Homey Community Forum

Goodbye Homey. Hello Fibaro Home Center 2

I understand I might get some grief for this post, but I just wanted to share my experiences with Homey and the Fibaro Home Center 2 in comparison. Maybe I’m not the only one with the problems listed, or I just might have a homey that seems to be a bit moody sometimes (…well, most of the time).

I bought homey because I thought “WOW! This thing supports everything that I have in my house! Brilliant!” and ordered it about 1 1/2 years ago. Now these are the devices that I have in my house:

  • Bosch / Siemens Home Connect Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Oven, Stove, and Coffee machine
  • Fibaro Dimmer 2, Double Switch 2, Motion Sensors
  • Aeotec Multisensor 6
  • Chromecast
  • TADO Heating
  • Spirit Z Thermostats
  • RING Doorbell

Now the major problem is the communication in the zwave network. I notice delays when a flow is suppose to run, or that it just doesn’t do what it is suppose to do. I doesn’t matter where I place homey, the problems keep persisting.

Example: A simple flow to turn on the lights in the hallway when motion is detected. During the day the lights only turn on below a certain LUX level, and at night the lights are suppose to turn on but only dim to 20% so that I am not blinded when I have to go to the bathroom at night. A countdown is also started so the lights turn back off. How hard can it be?

Obviously very hard! The flow worked like a charm in homey v1.* but as of v2 I started having some major issues. Sympton 1) The lights just don’t turn on. I see that the motion sensor has been triggered, and in the app I see that homey knows the sensor has been triggered, but no lights. If I start the flow manually, then everything works like it should. This symptom affects 2 dimmers built in the house. Sympton 2) IF the flow works, and the lights are turned on by homey then I have no “dim on” or “dim off” effect. When you turn on lights that are connected to the fibaro dimmer, then they don’t just turn on or off, they dim on and off which looks very elegant and I have come to like this effect. After the update to 2.0 the dimmers just turned on the lights without the elegant dim on and dim off function. I suspect the poor zwave communication is at fault or plays a role in this.

Issue 2: Spirit Z Wave thermostats.
The communication just doesn’t work reliably. Period. Full Stop. I had a flow set up that when TADO turns off the heating, that all thermostats should turn off. I have a total of 8 thermostats in my house and more than once I walked into a cold room because it never turned back on, or I noticed that they were still on although the should be off. This isn’t just one thermostat that doesn’t react properly, but 3 or 4 that don’t do what they are told by homey.

Issue 3: Bosch Home Connect
Absolutely no use for this app in homey. I wanted to create a flow that when a certain motion sensor is triggered in the morning then the coffee machine should turn on so that the rinse cycle that is done when you turn it on has been completed once I get to the kitchen. This is not possible because homey doesn’t have the ability to turn on the coffee machine. BUT I could tell homey to make me a cup of coffee once the machine is turned on…

Issue 4: Google Home and Homey
Now this has gotten better since the last update where Homey works with google home. But another issue: I say the command in the kitchen “turn on the lights” and sometimes it works perfect and turns on the lights in the kitchen. Other times it turns on all the lights in the house. Also: When I say “turn off all the lights” then all the lights in the house are turned off, but google then says “Sorry. There was an error from 31 devices”

Issue 4: Cannot communicate with homey
I have this problem a lot with the app that when I first start it, I get this error message. Then when I try to connect again it works.

Now there are pros and cons to each device. The Fibaro system is not zwave plus, and it doesn’t have the “flows” or the extra apps such as the timer etc. However, I have noticed that everything that I could do with homey, I could get the end result with Fibaro just as well. PLUS Fibaro has the following things that homey just doesn’t have:

  • A nice webpage to manage your house / “flows” / system
  • an awesome Tablet app! I have a 10 inch POE Tablet mounted in the hallway with the Fibaro tablet app running on it and I can manage my entire house with this thing. And since this app was created for this purpose it looks gorgeous! Homey unfortunately just doesn’t have anything at all which can be used here
  • BACKUPS!!! I can actually back everything up to the cloud, or a usb stick in the device
  • It. Just. Works. All the problems that you read above are GONE. The dimmers do what they are suppose to do, the Spirit Z thermostats all react instantly when a command is sent and the Home Center 2 is located in my basement. I had communication problems with the spirit z even when Homey was right next to the device!

I wish Athom would really pull through with homey since it really is a great idea. The overall feel of it though is that it might work most of the time, but for me it’s just too buggy. For a system like this to really be an alternative then there are some things that need to be sorted out, but which never will. For example Fibaro and Aeotec are two of the biggest zwave device makers on the market. These devices need to run flawlessly! There needs to be support for ALL of their devices and not just a couple. Firmware updates via Homey would also be necessary, but that isn’t Athoms fault or problem since Fibaro and Aeotec would have to play nice as well, which they wont. This also leads me to believe that zwave might not be a long term solution since these hurdles will never really be removed.

Thanks homey for some interesting times and getting me addicted to making a smart home. I am truly sorry that our ways must part, but for a task of this magnitude I need something I can depend on.

Cheers!

6 Likes

Do Fibaro support Home Connect ?

Last time I looked even MQTT wasn’t well supported.

I’m a bit surprised by your move as I did the reverse. Fibaro has great Z-Wave support though. But no ZigBee. I have both controllers still.

Home Connect is controlled through IFTTT. All I wanted was just basic stuff like turning on the coffee machine in the morning.

Zigbee really never was a thing for me since I have nothing in my house that runs on that protocol. :slight_smile:

It a funny to read this. I switched from Fibaro HC2 after 3 years to Homey Pro. I have almost 100 devices and yes, I can confirm some of your pros and cons of Homey. However Im more pleased with Homey than with Fibaro. Some reasons and comparison of both system:

  1. Complete system setup with devices exclusion/inclusion, flows, variables etc. took me maybe half the time I needed for Fibaro (did once a clean install on my Fibaro after 2 years of operation). I was able to create flows on Homey, for which I needed to learn LUA in Fibaro before.
  2. More view under the hood. If you have installation of more than 70 devices, Fibaro can become unstable, laggy or unresponsive. You don have any logs, or clue what can be the reason. Developer tool of Homey can provide you this info and you can see which device is causing traffic. error rates etc.
  3. Signal coverage - this was one of the cons of Homey until the antenna mod. After that its much better than HC2!
  4. Homey is more open platform, you have wide support of additional devices. Not mentioning zigbee which bring the cost of installation significantly down (e.g. zwave door sensor cost 20-30€, while zigbee 9€).
  5. yes, homey app and UI is one of the biggest downsides compared to Fibaro. But latest update of fibaro app to new UI wasn’t the step forward, but still better than Homey. On opposite, forget to change the scenes (flows), or setup devices over the Fibaro app. One more remark to the app, its missing fast local connection. Every time I do open the app it takes 5 seconds to load it. In case of fibaro it was almost instant in case of local connection.
  6. Web interface to manage devices is what I do miss on Homey (after the time not so much :-). In case of complex installations its easier to manage devices over the web, but to control the house, mobile app is enough.
  7. Homey so far working reliable. Im using it for 3rd month and its controlling my whole house (heating, AC, blinds, garden watering, security, power metering, lighting automation and much more. So far no issue. In case of Fibaro I had several problems of remote login, weather update issues etc. and needed to find workarounds for that. Nad yes, to fix it took to Fibaro sometimes several months.

To conclude. Beside the needed antenna mode and poor UI Im very happy with Homey. Fibaro is OFF on the shelf ready for some other project. Will see in 1-2 years how Homey will score :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Interesting! As I stated, homey could be really awesome if there weren’t these reliability issues plaguing my installation. I never know that there was an antenna mod, maybe that would have saved me a lot of trouble!

As I said, Zigbee, NFC, and all the other protocols that Homey supports never really interested me. But now that you mention the Door/Window Sensors that might not be the case for long! :wink:

One of the primary things that REALLY bugged me was that my Fibaro Double Switches never showed the power being used on both channels. It was always just one channel that showed how much power was being used.

I really don’t use the Fibaro app on my phone since I am attempting to make everything fully automated so that I don’t have to pull out my phone to turn on a light, or activate a certain setting. Yes, with homey this was WAY easier, but once again, the caveats that come with homey just didn’t make up for the advantages.

As of right now I have >70 devices connected to the HC2 and all is well and has been for the last month. I will keep an eye on that to see if it gets worse or better.

You have mentioned this a couple of times recently, and you have been informed that this was fixed, 3 months ago, yet you still keep bring it up like it is an issue. (Also prior to that there was a quick fix using the channel association groups. )

Remove the device which is not showing power for both channels, hold Homey with in 30 cm - (even if you normally don’t HAVE to) and repair.


Full Details

I have absolutely no idea how to implement Github fixes into homey.

The fix you mention with repairing the device, even though nowhere NEAR optimal, has been implemented since I completely reset my homey about 2 months ago and had to repair all my devices. Even after this procedure there still was only power measurement on one channel

You don’t need to use github to install the fix, it was merged back into the main branch months ago.

I linked the actually code which fixes the issues so you could see for yourself. As you seem to have missed everyone else when they have told you that this issue has been fixed.

I dont know what to tell you, the issue where power consumption was not reported on the S2 channel was fixed.

– To clarify, I know its fixed, because I reported the issue and I now have power reporting showing on the S1 and S2 for over a dozen dual switches.

I kid you not, but I just plugged homey back in and connected a Double Switch 2 to it. Then I turned on a hair dryer that was connected to that switch. Nothing. Channel 1 reports as it should, channel 2 not a single watt was given.

I might reset homey sometime next week again and experiment a bit just to see what happens. If the issue isn’t solved after a complete reset then my homey might indeed be bad which would be a bummer since I believe the warranty has long expired.

Why bother. Just use the new HC2. Given your epos about it, it’s way better than Homey (for you). So just say goodbye to it and move on.

Because it’s a €300 piece of hardware?

1 Like

So? A HC2 costs €500. Given the topic title he made his choice. So sell it/smash it/use it as a soccer ball/hang in in the Christmas tree and throw it away with it afterwards/other (strike through whatever is not applicable) and move on. No reason to stay here and point out every glitch of Homey every time.

2 Likes

Not if it’s broken.

The choice to move on from homey was not an easy one. I think anybody should understand that IF Homey were working properly then I would be more than glad to accept a couple of caveats.

The point of this post was not to “bicker and fuss” but see if it’s just me having the problems, or if there are solutions out there that I just haven’t found. I however get the sense that I am not the only one since every time Athom posts something on Facebook there seem to be more people that have the same problems as I do.

ALSO since Homey went on sale in some stores here in Germany there will be people researching into this and this might be somewhat of a “warning” to keep your expectations a bit more realistic and not run into the same marketing trap that I ran into.

and as @robertklep said: it is a bloody 300€ piece of Hardware. I might install it in another house that we own and try running it again in a couple of months to see if this have improved or gotten worse. Using it as a paperweight currently is not an option. …yet

Sure, whatever. If you suspect it is broken, then why didn’t you buy a new Homey instead of another device that costs €200 more and can do less than Homey? Sounds 2 me that you made a deliberate choice.
Nothing wrong with that, except if you keep nagging about it here.

I had the HC2 already and switched from THAT to Homey. You can interpret this as nagging, but I see it as “telling it the way it is”

2 Likes

I had the home center, the homee and the homey.
Every SmartHome Center has his strenght and weaknisses. Depending on your focus one station is then better. But you can not say this one is better or that one.
There is to true or false. But after some weeks or month you will the that the hc2 has other flaws and you have to decide which one hurts the most.
For me at the moment homey fits the most but perhabs it will change in some month.

Have fun with the hc2. See you next ime :slight_smile:

“Once bitten, twice shy”.

In regards to Issue 3; turning on the coffee machine has been implemented a few months ago. I’ve created a feature request, together with someone else on github and Athom implemented this feature.

I only have the same request as you do, or did. With my morning ritual i’d like homey to turn on the lights, but also the coffee machine, which sames me a little bit of time in the morning.

Well the only real drawback with the HC2 is having to use LUA to get good scenes/actions/“Flows” going. Other people have mentioned it has no Zigbee, which I can understand being a plus point for Homey since it has a bunch of radio protocols already integrated, but this was no argument in my case.

What made you switch from the Home Center to Homey? Maybe you found some things that I haven’t run into yet :smiley: