Smart Hubs – What Smart Hub is the smart choice for you?
It may be a foregone conclusion that you need a Smart Hub to automate your home. There are a couple of big players: Wink, SmartThings and AppleHomeKit.
However, you may not need a Smart Hub at all.
Here’s how to decide which Smart Hub (if ANY) is right for you.
No Smart Hub – At All?
It may surprise you that you may not need a Smart Hub at all. Why wouldn’t you need a Smart Hub? Here’s a couple reasons:
- You only need to control lights: Philips Hue could be a great (albeit slightly more expensive) solution for your Smart Home. With their Dimmers and Motion Sensors, you can do almost anything you could do with more generic options and a Smart Hub (like Wink).
- Even if you want to add something, for example, a Smart Lock for your front door, you still may not need a Smart Hub. You could even use something like IFTTT or Stringify.
Using Voice Control Only
If you only have a couple of items you want to automate, a Amazon Echo or Google Home may be the right way to go.
The growing list of smart home products that work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home is pretty amazing.
One small catch: Google Home or Amazon Alexa don’t PUSH anything. You can only tell Alexa or Home what to do via voice. The Echo won’t tell you that the garage door opened. At least not yet… (Amazon and Google both say they are working on notifications).
Bonus: Check out the best smart plugs. Many of them already work with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The only Smart Hub I recommend: The Wink Hub 2
The Wink Hub 2 is the only smart hub that I’d recommend. Read my full Wink Hub 2 Review. It’s the worthy successor to the original Wink Hub, which won over Home Automation enthusiasts that weren’t going to start programming to have a smart home.
The easy-to-use interface allows pretty powerful customization, but it’s not without it’s limitations.
Apple HomeKit – the Quasi Smart Hub
Are you really brave?
I kid, I kid. There’s nothing wrong with Samsung SmartThings. In fact, if you own a Samsung Phone, you’d probably like the SmartThings Hub.
It’s a bit more complicated than the Wink Hub, but many people like it. If you are in for a bit of an adventure (or just want more control), check out SmartThings.