2 QUESTIONS: ZigBee3 and/or Z-Wave & ST or HUE? Help (dec2018)

I need your help. I take the first steps in a smart home. Please give advice. Now December 2018, many things have changed. And I don’t want to take the wrong steps. Therefore, I ask for your help and hints.

About my SMART home project.
1. Step: I bought ORBI mesh wifi internet in Costco on Black Friday and my internet speed increased by 1000%. Actually now 10 times faster downloading! From 30 to 300Mb\s
2. Step: on Black Friday bought ARLO cameras and ARLO LED and will install them soon.
3. STEP received some new toys from Samsung:
-SmartThings Hub V3
-SmartThings Multipurpose Sensors ZigBee3
-SmartThings Buttons ZigBee3
-SmartThings Outlets ZigBee3
-SmartThings Motion Sensors ZigBee3
-SmartThings Water Leak Sensors ZigBee3
-Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Zigbee Certified
-WaterCop Z-Wave Electric Actuator Motor (ZWACT) Protocol: Z-Wave (not ZigBee3 :tired_face: )

I read a lot about Z-Wave and ZigBee3 and I’m generally confused :disappointed_relieved:

QUESTION 1: What should I do now? I HAVE TO SOON BUY NEW switches and bulbs. But which ones? ZigBee3, so that my ZigBee network is strengthened or can I take both systems: Z-Wave and ZigBee3?

I heard that it is better for mesh to have 30 zigbee3 than 15 z-wave +15 zigbee. In your opinion, is it better to stay in the same system or to have both? I understand that Samsung Smartthings support both frequencies.

QUESTION 2 (most important!):
Now I need to buy switches and smart lights. I CAN’T CHOOSE FROM so many and many problems! What is the best and most reliable thing in December 2019?
should I buy a Philips bridge Hub (why?) or is it better (in the end 2018) without it? Why do I need hue hub at all? What are the advantages of Philips hub and led bulbs and how are they better or worse than others Sengled Element or others led?
What better way to have a smart switch and stupid light bulb, or should they both be smart? or just a light bulb should be smart?

If you started from zero in 2019 which direction would you go? I need your advice. I just take the first steps in a smart house. I do not want to make a mistake and buy everything and try to connect them together and constantly fight.

Here are the answers about the hue bridge: (each topic title is a clickable link)


People have very strong opinions about smart switches versus smart bulbs, but they can both be good. It just depends on the specific situation.

The one thing you don’t want to do is to have a dimmer switch (whether it is smart or dumb) controlling the current to a smart bulb. Because they both can dim, they will confuse each other and you can burn out either the switch, the bulb, or both.

But there are special switches made, some of which are battery operated, which can control the Bulb without changing the current to it, so there are some situations where you will use both a smart switch and a smart bulb. It’s just the smart switch will not control the current to the smart bulb.

If you are OK with doing the rewiring, smart switches will tend to overall end up costing you less and be a little more intuitive to use.

People generally choose a smart bulb for one of the following reasons:

A) they are not allowed or do not want to change any of their wiring

B) they want to color changing capabilities of smart bulbs

C) they have a larger room with multiple light fixtures where everything works off of one switch and they want to divide the room into zones without having to rewire the light fixtures.

D) they want to use some of the other fancy capabilities of smart bulbs, which are usually related to color changing

But if those don’t apply to your situation, the smart switch will usually be better. However, many people, myself included, use some smart switches and some smart bulbs, saving bulbs for areas where one of those four conditions apply.

So it really comes down to the details of each specific place where you need lighting. :sunglasses:


The following is the answer to what kind of switch to use with a smart bulb:

Whoever told you this was incorrect, because it depends completely on the specifics of the set up.

Z wave will be one network, zigbee will be a completely different network. They are both controlled by the smartthings hub, but otherwise they aren’t visible to each other.

A network that had 1 zwave light switch and 29 zwave battery operated sensors would be a much weaker setup than one that had 5 zwave light switches, 10 zwave battery operated sensors, Five zigbee plug-in modules, and 10 zigbee battery operated sensor’s.

It’s not just about how many devices you have. It’s about what kind of devices they are and where they are physically located relative to each other.

Read post 11 in the following FAQ, then go up to the top of that thread and read the rest of the thread, and it will explain about why the different types of devices matter and how you should lay out your network.

There are some things that zwave is better at and somethings that Zigbee is better at. So many people, myself included, chose SmartThings particularly because it can support both protocols, and that lets us match the best device to each individual use case.


There are also people who prefer to have all their devices be of the same protocol, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But you still have to put time and thought into thinking about where the specific devices go and just what kind you should get in order to keep your network strong. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

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You might also find the following thread of interest. It discusses the kind of features that different device classes might have, and why a person might want a particular feature. So it can be helpful before you plunge into reading about light switches or motion sensors or contact sensors, because you will have a better idea about why a manufacturer is showcasing a particular feature.

All good stuff as always, @JDRoberts. You’re still one of the best things about SmartThings!