On the fence, please push me over

I don't think SmartThings is totally off limits for someone wanting to get started. Obviously we know better, but we also know a hell of a lot more things than someone who's never seen a smart bulb. For instance, I have a family member who's never typed a custom ip address into an address bar, but wants to automate their home. I recommended Hue. But then they're asking about motion sensing and all the cool stuff I do in my home. Well, I have to ask myself whether I want to be the smarthome engineer for the extended family, or if there's a system they can get started with that's easy to use and easy to set up. I recommended SmartThings, and told them that there's a better solution called Hubitat, and to call me when they just can't take the frustration anymore. I figure by that time they'll know more about bulbs, switches, inclusion procedures, and whatnot - because they had ST with the pretty buttons and icons and they had a tech support number to call with any questions. Furthermore, I believe ST is doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes to get various things working together for novices - ie: firmware workarounds to help correct defects in devices, and various things to help with beginners who are constantly breaking their mesh (I could be wrong). Anyway, all this is just to say that Hubitat is not easily accessible for everyone, even though we know it's superior, and there may be better options for the true beginner. (IMO)

That being said, @Effers - if you're already capable of such things like accessing your system remotely via OpenVPN, then you'll have no problem at all with Hubitat.

I can respect that perspective. I often consider renting out my Smartthings hub to those just beginning so that they can send it back when they're done. haha! I began there. here's the deal though. I didn't feel like there was a greater learning curve with Hubitat. And the people here are much friendlier than on the ST forums in some cases. And support. Smartthings only offers what seems like 8-5 Monday through Friday. No holidays, no weekends. Here, I caught a support person helping on Thanksgiving. No rest for them. Although, it was probably not a mandatory thing. But I think that we could respectively say that they have better support here than with Smartthings hands down. Just my opinion. I do agree that smartthings is a good starter hub. Even if you are tech savvy, there is still a learning curve with home automation. Definitely. Definitely a great point.

If you want to go past some simple control, you're going to need an HA hub. Once you make that decision you're going to be tinkering and having to learn the system. It's up to you how far you take it, most here have things working then get the ich to automate or control something else. Each thing you add is a new adventure and learning experience.

I believe having done it before and migrating to Hubitat from another system might be harder in some regards. You have to unlearn and retrain your brain and way of thinking. Starting out new to HA you can learn the Hubitat way because no matter what system you get you'll still have to learn a lot.

Just start slow, get some basic stuff working, enjoy that for a while before going further. Add a light switch or dimmer module and motion sensor and Alexa integration, get that working first.

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Yeah, y'all are right. :zipper_mouth_face: The learning curve is about the same. It's hard to tell as someone who started with ST.

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I think that is a fair point. Any fully featured HA hub at this point will generally require some ongoing tinkering. And without any prior experience, the initial learning curve may be steep.

Others have made great points about deciding what features you need then choosing accordingly.

If the need for complicated automations isn’t near the top of the list, an amazon echo plus is a reasonable option for a first foray into home automation. Alexa ecosystem, device control including zigbee devices, limited automation capabilities, pretty easy to use.

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You guys bring up really good points and I appreciate all sides of the story. I would hate to invest in something I have no idea how to operate with little chance of success. I am a novice in this space and cannot code at the CLI level but I think I may have the base skill of networking. I know there will be challenges and I will probably use some ugly language when stuff doesn't work but I welcome the opportunity and look forward to working with the community.


We're here to help! The mere fact that you're willing to jump in means you'll get what you want out of it.

Another good link:

If you're good with using a web browser instead of a fancy app you'll be fine.
There are definitely no training wheels in this bike tough.
We're all here... A little too much tough...

This the only website I visit anymore. :joy:


I think you have all the attributes to make this a win for you. There is a steep learning curve (just like in ST) but the willingness to attack it head-on as a hobby is great. Welcome to the HE family.


That was me :joy:


I did my best to search for your post but try as I did, I just couldn't find it. I have to say, +5pts for the Muttley reference. :laughing:

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Haha :wink: it’s very apt for the issues we all used to face :+1:

Found it lol.

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So, using your advice, I have really gone back to do a lot of reading on HA and smart homes, identifying what my actual needs are, and prioritized them. At the end of the day, I still think Hubitat is the right option for me.

I do have one question. I saw a post earlier but cannot seem to locate it anymore. I really need notifications to be sent to my mobile (android) device. when an event triggers (e.g. contact is broken). I read that there is an SMS limit of 10 per day. What other options do I have? How difficult is it to manage?


Search for Pushover Notification, it's built into HE. :slight_smile:


There is also an option to use IFTTT for notifications.

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Thought this was amusing. Perhaps Pushover is the thing that pushes you over :slight_smile:



Yeah it's funny watching conversations jump around here.

There is a one-time charge for the PushOver Push client, then you have unlimited Push Messages after that. It seems to work well.