Monday, December 11, 2023

Homey Professional overview


Homey Professional (2nd-gen, 2023 mannequin)

Extra informal sensible dwelling customers will in all probability discover that they will do what they need with one of many higher identified methods, corresponding to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit. Homey Professional isn’t constructed to instantly compete with these methods, however it’s aimed on the fanatic who doesn’t thoughts getting their palms a bit soiled.
If you wish to construct out you dwelling with Zigbee and Z-Wave gadgets now, with the potential for Matter and Thread sooner or later, then there’s no different system that fairly affords the facility that Homey Professional does, actually not since SmartThings modified so radically.
If Homey Professional helps the gadgets you need and also you want extra highly effective automations than its rivals can provide, there’s nothing higher.

  • Highly effective automation
  • Good organisation
  • Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, IR and cloud help
  • Constructed for fans
  • Costly
  • No Thread but
  • Third-party apps generally fiddly

Key options

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5GHz /2.4GHz, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Infrared 433MHz / 868MHz, Bluetooth, Thread (coming quickly)
  • Ecosystems: Matter, Alexa, Google Dwelling

With Samsung SmartThings shifting to a brand new platform that has killed off its extra highly effective plugins, corresponding to WebCORE, the place ought to the true sensible dwelling fanatic that likes to tinker go to? One choice is the Homey Professional, which mixes a strong hub, which helps Zigbee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth help (and Thread incoming), with a strong guidelines engine.

The a lot anticipated 2nd-gen Homey Professional has lastly gone on sale, virtually ten months after the Dutch sensible dwelling specialist first introduced it.

A slick app and a few very highly effective instruments make this method an actual contender for many who like full management over automations.

The Homey Professional (Early 2023), to provide it its full moniker, is – as we talked about already – the 2nd-generation Professional mannequin however is definitely the fifth iteration of the model’s sensible dwelling hub; the primary Homey hub went on sale again in 2016.

Main {hardware} help does lag behind the competitors, and the dearth of full Matter and Thread help at this level is a bit disappointing however the Homey Professional remains to be a implausible multi-platform sensible dwelling hub.

Learn our full Homey Professional overview to seek out out why.

Homey Professional vs Homey Bridge

Earlier than I get into the main points of the system, it’s price explaining the distinction between the Homey Professional that’s on overview right here and the Homey Bridge, as each merchandise look comparable.

Each the Homey Professional and the Homey Bridge help Zigbee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth gadgets, however it’s solely the Professional that’s getting the Matter replace and help for Thread.

There are additionally large {hardware} variations. Costing much more, the Homey Professional ($399 / £399) runs all of its apps and automations regionally, so there are not any subscription charges.

The cheaper Homey Bridge ($69 / £69), has to make use of the usual Homey cloud service, which implies a subscription charge of $2.99 / £2.99 montly if you wish to add greater than 5 gadgets, which, after all, you do.

I ought to level out that you simply don’t technically want the Homey Bridge to get began: you’ll be able to run Homey totally within the cloud, with the subscription charge, when you don’t need any direct-connected Zigbee/Z-Wave gadgets and need to use cloud integrations for main merchandise, corresponding to Hue.

In-depth assist: Zigbee information | Z-Wave information

For sensible dwelling customers which have a set of third-party sensors, corresponding to Zigbee movement sensors, the Homey Professional makes quite a lot of sense. Certain, it’s dearer than the Homey Bridge, however think about how a lot you’d spend on subscription charges over the product’s lifetime and it’s higher worth.

And, with the Homey Professional, you’ll be able to set up third-party Neighborhood apps alongside the formally supported apps for main merchandise, which expands {hardware} help (to a level).

Lastly, the Homey Bridge can be utilized as an extender for the Homey Professional, so you’ll be able to enhance your Zigbee/Z-Wave protection by including the cheaper product in a while.

Design and set up

  • Puck formed hub
  • Powered by USB-C
  • Non-obligatory Ethernet adapter

In fact, this newest Homey Professional blows the previous-gen Professional out of the water: 1.5x Zigbee vary, 1.5x Z-Wave vary, 4x infrared vary, 1.2x 433MHz vary, a 3.5x extra highly effective CPU (1.8GHz quad-core), double the RAM at 2GB and double the storage at 8GB.

A pleasant-looking puck formed hub, the Homey Professional is powered by its USB-C port.

It connects by way of Wi-Fi by default, however an elective Ethernet adaptor ($29 / £29) that plugs into the USB-C port can also be out there, which provides an additional UBS-C enter for energy.

It’s good to have the choice. Personally, I desire my hubs to make use of Ethernet, as it’s extra dependable, so it’s helpful having this selection.

Homey Pro usb-c

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

As soon as powered on, the hub has a hoop of multi-coloured lights round its base. It seems to be fancy in pictures, however is a contact annoying after some time; fortuitously, the LED ring may be turned off within the app.

Connecting the Homey Professional to the app is easy and straightforward to do, following the straightforward wizard. As soon as related, the system is prepared so that you can begin including gadgets.

Homey Professional Gadgets

Including gadgets is mostly simple, however there’s a selection based mostly on the kind of gadget that you simply need to add. First, there are direct-connected gadgets, which discuss to the Hub. These embody Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Matter gadgets.

Presently, Matter help is in beta, and solely Matter-over-Ethernet gadgets are supported, with Thread help coming later in This autumn of 2023.

Guides: Matter sensible dwelling / Thread sensible dwelling

Sadly, I struggled to get any Matter gadgets to attach. My Philips Hue Hub refused to attach, as did a SwitchBot Hub 2. It appears as if I’ll have to attend till the total launch of the service.

Zigbee and Z-Wave gadget help is extra spectacular. There are various current gadgets out there, together with a raft of sensible sensorscorresponding to movement sensors, door and window sensors, and so forth. These are typically fairly low cost to purchase from shops likes Amazon, and may also help make highly effective automations.

motion sensor

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Bluetooth help is extra restricted, however it may be helpful to have. For instance, SwitchBot Blind Tilt gadgets may be added utilizing Bluetooth, avoiding the necessity to purchase a SwitchBot hub.

IR gadgets are additionally supported, however there are fairly a couple of limitations. First, the hub needs to be throughout the line of sight of the gadget that you simply need to management. Secondly, the Homey Professional can’t be taught an IR sign; you’ll be able to solely decide gadgets from an current listing, such because the Apple TV.

Subsequent, there are formally supported gadgets by means of Homey apps. These work with cloud connections and include the entire common gadgets from large corporations, corresponding to Hue lights, Yale locks, Sonos gamers and the like.

There’s a wide selection in there, however this method does fall behind the likes of Amazon Alexa, which has far wider gadget help. Before you purchase this method, it’s price checking the web database to see if the gadgets you need to use are supported or not.

Homey tells us that it really works with greater than 50,000 gadgets from over 1,000 manufacturers.

Then, there are Neighborhood apps, which add additional gadget help not out there to common Homey or Homey Bridge customers. I’d prefer to get extra excited by these, however the apps don’t all the time do what I’d like.

For instance, the Ring Safety app doesn’t allow you to use the Ring Alarm inside Homey; it enables you to add Ring Alarm gadgets into Homey, such because the management panel and movement sensor. That’s maybe helpful if you wish to repurpose the prevailing package, nevertheless it’s not fairly what I anticipated.

Homey Professional Routines and In Use

I’m a fan of how Homey organises itself. Slightly than having a flat structure of rooms, Homey enables you to organise by ground after which room. It’s a small change from different sensible dwelling methods however a doubtlessly highly effective one. For instance, utilizing a Circulate (Homey’s identify for automations), I can flip off a whole ground with one command.

Homey Pro devices in homey app

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Annoyingly, all added gadgets seem within the base degree of your private home, after which every gadget needs to be moved the place you need it to go, one by one.

That’s a prolonged course of: I’ve acquired greater than 50 Hue gadgets alone, which all needed to be moved individually.

Homey Pro adding hue lights in app

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

As soon as in a room, Homey teams lights collectively beneath one management.

That’s helpful, as there’s one swap to take care of all lights, though every particular person gentle nonetheless has its personal management.

Homey Pro review

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Every gadget will get particular person management, most of which apes the management out there within the manufacturer’s app. For instance, I may change the fan velocity and mode of a Dyson air purifier within the Homey app in a lot the identical method that I might within the Dyson app.

Not all gadgets have fairly the identical degree of management. Hue lights, for instance, don’t get the identical high quality vary of scenes as they do from the apps.

And, there are some minor annoyances. For instance, if I add Hue to Alexa or HomeKit, I can use the Hue movement sensors in automations; with Homey, the Hue movement sensor doesn’t seem, so I’ve to double up on movement sensors in some rooms to realize the automation that I would like.

These issues apart, Homey excels at making the highly effective easy. Through the app, there’s a easy Circulate builder that makes it simple to create complicated automations.

For instance, I’ve a Fibaro movement sensor, which I can use to show Hue lights on, when it’s between dawn and sundown and the luminance is under a sure degree. That signifies that when it’s darkish through the day, the lights will activate when movement is detected. Solely SmartThings has comparable ranges of energy.

Homey Pro flow in app

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Use the net interface, and there’s the extra highly effective Circulate builder, which let me create a chart containing a number of triggers, actions and situations.

There’s nothing else that provides this a lot energy this simply.

Homey Pro flow builder

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

For programming buttons and remotes, such because the Tradfri Distant, I like that there’s a toggle choice. For instance, I’ve acquired a Tradfri Distant that I take advantage of to show a Dyson air purifier on and off utilizing the toggle command.

With HomeKit, there’s no toggle choice, so doing one thing comparable requires two actions, corresponding to a single click on to show it on and a protracted press to show it off.

ikea tradfri controller

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Homey Professional additionally opens up HomeyScript, which is a JavaScript scripting language to realize much more difficult actions.

Customers can actually get granular management utilizing Homey Professional’s Net API to create personalised HomeyScripts and there is additionally stuff like Native Port Forwarding, Native API Keys, SSH Entry and Native USB Backups to maintain issues in a consumer’s management and out of the cloud.

The closest factor to this was WebCORE for SmartThings, however that now not works.

Homey Pro review

(Picture credit score: The Ambient)

Closing ideas

For those who’re the type of individual that likes tinkering with their sensible dwelling system and retaining issues out of the cloud then the Homey Professional might be for you.

It is fairly costly and you may get the newest SmartThings hub for round a 3rd of the worth, which does round 90% of what the Homey Professional is able to.

Nonetheless, Homey’s new high canine is aimed squarely at these individuals who need to faucet into that additional 10% and if that is you then you’ll be nicely served.

How we take a look at

Once we publish our opinions, you’ll be able to relaxation assured that they’re the results of “residing with” long run checks.

Good dwelling hubs and bridges play a key half in controlling, a wise dwelling ecosystem, or a spread of merchandise that – supposedly – all work in concord.

As a result of we’re testing sensible dwelling package all day, on a regular basis, we all know what issues and the way a specific sensible controller compares to options that you may also be contemplating.

Our opinions are complete, goal and truthful and, after all, we’re by no means paid on to overview a tool.

Learn our information to how we take a look at sensible dwelling hubs to be taught extra.


Does the Homey Professional work with Matter?

Sure, the Homey Professional is Matter suitable and Thread capabilities will likely be added quickly.

Do you want further hubs with Homey?

The thought is that you should utilize hub-specific gadgets – suppose Hue and Aqara – with out the native hub or bridge in place.

Does the Homey Professional have a subscription value?

No, common Homey (in your cellphone or utilizing the Homey Bridge) requires a subscription however Homey Professional is simply the up entrance value.

Is that this the primary Homey Professional?

No, that is the 2nd-generation Professional mannequin and is, in reality, the fifth Homey sensible dwelling hub.


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