Wink is compatible with many popular smart home products and is easy to use. The Wink Hub is the central hardware controller for this DIY home automation system, and it connects exclusively to Android and iOS mobile devices using a Wi-Fi signal or internet connection. The system offers local control of lights and smart locks so you don’t need a wired internet connection, only a Wi-Fi connection to the smart home hub, to control these devices with your phone.
The company also sells an alternative DIY home automation controller: Wink Relay. The Wink Relay is a premium touchscreen that allows you to control your Wink smart house system without a smartphone, unlike the Wink Hub. Similarly, Wink Relay is one of the few DIY smart home hubs with a touchscreen. It also doubles as a replacement for standard light switches and has a built-in intercom. The Wink Relay’s most unique feature is that you can connect it to Uber to call for a ride with a few taps and Fitbit to help you track your daily fitness goals.
After you set up your Wink Hub or Wink Relay, the Wink mobile app is intuitive and easy to use. As long as you have the appropriate peripherals, the app allows you to create schedules and robots to control lights, thermostats and locks. Robots are programs that perform simple tasks when the system detects a particular stimulus. For example, you can create a robot that tells Wink to turn on the lights in your home automation system when a smoke detector goes off. The Wink app also allows you to create shortcuts you can use to turn on the lights with a single tap. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can control the system using your voice.
The Wink Hub is compatible with Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee and Bluetooth home control technologies. Wink Relay does not support Z-Wave or Bluetooth, so it works best when paired with a Wink Hub. You can add most types of smart home tech to Wink, usually generic Z-Wave units but also products from Nest, Lutron, Amazon and other smart home companies. Wink sells three DIY home automation kits that are geared toward lighting, security and convenience respectively.
You can contact Wink customer support via a dedicated Twitter account, email and telephone if you have problems with your DIY automation system. In addition to its own products, Wink offers technical support on Wink-certified third-party smart home products. It is uncommon to find DIY home automation systems that offer the same level of support on products they don’t sell. You can also browse Wink's FAQs or user manuals on the company's website for Wink and Wink-certified products.