Alternative Hubs

Yes but my issue is furureb changes. I have 2 locations and one house is always empty. I cannot handle the uncertainty of all.my hard work in device types and smartapps going away on a whim. If they would just firm up the.plans I would stay around
I have no qualms about hosting my own smartapps on my server. But I am not rewritting everything when groovy goes away. I may as well port them to hubistat.

Next year will be a decision point for me; I have been here since the Kickstarter.
I loved the openess and access to the long forgotten “hacker”. I grew up in the era of experimentation, hackers, user groups, bulletin boards and 300 baud modems. I won’t bring up 4004’s, PDP’s and paper tape :rofl:
I can’t live without ActionTiles @625alex, WebCore @ady624 or custom DTH’s. Smart apps don’t worry me as I can just write more pistons!
If Hubitat comes out with a box that can handle the load of a complex house (I have 130 devices and 60 pistons) then I will seriously have to consider this in 2021.
Hubitat forums lead me to beleive that WebCore has been ported fairly successfully and that Groovy DTH’s for the most part are there for my devices (Xiaomi especially). ActionTiles was rumoured to be considering this platform (?) and as one of their long term beta testers would have this as the last nail in the ST coffin.
Not having an IDE is a real sore point for me, might as well be Control4, no touchy, it’s our secret society and you can’t come in anymore. :frowning:
I know Samsung thinks most users want to talk to Google or Alexa and have their HDTV or stove talk to them but I’m old school. I want to automate my house and devices in the true sense of low grade AI and not talk to everything just to have the doors unlock.
We shall see what settle in the dust of progress.

Edit. Just read a post from ST that there will be a replacement IDE so that is one positive.

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Hubitat runs none of the Home Automation code on their cloud server infrastructure. The Hubitat Cloud is simply there as an Endpoint Server to allow the Hub to connect to cloud services, and vice-versa. So, yes, the Hubitat cloud computing resource requirements are trivial in comparison to ST’s or Wink’s. Thus the cost is kept very low.

Hubitat has very recently announced their intention to release a new OPTIONAL annual subscription called Hub Protection Services. This will allow one’s hub to be automatically backed up to the Hubitat cloud periodically, including the full contents/configuration of the Zigbee and Z-Wave radios. This will allow a complete restoration of your entire home automation setup to a new hub, without requiring the re-pairing of any devices. This service will also include full extended warranty coverage for one’s hub, even after the normal hardware warranty expires.

So, this appears to be a potential constant revenue stream for Hubitat, in addition to hub sales.
It’ll be interesting to see how this service is received by hub owners.

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I am truly curious how ST outdid Hubitat on Amazon Alexa integration? Especially in light of all of the problems recently created by SmartThings with their new Alexa Skill. The new ST Skill shares all of one’s devices, whether you want them shared or not. This has caused much grief for users who’d rather use native Lutron, Phillips, Ecobee, etc… Alexa Skills… No fun having a ton of duplicates. Also, the new ST Skill appears to have broken Alexa Routines for many users.

I have been using the Hubitat Alexa Skill for years, and it has always just worked for my family. The Hubitat Skill allows users to select which Hubitat devices are shared with Alexa, thereby preventing duplicates. Switches, Dimmers, Color Bulbs, Thermostats, Motion Sensors, Contact Sensors, and Temperature Sensors are all supported. The Hubitat team is continuing to add more device types to Alexa as well.

Update: Latest Hubitat Platform release, 2.2.3, just added Alexa support for Garage Doors and Window Shades.

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Excellent summary Dan @ogiewon – I would add there is a small group of developers in a variant of category 3 who don’t sell their solution but offer it as donationware. I am in this category with my HousePanel dashboard app that users must host on their own servers today. To migrate this users will have to host the app on a secure server or AWS Lambda. I have rewritten the app but asking people to support a secure server is a lot harder than asking people to just fire up a rPI. So for developers in the “3a” category we are less motivated than those who sell their apps, but more motivated than those who have departed. The only viable path is to create a hosted solution which doesn’t really work for donationware. This is why I’m still scratching my head about what to do. I have re-written HousePanel to work with the new platform and I have tested it using ngrok but that isn’t a feasible deployment approach. So in a way developers in this “3a” category are like those in category 4 who will also struggle with a deployment model.

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Thanks for adding your feedback, Ken. Good info!

Yeah I didn’t think about the duplicate devices. I had two (old tp link plug and a casetta light) and just disabled the duplicates on the Alexa side. But if you have a ton of devices this would be a real pain. I’m glad the integration works for you, but I read a bunch of complaints about the Hubitat Alexa integration on the Hubitat forums. For me with Smartthings, the light is on before Alexa finishes saying ok.

We all bought our hubs already, and everyone rationalizes their decision of course. But I would think many reading this are looking to possibly switch hubs, and they should know the ups and downs of their options. I went through that painful process a couple months ago and just wanted to share my experience. Things change fast even in a few months though and for some, I’m sure Hubitat is a great option. But the important thing is to do your research and don’t switch hubs based on a knee jerk reaction.

The last thing I will say about Hubitat is they were having a big sale in May, then when Wink implemented the subscription plan Hubitat immediately ended the sale and jacked up their prices. It seemed like a (insert explitive) move and did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the company.

Glad to hear ST is currently working for you.

Same thing for me, with Hubitat’s Alexa Skill. Although, I have simply automated almost of our lighting based on time of day, sunrise/sunset, contact sensors, presence sensors, and motion sensors. We really hardly ever touch a light switch, and very rarely need to ask Alexa to do anything for us. We do use Alexa for a “Good Morning” and “Good Night” sequence of events. Works every time, without fail.

I completely agree and you’re definitely entitled to share your experience. However, it doesn’t sound like you actually have any firsthand experience with Hubitat, correct? Whereas I have been a SmartThings user since 2014 and a Hubitat user since very early 2018. Both have their pros and cons. It all depends on what one’s goals are for home automation. For me, I really wanted local processing of my own custom code, along with data privacy, the ability to backup and restore my configuration, and the option to choose if and when I upgrade the firmware on my hub. Thus, Hubitat scores much higher in all of those areas for me. SmartThings scores high on the number of cloud integrations they have, a huge corporation to keep them afloat, and not one, but TWO mobile apps! :wink:

Sure, I can understand how that would appear. Hubitat was in the midst of changing from their C-5 model hub (500 series Z-Wave) to their new C-7 model hub (700 series Z-Wave). The global supply chain was also a mess at that time, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. And Wink decided to upset their customers. Thus, it was a perfect storm scenario for Hubitat. Their supply was dwindling and demand was growing faster than anyone could have forecasted. I completely understand the cancelling of their sale price - they are a business after all - Supply and Demand. The timing for Wink users was, however, very unfortunate. Hubitat sold out of hubs very soon thereafter due to the aforementioned reasons. When Lowes shut down Iris, Hubitat did not alter their pricing. In fact, they actually reverse engineered the Iris v1 Zigbee protocol and added support for those devices to their platform. They did not charge a premium for that feature either.

It is good to have options. I know I try to keep an open mind and “use the proper tool for each job”, rather than trying to rely entirely on one platform/hub. I have come to learn that using the best of best, and then integrating those things together, will result in a highly reliable and functional solution.

For example, I find that Lutron switches, dimmers, fan controllers, and pico remotes ‘just work’, every time, all of the time. I have never had a single issue with my Lutron lighting system. It can be integrated with SmartThings, Hubitat, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Logitech Harmony Hub, IFTTT, Wink, Home Assistant, Node-RED, Ecobee, Sonos, etc… And it can integrate with all of those at the same time! I find this provides much more flexibility versus using Z-Wave/Zigbee switches, dimmers, and button controllers…and I never have to worry about having to ‘pair’ my Lutron devices again should I change hubs for any reason.

Philips Hue provides the same sort of robustness and integration possibilities for smart light bulbs. It can be integrated with SmartThings, Hubitat, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Logitech Harmony Hub, IFTTT, Home Assistant, Node-RED, etc… And it can integrate with all of those at the same time!

For Motion Sensors, Contact Sensors, and Leak Sensors, I find that Zigbee devices are much faster responding and lower cost than ‘most’ of their Z-Wave counterparts. This makes them ideal for automation, as well as for home security duties. My personal favorites are the Lowes Iris v2 devices, which were made by Centralite, the same OEM that made most of the original SmartThings devices. Centralite devices again, just seem to work very well (until their batteries die, of course! :wink: )

For Text to Speech, it is hard to do much better than Sonos. I personally like the IKEA Symfonisk speakers as they a relatively low cost, and are made by Sonos. They sound pretty nice as well. I have written my own TTS integration for Alexa, as well as used ‘Echo Speaks’, but for me the simplicity of using a device that can easily be integrated with multiple systems to perform TTS wins out.

For thermostats, I like Ecobee at this time. It has a nice balance of cost and features, and can be integrated with multiple platforms. Once Google shut down Works with Nest, I took Nest off my list. I also like that Ecobee thermostats, at least the current generation, supports Apple HomeKit. This means that even if the internet is down, as long as my phone is on my local WiFi, I can still see and control these thermostats via HomeKit. My AppleTV can also continue to run HomeKit automations while the internet is down.

During a recent power/internet outage here in Southeastern North Carolina, due to Hurricane Isaias, I was impressed that I could still have a fully automated house running on my generator, albeit with no internet. I could still access my Hubitat hub, my Logitech Harmony Hubs, Ecobee thermostats, etc… I could even lock the doors from my phone/tablet while connected to the local LAN. My ST hub was dead in the water, even with generator power, as there was no way for the hub to download its configuration from the ST cloud without an active internet connection (before someone asks, yes I have these devices on a fairly hefty UPS, but during a hurricane, when the power goes out at 11pm, I am not firing up the generator in the middle of the storm. Thus, the UPS did not hold until the next morning once the storm had passed and it was safe to venture outside.)

Again, it is good to have options and to keep an open mind. Everything has its pros and cons. I choose to focus on the pros of each technology, and then tie them all together to create a seamless user experience.

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Awesome insight. Yes you are correct no personal experience with Hubitat. Maybe I’m half afraid you’re completely right, I made the wrong choice, and will need to buy Hubitat as hub number three if Samsung blows this transition in the next few months, lol. Thanks for taking it easy on me. :slight_smile:

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Also better battery life. :wink:

I chose smartthings in the first place back in 2014 because I wanted Zigbee sensors and Z wave locks.

Choice is good. :sunglasses:

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So I read this thread and talked to some developers that I have worked with a bunch since turning up my instance of ST years ago (still on the v1 hub in fact) and I am at a loss as to what to do next. I am torn between waiting out being forced to use the new app (which I haven’t switched to yet because of no Apple Watch support) and upgragrading my hub with taking the leap to Hubitat (I have the latest hub in its packaging waiting to be turned up.) However no Apple Watch integration on Hubitat either. I really can’t find a convincing opinion here or anywhere on the internet for that matter. Anyone with first hand knowledge have an opinion?

There are two possible options, but I don’t know if they fit your exact use case.

The IFTTT “button” service Will work as a widget on an Apple Watch. That works quite well if you only have a couple of things you want to use the watch for.

And of course there’s always Homekit. If you use homebridge to bring your smartthings devices into HomeKit, then you can use that with the Apple Watch.

Either of these methods will work with a number of different hubs, including SmartThings. :sunglasses:

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You are killing me! :grin:

Seriously though…do we think that ST is not going to develop a new Apple Watch integration as a way to force users to their devices? IFTTT doesn’t work for the over 30 items I use my Apple Watch for and I have just glossed over Homebridge because it draws in another piece of equipment I need to configure/maintain. I am a lazy geek. :flushed:

The more research I do the more I am thinking of waiting out the force off of v1 and classic…am I really becoming the old grumpy get off my lawn lady??

IFTTT works for SmartThings, though. So I’m confused about what exactly it is that you’re looking for. :thinking:

How do you use the Apple Watch now with smartthings? Isn’t it just a widget to run a routine? If so, then you can definitely do that with Ifttt, but you would have the widget turn on a virtual SmartThings switch and then trigger the automation from that switch coming on on the smartthings side.

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Sorry when you said “if you only have a couple things to use it for” I assumed you meant there were limitations on the amount of “widgets” I could create in IFTTT. I will research further but this doesn’t answer the ST or Hubitat question…any opinions on that?

What exactly are your questions? If you really are a “lazy geek”, then you may want to stay with SmartThings. Hubitat is a very capable home automation platform, but it does require some effort.

Please explain how you currently use SmartThings, including what devices and integrations you currently use. Are you using a lot of custom community code, like DTHs and SmartApps (e.g. webCoRE)?

Maybe we should start a new thread for this specific project since it’s getting into a lot of details?

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There’s no limit that I know of, it just becomes kind of hard to find things if you have more than three or four. As opposed to HomeKit where you can open up a single app and then flip through your scenes very easily. Or of course use voice.

As far as smartthings versus hubitat each has pluses and minuses, it’s a very individual decision.

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My question was really more about the alternative hub…not so much about the Apple Watch integration but that doesn’t make me any less grateful for the suggestions!

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So here is my current set up:

v1 hub, classic apps

Smart Apps
MyQ Lite
Auto Lock

Routines
Over 30 that are switch and plug on/off as well as a few lock/unlock commands all of which I use from my Apple Watch

Devices
ZWave Locks - 3
Switches
Hue bulbs and lightstrips
Motion Sensors - that drive light and lock automations
Open/Closed sensors
Water sensors
Presence sensors for garage automation
Sonos integrations for SHM

I think that about sums it up…now that I spell it all out it is pretty simple. I do have everything hooked up to an APC back up because most times when power goes down internet is still up. So this allows me to continue to use some of the functions of ST. Since the whole house isn’t on a generator it’s limited but it I think answers do I need the locally controlled devices and I think that is no although that’s enticing. I think that’s my struggle…I want to want to use the Hubitat but I don’t think I need it. But leaping into v3 and the new app scares me as well because I can’t find a clear list of what I will lose outside of the Apple Watch component that seemingly is solved by IFTTT.

I really do appreciate any input you have and thanks for taking the time review this with me!