WiFi as a protocol in Smart home: In the past you have already read about a smart home with Z-Wave or ZigBee as protocol. However, you can also use WiFi as a protocol for your smart home. By setting up your smart home based on a protocol, you get more options for your smart home.
What is a Protocol?
Before we start, it is useful to explain the concept of protocol in an accessible way and we look at the difference with a smarthome platform. They are two different things. A smart home platform is an umbrella system. Consider, for example, Google Home, Fibaro, Homey or Apple HomeKit. Here you can accommodate various smart products and operate them from the app or with your voice. A protocol is something in the background. It is the language in which smart products can communicate with each other. For example, we can see ZigBee or Z-Wave as a language (protocol), but so can WiFi. A platform is therefore something in the foreground and is in fact the software program with which you can control the smart products. A protocol is the language with which smart devices can connect with each other.
Read more about smart home platforms .
WiFi as a protocol for your smart home
Wifi is an accessible protocol to use as a basis. Almost everyone has Internet from a provider and the included WiFi router ensures that everyone already has wireless Internet. After all, WiFi is already available in most households and you can therefore start using it immediately.
Disadvantages of WiFi as a protocol for your smart home
This advantage is also a disadvantage. Many devices in the house are already using your WiFi network. Think of computers and laptops, smartphones and any tablets. The larger the family, the more people will undoubtedly use this network with one or more devices. If you also start with smart home devices with WiFi as a protocol, noise and malfunctions can quickly occur on the network. The included router from your provider often does not excel in speed and capacity. This makes sense from the provider’s point of view. It simply has to be as cheap as possible.
Wifi is also quite energy-consuming. Devices such as motion sensors, door and window sensors or smart locks with a battery drain quite quickly if they communicate via WiFi. We have seen this with the LSC Smart Connect motion sensor of the Action. The company uses the Tuya platform as a basis, but otherwise works entirely via your own WiFi network. The motion sensor therefore works with a time-out function. Once activated, it takes a few minutes before it can be turned on again. This is purely due to WiFi as a protocol. If the motion detector is always ‘on’, you will soon have to stock up on large packs of batteries (or else have the chargers at hand).
Where protocols such as Z-Wave and ZigBee actually create a network next to your WiFi network, everything goes together with WiFi as a smart home protocol. That is no problem if you only want to purchase a few products for your home, your router should still be able to handle that. However, if you want to provide your entire house with products with WiFi as a protocol, you will soon have to deal with malfunctions and inactive devices. You will then still have to buy a faster (mesh) router (possibly with extra nodes for full coverage in your house) with a larger capacity or switch to a different protocol.
Also read: Zigbee vs Z-Wave: which protocol is better for you?
Advantages of WiFi as a protocol for your smart home
When you read the above story, you may think: “Why should I choose WiFi as a protocol because of all the disadvantages? A fair question, but there are certainly advantages to mention. First of all, of course, the availability of WiFi. Almost everyone with internet at home also has a WiFi network. It is therefore very easy to start with, because you do not have to purchase a hub or other products. You buy a WiFi product, connect it to your WiFi network and get started.
In addition, the purchase price is an advantage. Products that work through Tuya, for example, are often very cheap to purchase. Think of the LSC Smart Connect products that are for sale at retail chain Action. You can already buy a smart lamp for 7.95 euros. If you only want to get a few smart products, then WiFi as a protocol is certainly interesting because it is so easy and cheap.
Of course, advanced users can use a separate part of the Wi-Fi network specifically and only for smart home products with Wi-Fi as a protocol, but that is often not an option for many novice users. We will therefore leave that out of consideration here.
Products based on WiFi
The following brands and products have products that work with WiFi as a protocol. It must be said that the brands below where Tuya is mentioned can also be used with each other. You can simply use these together in the Tuya Smart app, which is also a big advantage that you are not tied to one brand.
LSC Smart Connect
Affordable smart home products that are for sale at retail chain Action and that work via the Tuya platform. The range is quite large with smart lamps, plugs, sensors and even a fixture. Also read the review of LSC Smart Connect .
Marmitek Smart Me
The Dutch company Marmitek recently launched the Smart Me series. These products also work through the WiFi protocol and are based on the Tuya platform. The range includes smart lamps, plugs, sensors and security cameras. Also read the review of Marmitek Smart Me .
Woox also uses the Tuya platform. The range includes smart lamps, power strips and security cameras. Read the Woox review .
Various Lifx lamps can be used without a hub, so you can connect them directly to your WiFi network. For example, read the review of the Lifx Mini Day and Dusk and Lifx + Color and White .
Wifi can be a good protocol to start with a smart home, but due to the many limitations, it is not a smart idea to provide your entire house with smart products based on the WiFi protocol. Then you will soon run into disadvantages such as the limited bandwidth and the high energy consumption that you will especially notice with products with batteries. Would you like to see if a smart home is right for you? Then you can purchase a smart home product based on a WiFi protocol relatively cheaply and easily without an extra hub or other products. If you like it, you can always switch to a different protocol.