HA platform versus Hubitat and Smartthings, reliability and usability?

I started my home automation journey with Smartthings. Moved to Hubitat and finally landed here on Home Assistant.

Smartthings -> Hubitat was brought on from all the cloud outages of smartthings and the delays the cloud introduced. I wanted local control for better reliability. Seeing the changes ST is making right now, I’m quite happy I moved away from the platform. Even after the switch, I kept some devices on Smartthings that just don’t work well with Hubitat (Schlage locks, Daikin AC) and used hubconnect to integrate them into Hubitat.

Hubitat has really great and stable radios. They’re first to market with a 700series z-wave chip and their zigbee radio is rock solid. Where Hubitat is weak I find is the processing power. If you’re doing more than a couple basic automations, you’re going to start experiencing slow downs. And I’m talking to the point where things can take minutes to respond. There’s even apps developped to automatically reboot the hub on a daily basis. Most “power users” have stopped using the built-in Rule Machine (which is clunky and painful to use) in favor of offloading all logic to another platform. Node-Red on a pi has become extremely popular. As for the smartphone app, it’s terrible. Slow to load and painful to use. They make an attempt at built-in dashboards but they’re really not good looking. Nothing compared to what can be done in lovelace.

Home Assistant for me has been extremely solid. I’ve still got Hubitat in the mix for its radios and am bringing them into HA through the Hubitat custom integration. To me this has been the best setup yet. No more hub slow downs, full local control, integrations that I’ve never been able to get on other platforms. Plus I can run on my own hardware so I don’t have to worry about processing power limitations. I would recommend Home Assistant over the other 2, even though it’s a bit steeper of a learning curve. And if you’re just starting out, I’d seriously look at using a Hubitat hub for the radios over a Zigbee and Zwave USB stick.

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Hi Mike, many thanks for sharing your experience with all 3 platforms. Really useful and clear story!

I can follow the reasons for your approach and my thinking is in the same direction.
I also like to stay away with experimenting, firmware upgrading and changing radio sticks (whether zigbee, zwave, 433 mhz or wifi).

I like your set-up to do all logic/rules in HA and interface with a ST or Hubitat for the radios. With using ST for you would have the advantage that this hub has zigbee, z-wave radios. Does the ST also have a Wifi radio (for wifi controllable devices)?

Be advised that the connection between Home Assistant and Hubitat is local whereas the official one for SmartThings (SmartThings integration) is not and works via SmartThing’s cloud API.

There is a way to establish a local SmartThings connection but it is a custom solution called SmartThings MQTT Bridge.

There is no official Hubitat integration but there is a custom solution that uses Hubitat’s Maker API (i.e. local connection).

OK, many thanks for the further explanation. Good to know that the HA - ST integration is via the cloud (something I would not really want).

Correct that your integration between the Hubitat and your HA platform is a kind of custom? Is it complex?

Do you also use NodeRed?

If your last two questions were directed at me:

  1. I don’t use a Hubitat Elevation. The custom integration is documented in the link I posted above. You can judge for yourself if it is complex.
  2. I do use Node-Red but only for very specific purposes. Most of my automations are in a separate home automation software (Premise), that I’ve used for over a decade, and as automations in Home Assistant.

What you are looking for is this:

And yes I also use NodeRed.

EDIT: I’m apparently slow lol @123 beat me to the punch on this one

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No issue :grin:
Is your Hubitat - HA integration with Maker API a real custom one? Is it a lot of code?

The integration’s code is listed in its GitHub repository:

However, as a user, you won’t be dealing with the integration’s source code but simply with configuring the integration to work with your devices. That’s no different from any other integration (official or custom).

Many thanks. Quite amazing what you have created!

Not me. It was created by https://github.com/jason0x43

… unless the “you” was intended to be the all-inclusive “royal you” (i.e. the Home Assistant community)

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Love HA just because its stable and its have many options plus the community support are one of the best. All my question or assist being help by so many people and every day learning something new. Compare to others systems. The only downside is HA status is still beta or not event running version 1. so every two weeks if you are upgrading to the latest you might get some breaking changes. But its something that FUN for me… so I can keep sharpening my skills hahahahaha…

Great stuff guys.
I just came along this video, very interesting - how to link a Sonoff RF Bridge (for 433 Mhz devices) to HA!

By flashing with Tasmota

This is also fun. Use the zigbee radio of Sonoff Zigbee Bridge, with Tosmato firmware flashed and integration with HA!

I wonder if the link between the Sonoff ZB Bridge and HA platform will work if there is an Internet outage

Has someone on this forum already tested this?

The sonoff ZbBridge flashed with Tasmota works totally local, no internet required.

A lot of great replies here already, so I don’t have lot new to add, but I’ll definitely throw my two cents in with another vote for Home Assistant’s superiority to SmartThings.

I started with SmartThings in mid-2018, and after growing increasingly frustrated with SmartThings cloud outages and delays, I migrated to Home Assistant at the end of 2018. I’ve been with Home Assistant ever since, and my only regret is that I didn’t switch sooner. :laughing:

Home Assistant wins on sheer number of automations, reliability, and customization. Hubitat is going to be a step up from SmartThings in terms of offering local control, but both pieces of hardware limit you to a certain extent. As soon as you want to do something more advanced, you’ll find yourself fighting with the system much moreso than you would with Home Assistant.

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Amazing, that is then likely the way to go. No expensive Zigbee sticks needed or a Hubitat for their good zigbee radio.

Furthermore, the Sonoff ZB Bridge can be located conveniently at the best place in the house - not physically connected to the platform where you run HA. That’s a big plus.

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Would the summary then be as follows?

  • Run HA + NodeRed on a Rasp Pi 4 with a small SSD or otherwise on a old low power PC, NUC or laptop.

  • Instead of buying a Zigbee stick to plug in, buy a Sonoff ZB Bridge, flash with Tasmota and place de Sonoff Bridge at the best spot in the house for best coverage.

  • buy the cheap Sonoff Zigbee devices. There is perhaps the caveat that the ZB Bridge can support max 32 devices? Or can it be more if you flashed with Tasmota?

  • And if you also want to support wifi controller devices, buy as well the normal Sonoff RF bridge and link to HA platform.

A few corrections :

  • The sonoff ZbBridge can support 32 direct children. If you have routers ( mains powered devices) in your ZigBee network, it can be more.
  • The sonoff Rf Bridge is used to bring 433 MHz devices into HA. To control WiFi devices, all you need is a regular WiFi access point ( which you probably already have)

OK, that is great. The 32 ‘children’ of 1 ZB Bridge is thus not a real limitation if in practice you have 1 or more 110/230v powered devices in the network.
Thus the Sonoff RF and Zigbee Bridges are really useful in a HA managed network and cheap (ca $12-15)!

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