Why Home Assistant and Not Wink?


I am interested in possibly setting up Home Assistant, but I have some questions I need help with since I can’t seem tie everything together in my head. Currently, in one of my homes, I have the Wink hub (not the Wink Hub 2) connected to Schlage lock on my front door (I believe this is either using Z-wave or ZigBee). This works great and I can remotely add lock codes to the lock, open the lock, etc using the Wink app.

Now that I have come across Home Assistant, I’m thinking about setting this up in another home of mine to do the exact set up as above. So instead of purchasing another Wink Hub (or Samsung SmarthThings hub) and connecting it to my new Schlage door lock, I’m thinking about doing this with Home Assistant and I’m wondering why do this with Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi vs just purchasing another Wink? That being said, my questions are:

  • I assume Home Assistant in installed primarily on Raspberry Pi (I’m ok with this).
  • If installed on Raspberry Pi, then I would need to go and also purchase a ZigBee / Z-Wave USB dongle?
  • Also, I see on the HA website under ‘Integrations’, I see Wink is listed. What does this mean (I don’t understand)? Since the Schlage lock is either Zigbee or Z-wave, what does this have to do with ‘Integrations’
  • Also, if Home Assistant is installed on the SD card, can I also put other Raspberry projects on the same SD card, e.g. Volumio? Meaning, can only one project run on a single Pi at a time? (basically, can you install 2 Pi projects on a single SD card?)
  • Also, we would like to have some sort of home security system at some point (not cameras, but basicaly door and window sensors), so I’m not sure if Home Assistant is designed for this, or if I need to look into some other project?

Sorry for all of the questions, but hopefully this makes sense.

Thanks in advance!

You can install HA on many devices, RPi is just the most used. I use it on a Intel NUC for example.

You can either link the Wink hub with the Z-Wave devices connected to it to HA or get a Z-Wave stick (the Schlage Lock is a Z-Wave device) and connect the devices to this stick.

See above comment.

You can have as many things on your Pi as you want, but I personally suggest dedicating one Pi for Home Automation only as I don’t want any other “project” interfering with the controller of my house!

Yes you can certainly do this, there are lots of door/window sensors from different manufacturers, different protocols (ZigBee, Z-Wave etc.). That’s the beauty of HA it ties together all your devices from different manufacturers, e.g. I have ZigBee light bulbs from Philips and Ikea, Door/Window sensors from Xiaomi, a vacuum from iRobot etc. etc. all controlled by HA. Without HA I would need to either have x different apps etc. to control devices from different manufacturers or commit to a single manufacturer.


Just FYI, you really really really don’t want to buy another Wink Hub.

They’ve been having issues making payroll as well based on other articles I’ve read so…not a company I would want to invest anymore hardware in.

Edit to add link to article about financial problems: https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/25/20932055/wink-smart-home-problems-iamplus-william-black-eyed-peas

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Thanks so much for the quick reply! I think this certainly explains things. As far as ‘Integrations’ are concerned, I guess it means that if I wanted to use a Wink hub and a Schlage lock, that the Home Assistant ‘understands’ or can talk to the Wink hub directly?

Assuming the answer is ‘yes’, basically, the Schlage lock communicates via Z-Wave to the Wink, and then how or where does the Pi running Home Assistant fit into the equation? The Wink hub then talks Wifi back to my home router and then I would use the Wink app to control the lock, but not sure where or why Home Assistant would be needed in this case?

In the context @gil_happy is asking, I don’t believe he would understand this answer.

@gil_happy, The SDCard on a Raspberry Pi is the Operating System. In much the same fashion your laptop/desktop has a hard drive/solid state drive to run the operating system. You can only run ONE operating system at a time. If you load the HassOS image on the SDCard, that is the only Operating System you can run. If you run a normal Raspbian OS, you can install HassIO/Home Assistant and run any number of other supported applications on the same OS. The difference here is that it can’t be another OS. It needs to be either Docker, or an application you can install. I think they offer Volumio in Docker form? (not sure, I haven’t messed with Volumio in years).

So the real answer is, you can install a proper operating system and run whatever you like, as long as it runs in Docker or as an application on that OS.



Ah, thanks ‘flamingm0e’… that certainly explains the Pi a little bit as I wasn’t familiar with ‘Docker’.

The point of Home Assistant is to get away from the reliance on the cloud options offered by companies.

It just so happens that HA can talk to Wink, so if you had a big Wink installation, you could just “import” that infrastructure into your HA instance. I think you are confusing the purposes.

Wink is cloud based, and you rely on their services. Home Assistant doesn’t rely on the cloud (depending on the integration you choose). So from your standpoint, you are seeing HA to be the same as Wink. They aren’t the same at all, even though they both have the ability to talk to devices. If you had more than just a lock, like say you wanted to control some Phillips Hue lights, or TP-Link lights/switches, how would those integrate with Wink? Home Assistant is an entire hub that brings together lots of differing technologies and allows devices to “talk” to each other without relying on everything being on the same protocol or platform.

Docker isn’t required, but it makes life easier. If you run HassIO/HassOS, you are essentially using Docker, but you probably won’t see much of the actual Docker on the backend. Docker also isn’t installed by default on a Raspberry pi but there are tutorials everywhere on how to install it.

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Yes it can through the Wink integration.

It communicates to the Wink hub and allows you to control the devices connected to the Wink hub.

If you only have the wink hub and are happy with it you don’t need HA, however if you want also to add devices of other manufactureres you will need another app for this device and then another for a third manufactuerer and probably some of these are using cloud so you depend on their cloud service as well. When you connect the Wink hub to HA you can control the lock from HA as well, don’t need to go in the app. You can then also make automations like if everyone left the home, lock the Schlage Lock etc. etc.


Thanks for the explanation on Wink…I think I understand it. Assuming I go Schlage to Home Assistant on the Pi then to my Wifi router, I assume I can remotely access Home Assistant through an app on my phone? Since it is not cloud based normally (but there are cloud options), would I be connecting directly back to my home and need to open ports, etc on my router?

Are you saying that Raspbian OS with HassIO/HomeAssistant is easier than HassOS (per your last paragraph)?

There are multiple ways to remotely connect to HA, either through the Nabu Casa Cloud (5 bucks a month and is used to fund the development of HA) from HA or by opening ports on your router or VPN or TOR or …

Using HassOS is easier but it’s sometimes limited if you want to do more advanced stuff on your host system. If you go the Raspbian route, you install raspbian then docker and then Hass.io on top, if you go the HassOS route, you just flash the pre-build image on the SD-Card and done. Hass.io always uses docker.

You can.

Yes, unless you want to support the project and pay for the cloud option (you won’t have to open any ports then)

Raspbian gives you more OPTIONS, should you want to run other software on the PI (assuming there isn’t already a docker image or an add-on for the software you want to run).

HassOS is treated as an appliance. You have no real access to the underlying operating system. You interface with a GUI wrapped around Docker (the add-ons). It will be the easiest way to get started with Home Assistant, and offers a more “hands-off” approach to setting up Home Assistant and Docker. If you install your own OS, you will be managing that OS and Home Assistant/docker/etc on it.

It’s just a matter of what you want to accomplish. Some people prefer the control of the underlying OS, some people like the appliance like aspect of HassOS.

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