Just starting out - looking for recommendations

I am completely new to Hubitat or any other smart hub for that matter. I have a Hubitat ordered and on the way.

I want a security monitor + some home automation. For the security monitor I would like to secure several doors, glass break sensors, & motion detection. I would like to turn on exterior and interior lights when the alarm triggers. I would like to connect these sensors to Noonlight for remote monitoring. I would like to eventually build out geofencing so when I turn down my street and its at night my exterior lights come on. I would also like to put motion sensors in the garage and if there is no motion for X minutes and the garage door is open to shut the garage door and turn off the lights. I am sure as time goes on I will come up with more automation.

So for the SmartThings door sensor I would need to buy some zigbee smart plugs or light switches (repeaters)? I am also using some z-wave devices so then would I need some z-wave smart plugs or light switches (repeaters)? I am a little confused on how many z-wave and zigbee repeaters I would need. I wasnt planning on buying the light switches right away but it sounds like I might have to. I havent even researched those yet so if the recommendation is to get them which do you recommend? Should I consider sticking to all zigbee or z-wave so I dont need multiple repeaters?

Here are the following sensors I am planning on going with from the research I have done.

Door Sensors – SmartThings door sensor

Motion Sensor - ZOOZ Z-Wave Plus 4-in-1 Sensor ZSE40 VER. 2.0

Smoke audio dector - Ecolink Zwave Plus Wireless Audio Detector Wireless Audio Detector for existing Smoke/CO sensors, White (FF-ZWAVE5-ECO)

I am sure everyone has an opinion but am I headed in the right direction? Has anyone had any issues or recommend I go a different direction?

I need the following items but cant seem to get a good consensus on which one to go with, so looking for recommendations.

  • Glass break sensor
  • Siren
  • Water sensor
  • FOB to arm / disarm / panic
  • Smart Garage door opener – do I need a sensor as well to know when it is open or closed or will the smart opener be able to sense that?

Before even ordering anything, I would look at where you hope to get to at some point. I would have a look at How to Build a Solid Zigbee Mesh - Hubitat Documentation and How to Build a Solid Z-Wave Mesh - Hubitat Documentation. The devices you have listed are battery powered and if they can't connect directly to the hub, you will have issues. I would start with line or mains powered switches or dimmers and add your battery powered devices after.

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For motion sensors, I bought several different kinds and mostly preferred the SmartThings version until I found this here on the community:

I bought 10 and have them almost in place. Although I didn't really need them, I bought another 20. At that price they are inexpensive "spares". By the way, you can make an offer too. I save a few bucks by doing that.

As for the siren, I went with the Aeotec Siren 6. I wanted something that was externally powered and had a battery backup. Besides being a siren, it's also a chime that can play 30 different sounds. So it's the siren for my security system (all based on Hubitat), an additional siren for my smoke detection, but also acts as an automatic doorbell based on motion. If you can find them, I'm rather fond of the few Iris key fobs ( 3450-L2) I also picked up on eBay.

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As Zarthan mentioned repeaters are critical for zigbee devices smart plugs like the peanut or SmartThings plug are good repeaters, for Z-Wave Aeotech makes a dedicated plugin repeater or almost all Z-Wave Plus switches are repeaters as well.

Door Sensors: I've had false positive issues with the SmartThings door sensor when the battery got lower, I really like the Iris v2 sensors but they don't make them anymore although you can still find them on Ebay. I also like the Visonic MCT-340, but haven't had them around long enough to know what happens when the battery get low.
Motion: Zooz works well except battery reporting doesn't seem to work on mine. The SamrtThings v2 motion seems to work well too.
Siren: I have both an Aeotec Siren Gen5 and a Utilitech siren both work great I think Everspring is the same as my Utilitech
Water Sensors: I've had good luck with the SmartThings water sensors
Garage door Controller: I've used a Linear/GoControl Z-Wave opener for years and its been great, it came with the open/close sensor, it has stopped responding a few times and I always just pull the plug to reboot it and tap the pairing button and it syncs back up quickly.

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Welcome to the community! It seems like you've been doing some reading and have some good ideas. The folks here are very helpful. I hope you have fun as you go through your home automation journey.

As you've probably seen, some topics have a variety of answers and your situation may be different than other people, leading you to different results. Costs can also be a trade-off to consider. For example, you seem to be focused more on security than I am. I'm more into controlling lights (replacing existing wall switches) and automating things like watching TV. You can see some comments I made in another post to someone coming from Smartthings (Hubitat right for me?) and they may give you some ideas. Since then I got a MyQ garage door opener with a Samsung multipurpose sensor (as you said, that provides status back to Hubitat). It's a little iffy since the API has sometimes broken the integration but the current app/driver seem to work well and for $30 on Amazon (US), it seemed like a reasonable start and it's worked well for me. If you're in the US, Samsung devices are also on sale.

I've mostly used Zooz equipment (Z-Wave) and have been happy with the price and support from them. They're also having a great sale going on. I've also added some Zigbee Samsung water sensors and Iris motion sensors and plugs (from Ebay, as @billmeek replied). As others have mentioned, ensuring your devices are connecting reliably is important and that can influence your equipment and setup.

The standard applications are a good foundation. As you spend more time on here, you'll also get ideas of what other community applications and drivers you want to add. Depending on your background, it may take a little getting used to but there are some outstanding resources to extend your system.

Finally, the search function on the board works really well. I typically can find answers to my questions or other tips and insights by seeing what's already been posted. If you don't see what you're looking for though, don't hesitate to ask.

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I want a security monitor + some home automation. For the security monitor I would like to secure several doors, glass break sensors, & motion detection. I would like to turn on exterior and interior lights when the alarm triggers. I would like to connect these sensors to Noonlight for remote monitoring. I would like to eventually build out geofencing so when I turn down my street and its at night my exterior lights come on. I would also like to put motion sensors in the garage and if there is no motion for X minutes and the garage door is open to shut the garage door and turn off the lights. I am sure as time goes on I will come up with more automation.

So for the SmartThings door sensor I would need to buy some zigbee smart plugs or light switches (repeaters)? I am also using some z-wave devices so then would I need some z-wave smart plugs or light switches (repeaters)? I am a little confused on how many z-wave and zigbee repeaters I would need. I wasnt planning on buying the light switches right away but it sounds like I might have to. I havent even researched those yet so if the recommendation is to get them which do you recommend? Should I consider sticking to all zigbee or z-wave so I dont need multiple repeaters?

One other question I just thought of. I need to have a control panel mounted on the wall. I see the Fire tablet is recommended. Should I go with the 7", 8" or 10" screen? Do they sell a bezel to make it look nice on the wall or do you build your own frame?

@tterk1 Let me add I have seen the same false positives with the SmartThings motion sensor. I got home last night and noticed the living room lamps were on. I turned them off. Went down the hall to my bedroom and noticed they were back on . . . to make a long story short, the battery reporting isn't very good on those and it was reading over 80%. I did a refresh and it dropped to 60%. This morning when I got up, the zigbee devices seemed slow. I think that one motion sensor had been hammering the zigbee queue all night. I put a new battery in and all is good again.

I have found the range on the SmartThings door/window sensors to be very good. You might want to test them before investing in repeater devices (unless you have a defined need for those devices).

As for which protocol to choose, you will probably end up needing/wanting both. Zwave has support for a broad range of devices and categories. Zigbee is probably better suited to sensors and light bulbs.
Just starting up is difficult in many ways. You often start up thinking in solving specific tasks/needs without having a good mesh in whatever protocol you start with. With spotty placement, the mesh can be somewhat unreliable. As new hard wired devices are added the mesh becomes more and more reliable. At some point there is this one device you add and everything just works.
The ultimate goal is for all devices to have multiple neighbors through which they can communicate to and from the hub. Adding wired devices close to the hub first and building out from this is the ideal way but your immediate needs may not suit this. You may need to add repeaters that aren't necessarily what you might need in the future.

I am assuming when you say wired devices you are referring to light switches or plugs?

Wired as opposed to battery powered. I personally don't like depending on plugin devices for repeaters but it isn't always possible to avoid them. Plugin devices are easy to be unplugged even temporarily, disturbing your mesh. Outlets are usually low on the wall where the radio signal is more easily blocked by furniture. walls etc. Switches are usually mounted mid wall making them better suited to relaying.

Note to self - make red "DO NOT UNPLUG THIS" labels with P-Touch labeler for all those plugged in repeater devices.

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From what you said I think you are starting from the wrong direction. You want a security system first and foremost and then add in home automation capabilities. So first start with a solid security system that CAN be integrated with other systems. The two most popular for integrating are ELK and DSC. I have a preference for ELK because it's a solid security system with integrations with lots of systems and provides a good amount of home automation capabilities already. When you outgrow the built in automation capabilities you can then expand the system by integrating a home automation system.

For security and reliable automation you need to stay away from anything that is cloud dependent for functionality. Things need to run local and have real time clocks and battery backup to ensure things run correctly even when there's a power outage for short periods of time. For security sensors whenever possible use wired sensors back to the security panel and when not possible use wireless sensors made for the security panel and will work reliably. All of these sensors can then be included into a home automation system for triggering of automations.

Presence detection or GPS Location services with phones is hit or miss and you will get mixed results especially if using a app/service such as Life360 as they don't refresh very fast and are not the most reliable. If you have the means I suggest running your own Traccar server. I prefer to run this in the cloud as the GPS clients/units must send to a public accessible server. So running in EC2 is to me a better option than port forwarding from my home. With phone GPS I've had the best results with the Traccar client, Locative and Geofency. For my vehicles I have CalAmp and SinoCastel gps units installed. I prefer the CalAmp LMU-3030BT over the SinoCastel but there's a big cost different.

Another nice thing I like about ELK are the wall panel options and the ability to use a tablet as a control panel. There are different apps available that integrate very well into the ELK system for full panel control. I like:

https://blog.ekeypad.net

Backtracking a bit to your Noonlight integration. I prefer a security monitoring company that works with security systems and is licensed and recognized by home owner's / renter's insurance companies and works with security panels not just with cloud based voice assistants or cloud based home automation (SmartThings).

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Having Zwave for all of my switches, dimmers and sensors, when I first added Zigbee sensors and a lock for the garage, I got a couple of Ikea outlets. I had one in the house and the second in the garage. Since there is no switch, I often pulled the outlet to plug something else in out in the garage.
I always knew when I forgot to plug the outlet back in. The first of my "lights stuff" my better half really liked was a button in the kitchen to open the garage entry lock, which failed due to the missing Ikea outlet. I have since added a few wired in devices.

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