Some Questions To Help Me Decide To Take The Plunge With Hubitat


#1

I’ve been looking into Hubitat as a replacement for ST and so far I’m impressed. Got a couple of questions though - can anyone help?

  1. Is Hubitat really that much more responsive regarding turning lights on? I have Hue motion sensors and Hue bulbs being controlled in ST and WebCoRE. My internet speed is 300mb so speed is fine. As an example, in the attached picture, when someone walks at a normal pace from where the photo is taken they generally get to the door on the right (about 3m) before the lights come on. Same for most of my Hue lights regardless how complex my pistons are. Will Hubitat be more instant lighting?

  2. I have virtual “switches” setup for each room as an automation device. If the switch is on, the piston in WebCoRE can run, eg if the downstairs hall automation switch is on, when there’s motion turn the light on for set time then turn off. This is good for during certain events such as a party where I don’t want the standard automation to take over the light control (during parties I have all Hue bulbs flashing away to music) - automation switch then gets turned off. Also the other times I turn off automation switch is when I want a light to remain on and not go off - WebCoRE piston turns off lights when there’s no motion Detected in the Hue sensors so switching to off for the room automation stops the light off command. Does Hubitat have similar functionality to add your own virtual switch?

  3. Does Hubitat integrate with Apple Home natively or even via HomeBridge? I have found presence detection for ST presence to be poor. I’ve tried Life360 and WebCoRE own presence detection but I’ve never had 100% success. My setup now is a virtual presence device in ST and HomeBridge installed on a PC on 24/7. Automation rule in Apple Home then flips the ST virtual presence device to say present when my wife or me come home. We both have iPhones and this is the only way I’ve had 100% success for presence.

  4. Is there Arlo camera integration?

  5. Can motion detection from multiple motion sensors turn on lights in one rule? I have a long upstairs Hall and 2 motion sensors - if any of the sensors detect motion the lights will come on. I saw the promo video and it looks like only 1 motion sensor can be used for turning lights on.

  6. Does Hubitat have a concept of “rooms”? Ie to determine if a room is occupied but there is no motion to keep lights turned on instead of switch off after X minutes.

  7. In the app, is there such things as Routines buttons? I have a routine called “Lounge Side Lights”. When I press the button (or ask Alexa to run the routine) the lounge LIFX light turns off, 2 small lamps turn on with ST power adapters and the room automation switch turns off so the main lounge lifx light doesn’t turn on with motion.

Thanks everyone


#2

Hi James, replied to your post on FB :+1:


#3

Thank you for commenting. Wasn’t sure to post this here or on FB lol


#4

@Townsmcp - It sounds like you might be a heavy webCoRE user? If so, just want you to know that while some users do run webCoRE on the Hubitat Elevation hub, webCoRE is a beast of an application. Many Hubitat users have seen hub performance degrade when running webCoRE. Usually, when this happens, these folks migrate their automations to Hubitat's Rule Machine. In some cases, users simply write a custom groovy App to handle very complex logic. Rule Machine has been getting regular enhancements which continue to close the gaps. You just should be aware that the Hubitat Team does not directly maintain or support webCoRE. webCoRE is completely community maintained and supported. The Hubitat Team does answer questions and help out wherever they can.

I am not trying to scare you off. I love my Hubitat Elevation hubs and have excellent performance and reliability.

Homekit - There is a Hubitat plugin for HomeBridge. That is the only HomeKit integration that I am aware of.

Motion Sensors - Yes, Hubitat has a dedicated App called 'Motion Lighting' that can handle multiple sensor, IIRC. You can also accomplish this using Rule Machine.

Rooms - Not currently, but there is a Community developed app called Rooms Manager which may meet your needs.


#5

Thanks @ogiewon. I do have a lot of pistons in WebCoRE but that’s purely due to lack of control in ST. I’m sure I can build something in Rule Machine to handle most of what I do in WebCoRE but I’m guessing for the time being I would have both ST and Hubitat running. My biggest things are nodes that change by theirselves, lights and bedtime routines that trigger tasks such as a Sonos speaker start playing, change mode to night and shut down lights.
I’ve ordered the hub and look forward to playing with it :grinning:


#6

Welcome to the Hubitat Community! You're going to really like it and the Hubitat Team and Community is willing to help make sure you are successful.

I have not had my hub go down since buying it in February, except when I wrote some bad code. I now have a second HE hub for development to make sure my family isn't impacted by my tinkering! They have now grown to expect everything to work every time. With ST, they were accustomed to things not working and expected outages. Now that they are used to Hubitat, they don't cut me as much slack! :wink:


#7

Welcome! I made the jump from ST about a month ago. Their last (forced) firmware update and lack of response or hotfix for the widely discussed problems it caused was the last straw for me. I've been very impressed with HE so far :slight_smile: Hope you experience the same.


#8

Regarding speed, my hallway Iris motion sensor just turned on my Hue bulb in 168ms flat.

Can probably be even faster when using the same protocols, or associations.


#9

@ogiewon lol that’s exactly why I considered HE - my family are way to upset and annoyed with me and with the way ST goes on the blink a bit too often to the point I have almost been forced to take down all home automation as it just doesn’t work daily when it should and doesn’t react quick enough. They walk into a room and expect light straight away when it’s dark. 7 times out of 10 it does just that, even if it is too slow to react, but those 3 out of 10 times is the killer and perception is that nothing ever works :smirk: hopefully it won’t take to long to arrive to the UK


#10

Wow. Pretty quick. I bought an Iris sensor a couple of years ago but sent it back as that was even slower to react in ST than the Hue sensors. Can’t wait for the hub to arrive :clap:


#11

I received my Hubitat Elevation on July 5th and made most of my transition on July 10th. You can read about that part of my journey here:

I have had exactly one "glitch" with the system since then. One morning (about a week ago) I woke up and noticed some of my lights hadn't transitioned with their morning routine. The red light was on at the hub. A reboot fixed it. Support suspects a power glitch.

Twice I have had to reboot so that a platform upgrade will complete. In neither case was the hub "down". There was a glitch in the daylight time to standard time transition - the community rapidly found a work around and a permanent fix is in the works (it may already be deployed, I haven't been tracking it).

That's the sum total of the "bad" things that have happened since July.

When I was on SmartThings, it was regular routine for me to get up and find out that one of the outdoor lights had switched off over night for no obvious reason. I never found anything in the logs that helped me isolate it. I also had one outlet that would switch on for no apparent reason, again I was never able to find a cause. Both Z-Wave devices. I began to wonder if I had some kind of Z-Wave interference. These devices are now on Hubitat and both have worked 100% correctly since being moved.

I never got to where I could use Sonos for notifications on SmartThings. The Sonos Integration (AFAIK) never left the "Labs" stage in SmartThings. I was pleasantly surprised to find it worked in Hubitat. My wife thinks it's creepy ("You've got Mail" and "Refrigerator Door is Open" announced over Sonos) but I enjoy it.

To integrate my security cameras, which are connected to iSpy, with motion detectors on SmartThings, I had to write a handler. It worked fine and kudos to them for exposing a development environment. I ported that over to Hubitat and it worked fine there as well. I then asked Bruce if we could have an option to send an HTTP Get from Rule Machine. He added it, it works, and I was able to eliminate my custom handler.

I ordered a Zooz Smart Outlet Strip. It was not supported out-of-the-box. By the time it arrived they had published the handler. I ordered one of the new SmartThings Zigbee buttons. Initially I ported the SmartThings handler over and it worked. Less than a week after receiving the buttons, they published support for them natively in Hubitat.

It's a pretty stable solid little hub and a great group of people supporting it. An excellent community has come together around it and they provide additional support.

I don't own any interest in Hubitat but I am impressed with what they have done and how responsive they are. Almost as important to the ownership experience, they have a wonderful community of users with all levels of experience who are willing to help out when you do have questions.


#12

Going from Pico remote -> Lutron Hub -> Hubitat -> Hue hub -> Hue bulb -> response = ~750ms (3/4ths of a second). That may actually be on the high side for on/off, since this is this time between effective brighten/dim ("SetLevel") events.

This is most certainly faster than anything you could get using ST. Even with the best internet connection, in the same vicinity as the data center, you'll have 250ms just there and back.

Yes to the first; no to the second. As per ogiewon, Room Manager app (by bangali) can do this.

No, thank god! That's one problem with ST, where you've got "Scenes" and "Routines" and "SmartApps"... Just... why?! To do what you want, I'd think you'd be better off using the dashboard.

I really think you might be better building some of your own apps. "Routines" are klunky. "Modes" have their place, but more as a super-global variable, to change what happens rather than as a trigger. For instance, rather than having a "routine", just have the motion sensor trigger the light and music if it's after 10pm. "Keep It Simple!"

Hope you like.


#13

YES. Latency is more of an issue with ST than internet speed IMO. With ST, you are effectively going from tiggered device (sensor, etc) -> hub -> router -> modem -> some path to the remote cloud server(s) -> modem -> router -> hub -> triggered device (switch, etc), In HE, you go triggered device -> hub -> target device. Not much of an opportunity to experience latency there :slight_smile:

As an example....I have a couple of lights that are triggered by doors opening. In most cases, the lights are on before I can even swing the door open far enough to see anything in the room. It's AMAZING. With ST there was usually a short but noticeable delay, and occasionally I would be in and out of the room before the lights would come on.

I was using routines in ST, and created the equivalent in RM. Instead of a "Goodbye" routine, for example, I have a "Mode - Away" rule that sets the mode to Away and turns everything off when my wife and I both leave. Same with "Mode - Home" rule in RM (which takes the place of my old "Good Morning" and "I'm Back" routines), and "Mode - Night" rule (which replaces the "Good Night" routine).

You mentioned that you have a lot of webCoRE automations...I had 70-something pistons on ST and was able to replicate all but two of them using RM. I counted the other day and I think I ended up with something like 130 RM rules. It takes a little different way of thinking for some using multiple rules with different triggers, restrictions, conditions, etc, but RM is very capable. It's not as "pretty" as webCoRE but after using it for a month or so now I actually find myself liking it better. I got to a point where I hated making changes in wc because everything took so long to load. Could have been my PC I suppose, but I have had no issues with RM.

As a side note, the only two webCoRE pistons I wasn't able to move to HE were just there to essentially forward web requests from outside my network to non-ST devices inside my network. So I was using them as a port forwarding service of sorts, which there are other ways to do. I found other workarounds for these and ended up just deleting them instead of trying to move them over to HE.


#14

Tha is for the replies to everyone. I’m getting pretty excited now. HE has been dispatched. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to get here.

@Eric.C.Miller - I thought it was just me that gets up to devices doing stuff they shouldn’t be! Recently I’ve got up to the kitchen Sonos playing at half max and lights are on. When I go to bed I do a quick check in ST app to make sure Lights are off, modes are correct etc. When I get up and see certain devices on I check in the history of that device and see they have been running since around 2am by WebCoRE pistons or ST apps that don’t even turn these devices on.

@Roguetech and @destructure00 - hopefully Hue sensors will be able to keep up with those sort of speeds.
Looking forward to making life simple and using native integrations and rules.
My WebCoRE pistons add up to around 60 but around 10 of them are for tiles to show devices on - not actually pistons to perform tasks - I look forward to seeing if I can rebuild them.

I assume I need the hub first before I can start building out rules in RM?


#15

That's correct but in the meantime there are some great tutorial videos for Rule Machine on the Hubitat YouTube channel


#16

Try the Tutorials..

There are some specific RM ones too and you can get a feel for the hardest element of the change... the UI is nothing like WebCoRE. In most ways, RM and WebCoRE are building automations from opposite directions. RM is called "Lego like" for it's building block approach. This results in 2-3 Rules doing what one Piston will do.

Also, be sure to look at Simple Lighting and Motion Lighting tutorials. There's a lot of benefit to the focused/targeted approach on those apps. Unfortunately, I don't use them and some of my simplest rules in RM are "cluttering" the long list of Rules.


#17

I started converting from ST to HE a few days ago. Two apps I 'm using during the transition are:

  1. Hub Link - A supported app that Pulls Device and Mode status from ST to HE
  2. Other Hub Event Pusher - A user app that pushes HE device states to ST

As I migrate a device, I adjust the ST settings and automations, including ActionTiles, to work with the device in HE until I can move the automation to HE. It is not a perfect or painless transition, but it is well worth the effort. HE respone is much faster than ST and 100% reliable.


#18

I converted 2 months ago. Not fully complete - still have my Yale lock running under ST (using RBoys app/device) and my Nest stuff but that's it. Also my ring doorbell is triggered through Alexa instead of IFTTT thanks to @stephack's integration suggestion. One less cloud tie-in.

I'm waiting for the lock manager which is in the works. The locks do function with HE though if you need it.

The nest stuff is out of HE's hands, they HAVE a solution that a few (lucky) early adopters are using but are now awaiting Google's blessing for more allowed users.

I am really happy so far. I feel like I've regained some control and direction over my devices. I may even get a 2nd unit as a backup just in case.

As an aside another very cool use case for a 2nd device is if you have a large area to cover you can use the HE bridge app to manage devices past the "hop" limits of zigbee/z-wave provided your hubs are wired to the same subnet. I haven't done this but read about it in the forums.

Finally speaking of these forums - the community has been awesome (and patient!). Support has been great and responsive as well. Can't say enough good things about HE so far..


#19

@arnb - thanks for the info. Lol they will probably be my first apps I get setup then.
By having the device in HE have you found them slower to react to calls to switch on/action being as your adding another layer to the device to need to perform more hops?

@erktrek thankfully I don’t have any lock devices. They are just way too expensive for my liking.
I look forward to Nest thermostat coming over but in ST I don’t control the Nest setup with Nst Manager. The main one I look forward to is Nest Protect.
Lol regarding a need for a second hub, I recently bought a new build house in the UK. They only get smaller so distance to cover isn’t an issue. Unless there is a set limit to the number of devices a hub can have attached to it, I don’t think I would need a second hub.

Thanks everyone for your replies


#20

Nice price aside (:wink:) a smart lock can be very useful in improving home "situational awareness" - getting alerted when the door is unlocked and by which code also triggering rules to set things like lights or modes. It's also nice to not having to hand out keys to everyone. Changing a code is easier than rekeying...

Assuming the lock manager will have similar functionality to RBoys excellent ST app you should be able to manage multiple codes and be able to schedule when they are active etc.

In the interests of spending all your money - also really recommend a video doorbell like the Ring..