Is Switching from ST to Hubitat Going to Help Me?


#1

Not sure if this is a good place to ask this, but let me relate my ST experience thus far.

All I want, is to have some lights that turn off using a button device. I have a smart light, and some overhead lights on a smart switch/dimmer and I have them linked to one virtual device so one control controls them all.

I also have an aquarium with lights on a smart switch (no dimmer). They come on and go off daily (sometimes that doesn't work and they get blasted with too much or too little light, but it "usually" works).

THATS IT!!

But, randomly, my ST Hub V2 decides to stop working. Sometimes, there's a 1+ minute delay between a command and when it responds. My internet is super fast and good, and the hub is about 10 feet away from literally everything else. It's a small room. And it's supposed to be "local control" but it sure doesn't seem like it.

So my main question to everyone on Hubitat is, is it reliable? If I can't get it to control a light, it's worse than useless especially to family members who aren't really technophiles. And I may want a more advanced setup someday, but not in my current situation with ST where I waste hours a month trying to get it working again for 4 devices.

I guess to summarize, I have a very simple set of devices, but long-term reliability is of utmost importance.

Thanks in advance!


#2

I guess the first question I’d ask is, are you sure the smartthings automations are running locally?

I haven’t looked back at ST for over a year since I got my HE hub, but at the time, local execution in ST worked with specific devices and only the smart lighting app. I don’t recall if virtual devices were eligible for local execution.

If you’re sure your ST automations are running locally, then it’s possible you have another issue that could still be a factor with HE. Mesh issues, interference or something like that.

If they aren’t running locally in ST, then the ST cloud could certainly be the culprit. And in that case, yes hubitat is likely to be a big improvement. Assuming your devices are supported.


#3

For your use case yes HE should be great. However it will be imperative with such few devices how far away they are from the hub and what kind of signals you get to your devices. What are the actual devices? Button controller, bulb, switch/dimmers. Are they all zwave or zigbee? WiFi? The above post was referencing that it could be something other than the ST hub causing the issues.


#4

All I wanted was garage lights that turn on before I have finished walking through the garage. With HE they turn on before I have finished opening the side door to the garage, perfectly, every time. Same sensors as before. For a week after I installed HE I would walk through the garage just because I couldn't believe it actually works in sufficient time to light my entire traverse through the garage now. I pulled in my neighbors off the street just to show them it finally works, and sold a few people on HE based on that.

I now have over 50 devices on HE including two fishtanks on zigbee outlets. Haven't had a missed action yet. Perhaps this is the sort of experience you are looking for. If so, get a Hubitat.


#5

I'm a hubjumper. I jumped from smartthings about 2 (i think) years ago. I haven't looked back. You will want to make sure that distance isn't an issue as as @jrfarrar indicated. Zigbee devices are more temperamental than z-wave. But, if you don't have a strong mesh, you'll have troubles. Smartthings is straight out of the box. Hubitat sometimes takes a bit more advanced experience, which you can always find help here with almost ... well not even almost .. with anything you're trying to connect or set up. Since HE runs all local, you'll notice the difference straight away in response and reliability. As. Long. As. your mesh is strong. I've used ST and HE They can be bridged together if you need. Just keep other factors in mind. Like distance and some smart devices are not yet supported. So do your homework before you decide to move. If you ask if you'll love it? Of course you will. If you build your network, you'll love it even more/ Welcome to the entrance of the rabbit hole. All you need to do is jump in.
[EDIT] I forgot to mention that this community is the tops in comparison to the other hub communities.


#6

What button device are you using? I was using Minimotes on ST but could never get them to work reliably on HE. Ended up selling them and went down the Lutron Caseta path and haven’t looked back. Super happy with that investment as the telnet integration is super fast and reliable and I have Pico remotes where I have always wanted a wall switch.


#7

Thanks for the replies!
My devices are all zigbee:
Jasco outlet/dimmer 4 feet from hub
Sengled bulb 7 feet away from the hub
Smartthings button 8 feet away
Smartthings outlet 10 feet

I'm a software developer so I have no problem with a setup curve. My problems on ST was that it would work well for a week or two and then just stop working, either the button press would register on the hub log immediately but do nothing, or the app would go crazy showing devices unavailable for no reason or they would get stuck "turning off" or "turning on" forever. Dimmer controls worked maybe half the time and did nothing the other half. The latest issue was trying to add my wife's phone so she can control the devices directly and it basically broke everything for both her and my apps. In all cases, I can investigate the surface, look at logs online, but could never dig deep enough to understand the problem. Was it a bad hub, or ST services are down, or what? The end result was just reboot the hub and my phone and wait 15 minutes with fingers crossed and it would fix itself... until a week or two later and I get to do the same thing again. I've finally had enough.

Looks like these devices are all supported, the button more recently (1.1.5 firmware -- it just doesn't show in the official list of supported devices for some reason). So I'm going to give it a try.

Thanks again for the info.


#8

Its listed under Samsung, V5 button


#9

That should be NO PROBLEM. Make sure your wifi channel isn't stepping on your zigbee channel. That can cause issues.

In hubitat the zigbee channel can be changed!


#10

i too have been hub climbing. Echo is the gateway drug to home automation - we all start there. Echo, then, Wink, then Smartthings, and finally i went to HE 6 months ago and love it! Local control is the ONLY way to go! You will find HE to be rock solid. As far as wireless devices go, my path has also taught me to standardize on Z-wave plus everything. I migrated away from Wifi and zigbee. 100% of 50+ devices are all Z-wave plus. I found that Z-wave over zigbee (both are mesh networks) where Z-wave plus in particular throws RF much further, and is several times faster. Since moving to 100% Zwave plus and with the robustness of a 50+ node mesh buttons will work anywhere, any Zwave device once paired to the HE is rock solid, the advantage of a dense mesh network. Zwave throws further than zigbee - i would suggest before pulling your hair out you do what i did and wrap up your zigbee stuff and make it a gift basket for a fellow nerd to play with. I was never impressed with zigbee. The only advantage zigbee has over Zwave is no limit to the number of hops. Z-wave is 4. Each hop is 30-60 feet indoors so with a dense mesh who cares. At no point would any zwave device need to hop more than 2 with the HE in the center of the house. Battery conservation on Zwave plus is awesome. I have had 6 motions up for 4+ months running on 2 AA bats and they all still show 100%, one at 98%. Amazing. 2 years on 2 AA bats at <50 cents. Here is a link to a great 4 button that recharges on a USB port, and a charge lasts 2 months and i use it all the time: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCEJAOD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ; this is a 4 button but they make a version that has 2 buttons i have and works wonderfully. I keep them on the bedpost for night mode and panic mode. Have fun!


#11

Be carefully here, if you have issues with zigbee they are entirely environmental.

As a blanket unqualified statement your post could be misleading to novice enthusiasts...


#12

:point_up_2: This.

My personal experience is that zigbee is faster, better on battery and less tempermental that zwave. I emphasize the word PERSONAL with my experience because I'm posting simply as a counterweight to your experience. Zwave worked pretty reliable for me (I had a strong mesh) but with the devices I had, the response time left a bit to be desired...especially with motion sensors. Ever since I switched to the Iris v2 motion sensors and saw the fantastic response time with great battery life, I haven't looked back. Most of my devices have been swapped to zigbee and it has been ROCK solid for me. As soon as the schlage zigbee locks have all the reporting features added to the HE drivers, I plan to swap my zwave locks as well. I'm very happy with my outdoor zwave outlets(response time not critical), so they will stay until they die.


#13

I’ll echo what everyone is telling you. Solve the network communication issue, because that is certainly what it sounds like you’re encountering. SmartThings isn’t a bad hub, but their cloud service is not very reliable in my personal experience and that of many others. This however doesn’t sound like that’s the issue.

There are great reasons to move to Hubitat, but if you have Zigbee or Z-Wave network issues, changing hubs will likely just carry those issues to a new hub.


#14

Hard to say its unqualified when you read the specs. Everything said was factual. Zwave plus runs in the 800-900Mhz spec and zigbee is in the 2.4G space along with wifi. Lower frequencies throw farther than high - physics (ie.., 5G wifi while faster throws its highest-performance signal about half the distance of 2.4G line of sight), this plus 2.4G is already noisy with Wifi. Not being defensive, being factual.


#15

Clearly you don't understand how Zigbee works.


#16

No it's NOT factual. You are making a blanket statement.

Zigbee, just like WiFi, has channels that can work better for the area you are in. You need to go back to google school and do more research before you answer this.


#17

Are far as zigbee being better or worse than zwave that is entirely subjective.

What he states about the signal distance travelling further with lower frequency is not debatable it's a fact.


#18

It's a blanket fact.

In other words he is grouping 1 tiny fact into the whole pie and that is misleading and does nothing to educate anyone.


#19

There is no debating this, howerer this fact alone is not sufficient cause to recommend abandoning zigbee in favor of zwave...


#20

I agree with that totally.

His statement here:

Is very misleading big time, as soon as he ever has a hub completely crash he will spend 10x more time trying to get devices back up with the rules designated for the devices using Zwave, vs what it takes to do with Zigbee since Zigbee devices have their DNI hardcoded.