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Home Depot’s Hubspace is a great way to start building your smart home

Building a smart home can be intimidating. Not only do you have to figure out which products are best for your needs, but you also need to set them up using an accompanying mobile app and sync them with the rest of your gadgets. It’s all a bit confusing for smart home newcomers — but Home Depot has largely streamlined the process with its Hubspace platform.

Billed as a “smart home platform that makes smart home products easy to set up and control,” it sounds like a great fit for smart home newbies. And after going hands-on with a few products in its growing lineup, I can say it definitely hits all the right notes.

Streamlined and simple

A woman sitting on her couch looking at the Hubspace app on her phone.
Home Depot

Make no mistake — smart home platforms like Alexa and Google Home offer more versatility and a wider selection of products than Hubspace. Right now, Hubspace only has around 100 supported products, and its smartphone app is limited to only the most basic automations (such as setting a schedule or toggling light bulb colors).

However, that’s exactly what you want as someone just starting on their smart home journey. Opening Google Home and seeing hundreds of ways to optimize your setup can be daunting. But with Hubspace, you’re essentially getting a watered-down app with big buttons, colorful backgrounds, and access to your most used features right on the home screen. Jumping from one product to the next was simple and distraction-free, with few options vying for your attention.

Just like the intuitive app, installing and syncing products takes no more than a few seconds and requires little to no DIY skills. I was able to test out several Hubspace products (including the Defiant Outdoor Smart Plug and Ecosmart Smart Bulb), and getting them connected to Wi-Fi and my mobile app took less than a minute. After clicking on a tile to Add a Product to Hubspace, I just had to scan the QR code included with my product. The app then walked me through the entire process, which included the usual steps of confirming your Wi-Fi password and creating a name for your device.

After completing those steps, the device was officially installed. Anyone concerned about the difficulty of setting up a smart home can rest easy with Hubspace, as it was one of the smoothest processes I’ve used. As long as you know your Wi-Fi password, you shouldn’t have an issues getting your devices online.

Alexa and Google Assistant are there when you’re ready

The Hubspace app shown in front of a living room.
Home Depot

What makes Hubspace truly compelling as a beginner smart home platform is that you aren’t limited to Hubspace. The mobile Hubspace app is great when you’re just getting started, as it won’t overwhelm you with information or customization options. But once you’re comfortable with the basics, you’ll be ready to start setting up powerful automations and flexing your smart home skills — and Hubspace simply isn’t built for this.

Thankfully, Hubspace products are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. In fact, it seems as if Home Depot is encouraging users to make the jump to Alexa and Google, with a tile on the Hubspace home screen giving you a way to link your accounts with a single button press.

I used the Alexa Integration feature to get my Hubspace products connected to my Alexa account, and once again, the process was painless. After confirming my Hubspace and Alexa accounts, my Hubspace products automatically appeared in my Alexa profile. I could then control them directly beside all my other Alexa-powered smart home devices.

Because Alexa and Google integration works so well with Hubspace, you won’t have to worry about your gadgets becoming obsolete. Should Hubspace eventually disappear, you can rest assured your devices will be more than welcome on other smart home platforms.

Not perfect, but simple

Home Depot’s Hubspace isn’t perfect. Its catalog lacks a lot of great products, and most items in its lineup are budget-friendly, low-cost options. So, if you want to pick up a premium smart speaker or robot vacuum, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But if you’re seeking a low-stakes way to get your foot into the world of smart homes, Hubspace is a solid option.

Best of all, Home Depot seems to be dedicated to growing the brand, with new products announced earlier this year at CES and a Hubspace-specific store page that lets you browse the entire collection in one location. If you’ve ever been interested in building an affordable, easy-to-use smart home, be sure to give it a look.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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