Super excited about the new Google home! Hearing that it’s compatible with SmartThings wass the icing on the cake. Been waiting for this since May when it was announced at Google I/O. Cannot wait!
I have a question about home automation technologies/protocols. I’ve been waiting for a while to decide which Smart Home technology to go with. I’ve been hoping to go with the new Thread specifications but that’s been really slow in coming out. It’s my understanding that, typically, Zigbee isn’t quite as robust as Z-Wave so right now I’m looking at going with Z-Wave. However I noticed iHome makes a Wi-Fi smart plug that appears to be an interesting alternative. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Zigbee vs. Z-Wave vs. Wi-Fi in general and also specifically for smart plugs. I noticed Levitron and GE both make smart plugs, GE appears to make plugs using both the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. I definitely want interoperability moving forward with Google Thread specifications (and of course Google Home) but I’m hoping that perhaps the fact that Google Home works with SmartThings makes it a little bit less of an issue in terms of compatibility moving forward. Am I thinking about this the right way? Do you think Z-Wave is a pretty safe bet in terms of forward connectivity? Will it stay supported or do you feel that it will fade out in favor of “newer” options? What use your primary home automation “language” of choice? I was encouraged early on by forum members here to, as much as possible, choose one of the HA protocols and build out your system using as much if that as you can just to increase the strength of my mesh network. The truth is, I already have a decent ZigBee mesh simply due to my Hue lighting (plus the SmartThings hub combo included a couple if ZigBee “things” including sensors and a smart plug). However, since I need to get probably 5 or so answer plugs anyway, it would begin to build a Z-Wave mesh as well and I’d then have decent coverage for both. It should probably noted we live in a relatively small apartment not a huge sprawling house. What do you think? Would you go with Z-Wave for this or just stick to the ZigBee since I already have the Hue and ST things? Will the stronger mesh overcome the inherent limitations of “reach” of the 2.4ghz band vs the 900mhz of the Z-Wave? I guess I should also say that I’ll be eventually adding in other “things” as well such as water sensors, humidity sensors, other multi sensors, and potentially water shut offs and other similar type things. I’ll also add a smart lock that can tie into the HA setup and a connected thermostat when I can finally figure out what will be compatible with our heating system, which had been much more difficult than I ever expected. But that’s for another thread.
My second question is around Philips Hue lighting interoperability. Will other bulbs like Osram or Cree and controllers like the Fibaro LED light strip controller work directly with Hue now or did they remove that functionality? I read they put it back but I’m just wanting to know what to expect before investing. I need to increase the lighting in our kitchen especially moving into the gloomier days of fall and winter. I’d like to be able to add several T connectors into the standard LED lighting strips to increase coverage and possible even put them both above and below the cabinets (all of which would be difficult and expensive with the Hue Lightstrips Plus - which I already have, and love, in other parts of the house). But at the same time, I’d love for these LED strips to still be usable with my Hue setup (including SmartThings with Alexa and soon Google Home support) which is why I’m looking for something like the Fibaro controller that I ran across on Amazon). If anyone could just confirm their more recent experiences with third party lighting and Philips Hue integration, if really be appreciative.
Thanks so much!