Interested in Hubitat, but have one question

Hey guys,

I'm really interested in getting a Hubitat, I love the fact that it doesn't need the cloud to run. I have a specific use that I am interested in setting up but want to make sure that it's capable of doing, and if so what could I use to accomplish my task.

Basically I have deer that enter part of my property and eat a part of my yard that I don't want them eating. It would be great to setup a security light that flashes at them based on motion, instead of using an electric fence. My issue is that from the corner of my garage to the end of my driveway is about 250 ft. I think I would need to place the light at about 150ft. What do you think is the best way to accomplish this. I do have a unify AP wifi system setup and could add an outdoor wifi AP but I'm not sure that will help in this case.

Any ideas on what I need to do and what I need to buy would be amazing, or any help at all really.

Thanks,
Spencer

As long as you can integrate the light into Hubitat somehow (perhaps a separate question), this would be do-able using a motion sensor (again one that integrates into Hubitat, or however you want to trigger this) and an app/rule (automation) on Hubitat.

However, with what sounds like 150+ ft. between the devices, range would be a concern. Hubitat's Z-Wave docs say the theoretical maximum is about 600 ft (200 m) when using the maximum of four hops between devices, meaning the maximum for a single hop (i.e, no repeaters in between) would be about 150 ft. Outside, you might actually get that, but with buildings or walls in between it will likely be less. The newest generation, 700-series Z-Wave, is supposed to be better at this (might allow 300+ ft. on a single hop), but these new-generation devices are still pretty hard to find (and again, this is theoretical range). I used Z-Wave as an example because it tends to get longer range than Zigbee, though that is another option. Either allows you to extend this range with "repeaters" in between, but these need to be powered (mains or USB) devices, which might be hard to do if there are no buildings/outlets/bulbs in between outside.

Wi-Fi will be of little help, as nearly any sensor you'd want to use with Hubitat for this would be Z-Wave and Zigbee, as would nearly any switch/bulb. (I know a couple Wi-Fi lights that are compatible, but those are rare and wouldn't help you with the sensor.) This is, of course, unless you were thinking of using Wi-Fi to reach the hub and placing the hub near these devices (the hub would definitely need to be indoors-ish...). Hubitat needs a LAN connection for administration, but once you get everything set up, you could let it happily run without that, or you could use a WiFi-to-Ethernet bridge/adapter (probably what I'd do since without access to the admin interface, you can't politely shutdown or restart the hub, much less administer or troubleshoot it).

So, as much as I love Hubitat, unless you had another use in mind for Hubitat besides this, I'm not sure that having a sensor 150+ ft. away outside report to a hub inside which then communicates with the light and tells it to turn on (or whatever) is the best possible use case for Hubitat. A "dumb," local (i.e., at the light) solution might work better for you here, and then you wouldn't need to worry about any of this. But if you have other ideas for home automation in mind, I definitely think Hubitat would work well (there's a reason I've kept mine!) and you could certainly try this idea for deer in addition to those automations. I'd just hesitate to recommend it solely for this one specific purpose. But that's just my opinion. :slight_smile:

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Someone else will most likely cone up with a better idea, but initially I would propose the following:

Put the HE in the garage. Run mains power and a data cable out to where you want your light (any dumb floodlight fixture would do). Connect the light to a relay which in turn is connected to an Arduino or ESP board with wired network capability so you can plug it in to your network cable. Also get a PIR sensor for the Arduino/ESP board. Use the HubDuino app on HE to control the Arduino/ ESP board. Then you can set up rules for what to do when motion is detected and set the pattern that the light should be coming on and off at through the relay.

This could most likely also be done with only using the Arduino/ESP without the connection back to HE, but Iā€™m not well enough rehearsed with these devices to know if it can be done or not.

Edit: Tagging @ogiewon for his expert knowledge with Arduino/ESP

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Could use an ESP and Arduino to connect to wifi and control the device

Just going to add a note as someone who has many deer in his yard.... Lights seem to do nothing to stop them. But good luck!

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@bertabcd1234, mattias, dadarkgtprince - Thank you so much for your thoughts and ideas. I definitely have more uses for home automation, but this one seemed the most difficult due to the distance issue. I'll have to do more research on the ESP and Arduino because I'm not as familiar with those.

@dman2306 - I'm skeptical as well, but I read that with a certain light pattern its possible. Who knows, I thought it would be fun to try out though.

(Im a new user so I couldn't @ everyone.)

Cheers!

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Same here they walk in my back yard most nights and I have a Arlo camera I use that turns on my flood lights, they usually just stop and look at it for a few seconds and don't seem too concerned. I don't flash the lights so maybe that would spook them but I doubt it. I would suggest maybe a orbit hose controller if you can find one. Then just have it turn on a sprinkler for a minute or so. That will probably get them moving along.

I planned on doing that for a Raccoon that kept digging up my yard, but by the time I got things ready he had stopped coming around.

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Thats a funny solution, actually that would probly work I think. Downside is I need to make my sprinklers smart :frowning:

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Oh, and down the rabbit hole we go :crazy_face:

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