Hello! I am a newbie to home automation and I am hoping for a little advice/guidance! I can see a really cool road up ahead but I am cautious on how I am going to get there without heading in incorrect directions, at a pretty substantial cost.
My goals/thoughts are as follows:
- Automate lights in living room-dining room-kitchen. Ability to power on/off, dim and change colors. Voice commands to control all rooms that have controllable lights.
- Voice to control music
- Voice control to power on TV. Possibly change channel with same voice control
- Voice control to turn my receiver that is playing music to go to FM station XXX.XX.
More farther fetched goals:
- Set rules to change lights to Purple, turn tv on to a certain channel.
- Door sensors to power on lights when arriving home.
- Set alerts when people approach doors.
I think I am pretty basic, and know I will want to do more as I delve into it!
Here is where I am at:
I bought an Echo Dot. I bought the Wink hub based on some reviews. I was not sure what light and dimmer I would like so I bought 1 Lifx and 1 GE link white bulb, and a Lutron Casseta dimmer. I then found that Wink does not support Lifx. So I decided to try the SmarThings Hub. This was based on some forums I checked and saw some cool things I can potentially control down the road.
I liked the Lifx light but was not sure if a Sylvania Osram would be a better/ less expensive choice. Got that and tested it.
The items I like and want to stay with are not all compatible! I would like to stick with Lutron Casetta. I like the look and feel of it, and it was super easy to setup. Other blogs have said I need neutral to run other dimmers so not sure I want to deal with that.
The colors between Lifx and Osram were notably different. Lifx looked much better, and was brighter. I am older now and recently my wife to allow me to use 3 way incandescent bulbs in the LR so I can see. Otherwise it seems dark and gloomy! That said moving to the GE or Osram seemed like a step back. Yes the Lifx is not as bright as my 3 way highest setting, but it is pretty good, IMO but pretty highly priced!
So pretty simple – Lutron dimmers for Kitchen, Dining and counter area lights, Lifx for Living room. To control Lifx, I need SmartThings. To control Lutron I need to get a Lutron hub, and then integrate with IFTTT? Lutron will not work with ST, I believe. That is where I missed in my blogs/ forum!
Here is my theory. If I proceed with the devices I want for bulbs and dimmers, I will need to buy the Lutron hub. I don’t not see getting controllable shaded or anything but who know. So rather than spending the money on that, why not keep the Wink AND ST and then I have best of both worlds, and future devices are covered under 1 of those 2 items!? Echo works with both so “in theory” I can set up my tasks and “Turn on kitchen lights” , “Dim living room lights to 30%”. Etc. This is working now.
Am I crazy in this thought process? That is a lot of money on controllers but if I truly even want to stick with what I have I feel I need the ST and Lutron or Wink hub. If I can get past a sticker shock and not have the spouse see next months credit card statement, this seems like good logic!
BTW, the WAF went well when I just showed her the Echo and some commands earlier today. She laughed and then told me that was going to be my Christmas present! It came early! I left for a bit and had to call her on my mobile. When speaking to her the music on Dot was too loud so she told Alexa to pause it! She’s hooked baby!
I appreciate any input!