New to Hubitat (and zwave/zigbee)


#21

If they are fully zigbee compliant and someone loans habitat some devices to make drivers with, I would expect an inbox driver is possible.

Don't be afraid of user drivers though. For zigbee or zWave devices it is very difficult to make a user driver that negatively impacts the system.

The current AQARA devices can be an issue depending on what other devices are on your zigbee link. Because of that I don't recommend them to anyone who doesn't want to very closely manage their zigbee network.

We won't know if the new devices are better or not until they are in people's hands. That probably won't be unil late August or September.


#22

Sorry to complain not sorry, but seriously, why do we have to loan a startup devices to write drivers? I've seen this a few times in other threads and that perplexes me for the main reason that this is a startup that should have plenty of money to buy something that is pretty inexpensive.

Not trying to be rude here but you have to admit it's kind of annoying.


#23

You have absolutely no basis for thinking that. You do not know what their funding source is or how much money they have. It very well could be self funded, and on a tight budget.

There are literally thousands of zigbee and zWave devices at this point, They are not going to buy all of them.

I do know they have bought many of the most popular ones themselves though, so do so when they think there is enough demand.

In other cases manufacturers send test or engineering samples to companies.

So why not ask Xiaomi why they haven't sent hubitat engineering samples (other manufacturers have...)? That is just as valid as your thought that Hubutat should purchase them.


#24

Several reasons actually.
The device in question may be region specific
It may have older firmware
It might not be in current production

Yup, and several have, frequently at the request of their customer base.

Specifically regarding Xiaomi, I have two of their devices already, they have proven unreliable without special care and consideration in constructing your zigbee mesh.
Why would we spend more time and money on these products until something changes on their end?


#25

What perplexs me is how you would think there is a huge margin % on a $79.99 non recurring revenue product? You definitely have never ran a business....


#26

Be nice. :slight_smile: He might be thinking they were given millions of $$$ from some venture capitalist to start the company so are flush with seed money. Amazing how many people think that VCs just toss everyone millions of dollars at the drop of a hat.


#27

Hubitat is probably a Pi running custom software that doesn't cost that much. I guess if you add in development time and employee pay and then have no venture funding, sure, I'd say I'm wrong. But I think that's a slim chance they have no funding. I worked for a startup and I've read a lot of articles. Almost all get funding. That's how a business is ran unless you're an individual who gets a small business loan.

Ask them. I bet they did.

And BTW, have you ran a startup business? Bet you haven't... small business?


#28

Hubitat is not a Raspberry Pi. It is a Linux system, running a lot of custom built software along with the necessary Zigbee and Z-Wave radios. Hubitat has stated that their business model is not a topic for discussion.


#29

I apologize if you're all insulted by my statement. I'm done with the discussion.


#30

Welcome to the Hubitat Community!

OK, VC discussions aside, let's get the thread back to your questions. I will agree with most of the recommendations here. Lutron Smart Bridge Pro is a no brainer if you already own Lutron. Get one, you will not regret it. Pico on HE is just awesome. You can control anything and even smooth dim smart bulbs.

Take your time with the other things. Don't be in a race to fill out your home. If you're frugal like me, you won't be (although I'll admit to a Xiaomi addiction; More on that later).

You are smart to move away from WiFi. It's limited, a pain and just helps to increase attack points. No sense in putting yourself on a local hub, and then having some rogue WiFi device expose you to all kinds of trouble.

I have no horse in this race, but I will echo the suggestions to lean toward Zigbee. And I fully expect the counter Z-Wave fan boy posts to follow. I have both and they're both fine. But, I have only two Z-Wave devices. One by choice so I could learn more about Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave Plus, and my Home Energy Monitor that I use for monitoring the current status of my washer and dryer is Z-Wave, simply because Zigbee wasn't an option for that device. Both have been fine. My lock, a Yale YRD256 Z-Wave Plus, unlike some of the complaints about the Z-Wave Plus version, has been absolutely exemplary in every way. I highly recommend that lock in either Zigbee or Z-Wave Plus. My HEM, an older Z-Wave device (not Z-Wave Plus), will lose connection from time to time (more rare than anything), but I have no Z-Wave repeater, so I do not complain about that.

Keep Zigbee lightbulbs off the main hub, unless they are Sengled. Every other Zigbee bulb brand will try to repeat the Zigbee signals to strengthen the Zigbee mesh network, but they will instead drop data packets or get turned off by accident, causing havoc with the Zigbee network. I recommend Hue and IKEA Trådfri bulbs (for a more economical choice), but only attached to a Hue Bridge, or a second Hubitat Elevation hub by themselves so that the bulbs run on a separate Zigbee network, unable to screw up the mesh for the other Zigbee devices. Sengled bulbs on the other hand are the only one that don't try to repeat the Zigbee signals, so you can add those to the main hub with no concern over destabilizing the Zigbee mesh network.

Devices are definitely not created equal, and everyone has their favorites; some are failrly equally despised. I mentioned my Xiaomi addiction. It exists because they are inexpensive, nicely designed, high quality, very small, responsive and great on battery life. The community drivers are fantastic and with a stable Zigbee mesh and adequate compatible repeaters, they are as stable as anything else I own. It is absolutely true that users were suffering stability issues due largely to the lack of compatible repeaters, but also due in part to them not fully complying with the Zigbee 2.0 standard, and it wasn't uncommon to have to reset them every so often when they dropped off the network. But as mentioned, the Zigbee 3.0 IKEA Trådfri outlet and the dedicated Trådfri signal repeater are both "Xiaomi priced" (e.g. Super inexpensive), and compatible with the Xiaomi devices for repeating signals. The community has tested a lot of devices with the current line of Xiaomi devices, and the list is very short. The easiest to get for most people, least expensive and relatively consistent are the Trådfri outlet and repeater. The strongest, but not easiest to get started with. and a bit costly to obtain, is an Xbee. The Xbee serves a second very good purpose (among others potential uses), and that is to show you a map of your Zigbee network so you can check the routing and health of your Zigbee network and devices. An Xbee is by no means a requirement, but it definitely is a "nice to have".

The new Xiaomi Aqara Zigbee 3.0 devices (most) will have a T1 suffix in the product name. Maybe they will fully follow the Zigbee standard. Who knows for sure at this stage? Either officially or unofficially, we're going to be able to use them here. The suggestion I would make however, is to wait for availability of the T1 line next month. They have to come direct from China to get the really low prices, so you can expect to wait another two weeks to a month after ordering to get them. But the currently available devices are really inexpensive, so I wouldn't hesitate to buy a few devices and a couple of Trådfri outlets and/or Trådfri signal repeaters right now to play around with. A leak sensor is a good start. Serves a great purpose and introduces the product line to you. Here is the list of compatible devices. Most of the Xiaomi Mijia and Xiaomi Aqare products work just fine with the same driver. I would only suggest to avoid the round Mijia temp/humidity/barometric pressure sensor, and instead buy the square Aqara temp/humidity/barometric pressure sensor. Also, the Xiaomi Mijia contact sensors are the more stylish rounded one, so if you're not going to wait for the Zigbee 3.0 Aqara contact sensor T1, then the Mijia work equally well and are a lot better looking in my opinion.

Have fun. Don't be in a race to "complete" your system, and don't over-spend on expensive product thinking the price is going to get you reliability. That's definitely not a hard and fast rule. Three places I purchase Xiaomi Aqara and Mijia devices from are Gearbest, Banggood, and Ebay. Prices vary wildly, so shop all three. You can also find them on AliExpress, but I don't particularly like using my credit card on their site, whereas Gearbest and Banggood accept PayPal. Sometimes (rarely) I will buy from private sellers on Amazon if it's just a few dollars more with shipping and I am guaranteed to get it faster. But read their listings carefully. I've had more trouble with private sellers on Amazon than I have on Ebay.


#31

A bunch of people say they have problems with the Xiaomi and Aqara stuff. I ordered a TON of it recently and it's all been super stable (even the temp sensors that I put in refrigerators and freezers. Maybe it's because I had 2 Tradfri repeaters and 5 Tradfri outlets that act as repeaters.

All of these Aqara devices are around $10 each on Aliexpress, give or take a couple of bucks. Super happy with all of it.


#32

Any alternatives to Tradfri that would act as good Zigbee repeaters that anyone would recommend? I'm wanting to make everything in my home look nice and flush (outlets) and not have cubes and whatnot sticking out of light sockets. I think Tradfri's are ugly as sin too LOL.


#33

I don't know of any in wall zigbee repeaters that are xiaomi compatible. That doesn't mean there aren't any, I just don't know of any.


#34

Get the Tradfri USB repeaters. You can stick them behind TVs or anything else that has a USB port. Very easy to hide.


#35

The USB Trådfri repeater is probably the smallest option, as suggested above. Like another poster, I'm also not aware of any in-wall switch/outlet repeaters that are compatible--the GE Zigbee switch (they do have one, though most of their line is Z-Wave) is specifically reported as not compatible. An Xbee 3 or S2C is also pretty small but will need to be mounted on some sort of board to power it, but that's also via USB (micro-USB), so your options for hiding it are many, and you can buy or 3D print an enclosure to obscure it more.

If you aren't totally opposed to wall warts but want something less ugly than the Trådfri outlet, the new/2018 SmartThings outlet has worked well for me so far--I think. My routing tables don't always show all my devices, but when I'm able to see Xiaomi devices that don't get paired directly to my hub, they're usually routing through one of these (unfortunately, it's hard to tell after a while since they don't seem to show up on my route info again). Anyway, they're a bit less ugly, though they stick out a bit more than the marketing photos might make you think. They also seem to be fantastic repeaters in general--able to handle more children than most I've seen and apparently quite attractive to most of my devices since they're often favored by devices that I'd think would favor repeaters that are much closer.


#36

You talking about this guy? https://tinyurl.com/y3hult8d

He is kinda cute.


#37

It is the TRÅDFRI outlets/repeaters. A bunch of people with Xiaomi and Xbees can see the routing, and experience the stability same as you. :wink:

I’m not saying these are centralite, or nyce, there better on you budget for sure, but also reliable with the repeaters in place.


#38

Yep. Xiaomi definitely need to work on the look of that North American outlet.


#39

Straight up ugly bro... LOL.

6a00d8341bf7cb53ef01310fd46549970c-pi


#40

Said by reliable sources to work.