When we purchased our house, the previous owner left some automation lights installed and said the Wink automation systems would work well with them. I was intrigued and bought the Wink, set up the lights and soon added a few more for fun. As with all good things, Wink announced last year that my free fun was now going to cost a monthly fee and I like many others, started looking for alternatives.
Enter Hubitat. After countless hours on Reddit, I added a Hubitat Elevation to the home network. Read one of the many reviews on Hubitat and you will hear that it has no monthly subscription, doesn’t send your data to anyone’s cloud and works with the widest assortment of automation devices.
The purple image is what my Hubitat dashboard looks like on a small iPad upstairs. We have four full color Sylvania lights in the den ceiling that Alexa can turn on and off. Hubitat gives us the ability to program light settings, like the popcorn here that turns two lights off and two to a dim red for movie nights. Another button changes the lights to blue for a different mood.
I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos to get that far. The Reddit crowd is very clear about the powerful platform is not intuitive, and I fully agree. It took quite a while the first time I set up these buttons. Months later, after not messing with the Hubitat software, I had to reset some settings and that meant I had to rewatch a ton of YouTube videos to relearn all that I forgot from before.
Once you learn how to add your devices (lights, A/C, and other network-connected appliances), you then learn how to add them to your dashboard and configure them. Configuring lights means that you understand color RGB codes, color temperatures, hues and more. The learning curve can be significant.
The Hubitat admin panel provides many enticing options for a higher level of programability. Thinking my small and very old iPad would be a control panel for the kids upstairs, I thought it would be cool to have the weather visible when they got up in the morning. Diving back deep into the bowels of Reddit automation subs, I learned enough to know I didn’t have enough time to learn all of the lingo and skills about automated weather stations and software. I got to the point of this weather button only to find the small iPad wouldn’t show it. I’d consider it a #Fail, but the functional reason for doing this in the first place worked. Alexa and Hubitat work together for us to turn lights on and off, change their color and more.
The Hubitat Elevation is a lot smaller than the Wink it replaced. I’ve seen reports about people have to restart theirs a lot, but we have never had to yet. It consistently serves up light controls with no problems.