Lowes IRIS Transition


#1

I'm a longtime Lowes IRIS customer looking to transition to Hubitat after Lowes officially announced that they will shutdown the IRIS Hub and service.

I'll be transitioning to Hubitat soon and would like to document some of the process and pose some questions to the community. I hope this post will help others in my position that are interested in the Hubitat platform.

What I know:

  1. IRIS Brand Gen 1 devices are proprietary and are NOT compatible with other hubs. This includes but is not limited to the hub, contact sensor, motion sensor, key fob, keypad, smart plug, smart button, siren, Orbit hose timer.

Update: Orbit Hose Timer is compatible. (Credit: @chuck.schwer)

  1. IRIS Brand Gen 2 devices and beyond are considered compatible with other hubs. Some devices like the Gen 2 Keypad are fan favorites on this community.

  2. There are some grey areas about third party devices (Orbit, GE, Schlage, etc.) that Lowes sold that were compatible with IRIS that may not be compatible with other hubs.

I'm going to assume that most Lowe's Iris users would like to transition to a platform that will perform most of the functions/tasks they were used to and ask a few questions. I do not intend this to become a discussion about "Better" but would like some re-assurance that Hubitat can do something with certain devices.

What I don't know/Questions:

  1. Can Hubitat be used as a pseudo-alarm?
    1a. If so, what needs to be done/acquired to receive some type of TEXT/EMAIL notifications when tripped?

ANSWER: Yes! Hubitat, via its integrated apps, can be configured to send up to 10 messages a day. An additional "Pushover" driver can send up to 7500 monthly messages. The driver has a small one-time fee. (Credit: @csteele)

  1. Hubitat is a Local Network platform but can I access my home remotely?
    2a. If so, what needs to be done/acquired to do so?

Example: All lights are scheduled to turn on and off on a schedule but today for X reason I would like my backyard light to stay on an additional hour or two and I'm not home. Can I remotely control a light? Going forward I'll assume that if I can remotely control a light then I can remotely control other devices.

ANSWER: Yes! Devices can be controlled remotely using the Dashboard app. Hubitat does not allow remote access of admin functions. Remote access of admin functions is possible via VPN but it's done at the users discretion. (Credit: @csteele)

  1. Are there any solutions to transition Wi-Fi devices into the Hubitat ecosystem? My home has a mix of Z-Wave/Zigbee devices controlled by IRIS and Wi-Fi devices controlled by Google Home. I'm wondering if it's possible to bring Wi-Fi devices, wi-fi light bulbs in particular, under Hubitat control in an effort to limit my exposure to Google?

I think this question is important for a lot of users like myself that might be considering a transition to a hub-less automation solution via Echo/Google Home because they've invested into wi-fi devices through the years.

ANSWER: It's complicated. Hubitat can interact with ethernet traffic but there isn't one wi-fi solution for all wi-fi devices. Each type of wi-fi device will likely need its own custom driver and app created for it's own API. Some custom drivers and apps exist so this question is better answered on a case-by-case basis. Click Here for the Community Apps Wiki (Credit: @csteele @bobbyD)

  1. What are my key fob options?
    4a. Can I use a key fob to change the status of an alarm?
    4b. Can the presence of a key fob be detected and automatically turn off the alarm, turn on lights, etc.?

ANSWER: Hubitat can make use of any compatible (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Lutron, etc.) button controller. Some popular options include the Lowes IRIS Key Fob (Gen 2+), Fibaro Key Fob, and Lutron Pico Controller (Lutron requires additional hardware). Click Here for a list of compatible devices. (Credit: @Dustyd5 @csteele)

  1. What are my options for video camera security/monitoring?

IRIS provided an integrated camera solution. Those of us with cameras will need an alternative. I'm tempted by the NEST ecosystem that can provide video, home security, thermostat solutions but will not control other Zwave/zigbee devices. I would rather have less platforms than more.

ANSWER: Not many. Hubitat wasn't designed to process video. Some integrations exist to make use of CC or IP cameras as pseudo-sensors but these are mostly community driven. This question is best answered on a case-by-case basis. (Credit: @csteele)

Thanks in advance for the community's time and help.

-CAG

UPDATE 02/20/2019:

I'm 1 week into my IRIS to Hubitat transition and here are some of my initial thoughts:

  1. Hubitat provides all the functionality of IRIS (w/caveats).
  2. IRIS, as it relates to GUI/UI, was much more user friendly than Hubitat.
  3. The Hubitat Dashboard customization is awesome.
  4. The Hubitat Dashboard, as it relates to device status, could use some work. I keep running into issues with the tiles not reporting the status of the device it's attached to. I keep having to change the Switch template color codes because they keep returning to default grey which makes identifying and using the dashboard remotely unreliable. Dashboard tiles should have a default status built in that doesn't require additional changes other than adding the tile.
  5. Setting rules in TRUE/FALSE language is cumbersome. It's easy to set-up a double negative and deviate from the intention of the rule. This isn't a deal breaker for me but it can be for many users. Some devices like switches and bulbs would benefit from a default ON/OFF type system.
  6. It would be nice to have access to the Portal via my internal WLAN. This would make it possible to configure/troubleshoot devices with a wireless laptop.

#2

I'm switching from IRIS too, and just got my hubitat hub this afternoon. I only have a few devices to play with, since I'm not willing to tear apart my iris system till I understand this one.
Right now I'm pretty mystified about how it all works, but I have managed to pair a gen2 IRIS 4 button key fob to the hubitat. I created two triggers to test it... one sends a text to my phone when it detects that I've left, and the other sends a text when I arrive. Then I went for a walk. It works. It detects presence or not. What I CAN'T figure out is how to use the buttons. The device detail page is filled with absolute gibberish. Stuff like "Push" with a blank after it. Then a list of four buttons with a sting of numbers after each entry. What I'm supposed to do with this stuff is a complete mystery. So far, trying to hook a button to a rule is a real head-scratcher.

But, yeah, those key fobs seem really solid. Paired instantly.


#3

1: Yes, but... Hubitat has both HSM (Hubitat Safety Monitor) App, as well as Rule Machine, Simple Lighting, etc. ALL of them can "send a message" using a driver. Pushover is a built in Driver and you signup for it and can use it free for a week. $5 per lifetime, you can use it forever, 7500 notifications per month. Hubitat also can send SMS, but is highly limited to 10 messages.

  1. Yes. There's two parts to Hubitat. Admin and use. Use is pushing a button on a Dashboard and having a light go on or off. Dashboard is an included App and has a cloud URL for you to use. Maker API is usable in a similar way, cloud control of devices or actions.

Admin is Local Only, intentionally and will remain so. Open VPN is the solution. Add it to your Home's router, add the matching app to your mobile device and enjoy full access to your entire LAN, including Hubitat.

  1. Hubitat will create/respond to ethernet traffic BUT a driver and App probably need to be created for each Protocol (API). As far as I know, the API for the Iris WiFi isn't exposed. They say they will opensource what they have, but how soon and does that include that API... don't know. This basic method is how Hubitat supports Lutron, Google Home, Alexa, or even community created connections such as Homebridge, etc.

  2. I have no ready answer for Keyfob... I haven't looked into them.

  3. Cameras. In general, a Home Automation Hub isn't going to also do well at High speed video. The Hub has a 4 core processor but for manipulating images, etc. not a good choice. This usually comes from thinking "oh, I have a Dashboard, can't I just play video to that. Which involves scaling, perhaps rotation, and the hub does not have that skill. If you have an external device, BlueIris comes to mind, and it acts as a motion sensor, I believe there are Community created drivers and app to allow triggers to be used.


#4

Install Button Controller. It receives button events and allows you to cause them to do something... light on/off, water the deer, Holiday lights on, anything you can imagine.

Would it be OK if we just call you "D5" for short?? :smiley: :smiley:

There's also Advanced Button Controller, that is... well... a bit more advanced. :smiley:


#5

Hahahaha, Yeah, D5 is good. I guess there is a place to plug in your name, which I will look for later. I had found the snazzy "Button Controller" app and installed it. I got as far as naming the thing, and selecting the fob to act upon, then it asks "Use Held?" (huh?) and then "Select button: Click to set" which seems like it should allow me to somehow specify one of the four buttons... but nothing happens when I click where it says click. If I'm supposed to type something in there (what?) it does not respond to any keystrokes.

EDIT: Wait... I see what's going on. It accepts numerical keystrokes but not alpha keystrokes. That must be what those mystery numbers are for on the device page...
EDIT 2: OK, I've got one of the Iris fey fob buttons turning off a light connected to an IRIS v2 smart switch.

Re: Iris v1 devices... I know they are generally not supported, but before I bought this hub I saw on the "supported devices" page that there were two listings under the Iris Smart Plug category: Iris Outlet, and Iris Outlet v2. I was hoping the one without the number was v1, so I tried to pair. Hubitat finds it right away and lists an ID number, but then it just says "Initializing" forever. Am I out of luck with these v1 smart plugs after all?


#6

None of the original v1 Iris devices work with any system other than Iris. Iris used a proprietary Zigbee protocol for those devices.

The supported Iris outlets are the 3210-L and 3210-L2.


#7

Probably--most of the v1 devices that aren't Wi-Fi are a proprietary ZigBee protocol, and I think this is what most people who've tried them report. It is, I guess, a little promising that Hubitat sees anything from it at all. From what I've read, the Iris v2 hub has only one radio for the two ZigBee profiles, so if Hubitat feels like it and the open-source release Iris plans on making happens to show how this ZigBee profile works, it's possible they could add support. I wouldn't count on it, however (unless they happen to think the appeal to Iris users--or the generally cheap cost of v1 sensors to the rest of us--is worth it).

The first sentence is true, but I think the second part sentence is worth clarifying. There are three (or three and a half, depending on how you count) generations of most Iris devices--e.g., the v1 motion sensor (won't work), the v2 (model 3326-L and minor update 3326-L2), and the short-lived v3 (model iL07). The v2 is ZigBee HA 1.2 (most boxes say this but I think the "L2" models stopped printing this on the box), and I think v3 is ZigBee 3.0. Both of these generations work with Hubitat.

Also, most (all?) Z-Wave devices from Iris should work on Hubitat. I see you mentioned the siren. I'm not sure if there was ever a "v1" siren, but the only one I've seen was the Utilitech siren that was labeled "Works with Iris." That one is Z-Wave and does work on Hubitat. It also appears the Orbit hose timer, assuming there wasn't a proprietary "v1," is supported--see this thread: Orbit Iris Hose Faucet Water Timer. (My guess is that "Works with Iris" as opposed to early "real" Iris-branded devices are standard ZigBee or Z-Wave devices that should work on other platforms.)


#8

This is supported. Unless there was a version 1 and a version 2?
This one works well:
image


#9

Thank gawd, my plants won't die. This was a biggie for me... is one of the reasons I picked Hubitat over ST. On the ST forums, it sounds like they've spent years trying to get the Orbit Hose Timer to work and it won't.
Thanks for the photo.


#10

@bertabcd1234 @chuck.schwer Thanks for the update. That's interesting that the Orbit Hose Timer works. Lowes is providing a full rebate for the one I have which led me to believe it was proprietary.


#11

Does this mean the question I should be asking is Does Hubitat have a driver for [Brand X] Light Bulbs?


#12

We've got some pretty smart people over here, we've been able to do anything that we've put our minds to..,


#13

It's true, I've read every post on this forum.. but that is NOT the same as memorizing anything :slight_smile:

Use Search (magnifier, upper right) and find out the answer the last time it was asked. :smiley:

If you search for FOB, it's likely you'll see SmartThings fob as well as Iris, for example. maybe the way the SmartThings fob people are using theirs will inspire you...

Hubitat's built in drivers are easy to review.. go to any device page and click on the type dropdown. Every line from the top to where it says: User is a built in driver. If you can use one of those, it's the best choice.

Searching the Forum, you'll probably read "I ported this from ST and...." which is usually good news. It means the Community has a driver that might just work for you too. (ST = SmartThings and ST and HE both write drivers and Apps in Groovy to nearly identical definitions. In a lot of cases, it's 2 mins of work to convert a ST 'DTH" to a Hubitat driver.) It means the SmartThings Community of developers are quite often, our developers too.


#14

Admittedly I am very familiar with forum culture and very appreciative at the immediate support on this post. I intend to update my original post with all the lessons learned and hopefully WE don't get an onslaught of IRIS questions as their shutdown approaches. :smirk:


#15

Hubitat's button implementation is pretty impressive.... Many buttons send a message on press, and then again on release. As if by magic, you can detect that someone is pressing and holding the button because the release didn't arrive in some minimum time. Means a button can be clicked (press/release close), long press, and press and hold. This gives a 4 button device the possibility of being up to a 12 button device. Press and hold is often used to simulate a dimmer. Therefore, you get a choice of having reaction time improved by eliminating the wait-and-see to detect press and hold.


#16

If you find yourself needing to be just 100% impressed, get a Lutron SmartBridge PRO and a couple Pico remotes. Hubitiat built the Lutron integration in their earliest days, probably earlier.. it's, in my opinion, the most polished integration there is.

review this for some ideas:


#17

Well here's an offer...
Given that it appears that the Iris V1 Zigbee devices at least try to pair to HE, meaning they at least make it to the first part of the initialization process, it's possible there's hope for them, probably not much, but possible.

So if someone out there is willing to part with as many different devices as possible we would be willing to at least try to get them working on Hubitat.
It will likely be an all or nothing deal.

So if there are any customers out there willing to ship these off for me to have a look at, please PM me.

Sniffing packets is a somewhat detailed and time consuming effort, so we do have a ticking clock on this offer...


#18

I just ordered one off of ebay for $8.77 with Free shipping so I can play around with my sniffer. I am sure that someone will step up since these are otherwise useless.

Have a look at this thread when you get a moment. It has a lot of links to some sites that have already done a lot of the sniffing.

Here's a link to a Python library to interface with the V1 devices using an Xbee.


#19

I also wonder if their effort, Acrus, to open-source parts of Iris will include any of this ZigBee profile, which might also help (though it appears the PyAlertMe library above has already reverse-engineered it).


#20

I hope it does, but sadly, unless they actually acquired the patents for AlertMe's tech, I have my doubts that they will. But still, enough have reverse engineered their unit profile/cluster structure (including Systronics), that even if they don't there's a high likelihood that someone will reintroduce that support eventually.