Choosing a hub

Complicated for sure. Abode Iota is HomeKit approved, and also a z-wave and zigbee hub that supports third party z-wave/zigbee devices. But only Abode devices will be exposed to HomeKit. It’s quite the mess.


Or the Apple TV 5th gen or iPad :slight_smile:


I was trying to think of one, but as far as I know, all the hubs/bridges with HomeKit support only expose their own specific brand devices to HomeKit, and not necessarily all of those.

That includes
Ikea Tradfri
Insteon (2015 model now discontinued)
Lutron RadioRA
Philips Hue

Homebridge is a simulated Philips Hue Bridge which lies to HomeKit and tells it that its connected devices are Hue brand models. I still don’t know why Apple/Philips allow that (it’s a violation of the Hue developer’s license, which was how the homebridge code was acquired to begin with), but they’ve never shut it down.


Yep… I have one AppleTV 4K and two AppleTV 4’s.

This thread has me wondering how much of my current home automation could be handled by HomeKit, if I had some way to get my motion and contact sensors natively supported in HomeKit. I have tried Homebridge a few times with less than stellar results.

It is good to have options! :wink:

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I just use HomeKit compatible sensors now. :sunglasses: There are quite a few available at this point, although most require their own bridge.

We use Hue sensors both indoors and out for lighting control and a couple of Eve contact sensors which have proven to be the most reliable. The fact that they are also the only ones with a Bluetooth range extender makes them particularly appropriate for sensors.

Koogeek advertises a contact sensor which I want to try but nobody seems to have them in stock in the US. :disappointed_relieved:

If I were starting today, I might go ahead and get the Abode Iota system to run HomeKit sensors, but it doesn’t make financial sense for us right now.

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Apple’s rule about third-party child devices pretty much guarantees that most people will need multiple hubs. :angry:
But on the bright side, Apple has committed to developing the CHoIP protocol along with ST, Philips, Zigbee Alliance, IKEA, and others. Unfortunately Lutron is not on this list, since they have their own proprietary protocol. So I foresee a limited lifespan for their products if CHoIP takes off.

It’s interesting, Apple did take down some of the original code that Homebridge was based on. I quickly scanned through the Homebridge code and didn’t notice anything written by Philips, so I guess they don’t really need the developer license anymore.

@JDRoberts you seem to be pretty deep into HomeKit. Are you still using ST or any other hub? Automation and customization is important to me. This fact may be enough reason to choose ST or Hubitat because of the community of tweakers sharing knowledge. If using ST for the primary hub, is it easy to share with other housemates?

Because the Lutron integration bridges already use Wi-Fi, it should be very easy for them to add project CHIP integration in the future should they want to. Lutron has generally been very open to integrations throughout their history. but it is very very very early days for project CHIP right now, we will just have to wait and see what actually happens with that. :sunglasses:

@JDRoberts you seem to be pretty deep into HomeKit. Are you still using ST or any other hub? Automation and customization is important to me. This fact may be enough reason to choose ST or Hubitat because of the community of tweakers sharing knowledge. If using ST for the primary hub, is it easy to share with other housemates?

I use quite a few different systems for different things. in my case, because I am quadriparetic, home automation isn’t just convenience. It’s often the only way I have of doing something on my own. So reliability is way more important to me than, for example, having everything all in one app.

I use HomeKit for my critical use cases, in part because everything does run locally except voice control.

I use SmartThings for complex convenience cases like getting a notification if rain is expected, the guest bedroom window is left open, and the guest is away from home. It’s not a disaster if we don’t get that notification, but it’s nice to get it before it actually starts raining. :umbrella:

I still have a wink hub which is running a few Z wave sensors back from the days when smartthings couldn’t be trusted with them. But if that died tomorrow it wouldn’t be a great loss.

We have a completely separate security system, in fact we have two. We run ring security as well as a more conventional long-term contract system.

We have a medical monitoring system.

We run a few things off of a Amazon echo show second generation, including a couple of Zigbee light switches which are the “Plan B“ For when the Internet is down. (Echo does offer local voice processing for a few cases, so that would allow me to turn a pathway of lights on and off between my room and the front door By voice even if the Internet was out.)

One of my two housemates has his own Phillips hue bridge with some of their accessories which just runs in his room. He’s also the only one who runs a Google home instead of echoes.

Let’s see, what else? I have a Logitech Harmony home hub running a few things because it can run on local Wi-Fi, no Internet. Nothing really significant, though, some stuff like electric candles.

We now have two switchbot hubs. They work well with echo and with smartthings.

The outdoor sprinkler system is different yet again. But that one’s been in place for a long time, we just haven’t bothered to integrate it with anything else because mostly it just runs on schedules.

I do have some IBeacon based systems, but at this point I think all of those are integrated into HomeKit via the HomePlus app.

We have nest protect smoke alarms and a couple of extra cameras which only work with echo.

There’s probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, but basically, we look for very reliable systems that solve specific use cases and have a good voice control interfaces. (Smartthings is the exception, it doesn’t meet my reliability requirements, but it does do some things that other systems in its price tier don’t, so we still use it. Just not for anything essential…)

We really don’t use an app for much of anything except setup with most of our devices, so we don’t care that there are multiple apps involved. :sunglasses:

But everybody’s different, and will have different preferences and priorities.

It’s great to hear alternate perspectives and priorities, thanks for sharing.


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