Struggling to get started with Hubitat

You mean like the "Let's Get Started" option you have the ability to kickstart your hub with if you read everything at the end of the setup wizard? :wink: (What this does is install a few common built-in apps with "fake"/virtual devices so you can see what's possible. You can then use these apps for reference to set up new ones, swap out the virtual devices with real ones, remove any you don't want, or really just do whatever you want.)

But back to the issue, "built-in" just means that the app comes with the hub firmware. This is as opposed to custom/user apps that you have to install (as code) yourself. Similar with drivers. I think Hubitat Dashboard actually is installed by default, or was last time I used a brand-new hub, but it doesn't really do anything unless you configure it, anyway--nor would most apps, so I'm not sure how just having them "installed" is helpful (how would Groups and Scenes know what groups you want to create?). I'll agree that Dashboard isn't the friendliest. However, I think the Community is, so you should have good luck if you ask questions as they arise. I see you have some good advice above already, so I'll touch on one tip that I'm not sure I've seen addressed yet:

You can leave the width and height blank (they are not by default) for rows and/or columns, and they will automatically size to fit the width or height of your screen. This won't necessarily work for all screens; unlike ActionTiles or SharpTools, tiles won't wrap around to the next row but rather just resize in accordance with your specified number of columns and rows. (I actually prefer this behavior; I don't have to wonder how a screen of a slightly different size might wrap my tiles and mess up anything I wanted to be next to something else. I'm sure others prefer the other behavior instead.) But it works for most screens of similar sizes and saves you from needing to make a new Dashboard for each--but if you do want to do that, you can copy the JSON from one to a new one to get a head start.

I also wouldn't worry too much about Hubitat Dashboard changing so much that any of the community solutions you've found will stop working. The biggest change to Dashboard was about two years ago when Dashboard 2.0 came out (if you think the current Dashboards are awkward, I wish I could remember how legacy Dashboard worked...). I recall exactly zero changes since then except recent token/security changes that don't affect the Dashboards themselves beyond that, so you'll probably be good for a while. :slight_smile: And if they make major changes, hopefully that's Dashboard 3.0 and you'll have the option to keep using these indefinitely.

Oh, and there also are third-party solutions--like SharpTools I mentioned above (actually pre-dates any version of Hubitat Dashboard), and ActionTiles is rumored to be coming soon. If you use iOS, you can also use an official HomeBridge integration and use that as your UI. I've actually come to rely less and less on Dashboards in Hubitat in favor of "real" automation instead (motion, presence, temperature, etc. drive things on their own), but it's still nice as one place to monitor things (e.g., lots of sensor states). I'm sure you'll find something that works for you. Good luck!

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I find it hilarious when folks start pointing out a terms of service agreement.. Where is this agreement before making the $140 purchase? Don't remember having to check of any box to agree to the ToS before giving my money away..

Pretty sure this thing has been around for a few years now.. I couldn't call that "early development.." but if that is the reason/excuse you need to justify the device lacking some basic core functions/simplicity then go for it.

I understand what your intentions are, but that doesn't change the bottom line of the situation. And "native" does not mean 3rd party (community driven/provided) - Native is baked in, out the box, from the start..

Edit I'm just throwing this at the tail of this post.. I'd like to keep the conversation going, and learn more from what folks have to share, but apparently I'm being silenced for the next 14 hours due to being a "new user.." Wouldn't a new user need more help than some others? Cut off their voice/post ability midway through a conversation? Logic escapes me there.. any how..

I'm still reading through the forms, and trying to find solutions (per suggestion in this thread) to make things "easier" in using this hubitat. I haven't given up on it, certainly not after one day.. although I would like to be able to "set it and forget it" sooner than later, and just have things work and never have to go back into the settings/menu again once everything is setup..

Also, I accidentally removed the post below this one.. meant to click the edit but, but didn't work out that way in the end... and not sure how to get it back.. it says something about being flagged, but don't see an option to "flag" it

:roll_eyes:

I think I understand what you want, but I would postulate that it does not exist in the market place. That opinion is based on having used, or am currently using, 7 different home automation platforms.

That said, it is what it is - I'm not making apologies for any system's shortcomings. If you find the perfect hub with all things you want built in natively - by all means buy it! Good luck (no sarcasm intended)!

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No, in the context I used the word “native”, it means “runs on the hub natively, and does not require another auxiliary hub running part of the system.” There are other “non-native” solutions that run Dashboard components in the cloud or that require a Raspberry Pi, etc.

Look, I have no agenda, and I’m not trying to “justify” anything. I originally had a Wink hub, then that system imploded; then I migrated to SmartThings, realized, after two weeks, that it was imploding. Then I migrated to Hubitat, and it does what I need, for now.

I am not a fanboy. If a better solution comes along and Hubitat stops meeting my home automation needs, then I may migrate again.

But I don’t have any interest in arguing with you. Good luck.

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Wow, a lot to process in the OP, but I couldn’t agree more with this assessment.

Slow down and try to tackle problems one by one, or things can definitely get overwhelming fast. This is mostly a DIY-based system, and as others have said it’s still in its early stages of development in the big scheme of things.

You might be interested in some systems from Lutron if you’re looking for more straightforward, app-based control of lighting.

They have many options for smart switches that don’t require neutrals. Some are quite a bit more expensive than zigbee or z-wave based options, but they are solid devices.

Whether or not you decide to stick with Hubitat.

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FWIW, here's a partial list of Hubitat Dashboard apps available. I don't use any of them, but the list is slightly longer than the 3-4 that I originally stated:

  1. Sharptools (commercial)
  2. ActionTiles (not yet released, commercial)
  3. The Home Remote (free/commercial)
  4. Hubitat Dashboard - Android Dashboard app
  5. HubiDash
  6. Smartly (linked to above)
  7. HousePanel

And this independent of other options like:

MakerAPI + NodeRED + NodeRED dashboard
HomeBridge + Apple Home app

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You don’t even wanna know what’s still leftover on my to-do list from 2020 :zipper_mouth_face:.

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Think dashboards are a very, very, very "personal preference" thing.

I can't stand the vast majority of the examples in the "show off your dashboard" thread. To me, many look like a massive list of devices, all on one page, in commodore64 colours from the late 80's. But hey, I'm sure plenty of people think mine are foul. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hubitat is an awesome base platform. Which allows you to take any of a variety of routes from base camp.

IMO

(sharptools fan, BTW)

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I think the best dashboard is... no dashboard at all. :smiley:

My family has never asked me any question about our automation in which I could answer "Use the dashboard."

I have a dashboard set, but I am the only one that has ever seen it. :slight_smile: And my goal is to be able to delete them ASAP. (My prediction is: at least a year out. )

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I'm with you. I use the Apple Home app very very rarely. Rare enough that it almost certainly wasn't worth the effort setting up multiple instances of HomeBridge etc. etc.

OTOH - got to play with another node app .....

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Automated lights etc fair enough, no dash needed imo.

I do like to see what's going on with the heating and what's happening with outdoor motion. Haven't managed to install any hardware to take the place of a few icons on a dash with room temps and buttons to randomly 'boost' a room if I feel like it.

I'm sure that if I put enough time and effort into running extra hardware, physical pushbuttons, strategically placed led displays, stealthy traffic light led indicators etc then I might be able to relegate my current (often-used) sharptools dashboard to "there to use if you want to".

But I'm not there yet and not sure I'll ever want to be. There's always a better idea or something I'd like to tweak which is a hell of a lot easier to do if there's nothing fixed and physical to re-do.

I guess I've just beaten myself in a discussion in that, were my ideas and projects spot on already with no need to improve, then I could get away without a dash.

But I suppose that my personal expectation (and it really is just that - not based on false promises etc of which there are none) is that an out of the box slick interface would be pretty awesome. I adore @josh's sharptools, but id be lying if I didn't wish I could have its features without the cloud reliance.

When I first got Hubitat, I'd been using OpenRemote as 1-of-4 Secondary ZWave controllers. It was 100% customizable, and I'd spent many hours creating it.. quite beautiful.... and STILL I couldn't get the family interested in my hard work.

Took about a month of using Hubitat as a secondary to determine that it was the Hub I'd been looking for and started over, and migrated my whole home (65 devices at that time.. 2018) in a day. Took another month to get over the cost of adding a Lutron SmartBridge Pro, but 90% because the built-in Lutron integration with Staples Connect had spoiled me. Turns out the Hubitat integration was everything I had wanted, maybe more.

Out of habit, I built a complete set of Hubitat Dashboards in 2018 and found the same as most everyone else.. ugly, but functional. Perfect for One Person's need.

But my needs are not anyone else's. I love fully automated. So much so that I actively need to remind myself that it's not for everyone. And therefore my Dashboard goal of zero is the same: Not for everyone. :smiley:

I would agree with most about the dashboards but I have on occasion found them to be useful. If you are incapacitated for any length of time having the ability to to do things like control lights is very helpful. I do like the simplicity of the Apple Home UI - thanks to HomeBridge I have my Rings and Arlos both showing snapshots up under one "page". It just works.

Like @aaiyar, I've tried many possibilities.

I spent time getting my devices into HomeKit years ago and there they still are.. still no traction on getting even that good looking a UI into my family's hands. But I like it. I turn to it first, usually. But I don't have any sensors over on HomeKit since I do no automation there (except Presence). So if I want to know "What was that noise?" in the middle of the night, yep, gotta hit the Motion Sensor dashboard on Hubitat. :smiley:

I see now that I barely spoke to the OPs items... I think the main thing I read is how it's not preset to be more out of the box useable. Especially that the one big clue needed when you open the box is: that you MUST add Apps. I participated in a conversation about this topic more than a year ago... and imagine my surprise when the 'next' release had Let's Get Started

It's maybe halfway to what @SmplTeddyBear desires.. But for those of us that have been here a long time, it's evidence that 'the spotlight does shine' on new users occasionally. It's easy to imagine a couple of man weeks were spent on that... and that another man month wouldn't do it any harm.

If this community weren't answering questions at almost real time.. real time in a typing constrained universe anyway... :slight_smile: then the current state of documentation would be cause for losing a greater percentage of Hubitat owners. I have access to a lot of documentation from several billion dollar corporations... and I still suffer from not being able to find an answer. For some reason the search terms I think in, never appear in documentation. Once I learn the word those corporations use for "my today problem", it's easy to find where the answer was.

it happened today.. I went searching for more details of a feature, using their name for that feature.. and found two occurrences. Both simply indicated the features existed. nothing about how to use it or more importantly, common mistakes or fixes.

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I wouldn't class 3 years as very short in the tech world :wink:

Without such an active (and generous I might add) community it wouldn't have got as far along today as it has.

No consumer HA system falls into this category. If anyone is looking for turnkey and bulletproof they really should be consulting an integrator and shelling out the $$.

The reality is that like all things a reasonable amount of homework is required to make an informed choice. Like deciding what key things you want for your home and whether these are natively supported by the potential system of your choice.

If you want the widest support OOB then probably homekit might be the way to go.

Lol - I used to wonder why ppl around me could never find solutions to their problems until I realised that many people simply don't know how to conduct an effective search for lack of knowledge of the appropriate terms to search for.

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hahahaha dead on.

here's an example...
Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 9.32.05 PM

If I click Settings:Registration I get that page and contents. Now imagine I want to know more about it... What are the search terms? Wouldn't the words themselves be perfect?

Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 9.32.15 PM

"Email Linked" is a completely different result!! LOL

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I'm not sure about that one, to my knowledge Alexa is by far the most widely supported platform, HK firmly coming in last of the big 3, and that does not even take into account the zigbee hub enabled models. If you want the least amount of work to make something decently nice looking though, then yeah HK is probably the way to go, but it is also the most expensive.

I also agree with the other people on this thread as well that automation is more important than a dashboard. If you have enough devices and have automated well enough, you should not have to manually turn things on and off, and I have found even when you have to, that is where voice assistants come in. That is the chief differentiator between Alexa/Google/HK and HE, it bridges everything with an infinitely flexible automation platform. If you like the frontend of HK, you can use it; if you like Alexa as a voice assistant, you can use it; if you like android TV and associated assistant, you can use it; if you like a mix Zigbee, Z-Wave, RF, and WiFi products, you can use them to control each other; if you want to write your own code to glue everything together, you can but you don't have to. But with great flexibility there usually comes great setup and decent upkeep. Something one of my college teachers used to say, "There is no free lunch," everything has its cost.

But yeah, I agree 100% with you that if you want a bulletproof system that works OOB and with the least amount of effort you are going to pay for it with a Control4, Crestron, or even higher end Lutron (RadioRA2 or HomeWorks) which are a professionally managed and integrated system.

I was just guessing on the assumption that everyone wants to get on the apple bandwagon. But yes probably quite true of Alexa/Echo.

.......although I do like to see status as occasionally things fail to turn on or off that I can't immediately see :grinning:

Don't many of us know it :open_mouth:, mqtt, node-red, tasmota, grafana (still working on that one), deconz/zigbee2mqtt, homebridge, hue etc

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Yeah but the good news is once you have such a system in place it just works - my HE/Node-RED combo has been completely stable over the past year or so and Homebridge as well for the past few months. Any shenanigans have been (mostly) self inflicted due to curiosity and the irresistible urge to tinker and experiment.

For my residential clients I provide the initial setup and configuration to get them started. The integration into the Apple Hub makes my life and my client's a whole lot easier/fun. They are usually happy/excited to mess around with that while I handle the core back-end automations.

Boy howdy! That explains most of the things that go wrong at my house. I would guess that would also go for the majority of people here. There is no turnkey home automation; and how could there be? Everyone has their own routines and needs as far as HA is concerned.

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