Inspired by Brenden Mulligan’s Nest-centric post on Medium (see link below), here is my personal experience with home automation devices since last December.
Nest Cams replaced Arlo outside and Blink indoor and have been rock solid. I am very happy with them and thinking to add the doorbell when Nest releases Hello. The Protect family grew to replace every smoke detector in my home and still love it. And because we had a great experience with the cams and protects, we added 2 Nest thermostats this year. We are still learning about them, but the first impression is that the “so called” AI algorithm behind the self programming brain is not as powerful as advertised.
Speaking of cameras, this year we added a Ring Floodlight Cam to oversee the driveway and we really like it, although it added yet another app to our phones. Another addition was the Netatmo Welcome camera, which at the bargain price we paid for, is worth every penny. The face detection is excellent and the local recording beats the Nest cams by far. The only disadvantage is its form.
Continuing with Netatmo products, the weather station and the Health Coach have replaced the other environmental sensors we used indoor and outdoor. We said goodbye to the Bloomsky and several zigbee motion sensors we used to gain indoor temperature. Although, Netatmo support is horrible in the US, their products are top notch.
Zigbee products have taken a back seat this year, and have been replaced by zwave, which turned out to be more reliable in our home. SmartThings contact sensors have been replaced by Ecolink contact sensors and the motion sensors by Aeon Labs Gen 5. No problems whatsoever with any of the zwave products.
The only zigbee that are (still) going strong are Hue Light bulbs and NYCE ceiling motion sensor. The Hue really maintained a super high FAF (family acceptance factor).
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about Keen Vents. They have turned out to be a huge pain. They fall too easy, physically and programmatically. They are too hazardous.
Voice control has been steadily inching its way into our home, thanks to the progress made by both Google and Amazon. The Alexa-Sonos integration is a delightful experience for my wife’s musical needs and the release of Amazon’s drop in, was an easy way for my boys to learn not to yell from their rooms when they get scared at night. Google Home’s shortcuts have made things a lot easier for everyone to operate garage door, AV equipment, light switches and more.
Earlier this year, we welcomed a new controller that turned the sluggish SmartThings-zwave integration into a fast and reliable solution. I now have moved over 40 devices into this new hub and adding more each week.
To sum it up, we learned a few things this year, but we love our Home Automation gadgets as much as last year and we are excited about what the future is going to bring.
Would love to hear what others learned about Home Automation this year…