Does the new Wink Hub 2 measure up??

So, I’ve had the Wink Hub 2 for almost a week now. While it does have some nice features, it also has some significant drawbacks that have caused me to continue running my SmartThings 2 Hub within my home network. I’ve decided to continue to run both hubs and use the best features of each hub to do what I want to do. More on that later…

Sonos Support

On my SmartThings hub, I have rules set up that announce throughout my house if one of the exterior doors are opened. I’ve got Sonos speakers in each room that all play the message simultaneously. And I like it. Unfortunately, the Wink hub does not support Sonos at all. So rather than migrating my door sensors over to Wink, I’ve left them on the SmartThings hub so it can continue to function as my home announcement system.

Motion Sensor Grouping

Wink calls their smart apps Robots. It is basically IFTTT but allows you to specify compound rules and resulting actions. The user interface is really slick and I found myself setting up a ton of these rules in no time. But if you have more than one motion sensor in your setup, it forces your apps to trigger off of motion on any of the motion sensors. This will not work if you’ve got motion sensors through your home triggering unique events. The Wink app says that this will be resolved soon, but it is a pretty big annoyance.

Home Assistant Saves the Day

So now that I’m running two Smart hubs, my next question was how to get those hubs communicating with each other. That lead me to discover Home Assistant. Home Assistant is an open-source Python-based home automation application. It is being actively developed and has pretty good documentation on getting everything set up and configured.

I had a Raspberry Pi that I’ve been meaning to do something with, so I took this opportunity to put it to good use. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, Home Assistant is amazing! It supports Wink with very little configuration. Getting SmartThings integrated was a bit more difficult, but now I’m able to build fairly complex rules in Home Assistant using events from both hubs. And I think I’ve only scratched the surface on what all it can do.

Connecting SmartThings and Home Assistant

Honestly, you can probably do everything you need to do with Home Assistant. I’m basically using my SmartThings and Wink as bridges to the various networks (Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc) since there is no native support for those networks on the Raspberry Pi. I’m planning on doing a more detailed write-up on Home Assistant later.

Decisions, Decisions

If I had to do it again, I don’t think I would get the Wink 2. It just wasn’t that much of an upgrade from my SmartThings hub after having to deal with the drawbacks. But since I’ve got it up and running smoothly with everything else, I’m going to keep it and I’ll just have another toy to play with. I’m sure the software issues will be resolved over time and only get better.

On a side note, my Google Home should get delivered today and I’ll be playing with that the rest of the weekend!

What do you think??