Leviton WiFi device support?


#23

A bigger problem to me than speed with the cloud, is security. I don't trust anybody, even AWS, to be able to prevent hacking...color me paranoid maybe? In any case, my hope is that regular consumers at some point will realize the security risk and prefer a local home automation solution.

IMHO the biggest issue with Hubitat and mainstream acceptance is that at least for me so far, you have to kind of be a tinkerer to make it work. If they can eventually get over that hump, I don't see why the hub wouldn't be extremely popular.


#24

I would love some more information on how to do this.

Thank you!


#25

Do you really think that random hackers are going to break into your system to control your lights? Or, even to open your locks? No, of course not. There's no money in doing that because they aren't even on the same continent. They're looking for banking info and credit card numbers. If someone wanted to break into my house, all they would have to do it break in a window or my sliding glass door. Now, the alarm would go off, but in reality, if someone wanted to get in they could. The whole point of security is deterrence. It's easier to break into someone else's house without a security system than into one that does, that's why security systems work. It's not that they're fool-proof. It's that there are so many homes without one.
The same with your cloud based home automation. There is no reason to break into a home automation cloud system because there's not enough money to be made from it. Let's not forget, that while they are criminals, hackers are doing it for a reason and not just for the hell of it (most of the time). And most "hacking" is not breaking in by busting codes, its stealing info folks give away unknowingly.

And as far as "end of the dirt road"...i'm sorry, but if my home is going to rely on something to work at all, it better be 100% of the time or damn close to it. The last month I was on ST I lost internet on a Sunday afternoon and I literally said to myself, "well, I don't really need to leave the house. I don't want to have to go around and do all that sh&t by hand." Now, while I am a lazy bastard, some of that really is because once you have it set up to be automated, you expect it to be. And when it's down, it sucks. I agree that the cloud will be the future but for me, only after it is a hell of a lot more reliable than ST was and only when my internet connection is a lot more reliable than "Slime Porner" or "Speculum" are.


#26

Yes, actually. There’s plenty of evidence that if hackers can easily get in, they will, even if only to mess with you.

Now the key thing to note is that you aren’t magically more secure just because your hub is local. If you can access your system remotely, you have an attack vector. This includes cloud systems but also local systems exposed remotely. Of course you may have attack vectors you are not even be aware of as in this thread where (among other potential vectors), some people had unintentionally accessible network shares.


#27

It might not even be about control. Maybe it's just monitoring. Once "they" get your leaving and arriving patterns along with any key pad entries, then your house is theirs. To a burglar, money is indeed a motive. To a miscreant, well who knows.


#28

I don’t actually think that smart home monitoring is a particularly meaningful vector for burglary, at least not at present. The people willing to break into your house to steal your TV are generally not the sort of people able to hack into your automation system, whether it’s in the cloud or not.

For the most part, the people who would hack into your home automation system are just going to screw around with it because they find it amusing. However, some might use it as a vector to extort money with ransomware if they can leap from your home automation system to your computers. Similarly they might blackmail with security footage if they capture anything compromising.

Physical break-ins are generally not going to involve automation compromises, though. That’s just not very realistic right now. Just as it’s not realistic that checking in on Twitter/Foursquare/whatever makes you more likely to get burglarized. Burglaries just aren’t targeted like that for normal people. If you have actual enemies, then sure, but that’s not the case for typical people.


#29

Ooops! I apologize. For some reason, I was under the impression that within the Alexa App you could use the state of a switch device as a trigger for an Alexa Routine. This is not possible currently.

Sorry for any confusion!

You can do this within IFTTT. Use a Hubitat Virtual Switch as a trigger to change the state of your Leviton WiFi switch (assuming Leviton has support for IFTTT!)

Probably the best solution is to simply replace any WiFi switches you have with corresponding Z-Wave Plus or ZigBee switches. This way all communications will be local with no internet or cloud server dependencies.


#30

Not switches, but you can use contact sensors.

But, I agree, swap to z-wave or zigbee and you'll save yourself a lot of headache.


#31

Unfortunately, not yet on Hubitat... :frowning:


#32

That makes me a sad panda. :cry:
giphy


#33

These switches are in my shop. It is to far away from the z-wave network of the house.


#34

Hi All,
Mr. Newbie here with my first question!
I have a Leviton WiFi switch that I’m trying to control with IFTTT Intergration. I created a virtual switch in Hubitat and then made it available using the IFTTT Intergration app. Then I when into IFTTT and set up a Leviton action to turn on the light however when I try to link Hubitat, there is no device link for the virtual switch in the IFTTT pull down menu, even though it was previously authorized in Hubitat. Is there something I’m missing about how a virtual switch works?


#35

Hey All,

A little update on this topic, since I can see there was a lot of interest in this and I have one of these switches myself. Here's the skinny on the WIFI version of these Leviton Decora Smart Wifi Switches. This switch is not actually functioning on any sort of local communication basis. As it turns out, when you tell your switch to turn on, it communicates from the APP, to the internet, up to the Leviton cloud, back over the internet, and down to your light switch. (As shown in the diagram below.)

Leviton1

Someone has already gone through most of the trouble of reverse-engineering the process and protocol of this particular wifi switch here:

So, as we can learn from our research, any integration of this particular product would not be a truly local integration. It is, however, very doable.

I will take a look at this tomorrow for sure!

Andy
BCSH


#36

Has anyone made any progress on incorporating these switches into Hubitat? I have 15 of them so swapping them for ZWave models would be time and cost consuming. They currently work with Echo and ST, but I want to get rid of ST if possible.


#37

Welcome to the Hubitat Community!

There is no integrated driver but you can use IFTTT or you can use Google assistant relay.

My choice would be Google assistant relate because then you can control other devices that are supported by Google assistant that habitat doesn’t support. One of my favorite tools.


iHome Switch Support (Note not Homekit)
#38

Thanks. Frankly, I think I'm going to have to give up on Hubitat. I'm moving from ST because dealing with connections through IFTTT and WebCore are just painful at times. We already use Amazon Echo for some functions and bringing Google in just makes things more complex for my family.
It appears that Home Automation while better is still the hobbyist world we had with the X-10.
Thank you


#39

I don't think that is a fair characterization at all... There are SUPPORTED devices of every kind that can be purchased. But the fact is, there are 100s of manufacturers and no one system will support ALL of them - EVER.

That certainly does not mean it is only for hobbyists, though. It simply means that you need to check compatibility before buying devices. Or before switching hub/systems.


#40

You are not wrong about HA still being in the early stages. But you’re misunderstanding Google Assistant Relay. You don’t need a Google Home device. You just need a Google account and the patience to follow the directions to build it. One it’s done, you have a great tool that can control all sorts of devices, and even control the SmartThings cloud (also no hub or history of ever owning one required). Totally transparent to your family. They will not be interacting with Google Assistant, the hub does.

So using a RM rule, I could tell Alexa to turn on a virtual switch, the virtual switch would tell Google Assistant Relay to turn on the Leviton switch. When I tell Alexa to turn OFF the virtual switch, the same RM rule would turn off the Levitown switch by telling Google Assistant, to tell Leviton to turn OFF the switch.

It sounds more complicated and slower than it actually is. It’s only seconds delay and very consistent. The reality is the industry is selling everybody these Wi-Fi switches because the general population understands Wi-Fi, and they don’t understand what Zigbee or Z-Wave is. So the market is flooded with these cloud connected Wi-Fi switches that top out at about 30 devices on most routers, because that’s all most can handle before other serious issue on your WiFi network.

Wi-Fi is the wrong way to go about home automation in my opinion. It doesn’t scale well, doesn't repeat to other devices, so it's a star topology only, and forces cloud dependency unless app/drivers a written to handle it. That’s no small feat, and these are not popular switches among the user base that is currently supporting the growth of this platform and of SmartThings. Other protocols are going to emerge that will probably take over from Zigbee and Z-Wave, but that’s very far off.

So for now this is how you get around this limitation of Wi-Fi plugs, switches and other devices.

Here’s an example of how I use Google assistant relay to make Alexa speak whatever I want when something happens on Hubitat. I know it can be slow with some services to control devices via IFTTT, and that is the reason that I like and promote the use of Google Assistant Relay so much. The Google cloud is rock solid and very responsive. If there’s a delay, it’s almost certainly going to be with Leviton or whoever's device your trying to control.


#41

I will take a look at using Google. I am reluctant to build on anything made by Google because of their history of dropping useful/working products in the past. Right now, we're trying to shift our users away from Google Chat/Hangouts to another solution because of the upcoming deprecation.

I don't mind hacking things together. I have already attached Google Assistant to our Echo system and similar feats, but at the end of the day if my wife and kids can't use things and get very close to 100% effectiveness it's a goner. Every time I've tried a two or three step system with HA it has problems. WebCore, IFTTT, SmarthThings to Echo all work most of the time. But when they don't people get frustrated.

I understand Z-Wave and Zigbee and have been using devices with them for years, but didn't have a choice with the light switches as they were already installed. I will say that my experience with ZWave and Zigbee also hasn't been 100%. ZWave devices drop off from time to time. There are no consumer tools for getting status, signal strength, or working through connection problems...it's just basically "keep trying and hope it works." Somehow they made it even worse than diagnosing BT issues. We could discuss the mysterious "exclusion" process, but I'm sure you get my point.

Saying WiFI is limited to star topology isn't really fair either as mesh systems for WiFi are very common and also quite a bit easier to connect and monitor (Google WiFI for instance) than a ZWave mesh.

In some ways much to my chagrin the Leviton WiFi switches have worked far better than the ZWave switches I've had in the past. the registration process was easy and they are reliable to the point that my wife actually uses them through Echo without hesitation. I can't say the same is true for any ZWave (including our Schlage locks and Leviton outlets).

I fully agree about the cloud part. That's why I was going to try and move to Hubitat to get as much local as possible.

I hope someone figures this out and that the solution isn't - we're just doing it this way and everyone with hundreds of dollars of this equipment is out of luck. I also know how hard it is to get industry compliance as I was on one of the early committees that worked on email exchange and compatibility between services like AOL, CompuServe, etc. Not a lot o fun.


#42

We agree on a lot of points and I have to disagree with you on some of these points too. This would be the reason there isn't a rock solid one standard fits all wireless protocol. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I agree, Google does not have a good track record at keeping services going. It does make me uneasy at times because I love me Google Assistant Relay capability with HE so much. It's literally the bridge that has delivered so much capability that I never had access to outside of IFTTT or Stringify (when I was still a ST user) before now. But it works today, the investment is time building the node server. I did it in an hour, but it might take longer depending on your experience level. I run mine on an old MacBook laptop that I run other node.js applications on, but a raspberry pi will work just as well, so not a big investment there.

I did the add Google Assistant to Echo thing too, but it was much harder, more confusing to setup, unreliable, and cost me money when it quickly exceeded my free limit on Amazon. Contrast that to just buying a $35 mini and setting it next to my Echo. For dual voice assistants, that was the smarter choice. I also recently got a second one for free too.

Zigbee is more likely to succeed and evolve into some other communications technology. Even Amazon has realized that WiFi alone wasn't doing it for everyone, so they introduced the Echo Plus with Zigbee. But I don't think they're convinced it's the be all, end all. Z-Wave is complicated to setup and maintain, different frequencies in most countries (unlike Zigbee), and doesn't self heal. Your woes have been related to a lack of Zigbee and Z-Wave repeaters, and possibly not a clear understanding of how the technologies work. That's not a criticism of you, it is a criticism of how that has developed. Even IKEA now offers dedicated repeaters to their customers trying to get into home automation with the Trådfri devices. But how do you explain to someone that has no idea about this stuff, that they need this repeater and why. And how do you do it will a drawing of a guy that looks like he just asked Mr. Owl how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie roll center of a Tootsie Pop? :grimacing:

WiFi devices are a star topology, no matter if you have WiFi mesh or not. I don't agree that WiFi mesh is common. It's still maturing, the technology is just barely ratified to a spec that no one currently follows and 9 out of 10 people I've talked to have never heard of it. I've argued that it can make WiFi range less of a problem, but it certainly doesn't change the device limits or the noise that these devices chatting away on the network causes.

You and I both live in free, capitalist societies, where standards are build by committees and the bottom line. In places like China where decision can be made from the top down, things might evolve differently and that's likely to be an influencer, solely because of the volumes and supply chains. Hubitat is just over a year old. They have to keep the lights on and you do that by appeasing the enthusiasts like me and then they help the new users, and the company/product evolve as it makes sense. If they were to just develop another cloud only hub, I'm pretty sure they'd be closing their doors already. I applaud their thoughtful approach. There are no easy answers to this, but they have given me stability and flexibility and relative ease of use, I wasn't finding with any other solution. Yes you have to build stuff yourself, but that's the price that comes with the flexibility. Take away the flexibility and try to sell to the masses that don't understand home automation and you have Wink or Lowe's IRIS. Look where they are at today. You just can't throw this stuff at your grandma and get her to master it like an iPad.