Smart Hubs: Centralize Your Home Tech
Why these devices are great for integrating a variety of different brands and products, how it can massively simplify your home automation, and which ones we recommend.
A Solution to Tech-Heavy Home Problems
Automating and making your home "smart" can be an immensely fun project to tackle that leaves your home feeling futuristic and highly functional. While the outcome can be amazing, the process can be a little tedious. When progressing up the ladder of automation, many of the brands like Google and Amazon want consumers to utilize their products only, leaving you with a folder of apps on your phone or computer to control the different aspects of your home. Ultimately diminishing the purpose of home automation: which is to make your living experience easier and simpler.
Smart Hubs to the Rescue
Smart Hubs are simply a way to get all of your devices and tech onto one cohesive system. Think of this as a slight step down to some of the prewired in-wall control stations. Wifi management, lighting, climate control, blinds, music, routines, and more - all controlled in one place. These hubs can be controlled on your favorite mobile devices or your computer with (generally speaking) a user-friendly interface. Brands such as Amazon and google make devices that are hubs themselves, such as an Echo Show or Nest Hub. These products are great, but limit you on the customizability with control.
Smart Hubs/ Software to Consider
For the Techie: Home Assistant
Perfect for the DIY enthusiast and for someone more technically inclined, Home Assistant would be a great choice. It's is a fantastic smart hub that runs off a designated computer/ server, or even a raspberry pi. While it can be a little bit heavier on the setup and take some savviness to run, it is incredibly powerful, has a great interface on IOS and Android devices, and is compatible with virtually all off-the-shelf smart home products.
For the Apple User: HomeKit with HomePod
This is great if you're largely set up under the apple ecosystem, as this smart hub works over the cloud and is a great way to manage your tech. While it's very easy to use and has the long-term software reliability that comes with a company like Apple, the automation can be limited and are not compatible with android or windows devices.
For the Beginner: SmartThings
While there are some questions about the long-term viability of this product with it no longer being produced by Samsung but instead licensing out the technology to other companies, SmartThings still reigns as the easiest and most user-friendly Smart Hub that will at least be around for the next few years. Like many of Samsung's products, it's focused on usability and compatibility. With almost all off-the-shelf devices being connectable.
So there you have it, a good set of starting options to get your home running smoothly with the many existing home automation tools you may or may not have in your home. If you have any questions about getting started or want more information, be sure to contact us and subscribe to our blog!