Question New ZWave hub - Smartthings, Harmony or Pi+Home assistant

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by Timbo234214, Jan 11, 2019 at 8:12 AM.

  1. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Hi,

    I have a Fibaro Lite hub which is long in the tooth and not very programmable.
    I also have: Fibaro Dimmer 2, Fibaro 2xswitch modules for lighting, TKB + Aeotech 13A plug switches, Aeotech Gen 5 multisensors and a couple of Fibaro flood sensors.

    I'm looking for a new hub...

    What would you folks recommend? I expect diverse answers, but I'm interested in any nuggets of info like specific problems with a particular platform or particular plus points.

    Many thanks - Tim


    So far, the candidates seem to be:

    Pi + Home Assistant (keeps it local under my control - but is it "wife friendly"?

    Samsung Smarthings - looks polished if all my devices work? (Saw a whine that dimmers broke a while back, eventually fixed)

    And Harmony seems to allude to both participating in an existing ZWave network - but can it also take sole control of devices and be the ZWave master?

    Use cases:

    Must have good iPad and Android app (native or 3rd party)

    Must have website based control (local preferred over portal, but I will consider portal only solutions)

    Should have good scene programming. The Fibaro Lite "block scenes" are very limited and tedious to set up. Equally, whilst I could write everything in perl talking to a RESTful endpoint, I don't really want to get that raw [​IMG] Although plus points for an API endpoint in addition to native competent scenes.
     
  2. PsyVision

    PsyVision
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    I'll throw another in the mix ;) I'm using a Hubitat hub now having moved away from SmartThings.

    The SmartThings mobile app is possibly the best thing going for it. I hated the lag in the cloud executions when things wanted to get more complex (I used WebCORE) but I gather there are more local executing scenes now. I still use it in my Cinema as the house mesh on Hubitat doesn't reach.

    I'm currently considering Home Assistant on a Pi with an Aeotec Z-wave stick as the replacement to SmartThings in the Cinema as the mobile "app"/website looks pretty usable.

    The downside to Hubitat is that it doesn't have a mobile app, but the house is more about automation and less about manual control.
     
  3. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Hey thanks mate.

    The remote cloud stuff always bothers me (what if they go away, get hacked etc).

    I have not heard of Hubitat - and I forgot to say I was in the UK (different Z-Wave frequencies) but I see:

    Hubitat Elevation for UK

    Says it can be shipped to the UK and it's stick based and they even throw in the UK/EU stick :)

    I am going to give that a bit of research - Tim
     
  4. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    I was also looking hard at the Pi (I have a Pi so I could dry test this for the cost of a stick)
     
  5. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Is the Fibaro Home Centre out of budget? I know it's not cheap but if you're used to the Fibaro system then it seems the most likely upgrade path and it's very configurable and programmable. If you can learn a bit of LUA, you can do pretty much anything with scenes or virtual devices.
     
  6. dannylau

    dannylau
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    I read some things about home assistant, it's free, and can do just about anything smartthings can do, plus way more.

    it handles zwave devices, camera (via blue iris driver), whole home audio (via pi-based squeezebox & russound amp), home security, garage door, and ecobee. Also integrated voice control (supports google home & alexa natively).

    The Beginner's Guide to Home Assistant -...


    Home Assistant
     
  7. Wil S

    Wil S
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    What about Athom Homey? I started there and its meant to be the hub to rule all hubs- zwave, zigbee etc?

    Has good 'flows', good app and fairly strong developer support. SWMBO complains about it when the lights occasionally don't react to the motion sensors, but loves it the rest of the time... getting the 'flows' right is important but it's basically IfTTT sequences.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 10:13 AM
  8. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Yes - it's way too expensive for a device in its class.
     
  9. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Cool - thank you - another one I had not heard of.

    Athom Homey Smart Home Hub

    That looks like it could be a Harmony replacement too (supports IR) - I'll have a look there.

    Looks like I came to the right forum! :D
     
  10. PsyVision

    PsyVision
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    I looked at Athom, note that they are (or certainly were!) phasing out the web UI for 100% mobile.

    I'm in the UK too, Hubitat just send different USB sticks with the order.
     
  11. mushii

    mushii
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    I use Homeseer but wont punt it here as it doesn't meet your current requirements - the app is horrible looking (but much like @PsyVision I don't use apps as an interface, I think that Home Automation should be about the correct triggers to make things happen, not interfaces on touch screens, but I do use Alexa if I need something outside of the norm). With that out of the way i wouldn't touch Smartthings with a barge-pole. Its too laggy, heavily cloud based and suffers from major outages too often. Vera (Mi-Casa Verde) is a very popular option, but again has suffered some major outages in the past 12 months. I did a huge amount of research and I think for what you are looking for, if you want an appliance vs a software solution, at your price point, Athom Homey is probably your best bet.
     
  12. Desmo

    Desmo
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    You're right in that it's very expensive compared to others on the market but I think the versatility of it can be worth it, as long as you're happy doing you're own coding.

    Happy hunting, hope you find something that suits :)
     
  13. Wil S

    Wil S
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    Yep, this has happened with the latest update. I genuinely thought I'd hate it, but it's actually improved my interactions with the controller. Shame they can't have both, but I can always emulate an android environment on my PC if I'm desperate to use the PC to update things.

    I have Fibaro and Aeotec through my home plus TP-link Kasa lamps and plugs, harmony elite (think extension rather than replace), 2012 samsung tv, onkyo receiver and it pulls them all together well.
     
  14. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    RobinWinbourne/Hubitat looks promising - I was worried a 3rd party solution would make it hard to manage config parameters for devices, but this looks like there's support.
     
  15. Wil S

    Wil S
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    ah one thing to point out- you can't update the firmware of fibaro devices etc through Homey (but I assume that's the same for all non- Fibaro controllers?) I haven't worked out how (or needed) to update the firmware yet!
     
  16. PsyVision

    PsyVision
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    No there's quite a bit of support for Fibaro devices (and many others). There's also a generic z-wave tool that allows you to scan for device parameters and update them even if a "driver" doesn't expose them.
     
  17. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Good point... To be fair, I haven't seen an update for quite a while (had a couple on the Dimmer2 modules, but over a year ago).
     
  18. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Thanks for that - I'll look out for the tool, could be useful
     
  19. Timbo234214

    Timbo234214
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    Looks like a run in between Hubitat and HomeAssistant+PI - and it would be logical to have a play with the latter as I have a PI and it will cost me a stick :)

    Thanks for all the suggestions - much appreciated :clap:
     
  20. xxGBHxx

    xxGBHxx
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    I have Hubitat too and love it BUT as I've said before *NO* home automation system is wife friendly. Once everything is set up and working then everything SHOULD be wife friendly (in fact do it right and the wife will not even notice it's there!) but every single one I've read about, researched or the 3 I've tried (Vera, HA and now Hubitat) have huge learning curves and are a complete PITA to set up.

    I personally like Hubitat because the community is fantastic, the devs interact with the users all the time, it gets regular updates, supports almost everything I've chucked at it but most importantly it's fast. Perhaps I'm a bit old school these days but I'm used to my IT being immediate. Most cloud services royally pee me off but nothing more so than Vera did. In fact every cloud solution I have *EVER* used has had downtime whether that be their fault or my fault. Hubitat never goes down unless I get a power failure and it is so fast compared to the Vera it's ridiculous.

    But it's still in its infancy and theres a lot of room for UI improvements and by that I mean it all makes sense to me and I can get everything working but there's features that could make it a lot more friendly. If you're up for the challenge then Hubitat is worth supporting with your money in my opinion but when you hit your first maddening problem where things just will not work remember they're all the same ;)

    G
     

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