Migrating from Homeseer

Does anyone have experience and tips for migrating from a Homeseer system to Hubitat? My devices are almost all zwave.

As a HomeSeer user and developer I might have a little insight. I use both systems for different purposes so I would start with asking what you want to migrate and why.

I haven't seen a lot of talk on this forum about HomeSeer migrations--there's definitely a lot of users migrating from SmartThings, and I've seen a few from Vera as well. But since your devices are almost all Z-Wave, it should be pretty easy. Hubitat will pair with pretty much any Z-Wave device. For popular devices, it's likely Hubitat has a built-in driver that will work to communicate with the device (not sure what the HomeSeer equivalent here is). If it doesn't pick one for you, it's likely one of the generic Z-Wave drivers for that type of device (motion sensor, contact sensor, switch, etc.) will work. If not, you can search this Community forum to see (and unofficially the SmartThings Community forum as it's normally easy to port code) or ask around for anything specific.

As you may know, the most officially supported route would be to exclude the device with HomeSeer, then put the Hubitat hub into "discovery mode" for Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, then do an "include" on the device (varies from device to device, so see the manual, but usually pressing or holding a button on the device itself). Hubitat should then find it. If you don't care about HomeSeer, you can also just reset the Z-Wave device (something you might need to try for troubleshooting anyway if it still doesn't pair after regular exclusion) or use any Z-Wave controller to exclude it, though HomeSeer will probably still think the device exists in that case, while not being able to do anything with it.

If that sounds like too much work, you might be able to join Hubitat as a secondary controller to HS, then "shift" it from your secondary to primary (I don't think Hubitat likes not being primary, but I think some people have done this short-term for this purpose). This would save you from needing to re-pair your devices, but it's not officially supported and may be more hassle than it's worth (and you'd need the help of other software to make it happen). The manual option is likely to be the smoothest, even if more effort-intensive.

The other part, of course, is setting up your automations. Hubitat has the concept of "apps," which are like automation templates you can plug devices and other parameters into to create automations (e.g., turn these lights on when this motion sensor detects motion, then off X minutes after motion stops). There are lots of stock apps includes for different purposes, but you also have the ability to create your own apps (or use ones the community created and released, usually posted about here). You can use the built-in Rule Machine app to create automations of your own without needing to code.

Either way, it sounds like most/all of your devices should work, so then it's just a matter of getting the rules/automations/apps set up the way you like. The poster above may be able to offer some insight into differences here. I considered HomeSeeer myself but the price and apparently dated interface turned me off. After trying a couple things (this was all after I decided I needed to move off of SmartThings), I landed on Hubitat and have been quite happy. If there's anything you want to know how to do, just ask and I'm sure lots of people will be willing to help!

I would greatly appreciate what "different purpose" is being met by Hubitat.

I too own both HS and HE, I bought the HE mostly as a "toy" to play with as I like experimenting with various home automation systems (I also have a Vera Secure which is currently decommissioned due to many problems I have encountered).

My HomeSeer system is my "real" system. I have several plug-ins and its the best system I have personally used to date. There's simply nothing I require that it cannot do reliably.

One thought I had for my Hubitat would be using it primarily to control my WaterCop shutoff valve. The HE is very low power and small. I would like to connect it to one of my UPS in my utility room, same room as the WaterCop which would also be on a UPS. This would give me a system which could shut off the water supply valve during a power outage w/o reliance on any resource on my home network.

It's a development tool/platform for integrations. I had hoped to work towards an integration to bridge HS3 and HE since HE has good ZigBee support. The HE crew are not keen on that... So at the moment my HE is sitting empty and used for validating Simplex Locate functionality with it.

As for now the few ZigBee devices that I have that I can't get to work yet in deCONZ I have them working in my VeraPlus with the Vera plugin for HS.

Thanks for your reply. I also have a Vera, but switched everything to HS3. As silly as it might seems the main reason I left Vera was their Wemo support.

I only have 6 Wemo devices which were my first adventure into home automation. I will replace them all with Z-wave eventually as I have learned that WiFi is not the best protocol for home automation. What annoyed me with Vera was their lack of support and the responses I received when trying to get help. The Wemo "plug-in" was from a 3rd party who dumped his Vera system and no longer supported his app.

I wasn't concerned about using Wemo in the long run, but was not pleased with the way Vera support addressed the issue, and need of their users that wanted Wemo supported.

I wondered what other problems they would ignore in the future.....

Vera has a long long history of ignoring all problems...especially the ones they cause. They broke their OWN Lutron plugin and as far as I'm aware have still not correctly fixed it. There is a work around that I literally dragged out of their support and I posted it to their forums.

Working with Vera was difficult to say the least before, now with the new ownership and from what I've gathered their "new direction" will be cloud based.

I keep my Vera Plus for the limited Zigbee. Other HS3 users have purchased new Vera Plus units simply for the same reason of using the HS3 plugin to interface the Vera Plus for Zigbee. I'm hopeful in the near future deCONZ will support more devices.

WiFi is actually very useable in home automation. There are a whole series of HA devices and HA protocols including MQTT that communicate this way and it is fast, error checked , sequenced and guaranteed delivery (assuming the destination is accessible). I use it in preference to Z-Wave or ZigBee where possible.

Your poor experience with Wemo has come from issues with that particular manufacturer and product range. I had the same problems and even now following hundreds of fixes and firmware patches I still have issues.

Where Wifi is not viable yet is in battery operated devices as it just consumes too much power. Hence the usage of things like Z-Wave and ZigBee for sensors, PIR's etc which have been designed to have a 'sleeping' mode that consume very little power.

What Zigbee devices do you have on your Vera? I added the The Zigbee2mqtt and also the mcsMQTT homeseer plugin and have added several devices already. My Hubitat is sitting on the shelf for now.

NYCE Motion sensors and a couple wall wart plugs is what I keep my Vera Plus around for. The existing deCONZ and Zigbee2MQTT are great for Xiaomi devices and "light bulbs" but myself I don't care about light bulbs as I use LIFX in my lamps and everything else is connected to z-wave switches. I have not bothered trying the Xiamoi devices in Vera because they just work fine in deCONZ.

My "poor experience with Wemo" was with the Vera app for Wemo, not the devices themselves. The Wemo SmartPlugs work quite well with the native app, and with Apple Homekit.

Your experience with Z-wave vs WiFi seems to be atypical. Most Home Automation sites recommend Z-wave/Zigbee over WiFi for most use cases. However, I will agree you should use whatever works best for you. We all have different needs and skill sets!

I do have WiFi gadgets (Ring Doorbell and Arlo Cameras), as there are no Z-wave alternatives for video gadgets. Also use IP cameras for my main surveillance sytem,

HS users this a serious question not a troll question. When I look at what I have and what I plan to integrate with Hubitat and looked at doing the same thing with Homerseer that cost was going to be at least 6x. Is the software and control 6 times better?

What integrations do you have with Hubitat and would use with HS?

I broke away from HomeSeer about 3 years ago but was a HS user for 10 years. I'll put down some thoughts I have about the system... [warning...LONG, lol]

  • Expensive! If I remember right, I paid about $350 for the Pro series, I caught a good sale. Remember, that's JUST for the software...I still needed a system to run it. The software comes with the in house plug-ins which at the time, were only a few basic ones (no dashboard, remote access or anything like that at the time). To do basically anything, you needed to purchase plug-ins from other 'users' through the HomeSeer plug-in store. At one point they were pretty cheap, $10 to $20 each. Then HS decided they wanted a piece of the pie. Which makes sense but drastically raised the price of any plug-in. Now the minimum was $20.00. Some were $30 to $60 ... whatever the author felt their time was worth. And just like any system with a user developed app system, if the user disappeared you are out of luck for support. All the code is encrypted so no one could even take over the code. It was just dead in the water. I probably had paid for over 40 plug-ins by the time I left the system.

  • When I started, X10 was king. Slowly z-wave started to take over and HS put out their z-wave plugin. Ever since then it's been it a constant state of BETA. Never being polished. With each update, it would bring in more and more power but always leave something else just not quite right. YEARS went on with bugs not being fixed! They have a bug tracker system as proof.

  • During the mess of z-wave development, along came Insteon. HS put out the most basic plug-in (just basic module on/off and lamp module devices) one could imagine and claimed, 'we are Insteon compatible!'. As I still had a ton of x10 devices and Insteon claimed to be the next evolution for x10... I went all in. So as it works over there, a user took on the challenge of getting all Insteon devices up and running using custom plug-in (another $40) but after a year, he went 'poof', gone. Luckly, in this rare case, he had given his code to HS and another power user/developer took over the code. For existing users, we got to re-purchase the plug-in for half price! Yup, you got that right... we had to pay for it again! At peek, I probably had 40 or so Insteon devices. They worked awesome, still the most reliable 'network' I've had to date. But everything was '1st generation' Insteon...aka 'crap' quality! lol. Soon all my paddle switches started to fail to work. Google it, what a mess they had on their hands. As time passed, HS z-wave was slowly evolving...beta after beta after beta. I was hearing good things so I was slowly moving to z-wave as my Insteon devices continued to fail.

  • Years went by and it was still beta...beta...beta... One would say that means it's getting better. True, but they never went back and fixed the long standing bugs with it. Again, go to the forums and the official bug tracker and it's all there. For years people would ask them, please no more beta's...just for once put out a maintenance release fixing the bugs! But they never would (and still haven't). I still go over to the forums every now and then, just to see what's going on and every other post is about bugs in the software. Crazy!

  • Customer service was outstanding, A+++ Rich and Rick (the two owners) were very active on the fourms right from the beginning. Answering questions and quick to put in place any and all requests to the main program. Slowly Rick disappeared and Rich (maybe the other way around, always got them confused) became the king of the software and up to the time I left was still very active on the forum. They always seem to have at least 3 or 4 employees (owner, marketing guy, programmers) very active on the forum. Can't complain at all about their customer service. Until I came here, I haven't seen anything as good as theirs on any forum I've ever been on.

  • For me, in the end it just came down to reliability. I felt I had put all the cash I was willing to put into it and I still didn't have the system I was promised. I had looked into 'other' systems over the years but never made the jump. All I heard (and believed) was that HS was the top dog for DIY systems. Plus having around $1000 invested in their software, how could I leave it!?

  • But, after 10 years running the software. I figured for $100 bucks, why not give Smartthings a try. All new concepts to me...cloud base, mobile app that works!, zigbee (wow, what's zigbee!?, HomeSeer STILL doesn't support zigbee without 3rd party software and a rpi). I could not believe how easily the app was to get everything up and running! Within a couple of days, I had my entire system (about 150 devices at the time) switched over and doing pretty much everything I was doing before. I was shocked! That $100 box was running circles around my $1500 Homeseer system (apps and computer).

  • Well, I could go on and on and on but I think you get the point. I loved Homeseer and the people over there but it just came down to stability. It never quit lived up to the promise of the 'smart' home of the future. Something was always broken with the software. Ask my wife, my number one saying was always...'Oh, they broke that with the new update but they will fix it soon'.

Finally...How I would grade them...

  • Software - B - The main program is solid but doesn't really do anything without plug-in's!
  • In House Plug-in's - C - Except for the z-wave plug-in they are bare bones. Z-wave works but is buggy.
  • 3rd Party Plug-in's - A - Without these Homeseer wouldn't DO anything (except z-wave), but it's going to cost you! Also remember, everything is encrypted. So you can not tweak anything to your unique setup. You have to convince the author to make any and all changes.
  • Cost - F - Price is ridiculous in today's Home Automation environment. Even their rPi based systems are in the hundreds and are limited to only run 4 plug-ins and the top of the line is over a thousand!
  • Customer Service - A+++ - Again, can't say enough good things about the customer service.

Is the software and control 6 times better? ABSOLUTELY NOT! :grin:

** One note about HomeSeers lack of in-house support for anything other than z-wave. One of the two owners, now lives in the DC area and is on the Z-wave alliance board. So they are attached at the hip when it comes to z-wave.

  • Software - the plugin architecture is what makes the system as stable as it is. This isolates the core from plugins and allows plugins to be enabled/disabled at will.

  • 3rd party ecosystem is the strong point of HS. Yes the plugins cost money because people put a lot of time into development and even more into support. There are bad plugins with any system, however they get removed either by HS or from community pressure. No plugin is encrypted. They are compiled. Several of them are open source with github repo's for the source. The plugin cost is set by author as is the way of most seller market places. However one thing which is a negative towards HS is they take 30% off the top of each plugin sale. This leads to plugins being more expensive than is necessary, but it provides income to HomeSeer for recurring costs. As with any software that is supported you have to convince the author to change something as it will effect more than the requester.

  • Cost is not crazy. The "average" user doesn't need more than the 5 plugin limit on the rPI version and if you do then you need a bigger system.

Plugin VS Script
In HE and ST what you call "apps" are what we call Scripts in HS. There's no limit to scripts and they are done in either VB or C# Scripting. On the Linux HS3 versions you can use any scripting language of your choice including groovy or python or perl etc etc. A Plugin is for a full "app" that has many pieces and is more complex than a typical script should handle.

**Z-Wave support is very good with HS3 and has matured along with Z-Wave. There is a serious lack of native ZigBee but that is the case with all systems except SmartThings. Yes Hubitat has good ZigBee but it is also limited still just like with Home Assistant and Vera and other systems. This is not a negative point to other systems, just a common thing that shows ZigBee is still maturing and growing.

With all of that said I have Hubitat, I bought it when first released and I do somewhat still use it. However HomeSeer is my primary system. I can do things in HS3 that are not possible today with Hubitat. But I do expect that as I paid as you said 6x the cost of the system I do expect it to be 6x as capable.

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@bptworld Wow, thanks for the in-depth answer, very helpful. I was on Vera for almost three years when I decided it was time to go in another direction. I almost pulled the trigger on their pro and a bunch of plug-ins when I stumbled onto Hubitat because of a post in the Vera forum.

In the back of mind, I kept wondering, if I buy Homeseer would it be the same experience as when I finally decided to buy Lutron Caseta. Why did I wait so long? Their marketing and screenshots of designer had me wondering.

Thanks again, Only a few more days until I find out what new Hubitat projects Santa will bring me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Designer is very powerful and unnecessarily complex and bloated. I have done a few projects with it and it takes some serious time investment to learn that thing and make anything "pretty". Doing a basic dashboard with squares is super easy and done in less than a day, but adding in all of the nice sliders and widgets and content is time consuming to say the least. Again very powerful tool, but very complex. I've found myself using "The Home Remote" for doing tablet controllers as it supports HomeSeer and is a little easier to use. It doesn't have the native integration like HSTouch but it does the basics well.

I used Vera for a while as well and found it to be not as stable and NOT completely local as it also does not have a battery backed RTC so if you lose internet then things go wonky with time and that's havoc on events. Vera also has a reliance of connecting to the Vera servers to store/backup configuration and it sends "status" and gets "updates" and if this connection is broken then all sorts of weirdness breaks loose. This is well documented on the Vera forums.

Caseta is easy to setup and works great.... HomeSeer is NOT easy to setup, it takes times and out of the box it does nothing. So will it be the same experience? NO!

HomeSeer is available as a DIY system, but there's a reason why there are "Integrators" that provide support and installation services as it's not an easy to use system until you learn the quirks of it. Once you spend a good amount of time with the system then yes it's actually quite easy and the "ugly" interface you find isn't actually ugly it's utilitarian. There are far worse UI's that are far less functional.

Is HS3 good? My opinion yes. Is it for beginners or someone looking to setup a system quickly and easily? NO!

I've used SmartThings, Vera Plus, Home Assistant, and Hubitat. I certainly understand what you mean with Vera and Home Assistant, but I don't know what you mean with Hubitat having "limited" ZigBee support. Everything I had working on SmartThings works on Hubitat, the only other platform I've been able to say that about--and this includes the Kickstarter-era ST sensors (not sure if they're standard ZHA) and Xiaomi sensors. You can add custom support for any ZHA device, the same as ST, and if anything Hubitat probably has better generic drivers and correctly identifies and works with more devices out of box than ST.

Home Assistant also has a few ways to do ZigBee. The "easiest" is probably the same stick the US version of Hubitat uses for both Z-Wave and ZigBee (HUSBZB-1) with the "zha" component, which uses a Python library called "bellows." That's actually not developed by Home Assistant--they just use it--but I'll assume that's what we're both talking about. :slight_smile: There are other options like deCONZ but I didn't feel like setting that up, though it may have worked better. The ZHA component of HASS and ZigBee support in Vera both suffer from a lack of compatible devices and no (easy) way to add support for custom devices.

This is not a religious debate about who's hub/system is better. Simply observations of current state of things.

I've worked with all of the system previously mentioned and some not mentioned as well. Limited support is just that. It is the nature of Zigbee. Until the last couple years of ZHA there has been no "standard" and ZigBee today is still a free for all of vendors deciding their own cluster information. So limited is limited.

Now that item of Hubitat supporting SmartThings sensors is no surprise as ST users were and are the primary target conversion audience for Hubitat. The initial sales would have been very small if SmartThings devices didn't work and ST users migrate. Xiaomi devices are still limited and there's a HUGE thread about setting up external systems and using XBee's for routers and for extending the mesh and this is because of ZigBee NOT the hub.

As for the ZigBee stick that Hubitat uses being the same Nortek/GoControl device that Home Assistant supports. Yes that is correct and Home assistant has limited ZigBee as well. Yes HA uses the Bellows implementation and who knows what Hubitat is using as nobody knows. However it's still limited by the underlying library support. NOW!! Hubitat has ONE AWESOME capability that is a mirror of ST being able to write a Driver to handle the "New" device. This is something that I think is great. This allows the community and 3rd parties to provide drivers for devices NOT supported by the Hub itself.

With that Hubitat device support is still limited JUST LIKE every other system as the devices have to be integrated and drivers developed they are NOT out of the box. In the beginning I had ST sensors that DID NOT WORK. So as I originally said this is not a ding against any of the systems simply a fact that all ZigBee implementations are maturing as new hardware arises and new requests for hardware arises. I'm sure I could reach out and pull a device that is NOT supported today and with time/work and if there's enough interest to justify that time/cost then it would be supported. This is a why the majority of Zigbee devices also have their OWN hub to go with them. Which is a problem for having a unified ecosystem that is local.

deCONZ is not hard but still very limited. They are adding devices all the time but it will take time before it's really useful for anything more than light bulbs. Same goes for other open source Zigbee implementations like the Zigbe2MQTT setup out there. Good system/idea but still young.

Of course it's not because of the hub--it's because Xiaomi chose to implement a custom profile. Hubitat only claims to be a ZHA 1.2 controller. Xiaomi does not. The fact that it just happens to be close enough to ZHA that Hubitat (and ST and a community-modified Bellows) can pair with them is some combination of chance and good luck. :slight_smile: What ZHA 1.2 devices have you found that work on SmartThings but don't on Hubitat, or that work on Vera Plus, HomeSeer, HASS/Bellows, or others that don't work on Hubitat or SmartThings? My point is that both, Hubitat included, have ZigBee support far exceeding any similar product I've used. It seemed to be your point that it didn't, so my apologies if I misunderstood.

Also, good to know that I wasn't missing much with deCONZ on HASS. I knew there were a couple options besides zha/bellows, but one required a GUI (might have been this one?), while I was running headless. But then Hubitat was released and I found its ZigBee support much better, so I moved off everything that was directly paired and never looked back.