Why use hubitat if someone already have alexa

Not to worry, I already have hubitat and it replaced smartthings lol, however.. Someone asked me this today and I was unable to - in my opinion - adequately answer this inquiry.

What do smart hubs provide other than add on ability like wecore or node red? Hubitat itself has a rule machine but from what I have read, a lot of people choose to not use it in favor of the options I just mentioned. Security? Echo has versions of that... Geofencing? Geofencing is at best a failed technology unless you go to great lengths and MUCH trial and error to get it to work.

If I have a group of lights, and I want them on, I shouldn't need hubitat for that. So what specifically is the point of hubitat when a person already has a house full of echo devices? <--- this was the question.

I also mentioned "automations" but even then echo has stuff for that. Anyway, just some thoughts or ammunition would be great to help me should that ever come up again. Also please keep in mind I am not trying to start a heated debate here. Just some information that makes my response next time more or less undisputed. lol Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Hubitat works when the Internet is down.
Alexa doesn't do Z-Wave.
For starters.

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And most Amazon Echo models do not support Zigbee, but a few do.

Hubitat also supports community developed apps and drivers, whereas Alexa is a completely closed system, unless one wants to learn how to write an Alexa Skill (i.e. not trivial.)

Alexa Routines, while much more powerful than many other voice assistants, still pales in comparison to what Hubitat is capable of with its built in apps + Rule Machine for extra complex logic.

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To add to the above, you can do much more complex automations on Hubitat than an Alexa routine (the closest analog) can do. Alexa might be able to turn on a light when motion is detected and turn it off after it stops, but with Hubitat you can make that only happen between certain times, when an illuminance sensor reports below a certain value, or really any condition or combination of conditions you can imagine (only when the washing machine was recently running? why not), or you can make a smart bulb turn on at different color temperatures or brightness levels at different times of day.

Even that example is pretty simple compared to the multitude of things a "real" hub can do, but it's just one idea. These are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with most smart speakers that only support the most rudimentary of automations, and even there I'd guess most users don't even touch those features on their speakers in favor of just voice control. When that's how you have to turn on or off every light, that gets old fast--automation is where it's at. :slight_smile: (I wouldn't immediately dismiss geofencing, either, by the way--I had to combine two options to get mine to work reliably, and really could probably do it with nearly 100% reliability by using HomeKit alone, but I started by trying to use the Hubitat mobile app alone. It does some useful automations for me, like arming/disarming Hubitat Safety Monitor and turning off things or turning up/down my thermostat when I leave.)

Oh, and because Hubitat executes everything it can locally, it will--as mentioned above, but this is worth reiterating--execute faster and more reliably in that it is not dependent on your Internet connection or a third-party "cloud." If one of SmartThings' frequent outages ever affected you, you already have some idea of what I mean!

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What made you want to switch from smartthings to Hubitat? I can think of several things that would apply to an Alexa/Hubitat comparison as well, most of which have been mentioned already (local processing being one of the most notable).

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Thank you all for your answers, however other than local operation (which is exactly why i moved to hubitat from smartthings - along with the fact that it is a dying platform) Im not really seeing anything that screams out to me that it is worth having for anyone that doesnt need their lights to turn on when the washer is also on per a prior post.

I have whole house automation through echo. I turn everything off with one voice command. And if there were no internet - then that wouldnt work, nor would anything else voice controlled which is 95% of what I do.

zigbee integration? ok.. thats a good one unless you buy an echo plus/show.... again why would you need hubitat? crazy automations and some zigbee devices are all i am seeing. maybe z-wave? but if you are starting out, then dont buy zwave....

these are all valid arguments, but not necessarily convincing.

I gotta say, It might be that I am new to hubitat, but geofencing so far has been a joke. combined presence, hubitat geofence, alexa geofence, owntrack... all miserably fail. I even set up a smartthings presence sensor v4. It fires off that I am home a few times an hour and open my locks a garage door while I am sitting in the house. Im afraid I will NEVER trust hubitat geofencing. I will have to use a BT/IR or alternate zigbee solution tied to my vehicle.

Im also going to migrate to node red from smartthings. Its my understanding that it doesnt reside on the hub and would allow for better performance for the hub, among other things.

That’s not automation. Automation would be something like, the lights turn off and the security system arms when there’s been no motion on the first floor of the house for at least 20 minutes, but only after 10 pm, unless it’s the weekend, in which case it shouldn’t occur til after midnight. And the lights in the bedroom dim after you get into bed.

If you’re not interested in that complexity of automation, then it’s not a particular selling point of Hubitat over an echo plus, but Alexa definitely can’t do all of the above.

How many zigbee devices does echo plus work with compared to Hubitat? I have no idea myself, but I’d be willing to bet Hubitat is compatible with more devices.

Hmm, you say that as if it’s a universal truth, but it’s just your opinion. The first devices I ever bought with my smartthings hub (six years ago) were z-wave. I use both zigbee and z-wave devices now.

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I use a combination of both Alexa and Hubitat, Hubitat does all the automation, the stuff I don't want to ask for or interact with, Alexa services specific requests. So as an example Hubitat is linked to my Ecowitt weather station through a community app, it monitors the realtime humidity under the house and the real time weather and decides if it should turn on the underfloor ventilation. If the humidity goes up, or it's outside of the hours I have set it turns off, if it's inside the running hours and humidity outside drops again it turns back on. Every now and then I go check and make sure it's running but nobody else in the house is interested in it at all, this is what I would consider true automation.

Alexa does things like 'Turn on the cinema', my daughter asks, it lowers the screen, turns on the projector and switches the input on the audio those sort of things, convenient but done on demand, easy to do with Alexa. Again, I don't think anyone would know how to do this without Alexa but it is effectively just a bunch of button presses initiated by voice with no logic like the underfloor ventilation :slight_smile:

There's also a 3rd setup where hubitat exposes devices to Alexa and lets you use them as if they were Alexa enabled devices with a skill, so I can ask if my garage door is open, it's looking at a switch exposed from Hubitat which is the status of my gogogate garage door :slight_smile:

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Sounds like your zigbee mesh isn’t as solid as it should be.

You’re correct that you would need an always-on server to run nodered. I’ve played around with it, but all my automations run on my hub, and I have no performance issues.

This is a fair statement, and the vast majority of users dont do this. I do and I use webcore for it. as I said, I am going to also check out node red over the weekend

you know as much as I do apparently. So not much on that one.... Remember my initial question please.

My opinion is irrelevant. I am trying to get some clear information on the topic I created.

this is good information, not exactly easy to convey across a table in a restaurant, but I do see the validity of your comment. Thank you!

Well then the ability to work with z-wave devices is definitely a plus for Hubitat over echo plus.

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I meant to say migrate from webcore to node red. my apologies.

I do have a lot of zigbee devices, however you would very easily be right about that. my zwave network isnt that great either. this paradigm reminds me of betamax vs VHS. And its why i wish all this crap would move to wifi. I also understand that network congestion is a real thing, but maintaining 3 wireless networks just plain sucks.

the option is there, yes.... i agree with that at least.

can i ask for the two options that you use for geofencing?

We have used Life360 as our sole geofencing presence solution for the past 3.5 years on Hubitat, and it has worked incredibly reliably for our 2 iPhones and 1 Google Pixel phone in the family. YMMV of course.

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I use the built-in geofencing (home/away) that is in the Apple Home app, and the free OwnTrack app for which there is a Hubitat community integration. They've been super-reliable. Although to be fair, every method I've used for geofencing has worked, including the Hubitat app.

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Like ogiewon, we use Life360 exclusively (free version), and it's worked very well. We rarely have a miss or lag on it.

The Life360 integration for Hubitat includes a "Life360 Refresh" option that (IMHO) helps a ton - I've added that refresh command into any rules involving the garage door opening since that action corresponds to our major comings-&-goings.

Other users here simply have a rule that triggers that Life360 refresh every 5-10 minutes throughout the day.

I started with Alexa and after years got completely sick of talking to my house. Too many "I'm sorry, something went wrong" and too many Alexas answering from the opposite side of the house and too many Alexas deciding on their own to answer a question that nobody asked her, and her answer was usually "I'm sorry, I don't know that.

I decided motion based was better. Walk around through the house and things happen.

So to answer ops question, Alexa sucks. RIP you annoying woman!

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Download the Hubitat app