200 Device Limitation? Really? Any alternatives?

I went to expand my automations as well as replace a few devices and am now getting a message that there is a 200 device limitation. At one point I thought is was 250 (a reasonable number for a programmer in the 70’s using one byte for addressing offsets and leaving a few slots for management entry points).

So - others hitting this limit and do you have suggested alternatives? I was going to explore:

  • A second hub and IFTTT for cross event stuff - but IFTTT only can connect to a single Smartthings hub
  • Using ST for ONLY Samsung crud or stuff I cant connect otherwise, going native for hue, LIFX, etc. and then a combo of AMAZON and IFTTT as my real automation platform

Suggestions?

(And 200? Really? Are these people LUDDITES who program these things?)

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I remember there used to be a UI issue with more than 200 / 220 devices that prevented all the devices being available for selection under certain circumstances, but that was quite some time ago and there were a number of people flirting with c. 300 devices at the time and they were bumping into a limit. So if you’d said 300 was a limit I’d have been surprised that it hadn’t been increased yet, and 200 just seems like a nonsense.

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I hit the wall last night, this could be the end for me. The funny is IDE shows 290 items. It seemed to start last night, at least for me.

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Maybe one of the ST staff can offer some insight…

Tagging @jody.albritton @Brad_ST @blake.arnold

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Tagging @johnconstantelo

THIRD PARTY PROTOCOLS AND DEVICE MAXIMUMS IN HOME AUTOMATION

Zwave has a hard limit of 232 devices per network (for exactly the FF reason you suggest, they reserve some addresses for internal networking stuff) . The new series 700 SOC (“Zwave Plus V2”) Will eventually increase that, but right now there are no smartthings hubs that have that chip, And in fact very few from anyone. And I’m not sure the number of devices has been increased yet anyway, that’s actually a second iteration. You’ll see quite a few Zwave hubs that set an artificial maximum of 150 just because it’s easy to remember.

But smartthings is a multi protocol platform. And zigbee allows for thousands of devices on a single network, which is why it was so popular for commercial Sensornets.

Then we come back to Wi-Fi. Many residential routers have a limit of 32 devices. The more expensive ones tend to allow for more, but you will very likely hit a limit somewhere between 100 and 150. There’s almost always a hard limit of 250, and if you actually run your network with traffic for all of those you may find that your router overheats. (Really.)

Eero is often called out as being suitable for Wi-Fi power users, one reason Amazon bought them.

https://support.eero.com/hc/en-us/articles/207926363-How-many-devices-can-one-eero-support-

One eero can support up to 128 devices (you read that right). That’s one very connected home. However, if those devices are heavily using the Internet for activities like streaming video, you’ll probably see best results using up to 30 devices with each eero.

Where a lot of home automation networks, regardless of protocol, run into problems is when they start adding virtual devices. Especially if they are using them to equate to modes or groups or scene filters. I’ve seen set ups with 25 physical devices and over 100 virtual devices for these kinds of reasons.

(Homekit, by the way, has a limit of 1000 devices per account, although there are some shared memory issues which means you can see degradation earlier than that.)

IMPLICATIONS FOR SMARTTHINGS

So where does that leave us?

If you had an all Zigbee network, with a lot of sensors and some virtual devices, you could definitely hit 300 or 400 in a typical single-family home.

If you have an all zwave network, you won’t get anywhere near that. You’ll probably hit practical limitations between 100 and 150. And some Samsung support people tell smartthings customers problems can occur when you have over 40–I’m not sure where that advice comes from.

For years, smartthings staff have said their typical customer has 15 or fewer devices and doesn’t run any custom code (which means no virtual Devices). That would match nicely to an all Wi-Fi set up in a typical home, or maybe all Wi-Fi plus a hue bridge or another zigbee/Wi-Fi Bridge.

And smartthings just announced they are getting out of the IOT hardware business, which I would guess (I don’t have any data to support this, it’s just a guess) that they are assuming that most of their customers are going to be in a “hub optional“ configuration, which likely means Wi-Fi devices.

An Update Regarding our Hardware

So…no question, a power user With at least one hub who is using zigbee devices and virtual devices could go way over 200. (That’s why I tagged @johnconstantelo .)

A power user with at least one hub using Z wave plus and virtual devices might squeak over 200, but is more likely to be just under.

But your typical smartthings customer isn’t even going to reach 50 devices. Even with some virtuals. :thinking:

THE FUTURE IS: LESS?

All of which means: not Luddites. Rather, future oriented, to where many many people have a little bit of home automation, But most have no home automation hub. They are focusing on a different market niche these days.

I’m not saying I like the device limit, and I don’t like that it’s not well documented and the changes are often not announced. :confounded:. And I much prefer the homekit approach of picking a genuinely large maximum even for a fairly simple system. But I think I understand why somebody designing a UI for the expected customerbase might think 200 was a generous number. I don’t agree with them, but I understand how they could get there.

Thanks for tagging me @JDRoberts.

@thepublic424, I’m currently at 273 devices, which includes virtual and cloud connected devices, like Ring and our phones, and washer/dryer. If I exclude those, I’m at roughly 258 hub connected devices.

I have hit limits, or guardrails as they’re called within the new app, but with automations, not total devices. I just added a couple minimotes I had laying around, and those had no problem joining the hub.

Where and how did you get the 200 device limitation message? When trying to add new devices?

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I am at 200 devices and get the message when I try to add a new device.

What I find odd is that I have deleted several devices that I was going to replace and so was obviously over 200 at some point.

Started looking at both Homeseer or if there were any aggregate control portals as an alternative.

I was a fan of smartthings at the start but all the stability issues and limitations are turning me away.

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Sounds like something changed on ST’s end. There was an issue on the 29th impacting hub connected devices, so I’m wondering if your issue could just be timing. Would you mind trying again today just in case?

@jody.albritton @Brad_ST @blake.arnold, can you enlighten us on what changed, or if something else is up?

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A message about a 200 device limit seems unusually helpful for the app, as if it were cooked into the app itself. Usually we get the vague shrug of the shoulders that is ‘Network or server error’ to just about any transaction with the backend.

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True, especially for the app. I know for Rooms I get an error about not being able to add more that 20, but not when trying to add a device via Devices -> add device or through the Dashboard -> “+” -> Device.

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Just curious, but what are the protocols of the devices, both the ones you have and the ones you are trying to add? (Zwave, Zigbee, cloud to cloud, virtual)

Also, which hub model do you have?

And what country are you in?

And specifically is your hub on the V Home service (EU or UK offering)?

Just trying to think of things where the platform might respond differently for different users. :thinking:

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I think the first thing most technical users look at is Hubitat, as it is the most similar to SmartThings except everything runs local. They don’t have the same device limit, in part because you would only be overloading your own hub, they don’T have to protect a cloud the way ST does. Their app is not as nice as SmartThings , but you can use the third-party SharpTools dashboard with either for a very polished interface.

Homeseer only offers native support for zwave, so you’re going to run into the same hard 232 device limit I mentioned in my post above. However, they do allow you to add additional virtual devices. And they can add additional controllers into what they call “z net“, so if you had 1000 Z wave devices you would need five controllers. That adds to the expense and complexity of the set up, so just something to be aware of. So I’m not saying you can’t go over 200 with Homeseer, I’m just saying it may be more complex than it looks at first glance.

You might find the following section of the forum interesting as well:

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I have also been slowly finding and purchasing Z-Wave devices that provide multiple functions using a single Z-Wave address, (such as Leviton VRCS4 and Aeotec button controllers, Zooz double outlets, and Zooz ZEN16 with 3 multi-relays plus 3 digital inputs). However, I strongly echo what thepublic424 seems to point out that the number of input and output ports on present-day Z-Wave devices are woefully inadequate for today’s applications.

In the 1980s I sold and installed a fabulous antique home automation controller called the Hypertek HomeBrain that not only speaks 2-way X10 protocol to control and monitor 256 devices, but also has a full array of optional boards for 16 digital inputs, 16 analog inputs (light sensors and thermistors), and relays (outputs). As the HomeBrain provided this functionality using a 6502 microprocessor 30+ years ago, Z-Wave boards with similar capabilities could easily be developed for today’s market. Comments from others in this post appear to indicate that a market exists (beyond me) for new Z-wave devices that can accommodate a much larger number of inputs and/ or outputs (say 16, for example) with a single Z-Wave address, and would be a great way to overcome the Z-Wave address limitation.

My application for a multi-input device is to accept parallel inputs from a 16-channel Moose Z1100e alarm system with 229 output expansion board, and I don’t want to use six separate input boards or occupy six Z-Wave addresses that present-day hardware would require.

This is already on track to happen with the newest version of the Z wave chip, Series 700. Also called “Z wave plus V2.“

It will be part of the “Z wave LR“ enhancement. There are currently three or four manufacturers who have devices in alpha testing for this, but nothing yet on the market.

Z-Wave LR also increases scalability on a single smart home network to over 2000 nodes – a 10x increase from Z-Wave.

https://z-wavealliance.org/z-wave-alliance-announces-new-z-wave-long-range-specification/

So it’s coming as part of the official Z wave specification, it’s just not available in devices you can buy yet.

Something definitely changed with the last Android app update. I get the same message when trying to add a new device on Android, but I don’t get it on iOS. So for now the work around is to use iOS :grimacing:

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There’s seems to be several UI-side limits put in place in the new app. Adding automations past a certain number is one and now it looks like adding more than 200 devices is another.

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Hi @prjct92eh2, I’m on Android too but don’t get that error. I’m on v1.7.54.21

I think it started with 1.7.55 and above

Oh great… time to make sure auto update for the ST app is off in the play store.

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