Logitech's clever crop of universal remote controls already dominates our "Best of" list for the category, thanks in part to the nifty smart-home controls that come into play via the Logitech Harmony Hub . Now, a new $100 accessory for that hub wants to put even more connected home devices under your remote's control.
Called the Logitech Harmony Home Hub Extender, the device is essentially a hub for your hub. Plug it in and stack the old hub on top of it, and you'll be able to add devices that speak Z-Wave and Zigbee to your smart-control setup. That includes a wide array of sensors, switches, door locks and light bulbs.
At first glance, that might not seem like a huge jump for the system. Without the extender, the Harmony Hub could already control Lifx and ":="" philips'="" color-changing="" bulbs="" add="" apple="" homekit="" support"="" shortcode="link" asset-type="review" uuid="83016b03-1aba-4684-8959-883c9955f3fb" slug="philips-hue-bridge-2-0-with-apple-homekit-support" link-text="Philips Hue's color-changing LEDs" section="products" title=""> and August Smart Locks enhanced with the Bluetooth-to-Wi-Fi August Connect bridge, along with smart thermostats from Ecobee and Nest .
Before, you'd need one of those platforms to translate those devices' Z-Wave or Zigbee signals into something your Logitech gear could understand. With the extender, you'll be able to connect with them directly, no third-party middle man platform required.
That brings products like the Yale Real Living and Schlage Camelot deadbolts into play, as well as low-cost smart bulbs like the GE Link LED and the Editors' Choice-winning Cree Connected LED . Essentially, that makes Logitech Harmony more of a smart home platform in and of itself -- albeit one that's centered around your home's entertainment needs.
It's a fair question as to whether or not existing users will want to buy in on what's basically a second hub for their system, Still, if you've already started automating your home (or if you've been thinking about getting started), the extender might be a legitimate temptation.
Logitech Harmony has proven to be an attractive means of cutting through the chaos of audio/video connections and entertainment peripherals -- if it can do the same for the smart home, it's worth watching.
Available in the US and Canada only, the Logitech Harmony Home Hub Extender is up for sale now at Logitech's website. For a full breakdown of supported devices -- with and without the extender -- click here.