I have a few devices that I have been able to hook to Homebridge very successfully and to Hubitat Elevation much less successfully.
I also have been very successful at connecting HE to Homebridge (and thus to Apple Home ecosystem).
I am certain that Homebridge has no way of seeing devices that are connected directly to the Apple Home ecosystem.
Finally, I have been able to use virtual switches devices combined with automation in the Apple Home ecosystem to transmit binary (on/off) data from Apple to Homebridge and/or from Homebridge to HE.
My question is are there any Hubitat Apps that allow a Homebridge device to show up in Hubitat for Dashboard and other purposes? I would prefer not to have to build and then maintain a series of virtual switches and Apple automation to accomplish this. Also this would be really helpful for non-binary type info which would be even harder to build and maintain if it was even possible.
HomeKit has to be licensed for use in commercial products, and Apple puts a lot of restrictions on what you can do.
However, if you are not using it in a commercial product, you can use the HomeKit Accessory Protocol for free with very few limitations. This is what HomeKit Controller in Home Assistant is. Makes it act like an Apple hub, with the only two limitations being no access to iCloud and no Bluetooth HomeKit device support.
So if you load up Home Assistant, you can add many devices that Virtual Switches don’t cover, such as temp sensors, dimmers, etc. This makes them show up in Home Assistant as native device “entities”.
If a device has an entity in HA, then this App/Driver combination called Home Assistant Device Bridge, will bring them into Hubitat as if they were directly joined to your Hubitat Elevation hub. I use this myself, not for HomeKit devices at this point, but I am instead using it to bring Xiaomi devices into HE, since they are very stable with my ConBee 2 attached to HA, but tend to fall off the Zigbee network when joined directly to HE. It’s also very useful if you want to bring over a cloud integration that HA supports, but Hubitat is not compatible with at this time.
Those that aren't fans of HA talk about the challenges of setup followed by very regular updates that frequently break things. If starting from scratch, do you think this would be challenging? And do you think that it will drive me crazy keeping up with updates?
I just watched a YouTube video that showed how to set up Homekit Controller in HA to gather all of the Homekit Devices along with HomeKit Bridge to then send them back to Homekit. If Home Assistant Device Bridge is similarly easy to setup then this looks like a viable solution for me.
My big concern is how hard is it to keep track of the need to update HA (assuming I am only really planning to use these 3 integrations) and how often is that a breaking update? As a relative scale, I would say HE has regular updates, but they are largely unnecessary to use immediately unless it is adding a desired capability or a bug fix for something you use. As a result, it is rare to never for me to update HE and have it break my existing setup.
You can set it up really easily by imagining an SD card for a raspberry pi, or you can load up a virtual client and run it inside the virtual client on a computer. I have run the virtual client and it’s really quite simple. I have also loaded it up on a raspberry pi but in more of a manual way. The image they provide has a HASS OS which gives you everything you need to get it going easily. It automatically starts and you just have to login from a web browser. Should take anyone with some basic computer skills about 30 minutes to an hour. In regard to it being very difficult to install, that is true if you’re running it on a Mac inside of virtual python volume. I know how to do that now and so I would say it’s probably not quite as difficult if any else wants to know how to do it, But yes figuring out that particular set up was difficult from the start and I wouldn’t recommend that to most people. But setting it up in a virtual volume is very simple. If you’re unsure about whether this is right for you, I would highly recommend trying the virtual volume first because it’s really easy to see whether this is what you want. Then if you wanted something that could run on its own without having to dedicate always on desktop or laptop, you could get yourself a raspberry pi.
When you read about the updates woes people are talking about, they are you using HA as their primary hub or in a much more significant role, so yeah they’re going to have a lot to keep track of. When you use it as merely a bridge to bring things over the HE you don’t have much to learn and not much to keep track of. Just any major security issues are only thing you really need to apply an update for. There was one of those a few months ago, and I am new enough to the platform that I don’t know whether that’s common. However they ran a banner right across the top of the UI to let you know that it was very important to apply the update. So it wasn’t something I really had to seek out that it needed to be done, they told me just by opening the UI and looking at the screen. Otherwise it’s just bridging devices to get them into Hubitat where are inning is as you main hub and keeping things stable is significantly easier. And when I applied for the update, I just continued after it really wasn’t a big deal in this particular case.
I literally never look at it except to add another device so I can get it over to Hubitat. It just sits silently and runs. In that minor role, it’s been very stable.
I used this info to write this post for someone else looking to get data from Homebridge to Hubitat Elevation: