Up to August of 2021, my smart home was fully serving our needs, and anything I added was just to serve my desire to "always add more". But then I pulled it all apart in preparation of our house sale.
I decided based on feedback from others that it could help our sale to include smart home gear, but I knew from years of showing friends and talking about it to customers; people want simple.
What I saw as a bonus and worthwhile struggle (the keeping it all functional and in-sync struggle), everyone else viewed as a burden they would never want to engage. So our home sold with what many would consider far too elaborate, but I consider bare minimum. It's VERY stable and fault tolerant, and that's what I insisted upon.
For those curious, the house sold with the following setup;
• Hubitat Elevation C7
• Hue Bridge
• Lutron Caséta Smart Bridge Pro
• APC 600VA Back-UPS - Model BE600M1
• Lutron Caséta dimmers in every room
• Lutron Pico remotes in almost every room (Some are in double-gang wall plates to control Hue bulbs that serve as accent lights, while some are acting as 3-way switches via the Smart Bridge Pro)
• Two motion sensors (one Hue indoor and one Third Reality) paired with HE
• Two Sengled BR30 bulbs paired directly with HE and controlled by a Pico.
• Two IKEA Trådfri LED drivers for kitchen under cabinet lighting and toe-kick accent lighting. Paired directly with HE and controlled by a Pico (accent lights are turned on via the Hue motion sensor after 10pm and disabled 30 min after sunrise).
• All smart bulbs (except for the two Sengled) are Hue, joined with the Hue bridge and controlled via the HE Hue Bridge integration and Pico remotes.
What does 2022 bring?
I now have the chance to start over in our new home and expand what works perfectly, drop what was problematic, and try new devices.
• Insteon devices
Yes, it is looking unsettlingly grim for Insteon. They swear that it's merely the semiconductor shortage and supply chain issues, but it is certainly looking like their shrinking popularity is taking its toll. The fantastic devices like their micro controllers have been discontinued, and all product is near impossible to get. My Insteon integration is full local and every device I own is joined to my existing Insteon hub. So even if their cloud went offline tomorrow, I'd still be able to use every Insteon device I own, fully local. I'll use it until it dies. These were some of the best devices around that rival Lutron RA2 reliability and features, but at below Lutron Caséta prices.
After installing so many Caséta dimmers in preparation for the house sale, I came to realize how much I value the Insteon dimmers and how well they work with LED ceiling lights. I think I'm going to miss them when they're someday obsolete, but for now they still have a seat at the table.
• Lutron Caséta Smart Bridge Pro and Picos
These are winning smart button devices that are highly programable and rock solid. No way I can give them up. They look like switches when you mount them in wall plates, they have great accessories for bedside, car, etc. Love them. They sit next to HE at the head of the table so to speak.
• Hue Bridge
Only two of my many Hue bulbs were used in the renovated, and now sold house. The designers wanted Edison filament bulbs and Philips Hue had the only smart bulbs in that style at the time. They're really orange looking, but that's actually perfect as accent lights. The designer loved them. So I have a load of soft white and tunable Hue bulbs that will be used in our new home...probably Too soon to know for sure, but a new Hue bridge has been purchased for use in the new place.
• Xiaomi devices
Y'all do what you feel like. I'm sticking with these devices joined via HA and a ConBee 2 with Home Assistant Device Bridge. A wonderful driver/app. Changed my smart home experience and made these my go-to input devices for most applications. The bonus is I get access to most of the compatible HA devices in HE. Total win.
Solid performance. Never have to touch it. We're a MacOS/iOS family. This will be back online in the new setup for sure.
• Aeon Home Energy Monitor v1
I own three of them and they are great for monitoring the state of dumb appliances and overall home energy use. I have three HE hubs, so these will return in the new setup on a hub by themselves, just as before. They are Z-Wave 300 series so, I want to keep them isolated from the newer Z-Wave devices I own.
•Yale YRD 256
Excellent locks. I sold them with my house and immediately ordered more for the new house. I'm continuing with Z-Wave. It's never given me any trouble, and they were available as low cost warehouse deals. No need to change what isn't broken.
•IKEA Trådfri LED drivers
They're inexpensive and after discovering that, while they are not always 100% reliable when joined to a Hue Bridge, they ARE reliable when joined directly to HE. I bought a few to use in the new house. They will join a new Hue color LED strip and I'll experiment with adding some color to the kitchen under cabinet lights. Wife approval pending
•Amazon Echo and Google Home
These two are under review. HomePod is private, but limited. Amazon is tough to give up. So functional, and the new Air Quality sensors are interesting, but their invasion into our privacy from all angles is really making me uneasy about continuing. Google isn't much better than Amazon, but their Home Hub is a really convenient kitchen device for questions, recipes and an easy to use dashboard. I want to go all HomePod, but none of these manufacturers, including Apple, are making the decision easy,
- Sengled BR30 bulbs and my homebuilt on/off controllers made from Sengled BR30 Zigbee modules.
- IKEA outlets and repeaters
- iDevice switch and outlet. Meh, they were free and they work just fine through HomeKit.
- Nest Protect smoke/CO alarms (They're the best option in my opinion)
- Delta VoiceIQ module and Delta Touch faucet. WiFi only and needs Alexa routines, but it works and I'm very happy with it.
- Homeseer HS-FS100-L Z-Wave light sensor
- Inovelli LZW36 fan controllers. I own two, and while I'm not sure there will be ceiling fans in the new home, the LED indicator capabilities are just so nice, I'm hopeful that I will want to re-use these, but I'm not going to create a use case for them.
- Leaksmart, Centralite, Insteon and Xiaomi leak sensors. Not one of these failed to perform. They will all be used in the new home.
New for 2022!
Moen Flo - Our new house has Poly B plumbing that needs replacing. Until that time, I'm going to add Flo to our home to help prevent my new investment from getting soggy.
So happy that I'll be able to integrate it with HE thanks to the work by @david2. Plus, I've wanted one of these for a long time, and this is a great excuse to spend the money.
These are a great substitute for the now discontinued Insteon micro switch modules. These will occupy only 2 out of a total of 10 IoT WiFi devices I own, so I'm not concerned about network performance degrading.
Yes, despite the one month trial, and the experienced users warning me, I'm still wanting to repurchase this. It's almost a moot point since electricity costs are so low where I'm moving to, but Sense is now promising we'll see the long awaited feature (or at least some form of it), where users can help in the training, without needing to buy a compatible product like Hue or TP-Link. I'm a glutton for punishment I guess, but I've still got my sites on owning one of these again. I'm sometimes more excited by my hobby than I am smart about it.
Devices that may, or may not not return
It's a great thermostat, and while I think it will do just fine being owned by Generac, I'm not certain I will have an HVAC system that supports it at this time. The new house currently only has electric resistive heating and no AC. There's no gas service to the house and we're on the fence if we should spend $4000 CAD after subsidies to bring Gas to the house. It pollutes and our electricity is inexpensive and 95% hydro-electric supplied. So the new heating and cooling setup is completely up in the air. Ecobee is only going to be useful if we go with gas heating and a conventional AC unit.
This is a great alarm system, and the price/features are hard to beat. The unofficial integration is excellent, and really useful for using the door/window sensors for double-duty. But Ring is now part of Amazon's extreme reach into our privacy. I'm on the fence. There's a really old alarm system in the new home (which I've yet to set foot in - modern times ), and it appears to be wireless. So that's going to an electronics recycling center.