Best Switches/Outlets for use with Google Home (Google Assistant) - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 34 Old 08-30-2017, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The_Forth_Man View Post
Short answer is Yes





Yeah go with an open standard if you can.



That's pretty much all you need to know right there nicely resumed.

On a side note very similar system here also looking a the main shut off valve for the house what are you looking at? and how do you like the Harmony hub integration as a whole?

Sorry Op not trying to Hijack your thread but it's great to have Fellow AVS'er input here.
Nah you are perfectly fine. I will want to incorporate Harmony into the mix as well for home theater control anyway. I was also going to have Harmony questions... I have always had Harmony remotes activities. I am curious to see how the Harmony Hub can improve things

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post #32 of 34 Old 08-31-2017, 07:01 AM
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Hi,

I can not stress enough one thing and that is to "Do Your Homework". There is an old saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". That being said, let's move on.

With regards to the main water shut off. One thing I like about Wink is that they keep me informed of all the new devices that come available that works with the Wink system. Here is a >>
<< that you may find interesting. I have attached some images from a recent Email that Wink had forwarded to me. These are just the new ones that have been added to an ever growing list of devices that Wink works with.

As for the Harmony system, again I stress that you do your homework. There is so much information on YouTube and other websites as well. Since my wife insisted on not having the home theater on vocal command, I have limited the harmony system to two areas. One is the outside sound system, where the receiver and CD player are located in the garage. This system once consisted of an IR repeater which was difficult to use in direct sunlight. Now it is vocally controlled. I attach the Alexa Dot to a usb battery pack and make the unit small and portable, which will operate up to 10 hours. The second system is in the living room area. My wife loves her music and she says it is easier to state a command from the kitchen than to go into the other room and find the remote to make any changes.

I am going to state very clearly that I did have an issue with my home automation system and you might want to take note of it. There was a time when the system would crash frequently. After investigating it, I found that my router was the cause. The router was a ten year old device and protocols had advanced since I had put it in. Like most people, once it was installed it never came to mind again. To keep this short, I bought a new router (Tri-band with a guest mode). Went on line and found a website that generated passwords of any size and another that tested the strength of the passwords. The router would only allow a 15 characters but set all others to 24 characters. Split the two 5 Ghz and the 2.4 Ghz bands for the home automation and then dedicated the guest mode for tablets, phones and everything else. Since the "guest mode" will not allow the router to be altered, this added the security to the system. The other feature I looked for in the router was "MIMO". My old router was a first come first serve (sequential), and the new one is now Multi Input Multi Output. There is more reasons for my choice in the router attributes but I feel you get the point.

I am very fortunate that my wife loves the toys that I get as this makes it easier to expand the system. For those on a budget, do not an go out and buy everything at once; the cost is incredible. My suggestion is to buy a vocal command unit (Alexa or Google Home), an control hub (in my case Wink) and one device such as a light switch. Then every month or two buy another device and incorporate it into the system. With in a couple of years the home automation will be complete and can be done at your pace. Look at the cost of what you are buying. Here is an example, Home Google is $130 but the Alexa Dot is only $50 and since my home needs a minimum of three units, Alexa became the choice.

Well I think I bored everyone enough so I will end this now but if you still have a question or two, I am more than happy to give my two cents worth.
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post #33 of 34 Old 08-31-2017, 08:04 AM
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I am on the market for the most reliable way to use Google Home/Assistant to control lighting (and some other things) in my home. I have looked into Philips Hue and while the idea is really great, I worry about the durability of the individual bulbs. My home has quite a few multi bulb fixtures and swapping them all for $15 white wifi bulbs pus the cost of the hub may not be the greatest investment if they are not durable. I also figured that leaving the manual switches in place may cause problems with what control Google Home would have over them if the old switch was left in the off position.


So, I looked more to swapping out the switches and outlets themselves. In this research I have come across some scary stories about Wemo not having the best Wifi Stability. Does this seem to be a recurring problem? Reading that sent me in the TP-Link direction, where I have seen less sob stories about them, and the cost is better than Wemo's. I also see that Lutron is now supporting Google Home, maybe that is a route to look down too???


I would need to swap out 7-8 light switches, dimmers not required but would be nice, and some plugs as well. Anyone have any thoughts on these products? This will be a long process of upgrading all my equipment but I would like to get started and stick with the same brand throughout if possible. Any suggestions are welcome... Thanks!
I've used my Google Home to control many things, including Philips Hue bulbs, and the two work together very well. Obviously Obviously, you've never owned a Philips Hue bulb because the bulbs are LED, which will just about last forever. When you use Philips Hue, the light switches stay on all the time, and you can either buy some switches to control them (you can control as many lights with one switch as you want) and the switches/dimmers are all wireless. Philips Hue doesn't use a hub so it's much easier to control them. You can also used their app, your voice with Google Home, or they can be integrated with other systems like Samsung SmartThings.

I've used Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, WeMo, LIFX, Wink, just about anything available. To be honest, I think IFTTT is probably the best app available for controlling everything on a schedule. I had all my lights setup on a schedule and hardly ever used a switch. I also had my Nest, WeMo, Samsung, etc all tied into IFTTT and everything worked like a charm.

Unfortunately, this was all setup at my old house so I don't use any of these anymore since I don't spend much time there anymore. I had my new house wired and setup for a Control4 system, and I have an entirely new lighting system. There are drivers available to use Google Home and Philips Hue with the Control4 system, but I haven't set any of them up yet to work with the system. Prior to moving, I used my Google Home with my Hue lights for years, and I've never had a problem using any of it nor have I ever had a light bulb go out on me, which is one of the reasons every bulb in my new house is an LED bulb.

There are so many different options available today that I'm sure different people have had success using other systems tied together, but in my experience, using my Google Home to control my Philips Hue bulbs, turning them on/off and changing the colors, always worked very well. I miss using that lighting system, but my Control4 works very well too. The Control4 is in an entirely different league, but for a "do it yourself" inexpensive lighting system, I don't think the Philips Hue can be beat.
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post #34 of 34 Old 08-31-2017, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rolldog View Post
Philips Hue doesn't use a hub so it's much easier to control them.

Did you type that correctly? Im confused again. I thought for sure Hue Bulbs had to have the Philips Bridge to operate? Are you saying that you controlled your Philips Hue bulbs straight from GH?
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