The road to 2023: A smarthouse Journey


I thought i`d share my experiences whit the smart-house solutions ive had over the years, and my thoughts about what i like and didn’t like, and how i got here.

Tellstick Lite v2 + Nexa 433 / Z-Wave

I bought my house in 2014, so it took me a couple of years to get to the point where i had time to
delve into automation.
Telldus had just released the Tellstick lite v2, so i ordered it, a samsung tablet and a heap of Nexa 433 relays, plugs, dimmers, wall switches ect… and got started.
Setting up the Tellstick was very easy, it did the simple things great, connecting wall plugs to switches and so on. But i soon found 433 wanting: noisy frequency band, unreliable activation, one way communication, no security ect…
So after a year i tried to change over to Z-Wave, but i hit a snag. The Tellstick had very bad Z-Wave range, i had major problems with it. So i elected to get rid of the Tellstick (tried to anyway).

Very easy setup for (basic functions)
Good 433 Range
Very compact size
Ethernet port

Very bad Z-Wave coverage
Advanced functions is a paid premium feature.

Nexa Bridge + Nexa 433 and Z-Wave

The Nexa Bridge was a monumental failure, these units had a very high failure rate with a defective Z-Wave chip or just plain dying on people. Mine both lost z-wave communication and then died on me.
They offered me the Nexa bridge X (the successor) i declined. At least i got my money back, but a waste of time to be sure.
So i had to crawl back to my Tellstick and 433 devices for 3 more years.

Interface similar to Telldus.

Very poorly design and quality.
Never worked

Fibaro Homecenter 3 + Z-wave and 433->(NOT)

After looking at the specs, it really seemed to have everything i was looking for. Fast hardware, support for most devices (433/868, Zwave,Zigbee, BLE) advanced features support.
So i went for it and shelled out 600€, but as soon as i got it home and began setting it up, it became very clear it was over-hyped.
This device does nowhere near what Fibaro claimed at launch.
Had to throw out all my Nexa 433 units immediately, because the 433 support was proprietary only…
My plan to do a gradual transition to Z-wave, went out the window (and so did the money)

Very fast, good specs (for the time)
Easy setup with basic functions
Advanced feature support
Excellent z-wave range and device support
Offline operation
Ethernet port

Only proprietary 433/868 support, no support for general devices like Nexa. (still true)
Zigbee was not implementer at launch (its still in beta 3 years later…)
It crashed quite often. (fixed in later fw)
It has a somewhat dodgy Z-Wave engine.
Development is very slow (almost “abandon-ware” at this point.)
Somewhat cumbersome interface.
Way too expensive for what it actually does.
Poor 3rd party support.
++(i could go on for ages)

Futurhome Smarthub 2.0 + Z-Wave and Zigbee

By this point i was fed up with the lack of any progress with the Homecenter 3, so i decided to try a Norwegian designed solution.
It had good hw specs to (like the Fibaro) with support for Zigbee and Z-wave. The app has the best GUI that i`ve seen, very polished and streamlined. They have also allied them selves with popular manufacturers and offered great 3rd party device support as well.
My initial impression was very solid, this was as close to a complete solution as i had been (up to this point). It supported all my z-wave devices, electrical meter, WiFi heaters.
But then the heaters would not connect and the electrical meter fell out, and it was horribly slow and with unreliable activation of units. It became obvious that these guys where severely understaffed, people got angry and it got ugly very fast.
So after carefully considering my options, i chose to pre-order the Homey Pro 2023.

GUI in the app is one of the best ive seen.
HW specs are equal to Fibaro, (it should have been fast.)
Futurehome have very skilled design, web and interface developers
Under half the price of many competing solutions.
Great 3rd party app support.
Ethernet port
Magnetic base

Futurehome is severely understaffed.
Serious bugs go unresolved for a long time.
Unfocused development, prioritize adding frivolous s**it.
The hub has slow response time and unreliable triggering.
No web interface support (App only)
No offline operation
Advanced functionality is so so.

Athom Homey Pro Early 2023 + Z-Wave and Zigbee

After getting burned several times,i took my time and carefully looked at my options before landing on the Homey Pro 2023, waiting for several months i finally got the new Homey Pro.
I was a bit disappointed, that something was loose inside the unit, but it was working fine so i just fixed the issue and carried on. I’ve not had it long, and it`s early days.
The setup was a revelation for me, especially the advanced flow. It saved me so much time during the setup, and including the all the units went smoothly. With animated instructions there was no need to look up anything.

But i can already tell that its miles better then anything else ive had. Only thing i`m missing for the moment, is the Glamox heating app not working on the Homey Pro 2023 (yet).
Looking forward so see where this is going.

Smooth inclusion of devices
Supporting the G4 Doorbell Pro PoE Adapter, for sleek power and Ethernet.
Fast hardware and good response time
Web interface support
Offline operation
Advanced functionality very accessible via advanced flow
Excellent 3rd party support.

Unit quality not up to snuff yet (pre-production unit).
Some 3d party apps not yet working with the new Homey Pro.
App is not as good as Futurehome`s, but better than Fibaro.
Poor design choices regarding the encasing of the unit: metal weight that can get loose and ruin the circuit board, No airflow, undersized heat-sink, thin and squeaky plastic, easy to stain piano black finish,
Non magnetic base.

Not too long of a read i hope… :smiley: