Homey Community Forum

Prospective buyer, should I get it?

Hey everyone,

I’m doing a major renovation and planning on “smarting out” everything I can, lights, blinds, aircon, etc. I think I’d end up with many different brands of sensors and devices, hence I’m considering getting Homey to be the center of everything. We’re mainly an Apple household, so I’d want everything to work through Homekit but I know many devices are not directly supported.

The other alternative I’m also considering is Homebridge. Keep in mind, I’m a developer, very comfortable working with node.js. But I do appreciate convenience, ease of setup and reliability.

Anyone with experience on both ? Is homey that much more convenient to justify the added cost ? I know this is a subjective topic but would be really interested to hear opinions and appreciate any answers.

You will find most people on the forum are bias.

Sounds like Homey will give you the ability to ‘smart out’ everything as well as the option to choose the device which is right for you, rather than one supported by Homebridge.

Further to that as a developer comfortable in nodejs, you will be able to by what ever you want (with an API) and easily add it to your smart home automation.

I like it and am happy, however some people have had issues (as always) - if you want an honest no bias opinion - have a read through the forums.

Just be aware that v2 RC dropped a couple of days ago, so there is lot of talk about things not working with in it. (as it is a RC).

I had a Homebridge setup for a long time, although it was relatively limited in terms of the number of devices that I was controlling with it (mostly 433Mhz sockets).

I eventually stopped using it because it was unstable (too many times, Homekit lost connection to Homebridge). Also, Homekit automation is rather limited compared to Homey’s flows.

In terms of convenience, easy of setup and reliability, Homey wins. It’s easy to install apps, add devices and create automations. I’m a developer myself, but the convenience trumps having to edit JSON config files.

Homekit support is built-in (as “experimental feature”) into the upcoming V2 firmware release, but there are currently also two apps that provide Homekit support. I’m using Homeykit (being one of the people working on that app, I have to :wink: ), and it has been working perfectly ever since I upgraded to iOS 12 (internally, that app uses the same Homekit protocol library as Homebridge, so I think that any instability issues that I had with Homebridge before might have been solved too).

I just started experimenting with combining Homekit, Siri, Shortcuts and Homey, which allows for even more possibilities.

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I appreciate your replies :+1:

I think I will get one, hopefully it will be in stock sometime soon. I will try to set it up in my current home as a test with a few devices. I’m a little nervous because I want to find a solution that works well, I’m planning on ditching the wall switches altogether, since everything will be ‘smart’, what’s the point of digging cables through the walls? Instead I’m thinking of installing wireless smart light switches that I can reconfigure and move around as I like. But if something goes wrong then I only have the main power panel to turn things on/off and you can imagine that can’t happen much.

I guess the point of having still switches is mainly to help out others who do not necessarily have the same home automation fetish that we have and to make sure that you can still operate items in your house in case something is not working properly. I for sure would not get away with leaving out the normal switches etc.

I still plan on having switches. But they will be wireless switches glued to the wall. If everything is working properly then you wouldn’t know the difference.

Advantages: I can set switches to turn on/off many light bulbs at once and even do other things like raise/lower blinds. If I change my mind about how things are done, I can reconfigure them. I can even take them out and stick them at some other point on the wall. And by not having ‘real’ switches I don’t risk someone cutting out the power on smart bulbs that might be needed for automatic flows, etc.

Disadvantages: Aside from spending more money, if the hub goes down then they’d probably stop working and if I can’t get it back up, I would have to flip the switches from the panel. So this really can’t happen, reliability would be very important.

And if you have renovated the place, removed all light switches and for some reason the house will be for sale. Do you think the buyers can see through a house without functional wall switches?

I would use in-wall switches, and normal led bulbs. So you can dim/toggle them with a normal lightswitch. You can use the switch in flows, so you can turn on/off all kinds of lights or other stuff with the wall switches.

And if your system is down, you can still toggle the directly connected lights.

Hiya, maybe you already got your device. Good decision. Though you need to be aware of some things:

  • the hardware is pretty simple and not necessarily “at technologies cutting edge”
  • Homey lives by its community and the developers that do their work for free. Meaning: The duty on Athoms side is barely given so the few central development of things takes a looong time (due to limited resources of course)
  • if you’re not into tech at all it’ll be a huge struggle to get things up running smoothly. That doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, neither that it’ll keep running once an app got an update.

I experienced Homey in the last months to be in a kinda “change”; maybe as well in terms of philosophy of the company. As “homee” offers a different approach with transparency and direct voting system for changes and improvements, it’s possible - and somehow recommendable - to just use Homey as a hardware provider while taking homee as the UI basis.

This is not far from using a rasPi and OpenHAB, but as I initially been looking to get away from “nerding” and just being a user to use things that work; I’d skip this :slight_smile:

So after all: Homey is on a change and though there’s many things that competitors do way way better, I think it’s worth to give the team the chance for closing the gap.

If I started from scratch I would go to a wired smart home, something like Niko offers in my opinion the best way is wired with the smartiness build into junction box.
If you plan good and stick to 1 protocol you don’t need homey, Zippatile looks good also, I’m thinking of going that way.
In my eyes homey will be dead in one or 2 years, so many promises broken, and so many things badly supported by Athom.