Just starting with Hubitat

Hello. I’m new to home automation. My Hubitat will arrive in a few days. I’d like to start with garage door and lights automation.

Garage doors

I have 2 of them and planning to implement this solution Current Recommend Garage Door Opener/Closer youtube video posted by @iskren.p.petkov

What is the best place to buy all pieces needed for this project? In video price for peanut plug is $10. Lowest price that I found at amazon is $15. Link to Door/window switch posted at YouTube is no longer available. What will you suggest to purchase and where?

Light switch
After reading https://community.hubitat.com/t/best-switches-and-dimmers-reliability-connectivity-most-important/9598/2 for light switch I decided to go with GE/Jasco light switch. I found this from amazon GE 46201 Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Light https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RRBT6W5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_5bU2DbBXVGG7F Is a good one?

So depending on your garage open/close sensors can have problems, my garage door and rails were magnetic and having my contact sensor madly switching between open and close.

Prices are different than in the video. Tilt sensors are on sale now:

Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor [GP-U999SJVLAAA] Door & Window Sensor - Zigbee - White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F956F3B/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_h3V2DbGFF3DMT

For $17 black Friday

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@helene7t7 thanks, will take a look!

Thank you for the questions @Strom. Best of luck with the home automation. It will make you feel definitely empowered and feeling that sky is the limit when it comes to it. Of course it comes with its own set of challenges.
First here is some advice on setups/option:

  • in general I and I think the whole community feels that anything zigbee is better than z-wave in setting up and reliability
  • add additional HE hubs around the property connected with wired ethernet to increase coverage and reduce battery drain if devices are too far away from the main hub - I have second HE hub in the basement. This is easy to do with app HubConnect - you can add many slave hubs reporting to master hub and thus expanding system hub points
  • in case of garage door contact sensor I have SmartThings V2 contact sensor - but in order to make it more reliable I have also GE/Jasco light switch zigbee so that it can expand the mesh and garage sensor to connect to hub via this smart switch (NOTE: only non-battery powered zigbee devices are repeaters e.g. can expand the mesh). My original post was about smart switch on the garage door opener but back then I did not have the smart switch and the connection to the HE hub was flaky sine it was too far away and through too many walls.
  • when you build out your HE hub apps with community apps make sure that you add one at a time and let it "soak" e.g. keep an eye on hub stability for next few weeks before you add another one - this will confirm that added community app is not with issues like memory leaks or other. I currently have too many community apps but my HE hub needs a restart almost every week as it starts to act slow and unresponsive. The remedy for this is to make full backup and reset it and to exactly as I recommend - start adding one new app at a time and test to find out which app is the culprit for the slow down
  • if you choose WiFi smart switches for around the property or for any other device type - make sure your router can handle increasing number of wifi devices - some routers can start experiencing slow downs in packet routing after adding only few dozens of wifi devices. I recently swapped from Arris router to Google WiFi and works miracles. Arris router is also modem so I still use it in bridge mode only
  • some good places for HE hub community apps are Hubitat Apps and Community Apps
  • I think a must have is Echo Speaks if you are invested in Amazon Echo devices GitHub - tonesto7/echo-speaks Echo SpeaksDocumentation

Let me know if you have any other questions

I would disagree that "zigbee is better than z-wave". I think zigbee devices tend to respond a bit faster, which is very important for motion sensors. Zigbee has a potential weakness of having frequencies that overlap WiFi frequencies.

If you are going to run any number of community apps, you might want to consider the concept of a "sandbox" hub where you run your community apps and another hub with just devices connected and "Official" apps. Others may comment on this approach.

I don't have a garage so I can't offer advice there.

Zigbee is better...

  • wakeup speed, which translates to faster motion detection. Not more reliable, since they all work from the same PIR toolkit. With PIR technology being 20yrs old, there's not a lot of unintentional variability.
  • Setup or Pairing is simpler because there's half the per device assignment of addressing. Zigbee device address is hard coded from the factory. Like ZWave, your specific home network address is added during pairing. All of this translates into re-pairing a Zigbee device if it falls from the mesh is more pleasant. The device just pairs back the same as it was.. the hub detects the device address and drops it right back into the config that existed before.

Zigbee is worse...

  • Interference potential. Two types of interference are usually bundled together: physical and RF. Zigbee, runs on 2.4ghz. Perhaps you have one or more of these devices that also use the 2.4ghz range: WiFi, Bluetooth, wireless Phone, car alarm, microwave oven? On the physical side, everything attenuates RF signals but 2.4ghz is affected more than lower frequencies. ZWave at 800-900 mhz is affected less by walls, etc. and Lutron's ClearConnect at 433mhz is affected the least (of the RF we generally use in Home Automation.) The standard solution is to add more Zigbee AC powered devices.
  • Product choice. Zigbee has a much reduced range of product types than ZWave. Need an in-wall Zigbee outlet to be a repeater for your mesh? Almost unavailable. The choice is plug-ins that need red labels :slight_smile: so that the people in the house don't unplug them.

That's my list of factoids.. but not even close to exhaustive :smiley:

If you have a bad mesh, you will be much happier with Zigbee because you'll be re-pairing often and that is so much more satisfying with Zigbee. Building an adequate ZWave mesh is a little easier if you're looking to swap wall switches, dimmers and outlets. They are AC powered and you can't unplug them, :slight_smile:

I have an adequate ZWave mesh built up over years of adding devices every few weeks or months. I kept away from Zigbee until I just couldn't wait any longer for a canopy Fan/Light and had to get 4 of the Hampton Bay Zigbee Fan Controller. Sticking any radio inside a metal bowl (canopy) is a horrible idea and the Community recommends 1 or more repeaters per fan, It's not like the Hampton Bay Zigbee Fan Controller are cheap, but adding repeaters makes them pretty expensive.

I have one Zigbee network in my home, and building out the mesh for the Hampton Bay Zigbee Fan Controllers has given me a good mesh, that allows me to add in Zigbee battery devices, like motion sensors.


I just did the garage opener. I used a 12 volt relay and an old 9v ac/dc converter. I installed a contact sensor on a hinge on the garage door. So when the garage door opens, the hinge falls to show the sensor open "Door Open". When it is closed, the sensor makes contact and shows closed.

@dago5252 just so you know, the MP sensor is capable of being a garage door sensor without the magnet. You can use the three axis sensor to detect door open/close. There are settings on the device page for this specific use case.


I did not know that. LOL, I went through some trouble to get it mounted and I don't like the way it looks.

@dago5252 I actually thought it was a pretty ingenious way to mount it. I actually considered not saying anything because what you had, probably worked well.

I have a GDO and although I do not use a MP sensor in the garage, I have thought of using one. Since this can report an angle, it could be used to positively determine when the door was open.

Always good to learn. I am still working my around the automation world. I had to put a piece of wood behind the sensor because the magnet would stick to the door frame. I will probably leave it for now and change it later.

Thanks for the tip!!

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