We’ve received very positive response from the community on Homey since we posted our First impression of Homey. The home automation scene has been stagnated with the usual hubs and people have been looking for a hub to upgrade or be excited with.
Today, we are sharing more on creating flows on Homey. In Vera and Fibaro it is called Scenes, in SmartThings, it is called Routineswhile in Homey it is called Flows.
For the sake of comparison and for you to judge, here’s some screen shot of the Vera and Fibaro scenes and SmartThings routines.
The Vera scene has a textual wizard to step through the scene creation.
The Fibaro scene uses blocks for specifying logics.
SmartThings’s routine is also a little like Vera, except that you do it mostly on your mobile devices.
Here’s how Homey’s flows look like. Refreshing huh?
The flow editor is done on their Homey desktop application.
Homey’s flow is based on a card system that has a when (trigger), and (condition), then (actions) and else (actions). In short,
“When something happened, and this and that are true, then do that.”.
Basically you just drag the component cards from the left bar into the 3 columns. The cards are also contextual, meaning if you drag a switch to the if column, you can only see the respective option cards for use in that column. This screenshot should give you a better picture. In this example, the same wall plug is dragged into the “when” and “then” column multiple times. You can then choose the different triggers and actions by flipping the cards. You can also send values (cards with tags) to placeholders to conditions for evaluation and actions.
Let’s go a little deeper with a frequently used example. In this example, we want a standing lamp to turn on when there is motion, but only between 6PM to 6AM. Here’s how to:
In this example, not only the standing lamp wall plug is turned on, Homey will also announce “Motion Detected” and pulse its LED in red. If you are familiar with Vera and Fibaro scene, you will know that the “time in between” condition is not available and you have to achieve the above with 2 scenes instead on 1 in Homey.
Let’s move one to a more interesting use case. Where a condition is being evaluated. In this example, we want to make sure that the last person who leave the house locks the door. If this happens, send a Telegram message specifying name if the last person who left the house and then automatically locks the door. Here’s how:
Looks simple? If you notice on the left bar, you can also do a lot with other devices such as DoorBird, Ring, IR devices etc, each with their very specific triggers, conditions and actions.
We feel that the flow editor provided another way of defining automation. In a way, Homey made everything seemingly simpler and yet able to achieve more complexed scenes in a single flow. Check out this link for a introductory page to Homey Flows.
In our next few articles, we will share more on other integrated devices such as DoorBird, Ring, music IR and 433 devices. So do keep a look out for them!
Source : Automate Asia Smart Home Blog