Homey Community Forum

Which smart brand to use? Fibaro, Xiaomi/Aqara, Neo, Aeotec or others?

Hi everyone.
I have been using Homey for a while now. It started out being an interesting project. I was triggered because of the possibilities of Homey. Already owning some compatible products, i decided to go for it. Untill now, the products are:

  • Some sonos speakers (GA-ready)
  • Google Home mini
  • Smart plugs (mainly COCO/KAKU, some INNR)
  • Doorbell (sender and 2 receivers from KAKU)
  • Door/window sensor (KAKU/COCO)
  • Switch (KAKU/COCO)
  • 3x smart lights (Tradfri)
  • TV’s and other

I already owned some KAKU/COCO devices (doorbell) and chose for the other devices from the same brand, to limit the number of apps. However, I started feeling the drawbacks of 433 Mhz.

After a period of testing and some trail and error, I feel i’m ready to ‘upgrade’ to a proper smart house and getting rid of (most of) the KAKU/COCO devices. I am in the market for:

  • Smart plugs (approx. 4-6)
  • Smart switches (approx. 4)
  • Motion sensors (approx. 6)
  • Temperature sensors (4)
  • Light/lux sensor (2) (may be integrated with the motion and temperature sensor into 1 sensor)
  • Smart radiator valves (4)
  • Possibly other devices, if offered by the brand and it gives me a possibility to automate something

I am flexible with these items. Depending on the brand, I am willing to alter the planned devices and flows when possible. So for instance, if the general opinion is that brand B is the best, but it doesn’t produce light/lux sensors, I am willing to compromise on this.

Before making this topic, I already read the test topic on the radiator valves. But this didn’t cover enough for me.

Because I don’t have any experience with smart brands other than KAKU/COCO (eliminated because of 433 Mhz) and INNR (eliminated because it doesn’t offer a wide aray of products) I would like to ask the following:

  • Which brand do you recommend for me, and which brand do you absolutely not recommend?
  • I named a few frequently used brands in the topic name, but if you feel another brand is better, don’t hesitate and suggest it!
  • How do you feel about the products? Do they work reliably? How is the design? Easy to install?
  • How is the connectivity? Is the network that is set-up reliable?
  • How do you feel about the app in Homey for that brand?
  • Are there any drawbacks and which are they?
  • Are there unique selling points, which may be of interest?
  • Are there specific products or specific elements that work very well / very bad?
  • Is not having a bridge and thus not receiving updates a disadvantage?
  • Any other information is welcome of course!

I understand that you want info, so really nothing wrong with. But one big problem……lot of brands lot of users. User one gonna say brand A, user 2 says brand B ect ect

All the brands/device has good points and less good points, so its a personal thing.

And to be onest , take some time reading on the forum and you can figure out what seems te best for you….all the good and bad points already mention several times on the forum.

1 Like

For now i’m impressed with aqara, it looks good and works good. Also got some fibaro wallplugs they work good too, i’ve got a kaku doorbell which also works fine. Got some NEO wallplugs coming soon and ordered more temp/humidity sensors from aqara, got the door sesors, wallswitch, cube, single switch and everything works great. Lighting is philips hue and some fibaro in wall switches for traditional lighting. Didn’t have one product that failed me so I think whatever way you decide to go it will work just fine.

1 Like

price wise aquara and neo coolcam are cheap and work well. The thread on them are also well supported which is important. I can vouch for door sensor and motion sensors. I have 2 aeotec 6 in 1 motion sensors if you really want all the sensors but very pricey

1 Like

True, but I was hoping for a lot of reactions, so if 10 people say brand A is bad and only a few say it is good, I am likely to avoid that brand. The other way around works too! So this gives an indication of the products. Also I noted that you get the best experience when using a product for some time. It wouldn’t take people long to reply about the products they are using, so I hoped for a lot of responses.

True, but I don’t know what those good and bad points are, so I hoped to find out more about this with this topic.

I already took quite some time to read the topics, but I haven’t really found what I needed, therefore, I was hoping for some extra advice.

1 Like

Thank you for your info @Otter

Any problems with the Aqara app in the Homey store?
Aqara is Zigbee, right? Was it easy to setup and how is the range?

@Groundhog Thanks! How is the battery usage, is it acceptable?

Nope, sometimes you have to keep pushing the button while adding a device because of time out. Range is decent but you can add net powered zigbee devices creating a mesh network (like an INNR smart plug or something)

Battery is quite good, have them installed for a few months and still at 100 percent

1 Like

So far ok for a year.

Too many questions with way too many possible answers. This is about all brands of all possible protocols? The answers will all be of personal experience and that differs a lot for everyone. Have seen peeps calling Fibaro sh*t because of the motion alarm hanging and see peeps not having that problem at all. Even seen peeps trying to connect a Fibaro sensor without even having a Homey! Also peeps trying to read some Fibaro sensor values and the sensor is “only” 17 meters away from Homey so Fibaro sucks. Hope u can do something with the answers but my answer would be: Try some and feel for urself. That’s the best experience u can have.

No, this is about Zigbee and Z-Wave (plus). Didn’t clarify that enough in the OP.

True, that is exactly what I’m looking for (see the reply to RoyWissenburg). I am hoping to gain enough responses to make a decision. I realise that some will be positive and others negative.

It would be rather costly to buy the mentioned products from all brands, just to find out which works best. I plan to devices from only one brand.
Also, maybe I overlooked a brand which comes highly recommended by another Homey user

Ah, good luck on that! Have a total of 200+ devices here. If i count the Zwave and Zigbee devices it will be unpossible to stick with just 1 brand .

2 Likes

Why do you have different brands? Due to limitations of various brands?

That will be correct. Just find a multi sensor 6 from some different brands and u know why.
Or try to find a Fibaro Zigbee light which can compete with Philips Hue. And i know some more.

Do you mind telling me more? This is exactly what I’m looking for. If i know what limitations people experience when using the products, I can decide whether or not the limitation is important for me.

I wasn’t planning on using any of the mentioned brands for lighting. I meant that I want to try to keep all of the sensors, plugs, switches etc. from the same brand.

Then give me 1 good reason for that. I love to try different brands at different prices and different sellers. Buy a Fibaro plug for like 60 euros or buy a Neo Coolcam for like 20 euros and don’t mind the color ledring ur missing. Buy an Aeotec multisensor6 for like 60 euros or buy a Neo Coolcam sensor and don’t mind the missing UV value. It’s just what u want and how much u wanna spend aye?

I - I want to keep the amount of apps to a minimum if possible
II - I hate it when things look different. I also don’t have different (regular) wall switches, different (regular) wall sockets, different radiators, different doors in my house. It just makes the whole thing look a bit more tidy
III - I don’t want to run into problems of 4 different brands. I would hate when I just fixed a problem with a Neo motion sensor and running into a problem with a Fibaro radiator valve after that. I don’t mind some challenges, but if I can avoid the biggest problems by using the knowledge of the forum, why wouldn’t I?

Of course I can find out that the Neo Coolcam doesn’t have a UV value and the Fibaro does, but I am mainly looking for the experiences of users. What does work and what doesn’t? What problems did you run into, which features did you like and why? Like mentioned in the OP.

I understand people don’t want to give a full review here, but some knowledge sharing would be very welcome.

Good point. There is a max for apps running on ur Homey and we wanna stay below the max ofc. I have 54 apps running.

The idea is good, the outcome is not usable me guess. But if i have to pick 1 brand for all those devices i would pick Neo Coolcam/Xiaomi/Fibaro/Aeotec/Sensative.

2 Likes

I’m guessing you are using the Pro? I have the regular and i’m already coming close to 20 apps.

I realise how you feel about it. Thank you for your input, I am still open for other experiences if any users feel like sharing their thoughts.

Using the early 2016 models

Just some more data, my opinion/experience over the past two years…

I use Aqara, Neo and Fibaro devices. Z-Wave first: at first I only had a few Neo plugs and a lot of battery powered devices. Was a nightmare. Added more Neo plugs, still not very reliable. Added one Fibaro plug and things started improving a lot. Right now I have many more mains powered devices than when I first started out (almost all Neo) and I have virtually no problems at all.

Also have a lot of Xiaomi/Aqara devices. I like them because they are cheap, look good (much better than any Neo product), are small… initally work good. Why initially? With the Xiaomi devices I have the problem of devices randomly disappearing or no longer updating. It’s annoying to find out some door sensor has been offline for a couple of days/weeks/months. Sure, you can re-add it, but then another device will drop. I was a big fan of Xiaomi zigbee devices but because of the above problem, I’m thinking of phasing them (almost) all out.

1 Like