Coming from Control 4


(Josh Roza) #1

I created/hacked a control 4 systems for about the last 6 years. When I sold my house, I left all of the control 4 gear there as a part of the home along with my rack and a bunch of other gear. I have just purchased a home and as part of it, I want to do more automation and come-up to the latest without the need for closed ecosystems and that makes ‘Smart things’ really appealing.
The house itself has a few ghosts to be worked out as I have a ton of unidentified switches which appear to do nothing at the moment. That aside, I have about 2 dozen or so switches, a half-dozen fans (most are on dimmers and don’t appear to be on fan controllers), I have 5 points of entry, 1 electric gate, 1 roll-up garage door 2 wood gates and I’d like like to do whole house audio including the 2 patios.

I am looking to deal with a few things 1. be able to turn whatever on or off I want to from just about anywhere. 2. Lock and unlock doors with keyfob/card/or code. 3 have audio in rooms that can be synchronized or not depending on moods, and I would love to have multi-tap or touch switches and dimmers like what i had with Control 4. It was awesome to be able to assign macros or multiple functions to a switch and activate it based on the number of taps or holding down of the switch.

Thoughts?


#2

(Welcome! I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs and set up.)

Smartthings doesn’t offer the kind of audiovisual integration that you’re used to with control 4. @pstuart is an expert in both and can say more, but generally people use other methods for AV control for anything beyond integration with harmony home.

Smartthings is also a cloud-based system, which means anytime the SmartThings cloud is unavailable most things won’t run. Even the SmartThings mobile app cannot communicate with the hub unless the cloud is available. There’s also no way to arm/disarm the security features without the cloud. There are a few devices that can run locally using just the official smartlighting feature, but that’s about it. Everything else runs through the cloud.

And there has been a major outage about once a month every month for the last six months except for January. Plus a number of minor glitches. So while smartthings is a very flexible versatile system compared to other controllers at its $99 price point, it just doesn’t compare to a mature high-end system like control 4. Most problems are not posted to the official status page unless they affect the majority of users, but you can still see the major outages there.

http://status.smartthings.com

You can also check the first bug reports page in the community – created wiki

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Bug:_First_Reports

There are of course many people who use SmartThings and find it valuable, but it’s just important to understand what you’re looking at. :sunglasses:

SmartThings has a very active creative community and does allow individual customers to upload custom device handlers, which means that when a new device comes on the market, it’s very common for a community developer to have a device type handler ready to share for it within a few weeks. That part is great.

But it’s also important to note that things that have run perfectly for several months may stop running unexpectedly or start running in a strange way, and that may or may not meet your own household’s requirements, especially if your expectations are set by experience with control 4.


(Josh Roza) #3

It all makes sense of the Cloud shortcomings and the like. I am not looking for a 100% equal system, as Control 4 had huge deficiencies for a DIY person and my path was limited to continue the system and after I sold the home, I left all of my equipment.
I am not looking for a 100% solution either, but there are a number of things I do want to accomplish.

I want to time the outlets in my kids rooms
I have 5 external doors that I want to have smart locks on
I’d like to bring in Cameras
Nest (or other thermostat)
I’d like to network all of my dimmers and switches so I can control on/off or dimmer states

On the AV and music, I am less concerned, but If audio isn’t an integrated option, what do some of the folks here recommend? Sonos?


(Chris) #4

I’m using Chromecast audio with standalone receivers, I have 3 of them and can cast to the group for whole home audio.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #5

Welcome aboard!

I’ve been with smartthings for about 18 months and I love it.

I have every switch in the house automated, about 52 of them, plus another 30th plug in modules, around 30 bulbs, thermostats, and I’m sure a bunch of stuff I’m forgetting, oh yeah… A ton of contact sensors and another ton of motion sensors!

For your automatons, you’re going to want to venture into CoRE. If you can think, it can do it.

If you are looking for voice control I highly recommend the Amazon echo and dots. The doors have a low price point and work great. I have one device in every room of the house.

For the full voice control integration experience I highly recommend the smart app EchoSistant. It allows you total control of the house via Alexa, and you can talk to it like a person… We’ve built in free speech recognition for commands. It also does room to room communications, but that requires external speakers along with the dots. You also get full feedback. Want to know if your garage door open? Just say, Alexa, ask home is the garage door open.

They’re are a ton of other smart apps available, but I highly recommend those two.

Ask all of the questions you want. This community is smart and always willing to share!