Paul Hibbert, a YouTuber tries setting up Home Assistant. But tells you, you're better off with Hubitat!

Paul Hibbert, a YouTuber trys setting up Home Assistant for the first time. But after 3/4 in the video he tells you, you are better off using Hubitat.


Just watched this, and having tried both, he’s some valid points. :+1:


Ooooo the ZigBee


As a HA user as well, I only have one issue to resolve with my HE and then I ditch HA for good.

I have had girlfriends that was less maintenance compared to HA.


Unfortunately Home Assistant will never become anymore than a hobbyist platform as they don't understand the user experience. The customer experience persona is "18-30 male computer geek who probably prefers tinkering over automating" and not "Mary and Tom who want 3 clicks or less" w

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I've enjoyed following Paul's channel for the last 12-18 months, including this video. I do like the fact he takes the job of reviewing products seriously but enjoys poking fun at himself and some of the absurdities of life, YouTube content creation and home automation.

This was another good example and good to see Hubitat getting the mention it did.

I've also enjoyed the Automate Your Life YouTube channel and Undecided.



I’m fairness I’d argue Hubitat is teetering on the edge of that as well. It’s miles better but not always easy to deal with. ESPECIALLY when trying to debug an issue. I way Mary or Tom has the skill to figure out the problem with out lots of angst.

In some ways I do agree, the entry for me into HE did feel a little jarring, but I'd like to think that has improved since, hard to know for sure, you only do that once...

On the other hand I personally prefer the "edgy" nature of systems like hubitat. They allow for collaboration and innovation amongst community members, both in solving problems and coming up with new integrations, they don't rely on a "works with HE" model to ensure a consistent, but limited user experience.

I've voiced my opinions about shortcomings in ease of use before and it prompted a passionate response and valid argument, at least in the way I interpreted iit, that the community is as much a part of a product like HE as the hardware and software. I work in IT as part of my day job and my main frustrations come from systems where I feel restricted by the system itself, if I can write some code or do something to get around a shortcoming of the system I am using it makes my job easier and am happy to do it.


Completely agree also, I think HE is a little bit further along the journey in terms of user experience. Everything they push out is backwards compatible (like Rue Machine updates) but a big thing is the community. I went to HA first and everytime I got stuck I got told to read the guides (which were never up to date) or ignored. I genuinely think a lot of HA users want to keep their little community and noobs are not welcome


With over 65 thousand registered users in the Home Assistant Community Forum, I doubt that there's a conspiracy to drive off new users. I would like to read the reply that led you to conclude that "noobs are not welcome". There are several user accounts that begin with "Shane". Can you post a link to the reply (or replies) to your account that you felt were dismissive of your question(s)?

My moniker here is the same one I use there. If you check my profile you'll see that I'm a frequent contributor and, if you review my many posts, not part of a plot to make anyone feel unwelcome.


Ive looked over my passwords and my HA password is no longer saved in lastpass which would lead me to believe I would have deleted my account and likely manually deleted posts.

I will admit I have not been on HA since about 2016/17 so things could have changed, but having problems during install and setup and configuration of the yaml file. One of the responses was something along the lines of "it's in the guide" or "use the search" and it was outdated and Dr Zzzs video guide was also outdated. Maybe I caught someone on a bad day or something but that was my experience and after a weekend of just setting up all my devices I didn't actually get into any automation as it was too frustrating.

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That does look like a lot of users but I will guess the number of active users is a great many less. I drop in from time to time but I haven't been an active user since I moved to Hubitat. I was a HA user for almost five years or so and helped answering questions as I could. It was perhaps 2-3 years ago when the Discourse chat server was implemented, that the most knowledgeable HA users began abandoning the HA community for the HA Discourse chat server. With poor documentation and fewer knowledgeable community members, I think a lot of new users were mishandled.

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The product has changed immensely since then and so has, I imagine, the community membership (it's doubled since 2018 when I joined). Sorry to hear they weren't more supportive at the time but I can honestly state that the membership does it's level best to welcome and assist novices.

Funny you should mention DrZZZs. Although he and several others have done a great deal to promote Home Assistant (and probably profit from it to some extent via YouTube), Home Assistant evolves so rapidly that the information they provide becomes outdated quickly. I've encountered users who complain that the installation instructions failed only to discover they followed something posted in a 1-year old YouTube video. Yes, we do nudge them in the direction of the official documentation.

I don't doubt it. Although it's now possible to create automations via the UI, using either the Automation Editor or Device Automations, neither facility exposes all of the available capabilities. For that, you must compose automations using YAML, and Jinja2, and that's not everyone's idea of "easy". That's why some Home Assistant users employ Node-Red to handle automations. They're more comfortable with its flowchart paradigm.

Anyway, my interest was simply to clarify the community's position on new users. Sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience ~3-4 years ago but things have improved since then. All's well that end's well because you found a better fit for your needs with Hubitat.

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I mean,what you've said has convinced me to look at it again out of curiousity, but I like Hubitat and can so most things I need.

Given that both community forums use the same software (Discourse) it's easy to compare Site Statistics.


Screenshot from 2020-06-27 13-08-59

Home Assistant

Screenshot from 2020-06-27 13-09-52

The HA forum has 6 times the membership of the HE forum. Over the last 30 days, the number of Active Users is approximately the same ratio (HA is 6 times higher than HE). In other words, both communities have approximately the same ratio of active to non-active members (1 in 6).

All this to say, yes, a great many less active users than 65K but the same ratio as the Hubitat community (at least for the last 30 days).

Probably true and why the focus has changed to make the onboarding experience more frictionless. There are now 4 people employed by Nabu Casa and one was tasked (many months ago) to revise whole sections of the dcumentation. The end-result is an improvement but it's important to understand that all of this remains an open-source community-run project. That means anyone can update the documentation. In practice, people are more willing to complain about it than to improve it. :man_shrugging:

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In spite of all the latest improvements, Home Assistant will never be a simple home automation system suitable for the average Joe or Jill. It will always take a dedicated focus on making and keeping things working. Breaking changes and some of them wholesale rip and replace, will always be a part of the platform.
I was a Home Assistant user from 2014 through early 2019 and I went through some horrendous changes in that time. I still have it installed and I keep it updated. The current update has quite a list of breaking changes including Zigbee, deCONZ, ZHA, Insteon and Homekit.
I do not miss the hours of making sure everything that needed fixing was fixed and everything functioned once I was done. That was a huge part of new users problems. Not reading the breaking changes before updating. And where were all the knowledgeable community members who could answer new user questions?
The most knowledgeable users do not spend time in the community any more. New users will be intimidated by Discourse chat when trying to get simple answers. Discourse chat isn't meant to be a persistent record of question with answer or answers platform. That is what the community forum is for. All the Discourse chat messages scroll off into the ether and that collective knowledge and understanding is gone. And that doesn't benefit new users.


Your post has now changed my mind on giving of another go. I am getting anxiety just reading your post

I'm quite certain the community continues to have many knowledgeable members who answer questions. Feel free to check the profiles of top posters in the Community Forum and you'll see they are responsible for many posted Solutions as well as original topics.

I'm also quite certain you are referring to Discord, not Discourse.

Discourse is the software underlying the Community forums of Hubitat, Home Assistant, openHAB, Node-Red, and others. Home Assistant's Discord channel is frequented by developers. Discord is indeed a chat-based system and used by developers for quick access to other developers. I would advise new users to post their questions in Home Assistant's Community Forum, or sub-Reddit, as opposed to using the Discord channel (for the same reasons you've given).

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FWIW, the purpose of my post was never to nudge you back to exploring Home Assistant. In fact, when you said you would, I was a bit surprised.

I'm not employing 'reverse-psychology' when I say you probably shouldn't bother giving it another go. If your needs are met by Hubitat then switching to Home Assistant is unlikely to bring dramatic improvements to your automated home. You'll have to learn new ways of achieving what you have already achieved. On the other hand, if your needs are not being met, then it's worth exploring it (and others including openHAB).

As for "anxiety" I too would be anxious if what zarthan posted represented the true availability of knowledgeable users (and where they are). However, I'm not because it isn't.

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The HA FB Group is more friendly