Options for Manual Control and WiFi devices that Hubitat doesn't support

I am coming from Smartthings. The new Smartthings app is great as a way to manually control devices and see device status at a glance. The only downside to Smartthings is their cloud-reliance for automations which makes them slow and unreliable. I also use a few custom device handlers and smartapps to make my system liveable and Samsung has decided to kill those off in the near future.

Hubitat fixes automations by moving the local. Hubitat looked like a natural replacement for Smartthings since many of custom modules are easily transferred over and it seems like many of the developers came this way from Smartthings. However, now that I am starting to move things over I am finding it is not the full Smartthings replacement I thought it would be. I lose support for a few wi-fi only devices, and the options for manual control are poor. Both the app and dashboards look like engineering demos and not something destined for consumers.

What I was really hoping for is somewhere I could have a really nice all-in-one dashboard to control all of my devices that was both easy to set up and high a high WAF.

I've briefly looked into home assistant. While it looks pretty powerful, the learning curve looks STEEP and despite the absolute hype in the user-community. Lovelace isn't winning any beauty contest and seemingly requires a ton of programming knowhow to even get it halfway usable. I've also seen their Zwave/Zigbee support isn't great or reliable, which is why I went with Hubitat in the first place.

It looks like EVERY solution has a major hole in it and requires at least two hubs to get all of what I need, but the integration between solutions have some major limitations. A Smarttthings/Hubitat combo with Hubconnect looked like it would have accomplished exactly what I want, but with their IDE going away, I don't really want to invest in something that could (and will) disappear some time soon.

There are quite a few ways to have control in Hubitat. Alexa, Google, native Dashboards, and even a variety of 3rd party dashboard apps (Sharptools, Android Dashboard, Actiontiles off the top of my head). I am not sure what is poor about that?

Maybe it would help to define "nice"? That can mean a lot of different things to different people.

Have you seen the Show Off Your Dashboards! thread with lots of examples?


The team at hubitat are big "automation" advocates, meaning manual control is not the product goal.

I'm a bit of an in between but I pretty much don't rely on dashboards or interfaces of any kind but on rare occasion. I usually have a physical button or an automation, it's something to think about.

There are plenty of other options, however, alexa, sharpotools, homekit etc. If you give us some more ecosystem information we could probably make some suggestions.


I seem to be one of the minorities here, but I see zero points in dashboards and have yet to create one after a month and a half of Hubitat. I'm trying to model my house after sci Fi shows where lights come on at specific brightness depending on time of day and whether or not someone is in the room, ceiling fans come on by temperature and bathrooms run exhaust fans for the amount of time needed based on humidity, etc etc etc. A dashboard to me is a fancy remote control. Why anyone wants them is totally beyond me. Anyways, I know this is not helpful to your post, but I just needed to rant a bit lol


I think this is a good compromise, and the way I do things. Dashboards are only a backup, or used for an odd device that doesn't play nice with being automated, or being controlled with a physical button.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Dashboard aren't needed, but I do think the overall point of a home automation hub is to automate things. It is so nice to have things just happen without having to find a phone, unlock it, open the app, find the device, and do something.

If you just want a remote control, there are countless cheap Wifi devices that are glorified remote controls. Or even more primitive, there are offline (dumb) remote controls like the ones I used to have for my Christmas lights. They have a keyfob, and a wireless controller. Simple, cheap, and works fine for its intended use.

There are a few things that work easier with an app. And there are times where you don't want to shout to Alexa to do something, or you want to override an automation. That is where the app comes in handy.


I have some serious sci fi level stuff going on (my couch knows if I’m sitting on it and turns on for example) but I’ve not cracked fans, I’m never happy with what I setup and then I’m looking for the remote to adjust it up or down, so I either just live with that or really lean in and start thinking something subcutaneous to sense my comfort level. That may be overkill

1 Like

Which devices?

As others have mentioned, there are now a few third-party dashboards that can improve the look of Hubitat’s native dashboards, so I would second the suggestion to look into those as well.


It seems to me that at the moment the most optimal is a combination of 2-3 applications that most optimally fulfill their range of tasks. Of course, it would be more convenient to combine this in one application, but for now we are using the opportunities that we have.

I was kind of forced of the Smartthings platform with some of their recent changes. I totally get what you are saying about the lack of wifi devices. One specifically that effecte me which has decent integration with Smartthings and effectively no native integration with Hubiat. It is Arlo Cameras.

My solution for them was to lean on Smartthings to handle that wifi cloud integration in a hubless configuration and then use Samsung Automation Studio pallet with Node-Red to bring those devices into Hubitat. I wrote a simple virtual driver for the cameras that the Node-Red Hubitat pallet updates based on changes in Smartthings. The size and complexity of the setup can be varied based on what you want to accomplish but is very doable. The nice thing about it is that once you get this setup you can actually access anything in Smartthings and then with Node-Red and the Hubitat pallet control corresponding devices in Hubitat. The Samsung automation studio is also fairly early in it's life cycle so it uses the new smartthings API and isn't at risk currently of any phase out concerns with Smartthings

There is also a dashboard pallet in Node-Red, but I honestly haven't used it much. It seems pretty powerful, but i am still using Action tiles from a Dashboard perspective. Action tiles is pretty much the same thing as it was with Smartthings and very powerful. I think it is in it's beta phase though for hubitat so it may have some slight quirks.

With that said I am also of the opinion that dashboards should be a last resort for control.

  1. Manual control should always be present if possible. ie (replace switches before bulbs)
  2. Try to automate things that are truely invisible to the users and just work.
  3. Dashboard as a last resort for when you need a holistic view of the area or home

I would suggest you look at picking up a Raspberry Pi 4, Flirc Case, and probably a 32GB flash card for it. Maybe a small USB SSD for better long term reliability. Then follow the steps here to get it installed and configured with Node Red and all of the neded compoents. It is a long walk through but I was just trying to be very thorough. It really isn't that hard. It does take some time, but the majority of it is just letting the commands run.

I get your concern about the IDE. That is largely why i started to step away from Hubconnect as well. After I had to make a mass move of remaining functionality to Hubitat i didn't see the point of just waiting for the next hammer to fall. That is why i put effort into getting Samsung Automation Studio working well for me.

I would also suggest you make sure there isn't a community driven wifi driver for your devices. There are some good out there that may not be obvious at first glance. It could also help to post what devices you are referring to so we can maybe come up with some options for you.

This is what I do. I use Hubitat for zigbee and automation. I use home assistant to Hubitat for wifi devices and use HomeKit as the front end.

So basically all my devices end in HomeKit but Hubitat does all the heavy lifting, HomeKit is just the ui and I use home assistant to bring wifi or cloud based services to Hubitat like sleep 8

Hello and welcome @grooves12:

A few years ago, I came to Hubitat from SmartThings, and like you, I asked: "where's the app?".
There are many "off product" apps that create great dashboards. SharpTools, the Hubitat Dashboard from JoePage, and others fulfill this need (details of them may be found be searching the community).
However, the approach from Hubitat is not for a smartphone app which gives you local control. The approach is for Home Automation - that is, rules which determine when/how things happen in your home. Motion lighting, HSM, and other built-in apps facilitate this approach.
Sometimes that's not enough for me, and I want to "turn something on". In my house, that's done via voice control (Google/Amazon/Siri - pick your poison). Yes, I have a great dashboard (from Joe Page), and it turns out, that I rarely use it.
Good luck - you may find that after some time, you won't need an app.

I will also say the hubitat app is a blank slate. You design it to YOUR needs. You can make it look pretty or utilitarian, or what have you. I too am also of the "automation" over remote control set, I like a set and forget it system with just an occasional dashboard glance. Overall I have alarms and notifications to pester me if any more interaction is needed than that.