You must know about the home automation hub and its protocols if you are looking to automate your home.
You’re probably wondering: do you really have to know about them?
They are essentials to know to create seamless home automation, and we explain it in simple words here.
What is a home automation hub?
A home automation hub is a device to unify smart devices—even from different brands—at your home under one application. Unifying them makes it possible to control them from a single app. In other words, you no longer need to set home automation on various apps.
You may be wondering, what is the point of controlling them under one app?
It is to stay true to what a smart home is: an added convenience to your life.
You can create a home automation schedule, set the desired scene, monitor your home, or turn on your AC before you get back to your home through a single application, rather than running those actions through apps from multiple brands.
Understanding smart home protocols
The home automation hub can unify your smart devices because it acts as a bridge to connect and let your smart devices communicate with each other via smart home protocols in use.
So, what exactly is a smart home protocol?
It is a language used by smart home devices and appliances. The most common protocols in the smart home industry right now are:
So, suppose a hub uses Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth as its protocol; you can connect your smart devices that utilise either one of those protocols to your hub and controlling them through a single app from the manufacturer of your hub.
For example, you can connect your Zigbee-only smart switch and Wi-Fi only smart pet feeder to a Zigbee and Wi-Fi-powered hub. Through the app from that hub, you can control both the smart switch and smart pet feeder.
Wi-Fi is the most accessible protocol in the market. It is widely used and easy to attract people because many households already know how Wi-Fi works.
The downside of running multiple smart devices with this protocol is it will affect your internet speed.
Zigbee is more or less like Wi-Fi since it is also a wireless protocol, however, it uses a different frequency than Wi-Fi. Therefore, it does not slow down your internet.
Home automation hubs and devices that use Z-wave offer stable signals and reliable connections. On the contrary, they are not that accessible compared to other protocols because Z-wave devices must meet region standard Z-wave frequencies.
Bluetooth was a mainstay protocol back in the early days of the smart home industry. It is no longer the case, though, due to range limitations.
So, is a home automation hub necessary?
Ultimately, yes, because it eliminates the need to use various apps if your smart home devices and appliances are made by multiple brands.
As we mentioned, a hub can help you to automate your home from a single app as long as they utilise the same protocols. To illustrate, you can set a schedule for your smart curtains, feed your pets remotely, and monitor your smart camera through an app from the hub’s manufacturers.