So, I started playing with home automation and such a couple months ago. SmartThings was the hub system I used to connect all my Zigbee and Z-Wave devices together to create these automations of turning lights on and off, fans on and off, mood lighting and scenes, etc. But…

SmartThings is going through a transition from a mostly cloud based solution through its hub to running a lot of the automations locally. This sounds great in theory, and it is. However, the transition to the new drivers, apps, etc. has been less than ideal. It’s been kind of bumbled, dates changed (earlier and later), and you still need to have a cloud connection in order to get to the hub for any reason, even if you’re on the same network. So it’s still dependent on the cloud. And there seems to be increasing number of issues with their online component. No idea if it is related to all the migration activities or not, but it was frustrating.

So I’ve moved to Hubitat. It’s a local first solution. It tries to do everything locally, including connecting to the hub to manage it. Remote access is available for a subscription, but it’s completely optional. Other than the optional recurring subscription as a cost, it sounds like a great solution. And for the most part, it is. Not a whole lot of devices officially support it though. But, that didn’t stop the company or the community at large from writing drivers to interface. It’s been wonderful.

Some things I’ve gained are local access to my Hue hub, a kind of Netatmo integration to see my devices (this is a cloud integration, unfortunately), and dashboards that allow me to arrange/group devices and other things however I want.

What I lost was a connection to the fridge, which I never used, and connection to my garage opener.

Overall, it’s a net win. I’m happy so far with it, even if it is a small player in the space. The community is fantastic, and there are frequent updates, which you can choose to apply or not.

Other that that, not a whole lot going on lately. The weather has been fantastic, for any season and just amazing for November. Today I installed a squirrel feeder. Wife wanted to fill the bird feeders, and they never end up being mostly bird feeders with the squirrels. So I’m hoping that installing a dedicated squirrel feeder (with dried corn and peanuts and such) will save the bird feeders for the actual birds. It took the furry critters a little over 2 hours to actually find it, but they seemed to make a dent in the food in it. Here’s hoping this works.

And with that, here’s a dog, taken today as I was trying to photograph squirrels.