My last weekend with SmartThings


#1

Why Hubitat? Because this community has been moving quicker, provides the widest breadth of device support, responses to issues, and demonstrates that you don't need a big "cloud" backing services to make automation work keeping your home out of the hands of the big players.

Let me just say I was skeptical coming from X-10 Stargate in the mid 90's to SmartThings just over two years ago. It was all due to my HA system being dated and not able to leverage new devices and interfaces. After a 6 month conversion from X-10 to SmartThings and WebCoRE (because SmartThings built in automations were very light on features) I found writing code and leveraging community developed device managers a joy to behold.

Then disaster stuck 30 days of retiring my Stargate, I was on a business trip and the wife called saying that none of the lights were turning off and on, some lights were stuck, sprinklers weren't running, etc. First I thought it was the internet but no, the light on the front of the SmartThings hub was normal, the mobile app couldn't connect, hub was offline in their developer portal. I had to have her work around all the automation until I got home. Then I found out via a one week email exchange with SmartThings that my hub had "self reset".

I had no intention of having to re-register all my devices, automations, dashboards, etc. based on what SmartThings told me on a phone call. After complaining to their U.S. support and dropping a few names they did let me participate in a beta test of having my old hub's configurations and registrations transfer to the new hub.. We spent 3 hours doing this process on the phone on a Saturday after the new hub showed up. With this experience still sour in my mind I started looking for alternatives and Hubitat was on my short list.

I ordered one during one of their sales in 2018 and decided to play around with it. I found it rough, rule machine was in its infancy and tools like WebCoRE were still being ported and unstable. So every 30 day I would update the software on it and try sample automations. The platform progressed rapidly with device support and types of applications. Rule Machine went to version 3 and still had a lot of things that didn't work right for me and it was hard to comprehend when coming over from WebCoRE. At the same time SmartThings started to show that their strategy of cloud services first started to fail, devices status updates got delayed, random device offline, battery power devices draining their battery, etc. I finally had it with SmartThings,

Then a miracle occurred, Rule Machine 4.0 came out on Hubitat! Finally a execution environment that will provide the power of WebCoRE without needing the cloud for backing services. Along with a more "logical" structure of conditions, events, and actions. The Dashboards were also now on par with Action Tiles, and all my existing devices either had native support or the vendors provided device handlers for their switches and sensors.

So 30 days ago I brought on my first automation for wife acceptance, the basement lights, that soaked in for 7 days, then I strategized to move things over "room by room". As of last night 99% of my house is now on Hubitat and running happily. I have about 100 devices, 50+ Rule Machine Rules, 30+ scenes, and the safety monitor all humming way happily. Response times have never been better, wife is happy, I can backup my configuration's and the only internet needed is for an Ecobee thermostat.

Thanks Hubitat!


#2

Welcome to the former SmartThings crowd. I moved off several months ago and glad I did. You will find support here much more responsive and the forums more active. If SmartThings kills off groovy and webCoRE goes away there won't be much left. Its really too bad Samsung didn't leave it alone to let it grow and mature. Oh well! Congratulations!


#3

No looking back ...


#4

I'm not going to shed a tear over this, It's one of the main reasons Hubitat exists...


#5

Just ripped off the last ST bandaid myself and moved all of the remaining devices after recent ST instability. The native keypad support is a nice feature (don't need to use my somewhat janky keypad driver!) You'll be very happy with the move :smiley:

Of course, just as I decided to finally complete the switch, ST goes and releases Ring integration...
Guess I'm keeping the account around to proxy a few web services...


#6

The speed of Hubitat's evolution is very impressive. I had an issue once and the VERY NEXT DAY, a hot fix was issued that solved it. I couldn't believe it. These guys are quick, nimble, and very responsive.

Edit: And let me add smart as hell.


#7

Count me in among the recent ST refugees. For the longest time I was ST's biggest defender, but after two years of barely any movement on the platform itself and relying on multiple third party "apps" and custom handlers for everything, I just got fed up and decided to look for alternatives that I didn't have to constantly babysit. HA for me is kind of moving away from a full time hobby to something that I just want to work and rarely have to think about,.

I've checked out:

  • Home Assistant with it's built in zigbee and z-wave integration - too much work just to get a damn device paired and configured.
  • Conbee with phoscon software - Mostly worked fine, but the stick stopped working for no reason in my docker environment after a while.
  • HomeSeer - Worked quite well for Z-wave only stuff - lots of options and quite powerful, but the UI looks like something from 1990 and the zigbee support was terrible. Not to mention the whole concept of paid plugins for functionality that can be had for free on other platforms turned me off..
  • Zigbee2MQTT/Z-Wave2MQTT - quite stable, but not quite as turnkey as I'd like

Overall, I feel like Hubitat fits all my needs - I just needed a hub that would support all of my Zigbee and Z-wave devices well OOTB with local execution. The fact that RM 4.0 is quite powerful and satisfies most of my automation needs is a bonus, I had planned on just using the hub as a dumb box and relying on HomeAssistant with NodeRED for automations.


#8

The HE model of processing everything local and reaching out externally only when needed is the best architecture for a home automation system. This is the reason why HE is so much more reliable than ST. Cloud services is such a hot buzz word these days that many companies are blindly building cloud only products without ever analyzing which architecture would be best suited for their product line. ST is a great example of this misguided mindset.


#9

I think that companies are looking at which architecture consumers are most likely to adopt, and how can the consumer be locked in.

Most consumers are not home automation savvy users as are found in this forum, where keeping things local and pursuing the best architecture are concerns. I can just imagine some of those meetings... "Hey... cloud is really not the best way to do this." "But... cloud is easy for end users to set up because they can use our voice assistant, and it has the coolness factor because cloud is a buzz-word, and it locks the consumer into our ecosystem. So who cares if it's best?"


#10

@jabecker And let's not forget the value of data collection the cloud provides.


#11

Well, yes, there’s that too. :grin: