Homey Community Forum

When does Homey/Athom stop to let us users buy bridges?

Hi all,

I’m wondering how others on this forum/community are thinking about this. I bought Homey as integration for the my smart home products. Second reason is to stop buying for each brand a separate bridge to make their products work. The integration with products is nice and the Homey app I like with the flows and stuff.

The only thing I still don’t understand is why Homey/Athom/community/Manufacturer release apps on Homey where you as end user of Homey still need to buy a bridge to make it work. This strange with the idea that Homey/Athom have as told in different techshow like Hardware.info/Bright/Tweakers.

For example the interview on Hardware info (in Dutch) where Stefan Witkamp one of the persons behind Homey tells about their idea and vision: Interview with Stefan Witkamp

I’m wondering how other users of Homey feel about this and if Athom/Homey is going to make this better in the future? This so that you really don’t need to spend amounts between 100 and 300 euro’s for bridges from different manufacturers and Homey is going to feel like the real all in 1 hub/integration for your smart home products without external bridges from 3 party.

Can you clarify what you mean?

The only one I know was Philips HUE in the beginning.
That one was an Athom App that used the bridge, the community made an HUE Zigbee app to add devices directly later when that was possible.

afaik all other Athom Apps are direct integrations or proprietary protocols where is isn’t possible to communicate direct.
All Other Bridge integrations in the App store I know are from the community!
Sometimes for someone having a bridge already and sometimes to expand possibilities for devices that don’t have an direct integration (yet), or direct connection with Homey is not possible.
Or to make a migration or coexistence possible, or just because it can.

So to answer your Question:

When does Homey/Athom stop to let us users buy bridges?

  • I guess that was with Homey Firmware 1.4.x When Zigbee was Enabled.
    And I know that Zigbee implementation was far from stable and it took Way to long to fix
    (And that one is near with the stable release of Firmware v5)
  • So soon™ when v5 becomes stable it will be even better again!
    (Where fe HUE or IKEA had a place to fix the gap of the old Zigbee implementation)

Now it is up to the users to stop buying devices that are not yet implemented in the Homey App, as that is one of the things I see a lot. Users complaining that they bought Device X of Brand Y that is not yet on the Device/Application list in Homey. Sometimes it is possible using a Community App thru a bridge as the bridge is faster updated by the manufacture than the Athom App.

The marketing “50.000” devices is a lot, but there are still more devices and I am Happy that for some things if it isn’t possible to connect direct, it sometimes is possible to connect using a bridge.

I am curious if you have other examples where Athom let us buy bridges!

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I’m glad apps like Philips hue exist. The app is more intuitive and way better at many things. If I try to add my 45 lights to Homey it’s zigbee controller would be full (20 devices max.)

I like that it can control them without a bridge though, I have several lights connected directly to Homey to extend the zigbee mesh.

That is only for direct connections to Homey, if it can be routed through routers (like Philips hue bulbs) then it theoretically is infinite (or my current 41 zigbee devices wasn’t possible :wink:)

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I guess I understand more or less what you mean.
I would also welcome a SmartHome system that combines all wireless standards in one system. I like the concept of homee. If I want to add a wireless standard to the system, I’ll buy an additional cube. That way you have different gateways/bridges in one place. And there is no need to connect these additional gateways/bridges individually. But if this works well in practice, or rather creates problems, I don’t know. I notice that again and again homee users switch to Homey. If it is also the other way around, I do not know.

Athom does not force us to buy more bridges. What Homey is designed to do, Homey does a pretty well job in my opinion. And with v5, Homey is making another step forward in all probability, especially as it relates to Zigbee.
@Otter, btw the limit of about 20 devices only refers to devices directly connected to Homey. With repeaters, a multiple number of devices are possible.

The ultimate SmartHome system does not exist yet (of course it depends on your needs). If you want a more flexible SmartHome system, you will probably have to switch to open systems like ioBroker or Home Assistant. But even for that, more gateways/bridges are needed and you have to be familiar with programming.

@Caseda @fantross

So if I connect 20 hue bulbs to Homey, and route the other 25 via those connected to Homey it would be possible to have 45 lights without the bridge?

I still like the Hue app I wouldn’t use Homey for this even if it was possible

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Correct.

Good to know thnx

Take a look at this dashboard
https://developer.athom.com/tools/zigbee

The type is coordinator, router or enddevice. If you wait some time (1min) the last column shows the path of the mesh.

Yes I know, I thought 20 devices max whether it is a router or end device

That’s correct.

THIS IS NOT CORRECT!!

Yes, Homey 4.2 does let you connect more then 20 zigbee devices, and all over 19 (+1 Homey itself) will be connected to routers (light bulbs, plug, etc…)

BUT VERY IMPORTANT: in my case (and other as I have read through this forum):

  1. All what is not directly connected to Homey and is routed through another zigbee device DOES NOT RESPOND TO COMMANDS/TRIGGERS.
  2. Also the Homey system becomes very unstable and shows weird behaviour with various NON-zigbee plugins/apps/cards. (like GTTS app, weather, network drops, etc…) Removing all zigbee devices above the count of 19 resolves the problem straight away.

That is why a zigbee rewrite is needed, we will have to wait for that stable zigbee rewrite before v5 will be released… I have very high hopes on the rewrite so we can connect more then 19 devices.

Note: all explained above is with Ledvance/Osram zigbee devices. No idea if other brands of zigbee devices give the same issues.

Hi Dijker,
I also think that Homey is doing a good job so far and like you say with the new firmware it will be better, I’m not looking to much to this but okay. But examples are Somfy, Tado, Gardena. I thought this was working on the same frequency as Homey has on board. I even type the support of Athom and got this response:

We try to communicate directly with as many devices as possible, which is why we support so many different protocols. Unfortunately there is no standard protocol for communicating on 433 or 868MHz, unlike Z-Wave and Zigbee, for example.

Unfortunately, a number of manufacturers have made it impossible to communicate directly with their products, you have this with Tado, but also with Gardena and Somfy IO.

So even if they want the maker of the product is not allowing it. I think most people have seen the same with Zigbee and Philips Hue suddenly your bridge that you bought is no longer supported and to let is work again you needed to buy a new bridge. I’m just saying that it’s nice that Homey has a lot of possible connections/protocols onboard this is a big plus. The only downside is that everybody or at least a lot want to sell their bridges to connect with other device. I think it would be nice from Athom to make Homey more promoted like Google and Alexa or Home assistant, so that product will work directly out of the box with Homey without the need of a extra bridge. This will help otherwise in the end you will have for example:

  1. Homey as your integrator
  2. Philips hue bridge
  3. Somfy/Velux bridge
  4. Tado or some other heating system bridge
  5. Gardena or some other Garden smart bridge
  6. Luxaflex
  7. And who knows what more.

But maybe in the future this will be better. I was just curious about other opinions about this.
Because I still think that we all want a system that works great with as less bridges as possible otherwise my outlets are going to be full quit quick :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Am i right that you state that Athom is to blame that another company refuses to allow them to connect to and control their stuff? And that Athom is to blame that if Philips decides to change their Hue system in such way that other companies can’t connect to and/or control it anymore?

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No, that’s not what it says, at all.

@ProofofD3ath states that it would be great if Homey would become such a well-known brand that manufacturers of smart devices would want direct support of their devices in Homey, just like more and more brands are offering direct Google Home/Alexa/Homekit support.

And by extension, if that were to happen, situations where Philips deciding to stop supporting their 1st gen bridge wouldn’t have such a big impact, because Homey would be able to directly support the devices (which it, in part, already does with the Hue Zigbee app).

But I think Athom feel comfortable with the current situation, where device support is mostly implemented by community devs. That way, Athom doesn’t have to spend time and money on development and support, and if an app becomes really popular they’ll just try and persuade the developer to hand over the app to either the brand, or to Athom itself.

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Although i stand corrected with the first part it is very pityful to see that you again have to make a negative assumption in the second part. It really must be a compulsive thingy.

Besides that, i think @ProofofD3ath is a big boy and is very able to speak for himself.

Start a private discussion if you don’t want others to join in.

No for sure not that is for the company to blame that does that. But I think that you got talk with companies about this to allow them to the system. The only side effect will be the same as with Home assist that not many product will be available for your system.

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I agree that it would be best for Homey to communicate directly with devices but that is sometimes not possible. If Homey doesn’t have the required hardware or the protocol is locked down then there is no other option.
You can see from the manufacturers point that it means they keep control and it seems a lot of manufacturers want to try and be the only controller you need.
I think Homey has the best tradeoff between automation ability and ease of use that I have seen. That’s why I stick with it and integrate devices any way I can. But that also influences what devices I buy now.
The devices I have that require other bridges are the ones I purchased before Homey and I bought Homey because it could interface to the bridge.

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No, sorry, maybe ask someone else…