The Digital Home Magazine

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The market for smart home devices has grown rapidly in recent years and many manufacturers are vying for the customers' favour. We have put together in this article which other smart home systems you should look at.

The entry into the smart home -World succeed often best on Appcessories - so the devices via smart phone - app can be controlled. Be it the smart weather station with interior monitoring from Netatmo, the vacuum cleaner robot or the surveillance camera with app control.

Philips Hue

One of these apps is the smart lighting system from Philips Hue. It offers colourful, but also warm white lamps that can be controlled via the app. But this appcessories quickly becomes one of the best smart home systems. Because in addition to the lamps from Philips, the system can also be expanded with wireless wall switches and motion detectors. In this way, light switches can be positioned exactly where you need them: for example, next to the bed, or in the hallway and living room.

The best thing about it: This retrofit does not require any electrical installation. Incidentally, the lighting with the Hue Hub and the Hue lights becomes intelligent because the light can be switched on with different brightness and different colour temperatures depending on the time of day.

Of course, the Hue lamps obey every word. The system can be coupled with Amazon's Alexa as well as with the Google Assistant. And Apple fans will also love the colourful Philips lamps, because they can also be connected to Apple's “Homekit” smart home system and controlled with the “Siri” voice assistant.

But the smart home system from Philips Hue does not only offer light sources. Complete lamps also belong in the portfolio. Whether wall, ceiling or table lamp. They are also the key to many other Philips Hue services. Such as the Hue Amberlite or the Hue Entertainment.

With the Philips Ambilight system, LED stripes next to the television and Hue lamps in the room light up synchronously with the television picture. Philips wants to offer the TV experience 2.0 with its new service Hue Entertainment, in which the Hue lamps in your own living room light up to match the light effects in the TV show.
If you want to expand your smart home system beyond the topic of light,

Telekom Magenta

Once known as the Qivicon Smart Home, it has now become a complete, magenta-coloured Telekom product: the Magenta Smart Home.

It is as simple as it is ingenious because it is turning the Internet router that many already have at home into a smart home centre. With the “Speedport Smart”, Magenta customers can simply book the Smart Home service for a monthly fee and thus connect smart devices to the router. App control (even when on the move) included.

With heating controls, window contacts, adapter plugs and many other devices, a smart home system can be created in your own four walls in no time at all. Lay completely without a drill or cables. "If-then" rules can be used to cleverly link the devices to one another in order to automate daily processes. Be it the heating that turns down when the room is aired, the television that is automatically switched off in standby, or the alarm system that guards the house when you are absent.

The Magenta Smart Home system is already present in the router so that cordless telephones can be used. The Homematic IP and Zigbee radio systems can be retrofitted to the Speedport Smart Router using a USB radio stick. Homematic devices with the BidCos radio are no longer compatible with the Speedport Smart Router, unlike the Qivicon Home Base at the time.

Homematic IP

Homematic IP is the latest generation of smart home pioneers. The device portfolio of the new generation can now easily keep up with that of the BidCos Homematic series. The customer can choose from adapter plugs, flush-mounted modules (for controlling lights and blinds) to heating controllers (even for underfloor heating) and various sensors.

Of course, the manufacturer eQ3 also offers the right control centre, including app and voice control: the Homematic IP Access Point. Incidentally, devices from the new Homematic IP series can also be taught-in to the older CCU2 central unit. However, devices of the older Homematic Smart Home system are not connected to the Homematic IP Access Point.

homee or Homey: Multigateways

If you want more and, above all, do not want to be tied to manufacturer or radio systems, you should look at so-called "multi-protocol gateways". The smart home centres combine several radio systems and work between them as a kind of "interpreter". In this way, devices can be connected to one another that would otherwise not be able to communicate with one another. For the customer this means a free choice of equipment without any manufacturer connection.

These include a multi-protocol system especially Zipato, homee and Homey. With the systems mentioned last, the main question is: cube or sphere? Or to put it another way: modularly expandable, or all-in-one smart home system? While the homee system can be expanded to include radio systems such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, EnOcean using a colourful radio cube, the homey ball comes as an all-in-one gateway. It offers Z-Wave, Zigbee, IR and Bluetooth.

With both systems, nothing stands in the way of cross-trade automation. The rules can either be created using a smartphone app or a web interface. Rules with delays or test times are also possible using the “if-then” scheme. Voice control and app control are self-evident. These systems are especially recommended for advanced users. But even smart home beginners will find a good introduction to the topic with these systems thanks to the simple, graphical user interface.

Fibaro Home Centre 2

If you want to completely break away from the classic "if-then" rules when it comes to automation and program extremely complex routines for your smart home, the Fibaro Home Centre 2 is recommended. The Smart Home system is based on the Z-Wave radio, in whose world the manufacturer Fibaro with its design-related components plays a not entirely insignificant role.

The “LUA” script language can be used to program automations and processes, making the smart home system a powerful tool for installers and smart home enthusiasts. The Fibaro Home Centre 2 is aimed primarily at professionals and smart home fans who want to go one step further.

Incidentally, there are rumours in the Fibaro forums that the Fibaro Home Centre 3 will appear soon. And there is much to be said for it. The current Fibaro Home Centre 2 has a rather old Z-Wave chip on board that is no longer state-of-the-art. Perhaps the new gateway will then also support more radio systems than just Z-Wave. A new multi-protocol gateway?