I'm finally getting things somewhat automated and stable in my home now, having gone from IRIS to ST for a month, then transitioned to HE after finding my desires in smart home reliability and functionality to be expanding. I so far have around 70 physical devices connected to HE, and another dozen or so virtual devices for automation, and also have 8 google home/chromecast devices, and a dozen or so devices either still on my ST hub or not installed anywhere. So far, most of the seemingly more complex things I've tried to accomplish seem to be working well, it's the simple stuff giving me issues. Some questions.
Using the simple lighting commands and motion detectors I can't seem to get reliable operation with switching on sylvania zigbee light bulbs, or regular lights with GE zigbee dimmers. using the turn on and set level option. Everything I can look at HE wise indicates the bulbs are on and operating at the set level, I'm just not getting any light. Turning on the lights with a simple on/off command, or turning on then setting level seem to work fine.
Using simple lighting command for motion activated lights with automatic turn off when motion ends after a delay, and with time of day restrictions results in lights staying on if they were still on when reaching of end of the "only between" time setting. Are separate rules to turn light on and off the best way to go here, or are there better options in rule machine for this sort of rule.
Finally for now, Google home devices as notification speakers. I seem to have good luck if only using a single speaker for a cast, but if I select a speaker group all bets are off as to whether or not an announcement, or the wake up tone will occur. Any pointers as to how to educate myself better on how to make this work reliably?
HE is a great product, and really appreciate the community and all the help I've so far found on the forum. Only downside so far is that I got the expansion bug during my transition, and significantly expanded my automation, while noticeably decreasing the checkbook balance in the process.
Important to know with smart bulbs: do you have them paired directly to Hubitat? Smart bulbs (or at least Zigbee ones, which most are) have a well-earned reputation as poor repeaters. They may drop messages from non-bulb devices, possibly because they were designed for lighter-weight Zigbee Light Link (ZLL) networks and the stress of having to route on a Zigbee Home Automation (ZHA) network overworks their limited resources. It seems like you have a mix of Zigbee devices on your network (the plug-in dimmer is probably ZHA). Oh, and some background if this doesn't make sense: Hubitat is ZHA. Most smart bulbs are designed for ZLL networks, e.g., Philips Hue, and per spec will fall back to ZHA if unable to find a ZLL network to join. I think the Osram ones actually just plain ZHA if they're recent enough (an unfortunate circumstance since that means there are few options out of this problem). This problem is not specific to Hubitat--it's a problem with the bulbs, but you may see it manifest itself differently (or be lucky and not at all) on different Zigbee networks due to the routes all your devices choose to use, which is not under user control.
So, I'd first be extra sure that any problem you think you're having with Simple Lighting isn't actually a problem with the bulbs (or your Zigbee network "thanks" to the bulbs). It seems quite unlikely to be Simple Lighting to me given that you say the bulbs appear to show what you expect on the device edit page (I could be wrong, but I think that optimistically updates here even if it doesn't hear back from the device).
If this is your problem, there are unfortunately not any good ways around it. With ZLL-capable bulbs, many people just keep them on a separate network like Hue (there's Hue Bridge integration in Hubitat). Adventurous users (I've seen at least two) have just bought a second Hubitat hub for smart lights and "linked" it to the first one using Hubitat's apps designed for hub linking (or a new community-created alternative). If you're up for replacing the bulbs themselves, Sengled bulbs are Zigbee but don't repeat, thus avoiding this problem.
Do you mean that the lights don't turn off if motion originally caused them to be turned on between the "only between" restriction, but motion didn't go inactive until outside that time restriction? If so, I'm actually not sure how the app is set up to handle this case. I wouldn't be surprised if that is correct. If you always want them to turn off (any time of day) but want them to turn on but only within certain times, two instances of the lighting app as you suggest may be necessary. (I think Bruce has looked at adding a couple features to a future version, but I'm not sure if this was one of them. Actually, you might not be able to turn the lights off with the current version of Motion Lighting if Motion Lighting didn't originally turn them on, so you might need to use Rule Machine. This would be any easy rule to create, but RM can be daunting for new users, so ask for help if you need it!)
This I'm not sure about. I've never used more than one at a time. The integration is still considered a "beta" last time I used it, so I guess problems aren't totally unexpected. Do you always want all GH devices to speak? If not, you can probably work around this issue by using a community app like Speaker Central to only send TTS and whatnot to devices you want (which you can configure to be enabled/disabled based on motion, switch states, time, etc.). See: [Release] - Speaker Central
I really appreciate the detailed reply. It looks like you might be spot on with the Zigbee bulbs being the issue. Turning them and the hub off for awhile, then turning the hub back on and letting the mesh re-build, then flipping the switches the bulbs are on so they can re-join seemed to have cleared up most of the issues, at least short term. I read up more on the two hub thing you mentioned, and think I'll look into that further. I still have the V3 ST hub I only used for a month, other than the few things I still have hooked to it, I currently have 43 zigbee devices on the HE hub, 9 of which are smart bulbs, 10 powered devices 3 of which are IRIS v1 pocket sockets, and the rest motion and door sensors of various types. I have some major surgery coming up in a couple weeks, the recovery of which will have weeks of very inactive boredom. I should be able to come quite proficient in programming my system during that time.
I need to re-think several of my automatons to where I address turning lights on, primarily when a delay is used prior to turning off. Besides some issues with time of day restrictions that keep the lights from going off occasionally. Just a misunderstanding on my part as to what would happen if conditions change prior to the rule completing.
I think I've figured out the chromecast issue. I had setup announcements for someone at front door etc. to set volume and broadcast to whole house. A couple of my whole house group however are on automated switches though, such as the one in my gym that is off when that room is unoccupied. Seems if one of the devices in a group is turned off, it has seemingly random negative effects. I also seem to be making the wife mad if it kicks her music off, so going with an assistant relay option of some sort might be a better option.
Be careful when using restrictions. They will cause a rule to do absolutely nothing when in the restriction is in place. If you want to have a light only go on only between a certain time but always go off no matter when it was turned on, I would recommend doing what I did. Building two RM apps instead of using motion lighting. I have one trigger (motion active) to turn the lights on and then one Rule to have the lights go off after a delay. This way, I can add a restriction (or change to a triggered rule) for the lights going on and then have the separate rule for the lights going off. It may seem illogical but if you want the two events (turning on and turning off) to have different criteria, i find it easiest to handle them in separate functions rather than trying to get one to do both. But that's just hoe my brain works....YMMV.