Fibaro Home Controller Comparison
|Feature||Home Center Lite||Home Center 2|
|Graphical Scene Editor|
|LUA Programming - for advanced control|
|Scene Controllers - LUA-based scenes|
|Virtual Devices - LUA-based|
|Virtual Devices - Multimedia (HTTP)|
|Lili - voice control|
|VOIP - Voice Over IP|
|Processor||ARM Cortex-A8 (720MHz)||Intel Atom (1.6GHz)|
|Dimensions ((LxWxH)||90 x 90 x 33mm||225 x 185 x 44mm|
|Battery Back-up Module||-|
What do these differences mean?
The Fibaro Home Center Lite (HCL) is a very powerful Z-Wave controller packed into a tiny size. It is capable of running your entire home, but does have some import ant differences compared to the Home Center 2 (HC2).
LUA is a programming (scripting) language and is commonly used in home automation controllers to enable users to create more complex control scenes than supported by the controller's Scene editor. The HC2's scene editor enables you to use a graphical-based editor or a LUA-based editor, where as the HCL only supports a graphical editor.
We feel this is the most important difference between the two controllers - and one that you need to think carefully about.
Almost all automation in the Fibaro System is controlled by 'Scenes'. For instance these can make lights turn on when motion is detected at particular times of the day or make several things happen from one simple button press of a remote control. Most of these scenes can be created in Fibaro controller's excellent 'Graphical Scene Editor'. But some more complex scenes are actually much easier to create using a LUA script, and in some extreme cases could only be created using LUA.
LUA is a very useful feature to have, occasionally, a simple LUA script can solve an issue that would have required a complex graphical scene.
Some remote controls that act as 'Scene Controllers' need a LUA-based scene to work correctly in the Fibaro Controllers. This includes controllers such as the Aeon Minimote, Aeon Keyfob and the Z-Wave.me Keyfob. Our guide Using the Aeon Minimote in HC2 shows that this type of controller can only be used by using LUA code.
Virtual devices are what they sound like - devices in the Fibaro controller that aren't linked to physical devices. Virtual devices are very useful for controlling devices via other networks, such as AV equipment that can be controlled from your Wi-Fi/Ethernet system (HTTP). They are also useful to create a simple button in the Fibaro App that can control a number of scenes - quickly and easily.
- Scene and Device Control (LUA)
To create Virtual devices that control scenes you need to use LUA, therefore, these types of Virtual Devices cannot be created in HC Lite.
- Remote Control of 3rd Party Products (HTTP & IP)
Virtual Devices can be created that control products via the IP network (Wi-Fi or Ethernet), via HTTP requests. These are fully supported in HC Lite as they use a different type of Virtual Device configuration and command protocol (HTTP Strings).
Lili Voice Activation
Lili is a voice activation and recognition program in the Fibaro system, similar to Siri in iOS. This is a useful feature to activate different parts of your system and scenes by voice rather than using a smartphone app, remote control or manual switch.
Lili is not available in HC Lite, however, apps such as Tasker (Android) and Siri (iOS) can give the same functionality, although you may need additional hardware or server.
VOIP - Voice Over IP
The HC2 supports VOIP - this is easy to set up and enables you to talk over a IP network (Internet or home network). It's a good feature to create an intercom system or access control (door or gate).
This is not available in HC Lite.
The choice is yours, the decision which Fibaro Controller is best for you, really depends on whether you expect to need LUA in your future system. The other features are nice, and in some cases could be the main deciding factor. So, as with all home automation decisions, you should plan carefully to ensure you get the right controller for your needs (now and the future).
Copyright Vesternet 2014