After an evaluation of 10 home automation systems, four earned a place in this review for offering a complete solution accessible to the average user. Systems by Savant, Wink Hub 2, Logitech Harmony Home Control, and Control4 offer exceptional value to users, though each has different strengths and appeals to a different demographic. Read on for expert insight into their device compatibility, pricing, and overall usability.
The 4 Best Home Automation Systems
- Savant – Best for Apple Integration
- Wink Hub 2 – Best for DIY Automation
- Logitech Harmony Home Control – Best for Gamers
- Control4 – Best for Compatibility
|Prices Starting At||Contract Length||Trial Period|
|Savant||Varied. An average smart home theater starts at $5,000||No contracts or monthly fees||None|
|Wink Hub 2||Hub is $99||No contracts or monthly fees||30-day return policy|
|Logitech Harmony Companion||$149.99||None||1-year hardware warranty|
|Control4||Varied. An average smart home theater starts at $1,500.||$100 yearly contract for remote access to the app. Otherwise, contract-free access from home.||90-day free trial of the remote access to the app.|
*Data as of 04/14/2020
Contracts & Pricing
Savant, one of the biggest players in the home automation industry, sells and shows its products through local dealers. In our conversation with one of its certified dealers, he explained how Savant’s pricing reflects each customer’s needs. With no monthly fees or contracts, its primary cost is upfront consultation, equipment, and installation.
Savant is a great fit for consumers with a mid to high-level budget. An average smart home theater starts at about $5,000 and ranges up to $20,000, based on equipment, programming, and more.
Users prefer Savant’s app and interface to many others, favoring its sleek, stylish look and functionality. Customization is the name of the game for Savant, offering various hubs, control keypads, or touchscreen control centers to match the best tech with each consumer’s unique needs. As of March 2020, the Savant Pro App has a 3.4-star iOS rating and a 2.8-star Android rating, with users citing slow app response and installation bugs as their primary concerns.
Savant runs largely on Apple tech, but also pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s highly compatible with a variety of devices, but does favor Apple. Because Savant relies on licensed, local dealers to distribute, service, and install its equipment, customer service and experience vary. There should be several local options, however, so customers can select the dealer with the best local reviews.
Wink Hub 2
Contracts & Pricing
Wink made the list because of its excellent hardware—no contracts needed. Specially created for users with varied types of smart home tech, the Wink Hub 2 is a powerful ally in home automation. Simply purchase the hub and use it to control all of your separately purchased smart home devices.
The Wink Hub 2 costs $99. There is an older version, the original Wink Hub, which costs only $69, but it lacks Self-Discovery Setup and support for Bluetooth LE. Both come with a 30-day return policy.
Wink appeals especially to DIY consumers, who can purchase, install, and control a wide array of smart home products, thanks to Wink’s extensive compatibility. Should any issues arise, Wink provides helpful troubleshooting materials and online customer support. The app comes in at a 3.1-star Android rating and a 2.8-star iOS rating.
The Wink Hub 2 supports Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Lutron Clear Connect. It pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but not Apple HomeKit.
Related: Wink and Home Security
Logitech Harmony Companion
Contracts & Pricing
The Logitech Harmony Companion caters to gamers and businesses. The only costs are associated with equipment, and it even offers free shipping for orders over $29. With no contracts or monthly fees, Logitech Harmony offers an impressive selection of smart home products for video conferencing, smart office equipment, gaming devices, and other gear.
The Harmony Companion costs $149.99 and comes with a one-year hardware warranty. It includes the home remote control, the Harmony Hub and access to the Harmony app.
The Harmony Companion is compatible with IR, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth wireless devices. Its universal remote is widely considered one of the best, and the Harmony app earns a 2.6-star Android rating and a 2-star iOS rating.
Logitech Harmony Companion is compatible with over 270,000 devices, including brands such as Roku, Apple TV, Sony, Lutron, Sonos, and more. It syncs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Logitech, Inc. isn’t registered with the BBB and buyers’ experiences with Logitech customer services are mixed.
Contracts & Pricing
Similar to Savant, Control4 is a long-standing expert in home automation systems. If users wish to add remote access to their Control4 app, they’ll receive a 90-day free trial, and then they must pay a yearly $100 fee to enable the feature permanently. Otherwise, equipment, consultation, and installation are the only consumer costs.
Control4 is a more budget-friendly option than many professional home automation systems. The company customizes extensively, and as such, pricing varies widely based on each consumer’s needs. A typical smart home theater starts at $1,500 and ranges upward with additional equipment and programming.
Though its interface is more simplistic than some, its functionality is undeniable. The most recent installment of the Control4 for OS3 has a 4.1-star Android rating and 4.6-star iOS rating, with users especially favoring the intercom system and user experience. Consumers looking for a full preview of Control4 equipment can visit a certified showroom, or for other questions, a certified local dealer. Customer experience here varies based on location.
Along with its pricing, compatibility is the main strength of Control4. Syncing with over 13,500 third-party products, consumers can craft the automated home of their dreams. Needless to say, Control4 is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and countless other devices.
Related: Amazon Alexa vs. Google Home
How We Chose the Best Home Automation Systems
Research accounted for device compatibility as well as the cohesive function of each system. Pricing and accessibility to average users also determined our winners. We selected only full automation systems with enough power and programming to control your entire home.
How do I choose a home automation system?
Before researching systems, evaluate your goals for home automation. Are there specific rooms, tasks, or features that are most important to you? What is your budget? After determining your specific goals, finding the right system is much easier.
How much does it cost to automate a home?
For DIY systems, a good hub and equipment typically cost between $600 and $3,500. Professional systems start at $1,500 and range up to $20,000 and more.
What are the benefits of home automation?
Home automation systems combine smart devices into one accessible location, making control much easier. They maximize home security, increase energy efficiency, and improve the home atmosphere.