Notes on initial setup and background

I have been looking for the "perfect" home automation system. We have tested Alexa (it failed) and are currently using Apple and Google systems.

Most of my Automation has been done either in HomeKit or directly in the apps from equipment suppliers. For example, I use the Velux app, and the bathroom blinds automatically open and close. Or the Tp-Link Kasa App for a couple of lights that turn on when the sun goes down.

I need this to be done in one place. Apple has not done it. Google is not even close. HomeAssistant seems to be unstable.

I will talk about my needs and more later. This is about my getting started experience.

My first impression is, " Wow, this is small. " And how the heck am I going to put this somewhere and keep it stable? Where do I put it in my home? I have all my critical infrastructure on wired networking, most of which is on UPS. Oh, the power cord is way too short! I have to see if the LED lights up the whole room.

I have placed it in the corner of my living room, which is the center-ish of the home. It is hardwired with ethernet.

After I fired it up, I went to my Mac to run the onboarding, but it failed to find the device on two web browsers. I then went to my iPhone 15 Pro Max to run the onboarding. The first pass failed to find the device, but advanced settings found it. The phone is running IOS 17.2 (beta). The onboarding works, but I used the advanced search to find the device.

During the onboarding, the website scaling did not fit the iPhone screen, so I had to change the zoom constantly. It is now up and running.

My first integration was going to be my Hue Lights. This was frustrating, and it took multiple tries to find the hub! It did work, finally. My second integration was TpLink KASA, which went perfectly.

I started trying to set up a dashboard, which was frustrating as I had to add a dashboard app. Really? Ok, that is now installed, but there are no devices? Oh, I have authorized the devices. I get it. This is better than Home Assistant showing me the LEDs on the Kasa switches.

Finally, I added the HomeKit integration to make my KASA devices available to my Apple devices.

I think this thing is going to work! I can now remove HomeBridge and only run PiHole on that device!

The real question here is where my Automation will be run.

Excellent work on this system, folks! Thank You.


Hubitat gives you a lot of choices. There are multiple built-in apps that are either highly specialized (eg. Button Controllers or Room Lighting) or generalized (Room Machine or WebCoRE). But Hubitat also works with a multitude of external automation systems that can also be run locally on your home network. For example, Node-RED or Multisystem Reactor (MSR). And you don't have to pick/stick to a single choice - use whatever tool is best for your application vis-a-vis individual automations.


As background I have Hubitat, Control4, Home Assistant, Apple Home, and Alexa in my home. None of the systems are perfect and each has their uses. I am glad that I am able to use them all together. My opinion is that Hubitat is in the sweet spot for actual automation. Hubitat is the easiest to implement advanced automation scenarios for non-coders.


I am a big fan of the book "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein. At the story's core is a computer that controls EVERYTHING: Lights, AIR, Transport, and more. The book highlights the perils of that situation.

A LOCAL, simple, reliable, standardized automation system is essential for me. Manual override so humans can turn on a light switch is also a requirement. What is the saying? "Home Automation should be Additive, not required".

I do not know if my wife or son could comfortably run an automation system. Still, I know that locking it into a single person's Apple or Google ID or sticking it on, say, some un-named garage door opener company is a VERY BAD IDEA.

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I'm concerned about the initial failure to find the Hubitat Hub. I would be double checking everything on my network to understand why that happened before going much further. That's the kind of problem that might bite you in the arse at the worst possible time.

Oh it was there and had an IP address. The fancy install script is most likely the cause. When it fails to run on the MacOS to start with, I just want to bypass the whole thing. My current network system is TP-Link Omada and I am pretty sure there is nothing odd going on right now. I have not started testing Thread stuff yet….

The hub doesn't have a Thread radio, and AFAIK there are no plans to directly support Thread on the C-8 hardware.

Yes I know that but my Apple and EVE gear does and my old network system did not support it. I did not mean to confuse things. Just noting network complexity issues are a bit problem in IOT land.