When I started on this journey, it was just an educational hobby. I researched what open source systems were available and what device protocols were used, especially ones designed for the smart home.
I found, at that time, Zigbee & Z-Wave were the two large standards with decent compatibility. I also found that all Wi-Fi based smart home devices use the crowded 2.4 GHz RF space instead of the more efficient 5 GHz one. Due to my experience with 2.4GHz as a Wi-Fi engineer I decided to not try Zigbee initially but, since I am in North America, I was able to buy a combo stick that did both. I bought some Z-Wave devices that appeared to be compatible and started my journey.
I later bought some cheap Chinese devices because Z-Wave is so expensive. The plugin switches work pretty well but the PIR sensors were basically a mistake.
I left HA for openHAB about 3 years ago when both were undergoing changes due to the poor support in HA at that time for my particular devices.
I came back here about a year ago due to the awesome
zwavejs integration and because the developers here listen & respond to user concerns. I was told over at OH that I needed to wait 3 months before using my new device because they broke backward compatibility during a minor version development with no prior warning, which broke device database updates.