Wink is widely regarded as the most beginner friendly smart home automation hub out there at the moment. Despite the parent company falling on hard times, the product itself has managed to maintain its position as strong competition to SmartThings from Samsung. The Wink and Wink 2 hubs are compatible with hundreds of smart devices and have partnerships with dozens of brands. Here are some of the top Wink compatible products out there in 2018:
1. Philips Hue - The Complete Smart Lighting System
Philips is one of the most popular options when it comes to smart home lighting. Their Hue range includes LED white lights and multi-color lights. Other lighting options include LED strips, lamps, and dimmer switches. The main advantage of the Hue smart light ecosystem is that it gives you the ability to control the lights using remotes, your smartphone, and even voice controls (if you have a smart assistant like Amazon Alexa or Siri).
Hue allows you to control everything from brightness levels to warmth, and colors on these LEDs. Automation is also possible, once you link the lighting to the rest of your smart home ecosystem using a linking device called the Hue Bridge. If you have the Wink or Wink 2 hub, the Hue Bridge will connect to the hub and allow you to configure and control the lighting system.
Hue lights are not the cheapest option out there. But they offer an excellent set of features and are best suited for whole home illumination. The requirement of the Bridge device can be a disadvantage if you want to use just one or two smart lights in your home. But if you plan to have dozens of light fittings and lamps in your smart home, Hue will give you the best value.
The best way to get Hue is to buy a starter kit. It usually gets you a selection of bulbs, dimmer switches, and the Bridge. You can easily add more Hue LEDs to your system, as it is highly scalable.
2. Cree Connected LED - Best Standalone Smart Light
The main advantage of the Cree LED is that you do not need a separate hub or interface device to get the most out of it. The Philips Hue and GE Link bulbs have this problem. If you have a Wink hub and buy a Philips or GE LED, you will have to buy another hub like device from these brands. That is an inconvenience you don't have to deal with when buying a Cree LED.
The LEDs are very affordable and use ZigBee to connect. This makes them perfect for a smart home that has a Wink or Wink 2 hub. In fact, Cree recommends that you use Wink or a Wink Relay to get the most out of their product. On the Wink platform, there are dedicated settings that allow you to get the most out of these LEDs. Since it works with Zigbee, you can even pair the Cree LED to a Philips Hue bridge.
3. Sengled Element - A Cheaper Alternative To Philips Hue
If there is one weakness to the Philips Hue system, it is the relatively high cost of the LEDs and the Bridge hub device. Sengled Element does not have the robust feature list of Hue., but more than makes up for that with a highly affordable asking price. The Sengled Starter Kit is a good 30 dollars cheaper than the Philips Hue and comes with a pair of bulbs and a hub.
The system is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Alexa, Google Home, SmartThings, and of course, the Wink and Wink 2. You get all the usual features, like remote connectivity and app-based controls. The Sengled product portfolio for smart lighting includes basic white LEDs (Sengled Element), LEDs with color temperature options (Elements Plus), lights with built in speakers (Pulse, Sonos), and bulbs with motion sensors and cameras (SmartSense, Snap).
4. Leviton Decora - Smart Plug-In Outlets and In-Wall Dimmer Switches for Wink
The Decora range from Leviton includes several Z-wave wireless enabled dimmers, switches, and smart plug-in outlets for home users. These devices do not need a separate hub to connect to your smart home ecosystem. They are compatible with any Z-Wave based hub, which includes the Wink, SmartThings, and Amazon Echo.
LEDs are not the only route to creating a smart lighting system inside your home. Wireless-enabled dimmers and Plug-in outlets are other options. For instance, you might have a favorite lamp that has only physical on-off controls. What if you want to be able to control the switch from a distance?
This is where a smart Plug-in outlet like Decora enter the fray. You can control these from afar. If any lamp or appliance is plugged into these outlets, you can turn them on and off without having to get close. The dimmer switches can be likewise controlled from afar using either your Wink smartphone app or voice controls if you have Alexa or Google Home.
5. Nest Learning Thermostat - A Smart Thermostat with a lot of sensors
The Nest Learning Thermostat is currently in the third generation of its evolution. The Google-owned Nest Labs has one of the best thermostat designs out there, period. And it is also one of the best performing smart thermostats, with a lot of power saving features. This is an auto-adjusting thermostat that uses multiple sensors, and a built in algorithm to provide a comfortable home temperature schedule for you.
The thermostat connects readily with Wink and provides several nifty features. You can use the Wink app to control the temperature settings from anywhere, even when you are outside. With larger display and sensors with increased range, you can interact with the Nest thermostat even when you are not standing right in front of it.
You can also use the Home-Away mode on the Nest Thermostat to trigger the behavior of other devices connected to your Wink Hub. The Thermostat uses the Home and Away setting to power up or shut down the HVAC system, using sensors to detect if anybody is home. Using Wink, you can program other devices like your smart lights to turn on or off based on the Home or Away setting.
6. Ecobee Thermostat - The Alternative To Nest
Ecobee does not have the glamor or popularity of Nest, but their thermostats can give the Learning Thermostat a run for its money. The Ecobee3 is an excellent smart thermostat with a broad feature list. It is not as good looking as the Nest but makes up for that with the ability to check the temperature levels in each room separately.
The thermostat is compatible with Wink, and you can use the Wink app to control temperature settings. And much like the Nest thermostat, the Ecobee3 also has home and away modes that you can use to control the way other smart home devices behave in your absence. The Ecobee3 also comes with workarounds for installation, in case your HVAC system does not have a C-wire.
7. Chamberlain MyQ Garage - Smart Garage Door Controller
This is an advanced garage door opener with internet connectivity options. The Chamberlain product has native support on the Wink Platform. Using the Wink app, you can control your garage doors from anywhere. One of the main advantages of Chamberlain is the wide compatibility and support they offer with the MyQ Garage.
You can install this product on most existing garage door openers out there. Numerous retrofit kits are also available out there. The installation is very easy and does not require any comprehensive or complicated wiring. The system uses WiFi and Bluetooth for its “smart features.”
With MyQ you can keep tabs on the status of your garage door. If your kids leave it open for too long, you will get a notification and can shut the door even if you are in your office. If you have the Nest thermostat in your Wink platform, you can use the MyQ to set the home and away status on the thermostat.
8. Nest Protect - Smoke Detector For The Modern Smart Home
This is a product from the same guys who make the Nest Thermostat. The idea seems to be to build their own ecosystem of sensors and products with the Nest Thermostat as the central node. But if you have a Wink hub, this smoke detector will work with that as well. Like most things designed by Nest Labs, the Protect is quite stylish.
The Protect is a compact smoke and CO detector with WiFi connectivity. If you have Wink, you can program the system to send alerts to you and others in the event of a smoke alarm. This system is superior to the old smoke detector, as they only had a sound alarm with a short range. You had to be close by, inside the home to be alerted. But with the Nest Protect, you will get the warning even if you are away, in the office or on holiday even.
9. Canary View - A Security Camera with Some Extra Features
The Canary View is a security camera that you can control with the Wink app. Once paired with your hub, you can view the camera feed live on your app. This is an indoor only camera, with 1080p HD resolution. The View has a FoV of 147 degrees, and if you want something with 360 degrees viewing capability, Canary has another security camera called Canary All-In-One.
The camera has features like cloud storage and a dedicated mobile app. It has both motion and person-based alerts. If you take a subscription, you can also access the two-way audio feature. The basic View Camera lacks a siren, but the All-In-One does have that feature. The camera is also compatible with other platforms like Alexa and IFTTT.
10. Amazon Echo - Get Voice Controls With Alexa
If there is one major feature that the Wink platform lacks, it is voice controls. And judging by the popularity of the Amazon Echo smart speakers, voice controls should occupy the central part in the future of home automation. If you have a Wink 2 hub, the Echo smart speaker is the best option to bring voice controls to your smart home ecosystem.
Echo speakers come with Alexa, which is Amazon’s smart home assistant AI. You can ask Alexa questions, and also program the system to control smart home devices using voice commands. For example, if you have Philips Hue or Cree LEDs synced with Wink and Alexa, you can ask Alexa to turn those lights on or off. The AI can also be used to create shopping lists for stuff to buy from Amazon.com.
The Echo speakers can also be used for streaming music. There are three different models in the Echo lineup. The Dot is the smallest and cheapest. It is ideal for folks who need Alexa voice controls on a budget and are not concerned about speaker sound output. The standard Echo has the same features as the Dot, with a bigger set of speakers, and better sound output.
The Echo Plus is the premium model, with stereo quality and built in the smart home hub with Zigbee support. If you already have a Wink hub, the Echo Plus is overkill for you. Opt from the standard Echo or the Dot, and you can save a lot of money.
11. Google Home - The Alexa Alternative With Better AI
The Home smart speakers from Google work pretty much the same way as the Amazon Echo. You can sync it with your Wink platform and use voice commands to control your smart home devices, appliances, and lights. Though Amazon is the leader in the smart speaker and AI market, Google has a better AI.
The Google Assistant works better than Alexa is responding to queries and has better online search capabilities as well. With “ok google” commands, you can turn lights on and off, change the temperature settings, and do a whole lot more. Voice controls are much more convenient than using app-based controls.
Like the Echo, Google Home speakers also come in three variants: the standard Home, Mini, and Max. And the feature list also resembles those of Amazon speakers. The Mini and Home are like Dot and Echo, while the Home Max is a premium option like the Echo Plus.
12. Lutron Caseta & Serena - Dimmer Switches and Shades With Wireless
Lutron is the company that invented dimmer switches. The Caseta is one of their most popular range of domestic dimmer switches and smart plug-in controllers. Serena is Lutron's series of window shade controllers. Both products come with Wink compatibility. Once you sync them to your Wink platform, you can use the Wink App to control the lights and dimmers. You can also turn the shades up and down using the app from anywhere.
13. Kwikset Obsidian - A Wink Compatible Smart Lock
The Obsidian is a popular smart-lock from Kwikset, with a sleek and compact design. The lock uses Z-wave and works smoothly with Wink. This is a simple touch padlock, with no physical keys or Bluetooth controls. The Obsidian has the color of the volcanic rock after which it is named, with a glossy black finish. The touchpad controls work very smoothly, and you can save up to 16 different user codes. Using the Wink platform, you can also automate the locking and opening of the device using other sensors and smart devices as triggers.