Just switched from ST and a little disappointed [UPDATE: Delighted :-) ]

I have been working for the last week or so to get off ST/webcore and onto Hubitat but it is just painful but maybe I am missing something.

I am also trying to get rid of the Hue bridge because I feel like it would be one less point of failure. Some lights will turn off, some will stay on if turned off with Hubitat.

The most confusing thing to me is sometimes Rule Machine will just not turn off a device, even a virtual switch. I have large rules but not complicated. Sometimes I ask it to turn off multiple devices in a single step but webcore did that fine and maybe Hubitat doesn't?

Oftentimes, Hubitat will turn off a device but the device status will not show properly unless I go in and refresh it manually. I know some of my zigbee devices have a bit of an issue and I need to work on that mesh but there doesn't seem to be a reason to get the signal and perform but not update.

Is there a best practice to rules and need to turn off multiple devices in multiple steps? I do have a refresh step to try to help but it really doesn't.

I just thought it would perform better and maybe I have growing pains but it is just so unreliable. Logs show errors when it wants and I have read that errors I see are tied to nested ifs and whatnot nut I don't use nested ifs and the errors only show sometimes....

Somehow I feel that every answer I can give will begin with:

It depends. :smiley: Hue Hub is a Zigbee Controller only. If you have a Bulbs that are NOT Sengled, then the Hue Hub will benefit you. You don't mention what Hue is doing for you today, so it's hard to provide specific advice.

Impossible to not turn off a Virtual. It's 100% in the box, software only, nothing to go wrong. Except, if you have so much else clogging the Hub. Or the logic is flawed.

Create two Virtual Devices, assign them as Virtual Switch. SW1 and SW2.


You can also disable, temporarily, any of your Rules.

There's a very dim X over on the far right.. click it, it turns RED, and opens a Column for disabling Apps.

1 Like

AHHHHHH!!!! I knew the answer would be "it depends"!!! LOL!

Yes, good point. Hue was the first "smart" system I put into the house so it controlled nearly all lights. I have a mixture of Hue and Cree bulbs that I am going to switch out and replace will wall switches because I just don't need so much dimming in my house. I think I will need to stick with the Hue hub because I have 4 sconces that are switched on at the light fixture and the bulbs were my solution for that to get them all on the same page. The rest though can go.

Unfortunately, I thought I tried sticking to Zwave through the years but turns out most of my devices are in fact Zigbee and I know I need to work on my mesh but it looks like most wall switches out there now are Zwave. So, maybe I do Zwave switches and Zigbee plugs (read about Peanut) to work on both meshes.

I have been reading on here about the Lutron but, again, I just hate an extra point of failure but maybe it would actually make it more stable.

See, that's what I thought too....completely out of the box, every single other device being turned off by the rule but that one virtual device was turned off in the end.....I could not make sense of it but maybe it was a fluke. It has run before and since without issue with that particular switch but it just did not make sense.

I am thinking about maybe breaking the rules up and creating scenes of sorts and maybe that would help out some. The rules do get long because they are leaving routines where the wife or I push a button, it turns on some outside lights if it is after sunset and before sunrise, unlocks a couple doors, then waits for the garage door to close to turn everything off (if nobody else is awake or home) and locks the doors. This of course is handling for both she and I so the rule is pretty large.

Thank you for your input. I want to stick with this but I think I just need to learn and the ins and outs of it all so I can make quality rules instead of just recreating what I did with webcore and hoping for the best....

Before you get any further I recommend you check out the following:
How to build a solid Zigbee Mesh

Specifically paying attention to the mention of zigbee bulbs:

Zigbee repeaters may be any device that will always powered by mains voltages, but should not included a Zigbee lightbulb.

The exception to this being Sengled bulbs as they do not repeat. Bulbs can wreak havoc on a mesh where devices do not reliably get commands, drop off the mesh, etc. @april.brandt recently experienced this with some cree bulbs.

Many members of the community including myself will recommend keeping the hue bulbs on the hue hub as they work quite well with the integration app and will not affect your mesh so long as they are on separate zigbee channels.

Yes, thanks. I have read a ton about repeating and knew that about the bulbs. I just don't care to control from the bulb any longer anyway because it isn't necessary in my case and they don't help me mesh anyway. I do wonder if that is my biggest downfall and I need to get working on the switches and outlets and build my mesh up. I may keep the Hue hub for my sconces since they do not share a switch so that is good to know about the channels.

Speaking of which, I have read about changing the channel with Hubitat and I seemed to recall a mixed response on that. If folks have a Hue bridge, Lutron, and HE is there any benefit changing the channel with HE? I have kept it on the default but I think I remember some trying 15.

15, 20 and 25 are non overlapping with US WiFi channels 1, 6 and 11. However per FCC regulations channel 25 is weaker. I will try to find a link to an image of the WiFi overlap with Zigbee for your reference. Typing on a cell so it may be a minute. You may have to tinker to see what works best. I would recommend you get your mesh built out before tinkering to much with this. Once your mesh is built out power the hub down for at least 20 minutes to send your devices in to panic mode so to rebuild the mesh.

See the post above from @vjv showing the zigbee/wifi diagram.

You rock!! Thank you for that! I will buy some devices and build out both meshes and go from there. Thankfully, doing that will remove most of the Hue and hopefully make the other devices more reliable. I appreciate the link!


Last link for the night as I am headed to bed, but wanted to show you a great deal that the community has passed around to help you build your mesh.
Iris 3210-L lot of 5

These are both Zigbee and zwave. They can be a little tricky to initially pair, but work very well.

Thanks for that! I actually have two of these devices right now. The lousy thing is that Zwave is constantly repeating but, if I understand correctly, the Zigbee only repeats when the device is turned on. My use case for the devices I own (a deck light and a tablet I use as a house panel) means the Zigbee isn't always repeating but maybe I just buy these and make sure they are always on.

I do appreciate your input and your assistance with my understanding!!

I'm not sure what you mean here: Z-Wave and Zigbee repeaters are both quite similar, the biggest difference being that they only repeat for their own protocol. In both cases, it's only powered devices that repeat (mains or USB power), which includes things like switches/dimmers and smart plugs, though there are also dedicated repeater-only devices as well (you shouldn't need these, but some people like them for various reasons), with rare exceptions. The devices have to have power to repeat, of course, but if it's a device like a smart switch or smart plug (or, Beyoncé save us all, a smart bulb) that can be turned on or off via software, it will still repeat as long as it is "really" on/powered.

I know you've heard this multiple times above, but I can't help myself: keep the Hue Bridge (or figure something else out, like using switches/dimmers instead of bulbs or keeping them on their own network somehow, which you could do with a second Hubitat but might as well use the Bridge; or replace with non-repeating devices like Sengled--but make sure you still have enough repeaters since these aren't--or take a risk on newer bulbs that many people report to work better ... have I mentioned I'd probably just keep Hue?).

1 Like

Hmmm....I may be misunderstanding something I read when I first got the outlets. My understanding is that when the device is plugged in, it will always repeat Zwave. If the device is turned off (somebody pushes the button that controls the device--a Zigbee band) the device attached turns off and the device does not repeat Zigbee when off. However, your explanation definitely makes sense to me in that it still has to receive that Zigbee signal somehow so I am willing to put what I read a couple years ago. Looking at my Zigbee logs seem to backup what you say since Zigbee sensors have a decent signal in the garage and there is one of these plugs in there.

Really? You would keep the Hue bridge? I get if I were to want to keep the bulbs to keep the bridge but, admittedly, it seems to have come a long way from 3 years ago but it still just seems to be a weak point in my system. Do you think Lutron would be better? I just don't know if bulb technology is "where it's at" (at least for my use case) and think stability could come from control at the switch instead of bulb (with mesh and repeating and the really no reason to dim a lot of what I have) but I could have a "grass greener on the other side" going on :smiley:

The Hue system has a reputation as being quite reliable. (I've had it since 2013 or so myself with no problems. It's really what lead me to home automation in the first place--they didn't have manual controls or sensors back then, so I tried out SmartThings to get motion automation.) Lutron also has a reputation as being incredibly reliable. But they don't make smart bulbs, only smart switches/dimmers. So, I'd say it depends on what you want. :slight_smile: If you don't need the features smart bulbs can provide (color/color temperature control, individual bulb control independent of switch/circuit, lack of neutrals at switch for easy installation, etc.), then in-wall dimmers/switches are certainly a good choice if you live with others or ever have guests because everyone will already know how to use them.

I wouldn't consider either Hue or Lutron a "weak point" in your system. It's certainly true that it is another device that could fail, but I don't think that happens very often. I've heard Lutron's support is great. Philips is...OK in my experience, but I've never had a dead bridge (I started with v1 and updated to v2). Again, both have a pretty solid reputation, and both have good integration with Hubitat.

You could even use Z-Wave or Zigbee switches instead of Lutron. They don't have quit the same reputation, but they do tend to have more appealing prices (and they do work well most of the time for most people, I think). I actually have a mix of bulbs and switches, but most of my switches/dimmers have local control (relay/dimmer) disabled and are just scene/button devices for my smart bulbs. Probably overkill for most people, and sorry for giving you yet another option to consider. :smiley:

Oh, no need for apologies. Honestly, I have some of those as well. I have found the GE/Jasco Zigbee light switches to be very reliable and I got them at a great price but I see they have gone up since then and only bought 3 a few months ago. Now I wish I bought more because I haven't had an issue at all with them.

Hue got me into the game as well. Have these sconces with no central switch and wanted to control them and just branched out from there. I think my complaints boil down to "first world problems", probably the same as what got me off ST. I got tired of Samsung having control of upgrades that would break my otherwise solid routines and a couple weeks ago there was a huge outage when I first woke that angered me to the point of switch. Plus, I think the new app is garbage and it just pushed me over the edge :slight_smile: You are right though; I do not recall the last time I had an issue that was Hue-related and was probably ST or Webcore so my displeasure is probably misguided.

You may have talked me into just sticking with that because of all the apps and things I have to control the dimmers already and giving it a real try with HE to see if things improve with putting them back on the bridge. I've just felt "uhhgg...another device that probably doesn't need to be there" when really it is probably just a device that is a set it and forget it.

I appreciate all the input! I am going to pop down some $ on a lot of those plugs and get my meshes in good standing, hook the Hue bridge back up and go from there. It just may surprise me and I am here complaining for nothing....LOL!!!!

I think this will be true, all of you issues on the 1st post are symptoms of a weak mesh apart from your rule. To that is sounds like you are directly copying a WebCore piston into a rule. Generally that won't work and from you comment of large rule and nested IFs it seems to be true.

If you post a screen shot of the rules we can start helping with that aswell, button controllers work really well in RM you just need to know where to start :+1:

1 Like

Thank you for your input. This prompted me to get into the rule and I was going to take a snapshot and post but noticed that my rant about the rule and the virtual switch was a certain mistake. The rule works all the time and now that I think of it the failure was when the wife and I both left...looking at that step, it is obvious that the virtual switch I brought up ("Clinton's Leaving Switch") is not in the list to turn off, which is why it didn't turn off. Not a failure on HE and virtual switch at all....a failure on my part when putting the rule in when comparing to Webcore. I didn't directly copy, I went step by step and put the rules in.

Just to show this to be the case, here is the step with the obvious ommission of the virtual switch I mention....so.......my deepest, sincerest apologies about calling out HE and how it could miss a virtual switch...it was my missing it and having only really hit that step one time since implementing the rule with HE. There are typically a lot more devices in there (lights) but I am currently taking all the Hue bulbs and dimmers out and putting them back on the Hue bridge so they don't show or show as broken in the rule until I get all that straightened.

Thanks again!

Well, I was going to try to post the image but it says I cannot put an image in a post...please take my word for it that it is indeed my rule that is the problem and not having this switch in there to turn off :slight_smile:

Channel 25 is fine, I have one of my hubs on 25 and it works perfectly. 26 is the lower output channel I believe.

Just an FYI - There are a few older Zigbee devices that will not pair whatsoever when the Hubitat hub is on high numbered channels. For example, first generation SmartThings devices (motion, multi, thingshield, etc...) and Peanut Plugs (IIRC) are much happier on channel 20 versus 25.

15, 20, and 25 are the only channels the almond router lets you select for the Peanuts, which I’ve exciled to the junk drawer. My newer ST devices, all of my Iris V2 stuff, GE switches/dimmers and Sylvania bulbs do very well on 25. I’m currently using 19 and 25 for HE (no channel 6 wifi nearby and can’t change ST from 20) and Hue is on 15. 2 months and no dropped devices.

Yea, I was researching this and found that 26 is called out as the weaker channel and not supported by all devices. I put my secondary (Lightify dedicated) hub on 25. I didn't have issues pairing lights that were furthest from the hub.

1 Like