Which affordable sensors (door/motion) are most stable on Hubitat?

I’ve been tinkering with home automation on a small scale for a few years. I want to build a full system with proper automations and have decided Hubitat is the way to go. Unfortunately most of my current sensors are Aqara, which are apparently often a headache to use with Hubitat, so I’m resigned to the idea of starting from scratch.

I’m content with the fact Hubitat has a steep learning curve and prepared to put time and effort into designing and setting everything up. But what I won’t enjoy is if I have to keep troubleshooting endless issues with things that work initially and then inexplicably malfunction (hence my reluctance to start off with a struggle to make my Aqara sensors work). So I'm seeking advice on the best components you have found to be stable and reliable.

I'd like to know your suggestions primarily for the best door&window sensors – ideally something quite affordable as I’d need 30+ (happy to order bulk packs from China). Likewise I’d also be interested in suggestions for the most reliable motion sensors and temperature sensors (affordability a bit less of a consideration for these as I won’t need quite so many). Thanks for sharing your experience!

I'd suggest starting with these two documents... I only read them 6 months in and that was a mistake.

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=How_to_Build_a_Solid_Zigbee_Mesh
https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=How_to_Build_a_Solid_Z-Wave_Mesh

I'ne not had good luck with Aquara or Zooz sensors. The Aquara are generally known to be problematic. Lots of people have good luck with Zooz, just not been my experience.

I use a lot of segled contact sensors. They're compact and not too pricey, but they do use an odd battery... a 2450 I think.

I also have a bunch of these, which I like because they have dry contacts:

Motion sensors... I use a lot of the Aeotec trisensors but my go-to is the ST zigbee motion sensor, now also made by Aeotec.

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You might be able to use them. See Xiaomi & Aqara Devices - Pairing & Keeping them connected

I have several of the Ikea TRÅDFRI outlets just to keep my 7 Aqara and Mijia devices connected and working (out of the 120 Zigbee devices I have).

Personally, I like to know my battery powered devices are alive and responding. I like devices that report in at least once a day (at least the battery level), so that if they stop reporting in daily, I can get an alert via an app that looks for their liveliness (I use Device Activity Check).

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I have many Aqara devices joined to HA which then brings them into HE using this integration. It’s rock solid. I tell many about it, but few adopt them same :man_shrugging:t3:

If you’re comfortable with the steeper learning curve of HE, then it should not be that big of a problem to add HA for just joining the sensors. For reference, I use a ConBee 2 with HA.

I’m just building out my new home with this setup after having such great results in my previous home (which was signal blocking lath and plaster). I’m in a late 80’s home now and the Zigbee network mesh has been so much easier to build so far. I don’t personally care if I have to have some always on laptops for HA, Homebridge, Insteon server, etc. it’s all really stable and worry free.

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I've been using Linkind, which were super cheap. They've been working fine for me, I use them for typical security but also to automate some lighting at entry locations.

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Greetings. I think you will be pleased with the almost unlimited possibilities with Hubitat. A huge and growing number of devices work well and you should be able to accomplish just about anything you want. I also congratulate you on seeking input before investing. This forum will offer you tremendous support. Keep in mind you will find various opinions and experiences and remember there is usually more than one way to accomplish an automation. Devices are getting better. Integration is getting better. And the industry as a whole is continuously improving. As suggested, watch the Hubitat tutorial videos. Perhaps all of them at least once through as you may get ideas you hadn't previously considered.
Primarily, enjoy the journey and have fun knowing you can get all kinds of advice here and a range of possibilities.
Devices proven stable for me; GE/Jasco switches/dimmers/motion, Singled contact sensors and bulbs, Zoom switches/dimmers, Alexa for voice activation and just now adding a Sonoff temp sensor to control an entertainment system cooling fan. (we'll see how it does). There are many here with far more knowledge and experience. They will help.

[quote="DanielAustin, post:1, topic:89426, full:true"] Unfortunately most of my current sensors are Aqara, which are apparently often a headache to use with Hubitat, so I’m resigned to the idea of starting from scratch.
[/quote]

My door sensors are now all Aqara (twenty, most of them indoor, some outdoor). Fully reliable. Directly connected with HE.

My motion sensors are Aqara, Xiaomi (Zigbee) and Aeotec Trisensors (Z-Wave). Highly, but not 100% reliable. Trisensors sometimes behave strangely. Aqaras are now my choice.

My Zigbee network is supported now by the addition of 8 well distributed Ikea plugs/repeaters, and the Z-Wave with 4 Aeotec repeaters. I find the Zigbee net is more robust than my Z-Wave one.

My two cents.

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The general community consensus with aqara devices dropping off is the type of repeater used. IIRC the aqara devices don't play well with iris repeaters and perhaps others. Note also that aqara devices are only supported by community drivers (IIRC) and there has been some hiccups in that regard.

The Ikea repeater seem to be friendly towards the Aqara devices but check the aqara specific threads to make sure and see if there are others.

I personally have some aqara button devices and have moved them to Zigbee2MQTT (running a 2nd zigbee network) where they are rock solid with TI based cc2530/cc2531 zigbee repeaters using firmware from the Z2M project site. I bring the devices into hubitat via node-red.

Z2M is not a HA hub but simply a gateway between zigbee devices and MQTT. Z2M does support a wider variety of zigbee devices then HE.

Another option would be to purchase a second HE hub and just use aqara and friendly repeaters on that system. If you want to move away from future Aqara device purchases.

FWIW, I have 9 Iris outlets (repeaters) and 4 Ikea ones. As long as I keep the Ikea ones nearby my Aqara devices, they work fine.

Interesting, I also used a mixed repeater environment with iris/cc2530s but still had my aqaras drop off, that's why I ended up moving them to Zigbee2MQTT.

The Aeotec Smart Things Motion and Temperature sensor is really great.
Hue Motion, Temperature and Illuminance sensor are also very good.

I have both and would recommend them. They are extremely reliable and work extremely well with Hubitat. The Hue has more functionality and more configuration options. The Smart Things is extremely quick.

I researched similar near the start of my journey.
As a consequence ALL of my smart plugs and USB repeaters are Ikea Tradfri - about a dozen in total.

Aqara door, movement & humidity sensors, plus a few 1/4/6 way buttons have all been rock solid, and fast too.

It'd be a shame to bin all your existing Aqara stuff. Ikea's repeaters/smart-plugs work well and they're cheap too!

I do have some Philips Hue motion sensors too which have been pretty much faultless.

If you can find Iris door & motion sensors they are fantastic but discontinued.
Sylvania door sensors are also good. Research not only the devices, but also the batteries they take. Coin cell can wind up being expensive(CR2450).

Also Visonic contact sensors have a good rep around here. All the ones I mentioned report temp as well.

Check ebay, mercari, craigslist,letgo, fb marketplace etc.

I did the aqara dance, special repeaters, hours of research. Now I have a $200.00 bag of junk. Much too frustrating and I use HE as my home security system, so it has to be 100% all the time. I plan to finish my HA install and use my Aqara/Xiaomi sensors on HA

When Smartthings killed off the ADT Smartthings Panel I moved everything to Hubitat i could. When doing that I replaced all of the non compatible sensors to Ring Gen 2 versions. It was about 18 door/window sensors and 2 motion sensors. They were all pretty affordable, particularly if you buy the door sensors in bulk. The door sensors use cr2032 batteries are easily replaceable if needed and the motion sensors use AA which are nice for easy replace. They all report frequently what there battery status is so lt is easy to setup notifications for if a sensor drops offline which that hasn't been a issue. I haven't had issues with that except for when the batteries have died on one of the motion sensor and it is just in a high traffic area. One thing about motion sensors is some can detect from a much longer range then others. The rings way outperform a few other i have tried as well.

One thing to remeber is what do you have for repeaters. The Ring stuff is all zwave. Zigbee may need repeaters as well. Just make sure you have devices that can repeat if you have allot of battery powered stuff.

I have been very satisfied with all the ring gen 2 gear.

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor (Zigbee) works well. You can set both the motion sensitivity and the motion retrigger time. It takes a standard AAA battery. In addition to motion, it also reports Lux and temperature. Costco.com sells a two pack.

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It does work really well, but at $50 each I wouldn't call it affordable. I've got 28 motion sensors installed around the house - if I hadn't gotten them all at between $5 and $10 each, my wife would have killed me. (they are all mostly Iris v2 and v3, and no longer available, let alone at that price)

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I moved over to Hubitat from ATT Digital Life which used some 433 junk and I had a couple of zigbee sensors around and some zwave sensors around. Being that everything and I mean everything in the house is zwave the zwave stuff works so much better for me.

Ring sensors seem to be working strong, I have the outdoor Ring sensor out in the garage, it works great. I have nothing zigbee anymore it is all zwave. All the switches I have around repeat and mesh and it works. Everything is about the solid network like mentioned above.

Build the mesh and have solid repeaters, the battery stuff needs to be able to check in and needs a solid path back to the hub. Zigbee stuff seems way cheaper, not sure why... I have everything zwave just because that is what I was familiar with and had some compatible equipment that would move over from the old system.

I have many Aqara, Xiaomi, Sonoff and some Tuya devices. Multiple Ikea repeaters. All my Zigbee repeaters are Ikea. Things have been running pretty good, the odd time a device drops off, some seem more prone to dropping off than others. Probably in a bad spot. Every
zigbee device is within eye shot of a repeater. I now know that is irrelevant as the path chosen by the device often makes no sense. One time a repeater dropped off and took multiple devices with it. The built in Ikea repeater device driver made no indication it was off line. Wasted a day figuring that one out.

Moving along I decided to buy a Zigbee Sinope thermostat. What do you think happened? Devices dropped off like flies. Well no not really. Within 24 hours of joining the thermostat all the Ikea repeaters were off line. that certainly would also bring down the zigbee devices. Another wasted few days. First thing I removed the thermostat from the mesh, Then re-established all the devices.

Was this a fluke? A few weeks after every thing was running again I rejoined the thermostat. Guess what? Exactly the same thing.

I am faced with replacing all these devices. That would be very expensive if you are the type of person that buys these devices because you can get multiple devices for the price 1 of the expensive devices AKA me. It is going to be much cheaper to buy another hub to put the thermostat on.

I won't be buying any more of them.

That would be my suggestion: get a 2nd Hubitat hub and put the Sinope thermostat on a separate Zigbee network.

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