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:
- 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)
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.
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:
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
I'm 1 week into my IRIS to Hubitat transition and here are some of my initial thoughts:
- Hubitat provides all the functionality of IRIS (w/caveats).
- IRIS, as it relates to GUI/UI, was much more user friendly than Hubitat.
- The Hubitat Dashboard customization is awesome.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.