Homey Community Forum

Looking forward to move from ST

Hello, I am looking for a new hub to move to

currently, I have over 30 devices from different brands, mainly Xiaomi, Aqara, Ikea, Fibaro, Phillips Hue.

I am a developer so I want to have a programming interface to create rules (Flows?)

For example, at this moment every room has several light sources and the same wall switch is suppose to turn on different devices to different preset (color\brightness).

It would be nice to be able also to disable motion detection when the robot vacuum is operating.

So I would like to have

  • local execution; I am too tired of the Smartthings lags and inability to turn on light without internet
  • Google Home support, I still want to operate my home via voice when the internet is good
    • I need not only lights but also Vacuum, AC, Curtain, and Lock support
  • TCP\UDP support. I want to run Nanoleaf and Roborock.
  • Zigbee 3 and BTLE for future devices
  • ability to create custom device handlers
  • the ability to connect different types of devices in the automation, eg. Zigbee cube rotation to WiFi light brightness
  • Chromecast?
  • Homekit

So my question is the Athom Homey developer-friendly?
Can it be my only hub or I have to buy more devices?
Is it worth buying Homey Pro? I do not understand the app limit, but it seems like 512 Mb is enough for the rule machine.
Is there only JS SDK, I’d like to have a compiler to spot my mistakes.

As far as I can see all your Q’s are possible with Homey.

It would be nice to be able also to disable motion detection when the robot vacuum is operating.

Possible by adding a condition to the motion detector flow(s): “robot vacuum is not vacuuming”

local execution; I am too tired of the Smartthings lags and inability to turn on light without internet

As long as your devices don’t need internet (several wifi devices do) you’re running things local only.
It’s possible for some wifi devices to run locally only, as Adrian explains below.

Google Home support, I still want to operate my home via voice when the internet is good
I need not only lights but also Vacuum, AC, Curtain, and Lock support

Afaik all this is possible. Even if a device is not directly connected to GHome, you can still command it via Homey, if internet is up!.

TCP\UDP support. I want to run Nanoleaf and Roborock.

Not sure what you mean, but there are apps available for both devices/brands

Zigbee 3 and BTLE for future devices

Yup. Zigbee can handle up to approx 35 devices.
Some use an additional RPI+deCONZ to use (waaaaay) more zigbee devices i.c.w. the Deconz app.

ability to create custom device handlers

Sorry, I’ve got no clue what that is.

the ability to connect different types of devices in the automation, eg. Zigbee cube rotation to WiFi light brightness.

Yup, if it’s paired with Homey, almost anything can command anything. But you were not gonna use Wifi lights, right? :wink:

Chromecast

You can stream stuff to it. But internet = needed

Homekit

The app Homeykit connects Homey to Siri.

Is there only JS SDK, I’d like to have a compiler to spot my mistakes.

Can’t help you with that.

I don’t quite understand what ‘being a developer’ has to do with your wishes. One can build their own apps, and even publish them.
Using the app Homeyscript provides for a way to ‘program’ your Homey without using the GUI flow editor much.

But Homey’s power (to me) = no need to be a developer/ techie/nerd/a.s.o. Although it helps to have some level of technical knowledge :wink:

For me Homey is the only hub used.

Using a non-pro myself, it can run up to 35 apps (but some reported using even more apps). BUT I’d love to be able to run more apps. Not like I need more to run my home, but I’d like to experiment a lot.
Apps & Memory overview:

Is Homey expensive? Depends on how you look at things.
Your phone is like €800,- probably? So…
I started with a 2nd hand model. A non-pro can be bought starting at approx. €180,-
A pro at approx. €300,-

On the other hand, a new Home Assistant setup with a RPi 4b 4GB, a deCONZ stick, a z-wave stick and external SSD sets you back around € 200 € 250

Additional info:
What works with Homey? Search and find out

(and the by devs runned independent appstore: https://store.homey.community/ )

Besides the Homey phone app there’s the new beta Homey interface/flow editor/script editor/dashboard/data-history:
https://my.homey.app/

Homey FAQ / support:
https://support.athom.com/hc/en-us/categories/360000886494

Homey Youtube channel:

Homey Forum (yes lot’s of info and help here):
https://community.athom.com/

Homey Developer
Handy tools site for your Homey, f.i. overview of your zigbee en z-wave network
https://developer.athom.com/

Facebook (some Dutch ones): Er zijn zeer actieve domotica groepen, waar je goed op weg geholpen wordt; o.a. Homey Gebruikers en Flows NL/BE / Homey Gebruikers / Smart Home Gebruikersgroep / Google/Smarthome voor gevorderden / Domoticahuis

Problems/Issues
https://support.athom.com/hc/nl/requests/new
Or support@athom.com

Cheers.

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Well @Peter_Kawa has been very comprehensive with his reply but maybe confused WiFi with Internet. If a WiFi device has an API then you can interface directly.

The programming interface is just JS / Node.js, whether you are creating an app (device driver) or using HomeyScript.
When creating apps it is possible to use Node.js debugging features.

Thanks and true that Adrian!
I was thinking more in general with stock apps and devices in mind. Like Tuya wifi and [protocol]2Wifi bridges.
But, all in all thanks for your additional info!

So if I want to grow over 35 Zigbee devices It will require extra 250€, good to know.

Do you know non-Wifi LED panels? Both Lifx and Nanoleaf sells only WiFi.

for me, it’s more important to know the current status of the devices and send pause\turn off commands.

GUI does not allow to keep variables and re-use parts of the flow for different devices.
It ends up either with huge unmaintainable non-synchronized rules.

the map overview looks quite good, if I read it right it’s like 512mb - 151mb (homey) ~ 361mb for user apps. 10 mb per app.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any UDP app examples on the Wi-Fi - Homey Apps SDK

You’re welcome.

You probably don’t need an external SSD and z-wave stick in that case. So let’s say around €150,-
Or grab a NAS or laptop, then it’s only around €35,- €40,- extra.
And it’s not an exact hard limit, but users experienced a lag and unstable devices using more than around 35 zigbee devices.

You are free to use z-wave instead ofcourse, but those devices cost around say €15 a piece extra.
In case you want to use 35 z-wave devices, times €15 = € 525,-
Just putting things a bit in perspective here

You could also save yourself the purchase price of a Homey if you learn Home Assistant. Perhaps not as easy to use as Homey at first, but you’re a developer so that shouldn’t be a problem. And HA is much more powerful and open than Homey.

True, Robert. I kinda pointed Andrii to that option too

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The Home Assistant is a software thing, and I am looking for a turn-key solution.
I want to buy something that will serve the next 5 years as the platform for my apps.
If the Homey is agile enough and doesn’t play smart ass trying to “secure” my locks from my google home, I would rather pay more for the solution

Andrii, I totally regret helping you out. You’re acting like Madonna in a Gucci store, so sad.
#no1onmyignorelist

On paper, Homey will fit that bill. In reality, I’ve been disappointed with Homey, both as a developer and as a regular user. Home Assistant fits me much better, and not being a hardware solution means I can easily upgrade to better hardware if needed. And it’s a completely local solution, no cloud servers required.

It’s not entirely turn-key, although you can buy a Home Assistant Blue bundle, add the hardware support you need (Z-Wave/Zigbee/BLE/WiFi), and get started. It’s not that difficult to set up.

You will sertainly be dissapointed when you buy a Homey, it is abosolutely not a turn-key-solution.

could you please tell more. At this moment Homey has the most advanced set of features (on paper).

Second option is HA with a bunch of usb sticks, Homey has more than 5 radio interfaces out of the box, while RPI has only 2 USB ports .
Maybe you know better options.

this is the reason I have created this thread, it is very interesting to hear from people who have hands-on experience,
what are the issues and limitations?

There are magic devices called “USB hubs”.

My main issue as a developer is that Homey is a black box, which makes debugging very hard and tedious. There are some tricks that you can use, but there are no logfiles that you can access if things go wrong. Another issue for me as a developer is that the development process is painful: for each change of code, you need to upload your entire app to Homey, start it, run it, see if it works (or not) and repeat.

As a user, Homey has issues that haven’t been addressed properly for ages, like problems addressing multiple devices from flow actions, or Homey losing its WiFi connection for no apparent reason, or UI issues. I also find flows very limited, like not being able to have multiple triggers, or iteration. I also want to be able to create my own dashboards. And it seems that with every firmware update, Athom breaks something…

Hardware-wise, Homey sounds great, with all the radio interfaces it has, but some (IR, 433) don’t work properly for a lot of people, and others (Zigbee) are severely limited. And you can’t swap out the module and replace it with something better, unless with an RPi and USB dongles.

unfortunately, I found that there is no 2nd hand market for smart home devices. (at this moment ~200$ of devices that I used only for a month). So all the USB hubs all the sticks will end up in the trash,
Given my luck the the stick will be wider than a space between USB ports, and not enough power to keep all the sticks.

Also, I am planning to sell the apartment in the future. I believe a tangle of wires and a Christmas tree of the sticks is not a great selling point.

Hardware-wise, Homey sounds great, with all the radio interfaces it has, but some (IR, 433) don’t work properly for a lot of people, and others (Zigbee) are severely limited.

that makes me very sad

I have to agree with most comments…
While I have upgraded from a Homey to a Homey pro to see if it would be able to support my zigbee network (no, it couldnt) so I moved my zigbee devices to a Rpi3 and indeed linked them to homey with the deconz app.
As things are now homey is being used for the flow editor all the heavy lifting is being done by other devices, so in that sense it works well, but as the “only hub” certainly not

It’s a personal experience, and a matter of “size” though. I bought a non-pro Homey also b/c of the IR, but one extra €15,- hub solved that.
I’ve got a mix of kaku, wifi, zigbee, BLE and IR devices and no mentionable issues for 10 months now (when I started). My zigbee is routerless, I use 12 Aqara sensors throughout my whole house.

I started with HA about 5 years ago and found it a steep learning curve to get anything working. Then each HA update broke everything so I would have to spend time fixing it.
I then switch to Homey about 4 years ago and I have been very happy. I can’t say it has been faultless but far less problems than HA had.
HA has probably improved over the last 4 years but as far as I know it still requires a lot of effort to set it up through .yaml files. But if you are prepared to put in the effort it looks like it can be very rewarding.
For most things Homey is very simple to setup and if you want to dive deeper it can do a lot. It is also getting better with the recent updates, although as with any changes things can go wrong.
Everyone will have their own opinions based on their current knowledge and needs so Homey won’t appeal to everyone.

Currently my Homey controls my curtains, lights, heating, door locks and much more mostly automatically. I use door sensors, window sensors, light sensors, etc to control the devices.