I’m a new Homey Pro user, but have some years with automation experience with Home assistant, Zigbee2MQTT, Node Red (in HA), Deconz and such. My main goal is to have a solution where I can use different devices without using proprietary bridges.
I bought a Homey and my thought to use that for the holy grail for all automation regardless of communication protocol (zigbee, z-wave, 433 mhz etc).
My first test was to create flows using a Hue dimmer with Hue light and implement same functionalilty as original (example longpress dimming and switching light temperature). But that was harder to accomplish than I anticipated. I ended up buying a Philips bridge and that worked perfect. But why isn’t flows working better without proprietary bridges? And is there anything I can do to make it better?
I also have a Namron zigbee rotary dimmer that I have linked to some Ikea zigbee light, and have connected them via flows for on, off and dimming. It works, but are very slow. I’m a bit disappointed and I’m not sure if Homey fits my needs to be able to connect various devices regardless of make.
In my opinion Homey is coming a long way, but still remains far from the Holy Grail. HomeAssistant will probably come further, but at the cost of user friendlyness for the less tech savvy.
Real-time dimming control without z-wave to z-wave associations or Zigbee touchlink like direct control is where Homey isn’t shining. I believe the HUE bridge is doing a lot with this under water using grouping and things like that. I assume that is why it is requiring partners to go through some kind of Friends with HUE certification.
Homey isn’t doing all those things. So it allows more devices such as Aqara, which has its own taste if Zigbee, but is also less sophisticated.
Z-wave dimming is fine for me, but probably only so because I use z-wave remotes using direct associations. I doubt I would have gotten it as smooth using flows.
If the dimming device has built in support for start/stop dimming transitions it may work well together with Homey, but there’s still a chance that the stop dim transition command will lag just enough for it to be less than perfect.
I also believe that there is little hope of any system that is totally bridge free at this time. E.g. closed protocols such as Somfy IO will not be bridgeless without Somfy willing to put its security measures in Homey.
The Hue bridge just has a more elaborate Zigbee implementation that allows for easy grouping/binding (which are well-defined Zigbee “standards”), same as with deCONZ (I have Aqara sensors bound to IKEA bulbs so an Aqara PIR will turn on an IKEA bulb without a controller) or the IKEA gateway (where “groups” are called “rooms” and “binding” is what happens when you assign a remote to a room).
I understand. This is somewhat more complicated than I first thought. I didn’t actually try dimming automation with Node Red and Zigbee2MQTT, but I guess it would function more or less the same with Flows in Homey since it’s implemented in software.