Wink FAQ

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Wink FAQ originally compiled by Paul Ferrara

Wink users FAQ
This is a user generated document created from the collaboration from members of the Wink Users Group on Facebook
This is not an official Wink or Quirky document. For official support, contact Wink on their website (http://www.wink.com with live chat), by telephone (1-844-WINK-APP), by e-mail (mailto:questions@wink.com), or by their official social media channels (@thewinkapp, Facebook.com/wink).

See a list of links and helpful resources here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WinkUsersGroup/permalink/655516751220382/

Introduction to Wink

The Wink Hub is designed to work with Wink Certified devices. There is limited support for general Zwave devices.


Pros:

Support for 7 protocols (6 radios plus a software API) Strong industry partnerships (GE & Home Depot in particular) Simple setup & usage via smartphone Live help (free!)

Cons:

No Ethernet port (wireless only) Designed for Wink Certified devices, not general Zwave/Zigbee device compatilibity


What is Wink?

Wink is an off-the-shelf smarthome system from a company called Quirky. It is being released in July of 2014 with a few design goals in mind:

  • "Internet of Things": Make anything talk to anything (ex. using your iPhone to open your garage door) via support for a variety of communication protocols such as Wifi & Bluetooth.
  • Smartphone control: Support for iOS & Android out of the door.
  • Easy to use: Setup the Wink Hub (central controller), purchase a Wink-certified product, and simply scan the barcode of the item to connect it to your home network.
  • Inexpensive: Some smarthome systems cost tens of thousands of dollars; the central hub will be available for only $50.

The idea is basically consumer-friendly home automation, with a focus on using your smartphone as the remote control for your house. The ecosystem will consist of the Wink Hub (the "brain"), your smartphone (the "remote"), and Wink-certified products (the things you control). Note that support is not guaranteed for products that are not labelled "Wink Certified" (such as pre-existing Z-Wave products). The Wink Hub talks to your smartphone via your wireless router & then communicate commands to a variety of devices through a bunch of different protocols, including popular ones like Z-Wave & ZigBee. The iPhone app & Wink Hub are showing in the picture below:


HubandApp.jpg


Of special note: the secret to Wink's success is that they are a "wall garden" in terms of hardware support. The concept is to use "Wink Certified" hardware with the Wink Hub for maximum compatibility.


History

Quirky is an invention company started in 2009 by Ben Kaufman. The basic idea is for inventors to submit an idea and get help with the development process, similar to Kickstarter. Quirky has strong ties with GE (a partner in their home automation venture) and Home Depot (a retail outlet for Quirky-branded products). Surprisingly, Home Depot already carries over 600 smarthome products. Their official website links are located here:

Their most recent venture is the Wink Hub, which is an inexpensive multi-protocol home automation server. It currently supports six communication protocols:

  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth Smart (BLE)
  • Z-Wave Plus
  • ZigBee
  • Lutron's Caseta (a subset of ClearConnect)
  • Kidde (433mhz radios for smoke detectors)

In addition, Wink also has an open API for communication with other third-party systems, such as a cloud-to-cloud exchange with Dropcam, so technically there are seven communication paths. Wink-enabled products are split into two product groups:

  • Wink App Ready: These products use Wifi & Bluetooth and can be controlled directly by the Wink mobile app using a standard Wifi router.
  • Wink App Compatible: These require as hub as a middleman to communication (to talk to devices that have Z-Wave, ZigBee, Caseta, or other input controls).

WinkCompatible.png


Wink is subsidiary of Quirky and has several retail partnerships, including Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon.com. The basic idea is "home automation for the masses". They already have several direct-control products on the market, such as the smartphone-controlled Aros window air conditioner. The Wink Hub is the next step in the home automation domain: adding a central controller that not only adds support for additional equipment, but also allows for extra features such as setting timers.


Unique Features

Wink has several features that makes them stand out:

  • Multi-protocol support
  • Corporate backing
  • Product partnerships
  • Easy programming
  • Live help

As mentioned above, the Wink Hub has support for multiple home automation standards, which means that it will have broad product support going forward. Also as mentioned, they have the corporate backing of GE & Home Depot, which no other product has. There is limited support for Belkin's WeMo system & other "easy" smarthome systems in the consumer-retail market, but nothing with as much firepower as what Wink has behind them. Product partnerships is another huge area where Wink is winning. They already have 15 partners signed on with over 60 products available. Again, compatibility with previous products isn't guaranteed; for maximum support, the product needs to have a "Wink Certified" logo on the packaging.

One of the neat things the Wink Hub is offering is Robots, which is basically a light version of creating custom programs, or in modern geek-speak, IFFTT (If this, then that). For example, you can tell the smart bulb in your living room to turn on whenever you open your garage door. And if you're having any trouble setting things up, Wink is offering a free, live-human, 24/7 help line. If you're trying to setup the system and are having issues, it can even detect that and give you a message to call them. They let you use Bluetooth for pairing with the Hub; you can also snap a barcode using the app and also find instruction videos online. It seems like they're going to be trying really hard to make it user-friendly.


General Questions

How do I delete a device if it's gone or unresponsive?

Got a stubborn device stuck in your system or hub? Send email to deleteme@wink.com with the devices you want removed, as well as the MAC address of your hub.

How do I make my lights come on at a certain time? (or hvac event, pivot power event)

Go to the device in question's product page in the Wink app. Tap on the three dots in the upper right hand corner. Scroll down the list to SCHEDULES. Select this and tap the plus sign to make a new scheduled event.

How do I set a robot only to fire between sunset and sunrise?

You need to set up two (or more) robots to achieve this. See known issue #1 at the end of this document.

How do I offset a scheduled event to occur with an offset time to trigger before or after a local sunrise/sunset?

Find a city that has the offset you want and create a new location in Wink for use in the schedule or robot. For example, in New York, the sun might rise at 7AM. However, in Cleveland, OH, it will rise at 7:45AM.

How do I control what devices and shortcuts are shown on my Wink Relay?

Create a new Wink account just for the Relay and share the appropriate devices with it. Then create the shortcuts that are applicable. Log in on the Wink Relay with this account and the Relay will only display the devices and shortcuts defined.

What switches can I use if my electrical box has no neutral wire?

Currently, Lutron makes the only Wink-compatible smart switches that do not require a neutral wire.

Please DO NOT use the bare copper ground wire as a substitute for neutral in any circumstance. Buy and use the correct switch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n8CiU_6KqE

How to keep your configuration when changing access points

by Bob Finkstein

If you want to change your WiFi settings or migrate to a new router you can do it and not loose any of your devices or settings. First step is to power down/unplug your existing wireless router. After a short time with no WiFi connection the Wink Hub LED will start flashing yellow. Wait until the LED starts flashing violet. Be patient, it could take several minutes If the LED doesn't flash violet you can power cycle the Wink hub to help it along. While you are waiting for the LED to change to violet get your phone connected to the new wireless router. Turn off your cellular via Airplane mode and then turn your WiFi on. Less chance of problems. When the Wink hub starts flashing violet, open the Wink App and select "Add a Product" from the Home screen. Then select Hub and then select Wink Hub. Go through the procedure and watch for the LED to go to solid blue. Be patient and give it time. Recently I have found that the Wink App never gets to the last step where it would normally be complete and the Hub is added. Give it some time and if the app seems to hang at the last step you can back out. Just be sure you have a steady blue LED on the HUB. I confirmed this worked last weekend. I am installing a new router and I wanted to make sure I could add the existing Wink hub to my new router without loosing devices and settings. Did it several times and no problems. Just follow the steps as I have listed them. This also works on the GE Link Hub. And now for my disclaimer. I CAN'T BE RESPONSIBLE IF THIS DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU. I also did the test using the most recent Wink App beta version but I see no reason why it wouldn't work on the current non beta release. The information I provided is in the Wink App. Select your WinK hub from the Home screen. On the next screen you will see a picture of the hub. Click on the settings (three dots ...). Select Wink Hub. On the Wink Hub Settings page scroll down WiFi Settings. Below the red block toward the bottom of the page you will see Advanced Options. Click and you will see what i have explained above. What they don't tell you is that you need to Add the hub to complete the process. DON'T USE THE CHANGE WI-FI RED BOX TO CHANGE TO A DIFFERENT WiFi ROUTER. YOU WILL LOOSE ALL DEVICES AND SETTING!!!

How can I extend my Wink range if I have a large area to cover

Adding a 2nd Wink hub to you system in a "dead zone" will add the included networks to that area. Adding this 2nd hub to your account will add in all of the device and allow them to communicate as if on a single network.

This is handy if you have a large home or if you want to include an outdoor area where you can install the hub in a weatherproof location. Just make sure your WiFi reaches the intended area.

How can I turn a dumb switch into a smart switch

These products can do it without modification.

  1. Aeon Labs DSC26103-ZWUS Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller
  2. Aeon Labs DSC18103-ZWUS Z-Wave Micro Smart Energy Switch, 2nd Edition
  3. Enerwave ZWN-RSM1S Z-Wave Smart Single Relay Switch Module with Bypass Function
  4. 2 SWITCHES AT ONCE Enerwave ZWN-RSM2 Z-Wave Smart Dual Relay Switch Module Control 2 Loads

How can I change the state of the LED on GE ZWave switches and Dimmers

GE Switches and Dimmers have a small LED on the bottom that indicated the state of the switch. By default, if the switch is off, the LED will be on.

You can change this by doing a triple tap on the top button and one tap on the bottom button.

What can I do to make sure my Porkfolio or other Electric Imp device pairs correctly

PAIRING "BATTERY TRICK"
When you do the actual blink up and the Porkfolio nose starts flashing green, remove the batteries. After 5 seconds or so, put the batteries back in. Pairing should succeed. This also works with other problematic Electric Imp based devices as well.

I can't get my Electric Imp devices to pair. Help!

There seems to be an issue with "blinking up" an Electric Imp device from an Android phone. Blinking up is when the screen of your phone flashes rapidly to send configuration data to the Electric Imp device. Use an iPhone for best results. If no iPhone available, set screen brightness to maximum and try again in a dark room. Try to "reset blink" a stubborn Electric Imp device as well by going to Help under the pairing menu and select 'Reset Device'. It may also help to power cycle the Electric Imp device before trying to pair or reset it.

A GE Link light bulb has lost communication with Wink. How can I restore without losing my configurations?

When a device is deleted from Wink, it will also be deleted from any schedules, robots or shortcuts. This can be a pain to get everything back the way it was when there is a dropout. In the case of GE link bulbs, they can be re paired without losing any configuration info in Wink. First, reset the bulb by turning it off and on 5 times, waiting three seconds between each off or on operation. The light will dim down and then go back to bright when it is reset. Do not delete it from Wink, only reset the bulb itself. Then, add this bulb as a "new" GE Link bulb in wink by following the instructions in the app. The bulb will blink three times when pairing is complete. Hit cancel on the pairing screen in Wink after you see the bulb blink, as the pairing operation in Wink will timeout and say it was not successful. Go to your lights and power page and check the problem bulb again, it should now be working again and all of your configurations are still intact since it was never deleted from the Wink app. If you have a new bulb instead, something went wrong and unfortunately you will have to reconfigure your shortcuts, schedules and robots to include this bulb.

This trick may work with other unresponsive devices as well if you reset the device without deleting it from the Wink app and add it again to Wink.

What temperature sensors are compatible with Wink?

At this time, only the Quirky Spotter and the Quirky Spotter Uniq.

Can a Lutron Pico Remote remote control any other devices?

The Lutron Pico Remotes can only control Lutron Caseta switches. To control other Zigbee devices directly or to execute Wink shortcuts with a remote, a Lutron LZL-4B-WH-L01 Connected Bulb Remote is required.

What does the light on the front of my Wink HUB Mean?

COLOR MEANING DURATION
Solid green Starting up Under 10 seconds
Flashing purple Disconnected from the Wi-Fi network Until you’ve connected to a Wink account using the Wink App
Flashing blue Pairing mode Under 2 minutes
Solid yellow Connected to Wi-Fi but disconnected from the Wink servers Until communication is restored to the Wink servers
Fast flashing yellow Connecting to the network Under 1 minute
Slow flashing yellow Obtaining IP address Under 1 minute
Solid blue Connected to Wi-Fi/Internet Until device changes state or until Wi-Fi environment changes
Long green flash after flashing blue Device was successfully paired or removed 4 seconds
Long red flash after flashing blue Device failed to pair or be removed 4 seconds
Flashing red Downloading update 5 - 30 minutes, depending on the speed of your internet connection
Solid red Installing update Under 5 minutes
Brief flash green Connected device is changing state (example: a light is dimmed) .25 seconds
Solid white Corrupt Wink HUB memory Please contact customer support at 1-844-WINKAPP

My Wink HUB was working but now it’s continually flashing purple or pink — what happened?

This can happen under a couple scenarios:

  • The Wink HUB was rebooted after losing connection with Wink. The HUB is designed to revert to configuration mode if it cannot establish a connection with the server within 2 minutes of booting up. To recover:
    • Power cycle your router and modem (unplug power cord from wall or hit reset button).
    • Confirm you can access to the internet via another device on your Wi-Fi network. (Are your computer or smartphone able to connect to the Internet?)
    • Once your network and internet service are re-established the Wink HUB will automatically reconnect.
  • The Wink HUB was deleted from your account. If the HUB was removed from an account it will revert to configuration mode the next time it tries to connect to Wink. At this point the HUB can be re-connected to an account using the Wink app.

My Wink HUB was working but now it’s continually flashing yellow — what happened?

  • Once the Wink HUB is connected to Wink, it will automatically re-connect to your Wi-Fi network and Wink if a service disruption occurs. However, if the HUB is flashing yellow for extended periods of time (more than 2 minutes), it usually indicates your internet service or Wi-Fi network are down. Try the following:
    • Power cycle your router and modem (unplug power cord from wall or hit reset button).
    • Confirm you can access to the internet via another device on your Wi-Fi network. (Are your computer or smartphone able to connect to the Internet?)
    • Once your network and internet service are re-established the Wink HUB will automatically reconnect.

Known issues/limitations

  1. Setting a robot with time constraints that cross in to the next day (ie. sunset to sunrise) will not fire at all. Break up your robot into two robots, one with time constraints from sunset-11:59pm and another duplicate robot but with constraints from 12:00am-sunrise.
  2. Geofencing is unreliable. Use at your own risk if unlocking or opening doors.
  3. Wink Relay: Bluetooth LE proximity detection. No microphone or speaker access.
  4. Some versions of the Wink app have a breaking bug where a WiFi password of longer than 13 characters is unusable.