Smartthings, Zwave, Synology NAS and Apple Homekit

We've been using Smartthings since I got into a Kickstarter for their products. Over the years, we've used the ST hub to control a lot of GE light switches, dimmer switches, and zwave devices. In 2021, I read this article about running Homebridge under Docker on our Synology NAS.

Our motivator (Lynda) wanted to reduce the number of interfaces needed to turn on/off the lights. We'd recently bought a couple of Home Pod minis and were starting to work with the Apple Home app that is on every iOS device. Our end state is that we can use Siri to turn the lights off, which we couldn't exactly do under Smartthings. We've also been able to use some simple automations to control grow lights and fans in the greenhouse based on time, temperature and humidity.

The Synology NAS has the ability to Docker containers. I'd been doing some Docker work before I retired and this seemed like a reasonable self-contained approach. You can also run Homebridge on a Raspberry Pi, but that's just one more thing to plugin and configure if you've got a Synology NAS sitting in your rack.

So, the Synology NAS acts as the server where Homebridge is running in a Docker container. Our Smartthings hub interfaces to Homebridge via Homebridge plugins distributed via npm. Many homebridge "apps" for vendors such as Tesla, Dyson, Ring, Nest, etc. are in various states of development. And, that's the key. Not every Homebridge plugin is up to date or even maintained. Many started as test projects that got dropped over time. 

The Homebridge UI is pretty great. It allows for plugins to be updated and configured via a web UI. It has also allowed me to pull some cheap webcams into the Home / Home+ app so that I can get motion detection and deliveries notices.