How Many People Run A Combination Setup?.... And Why?

Notifications for sure. But mostly when she's away from the house or not near voice control. Turn the lights on for the cats. Check the status of the garage door.

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Two C7s, in separate buildings and connected via Hubitat mesh -
Hue Bridge (shouldn't have but did buy Phillips Hue bulbs; ergo Hue Bridge)
Lutron Bridge for Pico.
Two Blink modules
Home Assistant (came pre-installed on my NAS and I was curious but now on Odroid)
Original C5 on workbench but as of this thread a candidate for LAN devices

Mike M

I began my home automation journey with SmartThings, after Samsungification began, in our previous home. Did you know you can buy half a house in Texas? :flushed: I didn't either. We had one half of a duplex.

SmartThings was good for a start, but it left me wanting more. I looked at and tried a couple of other systems before I found HE. :partying_face: The whole concept of keeping everything local made so much sense. We sold it with an HE system installed. The realtor was able to sell it as a premium feature.

Here is my current configuration in our current home:

  • HE C-7 (it is just that good)
    • all Z-Wave
    • Zigbee - non-lighting (very few of these)
    • All primary automation logic
  • Hue hub - it has a great lighting interface and handles ZLL devices so well
    • Zigbee lighting
    • all Hue devices
  • HomeKit - these devices only play with HomeKit locally
    • Locks
    • Garage door
    • Eufy cameras (just because it can)
    • HK Automations necessary for interfacing to HE
  • rPi - these devices only connect this way easily (for me) or have a richer feature set exposed here
    • ioBroker
      • Eufy cameras for HE integration (via RM)
      • Samsung appliances
    • HomeBridge - its the best way to connect to HomeKit

I'm planning to bring my C-5 back online for my LAN device integration (A/V receiver, weather station, b-hyve irrigation, etc.) I have also bought another C-7 for driver and app development.

EDIT: I forgot to add the Whys.

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While it started off as the opposite, at this point, I would consider my home to be Node-Red centric vs Hubitat centric. While Hubitat is really good at integrating Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, I found NR to be more flexible when creating automations. On top of that, it allows me to integrate things that are not currently supported by Hubitat, or better serves my needs with some modification.

Couple examples:
Presence: I've never had great luck with location based apps or dedicated devices to detect presence so, using NR, I combined the outputs of my Unifi gateway and three raspberry pi's running BTLE watching for Tiles to roll my own combined presence "app". This has been far and away the most reliable and timely system that I've tried to date.

Calendar reminders: We're pretty reliant on our Google Calendar so announcements are made through our Google Homes an hour before the event starts. That's nothing the Hubitat couldn't do, but with NR, I'm utilizing the Google Cloud APIs to also announce how long the trip will take based on destination (if by car). Then, if the temperature outside is too far off the set temp in the car, it will go ahead and start the AC before the calculated departure time.

So, my setup has a lot more more moving parts than @bobbyD and my mentality is much different in that I will go ahead and setup whatever I have to in order to integrate devices. However, if something proves to be unreliable in any way, that stuff gets binned fairly quickly.

My various failure points, I mean, systems.

Device Management:

  • C7 - Upstairs
  • C5 - Main Level and Basement
  • Lutron Hub
  • Hue Hub (1st gen) - Only a couple bulbs left to phase out
  • SwitchBot hub for IR based space heaters

LAN:

  • Unifi Dream Machine Pro

Proxmox containers (ZFS HA):

  • Node-Red/MQTT
  • InfluxDB/Grafana/Vuegraf (Emporia Energy Data)
  • TeslaMate
  • Home Assistant (VM) - For VeSync devices, Samsung Smart TVs, Nvidia Shield control, MQTT based PC control

Miscellaneous hardware that got automated (because we can!):

  • Falcon F48 for permanent holiday lighting fixtures
  • Falcon Player to kick off different animations for different holidays
  • A few WLED Dig-Unos for fun effects in the kids' room
  • MagicMirror (only show info frames if there's motion in front of the dashboard, otherwise a Google Photos slide show)

TLDR; I went pretty deep into the rabbit hole and just stayed there...

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I used to do the same, years ago. However, some new integrations can have effects that mimic symptoms of other problems that can occur, so I found myself troubleshooting parts of the system that were not the actual problem (that is the chasing your tail part I mentioned earlier). I do staging on a test hub, and if everything looks good, only then I move the integration into production.

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That's why I host a local wiki/knowledge base, with Service Desk for tracking tickets... JK. :eyes:

I thought about the wiki part for if I ever passed unexpectedly, but I only got as far as: “Switches can be operated manually."

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Here is what I'm running at the moment...

C7 Hub - Main house
C5 Hub - Secondary house on same property via WIFI and mesh
Hue Bridge - some Zigbee lights where really needed, not many left but will need to rewire to get rid of it
C5 Hub - Development hub with mesh (I like to create my own apps or adapt to my needs)
HA on RPi4 - Just trying to learn how it works, but the learning curve is steep (Zigbee and Zwave radios), looking to maybe integrate stuff that is not supported in HE directly.

I have mostly a combination of Zigbee/Zwave devices, some custom WIFI stuff on ESP8266/ESP32 boards to monitor salt level in water softener and other custom stuff.

Also have some WIFI sensors like Shelly UNIs on our boat to monitor batteries, fridge temp, bilge water level and alarm, bilge pumps activity and various other sensors. Also have a Samsung Zigbee arrival sensor on it to turn the lights up at the dock when we arrive in the dark.

I do have a couple of other hubs that I play around with but are not at all used for automations.

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I'll bite too cos it's @sburke781 posting :grinning:

C7 + 1 backup unit (never not have a backup)
Hue bridge (obligatory?)
Used Dell thin client running proxmox with HA and various addons on a VM - Z2M, NR, influx, grafana, ESP32, homebridge being the main ones. Previously Z2M and Node Red ran on a pi4 but all migrated to HA now. Other VMs run motioneye, NUT servers, BLE adapters. Also going to put the unifi controller on another VM as soon as the second nic adapter arrives for the Dell. All run without a hiccup, so much more processing headroom compared to the pi, and much cooler as well.
Nest hubs for dashboard displays.

Why? Simples - no one device can support everything (HA does come close but honestly I don't really like its automation engine). HE is of course much easier to use and having pretty much ironed out all the zigbee issues over the past couple of years I'm pretty happy.

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2 C7's-

  • One hub is strictly for rules and apps,

  • One is Zwave, ZigBee devices and Ecowitt Devices.
    I keep thinking about adding a third for Cloud dependent integrations (ecobee and Racio primarily), but honestly, I'm just not so sure its necessary.

  • 1 Hue hub (though I'm really still trying figure out ways to use i) . I do have some Hue stuff, mainly a few Motion Sensors, a few white light bulbs. Not sure if ill add more or not. Bought the hub to verify if a motion sensor was defective. It was and hue finally agreed to replace it . So now to figure out it's place in the world.

  • An Ecowitt GW1100 (and ever expanding assortment of Ecowitt sensors using the Community Ecowitt App

I have debated toying with Node Red, but Like the Hue Hub, i'm not really sure I have a specific reason to mess with that at this time.

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I started out with an Echo 4 with built-in ZigBee hub and a bluetooth smart bulb.
Quickly learned that bluetooth smart bulbs leave a lot to be desired, and are as flaky as my late grandmother's pie crust.

Bought a Hubitat C7, some ZigBee smart bulbs, and ZigBee smart plugs.
Everything was running well.

Went to Ikea and bought some E12 smart bulbs for the bedroom as well as some "cheap and cheerful" ZigBee buttons and motion sensors, then discovered the buttons and motion sensors weren't supported by my Echo or Hubitat :frowning:

Since I already had a small fleet of Raspberry pi 4s running at home, spun up a containerized install of HA and bought a CC2652P based controller and hooked it all up via zigbee2mqtt.
Connected HE and HA via MakerAPI and got the Ikea Tradfri buttons and motion sensors working that way.

Wife loved having the buttons for controlling the lights in the bedroom.
Unfortunately when hooked up to the CC2652P controller, they ate batteries every couple of days.

Since my wife wanted the buttons I had to find another way to keep them in play without feeding batteries every few days, or replace everything I had already bought with more expensive HE compatible buttons (this was before ThirdReality products were available here).

Saw a video where the Tradfri buttons and motion sensor were working with SmartThings through something called Edge drivers, so bit the bullet and bought an Aeotec/SmartThings hub.

For a while I was running our home on two hubs; basically the part of the house that used Ikea Tradfri buttons and motion sensors was running on SmartThings with Edge drivers, and the rest was on HE.
More buttons were added until there wasn't much left running on HE, so everything got migrated to SmartThings with Edge drivers.

I knew Groovy was going away, so never bothered to get HubConnect up and running between Hubitat and SmartThings.

Still trying to figure out how to get HE back into the mix; I already bought it, may as well find a use for it.

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I'd have to have over 1,000 buttons to make that worth it... (I came from ST)

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I'd agree. While I do in theory like to subscribe to @bobbyD 's principle of keeping the overall setup simple, interest in different systems, some poor purchase decisions :wink: (IKEA switches) and wanting to offload things like charting and some admin tasks, leads to looking at different options within at least my setup. So I have (currently) 3x rpi4's for influx / grafana / admin stuff / development and tv-head-end, 3 rpi zero's I am in the process of setting up for use with my BLE Tile, alongside 3x C-7's and a development C-4. Yeah... I guess I have strayed quite a way from the "KISS" principle... :slight_smile:

I'll admit I didn't initially set this topic up to talk about what I see as "component hubs" like Hue, Bond, etc, that only focus on a very specific part of the smart home. But I was not going to pull people up and dictate what information and experience people want to share.

To contribute my own input on that part of my setup.... I have made this point a number of times around here... but I like to use systems that provide built-in status and control, but can then at the same time integrate with HE and other platforms like Google / Alexa. This gives me flexibility and options for accessing "devices" and makes changes... sometimes... easier.

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Don't knock these :wink: at A$12 a pop they represent excellent value, I use them for all sorts of stuff.

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Yeah, probably cones across a little harsh, was more knocking my lack of research... :slightly_smiling_face:. But I'm certainly happy with the outcome of taking me down the path of setting up a rpi.

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My current companion server setup at home uses "Home Assistant" running Node-RED and Mosquitto MQTT + other stuff. For now HA is basically a glorified "app manager" with Node-RED & HE doing most of the heavy lifting. HA is good for incorporating services and esoteric devices I might not be able to get on HE while still allowing me to keep my stable HE/NR setup.

In my case using HA for devices is problematic - I don't want to spend too much time on support and troubleshooting if I don't have to. This is where HE excels - pretty much once things are working they continue to do so.

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I run the Lutron Hub Pro along side my Hubitat and I actually give my customers the Apple HomeKit version for most of their interface in to the home. Almost all my customers are Apple people and it is integrated in to their phones and iPads. I keep all automations on the Hubitat including non Lutron lighting that is motion controlled or timed lighting (outdoor). Sometimes I run a Hub Pro and RA2 select hub at the same time.

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  • HE - C5 with a C7 in a box waiting for either the C5 to fail, or for me to finally migrate over and keep two hubs. One for Apps one for devices.
  • Homebridge on an rPI
  • Lutron Pro for Casetas + Picos
  • Ring Alarm
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Yeah I forgot to mention I run a Lutron bridge pro for my basement Caseta stuff. I am actually using HA right now for that tied into Node-RED.. When HE rolled out their updated Lutron drivers with double-tap it killed one of my subflows so had to make a hasty switch to an HA integration. There has since been a re-release of a Lutron legacy driver that retains the old behavior but haven't switched back yet.

In a sense this illustrates a nice thing about companion servers. I was able to work around an issue and keep rolling thanks to the flexibility of my system.

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Yeah I am waiting for the fully supported and documented Docker implementation :slight_smile:

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I just dumped a bridge and a few controllers to simplify . With the mesh system and 2 C7s I've most everything covered . Except for the big biz nonsense like LG TV .

Download the Hubitat app