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HKer

Building a smart home, start from zero

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Recently I have been planning for a smart home but start from zero.
So Im doing lots of research on it.

Yet, I got some questions, which may sound very stupid to you.


First of all, I got a bit confused about the hub thing. Since I can link devices to Echo via wifi, why do I still need that hub thing? 
Alexa is now able to do automations like setting routines. Echo itself acts like a hub now, right?
So in fact, is it already good to go if I buy smart home devices using WIFI protocol and link them all to Echo?

Another question is about Hubitat. I like digging into things as long as its powerful, no matter how steep the learning curve is. After watching some reviews on Hubitat, I know how powerful and flexible on automation Hubitat can bring us.
But I got confused then. I want to control everything via Alexa voice control, but Hubbitat only supports Zigbee and Z wave but no WIFI.
Can Hubitat discover and control the devices which Echo has discovered through WIFI? 
If not, that means I have to buy all smart home devices with Z-word protocol if I want to control them all with Hubitat?

Or is there any way I can integrate?

This concerns me a lot because I have to decide what smart home devices to purchase, wifi vs Z-word.

 

 

 

 

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I would recommend the smartthings hub. It has a great deal of support and if you want power for it check out webcore. It supports more devices then hubitat. Don't get me wrong hubitat is a great hub but it doesn't have the support that smartthings does. Wifi is great but I (and a lot of others) have had devices drop off of the wifi network. I haven't had that problem with zigbee & z-wave devices.

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Ive had just as many unresponsive issues with zigbee as I have with wifi as a percentage. The difference I have found is the zigbee stuff seems to come back faster from an unresponsive state. I am using the echo plus hub.

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57 minutes ago, David said:

Ive had just as many unresponsive issues with zigbee as I have with wifi as a percentage. The difference I have found is the zigbee stuff seems to come back faster from an unresponsive state. I am using the echo plus hub.

That is weird as i have not had a single zigbee or z-wave device become unresponsive (over 95  devices at this time) and some of these devices I've had over 5 years. I alweays have my hub located in the center of the house and away from my wifi router

Edited by Larry Underwood
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12 hours ago, HKer said:

Recently I have been planning for a smart home but start from zero.
So Im doing lots of research on it.

Yet, I got some questions, which may sound very stupid to you.


First of all, I got a bit confused about the hub thing. Since I can link devices to Echo via wifi, why do I still need that hub thing? 
Alexa is now able to do automations like setting routines. Echo itself acts like a hub now, right?
So in fact, is it already good to go if I buy smart home devices using WIFI protocol and link them all to Echo?

Another question is about Hubitat. I like digging into things as long as its powerful, no matter how steep the learning curve is. After watching some reviews on Hubitat, I know how powerful and flexible on automation Hubitat can bring us.
But I got confused then. I want to control everything via Alexa voice control, but Hubbitat only supports Zigbee and Z wave but no WIFI.
Can Hubitat discover and control the devices which Echo has discovered through WIFI? 
If not, that means I have to buy all smart home devices with Z-word protocol if I want to control them all with Hubitat?

Or is there any way I can integrate?

This concerns me a lot because I have to decide what smart home devices to purchase, wifi vs Z-word.

 

 

 

 

Echo itself acts like a hub now, right?

Yes, your Echo acts like a hub, however; your Alexa app basically runs everything anyway once connected over your Wi-Fi network

So in fact, is it already good to go if I buy smart home devices using WIFI protocol and link them all to Echo?

The easiest answer is Yes, if already connected to same WiFi network.

Another question is about Hubitat. I like digging into things as long as its powerful, no matter how steep the learning curve is. After watching some reviews on Hubitat, I know how powerful and flexible on automation Hubitat can bring us.
But I got confused then. I want to control everything via Alexa voice control, but Hubbitat only supports Zigbee and Z wave but no WIFI.

 

I'm learning about the Hubitat too by connecting things in my Garage (I connected the Aeotec Z-Wave Garage Door Controller). I really like the device. I want to integrate into Google Home (not Alexa), however, there are safety commands through Google that prevents connection without a second 'check' to ensure that you want to do it. Meaning you can't control over voice with this specific product and Google Home at the moment. However, there are tons of other products out there will allow you to use your SmartWatch (like @Shay can tell you).

I get the need for voice command. That's what I was looking for. The Hubitat does come with 'Apps' to integrate with Echo and everything under the sun, however, you may run into situations where the specific device or function has not been integrated with Hubitat (not because of Hubitat) but because of how the manufacturers of the device want it to run.

image.thumb.png.e35908d55f27fad31f86edb5385827b0.png

Can Hubitat discover and control the devices which Echo has discovered through WIFI? 

Yes you can connect with the Hub in some cases, however, it's not always the Hub controlling the Alexa enabled device. Like Google Home, you integrate because you've used Google home as the portal to log into your devices - In your case, you might want to check out Connecting your Hubitat Elevation™ to your Amazon Echo or Alexa compatible device...

Just remember some things require some finessing to make it work reliably, whether SmartThings, Hubitat or Aqara... Personally I'm excited that there is an Ecobee integration. I haven't tried that. I already have the ecobee controlled over google home, so maybe this is a way to create some redundancy or reliability with the Hubitat.

Hope that helps

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2 hours ago, AYL_Alan said:

Echo itself acts like a hub now, right?

Yes, your Echo acts like a hub, however; your Alexa app basically runs everything anyway once connected over your Wi-Fi network

So in fact, is it already good to go if I buy smart home devices using WIFI protocol and link them all to Echo?

The easiest answer is Yes, if already connected to same WiFi network.

Another question is about Hubitat. I like digging into things as long as its powerful, no matter how steep the learning curve is. After watching some reviews on Hubitat, I know how powerful and flexible on automation Hubitat can bring us.
But I got confused then. I want to control everything via Alexa voice control, but Hubbitat only supports Zigbee and Z wave but no WIFI.

 

I'm learning about the Hubitat too by connecting things in my Garage (I connected the Aeotec Z-Wave Garage Door Controller). I really like the device. I want to integrate into Google Home (not Alexa), however, there are safety commands through Google that prevents connection without a second 'check' to ensure that you want to do it. Meaning you can't control over voice with this specific product and Google Home at the moment. However, there are tons of other products out there will allow you to use your SmartWatch (like @Shay can tell you).

I get the need for voice command. That's what I was looking for. The Hubitat does come with 'Apps' to integrate with Echo and everything under the sun, however, you may run into situations where the specific device or function has not been integrated with Hubitat (not because of Hubitat) but because of how the manufacturers of the device want it to run.

image.thumb.png.e35908d55f27fad31f86edb5385827b0.png

Can Hubitat discover and control the devices which Echo has discovered through WIFI? 

Yes you can connect with the Hub in some cases, however, it's not always the Hub controlling the Alexa enabled device. Like Google Home, you integrate because you've used Google home as the portal to log into your devices - In your case, you might want to check out Connecting your Hubitat Elevation™ to your Amazon Echo or Alexa compatible device...

Just remember some things require some finessing to make it work reliably, whether SmartThings, Hubitat or Aqara... Personally I'm excited that there is an Ecobee integration. I haven't tried that. I already have the ecobee controlled over google home, so maybe this is a way to create some redundancy or reliability with the Hubitat.

Hope that helps

Wow thanks, helped me a lot! 

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Posted (edited)

An important first step is to decide if you want to go local or web. Both have their pros and cons.  I am remodeling my house and have the liberty to start from scratch.  Personally, I am in favor of local and am almost sure to opt for the Hubitat Elevation and build around it.  I am in agreement with the others on this topic on the subject of Hubitat. 

Edited by Teknojay
Further thoughts.
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Posted (edited)

Hi, I'm in the same situation here.

Starting a project of building a smart house, and I read about webCore for Smartthings. On the other hand is Hubitat, I haven't researched a lot about pros and cons but I see there are two paths to chose.

What would you recomend nowadays?

Smartthings or Hubitat?

Edited by PeL4
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I would recommend smartthings myself. It has a lot of support for it compared to hubitat and personally I like webcore over habitat's rule engine. I have both hub's and after trying them both keep coming back to  smartthings. Easier to do complex automations and I have a fiber connection so I hardly ever have internet outages. As a matter of fact I haven't had a single one as of yet.

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I don’t have experience with Hubitat, but I second SmartThings and WebCore integration. 

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Posted (edited)

Going to toss in another vote for SmartThings and webCoRE with the caveat I haven’t tried Hubitat so can’t speak to that. I’m attracted to the speed everyone mentions. 

David, I’ve also had a few issues myself with a couple of ZigBee devices yet wonder if the issues are device specific not necessarily the protocol. The ST ZigBee devices have been solid. Z-wave has been rock solid for me on the whole. 

If you live with other humans, you will want to consider them going into it to save yourself trouble later. My spouse is in IT as well, but tells or texts me whenever there is an issue In addition to our kids. I regret not making it all more of a family project early on.

My son has some interest so over the holidays we got a raspberry pi and started messing around with homebridge. Our kids are really into the Apple ecosystem so that was fun for him and he likes HomeKit. They each have an ActionTiles shortcut for their dashboards that probably never gets used from their iPhones.

None of us are big talkers and prefer visual interfaces or automation, but the voice assistants are great for convenience when your hands are full.

As Alan mentioned, smart watches are another way to control devices and helped get my daughter using things more. Personally, I love the Apple Watch too. My daughter really likes Siri and doesn’t care for the other VA’s...at all. NFC tags are definitely my son’s favorite. Sorry, I’m going on a tangent here, but just definitely consider everyone now or regret later lol. Going with devices that work on as many platforms as possible is a good idea. IFTTT has been helpful a few times trying to kluge between two.

Please post back updates as I’m super curious how this goes!

Edited by Shay
Thought of something else
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