Intro

If you’re thinking about turning your home into a Smart Home, Randy discuss what is necessary to accomplish this.

Choices – That Use a Hub

  • SmartThings – This is a company that started out as a Kickstarter in 2012 – for $1.2 million. Just a couple years later, they were acquired by Samsung in 2014 for $200 million. 
    • SmartThings is operated by a central hub that connects to your home’s router. The SmartThings hub can send out the signal required by Smart Light bulbs, or other Smart Devices that support different protocols such as ZigBee, and Z-Wave. Both of these protocols have their own pros and cons. For instance, ZigBee operates in the 2.4GHz range, which could potentially have some clashes with your WIFI devices that use that frequency. Personally, I try to keep most of my WIFI devices on the 5GHz range, because it can handle more traffic anyway. Z-Wave is considered more reliable because it operates in the 800-900Mhz Range. Z-Wave is also 2-3x’s ZigBee in Range. It’s really a personal preference between these two, but it’s great the SmartThings hub can support devices from  Both. 
  • Wink – Wink labs is another company that received some crowd-sourcing to begin. This one received about $20 million in funding. Like SmartThings, Wink has its own hub as well. This was actually my starting point for trying out a Smart Home.


 As long as you have at least the 2nd Generation Hub from Wink, it will support most Smart Home devices with Zigbee and Z-Wave – really the ONLY two protocols I care about at this point.

I had mixed results with my beginner setup when I bought my Wink hub that came included with 2 Smart Bulbs. In 2015, I was one of the users affected by a security problem that knocked our hubs offline. I’m sure you know what that means, I can’t control my lightbulbs anymore. I saw this as a huge problem, which is why I only wanted to test this out with a couple bulbs. I felt like I wanted more “local control”, you know like I did when I had used the regular light switch that I had been using for decades.

  • What I do – I really prefer to avoid putting more links in a chain when it comes to my setup – especially when each link has its own strengths and weakness. Just like in Audio Engineering, your setup is only as strong as its weakest link. You cannot argue with that.

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