Hub or controller for Zigbee?

Then as it stands... HE and ST are really (currently) the only "consumer friendly" or mass market available ZigBee hubs/controllers....

Makes it interesting how ZigBee tends to be the "preferred" protocol on these hubs. All ST branded devices were ZigBee. HE tends to have very wide and good ZigBee support as most device issues are with Z-Wave devices.

I am moving in the direction : light switch/dimmer = Lutron Caseta, plugs/bulbs = Phillips Hue and the rest of my Zigbee sensors on 2 HE hubs. Slowly getting rid of my z-wave devices. So for me, Phillips bridge and HE are still my go to for Zigbee. I still have my ST for some Zigbee stuffs but cloud :roll_eyes:

Also supports ZHA devices. Not just ZLL. It also supports switches and sensors, not just lights.

What about Hue? I would argue that more folks have Hue bridges than ST and Hubitat combined.

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DeConz is actually a "hub" of it's own but with a really god integration to Home Assistant. I would say that for me in Europe DeConz have a wider support for devices and I have less problems with it as it works with all IKEA stuff even their motion sensors!

Even though I don't have any problems managing HA the constant flux mentioned above is the reason I went with HE but I'm actually considering writing a DeConz integration and move all my ZigBee stuff over. DeConz use a websocket interface which is documented and the guys as Dresden Elektronik are really helpful.

Well, since no one said STANDARD Zigbee, I’ll throw in Xiaomi. Try to pair a Non-standard Xiaomi Zigbee device to Hubitat or SmartThings and you’re inevitably going to get inconsistent results. Pair a Xiaomi Mijia or Aqara device to a Xiaomi Mijia or Aqara Gateway (their lines seem to work equally well with both Gateways) and you get really inexpensive devices that pair very easily to an inexpensive hub and just don’t falter, as has been my experience, as well as many others.

There’s currently only two ways I’m aware of to link the Xiaomi Gateway to HE. The Aqara HomeKit Gateway via Homebridge and HomeKit automations, or a very specific Xiaomi Mijia Gateway and an app called MiConnector. This is a more complete integration than via Homebridge, but more complex to achieve.

If you think you might swap your main hub down the road, then the Aqara HomeKit Gateway is the safer bet due to the huge number of Homebridge plug-ins available to integrate various hubs with HomeKit if the hub doesn’t natively support it.

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You have definitely pointed to a clear deficiency in existing competitor Hubs. This is clearly an area where Hubitat has a competitive advantage. However, a number of competitors have clearly seen the writing on the wall, and are moving quickly to address this gap:

  1. HomeSeer - After 20 years in the business, you'd think these guys would have noticed that Zigbee was creeping up in market share; Nonetheless, they are busy re-writing their UI, and incorporating Zigbee in their core offering by going from HS3 to HS4. How they implement such a major change is still an open question, considering their issues in the past.
  2. Fibaro - Another veteran of the business, they finally woke up after Apple/Amazon/Google made their Zigbee anouncement. At the recent CES 2020, they made a splash with their announcement of Home Centre 3 - focusing on Zigbee. They are a solid competitor with European roots and a large installed base. Again, how they execute such a major change is an unanswered question, but they still merit worth a glance.
    Unfortunately for Hubitat Management (and fortunately for us), there is no standing still in this business because competition is a critical factor in the market.

I have very little faith in anything coming from HomeSeer that is remotely close to a proper ZigBee implementation. The HS UI re-write it lipstick on a pig that is doing more damage to the system than improvement but it's what's needed to appeal to entry level consumers (mobile first and everything) and an attempt to compete with the low cost hub market.

Fibaro will be interesting to watch.

I run an Echo Plus and Echo Showx2 with built in zigbee hubs. They also support local voice control if the net goes down.

They've been very solid.

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I was recently reminded that I have one of these already in my home (when the broadcast frames popped up on a Zigbee sniffer trace of a random channel). Sounds like an Alexa scheduled routine (along with some extra Zigbee dimmers on a dedicated PAN) would be a nice way to provide backup occupancy lighting to compensate for my HE's tendency to gradually degrade in performance. The local control is a nice bonus I didn't know about.

Keep in mind, it's local voice control, not through the app.

Athom Homey has both ZWave and ZigBee support inbuilt but the ZigBee support is a bit lacklustre at the moment and needs some rework to make it on a par with their ZWave.

From reports the Athom Homey all together was lackluster.... good ideas maybe too many in one hub. Any word on a revision or some updates that may have fixed issues?

They have acknowledged ‘stack’ issues with ZigBee and know how to fix it but it’s a resource issue. They have staff constraints. I like Homey - I have a couple and it’s got good developer tools and documentation but the company Athom is a bit weird and uncommunicative.

They released Homey + which has more memory, same CPU but ditches some features too , so it’s more a side grade. No news on anything new really, they claim that really the hardware is more than adequately resourced for what it needs to do... which sounds familiar.

it's another one of those 5lbs of .... in a 1lb bag and saying it all fits right? Heard it and seen in a few times.

I use a lot of controllers chatting via MQTT - I have various devices as workhorses, specific functionality, rules and eye candy interfaces and a couple of favourites and I just leverage whichever suits the task. I wouldn’t recommend this approach as it’s too many bits that interact and becomes like spaghetti, but it’s fun.

HE is one of my favourites really. Fibaro HC one of my least favourites. I don’t use ZigBee or ZWave too much on anything. Always IP if I can , except for battery sensor devices. My motion sensors are mostly wired fortunately. Mainly battery radiator valves using RF. I don’t experience the HE slowdown issue, not sure if that’s Z radio minimisation or that I don’t use RM much or just the S4 hubs I have.

Interestingly HE has a good reputation as a ZigBee controller, a lot of interest from say HA and OH users is to use HE for exactly that purpose via say MQTT. Z Wave too

I'm the same way. I have almost all of the hubs and various other controllers and open source systems deployed. Kinda a thing when you do integrations. Latest I'm working with is CharmedQuark which is a beast the only thing I can compare it to is Crestron for the complexity and capability.

I have CQC and Dean’s a stalwart but I found it just too much of a labour of love. It eats your time and so it’s unfortunately never got the attention it deserves. It also lacked MQTT support until recently.

Yeah the new MQTT support is fresh and I think needs some tweaks. Dean is really focused maybe too much on the Linux port of the system which will be interesting. I've been back and forth on updates to the ISY v2 driver as it's missing some key devices and functions like... SCENES... LOL kinda a important Insteon thing.

HE offers me a solid and expanding device in terms of peripheral devices , is fast and affordable, dissapointing a little in the UI glitz but offers good access programmatically. It’s well positioned between geek and average end user. I can make it do what I want so it suits me, although I am not a RM convert.

It would not suit though if I had the slowdown issues as dependability is key.

There are just a couple of other controllers in that category and I use them but I’m now increasingly familiar with HE, have three hubs so for a quick idea they are ideal for me.