Hi. I’m new to home automation. I want as local a system as possible. Hubitat is an alternative to using a local open source server such as openHAB or Home Assistant. My use cases are fairly trivial lighting use cases and I don’t see any difficulties accommodating them with a few scenes and a few simple rules and triggers. I do not want outside control and will not be using voice for that reason alone.
For my first foray, I got a pair of TP-link dimmers on sale at Costco last year and installed one and tried to integrate it with my Harmony Hub about six months ago. openHAB has a service which emulates Hue switches and dimmers and directs commands it receives to the actual non-Hue devices in the system. I got the service running but the exposed TP-link dimmer wasn’t discoverable by the Harmony software, so I bagged the project until recently. A few days ago, I installed the latest openHAB and hells bells, Harmony saw the dimmer after a ton of configuration work and guesswork. (Do I sound disappointed?) I tried HA, and while it is vastly more straightforward in terms of discovery, automatic driver installation, and doesn’t require learning a new DSL (programming language) to write actions, it doesn’t have the Hue emulation, so the Harmony remote cannot see and control the dimmer. (I was able to create an automation in a couple of minutes that turns on the light for a minute when the Harmony turns off the TV, giving us time to get out of the room with the way lighted and perhaps hands full.)
Neither solution is workable for this simple task of interfacing my Harmony with a non-mainsteam dimmer. I don’t particularly like the idea at this point of jumping to different dimmer brand, so I started to look for other solutions and found HE is both local and integrates with TP-link dimmers and switches.
There’s an ocean of cheap(er) dimmers and switches on Amazon, yet it concerns me that each one will suck up vast amounts of time configuring and/or troubleshooting one of these three local automation solutions. I’ve read many threads here showering love on Lutron devices and their Pico remotes, and am inclined to go that route. But isn’t it a bit ridiculous to have to spend $150-$200 on a Lutron Pro bridge to get to the remote, duplicating (somewhat) the radio and computing technology in the $150 Hubitat hardware? Will this wind up being less painful with the Hubitat, versus running openHAB or HA in dockers on a server that’s already in place for multiple other purposes? And will it truly be possible to control the TP-Link dimmer with the Harmony Hub using HE?
I don’t mind spending more on the hardware to spend less time fooling around with either immature or constantly-evolving open source or community solutions. But I'm stuck in the fog, given the above minor experience, if I can trade money for time and less headaches.
Any guidance on the decision-making process would be welcome.
PS – Is it possible to keep the Lutron Pro bridge operating purely locally, or will it call home to Lutron all the time, even if controlled by HE over telnet? I've seen changes in how this can be done with the TP-Link products, but not sure if this can be done with their HS220 dimmer.