What cool things have you done with your Hubitat?

Super newb here - I just got a Hubitat from a friend and set it up today. I currently have a mix of different home automation devices with minimal integration (MyQ garage door, Nest doorbell, various Wi-Fi outlets, etc). So far all I've done is replaced one Wi-Fi outlet with a Zigbee outlet and created a rule to turn a lamp on and off.

Digging around in the Hubitat apps, it seems like there is a lot of cool and interesting potential. I'm curious what kinds of fun and useful automations have you all created?

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I'm super new, but my favorite so far is my motion activated dining room. At night when you walk in the lights turn on, but during the day if you walk in the lights stay off, but the aquarium lights come on. Of the entire household, the cat seems to love this feature the most lol.

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There's a Category for that... :smiley:

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The most useful thing is probably motion lighting. Most of the common areas of the house are controlled by motion sensors. Some of them turn on all the time, with different brightness depending on time of day. Some of them only turn on at certain times of day. And some of them only use lack of motion to turn lights off. My days of walking around the house turning off lights are mostly over. And walking around the house at night is a a much more pleasant experience. The family really approves of this as well.
Other things.

Simple time based lighting control. ie porch lights, etc

The HVAC turns off if the windows or doors are left open.

A light to warn me if the freezer in the garage is getting too warm. ( I also get notified on my phone)

I use the LEDs on Inovelli dimmers to show the state of the HVAC system (more useful than I thought it would be), and to remind the family of trash day (very useful)

Mode based lighting. ie, lights turn on at different brightness depending on time of day. I find this very useful.

Just a few things there. Nothing particularly unusual or creative, but it's been a lot of fun.

Motion control has been by far my family's favorite thing. They don't care about what wiz-bang hardware I might install, or my clever use of rule machine, they like the fact that the kitchen lights come on at night automatically.

Here are some of the key things I have setup:

The hub is setup to know when family members are present or not and open the garage door when we are back after having left for a long period.

When I arm my home security system, it locks all my doors and warns me if any doors or window are still open and if any of the doors didn’t lock for whatever reason.

Lights turn off (and sometimes on) automatically based on motion sensors throughout the house. When they turn on, the will dim at different levels (and use different bulb Colors) depending on the time of day.

I have Inovelli switches that have a notification LED that can be controlled. I use them to let us know when the garage door is open, when the alarm cannot arm, when the air exchanger is on “turbo” to exhaust humidity, etc.

The air exchanger will go to “turbo” mode when there is more humidity in the bathroom than in the rest of the house. If humidity level goes up higher, the bathroom fan will turn on.

We have a sunroom that gets warm when the sun is shining on it. When the house is colder (autumn, winter and spring), a fan will be turned on by Hubitat to distribute the heat through the house. When this occurs, the Mini-split is set to fan to help with this instead of spending energy generating more heat.

A battery that needs to be charged once a month is connected to a Z-Wave outlet that turns on once a month to keep it topped up.

The possibilities are endless! Have fun!

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Oh i love your idea for the battery charger! I can use this! Thank you!

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I got bit by the Smart House concept a number of years ago...told my wife it was my "mid life crisis". Everything has to pass "the wife test"...from concept to implementation. (i.e. if she can't use it, then it's just a cool fad I was in).

I started with ADT Pulse and Z-Wave. Moved to an ADT Pulse/SmartThings hybrid, and have now found my home with Hubitat. Very happy with this platform.

For my house:

  • Every light switch, lock, and garage door is Z-Wave (you should only use Z-Wave plus devices)
  • Exterior Philips Hue RGB lighting (spots, wall mounts, pathway, etc)
  • Sonos speakers throughout the house
  • ZigBee motion sensors interior and exterior
  • ZigBee moisture sensors

My camera system is all UniFi protect. My security system is ADT, and I interface it to Hubitat using the Zooz ZEN16 relay.

Here are some automations:

  • Moisture sensors:
    • I have one for each sink, one for each A/C drip pan, and one for the hot water heater
    • I have created alerts that will tell me if water is sensed. (One of my A/C pans filled up 2 years ago, and I was able to turn off the A/C before I had water damage in the ceiling)
  • Exterior Lighting
    • Comes on at Sunset -15 minutes and turns off at midnight
    • From midnight until Sunrise + 15 minutes, all exterior lighting is based on motion sensors
  • Interior Mood Lighting
    • Various lights in the house come on at Sunset - 30 minutes and go off at 1030 PM
    • Lights in key places of the house are motion activated from 1030 PM until sunrise + 15 minutes. These stay on for 1 minute after the motion sensor goes in active
    • Lights stay on during "Party Mode"
  • Entry Lighting
    • From Sunset - 30 minutes to Sunrise + 30 minutes I have 5 lights in the house that will come on if an entry door is open (and go off 1 minute after the entry door closes).
    • For the same time, as you approach an entry door, the lights will come on for the same time. This is great when you are coming home late, and the house lights up so you don't have to stumble your way to the security panel to disarm the system. Also, lets you know if someone is at the door before the doorbell rings.
    • Of course, this is turned off during "Party Mode"...gets annoying having lights go on and off...especially on Halloween!
  • Outdoor Fans
    • I have several ceiling fans in my pool/lanai area
    • These ceiling fans come on when motion is detected (but only above 75 F...below that is BRRR) and turn off 15 minutes after motion is inactive.
  • Security System Armed Away
    • The system waits 5 minutes and then locks all of the doors, closes the garage door, sets the A/C to "energy save mode", and turns off all the interior lights (except the motion lights and or lights that come on at a specific time.)
    • When the security system is disarmed, the thermostats are set to "comfort mode"
  • Security System Armed Stay
    • When we go to sleep at night, the system turns on the master bedroom ceiling fan (if it's not below 75 F...BRRR), locks the doors, closes the garage doors, and turns off all the lights in the house (except for the motion/timed lights)
  • Garage Door
    • When either of the garage doors is open, the garage light comes on...and goes off when both doors are closed.
    • Makes it easier to pull in and/or back in when it's dark...the garage door opener light is just not bright enough
  • Locks
    • The locks are automatically locked 5 minutes after unlocking
    • The Sonos speakers will announce 1 minute before the automatic lock takes place
    • This is turned off during "Party Mode"
  • Outdoor Color Lights
    • For the 4th of July, these cycle Red, White, and Blue
    • For Halloween, these cycle Orange and Purple
    • For Christmas, these cycle Red and Green
    • My neighbors LOVE me!

We have Amazon Alexa devices, so Hubitat is connect and everything is voice activated. If my wife goes to bed before me, she loves being able to say "Alexa, Master Bedroom Off" and have everything turn off so she can sleep.

Of course, with the Sonos devices, I have added announcements for various events:

  • Security System is Armed Away
  • Security System is Armed Stay
  • Thermostats are in energy save or comfort mode
  • Welcome Housekeeper (she has her own door lock code and security system code) please disengage the alarm
  • Front Door is Locked (or unlocked)
  • When I arrive, "The Lord of the Manor, King of the Castle is arriving. Let's give it up for him"
    • The dog loves this one...he always greats me with a toy!
    • The wife...well it's grown on her.

There are more, but this is all I can think of at the minute.

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I have my Viper Smart Start check my calendar in the morning to see if I have the day off, if I don't then it checks my weather station before work and 15 mins before I leave work to see if it needs to start.

I created a weather light that points at and accents the station and its post. Red means warmer tomorrow, blue cooler, yellow the same and it flashes if there's any rain or snow in the forecast. I'm going to block these on holidays and have it cycle holiday lights.

I have nordvpn on a raspberry pi which acts as a standalone AP for my Chromecast with Google tv. Certain switches via node red terminal commands connect the vpn to particular servers. I also use that same node red to send adb commands to the Chromecast to launch certain channels on YouTube tv or particular apps.

I have toddlers and a half deaf wife so I made a DIY security alarm. If Contact sensors on the doors or the kids windows open when they aren't supposed to it'll loop a very loud file over all my Google homes.

I carried my nest protects over to Hoobs, to node red. If they detect smoke or CO it pushes a button on hubitat every 20 secs, which loops that file as well, it will also turn on a hubitat switch. The switch turns off all fans and puts the thermostat in emergency mode, it also unlocks all doors and turns all lights on all full brightness.

Impressive write up.

Curious more on the devices you are using for this setup, especially switches and motion sensors. Which vendor/version? Also, are you using any repeaters?

Z-Wave

  • Total Z-Wave devices is 59
    • 1 Lock is Z-Wave
    • 1 garage door opener is Z-Wave
    • 2 Thermostats are Z-Wave
    • The rest are Z-Wave Plus devices
  • All of the switches are GE/Jasco devices...either on/off switches or dimmers.
  • For ceiling fans, I have installed the Zooz ZEN30 Double switch.
    • All of my ceiling fans have 2 romex wire bundles...1 for the fan motor and 1 for the light.
    • I connected the light to the dimmer part of the ZEN30, and the ceiling fan to the relay part.
  • For the security system interface, I have 4 Zooz ZEN16 relays
    • The security system is ADT Pulse
    • 2 of the Relays are connected into the ADT Pulse Z-Wave system. These 6 contacts are activated for various events that the security system can only see (burglar alarm, fire alarm, entry doors, arm stay, arm away, motion)
    • The other 2 Relays are connected to the Hubitat system. These 6 "output" relay contacts are tied into the 6 "input" contacts on the Hubitat ZEN16 devices and tie the two systems together
  • I don't have any dedicated Z-Wave repeaters as the switches are all hard wired to the mains and act as a repeater

Phillips Hue

  • I have the Hue hub connected to Hubitat
  • I have 4 Hue RGBW bulbs that are connected to lamps that are always turned on...these act as Hue repeaters
  • My outdoor Hue devices are their RGBW spots, floods, and wall lights...these also act as repeaters
  • To extend the Hue mesh, I have several of THESE sprinkled around in strategic locations...they pair nicely with the Hue hub

ZigBee

  • I am using THESE as ZigBee repeaters (same ones I use for Hue)
  • I am using THESE for door sensors...I hope Aeotec starts making them again soon
  • I am using THESE for moisture sensors...I hope Aeotec starts making them again soon
  • I am using THESE for motion sensors...I hope Aeotect starts making them again soon
    • I use these both indoor and outdoor
    • These are great as the magnet for the magnetic mount is in the sensor...and they mount nicely to screws both inside and out...I didn't have to drill any holes in my walls

A few automations I forgot to include:

  • Closet Doors
    • Use ZigBee door sensor, and turn on/off a Z-Wave switch when the door opens/closes
  • Gun Safe
    • Use a ZigBee door sensor. Alerts me if the door is open/closed and if there is vibration detected

Using HE as a device controller communicating via Maker API to a RaspberryPI 4, running Homebridge and Node-RED. Am now vendor independent for the most part and can incorporate many different types of systems including the Apple Home. An additional benefit includes much lower hub resource usage. This setup works great for my use-case. Have also been exploring MQTT as well.

I've been thinking about incorporating MQTT but haven't come up with a use case. What are you thinking of doing with it?

In a perfect world MQTT would be the backbone of my system. Handling all the communications between devices and/or device controllers and servers.. In practice it's just been easier to use Node-RED and connect stuff there with whatever connection a device/system requires.. I do have a Personal Weather Station that communicates via WeeWX & MQTT (Mosquitto Broker).

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I'm using MQTT and HomeAssistant to monitor my ecobee thermostat locally (using HomeKit compatibility, not ecobee cloud). Based on what the ecobee is doing I trigger some other HVAC control rules. Much faster and more reliable than the cloud integration. Local control is also possible but more limited than what the cloud API offers.

I have a series of Spruce soil moisture sensors monitoring a bunch of house plants. When the soil moisture falls below a certain level it turns on an outlet for 30 seconds. The outlet powers a solonoid-controlled water valve, which is connected to an indoor houseplant irrigation system. Because the solenoid can get really hot, I have a temperature sensor stuck on the side of it. If the temperature is too hot my automation will shut down the valve. I also have water leak sensors underneath to detect a leak in the system. The whole thing works really well as long as the moisture in the three plants is more or less balanced.

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