Another post I'm seeing a lot lately, especially with Wyze adding sensors and bulbs to their line up, is what can I do with X? This of course is backward thinking, trying to find a problem for a solution. You don't hear about a great plastic surgeon and then start asking people what you ought to get fixed. You go looking for a plastic surgeon when you think surgery is the fix for a problem you have. In the same way you dive into home automation to make some aspect of your life easier that is troubling you. Odds are you are not going to be happy with the outcome of finding a problem for your solution. But you a good solution to a problem is always a joy.
So the first thing you want to do is come up with a list of things you would like to fix / make easier in your life. Don't worry about if there is something out there to do it or how hard you think it might be. That comes later. Also go overboard here. You will probably find automation is out there is more capable than you thought. For example you might be thinking you would like to be able to turn lights on and off with your voice but wouldn't really like those lights to turn of when you enter and off when you leave all own their own and only use voice control as a backup? The cost difference between remote / voice control and automation is not that much when you are talking more than a couple things.
Prioritize that list.
Next do some research to find what options you have to automate each of those options. Be sure to note costs and needed skills for each option. (Some options might require coding or even hardware modification though most probably will not.) Also lean toward local control, works without talking to a cloud service, where possible.
Now see which hubs and devices (that work together) solved the most problems for YOU in the easiest way. There will probably be compromises to be made at this point. Note you want to lean toward devices that work with the most hubs so you are less likely to need to replace them later when you upgrade. And yes you will need to upgrade or abandon your setup at some point. That is just the state of the world. See Is the cloud over? for just some of the examples of services and devices that have gone away recently. Also drives home why you want to avoid cloud services for your logic whenever possible since there have been many more outages than shutdowns.
Lastly make a plan how start and grow. Odds are you will need a logic hub (as in SmartThings, Wink, Vera, Hubitat or Homeseer not gateway hubs like Hue. Lightify or Google Home) to start even if you plan to start with just remote / voice control unless you are OK with starting over later. Depending on the logic hub you start with this might be a significant outlay in money and or time. So go for the highest priority problem on your list you think you can tackle. Note however you might want to start with an easier one if that top one requires you to learn new skills or depends on equipment needed for other solutions as well. You want to avoid having to recode, repair or replace if possible. For example if controlling lights if top priority you might want to start with a Hue gateway and bulbs and a basic voice assistant. Then you could add all the Hue devices to a logic hub without having to repair all the devices directly as you would have had to do if you bought one of the voice assistants with a built in gateway. If you had gone with "works with" bulbs or switches you would probably need to replace them when you upgrade to logic hub.
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