Homey Community Forum

Building a New House - Is Homey a Good Fit?

Hi everyone,

I am an IT Pro but not so experienced on home automation. Currently have a Echo Dot working as hub, and a couple of osram lights and smart power plugs to create some scenes.
But now I am building a new house and would like to get some feedback before committing my self to the final home automation solution. My initial plan was to go full Fibaro, including the Hub. But then… I found Homey.

I still plan to use Fibaro Z-Wave Light Switch in every wall light switch and window blinds switch controllers (total of 35 of these in wall switches) and, add to this, use Windows and Doors Sensors, Smoke and Flood Sensors, Motion Sensors and the Keyfob - all from Fibaro as I think it is a reliable z-wave brand (although pricey). I am also plan to use 4 Reolink PoE Cameras for Video surveilance but not sure how to integrate this with a smart hub, though, maybe will keep them on their own ecosystem. Beside Smarphone, I will also have 2 in-wall Android Tablet (1 on each of the 2 floors) to better control and check the house status using “dashboards”. This will be the Core of the home security and automation, maybe a total of 50 Z-Wave devices.

Then will add some other "not so critical devices, such as RGBlightbulbs and led stripes, some smart plugs, etc, from various brands. I don’t intent to use any “wifi” devices, prefer to use Z-Wave and Zigbee, to keep them away from my Wifi network (and dependency).

So would like to get your opinion if a Athom Homey hub (maybe the Pro version?) is a good fit to manage all of these, and if this number of devices is a problem to the hub or not. I need to have a really reliable and stable hub.

I must say that I searched a lot about Homey, but most articles and Youtube video are in a language that I don’t understand, so I might be missing all the beauty of the system.

Thanks on advance for the patience to read and share your opinion with me.

Best wishes.

The amount of zwave devices will not be a problem. It will make a very good zwave network. The surveilance camera’s in general are not supperted at this moment, although you can integrate these in homey. You will only get a few triggers, like a motiontrigger etc. Sometimes the triggers are enough, sometimes with help off IFTTT you can do lovely things. Also with a imagegrabber you can do nice things.
As you say you will go for different brands you could run into some memory issues. The homey thing is not how many devices, but how many apps you need. I myself have a normal homey and about 20 apps. To be sure i don’t get memory issues i automatically restart my apps every night and once a week homey. Untill now never had issues. When I would buy a new homey and € 100,- extra would be no problem I would go for the Pro.

Fibaro is a very strong brand. The fibaro power plugs have the best zwave performance in my house. I like the pricerange of Neo and Xiaomi, but Fibaro is a secure choice.

Suc6 with your decision.

Thanks for sharing Marcel.
I will certainly go with Fibaro devices, so the experience with Homey controlling all these 70 fibaro devices must be flawless. I see for example, that the Fibaro app has only 3 stars out of 5, which doesn’t give me many confidence to rely my home security to Homey.

I am looking for some experiences sharing from people in more or less the same situation as I described, to help me making my mind for the right hub for me.

If you are going to be using Fibaro devices then do !!!NOT!!! buy Homey! I have a 5 bedroom house which I started off using a Raspberry Pi and a Zwave controller and then moved on to Homey. Ever since I purchased Homey it has not really worked 100% and I am at the point now where I am thinking about switching to the Fibaro Home Center 2.

I’ve got “only” a 3 bedroom house, but most of my 70 z-wave devices are Fibaro, and they all work awesomely.
So i would say, definitely go for Homey if you are going to use Fibaro.

Saying someone not to buy Homey because you have/had a bad experience doesn’t mean everyone else will have the same behaviour.

But there is of course more then just the 1 brand of Z-wave that makes Homey awesome.

Sorry, but I don’t believe you.

I have the following problems with the Fibaro devices:

  • Double Switch 2: Power consumption for s2 is not being shown or recorded
  • Motion Sensors: Random Tamper Alarms, Motion Alarm is triggered and does not deactivate, temp is not updated
  • Dimmer 2: Lights flicker when dimmed. When turning on or off the lights sometimes dim in and out (as they should) while other times they do not.
  • NO Firmware update via homey.
  • Walli still not supported
  • Switches / Dimmers sometimes do not react to an on/off command.

and I could go on and on and on…

IF you are using only Fibaro in your house then get the Fibaro Home Center

Ofcourse most people only rate when the have a bad experians with something, the people rating when they have no complains are much lower in numbers.

So asking what to do…ehm wel i dont think there is a home automation controler thats working for 100% over a number of years, Homey isnt and Fibaro isnt also… just reed their forums and you wil found out yourself.

Only benefits of homey i think, is that it can work with a very large number of different devices.

But ey, its all personal…asking here i think wont give you the answer yes or no regarding it, just because if lets say 20 people answer on this post… and from them had 15 persons bad experiens with it. Would that be then that homey sucks?

Best to invest time and make your decissions based on your own reading, and not on this single topic.

I like homey, and having not any big issieus with, but again if you found that great home automation controller thats works perfect and i mean 100% perfect for years…… dammm that company have gold in their hands

Let me try to give you a “neutral” perspective.

I personally bought homey so that ALL my devices could be managed from ONE single Interface. I have mostly Fibaro devices in my home with the exception being my Radiator Thermostats, and some Motion sensors that I bought from Aeotec since I needed humidity readings in a couple of rooms. I also have most of the Bosch Smart Home devices (Coffee machine, Oven, Stove, wasching machine) plus Tado for my heating. But here are the drawbacks for EACH brand:

Aeotec: My Quad Wallmote cannot be associated to other devices, so I can’t use it as a Switch which I would like to, but I can only activate Scenes. A Funktion I don’t use at all.
Spirit Z Radiatior Thermostats: Homey can only sometimes adjust the Thermostats. 80% of the time I get an error when I send a command.
Bosch Smart Home: Cannot do Basic Things such as turn on the coffee machine in the morning when I get up since there is no “Turn on” command within homey. For this I have to add an extra app IFTTT to trigger this function.
Fibaro: I mentioned a lot in my previous answer, but there are tons of minor Bugs. If I want to Change a Setting in the Motion sensor I have to take the battery out and place it back in so that the changes take effect. Even this does not work 100% of the time.

Honestly, if you want a simple Setup then go for the home Center. If you want to build a real smart home then go for a small Intel NUC with an Aeotec USB Zwave stick and start off with some of the free Software available.

I get the idea this is not quite a neutral perspective. You may of course give your opinion. But do not pretent this to be neutral.

Homey is not the perfect domotica controller. Fibaro is not the perfect domotica controller. At this moment there is no perfect domotica controller. Just go for the brand which fits you the best. I had also some troubles. Sometimes because of lack of knowledge, sometimes as a failure of a certain brand, sometimes as a failure of homey and sometimes because my wife does not do what she had to do according to homey. At this point all works fine. Most things work right out of the box, some with a workaround, some with another controller. Just read this forum, fibaro’s forum and some other controller forum and make your own decision

This should have been fixed in the latest fibaro app update, that is now in beta (I think).
Did you already install that version?

Motion sensors all work perfectly here, motion and tamper (that never triggers cause they don’t move at all) all trigger in 1 second of time, usually the hue bridge app is slower (up to 3 seconds) then my rgbw controllers (of fibaro) to turn on.

Don’t have the dimmer 2, but I assume you invested some time into this issue yourself, as flickering is a (fibaro) device issue and you probably need a bypass for that.

No firmware updates, your previous controller did neither, fibaro home center can because fibaro only gives the update files to themselves, not other controller, so nothing athom can do about that.
Fibaro home center can’t update aeotec devices either.

Walli isn’t out for that long, but also see no one else from the community pick it up and create a PR for Athom to include into the app.
Have you done that already, Instead of wasting time on the forum to complain.

I’m the creator of the Eurotronic app, but have seen 0,0 issues come from you, so probably is the same for all your other issues.

But it really seems you have mostly battery devices, no powered, and thus routing devices, so you’ll have pretty much the same with the home center.

This should have been fixed in the latest fibaro app update, that is now in beta (I think).
Did you already install that version?

Nope. There is no beta available as far as I can see.

Motion sensors all work perfectly here, motion and tamper (that never triggers cause they don’t move at all) all trigger in 1 second of time, usually the hue bridge app is slower (up to 3 seconds) then my rgbw controllers (of fibaro) to turn on.

My motion sensors sometimes trigger a tamper alarm (1 a month) although they are hanging on my wall or ceiling. Some sensors don’t report correct battery state (I had one just a week ago say it had 55% battery life left but the battery was dead). BUT! MY Hue bridge works absolutely perfect and is fast!

Don’t have the dimmer 2, but I assume you invested some time into this issue yourself, as flickering is a (fibaro) device issue and you probably need a bypass for that.

I have no idea what I could do. The bypass is only needed when you have a low amount of watts going to the lights. I however have a total of 12 spots on the dimmer. The flickering itself is also random and about 4-5 times a month.

No firmware updates, your previous controller did neither, fibaro home center can because fibaro only gives the update files to themselves, not other controller, so nothing athom can do about that.
Fibaro home center can’t update aeotec devices either.

Exactly. But the thread author is using ONLY Fibaro devices, so in order to get ALL of his devices updated it would make more sense to use a Fibaro Home Center

Walli isn’t out for that long, but also see no one else from the community pick it up and create a PR for Athom to include into the app.
Have you done that already, Instead of wasting time on the forum to complain.

If I were a bloody programmer then I wouldn’t be using homey now would I? :wink: No, I have not because I have no knowledge in this area. I would however expect someone from Athom to add this to the existing Fibaro App since the Walli has been on sale here for over a month now.

I’m the creator of the Eurotronic app, but have seen 0,0 issues come from you, so probably is the same for all your other issues.

Excellent. Would you like a screenshot to see if it is a homey or Eurotronic issue? I have a flow that is suppose to turn on or off the Spirit-Z devices depending on the weather. When the flow is triggered then most of the thermostats report an error.

But it really seems you have mostly battery devices, no powered, and thus routing devices, so you’ll have pretty much the same with the home center.

Nope. My kitchen alone has 3 powered devices, each hallway has at least one, and each room has at least two. Plus various powered devices in the garage, attic, and basement.

As I said, if 90% of the things were running stable then I could live with it. But I have flickering lights, radiators that don’t respond, and some of my powered devices that have timeout errors.

Ehm, now explain to me why that post was not neutral?! I explained with examples what is not working properly which is the foundation concerning my opinion NOT to buy homey if you are using devices from one brand.

I also am able to compare Homey to the Fibaro Home Center since I have Homey running at my house, and the Fibaro Home Center running at a holiday home that I own.

Hi!
I had the same questions 5 years ago when I built my house. It’s a large 3 floor house.

Let me just say that there’s a difference between playing with bulbs in a small flat, and serious home automation in a large house. So far, IMHO, Homey is a little on the student side of housing…

I initially went with Fibaro devices (powered, in-wall behind switches) and Fibaro Home Center 2. The Fibaro firmware wasn’t that mature yet, but it still did work pretty well for me. I never had issues with Z-wave traffic. And all 50+ devices could be firmware updated.
A little more than a year ago, my HC2 died, it just bricked. (It was from the very first batch - serial # below 1000). So I gave Homey a try.

I must say, that if you have lots of non Z-wave devices, Homey is better. If you want to control your Sonos sound system, your Chromecasts, your separate (!) alarm system, your smart door locks, smart doorbells, and so on, integration is much better and smarter with Homey.

A month ago, I had to update some Fibaro Z-wave devices (11 rollershutter devices controlling my new Zip-screens), so I got Fibaro HC2 again. I must admit that Fibaro has polished its solution quite well, and they offer full integration with Google Assistant, just like Homey.

So, I’m really considering running all my Z-wave devices (95% Fibaro) from HC2. And keeping Homey to integrate all the IP devices (Sonos, Doorbird, Alarm, etc)

A note, though. I don’t trust any of these home automation hubs with my family’s safety and security. I have a separate dedicated (cabled with central battery backup) fire / smoke detection system, that will work even if there’s a problem with the HA hub. Yes, it’s secondarily integrated so I can read the status and get warnings, but it’s standalone. Exact same for alarm.

One more thing… Forget about Hue if you plan a large house. Hue is fine for hobbyist, running three smart lamps, thinking they have a smart flat. When your house is full of downlights, and you really want to control all lights throughout buildings, forget Hue. Use micro units behind switches, like you’re planning to do. In living rooms, I made the electrician run extra wires, so some wall outlets can be controlled by switches. I mark the outlets, so my family knows that they will only be powering lamps (or only have power when turned on). Each outlet can easily be reversed by switching the cables if needs change.

IP cameras? Go for Synology surveillance station, and their app. They can still be integrated in Fibaro. And maybe later in Homey. But in Synology you have complete control and all the logging you need.

Homey or Fibaro? I couldn’t manage without the Fibaro units, and to keep them updated I need the HC2. It is a small cost overall.
But for having fun with integration with a number of different devices, Homey has the lead. I just wish the Homey app for Fibaro would have support for not only single units, but the HC2 api as well, so every device on HC2 would be available in Homey.

Good luck with your project!

3 Likes

So in a small flat you cant have serious home automation :thinking:

It doesn’t say that.

Depends how your read it :wink:

Not really. It means that if you have experience with automating a small flat with a few bulbs, your experience with that doesn’t necessarily transpose to seriously automating a large house. It doesn’t suggest that seriously automating a small house can’t be done.

1 Like

Wow, this turns out to be a good and (hopefully) healthy discussion. Thank you for all the shared experiences.

The idea is not having a clear answer in this topic, is to read different oppinions than create my own.

And, at the moment, I must say I am leaning towards getting the Home Center 2 (wish that in the meanwhile a more recent version would come out since the 2 has now a considerable number of years and old hardware). @Olek said it all - I will have 70 Z-wave Fibaro devices as the core of the automation and security and I rather have this core 100% compatible with the Hub and lose the possibility of using other devices, than have a hub that work with a wider range of brands, but can eventually fail at the Core with the Fibaro ones.

Maybe in the future, if Homey gets cheaper, I buy one to work as secundary with all the other brands.

2 Likes

Thats your point of view, i read it different as i said :wink:

Fake news.

1 Like