SmartThings vs Hubitat - please share your experience!

UPDATE: I am nearly 3 months in with HE and things have actually gotten better. I have been passing on the latest firmware updates because I have my system setup and running very well and that’s all I ever wanted.

About a month ago, I did face the dreaded slowdown issue that others speak of and thought I was going to have to implement regular reboots. However, I reached out to the community, researched extensively, made improvements to my mesh using Iris plugs (using the simple Zigbee logs shows a dramatic improvement with my Zigbee mesh), and checked the logging all the time to track and fix the error and to make sure it was gone and now no issues at all. Hub has been running since and no reboot or slowdown.

I think the issue was related to a Z-Wave device that I implemented but removed improperly but being able to restore the database in HE and see the logging and pinpoint the error was very nice. Probably not stuff that a regular user is comfortable with or wants to do but I like this sort of DIY.

I have never had a rule that didn’t run when it was supposed to. Any weirdness was because of a mistake I made in my rule. The dashboards I have created with HTML and JS have been working great and I have even put a couple together for use on smart phones. I thought maybe my pinging of device status’s (depending on which dashboard) would perhaps cause more drain on battery-operated devices but this has not been the case.

Most of my stuff is Zigbee, none have issues. I do have some Z-wave devices, one is a Yale lock which I hear some people have issues with on HE, but I never have had an issue with it.

So, yeah, I am all in with HE and glad I made the switch. I can definitely understand frustration when things don’t work but being able to troubleshoot using available tools and not depend on somebody else to research for me just works for me since I want to know the ins and outs of what I am putting together.

This is not a slam against people that just want to stick to ST at all, but maybe HE is just for people that want to take that active role in maintaining their own system and take the time to understand how everything is integrating and troubleshoot on their own when implementation doesn’t quite go the way it would on a more “user-friendly” platform like ST. ST is easy…until it breaks…then you have to wait for ST (or webcore) to get it straight. For me, there simply is no comparison what is better for my home and how I want it to function.

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I have had a lot of experience with home automation hubs. I will start with a history that started 5 years ago.
My first hub was Staples Connect, a D-Link hub sold by Staples Office Supply. This was a great hub in that it incorporated Z-wave, WIFI, Bluetooth, and Lutron Caseta radios. Great tool as we had a preference for Lutron light dimmers and Z-Wave motion and door sensors.

When Staples pulled their product (and support) I went with a Lutron Pro Hub and Vera Pro. Good combination as the Vera talked with Lutron well. But I really didn’t like their kludged up programming language and as more devices were added, it got sluggish. Then Lutron did an update and the connection to Vera was lost.

In an attempt to “roll my own” I tried my hand at HomeAssistant and started writing a driver to communicate with the Lutron hub via telnet locally. I had made headway since I am a software engineer and know Python. Progress was slow and I started reading about SmartThings.

SmartThings was an easy change as it did communicate with the Lutron hub and supported both Z-Wave and Zigbee of which I had many devices of both. I quickly became a fan with the ability to plug-in many software interfaces the IDE allowed me to add custom drivers easily and WebCore was a fantastic rules engine of which I hadn’t had until now.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Samsung has done a wonderful job with SmartThings but, there are still limits to what I want to do. One of which is better local programming control for shorter response times. Also, Samsung has been hammering me with “incident reports” almost weekly and there have been numerous time when the system has just gone down due to problems with their cloud system. Getting some devices to work well was troublesome and the drivers being in the cloud was becoming a bit of a headache when the internet was down or slow.

I have now been on Hubitat for just a couple of weeks and…WOW! what a difference. It has been a bit of a struggle understanding as any DIY system is but, once I crossed a point of clarity, I will never go back to SmartThings. Having total control has been awesome. Even writing and testing drivers is easy. So many of my devices are working way better. So much is integrated into the device.

The real crossing point was when I wanted to install the Aeotec Home Energy Monitor. I wasn’t even able to get all of the functions to work on SmartThings let alone graphing my power usage was going to require external hardware and software. The installation of the device took less than 5 minutes on Hubitat and in another 15 minutes, I was making graphs RIGHT ON THE SAME HUB! SOLD!

Now I have multiple dashboards and I don’t have to purchase and attach third part software. I have icons that throw switches and change modes right on my smartphone and I am getting consistently reliable notifications. I just can’t find any reason to go back to SmartThings.

Anyone interested in purchasing a used smart home hub?

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I am debating moving to SF, due to the instability of HE. I have no had any issues at present but I will be in the bad books with the wife is stuff starts to go wrong. Although sounds like ST have their own issues just different kinds

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Yes, many different kinds. :wink: not all issues affect all people, some only last for a few minutes, but some can last for weeks and be very frustrating.

Smartthings is a very powerful, very flexible platform, But it does not yet have the reliability That many people want.

I myself have a minimum standard MFOP (maintenance free operating period) of six months or preferably even 12. I get that from some systems, including echo, Philips Hue, Lutron, And HomeKit, but smartThings rarely makes 12 days. :disappointed_relieved:

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What kind of issues do you see?

There are glitches every week or two of different kinds. Usually of the “it worked on Monday, I haven’t changed anything, and now it doesn’t work” sort. :disappointed_relieved: You’ll find lots of discussions in the forum.

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I have had the case of the mobile app not working at least 5 times in the last year. I have also had automation failing multiple times as well. I have also seen the failure between SmartThings and Amazon on numerous occasions and the Lutron interface with Amazon was still working fine.

i have seen at least 3 times in the last 8 months where the system was completely unusable, once for the better part of a day.

The issue is, when cloud services have problems, it affects too many users negatively.

With HE so far, the only down times are those that I created.

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Yeah seems like I might be sticking with HE for now and moving devices onto HUE or deCONZ

It looks like deCONZ is just Zigbee products. I cannot seem to find any real hub platforms but USB interfaces. It looks to me to be a HomeAssistant derivative of some kind. Good luck with that.

HE has combined the best of all worlds really well. The only shortcoming I have found so far is the dashboards. Yes, there are third party ones that I am looking at but, the built in dashboards are boxy and too limited and their mobile app has no widget support. As far as everything else, it is the easiest and most stable of anything I have used so far.

The main issue with home automation is that the industry is so fragmented on design and implementation. Yes, we have the standard of Z-Wave and Zigbee but device implementation and hub designs are just all over the place. Enter, Google, and those devices no longer play well with others and you have call to the google gods (hey google) to wake up any speech recognition. Gogles is my backup voice system which I rarely have to use.

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@SmartThings I would like to code custom DTHs just for me without being a developer. Will this be possible?

How will custom DTHs work? Will you force users to use SmartApps to find devices and add this dth? For example, I have a virtual temp and humidity sensor I added by creating a virtual switch and changing its dth into the custom dth. Now, will I have to write a smartapp to add this dth. A smartapp would make this coding so much harder.

How will webCore work?

Will their be a groovy emulator smartapp. I hope some developers can create a groovy emulator.

Will all of this require days of work, even for a non-developer?

And to the community, especially any Hubitat or home assistant users out their…

I have a wink hub 2 sitting around (and a wink hub) from a lot in eBay I got for the bulbs and wink relays. I heard it can be rooted. Has anyone developed a plugin to add this directly to home assistant as a zigbee and z wave antenna?
Otherwise, can the smartthings hub be rooted to do this?

Does Hubitat have any plan of phasing out groovy? Well it’s local so they probably can’t if I block it from non#local traffic. Is their an shtm equivalent in Hubitat?

Thanks for the help.

Not that I have heard.

Hubitat has their own “Hubitat Safety Monitor” app.

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@ogiewon Then Hubitat is a good alternative…

I need a Hubitat on a $15 to $20 eBay deal…I got the smartthings hub for $10. Well I’ll just wait until something pops up or I can root my unused wink hub to work with home asssistant, as using smartthings with home assistant would still mean many devices would go away when groovy dies.

At least home assistant has backup. Recently, I accidentally deleted a smartapp and broke a ton of automations. At least home assistant is as easy as inserting a file into the web ui and having all the things back to normal. Same as Hubitat, with free backup to the hub.

Well I purchased a Hubitat hub yesterday from vesternet, I’ve got fed up of my door locks being slow and crap, I will start with moving the Z-Wave network to hubitat straight away, then slowly move zigbee and other devices. Will keep smartthings for some stuff but I expect to turn off zigbee and Z-Wave before September

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Best move I made was going to Hubitat. Took about 4 days total to move 50 devices over. First thing wife said, wow the lights are way faster now. Presence just works (broke for us in the last app update and its been 2 weeks already and still not fixed even showing ST the detailed information on how to break it) I hated to loose ActionTiles but the dashboard is not so bad in Hubitat and actually configures nicely once you dig into it. Its not as user friendly IMO with devices and setting up certain things but it works just fine. Day 5 into it and 2 small devices left and now that I have verified things are working as they should be I’ve just forgot about it

My favorite part is doing everything on the PC. No more smart phone configuration!

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SharpTools works with Hubitat as well as SmartThings and has a free tier so you can try it and see how your family likes it. :sunglasses:

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Actually love this feature with Hubitat. Also - seeing Echo Speaks much faster and the ‘Amazon Echo Skill’ has been much friendlier than the SmartThings Classic version. I did use HubConnect 1.64 to keep ActionTiles running and it works, but not ideal. There was discussion of ActionTiles natively running on Hubitat at some point. About two weeks into the switch and really haven’t found anything I can not do on Hubitat. SMS (North America) and Email is missing natively, but with webCoRE you get email back and I built an adapter and piston to send SMS over to the SmartThings hub as a workaround.

Having the Hubitat Hub as the ‘backoffice’ heavy automation with SmartThings as the ‘if it still working when you need something bells and whistles’ seems to be the new normal.

Take a look at SharpTools for the dashboard. I have a number of them for different purposes. Pretty sweet!

EDIT: Saw JD’s post after I posted, so just consider this a +1, lol.

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+1 for sharptools.

Works ace under hubitat.

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I am also a recent convert to Hubitat. Couldn’t be happier!

My favorite part so far was offloading all my NodeJS from my server onto the hub. Harmony, Google home, Google Cast, lutron, Amazon Eco.

I’ve been Impressed what such a tiny hub can do.

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