I just started my smart home adventure in February and started slowly integrating products into my home because of the price. Ive noticed that in the past month, Home Depot and Lowes have been closing out a lot of the stuff I’ve been planning on adding, so my house has turned into an almost completely automated home in 3 months, much to my shock. My question is, why are all of these products being closed out? Is it because the slow movement of smart home automation sales? Are newer products with a new technology coming out soon that I’m not aware of? Is there a concern with the products themselves? This is strictly for my own curiosity…thanks!
All of that! The Consumer Electronics Show is in January, and soon the cool things they announced there - will be on shelves. New stuff, new packaging on old stuff, and discontinued stuff to make way for the new toys arrival in may!
My guess would be that the items mostly fall into one of two categories:
“Works with Wink” branded boxes. Wink’s parent company, Quirky, went into bankruptcy last fall and Wink was “sold” to Quirky’s largest creditor, the company that makes their hub. No one’s quite sure what Wink’s future will be and Home Depot stopped carrying their hub online. Consequently the retailers would like to get rid of the Wink-branded products even if the same items will work with SmartThings and other hubs.
Classic zwave items. Zwave’s new generation, released last year, is Zwave Plus. It has several siginificant improvements over older zwave items, including much better range and battery life, as well as a somewhat simpler pairing process. (SmartThings V2 hub uses zwave plus.) Zwave is backwards-compatible, so Zwave classic will work with Zwave plus and vice versa, but manufacturers that are preparing to release new lines using the zwave plus chip are selling off their zwave classic inventories.
And individual company decisions…In addition to the two main categories, some individual companies have added new model lines and cut prices on older lines. Philips Hue released their V2 Hue bridge and two new lightbulbs (Hue White and Hue white ambiance). Subsequently prices have plummeted on the V1 Hue bridge. The older Hue Lux has slowly started to reduce in price as well.
The new Hue White typically retail for $15 at Best Buy. That has put a lot of downward pressure on other white-only ZigBee bulbs, particularly GE Link and some Cree models.
With the exception of the GE Links (which have known firmware problems), all the other devices are just fine, they may just not be quite as spiffy as the newer models. If a zwave classic device is working for you now, there’s no reason to replace it, for example. Same with Hue Lux.
I’m planning on moving to a new (bigger) house in several months. I’m going to scoop up a bunch of bulbs and switches if they’re cheap. I’ll just keep them in my workshop until I move. I’m kinda looking forward to tearing my whole system down and starting from scratch. That’s when I’ll get the V2 hub - no migration pain that way.
I’m actually doing the same thing next month. I’m going from a tiny 2 bedroom condo to a 4 bedroom house with a basement, so I’ll need a lot more! I was able to get a total of 16 GE Link bulbs for $4 each. I also got 4 Iris plugs for $12 ea, but I want to get more. Next thing I’ll do is return the 2 GE dimmers I paid $42 each for and try to find them on clearance in the next few weeks. I’ve seen lowes in a few places have them for $12. I’m going to try to do what I did with the Iris and call lowes and talk them into price matching them at my local store because most stores don’t have the 5 needed for free shipping, so I’ll have to do it in a few orders which will add up to more shipping…
Went to Home Depot today and they must have already cleared a lot of stuff out. There were a few Cree automated bulbs and almost all of the Phillips Hue stuff was gone.
I’m smelling a batch of new products coming in.
As far as the GE Links are concerned, I really like them and haven’t had any problems with the 4 I’ve been using in the 2 months I’ve had them. But I did just get 12 more on clearance and have read about a lot of problems. Are most of the problems with the Firmware and are they going to be improving the firmware problems or are they scrapping the Link altogether? If the understand correctly, the firmware problems stemmed from the Quirky Troubles. So now that that is kinda clearing up, I wonder if the firmware support will get better. It’s a shame because I like the look of them and that’s why I went with them over the Cree Connected originally…
Did they have a lot of Hue stuff on clearance at yours? Because the only thing they had at my local stores on clearance was the Iris. I keep waiting for other Hue products to hit clearance, otherwise my store is pretty bare on Hue as well…
And we’re the Cree connected on clearance?
No, they were all $15.00. Too bad.