New to Automation - confused

I have been reading the forums waiting for my hub to arrive. I am a little confused. one recent topic about if you started over, what would you do seemed to be a lot of systems that have their own hubs. what is the main use/reason for the hubitat hub then?

seems to be a lot of options that I hadn't thought of, if I can figure out how to do them. at first, these are the things that I would like to accomplish. how do if I figure out what devices to buy to accomplish this.

  1. know if my garage door is open and be able to close it from anywhere with an app.
  2. know when someone enters my backdoor and turn the laundry room lights on. I guess turn them off again too.
  3. know when someone(but not the cat) is starting downstairs and turns some floor lights on and the same coming up the stairs. the complications I see is that one side is a wall and the other is open to a room where lot of action happens and to main den downstairs. I don't want that movement to trigger anything.

if I can figure out how to do these and whet my teeth then I will be happy!

Welcome to the Community. Most of us have had similar questions and there are generally many ways to answer them, but I’ll get the ball rolling for you:

  1. You’ll need a compatible opener to actually trigger the activity from Hubitat - a quick search for garage door openers here should point you in the right direction as to what is supported. Most of these will have some sort ot tilt sensor requirement to tell you if the door is actually open. I have also seen a contact sensor used for this.
  2. Generally a contact sensor on the door is used to trigger the activity with either a smart bulb or switch as the target.
  3. This one is trickier but there are pet friendly motion sensors.

There is a list of compatible devices on the documentation page. You will want z-wave or zigbee devices and there are pros and cons to each but either should suffice in most cases.

You'll need things like motion sensors, contact sensors (to see if a door is open or closed), smart switches and/or smart bulbs. For #3 on your list you'll want a motion sensor that either has a narrow field of view or one that can be aimed such that it doesn't see the cat on the floor.

Just search here for some of what you are asking about there is lots of good information and if you still come up empty or even more confused ask more questions. Lots of people here are happy to help.

Any Zigbee or Z-wave contact sensor, also tilt sensors.

Depending on your opener this might be accomplished with a Zigbee or Z-wave dry contact relay. Remotely controlled through the Hubitat app/Dashboard.

Zigbee or Z-wave contact or motion sensor.

Use an in-wall Zigbee or Z-wave switch.

Not too sure about this one. Play around with a motion sensor, using tape or tubes to "focus" it or...?
Pressure pad or Infrared Beam Sensor at the top and bottom connected to a Zigbee or Z-wave dry contact sensor.

Lots of options, Zigbee or Z-wave outlets powering LED strips, HUE products.

Welcome to the
You're about to jump in.
You'll love it And you'll get help along the way. Everything you mentioned can be done within Hubitat.
Good luck,
We'll see you on the other side.

I have a dry contact sensor powered by a smart switch that allows me to open or close my garage door. I have a contact sensor that tells me the status of my garage door. And I can control the door through an HE dashboard.

I have contact sensors that turn on smart switches to lights whenever certain doors are opened in our home.

I have a motion sensor at the top of the steps and on the under side of the railing to turn on a light strip when someone (human or animal) starts up or down on the steps.


I'll chime in on this too. =p

Don't make the mistake of automating everything when there are better, simpler, cheaper alternatives to achieve the same aims.

Eg - motion lighting. I have a 5 quid 'dumb' motion sensor connected to the lights in the laundry room.

Ditto for each of the stairwells. Can set timeouts and also there's an adjustment knob to tweak how dark/light it needs to be to activate on motion. Spot On.

In the laundry room too, however, I have the circuit running through a smart plug too, to ensure that when we leave the house and set the security alarm, this light is disabled. Don't want the dog burning the electricity when he's on his constant laps of the laundry room =p

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