Wink vs. Hue: Part 1

Being the Home Automation buff that I am, I bought starter kits to the Wink and the Hue.

Each of the starter kits come with a hub and a series of lamps, at a discounted price, targeting those curious about automation. Both hubs support a variety of protocols and can be used to control lamps and appliances around the house. Both of them are compatible with Alexa devices.(Alexa will be covered in a separate post.

The Wink hub I have is the old one. I have not had an opportunity to test the new one yet. The hub can handle several protocols including blutooth, zigbee and zee wave. It can be configured and controlled through an iphone or android. I also found this site for those who want to control their wink devices devices through any browser.

One big plus point with Wink was the excellent customer service it provides. There was a time when a faulty  software  upgrade they provided damaged some of the wink hubs.  When I realized that my hub was one of those affected, I called immediately but the customer service person guided me through the process of sending it to them and having it repaired. The whole process took less than a week and I had my hub back and functioning as new.

The hub has its limitations though. One is that in my experience, it has lost connectivity with some appliances, and I have had to go through the painful process of reconfiguring my devices.

The second is that the device did not allow for local control around this time last year. This means that if you loose your internet connection, you cannot control your devices on your home network.

While using it with Openhab, one could eliminate this limitation by rooting the hub, a complex process that could void your warranty and brick your Wink if things went awry. Openhab does not have official support for Wink as of this writing

My Home assistant system, on the otehr hand had no problems detecting it and could control all the lamps and the wemo switch attached to it.  My wink hub is integrated with my Nest fire alarm which enables me to look.

The wink hub supports MyQ, a wireless protocol for controlling devices like a garage door opener. Chamberlain and Liftmaster are both compatible with MyQ. Unfortunately, though Liftmaster brand is not compatible with Wink. Through Wink, you can check if your Liftmaster door is open or closed.  You cannot open it. In an earlier post, I have covered how I was able to control my liftmaster opener using home assistant.






Home Assistant: My ‘master’ system

At this stage and for the perceivable future, Home Assistant is the heart of my home automation system. One of the main reasons I choose Home Assistant is the ease with which I could have it up and running.

As I brought up the Home Assistant server, it was able to quickly detect several devices around my house without my having to do any coding configuration. These include:

  1. My Kodi media player running on a HP Stream mini computer. I will cover Kodi in a separate post.
  2. My chromecast tv streaming device.
  3. My Roku stick.
  4. My wink and hue  hubs. I was able to use Home Assistant to control the lights around my house, right away.
  5. My daphile audio player. This will also be covered in future posts.
  6. My MPD player running on the same computer as home assistant.
  7. My rune player running on my raspberry pi
  8. My two sonos one speakers.

That’s a lot of functionality right out-of-the box! To repeat a point I made earlier, there is no single system that will give you all the functionality you want. If you want one, you need to build one either from scratch or by integrating several system together.  I have chosen the latter approach,