New user general questions

You're probably right...I will get rid of them. I mostly was just playing around with what was here when I bought the house. Now I have a pretty solid grasp on pairing, rules, dashboards, etc. I actually wrote some basic rules last night to turn on x-mas lights at sunset and turn off at sunrise...when I checked this morning the lights were off (pats self on back for small win)

Questions:

  1. Why did you settle on Zigbee over Z-wave?

  2. Do Caseta and Hue both still require their proprietary hub/bridge or do they connect directly to the Hubitat?

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I'm leaning towards building my lighting system around the Inovelli Red Series dimmer. Would you recommend these or Zooz more?

Lutron requires their PRO bridge (not the regular one). You can connect Hue devices directly to HE but most people use a Hue bridge. The integration between HE and both Lutron and Hue is excellent, reliable, and local. No cloud.

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I'll let @ogiewon tackle this one :grinning:

Caseta does (Lutron Caseta Smartbridge PRO). Hue zigbee devices can be paired directly to Hubitat. I do that for Hue motion sensors; however, it may be advantageous to leave Hue bulbs on the Hue bridge.

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FYI...the only way I could "hack" these old GE non plus dimmers was to set up a Rule Machine that refreshes them every 10 seconds. I could do it every 1 second for near instantaneous state refreshing but it seems unnecessary. I also disabled logging otherwise the log fills up very quickly.

For my clients that require the "toggle" style switch I've used Zooz Zen23 & 24's (and personally). They work very well and can usually be had at a good price especially around the US holidays and sales events like Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I believe it's still going on..

For paddle switches I've used both Inovelli Red and Blacks - they work great too but are a bit pricier. Both companies provide excellent support. I have not used the Zooz paddles but am sure they are as good as the toggles... either one should work. As far as the newer 700 series switches- I do not have enough experience yet to really recommend. I am using a few at my house and they seem to be working fine.

One thing about the Zooz switches - they do not recommend their usage in fans so I use Jasco/GE instead for those. Also make sure you use the short screws included with the switches.. longer ones can damage the internal stuff.

edit: I agree with @ogiewon - get rid of the old ZW switches if possible.

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Additionally - To really decide between Zooz and Inovelli, consider your use-case and what capabilities are desired. If both will suit your needs then I would go with price. If you are ordering a bunch of dimmers/switches it might be worth contacting either company directly to see if they can give you a bulk discount. With Zooz their sales price is usually the best though.

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Zigbee has been far more trouble-free for me. Z-Wave was always a problem, and if you look through the community, I believe you will find that trend has continued for many (not all) users. I have to say that being Z-Wave free, has allowed me to truly enjoy my home automation hobby, and eliminated 99.9% of the frustration level my family complained about for years.

Lutron is 100% trouble-free, and "just works". I have found Philips Hue, using the Hue bridge, to "just work" as well. I also like that both offer native Apple HomeKit integration, which essentially has eliminated the need to use Hubitat Dashboards. If you're an iOS household, your family will appreciate that as well. Of course you could also use HomeBridge on a RPi (or similar) to expose Hubitat devices to Apple HomeKit.

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Just a quick bit of info to explain this...

Device drivers do NOT have to support the Poll command. If the driver does not, then it won't show in the ZWave Poller app. This is all intentional. Basically there are drivers for those legacy devices that support polling because it's needed. Drivers for the more modern devices don't need polling and as a result, allowing polling is a mesh consumption problem.

Mostly the word "smart" was added to the internal drivers when there's also a legacy driver. "Smart" in the name means: no polling option.

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i belive it doesnt support polling in the driver becuase only the older ge switches not dimmers did not report status..

the issues with the switches may have nothing to do with polling/status etc or zwave vs plus.. it just may be that 2 switches are not enough of a mesh for reliable operation depending on distance from the hub.

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This may sound heritical if you're an iOS user, but there is a community developed Android dashboard app that is amazing - fully configurable, works on multiple size screens, developer is active and always updating, and responds to request for enhancements. You might consider getting a couple cheap Fire tablets (common approach) and using them for any "fixed" or wall-mounted dashboard tablets. Just excellent stuff...

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Thanks for the very interesting info. The driver I'm using HAS the poll button on the driver page, and when I press it manually it will update the correct on/off status (Refresh has the same affect). The bug I was describing is that the z-wave poller app does NOT trigger the poll command on that device.

My wife and I both use iPhones, but I bought an Android tablet specifically for a kitchen dashboard. I'll definitely be giving this dashboard a try, thanks!

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Glad that can be an option. I think you'll be pretty happy, and the developer is very open to input and suggestions.

The driver does support polling, but the Z-wave polling app doesn't auto trigger it...that's the bug I'm experiencing. If I click the Poll button in the driver page, then the on/off status is updated correctly.

Both switches are about ~15 feet from the hub and almost have direct line of sight. Any way to test the strength of the z-wave mesh?

Look at the LWR RSSI number on the Device’s page. Negative numbers mean the signal strength is below the noise level. Positive numbers indicate the signal strength is good (and how good).

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Z-Wave detail page (from Settings). @rwswan - I would also recommend evaluating signal strength as recommended by @672southmain

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Thanks for the tip!
I couldn't find the signal strength on the device page, but I did find it under
Settings --> Z-Wave Details. The kitchen dimmer is at 15dB and the other switch is at 23dB.

Sorry I was unclear. As Ashok (@aaiyar) said, that’s where it’s found.

Personally, I almost never use Settings, Z-Wave Details. Instead, I use Tony Fleisher’s (@tony.fleisher’s) excellent Z-Wave Mesh Tool, installable by Hubitat Package Manager.

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