Smart Home Enthusiasts - Home Automation - Home Assistant Zigbee Z-Wave Matter etc.

Nifty

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Hey guys, this might be a bit of a stretch, but I thought I'd ask here just in case we have some experts:

I'm going to be doing some robust home automation. I've been doing a TON of research, but I'm still trying to figure out a few things and need some advice.

I've mainly used Google Home and "Smart Life" with basic WiFi devices like smart switches and outlets. Now, I'm looking into more complex systems and am considering Home Assistant due to its open-source nature and independence from major companies' changes.

Here are my main issues and questions:
  1. Ecosystems and Hubs: I'm leaning towards Home Assistant but feel overwhelmed by the setup complexity. I'm looking for a system that integrates well with Google Home, since I'm deeply invested in the Google ecosystem.
  2. Hardware Setup: I'm considering using a Raspberry Pi or a dedicated mini-computer to run Home Assistant. I'm also thinking about Z-Wave or Zigbee smart devices but unsure which would be best.
  3. Network Infrastructure: I've been advised to hard-wire everything with CAT6 to avoid WiFi congestion. However, I've had good experiences with Google Mesh routers and wonder if I can rely on that instead.
  4. Device Selection: For my remodel, I need to decide on smart light switches and blinds. I've heard great things about Lutron for reliability, but they are pricey. For other devices like smart outlets, I'm considering Kasa/Tapo.
  5. Integration Challenges: I'm finding it tough to keep everything streamlined and compatible. The promises of "Matter" and "Thread" are appealing, but they seem far from being fully realized.
So, do we have any smart-home peeps here? If so, what have you done / setup at your house?
 

chaos_engineer

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You're going deeper down this rabbit hole than I have. We are using home automation capable devices but I have not bothered to link them up yet.

Ecobee thermostats will work with google home.

Ring devices will too but there are some middlemen you need to make them sync because Ring's owned by Amazon, and well, competition. Reddit discussion about that:


Feit electric smartbulbs also work with google home.

Beyond those few things, I don't have a lot of insight. :(
 

The Hat

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Network Infrastructure: I've been advised to hard-wire everything with CAT6 to avoid WiFi congestion.
All I can add from experience is, don’t bother with CAT6, CAT5 will work perfectly fine, because CAT6 is only used in very heavy traffic areas.. Good Luck..

P.S. I hard wire everything, because Wi-Fi can be very dodgy in mutable setups
 

chaos_engineer

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All I can add from experience is, don’t bother with CAT6, CAT5 will work perfectly fine, because CAT6 is only used in very heavy traffic areas.. Good Luck..

P.S. I hard wire everything, because Wi-Fi can be very dodgy in mutable setups
Unless you have a big spool of cat6 sitting around that "fell off the tech's truck". Then use cat6 :)
 
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