Forum Thread

Smarthome automation Wink vs Smartthings, Ring, Blink, Alexa, etc...

jplee3 4,328 286 August 11, 2016 at 02:04 PM
Hey all,

So I've started playing around with different smarthome products to try ramping up monitoring/surveillance and deterrence at my condo (was a recent victim of package theft). Just got a Ring and spent some time troubleshooting that before I got sent a replacement unit (the support tech actually hosed my initial unit because he loaded the wrong firmware to it!). I also picked up an Amazon Echo recently as well as one of those GE Link BR30 bulbs. All I need is a hub to interface with the bulb. My goal, at least for now, is to trigger the light to turn on at night when motion is detected or when the doorbell is rung. I should be able to do this either with Wink or Smartthings, I *think* - overall it seems Smartthings offers more integration but is more confusing to setup. Whereas Wink is a bit more intuitive but has less support. Eventually, I want to get a Blink camera security system as well, which I believe someone has built out Smartthings integration for at additional cost. Wink is cheaper than ST and I like the fact that it is more 'intuitive' - local processing was another concern but it seems like they've fixed that. Though, I guess you can try to get/find an older Wink hub and root/hack it to work with OpenHab.

There are quite a few options and I'm not quite sure which direction to go at this point. I do lean towards Smartthings because of the seemingly more integration, but am wondering if Wink will ever 'catch up' with integrating more things... what do you guys think?

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#2
Another automation platform to consider is vera. You can also go the PC route and put HomeSeer or some open source software on it. I doubt wink will ever catch up unless they opensource the platform. Personally I'm not crazy about all these cloud based automation devices.

On cameras, I wouldn't waste your time or money on battery powered options like arlo or blink. Run ethernet cables and install real quality IP cameras and an NVR.
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Last edited by jkee August 11, 2016 at 02:27 PM
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
Another automation platform to consider is vera. You can also go the PC route and put HomeSeer or some open source software on it. I doubt wink will ever catch up unless they opensource the platform. Personally I'm not crazy about all these cloud based automation devices.

On cameras, I wouldn't waste your time or money on battery powered options like arlo or blink. Run ethernet cables and install real quality IP cameras and an NVR.

HomeSeer seems to be a good option along with OpenHAB but sounds like it's less 'plug-n-play.' I've heard mixed reviews about Vera. I do agree with you about this big dependency on cloud stuff - wish they put more emphasis and focus on allowing these types of hubs to work purely locally too. The other thing I wanted to see about eventually integrating is my Ademco 20p/AD2USB setup which currently is split up right now as my Raspi crashed a while ago - I was getting email alerting and what not with Alarmdecoder while it was working.

As far as Blink, the supposed battery life is pretty long, and they're more like motion-detection cameras that aren't "always-recording" like wired ones would. I don't think my HOA would allow me to install cameras, and the process to get approval would likely get drawn-out for something like this. It was already somewhat of a hassle just getting the Ring approved. My brother has the Arlo system but for what it is, it seems a bit pricey and I'd rather get a Blink if I had to decide. That's of course assuming Blink overcomes the many limitations currently in place like no local recording/storage to USB as well as longer recording times. I also was sort of wanting to wait for the next hardware revision that hopefully would include true night vision (rather than an annoying bright LED) at the very least. From what I can see and tell, Blink seems like a good compromise though as far as pricing and capability.

If I move into a single family home where I can put whatever the heck I want up, without any stupid HOA constraints, then I'd probably invest the time/effort/money into installing the IP cam/NVR system.
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Last edited by jplee3 August 11, 2016 at 02:38 PM
#4
Worse than simply cloud are the subscription model ones from cable/phone companies etc.

I've pondered OpenHab vs Domoticz [domoticz.com] both have potential but I probably wouldn't turn either loose on somebody without a background in software.


If you're in a condo/townhome installing quality exterior cams could be pretty difficult.


I like integration with home security generally, but if your system is mostly wireless sensors it won't be as useful as hardwired. Wireless security sensors have lockouts to prevent frequent transmissions and save batteries eg 1 event / 5min.
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