A smart home system, or smart home controller, is the heart of your smart home. The system manages all your smart home devices, and ties them together. It provides you with a single point of access to your home: control, automate and monitor your entire home from a single place.
With this central role in your smart home, you obviously want to choose the right system. But what does the ideal smart home system look like? Of course, this is partly personal, but a good smart home system should at least do the following things well:
- Connect to your devices. Preferably as many as possible without workarounds
- Automate your home by combining your devices in automation Flows
- Give insight in your home and the behaviour of your devices
- Provide you with a good user interface to use it
- Respect your privacy, and make sure the data your home generates is not sold or used for profiling
Smart home systems come in all forms and sizes. Often they are limited to a single technology, system or brand in their function. Sometimes these controllers are more versatile and powerful, but impossible to use for the average user. Finally, there are some products that are able to combine the best of both worlds, like Homey.
The right smart home system
So what determines the right smart home controller? This is at least partly personal, but there are a number of objective point we can derive from the five core functions mentioned above.
For starters, you'll want a controller that is able to connect with as many devices as possible. This makes sure future-you is not forced into buying suboptimal devices, just because they're the only ones that work with your system. The more devices are supported, the better the odds that you will be able to connect your first choice of device in the future.
Secondly you want to be able to automate. Some systems, like those on KNX, only let an installer automate your home. We would recommend to instead choose a system that lets you build and automate yourself, so you can change and add scenarios.
One of the most important factor is our fourth point: interface. If the system does not provide you with interfaces and apps that you can actually fully use, the options above get less useful. It's great if a system has five technologies inside, but if it needs installation by a rocket scientist, it's probably not your thing.
The same holds for automation. If you want to automate your home, the system should provide a usable interface for that. If you know how to code, you can always automate everything. Smart home systems should be there for the people that don't, but still want control over their homes.
Homey as smart home system
Homey is also a smart home system. It is designed with a focus on the core factors above. Homey provides all the core functionalities: device connectivity, automation and insight. All done in a very privacy-aware manner. That's not the only thing though. It's also about how these functions are delivered.
Homey is compatible with more than 50,000 devices from over 1000 brands. And that's not just a lot of small, niche brands. Homey works with popular brands like IKEA Tradfri, Philips Hue, Honeywell, Sonos, Fibaro, Somfy, Xiaomi Aqara and many, many more. Because Homey has six wireless technologies inside, it can directly connect to almost all wireless devices. No workarounds or extra gateways are needed. And because it is built as an open platform, new integrations are added almost daily through Homey Apps.
You can combine all these devices in Homey Flow. Automate your home and let devices work together. Across brands, and across wireless technologies. Easily create your own scenarios, both simple or complex, with Homey Flow and Flow for Web.
Homey also provides you with insight in your home. With Homey Insights, you can see everything that has been going on. With interactive charts which can go way back, you'll never miss a thing. And with Homey Energy right in the Homey app, it was never this easy to manage your energy consumption and generation.
The most important part of a smart home system remains the interface. That's why we made the Homey smartphone app the center of Homey. Designed for everyday use, the Homey app provides all the features of Homey in a friendly design. No programming, no clunky interfaces. Just an app that even your mother will understand.
Upgrade your home
Homey combines the best of both worlds of smart home systems. On the one hand, it is a powerful and versatile system boasting six wireless technologies and over 1000 brands of supported devices. On the other hand, its interfaces are friendly and easy-to-use. The system is very privacy-aware. Advanced settings are available right on your mobile phone, but only if you click through to them. It's truly a smart home powerhouse in a friendly skin. Discover Homey, and upgrade your home.