Making my move

Aloha Community,

I've been slowly automating my home for the past 2 - 3 years. My first excitement was Wyze cameras. From there I moved to utilizing Wyze motion sensors, contact sensors, plugs, and bulbs. Within the past 2 years I've started utilizing Moes \ Kasa light switches, Teckin plugs and Novostella bulbs. The drive behind my purchases are the automation provided and cost.

The reasons for my interest in Hubitat is that through the years when my home lost power all my devices not on a power backup would sometimes take almost a day to come back online. Then learning more on cloud based devices and security issues I became concerned. I think the final point of contention is when Wyze started to move to, what I call "pay to play". To utilize some neat features I had to pay.

So to this point I've purchased my first Hubitat C7 hub and have it up and running, Though I have no devices loaded except my iPad which connected up first thing. I do have two Zigbee plugs on the way.

I've read about the Wyze apps\drivers and how to flash some of my other devices to attempt to utilize them in Hubitat. But I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to try to recreate the wheel and will probably be replacing all my plugs, switches, and bulbs and donate them to friends.

For the past few days I've been reading Google tutorials \ reviews and watched \ read a lot of documents provided in the Hubitat tutorials and Community pages.

My first hesitations were

  1. WiFi, Zigbee, and Z-wave compatibility
  • I've come to the thought that I can use both Zigbee and Z-wave devices and keep my Fifi happy.
    a. Build a strong mesh for both Zigbee and Z-wave devices though powered devices.
    b. Select the best channel for my Zigbee devices to not cause issues with my WiFi
  1. Cost of Zigbee and Z-wave devices
  • A lot of compatible devices and price ranges.
    a. There are many devices that a majority of community users like and are in a price range comfortable for me
  1. Learning curve.

The transition will be methodical. Starting by connecting devices close to my Hub and moving out
a. Takes some time to connect\create a decent mesh

Question - Should strictly start with Zigbee or Z-wave devices only or does it matter?

I'd like you to consider my decisions in the selection of devices. Of course devices listed on the compatibility list are a priority.

  1. GE Z-Wave Plus switch
  2. zigbee plugs
  3. Sengled bulbs

I still need to make a decision on the following to complete my initial conversion

  1. Motion sensors
  2. Door Contacts

Once I've established my conversion I'm planning to add the following

  1. Water sensors
  2. Door lock(s)
  3. Garage door opener.
  4. Cameras
    ** My home is 1600 sq feet I at the moment may not need repeaters\extenders. Though if i extend to the backyard i will make the move.

As you can see I'm committed to conversion except for my Wyze cameras, for the moment, and look forward to the journey - tinkering with devices and programming.

I look forward to your comments.

As always Have fun - Be safe

These days I would reccomend Lifx bulbs. Color accuracy is great, they are 100% local wifi and fast...

Would reccomend Lutron Caseta or Innovelli above those. GE seem prone to failure. Some so bad GE started extending their warranties on them.

Zen-16 or 17, Security 2.0 to dry contact button, and Ecolink tilt sensor

Don't forget about water shutoff valve (I use Dome, but most do the same things)

Personally I use Foscam, cheap and work well.

I use very few smart bulbs, as I don't care about color changing, prefer automating the switch not the bulb, etc. BUT the smart bubs I do have are all Lifx and work perfectly.


First and foremost I'd recommend taking a look at these two articles. I wish I had when I started.

I'm a big fan of limiting the number of smart bulbs to a bare minimum and keeping them on a separate hub. Most of them make lousy repeaters and will do a number on your zigbee mesh. (Sengled bulbs are an exception and generally work well.) I really like Hue bulbs, and I keep them on a Hue hub. Even then smart bulbs are easily defeated by a human and a dumb switch. Better to use smart switches wherever possible.

Lutron Caseta all the way for me. They are not cheap, some folks don't like the style, but they work great and the Picos make awesome button controllers. Most of them do not require neutral wires at the switch. which is a big plus for those of us with older homes. You will need their Pro series hub.

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I use smart bulbs for the occasional table lamp, switches for the rest.

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It is good to see that someone actually does some research before making the switch. It is a shame to see someone buy a HE hub and expect it to work with all their wifi devices. Which does not work. Although there is some wifi device integration, I don't believe that is what HE was designed for. I can only tell you about my experiences.

No, it does not matter which devices you start with. You can do either.

The devices you chose are OK. I used a GE Switch but it quit after about 3 years. I don't know if the new ones last longer now or I just got a defective one or maybe it just wore out. I replaced it with a Zooz outlet. I use Sylvania outlets made by Ledvnace. These work great for me and I have at least one in every room that I have battery powered devices installed.

SYLVANIA Smart ZigBee Smart Plug, Works with SmartThings, Wink, and Amazon Echo Plus, Hub Needed for Alexa / Google Assistant - 4 Pack (75591)

These outlets work well with the Sylvania Zigbee bulbs that I use. It is well known on this community that some brands of bulbs are bad repeaters, but with Sylvania outlets and bulbs, I have had no issues with the Sylvania Bulbs. My motion and contact sensors are a mashup of zigbee or zwave devices. I started with mostly Smartthings sensors, but you cannot get them any more. The sensors are made by Aeotec now and are a bit pricey. I tried Aqara devices, but they would drop off the mesh. I also use Sengled bulbs and they work very well. Sengled are not repeaters so they don't adversely affect your mesh.

I don't have water sensors. Please research Door locks very well, they seem to be problematic. I only have one door lock a Kwikset 914 zwave and have had no problems with it. I use a Zooz multirelay connected to a remote garage door opener and it works well. As far as cameras go, I have Unifi cameras and have them setup to display on my main dashboard.

What I have learned about HA is that you need a good mesh with Zigbee or Zwave. It is more important with Zigbee. Like I said, I have a zigbee outlet in every room and my mesh is solid. I only have 3 powered zwave devices and have no problems with my zwave mesh. Please research wifi devices as some have community integrations but most require a cloud connection.

I do have Alexa devices that I use for voice commands, and this works well except when the could is down. Be sure to have an alternate means of control so you can use when the could is down.

Welcome to HE and I hope your journey doesn't go too far down the rabbit hole. Don't be afraid to ask questions, that is how we learn.

Here's my opinion based on using the HE hub for over a year:

I prefer using Zigbee devices over Z-Wave as I find it easier to get them paired up with my Hub. I have several Sengled bulbs (Zigbee) in my house and they all work as expected with no issues. I also have one Schlage Camelot Lock (Z-Wave) for my front door and a Yale Assure Lock SL (Zigbee) for the back door which has been working well. I started using several Visconic door contact sensors (cheap Zigbee devices) but have been using the Ecolink Zigbee contacts with better success. I have a Smartthings Multi-purpose sensor (Zigbee) to use as a vibration sensor on my clothes dryer, and one on the garage door to use as a tilt sensor.

I have a few Inle Zigbee wall light switches, some old Iris smart plugs (Zigbee/Z-Wave) which I use to monitor power usage with my washing machIne (so I can check if it's completed with a cycle).

Finally I have a few Linkind smart plugs (Zigbee) whIch I like because they are short in height and I can use two in a single wall outlet.

I'd just comment that z-wave devices don't seem to be as chatty, and don't seem to need as frequent battery changes. But they are more expensive.

I've done an admittedly limited amount of searching, but I'm not finding it. Is there any kind of "more info" sheet about the list of Hubitat compatible devices?

Simply dropping that into a Google Sheet and adding columns would be great. Information like how the indicator LED operates, or if the device makes an audible click when switching on/off, or if it's considered small/medium/large for its type ... etc.

I've started buying different individual devices to get a feel for what all this stuff is and the variations in such simple products is huge, and might have great impact on people's purchasing decisions.

For example, I've bought Enbrighten, EVA Logik, and IKEA, smart plugs. They are quite different from each other, physically, technically, and operationally.

LED Indicator when outlet is powered:
Enbrighten - LED On
EVA Logik - LED Off

Physical Button:
Enbrighten - On top
EVA Logik - On face
IKEA - None

Device Outlet:
Enbrighten - Both sides
EVA Logik - Right side
IKEA - Face

Wall outlet orientation:
Enbrighten - In top outlet won't obstruct bottom outlet
EVA Logik - In bottom outlet won't obstruct top outlet
IKEA - Obstructs other outlet

Power output:
Enbrighten - 1800w
EVA Logik - 500w
IKEA - 1800w

Physical size:
Enbrighten - Large
EVA Logik - Medium
IKEA - Medium

There's are attributes that are various levels of subjective. Things like build quality, reliability, appearance, etc, that could also go into such a database, but I'm not sure how to do that with static information. It would be best to pull from review sites but that gets very programming heavy.

I've also bought a couple wall switches and they both serve their purpose fine, but I'm just amazed at how different the features and functions are. It would be nice to have a filterable list to narrow down product offerings rather than buying one of many different products to personally review and then pick one to buy a dozen or more of. This seems like information that could be gathered and put into a central location.

I'm not sure that's really a thing. For that I think you should be looking at reviews for specific products then. The list is provided to show it connects and works as expected. That said, many things are not on the list and work fine with hubitat with either generic drivers or community made ones.

Again, this is what reviews are for...

Now look at Lutron Caseta switches, aesthetically very different as well.

As you start to purchase things you will start to get a feel for how they all behave. Outlets have relays in them, relays make noise. Some devices are slower to report than others. Some don't quite follow the zigbee/z-wave specs and are problematic (I'm looking at you xiaomi). If you are interested in a device, search the forums. Best reviews you will find.

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We have ~10 Sengled bulbs, a mixture of white and color (‘color plus’). The whites work well and if all you want is variable white color temperature then fhe color ones are OK too. However, I wouldn’t buy color bulbs from Sengled if I was starting again, as the colors aren’t vibrant, the bulbs are super limited in the number of different colors they produce and warm white is more of a sickly yellow.

Just my 2 cents worth…

Moving from sengled to Lifx was a game changer for me. Way better color accuracy and fast as hell (also 100% local)

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