Pros/Cons of Direct Control via HomeKit vs. Going Through HE First?

I’m hoping for some whiteboard level spitballing pros/cons trying not to indulge in my many biases!

In general, I have devices that 100% need to go through my HE C-7 then be presented to HomeKit to control with Siri, etc. as some devices aren’t supported directly by HomeKit but work fine using this integration.

HomeKit’s ability to automate has taken serious strides as of late. I know there’s some hard core Home Assistant buffs that have moved their “main” functionality to pure HomeKit. They still tinker and do experimental stuff in their HA, but the “absolutely has to work or significant other be dammed” stuff has been all migrated directly to HomeKit.

My components: HE C-7, Lutron Pro, HomeKit controlled by HomePod Mini(s) and everything must run local, work even if my Internet connection is down.

I’m about to start a migration from Alexa to Siri and I’m in the planning stage so I want to consider all options before I do this full tear down and re-architect.

My first thought was to connect EVERYTHING to Hubitat and then use this integration to present to HomeKit, but then I started second guessing myself and now what about all the other functions too?

  1. Where should I create the Groups/Rooms?

  2. Where should I create the Automations, if I one day start using some?

  3. What should I present directly to HomeKit vs. Hubitat?

  4. Should I create the Scenes/Routines in HE then present them to HomeKit or directly in HomeKit?

I honestly don’t have any automations I rely on, everything that combines actions is only via Routines. I’ll tell my assistant to set the room for bedtime and I want lights to do things and specific white noise to play from Apple Music, etc., but I don’t have any sensors yet other than a HomePod Mini in reach room of the house grouped to the room’s lights and their built in presence and temperature sensors.

I’m torn if I should present everything directly to HomeKit and only things I need to Hubitat or not. I can’t decide if I should create a Room called Bedroom in Hubitat and then present it to HomeKit or just push all HE devices to HomeKit and then create Rooms there, or create the Room in both?

Right now I’m leaning towards connecting EVERYTHING to Hubitat in one big pool/group/room or whatever and push them all to HomeKit as individual items and then I’ll create all my groups, rooms, routines, automations (some day), etc. in HomeKit.


In HomeKit if that’s going to be your place to manually control devices from.

In Hubitat. HomeKit automations are far too limited. If you have a HomeKit only device and you are not also running Home Assistant, then you will need to create a HomeKit automation to sync a virtual switch to the device in order to use it in a Hubitat automation. But only for those devices that cannot be bought directly into Hubitat.

Bring everything into Hubitat you can. It will make your automations easier when you want to get more complex down the road.

I’m not big on Scenes, but if I did I suppose most of them would be created in HomeKit just for simplicity in creating them. However, there can be circumstances where it’s best to create them in Hubitat. For example, when you want a group of Zigbee lights to come on all at once. Hubitat would be able to send Zigbee group messaging to the lights (if they support it) so they would not all turn on at different rates like popcorn.

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Currently Hubitat is my current system. I do have a Lutron hub for picos but they are tied to Hubitat. I have one Z-wave mesh and two Zigbee meshes. This is simply because older Zigbee bulbs to not play well with others so I have them on a separate hub. It is nice to manage everything in one spot (more or less). I'm just starting to play with HomeKit.

So HomeKit and Hubitat are just light switches for you. In that case I would just set them up in whatever app is more useful to you.

Automation is where things really shine. I haven't used a light switch in years. My home adjusts the light based on my activity. So I don't use the Home app for the most part. (Still need to get some of the Apple devices added to the mix.) When you add automation to the mix then it depends on what you want to do. Neither system works to what I want. As a result I have been writing my own applications in Groovy on Hubitat. I know what I want and no general, off the shelf system is going to provide that.

A bit of history as to how I got here (without going as far back as X-10).

In this house I bought Wink early on. It worked well even though I didn't like the UI. I added Stringify into the mix so that my external lights worked more to my liking. Then I was out of town for two weeks and my internet went down. As a result my exterior security lights stopped working for a week because Stringify couldn't reach the internet. This was a major issue.

I landed on Hubitat and everything was working great. I setup several rules in Rule Machine and was happy. Later I wanted it to do more and I ended up diving into Groovy. Now my exterior lights set scenes based on holidays and seasons. They come on full white when motion sensors are triggered. Otherwise just a few lights come on a low, warm white and I don't have to bother with any of it. It has changed the way I think of smart lighting. Before now it was missing the smarts.

So it boils down to what you want. If you just want a remote control then use whichever system fits your style. If you want to get into automation then HomeKit offers some easy to use controls. If you want to wade into the weeds and setup something more powerful then Hubitat is where it is at.

Right now I have not used rooms too much. I started before that was a feature and am in the process of redoing my entire setup (just plugged in a C8p about an hour ago). There is no reason you can't setup rooms on both devices. I have a couple of rooms on both devices but that is as I'm getting used to the configuration. Currently my devices are labeled with a 2-4 letter abbreviation (KTN :twisted_rightwards_arrows: pantry) to tell me what room it is in. This was to keep it short for display on my phone and to be obvious at a glance. It is also nice in the logs.


To sum it up I would say use which ever makes more sense to you. If you get more involved in automation you can always set the same rooms on both systems and share devices.