The hub is the brain of your home automation system. You will use it to configure your equipment, connect them together and control the elements of your installation through an app or the hub interface.
There are a lot of smart hubs on the market. If budget might be one of your criteria, you also have to take a look at the protocols supported by the hub. The protocol is the communication language of your installation. If your hub and your modules don’t “speak” the same language, they won’t be able to communicate. If your system will contain items from more than one manufacturer, you may have to search for a hub that supports multiple protocols.
Also, make sure to check if your hub has a monthly cost.
It is interesting to buy a hub compatible with third-party software services like IFTTT. With this functionality, your hub would be able to communicate with other devices or applications such as Facebook.
Here is a list of well-known existing hubs to give you an idea of what to expect.
Let us know in the comments if you own one of these hubs and what you think about it.
Smart Hub List
|Control 4||Control 4||Zigbee||starting at $600|
|HomeSeer HomeTroller||HomeSeer||Zwave, Insteon, X10||starting at $199.95|
|SmartThings Hub||Samsung||IFTTT, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Nest, Amazon Echo||$79|
|Wink Hub||Wink||Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, IFTTT, Amazon Echo, Nest||$89|
|Staples Connected Hub||Staples Connect||Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Nest, Amazon Echo||$45|
|Iris Smart Hub||Lowes||Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave||$99 +$10/month|
|Lutron Smart Bridge||Lutron||Lutron Clear Connect||$120|
|Harmony Ultimate Hub||Logitech||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||$100|
|Nexia BR100 NX Bridge||Nexia||Z-Wave||$90 + $10/month|
|ISY994iZ Automation Controller||Universal Devices||Insteon, X10||$210|
|iControl Networks Piper||iControl||Wi-Fi, Z-Wave||$199|
|Open Home Automation Bus||OpenHab||Bluetooth, EnOcean, Insteon, Z-Wave||Free|
|Savant Host||Savant||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||$500|
|Securifi Almond||Securifi||Zigbee, Z-Wave||$120|
|Peq||Smart Home Ventures||Wi-Fi, Zigbee||$120|