Smart Home Controllers with local processing don’t depend on the internet, so your hardware needs to be of a high standard to run your devices, logic and scenes.
On the other hand, some Controllers run their functionality via the internet, hosted on the manufacturers cloud service. This allows them to centralise their infrastructure and tightly control security, features and functionality all in one location.
Cloud-based Controllers are often cheaper because they run the bulk of the system remotely, and as you expand your system, the service scales-up to accommodate additional devices.
Scenes are very important - they let you control multiple devices all at the same time. They can be triggered from other devices (such as sensors) or from external events (such as the weather).
All Controllers offer ways to create Scenes. Some have intuitive Wizards and Graphical Block Builders which makes it very simple to set things up, albeit at the cost of only being able to carry out simple tasks.
Others have slightly less well polished user interfaces that may be a little harder to use and understand, but will be infinitely configurable.
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