Just about a year ago we made the decision that we were going to put reliability as our top priority for any home automation. Although the previous three years had been fun in some ways and aggravating in others, it was just costing too much in time and money to continually deal with various glitches.
So we changed our ambitions and just went for the things that would really make a difference on a daily basis and where we could achieve at least a six-month MFOP ( maintenance free operating period).
It meant simplifying the rules that we were using and changing some of the devices, but household satisfaction is way up and our costs are way down. I can honestly say it’s been the first year where home automation just worked like the dishwasher does. It’s not perfect, it doesn’t mean it will never glitch, but we have now reached the point where it definitely adds more than it costs.
And speaking of costs, it was just about a year ago that I decided to treat budgeting for home automation essentially the same way I budget for a mobile phone: I set aside a certain amount each month, and I expect to replace everything, including the hub, every three years. That’s taking a huge amount of stress out of the system for me. I’m not continually chasing the newest gadgets, but at the same time I enjoy following them, and I know when I’ll be able to replace what I’ve got now.
So it’s been a good year as far as home automation, and for once, everybody in the house agrees.
I’m not saying I will replace it, I’m just saying I budget with the idea that I might. If at the end of three years I still like the device and it’s still working great, I won’t replace it. But then that’s just a bonus to my budget.
But yes, everything is a candidate for a replacement after three years, including sensors, switches, the hub, a panel dashboard, voice assistants. That’s the way I’m budgeting. It’s my way of “future proofing” without having to guess what kind of technology I’m going to want to three years.
I guess the idea of ‘finishing’ a smart home is futile.
But I see what you mean. I’m at the end of year 1. All my in-wall switches are Z-Wave (non-Plus). I know already I will have to start changing them out to Z-Wave Plus, or I might wait to see what comes after that. I’m already thinking about changing my door sensors to all Sensative Strips once the price comes down. I don’t forsee changing out motion sensors at all, unless there’s some drastic change in functionality. The hub, yes, assuming it’s an easy switch. And I hope to god we’re still using webCoRE in 10 years.