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Saturday, February 10, 2024

A tremendous sensible house system…till it is not

Homey Pro (2023)

Homey Professional (2023)

The Homey Professional is a terrific sensible house system that units out to unravel the largest drawback plaguing the class: fragmentation. Whereas the system does an unimaginable job at bringing every part in your house below one roof, the insurmountable job of supporting 1000’s upon 1000’s of gadgets implies that a few of your sensible house merchandise will not be supported, so your mileage could differ on simply how helpful this will likely be for you.

I first noticed Homey Professional at CES 2023. I used to be blown away by what it supplied — a sensible house hub that may management every part you personal — however slightly skeptical of how it will carry out in actual life. This didn’t cease us from giving it a Better of CES 2023 award, however I used to be excited to offer it a shot in my house to seek out out if it carried out as marketed.

I’ve now had a Homey Professional in my home for slightly over a month. The excellent news is that it does do what the corporate claimed: It truly is the one hub to rule all of them. Nonetheless, the dangerous information is that attending to the purpose the place this cute little RGB-lit puck controls every part in your home isn’t as simple as one might need hoped.

On this article (and the video above), I’m going to interrupt down Homey Professional: what it’s, the way it works, what’s nice, what’s not so nice, and whether or not or not you, particularly, can buy it.

What’s Homey Professional?

Homey at CES 2023 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Consider Homey Professional as a mind in your sensible house. Most individuals may have many various sensible house merchandise from many various manufacturers, all working on completely different protocols. You might need a sensible hub in your lights, and different hubs in your locks, thermostats, blinds, and extra. Plus, you want a number of apps to run every part. It may be an enormous mess.

The Homey Professional solves this drawback by bringing every part below one roof. When you’ve set it up, every part in your home runs via Homey Professional. Due to this central hub in your gear, management of your property is now enclosed inside one app, bringing some order to the chaos.

Homey Professional is a central hub in your whole sensible house that may carry some order to the chaos.

You’re most likely questioning how the Homey Professional can do that. Contained in the system, you’ll discover a Linux-based pc. Consider it like a Raspberry Pi, however beefed up. Included into this pc are connections for all the key sensible house protocols: Zigbee, Z-Wave, Matter, Thread, Bluetooth, infrared — you title it, Homey Professional has obtained it. This permits Homey Professional to hook up with (or, in some instances, fully substitute) the sensible house hubs you already use. It additionally lets it management just about any hub-less sensible system, both via the cloud and even regionally, if supported.

Bodily, Homey Professional is a black puck that’s in regards to the measurement of a water bowl for a small pet. It has an LED ring working across the base that lights up with a rainbow wave throughout common operation. You possibly can management this ring by altering colours or going darkish when issues occur. For instance, I’ve it set to flash orange after which go darkish after I open up Plex on my TV to match Plex’s branding. It’s also possible to shut it off fully should you hate enjoyable.

There’s one port on the again of the Homey Professional for USB-C energy. It’s also possible to purchase an Ethernet adapter from Homey that lets you bodily join the system to your community while not having Wi-Fi. That is offered individually ($29 at Amazon), however you may also use third-party dongles if you have already got one. Athom (the corporate that makes Homey) gained’t assure these would work correctly, although.

Software program is the place the Homey Professional actually shines

Homey App for Android

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Having all of your sensible house gadgets funneled into one hub is cool and all, nevertheless it doesn’t imply something if the software program isn’t any good. Fortunately, that is the place Homey actually shines. I believe the Homey software program is so good that it’d even be one of the best companion software program I’ve ever used for any system.

The Homey app works on Android, iOS, and the net. The net model has extra capabilities than the cell apps, however they’re all designed precisely the identical.

The principle interface of the app jogs my memory of the Google Residence app. By default, every part in your home is organized by room, however you may set up them in one other approach should you like. Every room has slightly sq. button that lets you management every system. You possibly can create your personal buttons right here, too. For instance, you might create a button that controls all of the lights in that room, so you may flip all of them on/off with one faucet.

The Homey app is without doubt one of the greatest items of product software program that I’ve ever used …if not one of the best.

The app additionally lets you create and management Flows — i.e. automations in Homey lingo. Flows are easy to place collectively and may be extremely highly effective. It’s primarily based on a “When… And… Then…” system. For instance, one I exploit is “When the solar rises and I’m house, then open the blinds in the lounge.”

Homey App Flow Example

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

As a result of Homey connects to actually every part in your home, you may get very particular with Flows. An actual-world instance I’ve arrange is to wash the world close to my cat’s litterbox. Each time he makes use of the field and will get out, he drags slightly little bit of litter with him. I wish to clear this up routinely utilizing the robotic vacuum, however I don’t need it to occur after I’m watching TV (the litter field is close by), nor after I’m asleep. I added a movement sensor to the litter field to trace his actions, and my Circulation appears like this: “When the litter field movement sensor is triggered and the TV is off and it’s between 8:30 AM and 10:00 PM, then inform the vacuum to wash the litterbox space with a 10-minute delay.”

These Flows took me possibly 5 minutes to place collectively, because of the Homey app’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop card system. There’s no coding mandatory, simply faucets and swipes.

It’s totally straightforward to arrange automations with Homey’s card system.

If you wish to get much more thorough together with your automations, there may be an Superior Flows instrument that’s locked to the net app. Should you’re a sensible house buff already, you’ll acknowledge it as trying lots like Node-RED. There’s additionally an old school script editor if you wish to get tremendous particular together with your Flows (additionally locked to the net app). Nonetheless, I discovered common Flows to be highly effective sufficient for me. Even Stefan Witkamp, the founder and business director of Homey, instructed me he solely makes use of normal Flows in his own residence!

Lastly, the app has a piece known as Insights. This lets you see what’s happening relating to vitality consumption in your gadgets in your house. For instance, you may see the ability utilization of any system over the previous few days. This may be particularly helpful if in case you have solar energy or are in a spot the place vitality consumption is tremendous costly.

Issues aren’t so simple as you’d hope

Homey Pro USB C Port

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

So that you’re satisfied that Homey Professional is terrific, however what’s the catch? The catch is that it’s not straightforward being the one hub to rule all of them. Though Homey Professional does an incredible job of incorporating 1000’s and 1000’s of gadgets into its system, not every part you personal will likely be lined. There are methods round a tool missing official protection, nevertheless it’s not going to be as plug-and-play as you’d hope it to be.

For instance, my Nanoleaf mild panels are formally supported by Homey, with Nanoleaf itself really a associate in that integration. As such, all my Nanoleaf merchandise labored flawlessly proper out of the field. My TP-Hyperlink sensible dimmers, although, have an official app, however for some motive, they disconnect continually, which implies that at the very least as soon as every day, a few of my Flows don’t work appropriately. I reached out to Homey’s help about this, and the issue is presently being addressed. In the meantime, my Roborock robotic vacuum lacks official help fully. For that, I wanted to depend on neighborhood help, which includes hacking collectively an app to include with Homey unofficially. It really works, nevertheless it was a very sophisticated and complicated course of to get it arrange.

It isn’t straightforward to help 1000’s upon 1000’s of sensible house merchandise, so Homey Professional has some vital compatibility points.

These points imply that Homey Professional isn’t the set-it-and-forget-it system you may hope for. You’ll have to do a ton of troubleshooting to get the gadgets you already personal working correctly, substitute them with new sensible gadgets which have official help, or wait patiently till official help lands in your current merchandise.

It is a massive drawback, nevertheless it hasn’t been a large enough difficulty for me to cease utilizing the Homey Professional. I really like the software program, and I really like that it really works with virtually all my gadgets — I’m simply hoping that, over time, the opposite gadgets that I’m having issues with will get mounted.

Do you have to purchase the Homey Professional?

Homey Pro Standing on Side

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

These issues I’ve talked about with Homey Professional forestall me from recommending it to simply any sensible house person. You’ll should be a really particular kind of person for this to be applicable.

The best way I see it, there are two kinds of sensible house house owners. The primary has just a few gadgets: a light-weight, some plugs, and possibly a lock. They don’t want Homey Professional. Their sensible house is sufficiently small that it may be managed in one thing like Google Residence, and any Flows they create could be fairly simplistic. On the flip aspect, you’ve got folks with dozens of sensible gadgets of their homes with dozens and even a whole lot of automations to cowl all of them. These customers might use Homey Professional, however they’re most likely already invested within the Residence Assistant ecosystem, so Homey Professional could be sort of irrelevant.

Homey Professional is designed for the folks in the midst of these two extremes. For instance, individuals who have a variety of sensible house gadgets and wish to get into superior automations however don’t wish to get into Residence Assistant. Or individuals who wish to get into the ability of Residence Assistant however don’t wish to construct any {hardware} to run it. For this class of particular person (of which I used to be admittedly a member), Homey Professional is an ideal all-in-one system. You purchase it, you set it up, you get going. It’s straightforward to make use of, the training curve is low, and you can begin making your sensible house goals come true. It’s going to take you some hours of effort, however you’ll get there.

The Homey Professional is ideal if in case you have many sensible house gadgets and wish to acquire higher management of them with out entering into Residence Assistant.

In fact, that is the place the elephant within the room pops up: value. Right here in the USA, the Homey Professional prices $399. That’s some huge cash for a tool like this, particularly when that should you went the Residence Assistant route, you might construct one thing your self for lower than half that.

Take into account, although, that the Homey Professional doesn’t contain any subscription companies. You pay your $399, and that’s it — you’ll have entry to every part it may possibly do endlessly. There’s a non-Professional model of Homey that requires a small month-to-month price and has extra limitations than the Homey Professional. It’s also possible to use the Homey app free of charge with none Homey {hardware} should you merely wish to see the way it works and resolve which {hardware} answer is greatest in your wants.

Additionally, the Homey Professional is able to working your sensible house regionally, assuming that you’ve the gadgets to help that. Should you do, you might run your whole house with none web connection, which might be an actual boon for folks on the market who worth their privateness.

Athom has been round for practically ten years and has launched many gadgets over that point, most of that are nonetheless supported immediately. In different phrases, investing in a Homey Professional appears to be a good suggestion in the long term since you ought to get the help you want because the years go by. The one factor you’ll want to just accept is that you simply’ll have to do a variety of troubleshooting while you first take it out of the field, and also you may want to exchange a few of your sensible house gadgets — or wait till these gadgets get help. However, should you can look previous these flaws, the Homey Professional will likely be an incredible addition to your sensible house, identical to it was for mine.

Homey Professional (2023)Homey Pro (2023)
AA Editors Choice

Homey Professional (2023)

Sensible house consolidation • Automations • Native processing

A sensible house hub to streamline every part in your home.

The Homey Professional (2023) is a standalone hub that goals to mix each single system in your sensible house, permitting you to supply superior automations that would not be doable with a fragmented setup. It helps seven applied sciences, together with Matter and Thread, and already helps 1000’s of merchandise, with extra added on daily basis.


Type of. You possibly can allow HomeKit help within the Homey app via the “Experiments” part. Because the title suggests, you shouldn’t anticipate a totally baked expertise with HomeKit.

There isn’t any sensible restrict to the variety of gadgets Homey Professional can management. The restrict you do have is the variety of apps put in. The Homey Professional solely has a lot knowledge cupboard space in it, and there’s no method to develop it, so as soon as it’s stuffed up, you’ll have to take away apps to suit extra.

As soon as you purchase the $399 {hardware}, there aren’t any subscription prices. It’s free to make use of endlessly after buy, with no options locked behind a paywall.

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