I recently moved and have been getting my new place set up nicely. Any recommendations on hardware to play with would be much loved.
after searching the internets for months I went with loxone.com/enus/ (local, with minimal cloud features, API, software and hardware, free software, reliable)
if you want to go on DIY route dreamgreenhouse.com/designs/index.php has a lot of details on hardware and software ideas.
go with cheap "dumb" easy replaceable hardware and wired if it is possible.
Everything I know about home automation (next to nothing) I learned by following one of my favorite Twitter accounts: twitter.com/internetofshit
Speaking as an early-adopter...
For retail stuff:
Still, it's great to be able to manage and look after your house, remotely - especially when you either travel for business or pleasure.
What are your thoughts on going with single ecosystems or not, like certain lighting products from one company and some from another?
The simple path would be to commit to certain ecosystems but if I can wrap my head around my own architecture and have a handle on the gateways myself, it would be a good place to be.
Any idea if the products play nicely at all in this regard?
I'm a fan of heterogenous environments: I hate-lock-in. Unfortunately, as always, the the price of "freedom" is that you definitely increase the headache-factor.
I have both HUE and Lifx. I've mostly relegated my HUEs to areas where I don't care about color reproduction or brightness. Where I just care about brightness, I get the Lifx Day and Dusk. Where I care about color production - true colors and saturate colors - I go for the Lifx Mini Color. When it comes to alternative lighting form-factors, I haven't bought-in, yet ...mostly because I've got some outstanding household wiring-repairs to budget for. Lifx has their Beam and Tiles that look really nice, but I've no first-hand experience with, yet. That said, the Nanoleafs look compelling from a flexibility of deployment standpoint.
While Lifx has the best color and brightness, you pay for it: their lights are more expensive than HUE (haven't compared to NanoLeaf) and, if you've got a bigger house, you need to design your network to take into account that every Lifx light requires its own IP address. Further, if you have network blips (e.g. thunderstorm makes your wifi blink), need to be aware that it can take a couple minutes from when your wifi blinks till all of your Lifx lights are fully back on the network and controllable. Lastly, because each Lifx is individually configured, if you upgrade your wifi router and don't want to have to re-configure each and every light, you need to give your new router the same SSID and credentials as your prior router.
This problem is, however, not unique to Lifx. You can run into it with hubbed devices, too, if a given IoT vendor requires the use of their hub. Other unfun thing with hubbed devices is you can end up with a stack of hubs. One other nod to HUE, in this regard, is that some competing products will integrate with the HUE hub, cutting down on the amount of hub-sprawl (and you can supplement your HUE-branded bulbs with cheaper bulbs — the TRÅDFRIs from Ikea — and manage them all via your HUE hub and app).
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