Which is the best home automation system

The best smart home systems 2020, overview, comparison and test

Smart home is on everyone's lips. However, it is often not that easy to keep an overview of the various smart home systems that exist.

Do you want a smart home lighting system, a smart home alarm system or a smart home control system or everything?


Here I would like to try to give you a small overview of the currently most recommendable Smart Home products and systems.

Curious? Interested? Then read on!


Tested by Techtest.org!

In contrast to other overviews that you can find on the Internet, Techtest.org has really tested all of the systems listed here in its office!

The following systems have been tested so far:

Which smart home system is best for me?

Smart homes are not just smart homes; various products fall under this category. The most popular categories are certainly security, lighting, heating and audio.

Some systems are very closed here, while others are quite open when it comes to control. A good example would be Philips HUE, which can be controlled via Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, IFTTT etc., in addition to its own HUE app.

There are also systems that cover several fields. For example, Philips only offers lamps, while HomeMaticIP offers security, heating and general home automation.

Here you should consider whether you are looking for one system for everything or the best system for a category. Getting both is not easy.

As a rule, if you want to network your entire house, you will have to cut it up a bit.

Finally, consider how you want to control the systems. Do you have a voice assistant like Amazon Echo? Then maybe you should choose systems that work with this one.

The same applies to Apple HomeKit, for example. The Apple HomeKit support is always a bit more "problematic", since Apple, in contrast to Google and Amazon, requires license fees from the manufacturers for the use of HomeKit. Therefore, the selection is a bit smaller here.


Which is the best smart home alarm system?

Perhaps security in your own four walls is also a very important issue for you. Burglaries are slowly declining again, but depending on where you live, the number of burglaries is still "worrying".

The acquisition of an alarm system can perhaps be useful here. Gone are the days when an alarm system had to be installed by a specialist, most smart home alarm systems are child's play to set up and install.

I have tested the following systems so far (in no particular order):

Here again it depends on your requirements. Do you just want it? Extra secure or universal? Let's just take a look at my recommendations here.

 

The safest Egardia alarm system

Probably the safest smart home alarm system is the Egardia model. Here we are already going in a professional direction! This alarm system can detect jammers, has an emergency battery, sends SMS notifications or calls you in the event of an alarm. There are also interesting expanding modules such as a glass breakage sensor.

The disadvantages here, however, are the costs. Egardia “persuades” you to take out a monthly security subscription, which is necessary for many functions, such as SMS or telephone notifications. Therefore, the Egardia system is primarily suitable for professional users who want to secure a business or office.

  • + high safety factor
  • + SMS and phone notifications
  • + easy to use
  • + semi-professional
  • - monthly costs for the full range of functions
  • - pure alarm system
  • - high initial acquisition costs

Homematic IP or iSmartAlarm is certainly a little more interesting for private people.

 

The universal one, Homematic IP

Homematic IP probably offers the greatest variety of modules and functions. These are not limited to security, i.e. door / window contacts, but Homematic IP also offers smart radiator thermostats and lots of other modules such as roller shutter actuators, smoke detectors or wireless door locks.

The Homematic IP system is quite open, including Amazon Echo support or for the Telekom Smart Home system. In terms of price, Homematic IP is in the midfield. If you are concerned about data protection, don't worry. Homematic IP is a German company.

The use and setup is also exceptionally easy. Homematic IP is the ideal system if you want to delve a little deeper into the world of the smart home and home automation.

However, Homematic IP is not a "special" alarm system. This can be used to the full for this, but does not focus on it.

  • + gigantic selection of sensors, modules, etc. from all areas!
  • + fair acquisition costs
  • + German system with German data protection
  • + very easy to use and install
  • + Home automation functions
  • 0 Not a pure alarm system
  • - Functional scope partly trimmed to very "simple"
  • - Cloud based

 

Simple, good and reliable? iSmartAlarm!

iSmartAlarm is the price-performance king!Do you want a cheap, good and easy-to-use smart home alarm system? Then look no further!

The iSmartAlarm system works excellently in everyday life and the individual modules are comparatively cheap. Therefore the iSmartAlarm System would be a little bit my insider tip!

I use this myself, which perhaps speaks for my trust in this system.

The only disadvantage is that the iSmartAlarm system is really just an alarm system. So there are no smart smoke detectors, radiator thermostats, etc.

Accordingly, the app is also, for example, fully trimmed to function as an alarm system, which makes it very clear and simple.

  • + favorable purchase prices
  • + very easy and clear to use
  • + reliable!
  • + sure
  • - Pure Smart Home alarm system, no other modules

Interesting feature, but not cheap, Somfy Home Alarm System

Somfy Home Alarm System is clearly a more exotic system, but it does offer a few interesting features.

First of all, this is a pure security system. There are no radiator thermostats or the like. For this you need a second system.

What makes the Somfy Home Alarm System interesting are the "special features".

  1. A battery backup, even if the power fails, the system (the acoustic alarm) remains active for 4 hours. If your neighbor also has a Somfy Home Alarm System, your system can even connect to it in an emergency. So you can receive app notifications even when the power and internet is gone.
  2. Somfy door / window sensors react to vibrations. This can trigger them if someone tampered with the door / window, even if it is not yet fully open.
  3. The remote control can automatically deactivate the alarm system if you approach it with it.

These are quite interesting and relevant features. However, the basic set of the Somfy Home Alarm System is not cheap at almost € 400!

  • + chic app
  • + Battery backup
  • + automatic deactivation of the system
  • + sure
  • + can deter burglars before they are in the apartment
  • - pure alarm system
  • - very expensive

 

Summarized:

There are of course tons of alternative systems such as Innogy Smart Home or Telekom's Magenta Cloud, but these three would be my favorites right now. Especially since many of the modules of the Magenta Cloud are actually HomematicIP modules that have only been labeled.

The “Bosch Cloud” system also offers a lot of potential. However, to be honest, the app was not able to convince me or only to a limited extent. You can tell that a little fine tuning was needed here. Bosch was, however, quite diligent about this.

At the moment I would prefer the HomematicIP in direct comparison with Bosch Smart Home, but this may change soon.

If you want more information about the other smart home systems, take a look at the tests on them.


Smart heating and air conditioning

When it comes to controlling radiators, I have tested the following systems so far:

Let's take a closer look at my favorites here again. Of course, this does not mean that the other systems are bad, that is not the case. In fact, most smart home "heating systems" are very neat!

 

The feature king, tado °

As for features and functions, that is tado ° System clearly the most extensive! Tado is a pure smart home system for temperature control. This has advantages and disadvantages.

Tado can really focus on its radiator thermostats. These are not only equipped with a chic design, but also master many advanced functions. Most simple, smart radiator thermostats only allow you to create a heating curve, i.e. from XX to XX o'clock XX degrees. Tado is more flexible here.

For example, Tado supports geolocation. If you are not at home, there is no heating, regardless of what the regular schedule says. Tado can also recognize open windows via changes in humidity and then also adjust the heating.

The app is also pleasantly modern and chic! In short, the perfect smart home heating system, if it weren't for the costs. In terms of acquisition costs, the Tado system is one of the most expensive systems on the market! You also have to pay for some features afterwards.

  • + largest range of functions
  • + easy operation
  • + Geofencing
  • + chic design
  • + Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant support
  • - high price
  • - Pure system for heating control

Also very good! Netatmo!

The system of Netatmo is very similar to Tado! Both have very similar features; Netatmo only lacks geofenching.

There is, however, a very good app with detailed but simple setting options, open window recognition and a really stylish design!

The bottom line is that the Netatmo smart radiator thermostats are very popular and are especially interesting for users who want it to be as simple as possible.

Unfortunately, the thermostats from Netatmo, similar to those from Tado, are quite expensive!

  • + chic design
  • + very easy to use and set up
  • + various bonus functions, such as an open window detection
  • + Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant support
  • - expensive
  • - Pure system for heating control

Solid and universal, HomematicIP

Of course, the HomematicIP system should not be missing here either. This is much more universal than the systems from Tado and Netatmo.

You can use HomematicIP to control your heating, as a smart home alarm system, for home automation, etc. Homematic has almost countless sensors and modules.

So if you don't just want to control your heating, but also immerse yourself deeper in Smart Home, then this is the system for you!

However, in terms of the range of functions specifically for the radiator thermostats, HomematicIP is weaker than Tado or Netatmo. You can only program simple instructions, such as from XX to XX o'clock 20 degrees, from XX to XX o'clock 22 degrees, etc.

There is no automatic open window detection, let alone geofencing. Of course, you can also control your heating while on the move, but there are no "luxury" features.

But a HomematicIP radiator thermostat costs just under half that of a Tado or Netatmo.

  • + very universal system
  • + easy to use
  • + very robust radiator thermostats
  • + reasonably priced
  • - few bonus features

 

For Fritzbox owners, AVM FRITZ! DECT 301

Do you have an AVM Fritzbox? Then the AVM FRITZ! DECT 301 radiator thermostat could be of interest to you!

As far as the hardware is concerned, this is extremely robust and reliable, including ePaper display, etc.

Although the range of functions is very clear, similar to HomematicIP, if you have a Fritzbox, you do not need a separate bridge or base station.

This significantly reduces the acquisition costs! The single AVM FRITZ! DECT 301 module is also very cheap at under € 50.

  • + ePaper display
  • + reliable
  • + cheap to buy
  • 0 uses a FritzBox as a base station
  • - Few bonus features

Smart home lighting, there is more to it than Philips Hue!

Smart home lighting is trendy. The pioneer and certainly the most popular system is without question Philips Hue. However, there are now various competing systems.

I have already tested the following smart home lighting systems:

Here you will find a more detailed comparison and information about the individual systems.On this page, therefore, only a brief summary of which systems I recommend for whom.

 

Philips Hue is number 1!

To be honest, I would recommend Philips Hue to 95% of all users! There's a reason the Hue system is so popular.

On the one hand, the Hue system is compatible with pretty much every smart home assistant such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, etc., on the other hand, the variety of lamps and light sources is hard to beat.

A Philips Hue lamp is available for most sockets. If not, Philips also offers various “ready-made lamps”, including bulbs.

But it all comes at a price and I mean that literally. The Philips Hue bulbs are of high quality, but this is also reflected in the price.

But if you want the best smart home lighting system available in 2019, then you have to use Philips Hue.

Another advantage, you don't have to worry that the manufacturer will give up the system at some point and you will end up with an old system.

If the bulbs are too expensive for you, no problem! It is possible to integrate alternative "Zigbee" compatible lamps into the Philips Hue Bridge. These work like original Philips Hue bulbs, only Apple HomeKit does not work with them.

In return, you have all the advantages of Philips Hue paired with a fair price. A Philips Hue Bridge costs just 40 € and a cheap and good RGB LED light bulb from, for example, Innr + - 30 €.

  • + large selection of lamps and light sources
  • + The system is regularly supplied with updates and new functions
  • + great compatibility with 3rd provider systems and services
  • + Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit Support
  • + easy to use
  • + many functions
  • + very high quality
  • + Bridge very cheap (40 €)
  • - Original bulbs and lamps are quite expensive

 

You only want to convert a few lamps?

If you only want to convert one or a handful of lamps, then take a look at the TP-Link system. The TP-Link Smart Home lightbulbs are integrated directly into your WLAN, so an additional bridge or similar is not necessary.

The TP-Link Smart Home lightbulbs are available in various designs, for example with RGB or without. The TP-Link lamps are also compatible with Alexa.

Alternatively, the Eufy Lumos would be recommended. These smart lightbulbs from Eufy are a little cheaper, but currently not available in Germany in "colored", only with white light.

 

The best possible light

The main thing is colorful and bright? Then check out the system ofLIFX at. The smart LED lamps (bulbs) from LIFX are not cheap, but the light quality is excellent!

The LIFX bulbs can even outperform the Philips Hue Color bulbs in terms of brightness and color display without any problems.
  • + good and extensive app
  • + very bright and high quality light
  • 0 no bridge required (WLAN)
  • - quite expensive
  • - smaller selection

 

The price / performance hit

That offers the best price / performanceIkea TRÅDFRI system. The simple smart bulbs are available for under € 10, the controller for under € 30 and remote controls for € 15.

The app is very tidy and the support for third-party systems such as Amazon's Alexa or Apple's HomeKit is exemplary.

However, the only colorful (RGB) lightbulb available for the Ikea TRÅDFRI system is of poor quality. So if you like colored light, there are better systems for you. Nevertheless, when it comes to price / performance, the Ikea TRÅDFRI system is hard to beat.

  • + very cheap
  • + reasonable selection of lamps and light sources
  • + System is well maintained
  • - Few RGB bulbs

Alternative light sources for the Philips Hue system

The rather high prices of Philips bulbs can be avoided a bit. It is possible to integrate alternative light sources from, for example, Ikea, Innr or Osram into the Philips Hue system.

All you need is the Philips Hue Bridge and the appropriate "Zigbee" compatible light source.