I just wanted to post this for a couple of reasons:
- To help other people thinking about leaving the Wink Hub and diving into Hubitat
- To give thanks to the people behind Hubitat and the awesome user community
I love tinkering with home automation and I love all the conveniences it adds to our day to day life. Wink was a very simple and user friendly platform but that was a double edged sword as you're limited with what you can do. The amount of automations I had were adding up, and to accomplish some of them I had to have one robot disabling another robot for a period of time then turning it back on. My list of automatons started to get very difficult to manage what did what and to troubleshoot when something wasn't working properly. I also started to have a fair bit of motion lighting throughout the house and the Wink hub just had too much of a delay to be acceptable. I also started to fear about the future of Wink as there was often hubs and accessories out of stock, and little activity on Wink's part. Also, part of the fun of a system like this is updates that add new functionality that breathe new excitement into a device you already own!
I'm not sure where I first about Hubitat, likely on a forum. I watched all of the introductory YouTube videos on Hubitat and then the Hubitat Live Streams and I was instantly hooked. There was so much you could do with Rule Machine and the people behind it such as Mike and Bruce were so passionate about home automation and Hubitat that I knew this was the product and community I wanted to be involved with.
It was a bit of an investment as I had already spent $100 on the Wink Hub. The Hubitat Hub is very fairly priced so I wasn't concerned about that but I did need to buy the Lutron Pro Hub which isn't cheap in Canada. But I now see the Lutron Pro hub was worth the money as being able to use Pico Remotes for anything opens up a tonne of possibilities.
There are some system apps such as Motion Lighting, Simple Lighting, Lock Manager, Mode Manager, etc that make it very easy to get started with Hubitat. Basic users are likely just happy using these apps, however, Rule Machine opens up an infinite amount of options without having to program your own code, which is something I would have never been able to do. Just about everything I've wanted to automate I've been able to do with Rule Machine. And if I hit a stumbling block, the Hubitat Community is so fast, helpful and friendly with helping get the automation set up just right.
So thank you to the people behind Hubitat and the awesome Community. If you're thinking about making the switch, just do it! You'll be happy you did!
I do have a couple concerns with the longevity of Hubitat that I'd be interested to hear the community's thoughts on and that information might help others within similar concerns thinking about making the plunge.
- The hub is so reasonably priced and with no subscription costs or revenue from other accessory products or advertising, how does Hubitat make enough money to keep the business running? I'm not sure how many employees Hubitat has on payroll but it seems like there is not an insignificant amount for all the development and support that happens. It's definitely a drastically different business model than a company like Wink which also has revenue with hub sales but then also revenue from accessory sales and partnership agreements with other products that are wink compatible. Also, it seems people like Bruce (developer of Rule Machine?) and Mike (master of all device integrations and driver programming?) are critical to the company. What happens if we lose either of these 2?
- If something did happen to Hubitat as a company, I imagine, since everything is done locally on the hub, that the hub would still function except for anything that was cloud based such as the cloud dashboards, integrations with other cloud services such as MyQ, SharpTools, Google Home, IFTTT, etc. These integrations add a fair amount of functionality to my hub so I would definitely feel that loss.
I guess some of these concerns that I'm raising are concerns about the smaller size of the company, Hubitat. However, these same concerns can be said about even a big company like wink or the other ones like Iris or Staples Connect(?) that were bought by other companies and then shut down or where development just stalls out (wink). So maybe it's a moot point, but still interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this.