I decided to make the jump into a smart home setup. I had always been nervous allowing Google to have unrestricted access to everything I do but at this point, it seems they will obtain the data in some way or other, may as well just embrace it and enjoy the perks of having a smart home!
I decided to pick up several TP-Link Tapo Devices. Bulbs, Cameras and plug sockets. The tapo devices need to be setup with a specific app, which seems to be the standard for smart devices. Having setup everything with this app, I can say that it works incredibly well. Lights turn off almost the instant you press the power button in the app. Seems like they are worth the investment.
Tapo Devices Are Slow With Google Nest Hub/ Google Assistant
All is not well in paradise however. There seems to be a rather significant synchronization issue with Google home and Tapo devices. Maybe it happens with all devices, I only own Tapo for now but if anyone knows of others, please comment below.
Sometimes I can say “Hey Google, Turn off the Kitchen Lights” and only 1 of the 2 lights actually turns off. If I wait 15-20 seconds, it will eventually turn off. But what is causing this kind of a delay? It doesn’t happen with the Tapo app so surely google home is the cause. But surely such a widely distributed device, maintained by one of the biggest software companies in the world should have no problems with this kind of thing. I decided to dig further into the problem.
Is it Poor Wifi Signal?
This is the obvious first choice. If the tapo app uaes Bluetooth and Google home uses wifi, a bad wifi signal to one of the devices might explain the latency. So I decided to sort out a better wifi solution.
Having installed a Unifi device in the center of my home, giving full signal to all devices when I moved them to the new network, it would surely mean the problem is solved right?
Unfortunately not, still seeing latency when using Google home to turn off TP Link smart devices. Maybe there’s more to the relationship than just wifi. I did make the mistake of buying a 100mb POE switch instead of a gigabit, but there’s no way google home needs gigabit bandwidth to turn a smart device on/off. So I need to increase my investigation.
Contacting TP-Link Support
Seems like the best approach to save me time or at least point me in the right direction. I have written up a detailed email and sent it to TP-Link Support. I have yet to get a response but as soon as I do, I will update this post as I continue the debugging to get these tapo devices to respond faster.