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Are you going to use Hubitat to automate your Smarthome?

  Hubitat Hub and its box

The first step in building a smarthome often selects a hub and there are many options. Hubitat is a unique cloud-independent hub. It is incredibly powerful, clever and complicated. But should you use Hubitat in your smart home?

Hubitat is a powerful hub for your Smarthome

  Hubitat Dashboard page with multiple smarthome options

One thing is still true; There are too many smarthome hubs that you can choose from. And while there are hubs that you should avoid altogether, Hubitat is not necessarily one of them: it is complex, perhaps too complicated for many people, but has many powerful features.

Hubitat is a true smarthome hub designed to be the center of your automation. It connects to Z-wave and Zigbee, Alexa and Google Home, Lutron and LAN devices. What is different from most smarthome hubs is its emphasis on local control and incredibly advanced automation. It boasts a fairly large component for integration, and if you choose wisely, it should be able to control everything you add to your smart home.

With Hubitat, for example, you can create a set of rules that would dampen your lights from 100% to 30% for half an hour at sunset or 8.00 (whichever is later) and then pick up the lights slowly at sunrise or 6 AM (which is later) -all without any cloud collaboration. This will also work if your internet goes down. SmartThings and Wink cannot reach this level of complexity, especially while only relying on local control.

Most hubs are Cloud-based, but Hubitat is Local

Other large smarthome hubs like Blick and SmartThings are cloud-first devices with perhaps a little local control added afterwards. When you press the button on your phone to activate the living room light, a signal is sent from your phone to your router and via the Internet to Wink or SmartThings cloud servers. That command is processed and then sent back via the internet to your router and then to your hub. Finally, your nav sends the command to your light. Without any local control support, this does not work when your internet goes down.

Hubitat handles most of the work locally, giving several benefits. Because your command doesn't have to go over the internet and back you see that your lights are turned on and off faster than Wink or Smartthings. If your internet goes down, these locally controlled features will continue to work. And if integrity is your goal, you have more of it because you are not communicating with a company's cloud.

Of course, you can connect some devices that require the cloud, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, to Hubitat. You will lose some speed and integrity when using these devices and everything controlled by them.

One of the other benefits of Hubitat is the cost. Once you have purchased the Hubitat hardware, you are ready. Hubitat does not force you into ongoing monthly subscriptions to get functionality; All that is offered is included, including software updates. Hubitat usually sells for $ 149.95, but right now Hubitat offers the latest hardware for $ 99.95.

With Hubitat You create complex automations

  Hubitat Rules definition page

Automation is the real smarthome superpower. While we love to talk to our homes, Hubitat can make voice control unnecessary. The hubit enables advanced triggers and rules. For example, you can set a rule for the following: Because you entered the bedroom, and it is after 21:00, and it is cold tonight, and the heat is not on, the lights should be activated and dimmed and the electric blanket should be switched on . If you use individual presence detectors, you can define that this only occurs if a particular person enters the room.

As another example, with motion sensors in bathrooms and smart lights or switches, you can automatically turn on the lights when someone enters. You can also decide how bright the light should be depending on the time of day and how long they should remain before you automatically turn off again – and again the length may depend on time of day. You can go as far as adding a second motion detector to the shower and override the "shutdown" section of the shower while no showers are in place, meaning your lights won't turn off when someone is in the shower.

The level of detail and complexity of these rules and triggers is one reason why local control is so important. If you go into a room and the lamp is not switched on in close moments, you will feel the need to turn the switch manually. At that time, your house doesn't seem so smart anymore. Voice control helps you do not have to move or stumble to find the switch. But fast automation is even better because you don't have to do anything at all. Instead, the house anticipates your need.

Simply put, Wink and SmartThings cannot do this detailed automation level. Alexa or Google Assistant routines are not.

Advanced Features Will Not Be Easy

  Hubitat Apps Settings

Unfortunately, the great responsibility comes with great force. In this case, you are responsible for everything going to happen, and it won't always be easy. When you first install a Hubitat hub, you start by opening a local web page. At present, Hubitat does not offer any smartphone apps, they will come soon, but until then, the closest you can get is to build a custom dashboard. When you look at the website, you need to discover your devices, name them and start adding apps.

Apps in the Hubitat kingdom are expanding their opportunities. You need an app for all security monitors, an app for controlling lights with motion sensors, a control app for building advanced automations and so on. The web interface controls all of this. It's like using a router web interface. You spend time clicking on menus, selecting drop-down lists and saving changes. So it works when everything goes right.

Sometimes it may not work well, and you have to work with code by hand. Hubitat is dependent on the Groovy programming language for this, and if you do not know coding, it is best to ask for help in the Hubitat forum or to get out for support.

You also need to learn how the apps and rules work. Hubitat has excellent tutorial videos and an active and useful community. But it is a learning process, and it is a new logic to master. For example, if you want a rule that turns on the porch light when the back door is opened but only if the tire lights were not already on, you must define the rule as "when the back door is open and NOT deck lit." Hubitat's logic is consistent. When you read the stakes, you will not spend your entire time remastering a new skill. But getting hold of Hubitat takes time, effort and willingness to learn.

And remember, there's no app to quickly access your smarthome devices to turn on and off at the touch of a button – at least right now. The best thing you can do is build a custom dashboard for your home that can only be used at home. The different dashboard options are nice and extremely intricate, but they take a little more work from you.

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If you should choose Hubitat or not come down to some basic things: How much effort do you want to put in, how much you want to learn and how much you like the idea of ​​a real automated home.

If the idea of ​​accessing the router's settings to make changes to your network, you are intimidating, as Hubitat – which is even more complicated – may not be for you. If you want something simple, with simple settings and remote control, you should pass Hubitat and consider another option like SmartThings or Wink, if the company ever gets Wink Hub back in stock and starts selling it again.

If you're technically savvy, like getting your hands digitally dirty and don't mind spending the weekends and watching tutorials on a new complex skill, Hubitat is worth considering. And if you like the idea of ​​a genuinely automated smart home that anticipates your needs based on your location, time of day, and other conditional triggers, consider bringing Hubitat to your smart home.