The best Z-wave hubs: How to choose

I don't know which is the best, but I had bad experiences with aeotec bulb6 multi white.
I don't know if it's the lamp itself, or the integration with HE.
I still have an unresolved ticket with support.

You might consider starting a new thread for this..


This article has just been updated.

I disagree with their contention that the Aeotec Smart Hub (replacing ST):
:heavy_check_mark: Very active developer and community support

I think that "advantage" has shifted (emphatically) over the last few years to Hubitat.

Two key attributes of a HA Hub which have not been stressed enough is the "completeness" and user-friendliness of the Hub.
By that I mean:
Does the Hub cover every Home Automation situation?
How easy is the Hub to use for a newcomer?

It is my opinion, that Hubitat scores very high on the first question. I personally feel (notwithstanding that many of you use Node Red for automations), that the rule automations capability of Hubitat (Basic Rules, Simple Automation Rules, Motion Rules, Notifications, Rule Machine, etc.), cover almost all HA scenarios.
On the second question, I personally feel that Hubitat has a way to go. I don't consider it out of the race on this matter, but improvements to the UI and ease of use will certainly improve this area. However, when you consider how long ST and others have been in this business, the strides that HE have made have been very impressive.


Yes, its amazing in terms of easiness of use, compatibility, great community and features that it provides. I was runnnig Home Automation on HOmey for 2 years able to include almost everything and able to automate almost everything, without a need of technical knowledge. However there are some donwsides to be mentioned:

  1. Homey needs cloud connection to authenticate logging user into it. Whole logic and automation is runnig local, but if you want to connect to it (log in) without internet connection, you have problem.

  2. Its connected over the wifi only - there is frequent problem of Homey disconnecting from local wifi for quite a long time (Homey unreachable).

  3. No local backup possible. They do have only cloud backup - paid service for reasonable 10€/y

  4. Range issue - Homey antennas (zigbee, zwave) have range issues, so direct communication between device and hub is not so stable. antenna mod can significantly improve this (warranty void due to opening a case and soldering).

  5. Automations (flows) can do pretty everything, but only the simple way. If you want to do more complex automations, you need to use several flows (insted of one in HE). This is leading to have hundreds of flows, making it complex for rule updates etc.

Despite of those issue, I would strongly recommend Homey for regular user.

This article is missing so much, no mention of series 700, Fibaro's hubs or even HomeSeer. Abode supports z-wave and Aeotec hub is coming at some point too.

Aeotec hub is here. It’s simply a rebranded SmartThings V3 hub.

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got any links that helped you? i would love to get into it, but every time i look into it, i get overwhelmed by so many links

To be honest, I spent a lot of time taking apart drivers/apps and figuring them out and how they worked. I referenced a lot of the old smartthings documentation on writing stuff and then used the HE documentation to fill in the gaps.

Groovy is a pretty standard language so you can google for information on groovy syntax etc.

Then I would probably take a simple app that you want to customize and tear it apart and build it how you would like it. From there maybe move onto a virtual driver to get familiar and then onto zwave/zigbee drivers if you want to get into writing those.

I always found taking something and rewriting it from scratch in my own style helped me to understand it and learn the flow and process.

Ya, it sounds like a lot of work but their wasn't much in terms of documentation when I learned it and even though it looks like it got a lot better it still seems to be lacking.

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As @gavincampbell suggests, learning Groovy as it's used in Hubitat mostly has to do with drivers and apps. Therefore, looking at some simple ones will be less about the language than about the structure of drivers and apps.

For example, there's a virtual driver for presence that does not contain any Z-device code... it's a virtual driver. It is good for identifying the minimum, stripped back structure.

That driver merges a virtual presence driver with a virtual switch. It interconnects them so that a change in presence ALSO causes a change in the switch. And that a change to the switch, also changes presence. Add into your hub and remove some pieces and see what happens.. watch the logs too.

Next up would be the very few drivers and apps that Hubitat has published:


Has anyone written up anything on setting up a development environment? I look at that code and I think "Where do log, device,createEvent, and sendEvent come from?" There's no import and I'm not sure what's available.

You will need to look at a combination of HE documentation and ST documentation.

Between the two you should be able to get an idea of things.


Echoing what @gavincampbell said, if you want something more like a tutorial, I highly recommend the SmartThings Classic Developer Documentation (even though it feels blasphemous and dirty!):

I used those to learn, and it was a good introduction to the differences between drivers and apps, when to use each one, how events work, when to use capabilities, how to handle dates & times, etc.


@mikee385 @gavincampbell Do you guys still use the SmartThings IDE to develop, or can I do this in a local IDE?

If you’re on a computer, editing code directly in the Hubitat IDE works fine. If you’re on a mobile device, it’s not bad, but not a great experience either.

Personally, I put all of my code in GitHub and use Working Copy on my phone for development. After I’ve made changes, I commit and push the changes to GitHub from Working Copy. I have a custom repository set up for Hubitat Package Manager that points to all my code in GitHub, so I can just run an update in HPM, which pulls the changes into the Hubitat environment. If I made any small mistakes, I may tweak the code in the Hubitat IDE to make it work, and then make the corresponding changes in Working Copy later.

Might not work for everyone, but that workflow has worked well for me.


I just use the Hubitat IDE... works fine for me and I've done a lot in it.

I found this and, if it works, it'll let me stay in my IDE and do TDD:

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thanks for all the links. i don't know why i didn't think of checking HE docs for this.

Funny article.
Best overall would be Athom Homey according to the article.
I have used Homey for over a year, and ditched it because of constant connection issues.
(also the "flows, the Athom name for rules" are limmeted and kind of teletubby)

When I first got my Hubitat I hade allot of connection issues, both in Z-Wave and Zigbee.
After tinkering for a few weeks, decided to litteraly follow the Best Pratice from Hubitat on those networks.
Reset the entire hub, and then first place the repeaters. Wait for a Day, and then add devices in batches, waiting a day in between batches.

Been rock steady ever sinds.


Still not on the market and it's been a while... I've reach out just to followup on but waiting to hear from them.

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Download the Hubitat app