|Feature||Home Center Lite||Home Center 2|
|Graphical Block Scene Editor|
|LUA Programming - for advanced control|
|Virtual Devices - IP Strings|
|Virtual Devices - LUA-based|
|Fibaro Mobile Widgets|
|Android Wear Support|
|Lili - Voice Control|
|VOIP - Voice Over IP|
|Number of Plug-ins||Limited to 5||Non-limited|
|Recovery / Backup||Fibaro Cloud||Local USB Drive|
|Home Automation Support|
|Z-Wave Plus (868.4MHz)|
|Z-Wave Protected Mode|
|Max. Number of Devices||230||230|
|IP Camera Support|
|Satel Alarm Integration||Hardware|
|Processor||ARM Cortex-A8 (720MHz)||Intel Atom (1.6GHz)|
|Dimensions ((LxWxH)||90 x 90 x 33mm||225 x 185 x 44mm|
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 important differences compared to the Home Center 2 (HC2).
Scenes enable you to control multiple devices all at the same time. Scenes can be triggered from other devices (such as sensors) or from external events (such as the weather). They form an important function of your home automation system. Fibaro offers three ways to create scenes - Block Editor, Magic Scenes and LUA programming.
Graphical Block Editor
The Block editor is available in the Fibaro HC2 and HC Lite controllers. The Block editor enables you to create relatively sophisticated scenes using a number of customisable blocks. These scenes can have multiple triggers and multiple actions. More information is available in - Creating Scenes in the Fibaro Home Center
The Magic Scenes available in HC2 offer a simpler way to create scenes. They are restricted to only one trigger and one action.
LUA based Scenes are the most advanced scenes available and are based on the LUA programming (scripting) language. These types of scenes allow you to do almost anything, but do require basic programming skills. LUA scenes enable you to create very sophisticated scenes, far more complex than the basic 'If/Then' format offered by the Block editor.
For most users the scenes available in the Block Editor and Magic scenes will meet their needs. However, if you expect to do more complex control, especially things like Multi-zoned Heating, then the LUA based scenes would be the best option. You can also download scenes that have been created by other Fibaro users from the Fibaro Marketplace, saving you the time of writing them yourself.
Virtual devices are what they sound like - devices in the Fibaro controller that aren't 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 (IP Strings). 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 (IP Strings)
Virtual Devices can be created that control products via the IP network (Wi-Fi or Ethernet), using IP and HTTP requests. These are fully supported in HC Lite as they use a different type of Virtual Device configuration and command protocol (IP/HTTP Strings).
The Fibaro Marketplace offers a wide range of Virtual Devices and Scenes that have been developed by other Fibaro users. You can simply download and install these to save you time developing them yourself.
General Software Features
Remote and Mobile Access
You are able to control the system from a smartphone, tablet or computer whether you are at home or away. The Fibaro Widgets enable you to create shortcut buttons on Android and iOS devices allowing you to quickly run often used scenes. Android Wear support also allows scenes to be quickly run from an Android Wear Smartwatch.
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 an 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.
Several Fibaro controllers can be used together to create much larger systems than possible with just one controller. Using two or more controllers allows you to have more than 230 devices on the whole system and you can configure your system to maximise Z-Wave network access by locating the controllers in different parts of the building.
When configuring a system to have more than one Fibaro controller, one controller must be the Master and others the Slaves. Only the HC2 is capable of working as a Master Controller, whereas either HC2 or HCL can be used as Slaves.
The Geolocation feature uses the location based services on your smartphone. When you are within a pre-determined range of your home, this can trigger scenes to run. For instance, a heating scene could be triggered when you are 5 miles from home, or an outside light scene when you are just arriving home. This is only available in HC2.
There are a vast array of Plugins available from Fibaro and 3rd party developers. These plugins help provide support for external systems, such as Philips Hue and Nest, and allow you to do more advanced things without needing to develop your own code. The number of plugins is limited to 5 on the HCL. On HC2 there is no real limit, however, you may see its performance affected if you run too many.
Recovery and Back-up
Both Fibaro controllers can have regular back-ups, and in the event of an issue, can recover a previously saved version of software. The main difference is how this is done - HC2 uses a USB memory stick, whereas HCL stores its back-up on the Fibaro Cloud servers.
Home Automation Support
Both Controllers support Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices, However, it is worth looking at this in more detail as there can be severe limitations.
The Fibaro Controllers do not use a Z-Wave 500 series chip, so they are not actually Z-Wave Plus devices. They do support Z-Wave Plus Command Classes used by Z-Wave Plus devices which means they should work with most Z-Wave Plus devices. However, some device features may not work and you will not get the improvements in range that Z-Wave Plus devices offer as the system will be using the Z-Wave chip to send and receive signals from devices. Other improvements such as extended battery life will still be available as they are at the device level.
HC2 also has software support for the Z-Wave Protected mode which uses AES-128 encryption to make your Z-Wave network much more secure.
IP cameras are supported by both controllers (via the home network). There is support for hundreds of popular camera types, as well as generic camera support.
Satel Alarm Integration
The HC2 also features support for the Satel alarm systems - they can be directly connected and integrated into your HC2 based home automation system.
Getting Help and Advice
Hopefully this guide has helped clarify the main differences between the Fibaro controllers, and what they mean in actual use. If you need any further help or advice, contact Vesternet and we will answer all your questions.