Home Automation

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
I recently replaced my alarm panel with a Konnected.io panel -- and from there I went down a rabbit hole of automation. I'm in the process of replacing light and fan switches with zigbee switches. My wife is going to kill me in my sleep -- i'm certain. The joke will be on her -- she won't know how to turn anything off or on.
 

gingrbredman

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I feel your pain. When I started down this "rabbit hole", I had a simple Phillips Hue Bridge. Now I have over 60 devices connected to my Smart Things Hub, and use all kinds of different platforms to bring it all together. Personally, I started with more devices on the Z-Wave platform, even though my first "automation" hub was Zigbee (Phillips Hue). I found with enough Z-Wave devices connected, they seemed more reliable when communicating with Smart Things. There are advantages to both Z Wave and Zigbee, and the nice thing is a central hub like Smart Things, it works with both of them.

More recently, I have been gravitating towards WiFi connected devices. The Kasa switches in particular have been a new favorite of mine, as well as WiFi locks like Yale and August. Locks in particular for me have always been a little tricky. Z Wave locks would just disconnect sometimes whereas the WiFi locks always seem to be available.

I recently finished up an mounted ipad installation, running Action Tiles, which allows me to customize a home screen for all kinds of automation. Yeah, just another rabbit hole to go down. This one is in the garage.

IMG_4722.jpg
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
I went with Hubitat to keep everything local. I have two 10" fire tabs mounted with dashboards. The family eye roll me frequently. I have announcements for each person when they come home -- except for my 14 yr old. He doesn't have a smartphone.

I have a house full of Wyze cams -- I don't want to scrap them -- I'll probably use TinyCam with the server to feed to the tabs. The lights we cheap. I'll give them to my parents or brother. For white lights, i'll change the switches. I only have a few that I want colors -- outside, mostly.
 
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gingrbredman

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I went with Hubitat to keep everything local
If I were to setup a new ecosystem today, I would go with Hubitat. It just wasn't around when I started, thought the cost of entry isn't bad at all if I do want to make the switch. I could add the Hubitat for $80, and actually run dual systems until I make a full switch over. The only thing I'm not sure of yet is the long staying power of Hubitat. With Smart Things, Samsung isn't going anywhere, which is god and bad. Good they aren't going anywhere, but the big corporation of Samsung holds the cards. Even Wink decided to add a subscription fee in eventually and people with that platform needed to pivot. I like Smart Things, it works for me, but for new people entering, I'd take a hard look at Hubitat.

The family eye roll me frequently

Funny how my family does the same thing. Any time I bring in a new device, I get the eye roll. Partly because my wife thinks we don't need it, the kids get excited about it, but they want to see how this all works. When the automation is used, everyone loves it, but they all tell me they don't need it. But you know, of course we do.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
The only thing I'm not sure of yet is the long staying power of Hubitat.

From forums, etc., there are an awful lot of people migrating from ST since the new ST app is causing some heartburn.

The nice thing about local - even if they ceased today, everything I have right now would continue to work.
 

Dirk

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I started on X-10, some 40 years ago! Then replaced them all with Insteon a few decades ago, which at the time was only communicating through the power-line. It worked OK, but not 100% reliable. I have since switched homes and brought it all with me (changing out every device in two homes!), hoping the new house would be more "receptive" to Insteon signals. It wasn't. And then I started replacing every device with Insteon's newest protocol, which is still using the power-line but also transmitting via RF. Plus, it's a mesh network. After 40 years of traveling down the rabbit hole, I finally have the system I've been chasing all that time. Near 100% reliability. Insteon seems to be around for the long haul. And the developer of the software I use is also going strong and very attentive to the industry with timely updates. It's incredibly customizable, which is my thing. They went subscription model not too long ago, which really irks me, but that is the software culture now and we never had a choice.

I'm sure we'll all be chuckling about all these "archaic" technologies some day in the distant future (you know, like five years from now). but it's fun and useful and if our friends and family weren't eye-rolling about this obsession, they'd be eye-rolling about some other one, because if it wasn't HA, we'd just find something else!
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
I feel your pain. When I started down this "rabbit hole", I had a simple Phillips Hue Bridge. Now I have over 60 devices connected to my Smart Things Hub, and use all kinds of different platforms to bring it all together. Personally, I started with more devices on the Z-Wave platform, even though my first "automation" hub was Zigbee (Phillips Hue). I found with enough Z-Wave devices connected, they seemed more reliable when communicating with Smart Things. There are advantages to both Z Wave and Zigbee, and the nice thing is a central hub like Smart Things, it works with both of them.

More recently, I have been gravitating towards WiFi connected devices. The Kasa switches in particular have been a new favorite of mine, as well as WiFi locks like Yale and August. Locks in particular for me have always been a little tricky. Z Wave locks would just disconnect sometimes whereas the WiFi locks always seem to be available.

I recently finished up an mounted ipad installation, running Action Tiles, which allows me to customize a home screen for all kinds of automation. Yeah, just another rabbit hole to go down. This one is in the garage.

View attachment 167096
Your garage is CLEAN! My garage looks like i'm building sputnik. I have lab tables for electronics, tons of camping equipment, tools and a tennis stringing station. Oh, and mini man cave area.
 

frankofiore

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
27
Mundelein, IL
I went with Hubitat to keep everything local. I have two 10" fire tabs mounted with dashboards. The family eye roll me frequently. I have announcements for each person when they come home -- except for my 14 yr old. He doesn't have a smartphone.

I have a house full of Wyze cams -- I don't want to scrap them -- I'll probably use TinyCam with the server to feed to the tabs. The lights we cheap. I'll give them to my parents or brother. For white lights, i'll change the switches. I only have a few that I want colors -- outside, mostly.

Can you tell me more about Hubitat and how it works? Right now I'm primarily using Apple Home to control automations. I have about 40 Philips Hue lights, a couple Meross light switches, Meross garage door openers, & ecobee thermostats.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
Can you tell me more about Hubitat and how it works? Right now I'm primarily using Apple Home to control automations. I have about 40 Philips Hue lights, a couple Meross light switches, Meross garage door openers, & ecobee thermostats.
Here's the current compatibility list: List of Compatible Devices - Hubitat Documentation

Having not used Apple Home, I can't compare. I do use Google Home, which I have integrated in to Hubitat. Hubitat is local, not cloud based. If your net access goes down, everything will still operate. It's a lot of DYI type of tasks -- there's a community who also develop drivers and apps for non-natively supported "stuff". If you like to tinker, you'll probably enjoy it. If you don't, well... :) I have my alarm system and all its sensors, Nest thermostat connected. I also use a customized dashboard to show weather, cam streams, etc. I'm going to replace my lights and fan switches with smart switches. There are people who control every bit of their environment with Hubitat -- for instance when you arrive home, the alarm disarms, the couch light and fan turn on, the AC lowers and the TV turns on. I don't know what I need to turn in to the Wall-E people. There are many who tie in their pool devices.
 

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gingrbredman

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Your garage is CLEAN! My garage looks like i'm building sputnik. I have lab tables for electronics, tons of camping equipment, tools and a tennis stringing station. Oh, and mini man cave area.

Thanks! My garage is definitely not a "working" garage. I do have a fourth car stall in the back, as well as a shed, and a worship in the basement where all the Crud resides, so I have plenty of space for stuff, and a garage to hang out in.

IMG_4727.jpg

@DAB942 described it well as far as what Hubitat does specifically. I look at Hubitat, or even Smart Things, as kind of a brain to control all your smart stuff. I think of it as a way to control everything, from one location, no matter what the brand the smart device (with some limmitations of course).

You may have different Hubs (Hue, Lutron, etc.) that can all do their things, but they don't talk to each other, or always play nice with each other. Hubitat is the brain, or the processor, that takes in all the information, and then tells the body what to do next.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
Thanks! My garage is definitely not a "working" garage. I do have a fourth car stall in the back, as well as a shed, and a worship in the basement where all the Crud resides, so I have plenty of space for stuff, and a garage to hang out in.

View attachment 167262

@DAB942 described it well as far as what Hubitat does specifically. I look at Hubitat, or even Smart Things, as kind of a brain to control all your smart stuff. I think of it as a way to control everything, from one location, no matter what the brand the smart device (with some limmitations of course).

You may have different Hubs (Hue, Lutron, etc.) that can all do their things, but they don't talk to each other, or always play nice with each other. Hubitat is the brain, or the processor, that takes in all the information, and then tells the body what to do next.

Exactly -- these automation systems really amount to aggregators. Each manufacturer's stuff can generally be controlled by individual apps or devices. These things bring them all in to one place -- with the addition to some fancy pants automations which wouldn't be possible all the different pieces and parts.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
Thanks! My garage is definitely not a "working" garage. I do have a fourth car stall in the back, as well as a shed, and a worship in the basement where all the Crud resides, so I have plenty of space for stuff, and a garage to hang out in.

View attachment 167262

@DAB942 described it well as far as what Hubitat does specifically. I look at Hubitat, or even Smart Things, as kind of a brain to control all your smart stuff. I think of it as a way to control everything, from one location, no matter what the brand the smart device (with some limmitations of course).

You may have different Hubs (Hue, Lutron, etc.) that can all do their things, but they don't talk to each other, or always play nice with each other. Hubitat is the brain, or the processor, that takes in all the information, and then tells the body what to do next.

I can only tell by your tag that you're in Chicago. :)
 

Dirk

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I would have recommended Indigo as the central controller (which is what I use), but it doesn't support Zigbee. It runs on Mac and is crazy-customizable, including down to a coding level that allows not only plug-ins but anything you can code yourself, so the possibilities are limitless. Except any possibility of using it with Zigbee. :(
 

gingrbredman

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I can only tell by your tag that you're in Chicago. :)
Yes, good eye, my garage is my "Chicago sports bar", and only my Chicago teams make the cut ;)

I would have recommended Indigo as the central controller (which is what I use), but it doesn't support Zigbee. It runs on Mac and is crazy-customizable, including down to a coding level that allows not only plug-ins but anything you can code yourself, so the possibilities are limitless. Except any possibility of using it with Zigbee. :(

I think there is going to be something, in any central controller, that is not going to "tick every box" for a homeowner. I like that there are a lot of options, so we can choose which one checks the most boxes. The lack of Zigbee support would be a big barrier for me, all the Hue devices use Zigbee so they couldn't be used in that controller environment. And while the Hue products are expensive themselves, there are a few "add on" lights like strips and bulbs that are not Hue branded that can connect to the Hue hub, really expanding its use for me, for a low cost to add to. Which ever central controller someone chooses, if they start out slow and work there way up, the possibilities are really limitless, with a few exceptions of course.
 

frankofiore

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
27
Mundelein, IL
Yes, good eye, my garage is my "Chicago sports bar", and only my Chicago teams make the cut ;)

I live in the northern suburbs and glad to see you are a Sox fan like myself. Not happy with the La Russa signing though! They are going to need to change all game time starts to 1pm so that he can make it to bed by 7:30!
 

gingrbredman

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Jun 10, 2020
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I live in the northern suburbs and glad to see you are a Sox fan like myself. Not happy with the La Russa signing though! They are going to need to change all game time starts to 1pm so that he can make it to bed by 7:30!

:laughblue:
 

jimim

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Jun 20, 2016
3,007
NE/Pa
My house is running on multiple vera’s for my lighting (Leviton zwave), sprinklers, and alarm. It used to run on an hai panel bit when Leviton trashes hai after they bought it I ripped it out and tossed it so now I have no stat control for heating and cooling cause that was hai. We were hai dealers. I still haven’t picked up another company cause most people don’t want to pay for the programming with all these diy Home Depot brands out there now.
My biggest piece is all my audio and video tied into iPads and iPhones For the whole house. Which used to be run on irule. Bit they were sold off and the company who bought them I didn’t like so we switched to Centro control which I’m very pleased with. The programming isn’t too bad. I was able to use all my old graphics I made in photoshop and I was good to go. What I did do is pull out my home audio control which is Nuvo technology. That is it’s own app and keypads with android based wall touch screens. The mobile app works on iPhones and iPads so it just runs along side Centro control. I really don’t need whole home audio macros to run with video when watching tv so no big deal.
My audio video control over Centro control is what I like the best. My last project is my dedicated theatre. The pool put that to a halt but I’m going to pick it up again this winter when my buddy’s shop is slower so we can build the coffer cloud ceiling and start the wall build outs for the acoustics. The room shell is completely sound proof and isolated from my house which is all done. So all I have left is finishing work. Which is the largest part of the build.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
524
Space Coast, FL
We have a good size pergola in the back. I think i'm going metal roof it and add some zigbee or zwave lights out there with fans and audio. While the pergola does reduce some sunlight -- it's still pretty brutal during the Summer months.
 

Hal3

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I'll join in.
I was on SmartThings for several years and OK with it. The SmartThings devices integrated and worked well for me. I also added LIFX bulbs and Wyze cams.

Then, Samsung started bullying people into a new app which I didn't like.

After much research and mulling I am switching to Hubitat. Hubitat offers local control (everything works if the internet is down) but it is more complicated and not as newbie friendly as SmartThings. It also does not work with LIFX bulbs and Wyze cams. Hubitat can be tortured into sort of working with LIFX and Wyze but it's a project.

I just continue to use the manufacturer's apps for LIFX and Wyze. I mostly use Alexa to switch things on and off anyway and if the internet goes down I will just have to turn off my lights like the pioneers did.

If you are new and want ease of use just go with SmartThings. If you like projects and already have a GitHub account you might like Hubitat.
 

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