Adding the barn to my system?

Hey there. I have a simple question about hardware. I’m running a smartthings hub in the house with a pretty basic setup for the moment. I’d like to add to the system and include the barn. I’ll be running a bridge to the barn with a wireless access point. I assume I need another hub for the barn?

Start here and see if you find any info…

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I certainly do! Lol. I thought I read at one point you could have multiple hubs. Looks like its not as easy as plug and play. Using repeaters may be my best bet. Its about 80’ from the front door to the barn. Clear shot. I have a homeseer exterior motion detector I could mount on the barn and maybe use a zwave bulb on the outside light. Any chance that’ll jump 80’?

Z wave claims a range of 100m, so it is possible. You probably will just have to give it a try and see if it works in your environment.

As discussed in the outbuilding article in the wiki, range estimates are for line of sight through clear dry air. Once you add in rain, fog, or snow, the range can be significantly reduced. :umbrella: But the wiki article covers most of the options. :sunglasses:

That wiki article is super helpful. I’m a bit shocked there isn’t a “real” way to do this. Maybe smartthings isn’t advanced enough? Perhaps a different z-wave controller would have this capability?

I just tested with a Lutron plug in module that I had on an extension cord. I only have to come 5’ out of the barn to get it to work. The nearest z wave device on that side of the house is about 10’ from the exterior wall and going through 2 walls to get there. It leads me to believe that with 2 exterior repeaters, I can get it done. Hopping to the big barn from there might be a stretch though…we’ll see.

Thanks for the help. I’ll give it a shot and report back.

Just remember that Z wave is limited to four hops total for any one message. So if you’re going to use up two hops on repeaters to get across the yard, you’re going to be left with only one available in each building.

As far as other controllers that do this better, no question that vera does. There are other things that smartthings does better, but vera sets up a multi hub Z wave network very well.

Homeseer Also does a good job, although they approach it in a different way through their znet interface.

Lutron? Did you by any chance mean Leviton? Lutron uses their own proprietary frequency, called “clear connect”, and it is not a zwave device and is not part of your Z wave network.

first rule of home automation “the model number matters.“

Oops. Yes. Sorry. Leviton. Not Lutron. It is “Z-Wave Plus”.

Fortunately for me, homeseer is about 20 minutes from my house, so if I need parts I can stop in there and get what I need. I may end up going that route if I cant get this to work with smartthings, but I think I can. I think I’ll move the hub to a cabinet in that outside wall that faces the barn, and I have a utility pole about 15’ off the barn towards my house that would actually be a GREAT location for the homeseer outdoor motion sensor. That might just make it 2 “hops” from barn 1 to the house.

Thanks for all the advice!

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Personally, I would prefer to see the hub inside the house on a table by a clear glass window that has a line of sight to the repeater in the yard. Once you put it in a cabinet outside then it has to get all of its protocols through an exterior house wall, which is going to give you a lot of problems with the devices in the main house. :disappointed_relieved:.

My steel sided barn is at least 90 feet from the house and the hub is inside the house pointing towards the barn through a glass patio door. Zigbee devices seem to work better than Zwave devices for me. I mostly have Iris Smart Plugs in use but my interior lights are on a GE ZigBee smart switch. A GE Zwave & a Zooz Zwave+ switch in the same position were not reliable. My Iris motion and open/close sensors work well.
For internet in the barn I have a Velop node on an outside patio that wirelessly serves another Velop node in the barn. It was working pretty solid until the last Velop firmware update…that’s not anything new to SmartThings users :slight_smile:

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The zigbee profile which is used by smartthings allows for 15 hops into the hub and 15 hops out so it gives you a lot more flexibility when dealing with obstacles. :sunglasses: