Most of today’s home automation and control systems offer app-based control for the individual smart devices on your home’s Wi-Fi network. The Logitech Harmony Living Home series puts control in your hands with a handheld remote control that connects all of your home’s smart devices, including lights, locks, blinds, thermostats, and sensors — and eliminates the need for multiple apps.
Logitech has earned a reputation as a well-known name in home theater remote controls and is viewed as an affordable source for a universal remote control for audiovisual systems. The Harmony Living Home series takes its popular home theater controllers and hub and adds the ability to control other devices.
The Harmony Home Control package costs $149.99 and includes the Harmony Home Hub, which acts as the brains of the system to connect your home’s smart devices, and a Logitech handheld remote control. The Harmony Ultimate Home package includes the Harmony Hub and upgrades the controller to the company’s top-tier Harmony Ultimate handheld remote with a full-color touchscreen for $349.99.
If you already own a Logitech remote control, or if you don’t want the functionality of a handheld remote, you can purchase the Harmony Hub separately for $99. The hub allows you to control your devices through the Harmony app on your Android smartphone or tablet or iOS device.
A Connected Home
The Harmony Hub allows you to connect and control a choice of 270,000 devices from more than 6,000 brands, including popular names such as Nest, August, Lutron, Apple TV, Roku, and Samsung, giving you control over lights, locks, blinds, thermostats, sensors, and home entertainment devices in groups or individually. You can also control video game consoles, including Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.
Harmony is not currently compatible with ZigBee or Z-Wave Plus, popular wireless mesh networks for home automation, but the yet-to-be-released Harmony Home Hub Extender will provide that capability.
Remote Control Capabilities
The Harmony Home system provides a sleek and intuitive handheld remote control, so you’re not constrained to using your smartphone for control, although you do need to download the free app to set up the hub and connect your devices. You can also use the app to control your devices when you’re away from home.
Using the Harmony Home Control handheld remote, you can control up to eight separate smart devices or device groups. The remote also allows you to program “Activities,” a series of events involving multiple devices. You can set six different activities that each launch with one touch, so you can take your family room from “Afterschool Hangout” to “Man Cave” to “Date Night” easily.
The Harmony Ultimate Home remote features a 2.4” color display touchscreen. It permits control of 15 individual devices or device groups and includes a dock for recharging. The remote includes a sensor that turns it on as soon as you pick it up, as well as gesture control capabilities.
Is Logitech Harmony the Right Choice for Your Smart Home?
Logitech Harmony is a fraction of the cost of a professionally installed home automation system, such as those by Crestron, Lutron, or Control4, making it an ideal choice for DIYers. Compared to other smart home hubs currently available, the Harmony Home Hub is on the lower end of the price range, but it doesn’t double as a security camera like more expensive options, such as Icontrol Networks Piper hubs.
The SmartThings hub and app, which is priced comparatively to Logitech Harmony, permits control of unlimited devices and allows you to set up notifications and alerts, as well as programming actions (similar to Harmony’s “Activities”) to take place automatically.
If you want smart home control in a handheld remote, Logitech is your only choice right now. And if you already use a Logitech remote for your family’s audiovisual systems, purchasing the Harmony Hub lets you easily control your smart devices in a familiar way.
Written by Paige Sjoblom
Paige is a resident safety and security expert for SafeWise covering a variety of topics to keep your family safe. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing with yoga, enjoying a cup of coffee, or exploring outside. Learn more