How nice will Hubitat Play with Smartthings


#1

I'm currently using smartthings and Sharptools (replacement for Stringify) and Hubitat's local run so I'm not cloud dependent is very interesting. I also like how I can tinker with it more.

Now my question is Hubitat lacks integrations and my biggest concern is it totally lacks OTA device firmware updates. Smartthings already had Zigbee and they are ready to work on Z-Wave. What I'm wondering is can Hubitat join in as a second controller on Z-Wave and get notices of say light switches turning off and on.

My thought process is not try to use something that Samsung is better at current (integration and OTA updates) and use Hubitat for the rule engine that Smartthings is greatly missing so I can do stuff like change light colors on weather conditions but only if on. I know I could do this with WebCore and have but WebCore I expect to be knee capped by Samsung sometime soon.


#2

You wish to join ST as a secondary ZWave controller to Hubitat. (There's no such thing for Zigbee.) That can be done, although there is a lot of disappointment down that path. Many status only devices (door/window sensors, motion, temp, etc) will only send their unannounced messages to the Primary. There are mechanisms for overcoming the limitations, but neither Hubitat nor Smartthings attempt them.

OTA is not 'well subscribed to' by manufacturers... Aeon, for example packages, their updates into standalone windows .exe's. For that specific case, an Aeon ZStick joined to Hubitat actually works to perform the update without having to remove the ZWave device from the active network.


#3

Hubconnect will allow you to do this. It will allow your HE hub to see and share devices with your SmartThings hub and vice versa. The SmartThings hub does not need to "join" as a secondary in the traditional sense.


#4

If you want one-way communication from ST to HE, the native Hub Link and Send Hub Events apps can do that for you. For something more powerful or bidirectional, there are the community Other Hub and, as mentioned above, HubConnect apps. These are more powerful (especially HubConnect) with the disadvantage being that you're not running all first-party Hubitat code, so Support may ask you to try disabling them if you run into problems and choose to contact them (though I haven't heard of any problems caused by either).

I think Hubitat has stated that they are working on OTA firmware updates capability for devices, but one issue is entirely on the manufacturer's side: whether they'd be willing to provide Hubitat with the device firmware in the first place. That being said, for Z-Wave devices, you can already update firmware with third-party utilities like I just did for my Zooz ZEN15 Double Plug this morning (if you have a manufacturer like Zooz that is nice and will provide the firmware and instructions upon request). For Zigbee, if ST has a firmware update, you can move the device between HE and ST to allow it to update (I did for my SmartThings Button where some people reported problems if they had been "dormant" for too long). If you don't delete it from HE (or ST or wherever you want to use it), your automations won't even get messed up--it will match the device up with its existing entry by the factory-set MAC (though the hub-set DNI will/may change). That being said, I'm not sure there's usually a compelling reason to do firmware updates on most Z-Wave and Zigbee devices unless there's a known problem (as there was with the Button) or issue being addressed (excessive chattiness/reporting from the ZEN15, which I hope this helps with).

It also would make a lot more sense to have Z-Wave devices on HE and not ST, then send events from HE to ST if you feel like the logic is better suited there. Anything you send from ST to HE is going to route through the ST cloud, like all custom ST code does. On HE, your automations (and manual control) could all run locally. Same for Zigbee (HE probably supports even more Zigbee devices out-of-box than ST, but in general, Z-Wave and Zigbee device compatibility should be quite similar between the two platforms).

It's mostly cloud integrations where ST/Samsung has an edge, probably by being older and bigger. This would include things like Ring, where Hubitat doesn't currently have a native integration. (I have mine integrated to ST via HubConnect.)

Again, I'm not sure OTA firmware updates are a killer feature, aside from specific instances where they may have addressed problems (in which case the ease of moving Zigbee devices between hubs makes this relatively simple, and Z-Wave is not yet supported--but I was actually able to do this on Hubitat as I described above without moving the device at all because I'm using an external Z-Wave stick).

I'm not sure I'd have such a bleak outlook on webCoRE--last I heard, its main developer (Adrian) was hired by ST. I'd be a bit more concerned with the direction they're taking for the "new" app (or really the underlying platform changes), where feature parity is still quite lacking. I don't think custom SmartApps, webCoRE included, are able to be installed at all at the moment. They way SmartApps work will change (they won't host; you'll need an AWS or similar endpoint). I'm not sure where they are at with that now. But regardless, I think you are wise to not depend on it for too much.


#5

I have a homeseer stick to update the wall switches that won't work right unless I update them from out of box firmware (stop responding). I also have some Sengled and Samsung zigbee devices that regularly get firmware updates that have improved them. Generally though after a while it slows down. Think issues they fix once in the real world and then leave them alone after solid.

My biggest question left is does Hubitat rule engine have a flow like stringify does and Sharptools?


#6

My biggest problem with this is it depends on Smartthings old IDE which is going to get knee capped and if I was going to use it I would just use WebCore.

It's just this annoying pain point Hubitat lacks the integration and OTA updates but while Smartthings doesn't it is very cloud dependent and it's automation is awful and looks like they are trying to shove Bixby down my throat.

Oh well, what's $99. I'll give Hubitat a try.


#7

One thing too keep in mind however if that while SmartThings supports OTA firmware, its currently only available for Zigbee devices, and a very limited set of devices including ST-branded, some, but not all Iris V2 devices, and some Lightify devices. (Disclaimer; there could be others added in the past few months)

Since many of Smartthings devices were made by CentraLite who was the OEM and who is now out of business, those devices won't be seeing any more updates either.

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the need to upgrade firmware on devices. There are some edge cases where new features may be introduced by firmware, however based on my 3 years with SmartThings, they caused more problems than the solved.


#8

They are adding Z-Wave and I've seen stability issues that Z-Wave and Zigbee OTA updates have resolved. Like you said Smartthings lacks it currently but they just redid their Z-Wave and can now easily add it they said.

I guess I'll just have to OTA update new Smartthings devices with the ST hub before joining them to Hubitat.


#9

Rich, I just made the jump from SmartThings to Hubitat this week. Like you, I was looking for a replacement for Stringify. I was way too dependent upon it. I started working with WebCoRe and was doing pretty well with my pistons. Rule Machine on Hubitat is simple, yet powerful. The biggest plus to Hubitat is the fact that the everything is local. When I open the closet door, there's no lag between the door opening and the light coming on.

I've got too many hubs for that same reason that you mention, letting each do what they are best at, but to be honest, I'd love to turn off my Wink 2, and just use my SmartThings for WiFi mesh. I'm spoiled by local control.


#10

14 months ago I needed SmartThings, StaplesConnect, OpenRemote, and Wink, in order to have my home work the way I wanted. Then I added Hubitat. Slowly, one by one, each of the others got turned off by Hubitat doing their tasks. They have all been off for many months (til helping out with HubConnect meant I had to turn ST back on.)


#11

SharpTools has native support for Hubitat. :smiley: So you can have rules (or dashboards) that mix and match devices between SmartThings and Hubitat.

That being said, if you are looking for completely local rule execution, Rule Machine is the first-party offering from Hubitat. It's quite powerful and the team has been focused on constantly improving things. It's not as visual in nature as Stringify (or SharpTools), but the HE team just showed off Rule Machine 3.0 on Hubitat Live last night and have made some nice improvements around ease of use:

Bruce starts the demo around 4:00 in:


#12

My SmartThings hubs will remain on, although they won't be used for Smart Home tasks. I have the SmartThings with Plume WiFi Mesh with three nodes. I have grown very accustomed to having excellent sign inside and outside of the house. Right now, my Wink 2 still has a few things connected to it.

Refuel tells me how much fuel remains in my two propane grills. Know how bad it sucks to find you are out of propane after you've marinated the steaks? Talk about a quick way to blow the Family Acceptance Factor. Egg Minders to keep track of how old the eggs my hens lay are. The Power Pivot Genius, just because it is behind the couch and I really see no reason to crawl back there and change it out. I have a couple Trippers, a couple TAPTs, and a couple Outlinks but they are in the unused box.


#13

I seem to be perfectly satisfied with multiple hubs (currently at 4 Hubitat) and multiple vendors. If you have a working SmartThings hub that is providing a feature or service that can't migrate or where latency is 'invisible'.. I'd happily keep both running. Your propane tank is a great example. If it takes 1 min or 60 min to update (factoring a ST cloud outage :slight_smile: ), it's going to be accurate before the next time you would be prepared to replace it. ST is perfectly adequate... at least until they do their next crazy stunt. :frowning:


#14

The Refuel is connected to a Wink 2. It's one of those strange GE + Quirky products. Now, I have to ask why you would have 4 Hubitat hubs. Wouldn't one hub be adequate to handle everything you need in the average home?


#15

Yes, perfectly adequate.

However, I started with fewer devices and with StaplesConnect (which was also Local no Internet, except for updates) and got used to "speedy" -- OpenRemote was very, very niche, local only, runs on your own hardware, also "speedy."

There are Apps that Hubitat has found to be consumptive of resources :frowning: WebCoRE is the poster child for that. (I read that the very latest is superior but I don't know as fact.) One of the 'must haves' on my list is Homebridge. It too has wormed it's way onto the bad apps list (again, since, it's been completely rebuilt) and I created in my head a means to split the 'risky apps' onto it's own Hub.

Those two elements.. used to speedy, need one of the bad apps.. made me architect three hubs interconnected. Two have the ZWave/Zigbee radios enabled and I've split my devices (upstairs vs downstairs) between those two hubs. For 'speedy' - no other reason. The 3rd hub is in a 'coordinator' role and many apps reside there.

There's several threads on this:


#16

8m in and it looks like Rule Engine 3.0 will give me what I want mostly.