pyrosmiley last edited by
@j.e.f.f @cowboysdude Just a quick heads-up: I have a very basic homebridge setup and while it works very well as intended, all it really does is provide a HomeKit interface for stuff that doesn’t have one. For automation or remote access, you’ll still need to have a spare iPad or an Apple TV.
As I do not, I’m actually in the process of trying to decide about setting up OpenHAB or Home Assisstant, which act more as a stand-alone hub for getting smart home stuff to play together. Both will also work with nearly any smart thermostat out there.
@pyrosmiley A little more insight on this. You’ll need an iPhone or iPad to directly control devices, set up automation and address devices using Siri. Ability to do this from MacOS (e.g.: Macbook or iMac) does not yet exist (Thanks Apple…).
You’ll need a 3rd or 4th gen Apple TV or an iPad to enable remote access to your devices. This is not necessary for the automation to work, but it is necessary to, for example, unlock your doors from outside your home WiFi network.
And while there’s quite a bit you can do with HomeKit, I don’t really like Apple’s approach to Home Automation. The Home app is poorly organized, and allows very little customization. Also automation has been hit-or-miss for me when I try to set things up in
HomeKit. Instead, I automate everything through Wink, then use HomeBridge to extend Siri control to my devices. But otherwise I don’t use HomeKit as my primary control center, nor do I tend to buy specific HomeKit enabled devices.
Alakey last edited by
@j.e.f.f Thanks! Just want to tie things together without all the struggle… tried an open source Therm could not get it working so that’s why I’m asking others what they’re using…
So what door lock[s] are you using? I have been looking at Lockitron.
@j.e.f.f Just want to tie things together without all the struggle…
I’m afraid that is pie-in-the-sky thinking… none of the manufacturers are thinking this way, so getting everything to work together nicely is an uphill battle.
One approach is to choose your SmartHub first, then buy devices that work with it. That’s more or less what I did. The Wink Hub primarily works with Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, as well as Lutron’s ClearConnect protocol.
I’m using Schlage Connect locks which are Z-Wave devices - they work great with the Wink HUB. Schlage also makes the Sense, which works over BlueTooth. It won’t work with the Wink Hub, but I believe it is already HomeKit enabled.
Now for the kicker… when I said you’re in for an uphill battle, here’s just ONE example of a gotcha I ran into. I’m using Lutron Caseta smart dimmers, which can be paired with the Wink Hub. They can ALSO be paired with Lutron’s own SmartHub. But any one dinner cannot be paired with both. When a dimmer is paired with the Wink Hub, it is available to be automated amongst other devices connected to the Wink. However, it’s responsiveness is noticeably slower when you control the light through the Wink app. When connected through Lutron’s Hub, control is instantaneous AND it natively supports HomeKit, but you can’t automate with other devices. So you need to choose which is most important to you - automation or speed and Siri.
You’re other option is to buy whatever you want and then tie everything together with HomeBridge and do your automation in HomeKit, but as I said previously, my success rate going that route had been hit or miss.
I have not yet played around with Home Assistant but it might offer some solutions for you too.
In any case, the point I’m trying to make is automating your home is a labour of love. It’s not easy and it can be particularly frustrating, especially when you want to make it easy for everyone else in your home.
@j.e.f.f That all makes perfect sense. Honestly I’ve been looking at all the hubs first to see what’s what… I own an Iphone but I also own an Alexa so yes great advice on going for the hub first!! Thank you!!
Chiming in as an Ecobee user. The Ecobee is cool/nice/whatever, but what you don’t get from it vs the Nest is the “learning”. Yes, the nest follows exactly what you do initially, but eventually it starts to learn things like, “Oh, you regularly come home on Wednesdays at about 2 pm. Well, we’ll start adding that into the routine.”
The Ecobee is a straight schedule. I admit, it’s a highly customizable schedule, but it’s still just a schedule. It’s got tie-ins to ITTT, homekit, etc. You can add multiple room sensors and tie in automated vents that open/close based on the needs and occupancy status in a particular room which was the real big seller for me.
Nest has all of their smoke detectors that tie into it and have some really cool features.
You really just have to compare feature sets with your needs and understand that for the majority of add-on features, they will both likely support them in the future at some point.
I ended up with the Honeywell RTH9585 It’s Alexa friendly and has a decent api…
@cowboysdude was thinking of buying this thermostat myself…build a module yet? LOL