Home automation Noob Questions

I have purchased a Hubitat Elevation because I never liked the idea of controlling my house via the internet. I was waiting for a local controller to hit the market, without needing custom hardware, and adding any additional wiring.

Instead of giving you the long story, I am sticking to the basics. I am considering purchasing zigbee or zwave devices and upgrading my wifi system to a TPlink Deco M9 Plus. Before I spend several hundreds of dollars more I want to know some more about these systems and HE.

Questions:

  1. Does the Hubitat have a zigbee and zwave device built in? Or do I need a separate transmitter? (I could not find the answer to this simple question, but I believe the answer is yes. The HE documentation I've read says it controls zigbee/zwave, not that it transmits on the zwave/zigbee protocol; I want to be sure I don't need to purchase anything else).

  2. Are there any other truly local protocols (zero internet connectivity) that I can use other than zwave and zigbee? If there is I want to know what they are to see my options.

  3. If I purchase a Deco M9 plus (it has zigbee built in), is the only benefit of using zigbee that the deco devices creates an extra node(s) for the Mesh network? Is there any other benefit?

  4. I have existing Kasa HS105's. Can I unlink my Kasa devices from the Kasa app and still have them work with Hubitat? I've done the TPLinkIntegration to my hubitat but I want to disconnect from Kasa without any ill effects to my hubitat control. I have a feeling that if I disconnect a device from Kasa, then Hubitat won't be able to find it.

  5. Are there any alternative to Alexa/Google that allows for Local Voice Control? (I anticipate the answer to be no, but I thought I'd ask. I'm more than ok with the hubitat app being my controller.)

Thank you!

  1. Yes, Hubitat includes built in Z-Wave and Zigbee radios if you buy the C5 revision (the "new" one that is now what you'll get if you buy it in the US or similar markets). The C4 revision of the hardware may still be sold in some other markets, but the description will make it clear what you're getting (the C4 requires [an] external Zigbee and/or Z-Wave stick[s], which the C5 could also work--extra cable required--with if you prefer for some reason). tl;dr if you're in the US (and even most other places), "yes." :slight_smile:
  2. Yes, most LAN integrations do not require the cloud and work locally, but that really depends on the device (and driver, which one has to exist or be created for it). Natively supported integrations that work entirely over the LAN include the Philips Hue Bridge and Lutron integrations (Caséta/Smart Bridge Pro or RA2). Some integrations do require the cloud, like the Alexa Skill integration, even if the Echo or other device is on your LAN, due to how these devices were designed to work. (The Hub does not directly support other protocols like Bluetooth, if that is what you mean.)
  3. I'm not familiar with the Deco M9 Plus, so I did a quick search for it. It looks like it's intended to be a Zigbee hub, like Hubitat, not a device that you can connect to a Zigbee hub and build out your mesh. I could be wrong; you or someone else may actually know more about this product. (In general, to use Zigbee terms, another Zigbee "coordinator"/hub can't be joined as a "router"/repeater to an existing Zigbee network unless it allows changing a setting that controls what type of node it is, which I'm not sure any off-the-shelf consumer devices do.)
  4. I'm not familiar with that integration, so someone who is might be able to chime in here. However, this thread appears to be relevant if you haven't seen it yet: [RELEASE] TP-Link Plug, Switch, and Bulb integration. (But honestly, my suspicion is you'll eventually determine Z-Wave or Zigbee switches are more reliable on Hubitat, less work, and will want to switch to them instead.)
  5. I'm not aware of any, but I'm sure some people have thought of creative solutions. If it makes you feel better, unlike a major competitor (SmartThings), Hubitat doesn't store/cache any device data in the cloud--it goes down from the Amazon cloud to your local hub via Hubitat's cloud endpoint every time it needs to change or check on something. Amazon also appears to be headed in the direction of adding at least some local voice control, so maybe that will end up meeting some of these requirements. There are also third-party HomeKit (via HomeBridge) integrations. The Hubitat app also can provide control if you set up the Hubitat Dashboard app (app in Hubitat, not a mobile app, I mean)--that's one of a few functions the app was created for. However, if that's all you want, a LAN or cloud link to the Dashboard itself (which is really just a webpage served by the Dashboard app on your hub) may be just as good, if not better since you can use it in a "real" browse of your choice (and bookmark it, put it on the home screen directly, etc.).

I developed the TP-Link integrations. Some notes:

  • You should be able to remove from the Kasa Account, but I do not know if that will stop Kasa from polling the devices.
  • I recommend NOT deleting from Kasa App. This gives an alternate method of control if control if Hubitat fails.
  • I do recommend removing the Kasa Skill from Alexa and using the Hubitat Skill instead. Same true for Google Assistant.

Do you have a desire to assure that the devices are fully off the cloud (no cloud transmissions) like we used to be able to do manually? If so, I can try something in my code that may work this.

Dave

Take a look at this thread. Might be a limit to what you can do with voice commands compared to the cloud-connected smart speakers, but it’s local.

In question #2 you mention Z-Wave and Zigbee (both local wireless protocols). Another one worth mentioning is Lutron's Clear Connect.

Using that with Hubitat is a two-step dance - telnet over ethernet between hubitat and a Lutron Caseta Pro hub then Lutron Clear Connect between their hub and their wireless devices. A similar integration can be accomplished with Lutron's RA2 family of devices.

1 Like

Dave,

Thanks for the offer. I don't need or expect a code re-write. I am looking to prevent most companies from seeing into my house. I'm not on Facebook nor do I have a google account because I can't trust that information I don't want public from becoming public. I know it is unrealistic to totally cut them off, I just don't want to knowingly contribute; and contribute as little as possible if I must.

My concern was that the setup and naming of the Kasa devices are performed through the Kasa app; and then you discover those devices with your TPlink integration. If disconnected, I doubt the Kasa would keep its naming convention.

Long term I will probably dump the Kasa switches in favor of a Zwave or Zigbee outlet; but for the time being I will continue to use this app as is.

Thanks for the work on this app. I appreciate it.

1 Like

Excellent. This answers all of my questions, but I have a followup question below. I have the C5 version as I am in the USA, and i confirmed this by looking it up in the HE. I am using the hubitat app for controls right now, it does what I want it to do.

Follow up questions are:

  1. Poking around the settings, the only way I see where I can disable cloud control is to click the option to not allow cloud control in the dashboard settings menu. Again, I'm ok without cloud controls - although I have left them for the time be to show my coworkers. The only other option I can think of is to set up my firewall to refuse external IP connections to the IP address of my HE. I don't want to go that route in case I need to update the firmware, etc. Is there any way of stopping controls over the internet that the HE community would recommend?

For my own reasons, I am looking at a way to break the device - Kasa Cloud link. First cut is that they disabled the command that allowed this link break, but I am still looking.

Update. I found the method to make the devices local control only. This unbinds the device from Kasa. Rebinding is done in the Kasa App when connected locally.

I want to test further in the next few days for long-term effects.

Dave

1 Like

Dave, thanks so much for writing these integrations. I bought a TP-link Kasa outdoor multi-plug from Amazon for my Christmas lights only to find out when I went to add it to my smart home network, that it wasn't a device on the official Hubitat supported-device list. I installed your Kasa integration and now it works! Thanks so much!

1 Like

Download the Hubitat app