV on another TV.

All of these work fine and as expected. Do I really need Hubitat? Trying to understand what scenario one would need it for it your phone can pretty much do all of this.

Only reason you would want a hubitat is for total local control i.e. no cloud

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No, you don't need it. You may find it useful though. Read, study, decide. Good luck. Only you can make this decision, and there's no reason for any of us to convince you either way.

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Ring is always cloud based.

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According to John Lennon, you do not need it.

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Expanding on @djashones 's comment:

  • The local control you get with a Hubitat hub provides speed, redundancy (if your Internet drops out), security
  • Having total control means that you can integrate a number of different devices into one system and use them to produce rich and diverse automations, expanding your options beyond your current setup (I would expect...), bringing together devices from difference manufacturers and platforms, allowing them to interact in automations not possible in their isolated ecosystems

For me the biggest selling point for choosing Hubitat is the Community. As well as the devices that the Hubitat system / developers support natively, you also get a rich and diverse suite of integrations developed and supported by the developers in the Hubitat Community, all willing to expand on the already rich platform. You don't get this in many other commercial systems. Granted HE is not unique in this regard, but I feel it is still a big selling point and one worth considering when comparing to any alternatives. Through the Community forum you also have a close connection to the owners and developers of the Hubitat platform, a big advantage in my eyes.

Simon

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On a more technical note, for some time after I purchased my first Hubitat hub I still kept my Hue lights on my Hue bridge, because, like you, it just worked, and it was recommended in order to maintain separate Zigbee meshes. I did, however, crave more...

I had developed rules on the Hue bridge that mimicked modes for day time and night time, then developed drivers on my HE hub to sync the HE modes and variables on the Hue bridge. But again I craved more.... Moving my lighting to a new (second) Hubitat hub opened up a world of possibilities, utilising Samsung contact sensors in my lighting rules, simplified lighting rules using mode-based selection of scenes, inclusion of lighting in other rules without the need to manage cross-hub integration.

I guess the point I am trying to make is the same "total control" point made earlier. A single hub for your automations, whatever platform you choose, provides a much more cohesive system that is easier to maintain.

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Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Does Hubitat work out of the box with platforms like Hue, Ring, Ikea, Apple etc.?

I’d suggest determining your automation goals before purchasing anything. If your current app/voice control meets your needs, then I’d stick with what you have.

For me - I don’t want an app, use voice assistants rarely, but am particular about privacy. So I use whatever tool is most appropriate for my needs, be that tool Hubitat, or something else that I find a way to integrate with Hubitat. I rely very very heavily on sensors for all my automation. For geofencing, I use OwnTracks to connect to my own private MQTT broker.

For my purposes, Hubitat was definitely not a one-stop solution. It is, however, a central component in my automation setup.

To answer your question about integration with Hue, Ring, Apple etc., there is a built-in Hue integration. There are community integration with Ring (and Hue). HomeKit integration requires running HomeBridge elsewhere on your network.

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To expand a bit on what @aaiyar is saying. It also depends on your level of comfort with doing technical stuff. HE by itself works really well for the wide range recommended set of devices. It has Alexa integration built in that can expose devices TO Alexa**.

If you are interested in Apple Home integration then you will need to install the HomeBridge server on another machine like a Raspberry PI or in Docker or VM... and have a hub device like a HomePod Mini or AppleTV (iPads are not recommended due to portability). This requires a little more technical know-how but the community is here to help if you need it.

As far as the Ring integration goes.. there is a community app available but have not used it. I have my Ring (floodlights and doorbell) talking to HomeBridge which also exposes them to Apple** as well which is nice.

** You can send info/events back to HE by creating "virtual" devices in HE.

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You just need to install the hubitat package manager. That will have the ring integration in it. Hubitat has Direct hue integration but for some reason I'm partial to the Cocohue connector. As to your original question. Hubitat also gives you the ability to have more complex automations while integrating what you have above. That's what it's really about. Automation, not remote control.

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:point_up:

@ajaffarali

This! A hundred times over!!

What you've described in simply replacing a physical switch with a different switch - be it a mobile app or your voice. And, again, perhaps that is sufficient to meet your needs; after all, it is convenient to be in bed and be able to turn all the lights out with an app or your voice.

For me, when I'm bed for the night, I need the lights to gradually dim and become warmer, for all peripheral doors to automatically lock, for lights in the rest of the house to automatically turn off, and for my bedroom Sonos to start playing a pre-selected station and then gradually decrease the volume over the next 30 minutes. When I need to be woken up, I need lights to gradually become brighter and colder and for the news to be playing (increasing in volume) on the Sonos. And all, without touching an app, or using a voice command.

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I'm not that detailed myself though I have pico's on each night stand. Center button turns off all lights in the house, makes sure both doors are locked. After 10 though if you walk into the bathroom the night light behind the toilet comes on at 5% (enough that I don't his the wall instead of the toilet) and doesn't wake me up. At 5 to sunrise though you walk in to the bathroom and the lights come on at 10% and gradually increase over the next 20 mins so it doesn't blind me (and allows us to shower without being stressed at light) but the rule cancels if the physical light switch is pressed. Combined with humity being above 60% the fan comes on and goes off at 59%. Little things like that are what I like...

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Oh wow. That level of detail is insane! How difficult is it to set something like this up? Also, what are the best set of motion detectors, locks etc. that work best?

It takes time. All my automations together probably took me a year to setup. But I’ve futzed with it minimally since then (~1 year)

My bias has been toward zigbee sensors (motion/contact/leak/light/vibration/presence), zigbee locks, and zigbee garage door control (with a zwave tilt sensor). My switches/dimmers are mostly Lutron Caséta. I have zigbee rgbw light bulbs as well.

I currently use zigbee and zwave outlets for power-monitoring.

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So looks like zigbee is the way to go. I believe my Philips and IKEA bulbs are that. Do they let recognized automatically by Hubitat? Or will I need to disassociate them from the Hue app? And once they are synced with Hubitat can I continue to use the Hue/IKEA apps to control them or no?

There is a Hue integration so you should be able to leave the bulbs on the Hue hub, and still be able to coordinate their control with the HE.

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Factory reset the device then pair with Hubitat. I use a mixture of zigbee (most battery) z-wave (most hard wired) And all my light switches are Lutron Caseta just because Lutron just works. Now if you start dealing with zigbee bulbs, either stay with sengled or keep those on the hue hub. The reason for this is most bulbs make bad repeaters. Sengled bulbs do not repeat.

Zigbee is nice but you may end up with some Z-Wave+ switches as the zigbee is a little hard to find for those types devices at least in the US (Jasco/GE has some). I also prefer zigbee locks or lock modules if possible.

Both protocols have their issues - Z-Wave's issues are a little more prominent right now thanks to the new 700 Chipset in the C-7.

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There's a whole slew of newer zigbee 3.0 rgbw light bulbs that this no longer applies to. These include bulbs by Innr and a whole-slew of variously branded bulbs made by eWelight, but sold under lots of names. Color reproduction is good, and the color temperature range is 2700-6500K.

I reviewed some of these recently.

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