Home Automation Z Wave

Home Automation Platform Discussion Continued……

In my previous post I spoke about the shut down of the Lowe’s IRIS Home Automation Platform. I went into great detail about several of the Open Source options that exist out there such as:

Home Assistant

I also made mention to there being paid Home Automation Systems that are available that do not require a subscription. But I did not make mention of them in my last post. I would like to take this opportunity to list some of the (in my opinion) more popular ones.

Depending on which one you plan on going with, you might be locked into a particular type of hardware or protocol, in other cases the platform might me more Open.

Google Home/Alexa – I mostly have experience dealing with the Google Home line of products, however I do have some experience with writing Alexa skills. I can say for sure that Google Home is compatible with a wide variety of products and services including some open source ones like Home Assistant.

Smartthings – Samsung is another one of those platforms that will accept different pieces of hardware. However I am pretty sure that you are locked into using the Zigbee protocol. Oddly enough, if you sign up for their developer portal, you can reprogram IKEA TRADFRI lights to work with it as seen in this Blog post I did years ago.

Philips Hue – I believe they only deal with lights, many different kinds of lights. From Bulbs, to LED Strips, to Wireless LED bulbs. Within their app you can set different Profiles or scenes for each device so you an set the mood.

Ikea Tradfri – I would call this one the poor man’s Hue. That does not mean that this product is any worse that the Hue, but I will say that the lights are cheaper, like $12 a bulb vs $20 a bulb for the hue. Like I said above, the TRADFRI operates using the Zigbee Protocol, so you can reprogram them to work with a Smartthings Hub if you follow the guides.

What I like the most about all of the hubs that I listed above is that they all can integrate with Home Assistant which is by far my favorite home automation platform. The downside is I now have 4 or more hubs running on my home network, but that is my problem.

I hope you guys found this article helpful and if so please share.

If you are interested in purchasing anything covered in this post, feel free to check out some of these links below.




Raspberry Pi:

How to use IKEA TRADFRI with a Samsung Smartthings

So as you may or may not know one of my hobbies as of late has been Home Automation. My favorite platform is Home Assistant as it allows me to connect a whole plethora of products together and use them in a giant mesh throughout my house. 
I recently setup IKEA Tradfri bulbs in my Master Bedroom and the Daughters room and I was able to connect them into Home Assistant with mixed reviews. The integration with the IKEA Tradfri lights is already part of the standard build for Home Assistant, however I have to admit that it is not always reliable for me and I find myself using either the Tradfri app or the remote controls that I purchased for them. 
This weekend my Son asked if I could do the same for him so he could be cool like his sisters. So I went to IKEA and purchased a new Light bulb. Now one of the things that I have noticed from being a user of the system that no one mentions is that if you desire to use a remote for the lights, you will need to purchase one for each room your are setting up as there is no way to switch between light groups on the remote. So not only and I purchasing an $11 light bulb (because I am cheap) but I have to purchase a $20 Remote!!
I had done some research online and found that the IKEA Tradfri bulbs are actually using a form of ZigBee to communicate and that it might be possible to use it with a Samsung Smartthings Hub. 
So when I got home from IKEA I opened up my laptop and searched for a Guide and I found one listed below which I was able to follow with great ease considering I had already done a lot of this work when setting up the MQTT Bridge with Smartthings.