New to Hubitat (and zwave/zigbee)


#1

Been lurking for a while and finally purchased Hubitat which is now on sale. Relatively new to home automation. I currently have Lutron switches (no pro bridge yet), Alexa, ring doorbell, and some wifi outlets.

I want to move away from wifi items to zwave/zigbee. I've read a lot of good things about zwave plus.

I'm currently looking into outlets, locks, water sensors, door/window sensors. Zwave/zigbee has opened up many new companies/products than I was looking at before. In the devices section it looks like people are using all kinds of different products from different companies, are they all created equal? Is there a list of better/preferred companies or products? Or are they each valued on their own merit individually. I know most are likely supported, but while I want to save money I don't want cheap products that will break.

Looking for any and all recommendations, especially ahead of prime day (7/15-16).

Thanks!


#2

Welsome to Hubitat!

Personally, I love my Lutron Caseta Switches, Dimmers, Fan Controllers, and Pico Remotes. Grab yourself a SmartBridge Pro from EnergyAvenue.com for about $88. Lutron is bumping up the maximum number of devices from 50 to 75 on July 8th.

I have been removing Z-Wave devices from my system, in favor of Zigbee devices for smart outlets (good zigbee mesh repeaters), smart bulbs, motion sensors, door/window contact sensors, etc... I find that Zigbee devices are easier to pair and reset when needed. They also seem to report status changes quicker than their z-wave counterparts, and are often less expensive.

I use Iris 3210-l outlets, but these are no longer made - Ikea Tradfri outlets act as good repeaters, and are only $10)

I use Sengled smart bulbs, as these can be directly paired to the Hubitat hub with no ill effects. Most other bulbs are poor zigbee repeaters when used with home automation sensors.

I use Iris v2 Motion and Contact sensors. These are no longer made either, but can be found on ebay. Just avoid the Iris v1 devices as they seem to have more trouble than others. Also, SmartThings sensors are inexpensive and most users have good success with them.


#3

I'm ditching Z-wave also. Zigbee is more reliable by far, it's cheaper in many cases, and unpairing and re-pairing a Z-wave mesh can take all afternoon.

I'm going to replace my Z-wave switches with Lutron Caseta. I only have about 15 of them, everything else is on another lighting system.

I've had it with Z-wave.


#4

As a counterpoint, I find my Zwave Plus network to be rock solid and aside from door locks, doesn't seem to require a lot of inherently ugly plug in plugs to provide a stable mesh.

But I have Zigbee too, and like it a lot. I'm hoping with zigbee 3, perhaps we'll see some in wall plugs so I can ditch all these ridiculous peanuts and Samsung plug in plugs creating unsightly wall wars and lowering the WAF quotient!


#5

I tried to get zwave devices bc of it being on a different frequency than my wifi network.

But zigbee was so cheap, Iris contact sensors for $4 compared to $29 for zwave.

Keeping my wifi and zigbee network on different channels works well to prevent interference.

Later on I tried to buy things just as zigbee but things like sirens, fire alarms and heavy duty appliance outlets are all zwave. Most lights are zigbee but I have seen a few zwave out there. So you can't really be just one or the other. Mixing is going to happen.

So I have a few zwave and wow are they annoying to pair. Zigbee is so simple but zwave requires me to spin around the times while jumping backward during a full moon. I don't understand it and often wonder if the device is just bad. Then it pairs...Yahoo!!??

I love my zigbee network. It just works very well.


#6

I think there is a place for both types of networks in addition to Caseta. There are certain devices that only come in one type, or might only have a feature that is available by buying one version VS the other. You might run across a great sale like the Zooz switches that were like $23 this past week.

You probably won't have much success if you only have 1-2 of each type, but once you get a few of each they work better. For that reason at first I would install all the same type or install things in pairs/triples until you build out the networks (Caseta excluded).

Most of the name brand stuff is usually OK. If you dig around on these forums, and there are many hits for a certain device or brand, it probably either works great or not at all. There is lots of good information here, and the search actually works pretty well on this board.

You can also read the List of Compatible Devices - Hubitat Documentation to see if something is officially supported, and/or Community Device Drivers (FKA Compatible Devices Wiki) .


#7

Don't be afraid to have both Zigbee and Z-wave mesh networks. The choice isn't really one or the other. The general rule of thumb for me is switches and white bulbs are Z-wave plus. (I can't emphasis enough to get Z-wave plus) Colored lighting is all run through Hue. This is not a steadfast rule though. I have a few Sengled Zigbee bulbs and the main reason is they do not act as repeaters. Which believe it or not is a good thing. Zigbee bulbs tend to be poor repeaters and many actually have a dedicated hub just for Zigbee bulbs in order to separate them from data intensive devices like sensors.

Also, be careful not to confuse Zigbee WiFi channels with the channels your router uses. They are not one and the same. Channel 11 on Zibee is not the same frequency as channel 11 for your WiFi.

!


#8

Ikea Tradfri plugs are $9.99 each. They are kinda big, but at least you'd have something that was consistent looking throughout the house. They work great, and also act as Zigbee repeaters.

Also, on the channel thing, I put my zigbee on channel 11 (which overlaps wifi channel 1), and my two Unifi AP's on channel 6 and channel 11. The Unifi also has a thing that will show you interference on all the frequencies so you can intelligently choose your channels.


#9

Ikea design leaves me cold. For me, those Tradfri things are uglier than the peanut! LOL the price though...$9.99 is a great price. It might make the ugly worth living with...LOL. In truth I don't really care that much...at least not enough to make them all consistent, and with all the ridiculous Bath & Bodyworks stink dispensers stuck in them and the rest of sockets, it's probably a moot point anyway!

I'm happy enough with my zigbee mesh as it is, but one day I'll get rid of the plug in plugs in favor of Zigbee in wall outlets. I hope.

I use both Zwave Plus and Zigbee, and find its easy to recommend both.

S.


#10

Thank you. Is tradfri a decent product or just a good repeater?


#11

Thanks. Any brands or items are your favs?


#12

Thanks.


#13

Thanks. I actually had no idea that there was overlap between zigbee and wifi.

Might be stupid question - how do I check what my wifi channel is?

I don't have zigbee yet, but is it easy to check and change the channel?


#14

Do you dislike Tradfri? Do you have a better alternative?


#15

Any particular brands or products you like best?


#16

You can login to your router and find the information there. As for Zigbee channels, yes, they are easy to change. I have multiple Zigbee networks that happily co-exist with a tri-band router, wifi bridge, and a mesh repeater. Zero issues.


#17

For Zwave stuff I'm partial to Zooz, and I've had good luck with GE/Jasco when all is said and done, I've heard good things about Innovelli as well.

For Zigbee, I have primarily Samsung Smarthings Sensors, with a few Aeotec added in for good measure, and a couple of Hue outdoor motion/light sensors, which I really like.

S.


#18

I've heard a lot about Aqara by Xiaomi. Cheap but good zigbee sensors. I don't see them on the approved list. Is this an issue or should they work? Will I also need the Aqara hub or Hubitat serves that purpose?


#19

The Xiaomi sensors are NOT fully compliant with the Zigbee HA1.2 specification. Therefore, they are not on the approved/compatible Hubitat device list.

They work fine for some users (custom drivers are required, I believe) as long as you have compatible Zigbee repeaters (e.g. IKEA Tradfri outlets.) Otherwise, they tend to drop off the network sporadically.

The Aqara hub is not required, nor has anyone written an integration to use that hub with Hubitat. Users of these sensors direct-pair them to Hubitat.

If you desire high quality, inexpensive sensors that are known to be very reliable when used with Hubitat, I'd go with Iris v2 sensors. It appears that they can still be bought in bulk on ebay, from the same user that many of us have bought them from.


#20

I heard Xiaomi Aqara will be updating to Zigbee 3.0. Does this mean the new items will be supported now?