My Top 5 Home Automation Hubs
In this article, we are going to take a look at my top 5 most popular home automation hubs and accessories. The goal of this article is to make it easier for any novice that wants to automate their home to be at ease with selecting the best hub for them (based on budget and/or capabilities) and knowing that he/she will be able to purchase the hub (and associated components), install it themselves and know, after installation, the Automation Hub will work as advertised. For this article, we’re just looking at “Do It Yourself” (DIY) HUBs. For all pratical purposes, you should be able to install and activate these HUBs on your own. Not only will you be able to install and activate them on your own, they will work as advertised!
Here is the list of hubs we’ll discuss in this article (and not in any specific order):
1. Habitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
2. All-New Echo Plus (2nd Generation) with built in Smart Hub
3. Samsung SmartThings Smart Hub
4. Google Home Hub
5. Wink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart home hub
Generally speaking, these hubs are designed to assist you with automating your home such that you can speak to your hub and command certain activities to occur. As an example, you may want to turn a certain light on or off, tune your TV to a certain channel, turn your TV on or off, set a timer, lock the doors, or have certain lights to come on or off at certain times. These are just a few of the capabilities that are available on these devices.
Habitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
The Habitat Elevation is a robust platform that automates your smart devices and elevates your home. Edge computing for home automation provides reliability, quick responses and data privacy. All automation processing is done in your Habitat Elevation hub, so your personal device data is stored locally (LAN) – not in the cloud.
You’re able to choose from a wide range of compatible devices, including lights, speakers smoke/water detectors, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more.
Some of the features include:
- -Compatible with other brands like Samsung SmartThings
- Supports numerous popular platform integrations Amazon Echo
- Comes with more than a dozen built-in applications to create and manage automation
- Hub connects to local area network via the included Ethernet cable
- The product is for US only.
All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen)
Here are some of the features of the All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen)
- Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee hub
- New premium speakers powered by Dolby play 360° audio
- Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, and other features
- Ask Alexa for a song with a particular title or from a particular Artist
- Call or message almost anyone hands-free
Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub
The Samsung SmartThings connects wirelessly with a wide range of smart devices and makes them work together. This product gives you quite a bit of versability. See list of some of the features below:
- Use the SmartThings app or Amazon Alexa to control your smart home. Teach your house new tricks by telling it what to do when you’re asleep, awake, away, and back home
- Add smart devices and put your home to work. Choose from a wide range of compatible devices, including lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more
- Use the SmartThings app or Amazon Alexa to control your smart home
- Requires an internet-connected Wi-Fi router with an available ethernet port, plus the free SmartThings app for Android (4.1 or later) or iPhone (iOS 9.0 or later)
Google Home Hub
The Google Home Hub is an awesome Home Hub device. It seems to have a lot of features and works with other brands as well. According to what I have read, it appears to be compatible with other brands of smart hubs as well. Here are some of the features.
- Gogle Assistant built in
- Chrome Cast built in
- Multi-room audio
- Blue tooth 5
- Works with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Chromebook*
Wink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart Home Hub
Use the Wink Smart Hub to easily connect and manage your smart home ecosystem. This device is capable of controlling all major smart home categories, including cameras & doorbells, lighting & locks, thermostats, sensors & alarms, appliances, speakers and more. You’re able to control all of your home’s smart devices no matter where you might be. You’re able to control up to 400 devices with one single app! I haven’t tried it but based on the comments from other users, this product sounds pretty amazing! The Wink Hub supports Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Kidde, and Lutron Clear Connect. Works with more smart home protocols than any other platform. Again, I haven’t tested this device but it certainly sounds like you will be able use this device for all of your home automation needs.
For most of the HUBs mentioned earlier, you will need smart plugs to control the devices that you want to have the Smart Hub control. Most of the Hubs do come with a few smart plugs. You can also purchase additional smart plugs on Amazon or your favorite hardware store.
What does these Hubs Cost
The initial cost for the various Hubs range from $69.99 up to $169.99 depending on the brand. Most of these come with a few Smart Plugs as well. If you need more Smart Plugs, you can purchase these at various websites (like Amazon.com) or sometimes at your hardware store. Here are the estimated costs for each product on Amazon:
Habitat Elevation – $109.95 (at the time of this blog)
All New Echo Plus – $149.99 (at the time of this blog)
Samsung SmartThings SmartHub – From $64.84 – $79.99
Google Home Hub – From $99 (with discount)
Wink Hub-2US SmartHome- From $109.00
There are a lot of “Automation” devices available for Home Automation. These are just a few. You should also be aware that there are Home automation devices to assist you with providing home security as well. Maybe in another blog, we’ll review some of these products as well.