Initial Setup

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Wink, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise just how easy it is to set up. You simply plug the hub in, wait a minute for it to boot, and then download and run the Wink App on your smartphone. It asks you to create an account, and automatically finds and adds your new hub.

Really. I’m not kidding. It finds your hub without you telling it anything. I can only guess that they’re figuring out which is your hub by looking at the public IP address requests are coming from or something.

As far as Wink is concerned, that was pretty much it. Once you’re through that process, your Wink is set and ready to go. There are a few things you can tweak (like your exact address for geofencing purposes), but not much that really matters.

Adding The Switches

Screenshot - Wink - Select New Device Screenshot - Wink - Add Device

This also turned out to be shockingly easy. You simply tap “add device” in the app. It gives you a list of devices you can choose from, but in my case I just hit “scan barcode” and held the box the switch came in up to the camera so it could scan the barcode.

It then gave me complete, step-by-step, device specific instructions right there on the phone. No digging through the manual that came with your device to figure out how it works!

In my case, I simply had to step through the instructions until it told me to push the switch, and then I pushed the switch. Seconds later, Wink had control of it. Piece of cake.

I’m not sure what happens if you try to add a device that Wink doesn’t know about, but that’s a bridge I can cross when I come to it.

Basic Remote Control

Screenshot - Wink - ButtonsThe wink app is, frankly, simple. Once you add the switch, it appears on a touch bubble, and all you have to do to control it is touch the bubble. What more is there to say?

You can also create groups; for example, I added an “Outside Front” group, which allows me turn all the front lights on and off with a single tap. By default there’s also an “All Lights” group that allows you to turn everything on or off at once.

But that doesn’t really solve my problem, does it?

Meeting The Goal

Screenshot - Wink - RobotHaving remote access on the phone is nice I suppose, but it’s a hassle to pull the phone out whenever you want to do something. What I really need is a way to tie my two new Z-Wave switches together so that one can trigger the other, allowing manual control of both lights from one switch. Wink makes this relatively easy to do.

Provided in the app are “robots”, which allow you to set programmed responses to various events.

In my case, I created two robots: one to respond to the front porch light turning on, and one to respond to it turning off. In each case, the only action was to command the garage switch to turn itself on or off as appropriate.

With those rules added, I can now control my lights exactly as I want to.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a letdown; there’s no wizardry involved.