Ready to go all in, need recommendations

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f7393e428f8> #<Tag:0x00007f7393e427e0>

I’ve been playing with HA on and off for about a year. During that time I’ve experimented with different hardward (z-wave, zigbee, wifi) and automations. I’m ready to make the plunge and go all in. I’m looking for some hardware recommendations. Right now I have a mixture of protocols. I’d like to standardize on one.

Everything is still running on a Pi with the db off loaded to a NAS.

Z-wave is nice but has given me the biggest headache. I’ve had issues with the door sensors getting stuck in different states, e.g. HA says the door is open even though it’s actually closed. Also trying to configure the sensors is not always intuitive. For door sensors I have the Aeotec Door/Window Sensor Gen5 and Aeotec Multisensor 6. Here’s an example of their advanced configuration document to configure things like reporting and intervals. It might be a mispercetion on my part but it seems like Z-wave devices aren’t as abundant as before. For example, I did a google search for smart plugs and the selection was very limited.

For zigbee door sensors I’ve been using the Xiaomi Aqara. I really like how small they are. I’m not sure how the range really is for such a small device though. Z-wave senors seem to all be big though. Compared to the Aqara sensors the Aeotec are massive.

I’d like to stick with z-wave since most my devices are z-wave though I’m not 100% sold because of the reasons I gave above. Is my experience with Aeotec normal for z-wave devices or are others like Fibaro easier to configure?

What recommendations does the community have? If you were starting fresh what would you do and use?

I use ZigBee and also have wifi (duh) and BLE devices. Tbh I’d prefer if all the devices existed for BLE and I could standardise on that.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that ZigBee seems more commonly used by HA users over Z-Wave. There’s a lot to be said for going with the crowd, because that’s where you’ll get most support. However, if you’ve already got Z-Wave, why change?

With ZigBee you need wired devices to create a mesh network for battery devices to use (my ZigBee battery doorbell uses the ZigBee always-powered front light). I believe Z-Wave is the same.

Another thing to consider is just because a device is ZigBee, that doesn’t mean it will connect with your hub. Going with something like Conbee II increases your chances, but I have a switch that won’t work with it.

And maybe everything changes with Amazon / Apple / Google / Zigbee Alliance developing “Connected Home”.