Anyone running a system parallel with Home Assistant? (Like SmartThings/Vera/Homey etc)

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if any of you guys are running a system in parallel with your Home Assistant setup?

As much as I love Home Assistant, I must admit I keep breaking things, and keeping up with breaking changes etc. in updates is a lot of work so far. Also, I am obviously a little bit worried about relying so heavily on a single docker container, for controlling everything from ventilation, to heating, lighting etc.

I don’t know if this is something I will do yet, but I was wondering if it could be a good idea to run a proprietary system in parallel, that is compatible with Home Assistant? What I was thinking, was having the (hopefully always working) proprietary system, having all my Z-wave, Zigbee etc. devices connected to it, so I can catch them through there. And then having it integrated into Home Assistant, so I can also visualize it in lovelace, do advanced automations and all that good stuff.

Can you please comment on whether or not this would be a good idea, and why, or why not, you guys are, or are not, doing something similar?

I have been looking at what systems exist, and primarily find Vera, Fibaro Home Center, Samsung SmartThings, Athom Homey, Zipato, Hubitat, Wink and HomeSeer.

Which one of these would you recommend for the case I am asking about?

If it matters, the connected devices I currently own are:
Xiaomi(sensors, vacuum, cubes, buttons), Hue lighting, Nanoleaf Aurora, Netatmo Presence camera, Netatmo healthy home coach, Sony Bravia TV, B&O Speakers(Chromecast/airplay enabled), iPhones, iPads, an Android tablet, NVIDIA Shield, Vero 4K+ (media player), Denon AVR. Also I do own a Logitech Harmony Elite, that is not currently in use, as I got a NEEO remote recently(yes, just before they announced they are selling out).

It seems that I can pretty easily get Samsung SmartThings running by purchasing a dongle for my NVIDIA Shield, if that would be a good choice.

Hope you will chip in and comment! My decision will be based on your input :slight_smile:

Yes. I use SmartThings and Home Assistant together at one of my locations. That way I can at least have the lighting automations continue to work if Home Assistant goes down, since I’m constantly changing HA. Though my SmartThings hub has been having trouble with Zigbee light bulbs, so I’m not 100% happy with it. I haven’t determined if it’s a hardware defect specific to my hub or not. SmartTHings doesn’t do much else, at least with the devices you own. I’ve never tried the dongle with Nvidia Shield TV, but I would look into that more before buying to make sure you get the same SmartThings experience through a dongle.

You can look into Hubitat, though upon further inspection, it would take a little more effort to integrate Hubitat and Home Assistant. I don’t think there is a add-on or integration for Hubitat, so you wouldn’t be able to use Hassio to set it up. And if you plan on getting Lutron Caseta switches, you will need to get the Pro version of the Caseta hub that supports local communications. Luckily I found out about this before buying. Hubitat doesn’t have an easy to control the hub outside the local network yet, but I heard they were going to do some type of remote dashboard feature.

yes, i use multiple systems … ha is working well but i’ve gone through a transition since starting the project a year ago. hassio(rpi3)->venv(debian,rpi3)->venv(ubuntu,intel nuc)->venv(ubuntu,intel skull canyon) … along with 5 hadashboards … lots of transitions … my systems is stable now with reboots during major software updates. my lighting system is based on ISY994i using Insteon, i have over 150 switches etc and this UDI ISY994i device works very well and interfaces to HA well. keep your lighting controller separate, particular with a whole home installation. i also have a smaller number of z-wave devices (3 locks, interface to DSC alarm panel via envisaliink4) … i’m using vera edge for this security system … vera is the gold standard for z-wave integration and the alarm plug in for DSC works well … i have a cert from eyezon (monitoring and oem for envisalink) to receive a homeowners discount so i want a stable system … i also have a second envisalink4 for HA to monitor door/window events.

I used Vera for ZWave with HA before moving to a UZB stick and highly recommend it except for anything critical security-wise with sensors, as I came across a known issue whereas some sensors would not update their state maybe 1-5% of the time. This was a huge problem with the front door, as you can imagine.

Other than that, though, its stability with ZWave devices was very good and the pairing/unpairing process was much better than in HA, mainly because they had an UI instead of making me dig thru OZW logs if anything went wrong. It’s also pretty cheap (especially compared to the ridiculous prices charged by Fibaro for their hubs) and works locally, as opposed to the cloud that people keep complaining about in the case of SmartThings.

I am running FHEM on a separate Pi. FHEM is controlling a large number of RF devices and does ALL the automation - this is so much easier as with HA, I have to say. It also bridges to Amazon Echo using homebridge-fhem and homebridge-alexa.

The data exchange between FHEM and HA is based on MQTT.

Lovelace UI is more modern than the FHEM web or tablet UI. But using FHEM in the background I also have a Backup UI in case HA is broken.

My 2 cents

I started out running Smartthings only. I then tied into using the MQTT bridge so I could get access to the advanced automation capability. I ran both systems concurrently for about a year. I setup the Smartthings app for my SO, so she didn’t have to learn anything too complex, and if I broke Hassio, she could still do stuff.
A few releases back, the Smartthings hassio component was released, which made the integration between the two systems much, much easier to setup. I started out using the Xiaomi motion/contact sensors with a custom device type handler in Smartthings, then feeding the data to Hassio for automation logic, and then sending light on/off requests back to Smartthings. The lag was really noticeable for motion detectors, so I ultimately cut over both my Zigbee & Z-wave setup to Hassio.

I still keep Smartthings connected, because there’s some things that I just can’t tie into Hassio. For example, Samsung appliances usually work with Smartthings, and startup hardware companies usually focus on the smart home systems that have the largest market support first. (Google Home, Alexa, & Smartthings) I’ll probably keep running the two systems concurrently so I can get access to the latest gadgets in Hassio. It’s worked well for me, and I’d recommend it. The only really painful part was getting my zigbee Smartthings network stable - and that eventually came down to positioning the hub antenna properly. The ST V2 hub is pretty cheap too, for zigbee & z-wave combined.

I run three systems:

  1. Premise
  2. Home Assistant
  3. openHAB

MQTT is used to ‘glue’ them together. I’ve been using Premise since 2008 and it continues to run all my home automation logic. It interfaces with devices for which Home Assistant has no integrations (like HAI Omnistat and UPB lighting and a few other things). The UI is far from modern (Premise was discontinued in 2006) so that’s where Home Assistant comes in; Lovelace has made it very easy to provide Premise with a fresh face.

Home Assistant provides the UI for my home automation system. I also use its Homekit integration in order to control the devices I have for which Home Assistant lacks integrations.

I use openHAB exclusively as a “remote UI” because its cloud service is free. Eventually I will use a VPN (or Zerotier) for remote-access to Home Assistant and then the openHAB server will be decommissioned.

Been running Smartthings (for samsung stuff that is iffy in HA) with Vera for ZWave with HA. Been working pretty ok so far

Been running the old HomeWizard next to the HA and control the HomeWizard via HA, can also read out the thermometers and Wattcher for electricity.
Working perfectly fine and no need to invest for now in a RFXCOM

ISY handles all Inseton/Zwave with rules there, Elk handles all mission critical automations and security and climate control. Looking to move my zwave devices from ISY to Elk soon for better reliability. All media control is on harmony(s).

HA is the user interface that glues it all together, connectivity to other one off devices (washer/dryer, water heater, etc). I have some scripts in HA but have moved all HA automations to nodered If I need to take HA down most things still run on their own.