I'll try to make this short and sweet. I started into the home automation world a few years ago and started with SmartThings v2. I then moved on to Home Assistant with a Decon Zigbee stick and Aeon Zwave stick. For the most part things have been stable. I have about 100 zwave devices and 20 zigbee devices.
I'm thinking of switching to Hubitat to be used as the main controller for my ZigBee and Zwave devices. Zwave on Home Assistant seems to be so touchy. For instance, I had a switch go bad once and had to replace it and it caused my stick to lock up. I had to use old software to go in and delete the node id from the stick. Then, last night, I moved a outdoor zwave external outlet from the front of the house to the back of the house. Well, now about half of my system is in a state of chaos...not all devices are showing online. Basically, it's getting old.
So, some questions.
I've been watching Hubitat now for a while, but nothing too new in the main News sections of sites, so, I'm curious (and I don't mean to offend anyone), but is the company/product pretty stable?
for those of you using zwave with Hubitat, how does it perform? It is decent performance? Do you have any major headaches where you'd have to go through your whole house and re-configure the zwave devices every 6 months like I have done?
The product is - and there continue to be platform updates. Support is largely via the community. As evidenced by their continued participation in the community and regular platform updates, I think the company is stable (but that's a personal opinion).
Z-wave performance varies with mesh robustness. I have about 50-60 z-wave devices and have no complaints. I did have issues with z-wave locks in the past and replaced them with zigbee locks.
Also, of possible interest to you if you are using HASS with Node-RED, there's a community Node-RED integration for Hubitat. So it should be easy to migrate NR automations from HASS to Hubitat.
I have a good mesh network in my home of Z-wave devices. If I have any gaps in coverage I also have repeaters (Aeon).
I'm very close to pulling the trigger buying one. I work as a automation engineer full-time at my job, so I get enough system admin/engineering work. I'd rather focus on automating my home instead of troubleshooting device issues all the time.
Thank you for the heads up on the lock. I do have a Schlage lock on our front door. Worse case scenario I keep that around and just let Home Assistant deal with it.
Of your 100 Z-Wave devices, how many are older, early gen devices? The non Z-Wave Plus ones? The first things users with old GE/Jasco Z-Wave (non plus) devices complain about is the intermittent/lack of physical status updates. This can be very frustrating for new users who rely on physical switch activations as triggers for other automations. Z-Wave Plus Devices work much, much better.
In my case, I replaced my old GE z-wave switches and dimmers with a Lutron Caseta system. I am much happier now.
This is not to say the Hubitat does not work well as a z-wave controller. Rather, it is only as good as the weakest devices in your z-wave mesh. If you’re having problems on another platform, those problems may still exist on Hubitat.
Thank you for the info. Unless it is a battery powered sensor, all of my zwave devices are Plus.
What I've noticed is that things can be running great for the longest time until something happens. For instance, my daughter's bedroom (Jasco) light switch died so I had to swap it out after getting it replaced by GE. Anyway, about half the devices on the stick were locked up. I had to go into the Aeon stick itself using some special Z-wave controller software and remove that node ID manually. I guess it makes sense since that node wasn't properly removed from the stick, so it was marked as dead and then it caused issues. Once I cleared it I was good.
Yesterday I moved an external plug and it just made the system go "bonkers"...lol. The stick looks great as I looked at it with the "zensys-tools" software, and all the nodes are talking. As soon as it goes back into my Home Assistant hub and I have Home Assistant re-read the stick, it only sees about half of the devices as functioning/online.
I'll keep playing with it tonight. Luckily I document everything in Google spreadsheets so I know what node ID is what and their respective Zwave names.
I have finally got my, "lock that shall not be named" as @bcopeland would call it, to co-operate with HE (let's hope ). I am using a couple community apps to make sure they are in relative constant communication with my hub (every 10 mins). If, no not if, WHEN they stop responding (two "check-ins" missed, with no hub reboot in the past hour) an event is logged, the hub is rebooted, and they come back on line. I have had it setup this way for about a week now with 1-2 lock reboots per day. Other than the +/- 3 minutes down time while it reboots (hasn't been an issue yet) it works well.
After you change things do you do a repair? It could be that you device was a hop for alot of devices and you removed it and put it somewhere that they can't find it. Z-wave + devices are supposed to handle this to some extent but they are not as good as ZigBee in this case, so best case is to always do a repair.
This happens automatically in HE as long as it's dead it should remove the old device after a few days.
I disagree partially. Mains powered devices matter to a certain extent. Once you have coverage saturation they just add more hops and complexity and you are at the mercy of the Z-Wave repair algorithm to make intelligent choices in setting routes. The type of repeater is just as important or more important than the amount of repeaters.
I have 91 all-the-time-real-in-actual-use Z-Wave devices (this does not include the testing and development devices) and that's down from probably over 100 at one time direct connected to Hubitat. I have another 40+ Z-Wave devices on a Ring hub (which always performs flawlessly but can't do HA). I would guess that about 80% of the devices on the HE hub are mains powered aka repeaters and nearly all of them are 500 series Z-Wave plus. A handful are 700 series and two or three are 300 series. RSSI between every hop I have monitored from various locations is between 50 and the low 60s. In other words as good as you can get. By all accounts I have built out my mesh.
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what is repeating if the hub and platform aren't stable. In my experience, the HE hub is frequently overwhelmed and then the Z-Wave radio starts to misbehave. This causes panic causing devices to not be acknowledged which causes more panic which causes explorer frames flood and then things go wild for a bit until the angry nodes are tired of trying to shout it out. I can induce this almost any time I want by starting NWI or NWE (high traffic whole network operations) or by spamming multiple devices with BasicSet and BasicGet commands quickly.
I have taken the Z-Wave stick out of the hub and used it from PC Controller and tried to induce the same panic and I do not have the same issues so the hub is at least partially or wholly responsible.
I have spent tons of time trying to mitigate this by eliminating Z-Wave (non plus devices) and less reliable repeaters but it has not eliminated the behavior. And the fact remains that these devices did not act up on ST when they were all together and they seem to behave when the stick is disconnected from the hub.
If the 100 devices aren't exactly the right mix and placement skrage99 is potentially going to have a miserable experience on HE.
Especially if you are expecting behavior like this
to go away. It won't. That's the nature of Z-Wave. If you remove a route (a device) then you are removing potentially the method that other devices used to communicate to the hub. It may not make sense in some cases geographically how hops are setup but they (if the Z-Wave repair algorithm is correct) are chosen based on quality of the route. And if you take out a primary route then it takes a Z-Wave repair and some time to heal the gap.
So, @skrage99. All of that said my advice is still to try Hubitat out but come with your eyes wide open. Despite the flaws it is still better than the alternatives and will continue to get better.