Feedback on a Homey newbee's automation strategy?

Hi Homey’s!

I migrated from Telldus Znet to Home Bridge about a month ago and have I’ve been lurking in the forum shadows reading up on good posts. I’ve drawn some conclusions but are a bit uncertain on some aspects of my new automation strategy. Any thoughts on my setup and assumptions below are most welcome!

Lights and sensors
After some testing I’m using Hue-bridge for Hue bulbs/switches instead of adding lights directly to Homey. The up-side is higher stability, richer functionality and easier to use physical remotes without a massive amount of flows. I do want my sensors connected to Homey to be able to trigger events calling any device regardless of its protocol. The down side to this setup is the need of two good performing Zigbee networks, especially since the bulbs in this setup won’t help as repeaters for sensors. I fancy Aqara sensors so I don’t see any other way but to add them to Homey since the Aqara bridge cant be integrated. (I also use a bunch of older nexa /telldus plugs directly with Homey and want the freedom to add Z-wave in the future. Are there any draw backs that I’ve missed?

Dashboard and masterdata
I really want to use a good and more flexible dashboard than Homeys web-interface offer. I have a lot of Apple devices (ATV, Homepod, Iphones etc) so going the homekit road with a 3:rd party app is appealing but then I need to upgrade to the Homey Pro to get the Kitty app. There’s also the redundancy in data /structure with rooms/Zones, device-naming etc with an increasing amount of hubs / platforms so I’m very uncertain if it’s a good approach…

I will not start another debate around the RF-IR support and the possibility of learning of codes. I realize the fact that I will need a hub for both IR / RF (TV’s, home cinema, garage doors, blinds etc). I have not found anything working with the Homey Bridge so again this points towards the Homey PRO. I see that there are several hubs with Homey apps not converted to the new SDK / Homey PRO 2023 so I’m very uncertain what to do in this area…

No of hubs and the use of Homey
The RF/IR is yet another hub to integrate and manage and the use of Homey decreases with every new hub added. The upside is that Homey has a very strong automation engine that can tie all events, triggers and do the behind the scenes work and be the middle hand in the landscape but the more integrations the more things that can break and the PRO costs a few bucks but is probably a must have considering my needs?

This got a lot longer than intended, sorry for that :). Again, all thoughs are most welcome.

Hi Fredrik

You should definitely check this one out. It’s new and still in progress but very usable already (and with the Pro 23 it even works locally) :

I would opt for one zigbee network. Or, you should have enough zigbee lights and plugs, paired with Homey zigbee, to spread around the house, just like your Hue devices.

Keep in mind they don´t like (they mute after a while so to speak) several zigbee types/brands like Ikea. Aqara is not very following the zigbee 3.0 standard.
They work great @ Homey 2019 (I have 12 Aqara sensors) don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a warning they can ruin the party.

Homey has a pretty huge database with IR remotes. Learning IR is not possible, check out Switchbot for that. It learns IR and has a good Homey integration.
The Brel app can learn (and use) 433MHz signals, when you’re lucky it recognises your remotes.
If your not lucky you can consider a Broadcom RM4 pro (The Broadcom app is in the process of eing updated to SDK3, to be able to run on Pro 23)

1 Like

Thanks for your input Peter.

I will have a look at the dashboard and the input on Aqara was most valuable. I have only used them in a single Zigbee network so far… I agree that one single Zigbee network would be prefered but the dimmers and scenes would take a quite some effort in Homey compared to the out of box functionality in Huebridge. Any shortcuts but to create a number of workflows to get dimmers etc to work?

Regarding the IR DB, I’ve not been able to find my IR devices. I also need the RF to work for the garage doors so I’ll look in to your suggestions on the Apps/Hubs.

Thanks again /Fredrik

Hi Fredrik, you’re welcome,
I know Hue can do many things Homey can’t, so there’s a good reason to keep the Hue mesh. And I think it’s more stable as well. I don’t own Hue stuff, but I’ve read along a few years of Hue info now.
So I think in your case you’d best setup a Homey zigbee mesh as well. Mind the channel numbers though (and the 2.4GHz wifi channel)

Hi Froze,
I am also a Telldus user who will probably be migrating to Honey.
I have a Homey bridge to test now but I’m unable to get anything from my excisting network to function in Homey, it’s mostly Zwave with som 433mhz stuff.
Only the Bridge is showing on the app. How did you do it?
Do I have to purchase a Premium in order to find the devices?

Thnx again Peter, I think I’ll give the dual setup a trial and if it doesn’t turn out stable I will have to shut one down. Regarding the Zigbee channels. My Hue is on Ch 25 but I can’t find any settings telling me what channel my HB uses. Do you know if this is a fixed channel or ifc it can be changed (if noat do you know the number). I want to avoid any conflicts… Cheers /Fredrik

Hi Robert,

Download the Nexa App if it’s a nexa device and then click “devices”, “add new device” and choose the Nexa (or other brand) app and do the usual procedure to activate the pairing sequense on the device. I’ve also added a few devices by clicking on Homey itself instead of an app and from there you can choose what protocol to use and scan for the device.

Cheers /Fredrik

Not sure if it works for HB, but on a Pro2019 you can change channels here
I think the default channel is 11, so in that case it won’t interfere with Hue zigbee.
And, multiple zigbee networks interfere less than wifi to zigbee does.

Also, when one resets a Pro 2019 zigbee, it finds a quiet channel automatically.
Maybe the bridge has similar functionality.

1 Like

Damn Peter!! (pardon my french)
That was a hidden jewel :)Many settings there that i’ve been looking for. Why on earth isn’t there a link to this page under the settings menu one might wounder. The Zigbee channel was set to 17 (not editable but atleast i know the channel). :slight_smile: Thanks!

1 Like

Happy to help!
Idk why it is hidden from the apps, but it is called ‘developer tools’, not intended for the average Joe I guess. But most Joe’s like it and find it very useful!

When needed, you can change the Hue channel quite easy as I’ve read. Only you’ll have to turn on / power on all Hue devices in it’s mesh network.

Channel 17 is not great, some Zigbee devices will not work (properly) unless the channel is one of 11, 15, 20 or 25 (the “primary ZLL channels”).


So glad I got your post on recommended channels before adding all the devices again Robert. A note for other users trying this:

There is no way to manually enter a certain channel in HB but the “reset Zigbee networks” picks a random channel for every reset. So clicking reset network until one of the primary channels is choosen will get the job done

Thnx! /F

1 Like

Sorry for my lack of understanding at the start.
It was not clear that I needed to enter the device supplier name on the search line.
It seemed to be doing a search but wasn’t, after that entry it started to find devices.
The PC help version is much more informative than what you actually get in the Android app.
Using both of these together is very usefull.
The project is moving forward now, Thanks.

In HomeyPro, pre-2023 you can choose a different channel bij pressing the small triangle:

I guess there are a lot of stuff not possible in the Brige. I more and more realize that I need to go PRO to get needed functionality.

No dropdowns available in the Bridge dev tools:

1 Like

Not possible in the HP2023 either, you can’t choose the Zigbee channel.

Afaik it is not just random, it looks for a quiet channel, which of course can be several channels. So make sure the 2.4GHz wifi channel is fixed to the desired channel, preferrably 1, 6 or 11, before resetting zigbee.

I actually did some effort on the Wifi channels but TP-Links Deco product line does neither show the channels nor allowing the administrator to change it. Found some forum threads with angry end users and it seems that it’s “by design” for the deco since it’s supposed to be so smart that it chooses the channel with least traffic… frustrating. I just have to try things out and hope for a good outcome. I’d rather spend that money on the HPRO than a new mesh wifi :slight_smile:

Hmmm that’s really too “user friendly”
It’s odd one cannot decide for themselves. Because ‘auto-mode’ is not always the way to go.
And, on Homey you also can’t manage everything you like, despite of owning the damn thing :rofl:

Yepp, this is taking it one step to far. I doubt it will adapt if additional devices that interfer with selected channel will be handled after initial setup…

The hue ZB network works like a charm though and I’ll begin setting up the 2:nd one with HB as the controller tonight. I guess the bigges challange is still ahead, adding a third 2,4 mhz network :wink: