We bought a new home last November and I dediced to make it a connected home.
The idea was to start small, do a lot of testing to make sure that I get it right (wife acceptance factor) and eventually add things/automation as we needed them.
It was pretty fun, at first. Now, even with only something like 15 connected things, it is more a pain than anything due to the fact that this is so unreliable.
Here is a list of said pain:
Logitech Harmony Home Hub integration went down around last January, never worked since. A fix is supposed to be available “soon” (been hearing that from support for the last 2 month). The idea was to add lighting adjustment to activities on the Harmony setup. It broke before I had a chance to even try it
Netatmo integration went down something like 2 month ago. No one knows when (or even if) a fix will be available. This was the only device I found that could actually support or canadian winter. All the Z-Wave sensor I found don’t go below -4C. On the coldest day around here we can get below -30C. Worked well with our bi-energy setup and thermostat last winter. Now I’m getting the external temperature from an Aoen Lab multi motion sensor but I know for a fact that it won’t work outside during the winter.
Wemo integration is awfully unreliable. ST just doesn’t know in what state the device is most of the time, have to remove the switch (and all associated smart apps) and re-add them again
The Android app is a mess since 2 or 3 updates. Keeps giving “Sorry, an unexpected error has occurred” or just crashing. Considering that SmartThings was bought by Samsung, I would have expected the Android app to get better but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Don’t know if the iOS app is getting better or worse
The first three problems might not be totally ST’s fault, but they are still advertising the platform as being compatible with these devices. I chose ST because they were saying they were compatible with things I already had or was planning on buying.
As you can guess, all of this was reported to the support. All they had to offer was poor excuse and ask for patience.
For now, I’m awfully happy I didn’t go all in right at first and spend thousands of dollar on SmartThings “things” as I might just switch platform and go with something else entirely.
I think to your point those integrations have been disappointments, but I can say with now 110 devices that the majority I stuck with the tried and true zigbee and zwave devices and it all works for the most part without issue. Occasional scheduling issues everyone has but nothing to get uptight about.
I will say these cloud to cloud or Wifi are broken on mine: Netatmo. Sonos is flaky (but better lately).
Working: Honeywell, Chamberlain MYQ and others
Logitech I didn’t bother with because it was unofficially working …about to hook it up this weekend but gun shy.
So I have largely avoided those kind of integrations…so I have had success in that way after trial and error. I wouldn’t walk away from it because of the third party back and forths. The craziness with TCP lights and that integration breaking was awesome because I moved to GE Link lights and couldn’t be happier with them.
Just food for thought as your experience does not sound particularly good right now with those third party ecosystems, but it can be very good depending on the types of devices you choose.
The problem is I am sitting here with a hub that is mostly unreliable. Presence events fail more than they work, Hue bulb color and state changes regularly fail, lights turn on but don’t turn after x minutes, the UI loads incredibly slow and often fails to load, changes to settings in apps fail with an error, etc…
I had one night where my garage kept opening and closing every 2 minutes because smartThings thought my phone was coming and going. Also, support has been very frustrating lately. I’ve reported the presence issues to them and the response I received was pretty much like there wasn’t anything they could do. Recently I tried to report a virtual switch not being turned on with a mode change and they responded that they don’t officially support virtual switches.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
@tyler1 just chirped in on another Topic reporting some initiatives they have in progress to improve the Support experience. Definitely positive news and he’s hearing our feedback.
It’s a tremendous challenge to run and support a platform that integrates infinite heterogeneous components.
The general recommendation I make to Community members such as yourself is to isolate the problems as much as possible, and avoid unstable features (eg, phone presence) … Then, if the remainder of the product provides value, you might decide to stick with it and eventually some of the discarded features will become stable.
For those cold Canadian winters, check out Wireless Sensor Tags. They’re rated to 40 below. While it never gets that cold here, I have one in my freezer which gets to -20C and no issues. Love the automatic logging and charting as well.
And while this is a standalone system (one that works BTW). It is open and there is a very good integration for SmartThings done by a community member (swanny). Good stuff!
Reading thought these posts I keep reading that smartThings is a platform for people that tinker and I guess that is true, but when a platform claims to support a device shouldn’t it consistently work? I have found many fantastic apps that people have written to work around the short comings of smartThings. Not to beat a dead horse, but Hue bulbs are the perfect example. You can turn them on/off and set the color of a group of bulbs, but it doesn’t natively support transitions or complex scenes. (A scene where each bulb is a different colors). Then if you try to use one of these awesomely creative community apps and have problems not related to the application code, support will tell you they can’t help you.
So the smartThings developers give you enough to fulfill their claim that their hub supports a device, but only do enough to make it barely work. I have seen multiple posts where “Supported” devices don’t update the state correctly so a bulb which is on, will actually be reporting off. When a bulb is on but the device state is off, your automation will fail until that device state reflects the “real world” bulb state.
Yes, I am just venting now. Yes, I have contacted support and reached out to the community. The community has done everything they can to help me and they are the main reason I have stuck with SmartThings for over 1 year. If the members that have spent so many hours helping me were near me, I’d be obligated to buy them multiple drinks to thank them for all of their time.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
I feel that if it is marked with "***i***“ (SmartThings Labs) on this page, then, well, it shouldn’t be on this page but a separate clearly delineated area entirely.
Some ‘i’'s are not related to the Labs, which makes it even more confusing. Generally, I feel that the “Labs” has become a dumping ground of half-baked and abandoned projects. Some of them have been in the “Labs” for over a year. I’d say a major cleanup is in order. If the project does not come out of the Lab for say six month, it probably should be officially closed.
So something has to be 100% implemented to be integrated?
ST is an automation platform. So being able to use the ST logic to turn on or off or even change colors on a hue bulb should be good enough. Why should the ST version of hue, replicate all the features the hue app already has?
There can be further enhancements to the integration, but basic automation of hue can be done…
I don’t see many posts in the hue forums talking about the fact that hue can’t automate my coffee maker. (Granted they don’t advertise they can)
Automation is meant to exist at a basic, transparent level. Do your normal routines using the default apps, but what you automate should happen behind the scenes.
Too many people fall into the trap that HA should replace the native UI for devices. It should not be the core mission of ST to waste time recreating a UI/UX for apps that already exist. Basic functionality is all that is needed to get started.
If you want a replacement ui, fork over the cash for crestron or control4 and have a dealer do it for you.
While I understand and respect this position, personally I have a different philosophy.
If I buy a universal remote, I am not satisfied if it is limited to turning the TV on/off. I want to be able to change channels, control volume, pause and rewind.
In fact I’ll go further and say that, yes, I do want the universal remote to replicate all the functionality of the existing TV remote, and add more besides.
That’s exactly what Harmony does. It took my basket of remotes (TV, DVD, DVR, Roku) and combined them in one, with the added ability to create multi device activities and toggle smart lights.
I want exactly that from my home automation. Combine all the features of the individual device controllers, plus give me the ability to create multi device rules. For exactly the same reasons I wanted it in the universal A/V remote.
There’s more than one philosophy on this, and room for different products to meet those philosophies.
But I think we can all agree the first step is for the manufacturers to recognise the different philosophies exist and be honest and detailed about what their product provides. Is it one more in a basket of remotes? Or is it a universal remote with customizable button mapping? Customer satisfaction for both will go up when prepurchase expectations are set appropriately.
And to add to the discussion about the “compatible products” page, if they just used three tiny icons, “I” for information like “acts as a repeater,” “L” for “in testing in SmartThings Labs” and “B” for “basic support; some advanced/custom functions not supported” and had a call-out explanation for the icon categories at the bottom of the page, that would help a lot.
And let me guess you only want to pay 99 bucks for it?
You can get all this today, just not cheap.
The ultimate question will be can others play nice together via open standards or will the big guys keep the keys to the castle.
I have one ui for everything in my control4 setup. It cost me a fortune to implement.
Trying to get ST to do this at sub 1k price range is like trying to race a Porsche while on a bicycle. Sure it may appear you are lighter, cheaper and might get off the line a few feet ahead, but ultimately the Porsche will spin up its turbo and blow the bike out of the water.
We want it all, I understand that more than anyone. But being disappointed that ST doesn’t do this or that is pointless. Heck I’m surprised it does anything given how cheap and open it is. That is why I support ST. It is a huge cost saver for me as I slowly migrate pieces of my HA over and work to integrate ST into control4.