I currently have an Aurora A0ne hub which is used solely for AOne devices. However I understand that AOne devices will also work with a SmartThings hub. Also Aurora have recently migrated from Goeee cloud to their own Aurora cloud service.
In addition to AOne devices I also have a lot of Tuya and Sonoff Wi-Fi switches and plugs but noticed that Sonoff have also released ZigBee devices as well. From my brief read through posts on this site I believe that Sonoff ZigBee devices also work with Smart Things?
I am therefore considering changing my existing AOne hub to a Smart things Hub, which will not only continue to support my AOne devices but might allow me to use some Sonoff and other Zigbee devices.
My questions however is the way a replacement hub would pass instructions to the relevant cloud service.
Is the hub agnostic and will pass any data through it to the internet and then on to the relevant cloud service? or
Would I still have to sign into an Aurora account, as Samsung Smart Things account or even a Sonoff account?
If not can you have more than one hub on the network eg a Sonoff Hub plus an AOne Hub or SmartThings plus Sonoff Hub
As an aside and if relevant I am also considering a openHAB server
Any explanation or advice would be welcome
I’m not feeling very well this morning, so I can’t go into a lot of details now. Hopefully others will and if not I’ll catch up with you next week.
But meantime, Zigbee networks of the type that both Aurora and smartthings use can only have one primary hub. You can use, say, an Aurora dimmer switch with either a Smartthings Hub or an Aurora hub, but not both at the same time. So you choose which hub you want to have on your network and then it owns the devices that you join to it.
For Zigbee devices or Z wave devices that can communicate with a smartthings hub, you will not need the third-party app to set them up. Or the third-party hub/gateway. They connect directly to your smartthings hub.
Samsung is no longer going to manufacture/sell home automation Devices
We should also mention that Samsung has just announced that they are getting out of the home automation hardware business, and in the future, hubs will be built by third companies and certified as “works as a smartthings hub.“ (WASH) Aeotec has been announced as the partner for Europe, but right now, supplies are very limited.
Different types of connections
The hub is not “agnostic“ in the sense that you describe. It only accepts information for specific devices that are known to it and have a network ID number. And much of the communications for devices like tuya Wi-Fi devices doesn’t go through the hub at all. It goes to the Internet to the manufacturer’s cloud, which then sends a request over to the smartthings cloud. Or your Smartthings phone app contacts the smartthings cloud which sends a message over to the manufacturer’s cloud for requests going the other way.
So while there can always be some individual differences (first rule of home automation: “the model number matters“), the most typical configuration for Wi-Fi devices is that you will need an account with that manufacturer and you may need a bridge device as well. That’s why these are normally called “cloud to cloud“ integrations in the smartthings context.
Some devices, including some sonoff models, can be “flashed“ so that they don’t have to go to the manufacturer’s cloud, they can be “direct connected“ to the smartthings cloud. But again it comes down to the individual model.
So an individual device could be:
“Hub connected” (via zwave or Zigbee)
“Direct connected” (A Wi-Fi device which can talk directly to the smartthings cloud)
“cloud to cloud connected“ (any other device of any protocol which has to talk to its own manufacturer’s cloud, Which then has communications with the smartthings cloud)
HOW MANY HUBS?
If the device is “hub connected“, then generally you only have the smartthings hub and you don’t have the manufacturer’s hub. That definitely applies to any zigbee hub.
If the device is using the Internet to talk to the smartthings cloud, which could be “direct connected“ or “cloud to cloud connected“, then you may have multiple hubs handling the Wi-Fi communications all known to your smartthings account.
For example, in your house you might have a Lutron smartbridge (US) or lightwaveRF hub (UK), Phillips hue bridge, Switchbot mini hub, Arlo camera base station, and an August connect bridge, All on one smartthings account. You would have separate account credentials for each and would have to use the manufacturer apps for some things, and communications would be cloud to cloud via the Internet, but you would be able to create rules combining all the different devices in the smartthings app.
So while you would probably have to use the individual manufacturers app to set up the device initially, after that you could do most of your day-to-day control through the smartthings app.