Best devices money can buy: suggestions?

I’m helping a friend with his new house. He wants home automation of course. He already uses Control4 at his cottage and doesn’t really like it so we’re going with Home Assistant! (Yeah baby!)

I’m thinking doing a setup that looks a lot like mine:

  • Home Assistant in a container
  • Intel NUC Ubuntu
  • Z-wave devices
  • Sonos
  • Amazon Fire Tablets wall mounted

And adding things I’ve never really work with :

  • Unifi contrôler
  • Emporia energy monitoring

What are the best devices you would suggest? e.g. I’m a big fan of Leviton switches and dimmers but I also love the Inovelli switches. Still don’t know what to suggest to my friend.

In your opinion which are the best integrated and best quality devices currently available?

Do you have any experience with these devices? If not, does your friend accept the fact it will be a learning experience for you and so there may be delays in the implementation? It’s best that you manage expectations up front to avoid misunderstandings. Even friends can eventually become frustrated by delays and bugs. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have been using UPB dimmer switches for many years and they’re reliable and well built (and I prefer their clean appearance which retains the original Decora style). Home Assistant has an excellent UPB integration. However, the challenge is sourcing them (in Canada) because they’re targeted for professional installers and not sold by retailers.

If you don’t mind their non-traditional appearance, you might want to consider Lutron’s Caseta devices. Lutron has been in the lighting business for years and has traditionally sold to professionals but Caseta is targeted at consumers. If you want Home Assistant to fully integrate with all of Caseta’s functionality, you will need to get the ‘pro’ model of the Caseta hub and not the standard one (the integration’s documentation explains it).

If you want to remain with Z-Wave dimmers then I can’t comment on that because I don’t use any Z-Wave devices.

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I’ve been using Z-wave devices for 10 years now (Vera, Openhab, Smartthings and now HA). I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lutrin too, but like you said I want to go something I’m already used to. :slight_smile:

If you have any 10-year-old Z-Wave switches that continue to work reliably, you might want to stick with whatever brand they are. Switch to another brand only if it’s at least as reliable as what you know.

Friends or not, if you stick something in his cottage that proves to be unreliable, they won’t happy. Don’t install questionable stuff unless it’s a sneaky plan to be frequently invited to visit his chalet. :wink:

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