May 10, 2020
Starting May 13, 2020, Wink will be charging its users a $4.99 monthly subscription fee. If you don’t pay, you’ll lose your automations, smart rules, and access to voice control. [Update 5/30/20: Wink has since backed out of the decision, at least for now.]So is it worth paying $5 a month for Wink’s service? The platform hasn’t been adding new features or expanding its list of supported devices for a while now. The announcement introducing the subscription model didn’t include any details on when and how the system would start updating again. They also failed to give users at least 30 days notice to consider how to move forward. If you’re thinking about switching to another platform, we can’t blame you. Here are a few alternatives for reliable smart home solutions that are most popular among our customers and the team here at The Smartest House. They’re all one-time investments without monthly fees. You’ll find a list of benefits and limitations with each platform, but if you have any questions about specific features we didn’t cover here, get in touch or post in the comment section below.
The most popular DIY consumer smart home hub. Supports ZigBee, Z-Wave, and WiFi. If you use your Wink app a lot to monitor your smart home and prefer calling support to exchanging emails, this is the hub for you.
The fastest growing DIY hub. Supports ZigBee, Z-Wave, and WiFi. If your smart home is full of Lutron products and fast, reliable automations are key, this system is for you.
Take a look at this informative video from DIY Smart Home Guy, who talks about his transition from Wink to Hubitat here:
A true veteran in DIY consumer hubs and a perfect middle ground between SmartThings and Hubitat. Supports Z-Wave, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and WiFi. If you want a nice looking app but also a powerful online interface with easy access to advanced settings, then you’ll be happy with Vera.
This is a Z-Wave powerhouse. Hands down the best Z-Wave implementation so if you’re all about Z-Wave, this hub is worth considering and worth the price. It’s our in-house favorite for in-house testing.
This is the ultimate DIY set-up, not for the faint of heart. We’ve seen Wink users transitioning to Home Assistant simply to break free of any dependency on the cloud or possible subscription fees. Home Assistant is open source though, and it requires additional hardware (like a Z-Wave stick and a computer or Raspberry Pi). If you’d like to add ZigBee support, you’ll need a separate dongle for that too. Home Assistant is just one of many open source home automation software options. There are more platforms to explore in this space, like openHAB or Domoticz.
Have you already transferred from Wink to a new smart home system? Share your experience in the comments below, it could help other users make a decision!
May 29, 2020
I would rather pay the $5/mo. None of the services you listed support half of what Wink does. Name one of them that supports Lutron switches without a hub? Name one that has IFTTT integrated and as easy to use as Wink. Name one above that has the simplistic setup and video of every 3rd party device on how to set it up.
I have tried almost everything you have up there when Wink looked like it was going out of business, but NONE of them came close. It was going to take a ton of DIY, mix-match, hundreds of dollars, to get me even remotely close to where I am now.
So, I will gladly pay them $4.99/mo, heck, to me it’s a steal.
May 23, 2020
Great article! Like many others, I made the switch to a new platform. I chose Hubitat as my central hub. But I mainly use it to get all of my devices connected to HomeKit through HomeBridge and also Alexa. I wasn’t a huge fun of Hubitat’s UI.
May 19, 2020
I switched from Wink to Hubitat about a month ago after Wink was down for a day. Even without the subscription I will not go back to Wink. Hubitat takes a little more work to set up your dashboard, but it’s more customizable. It was more difficult to exclude devices from Wink than it was to include them with Hubitat. Hubitat works localy, quickly and has not gone offline on me. It helps to get an Aeotec USB Zwave device to exclude devices at the push of a button.
May 18, 2020
I made the switch from Wink to SmartThings 6 months ago as I saw Wink in financial trouble back then.
One of my locations (a rental unit) is extremely remote to me and I did not want to get caught with a dead unit. While SmartThings has some drawbacks (no local control) most of my issues have been PBKAC (Problem Between Keyboard And Chair). There is a learning curve to change platforms, but it is not insurmountable. My biggest issue now is how to separate control via Amazon Echo so my tenants can only control the rental unit while I still have visibility to everything.
November 05, 2018
Winterizing your home used to mean lots of physical labor - caulking windows, installing heavier drapes, maybe even changing out older windows and doors that were too efficient at releasing insulated air. Winter prep can still mean all of the above, but new Z-Wave technology has made certain aspects of winterization easier while adding another level of protection as those temperatures drop.
Here’s what we’re using to stay cozy and make sure our energy bills don’t make us freeze in our tracks:
This is one of our winter must-haves. It’s the first Z-Wave line voltage thermostat in North America (but be careful, it won’t work with forced air systems!). Use it to control electric baseboards and convector heaters all from your Z-Wave hub’s app interface. Reduce your energy consumption by 30% with custom heating schedules, or just switch to the thermostat’s built-in Economy mode to keep things efficient.
December 08, 2017
Choosing the ultimate smart home system for your needs and lifestyle can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. Each hub comes with its own advantages and limitations; a certain feature might be a godsend for someone else but a deal breaker for you. That’s why we’ve listed our top 3 Z-Wave hub recommendations below, including what we love about these hubs but also some things to consider when choosing the right one for you. And good news! They all support Alexa, so you can count on a voice-activated smart home this holiday season.
June 08, 2017
You often ask us for recommendations: what are the best, most reliable Z-Wave motion sensors out there? The choice seems endless with new devices coming out every day. While we have our favorites, choosing the right sensor for YOU will depend on YOUR needs, lifestyle, and ideas on how to apply the product to your Z-Wave network and collection of devices. So we thought we should ask one of you to test and compare our best-selling smart home security sensors. We wanted feedback from someone who has tested and programmed lots of Z-Wave devices but most importantly, from someone who has used them in real-life scenarios at home. The comments detailed below and the invaluable side-by-side comparison chart are by Kevin LaFramboise, an expert SmartThings user and the creator of some of the most advanced and stable custom device handlers for the popular platform.