Integration success story

I never thought I would say this, but I think I finally have all the home automation stuff in my house finally integrated. I've been in this "hobby" probably for about 8 years, and started with the various platforms before I finally stumbled into this combination of stuff that I just had to share. This has been a journey of years.

My philosophy has been to automate, but not be intrusive. Everything still needs to be run local. Someone should be able to walk into my home and live here and not even need to use the automation unless they want to. Local switches behave as they are suppose to. etc etc etc. Also, I want something that is just going to "work". yes, I will do the technical stuff to get it all setup, but then I just want to basically let it run. I don't want something I'm going to have to constantly maintain.

First off, for the underlying IP network I went with Ubiquity. Nothing special. A few access points scattered around the house/garage, a few switches, and a USG router. Has been working flawless over the last couple years.

For cameras, I originally started off with Arlo. That was a mistake. Got frustrated with their limitations and the limitation of battery operated cameras, and then switched over to Ubiquity cameras and an NVR.

For my home Hubitat.. (what else!). I originally started with smarthings (mistake number 2) Same issues as everyone else; local control issues and outages. One hubitat hub in the house to run everything there, another hub in the separate garage building to run everything there. For devices, pretty much everything is zwave. No zigbee at all. Inovelli switches, honeywell zwave thermostat, a few GE zwave outlets, Ring zwave repeaters. Dry contact zwave switches for gas fireplace, aotec contact sensors, LG washer/dryer with hubitat plug-in. GoogleTv and Harmony for Tv's (with harmony hubitat plugin) Other than the initial install and a few fights with ghost devices, the zwave network has been pretty much rock solid. For voice control, I went with google mini's.

My only real complaint has been the integration between the home automation and the cameras and no one application to "look at it all", on my Iphone.

And now the thing that brought it all together. Over the holidays I bought a synology nas, mostly for storage and backup. Yeah, I knew it could run applications as well, but well, other than storage, really had no plans. Now the fun really begins.

I started playing with Docker containers on the NAS. First step, migrate my unifi controller into a container and get rid of the cloudkey. Simple. Made sense. Hmm.. What other neat things could I find in docker form (-:

Homebridge. Oh Wow, this was the gamechanger for me that moved things to a whole new level. Finally a really easy way to control things from my phone. And the best part, homebridge has plugins for hubitat of course, as well as for the unifi protect cameras. And it just works. Add the addition of an apple homepod mini tucked into the corner (and then basically forgotten about), this gives me control of my devices outside of the local lan with the iphone. And since I bought into the apple cool-aid a long time ago, I get the bonus of Siri control and control from my watch as well (even viewing cameras on the watch.. neat).

And finally, One last pihole container to get rid of ad's (just because I can.).

Now it time to sit back and enjoy the benefits of the journey ; at least until I break it trying something else new.

So to make this post more fun, What automations have you done that you have been very surprised and happy with?

3 Likes

NodeRed, InfluxDB, Grafana are a few additional containers (ones that you hadn’t mentioned) I use on my QNAP NAS. Plus MariaDB to store event and logs for backup and debugging purposes. I also have UI Controller and HomeBridge running as containers.

3 Likes

Never considered Node Red, but that is something I might dive into later just to learn. I am interested in your consolidation of the logging info though into the DB. What type of stuff are yo logging and how are you getting it into MariaDB? I was looking into something to gather the syslog info from unifi and others into a common place, but hadn't gone much down that path yet.

I use NodeRed to listen to the HE event and log web sockets and then push that to MariaDB and InfluxDB. I also use NodeRed to automatically download my hub backups and store them on my NAS too. NR can be a huge rabbit hole but it’s worth it. Many threads on this community describing uses for it.

3 Likes

You could also consider running Home Assistant in a container. There are many devices compatible with Home Assistant for which there is no current Hubitat integration. Incorporating them into Home Assistant and then using the Hubitat integration - Home Assistant Device Bridge brings them into Hubitat as virtual devices that can be used in Hubitat automations. Details below:

Yes, this is a rabbit warren! :grin:

6 Likes

Well, this conversation has already been useful to me. Just went down one of the rabbit holes you guys mentioned, and enabled the UPS monitor server on my synology. Found the NUT UPS driver code, and Voila, now have a Rule to gracefully shutdown my hubs on low UPS batter power.

5 Likes

Download the Hubitat app