I was already down a slightly more mainstream rabbit hole with a handful of Google assistants, Nest Hello doorbell, Tado heating, Harmony Elite remote, TP-link smart bulbs (bleh), some wifi smart plugs & a couple of Shelly no-neutral modules. With rheumatoid arthritis & spondylosis getting in the way, it started out as a way of making life a bit easier. Then I saw Paul Hibbert on YouTube. Ooh the ZigBee!!
I'd been preparing for the arrival of the HE & got hold of a few things off FleaBay. A couple of Mi door sensors, some ST plugs and z-wave dimmer plugs, Z-wave & ZigBee switch modules.
A couple of weeks since the HE arrived and I'm now firmly wedged down the rabbit hole. I’ve been fairly busy and the days of the damned Google Assistant behaving like a cloth-eared unruly teenager are well and truly numbered. I thought my "broken Google" avatar to be quite appropriate!
The preparation time spent lurking around this wonderful forum has certainly paid off. I've got the Tado Connect, Kasa Integration, Google Home Community, Chromecast Integration and Google SDM API apps set up as well as finding community drivers for all devices bar the Teckin wifi plugs, but I’m not inclined to go down the route of flashing them – see, I have been reading!!
I’ve resurrected an old Android tablet and got ActionTiles dashboards running on it. All routines have been removed from Google Home and scenes are now handled by RM with voice triggers linked in via the Google Home Community App.
I've discovered that I'm not too keen on Z-wave. All the devices (plugs & modules, therefore also repeaters) are within 12 metres of the hub but they're sluggish to respond compared to ZigBee and the Aeon mini switch module seems to have a mind of its own – even after giving the mesh time to settle down.
The Aqara Opple 6 button controller arrived safely (my first time buying through AliExpress after reading advice on here) and I got busy with RM creating groups and scenes. Memories of Boolean & dealing with logic gate chips from many years ago came flooding back! I even bought a little Brother P700 label machine and (at the request of my OH) a handful of Sonoff buttons are on the way to link to table/bedside lamps.
I was going to stick with Shelly for dimmer modules with retractive switches. Then I got the Aqara Opple 6 button and discovered that the Shelly Dimmer2 doesn't support the "begin changing"/"stop changing" command set. Whilst dimming works with the retractive wall switch, it will only accept absolute values from a ZigBee button via the hub. Not dimming on hold/release is a deal breaker so it’s back to the drawing board for no-neutral dimmers. I will be sticking with Shelly for their non-dimming switch modules though.
The Fibaro & Qubino dimmers are quite expensive & my experience with Z-wave thus far has been less than perfect. I know about Lutron but again, the cost is prohibitive. I’ve seen a “Lonsonho QS-Zigbee-D02-Triac-L” neutral-free dimmer on AliExpress but I’m not completely happy trusting the safety of something without a verified CE certificate when it’s connected to mains & embedded in the wall behind a switch! CE in China without an actual European certificate essentially means “self-certification” without any external checks.
I’ve bought a single Samotech SM314 to try, which arrived yesterday. It paired straight away and is working perfectly. It’s a bit thicker than the Shelly so a pattress collar & some longer screws were needed. Unless anyone has any other suggestions for (cost effective & safety certified) no-neutral dimmer modules that’ll fit in a UK pattress box I’ll probably be ordering some more Samotechs.
The Google SDM API was a bit of a faff to set up with all the difficulty being on Google's end but it's done & the doorbell is linked in to HE. A rule to get the porch lights to switch on from doorbell will be written once I’ve changed the unruly Aeon switch.
Once all the lights are done I’ll be looking more seriously at devices such as door, window, (dog friendly) movement, luxe, humidity sensors to enable some true automation. Some roller blind motors and curtain tracks will be on the shopping list at some point as funds (and OH) allow.
Finally, a big THANK YOU to all the community developers and people with in-depth knowledge and experience. You’ve all enabled me to pretty much hit the ground running!