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Wednesday, 18 September 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Smart Home Hubs: Which Automation System is Ideal for You?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 11 September 2019 01:03

Remember the inscription that was engraved on Sauron’s ring in ‘The Lord of the Rings’? It went something like this: ‘one ring to rule them all, one ring to find them… and bind them.’ What does this quote signify? Singular control and unlimited power for the bearer, right? Coincidentally, a smart home hub works like this as well. It detects the presence of multiple smart devices in a house, forms a correlation with them, and acts as a central point of command for you to maneuver everything at once.

Whether it is the automated lighting in the other room, the smart sprinklers in the garden, the AI-enabled audio system in the entertainment unit, the self-heating kitchen kettle or the smart bed mattress, a hub rules over it all. Mostly, via a smartphone app that offers a universal remote control to the user, and is easily installable.

Now, with so many smart home hubs out there, each with its own unique configuration, how can you possibly know which one to purchase and make a part of your home life in 2019? This is where the present post will come in handy. It will focus on various kinds of smart hubs available in the market, ranging from the purely dedicated ones to the speaker-assistant ones. Check them out one by one and then make an informed decision.

For Ultimate Compatibility

Wink Hub 2 stands out as the best contender for supporting a wide range of home automation. Whether it’s protocols like IFTTT, Zigbee, Lutron’s Clear Connect, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave and Google’s Threat interface, or devices made by Nest, Phillip Hue, Sonos, and Honeywell, or virtual AI like Alexa and Google Assistant, Wink is compatible with it all. Design wise, it is slender, smooth and neatly colored. You can actually fit it in a bookshelf and no one will even know it’s there. To connect it with the home network (Check: https://www.localcabledeals.com/), you can either use the Ethernet (recommended) or the wireless Wi-Fi option (which can get a bit tricky). It doesn’t have a battery back-up scene, so to power it, you have to keep it plugged in. What’s innovative about this hub is that it treats home automation as multichannel ‘Robots’ (For instance, the Hue bulbs automatically turn on if the Nest outdoor camera detects something sinister), and through its Wink app, tracks their progress. You can get it from Amazon for just under a $100.

For Outlasting Battery Life

Samsung SmartThings is an all-in-one appliance which comes equipped with a hub and a special Connect router that is really easy to set up. It is Z-Wave and Zigbee friendly, Alexa and Google Assistant compatible, and has a broad device support functionality. However, the best feature of SmartThings is that it has a backup battery which keeps it running even during a power outage. Other than this, it enables you to group the smart devices by room for easier management and categorization. You can purchase it from Amazon for only $75.

For the Best of Both Worlds

If you are looking for a two-in-one smart home solution, then Google Home and Amazon Echo are the perfect options for you. These are more like virtual voice-controlled assistants than dedicated smart home hubs. Google Home works well with more than 5000 smart home devices, including the ones made by Lifx, August, Belkin, and Lutron etc. Due to its integration with Google Assistant, it can power up your routine activities and sync the smart devices with it. For instance, Google Home hub would check the weather updates and automatically adjust the home thermostat to suit your body temp. Cool, right? Whereas Amazon Echo takes advantage of Alexa’s wide-ranging capabilities and compatibilities, yet its particular smart home functioning still needs a bit of finessing.

In conclusion, if you want to retrofit your house with a smart home hub this year and get on the futuristic road of smart tech, then do consider the aforementioned varieties before heading over to the market.

Listing Additional Info

  • State: Colorado
  • Address: 202 6th Street, Suite 400
  • City: Castle Rock
  • Zipcode: 80104
  • SOLD: no
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