For years I was running a Lowe's Iris home automation system which was primarily a self-monitored security system. I did have some automation thrown in, but I was always jealous of my friends on other platforms like SmartThings that had so many more device options and much more robust rules to control them. But I stuck with Iris because it was so easy for everyone in the house to work with. Not that they were doing anything with creating rules, but they could have if they wanted to. It was just a really user friendly system. That was until Lowe's decided to stop supporting Iris and shutdown the servers recently. While Lowe's went above and beyond for the Iris community, it left me with a new perspective. I no longer wanted to be reliant on anyone's servers, cloud, etc. There are many that don't think hubs are needed since many new devices can be controlled via Google Home or Amazon Alexa, but in the end those devices are only good if the manufacturer continues to support the device and their servers. This limitation left me with a really short list of possible contenders; some of which I tried and had varying success.
One hub I hadn't tried but have been aware of for a while was Hubitat
Elevation. Hubitat's system is designed to run your ZigBee and Z-Wave devices 100% locally. This concept of local control means your data is more secure and automations happen more reliably and faster. But they aren't just limited to these "local" devices, you can also integrate your LAN devices via Apps, but these will be dependent on internet connectivity and the manufacturer's servers. Since Hubitat was founded in 2016, they have amassed a list of over 175 officially supported devices and many more can be handled through generic or custom device handlers. They have a robust online community full of people willing to help out and many that are busy programming to integrate new devices and services. Overall it seems like a compelling option; let's see if it can live up to the hype.
Features and Specifications:
Hubitat sent over the relatively new Hubitat Elevation C-5 hub, a Centralite smart outlet, and micro door sensor for evaluation. This hub has to be one of the smallest hubs I have come across at just 75mm x 75mm x 15mm and weighing just 50g. It has an Ethernet port and micro USB port for power. Unlike the original Hubitat hub, this hub houses all of the antennas internally and does not require USB sticks to pair ZigBee and Z-Wave devices.
» Advanced Built-In Apps - Create and control customized environments with these apps that simplify and streamline the automation setup
» Rule Machine® : A comprehensive rules engine to create simple to complex automations
» Groups and Scenes: Users can combine devices to set scenes and control them based on
time of day, modes and triggers
» Lock Code Manager: Centrally manage codes for locks and keypads
» Hubitat Safety Monitor: Provides peace of mind with safety alerts and ability to monitor
intrusion, smoke and water and other sensors
» IFTTT: Full integration with IFTTT to connect with any platform
» Device Support & Integrations - Compatible with standard smart home protocols and provides support for ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lutron, LAN and cloud-connected home automation devices including Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Hue Bridge, Sonos, Ecobee and more
» Web Based Dashboard - Allows users to remotely view and control devices, change modes and arm, disarm Hubitat Safety Monitor and more
» Open Developer Platform - Grants users the ability to develop their own code, applications, integrations and drivers and share via the Hubitat Community for others to utilize
» Backup and Restore Database - Allows users to back up their system with automatic backups daily and restore in case of emergency
» User Installable Platform Updates - Users control when they want to update the hub