Control4 to SmartThings Proof of Concept

project_misc

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #1

Well, I got sick of waiting around for Hub v2 and the need arose to use my existing Control4 dimmer to control some Cree bulbs…

Anyway, this is what I was able to do, if anyone is interested, please let me know. This does involve a Control4 driver to be installed, so will require a dealer to set up and a purchase / license.

So here’s what’s working:

In Control4, I took my bathroom dimmer, separated the load so the buttons don’t control the load, its always on.

The load controls 6 Cree Zigbee bulbs

These bulbs are paired with SmartThings (since no driver exists for the Cree zigbee bulbs for Control4)

Installed a SmartApp that sets up an API endpoint

Get the API token and authorize app and choose Cree bulbs to control.

Installed the custom SmartThings Control4 driver on the main controller.

Plugged in the API Url (http since https doesn’t work in Control4) and API Token.

Added an action on the dimmer top and bottom presses to send commands to SmartThings Endpoint.

And the rest is history.

When I press the dimmer, the Cree bulbs turn on or off to their preset dimmer levels.

Long way to go to get 6 Cree bulbs to work with an existing Control4 dimmer but it works. This means I can now trigger any endpoint in SmartThings SmartApps via any action in Control4, not just limited to Cree bulbs.

Please contact me via PM if you are interested in this solution, I will not be publishing this code open source.


Control4 Card-Access zigbee extender?
(Bruce) #2

What a great marketing line for Control4: Now controllable by SmartThings… :smiley:


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #3

Actually the other way around. SmartThings… now available for control by Control4


(Bruce) #4

It’s just striking that the cost of a Control4 system is through the roof, compared to ST.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #5

Yeah, but it does work reliably for months on end without any interaction. Local processing too. Guess you get what you pay for. Hopefully that will change soon.

And only available via a dealer model. No love lost with Control4 and me, trust me. I want to do a full integration with ST controlling C4, but for now, it will have to be the other way around.

Driver on Control4, receiving local calls from ST and controlling ST devices via REST API. Requires a dealer to install and configure but the reality of a full integration of ST into Control4 is a reality.

Now to populate devices into rooms, etc. Should be a fun next couple weeks making everything work together.


(Johnny Davy) #6

Any more progress on this?

I’m an AV installer for a living and currently in training for Control4. I’d love to get the two talking at my house. I’m in Salt Lake City right now for the training with all the Control4 engineers in the next room, so now would be a great time to ask any necessary questions about this.

Let me know how I can help. I’d appreciate your help in any way, as I would love to get my Smartthings system to have two way communication with Control4


(Ryan Guinn) #7

SmartThings Control4 driver ?

What driver did you use


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #8

My own creation. Why?


(Jake Madia) #9

I’ve got a vast ST’s device list and a Control4 dealer coming to install my ea-1 soon. I need to access these devices from the control4 navigator or risk loosing control of my lights, locks, and thermostat. Where can I refer my dealer to find your driver?


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #10

You can have your dealer contact me via npsrs.com. But my driver and services are not free. I think you will find the ea1 is very underpowered to control more than a handful of devices in a single room. For whole house configs, at minimum an ea3 but an ea5 is highly recommended.

To add all your ST devices into Control4 will require setting up virtual devices for each and linking them to my driver and doing custom programming. Then the need to sync states, etc. It takes between 5-15 minutes per device and about a couple hours to set the driver up. You also need to set up the smartapp in SmartThings as well. Do you want your control4 devices duplicated in ST as well? If so, that requires even more work.

I’ve done a few big integrations, and had between 60-200 hours into each, depending on number of devices and desire. My integration services are billed hourly, with a required up front retainer. I can work directly or through your dealer.


(Jake Madia) #11

So the integration is functional currently? That’s great news. I plan on attempting to use an ea-1 since there will likely only be one or two “activities” running at the same time. I just need a user interface on my TVS for all my devices. I don’t have schedules or anything. Is there any chance you could disclose the cost of the smartthings driver?


(Jake Madia) #12

I didn’t read your last message closely enough. I only want the smartthings devices inside my C4 navigator. I have 6 outlet, 1 in wall switch, 1 thermostat, 2x kwikset locks, 6 Cree bulbs, 2 motion sensors, 6 open/closed sensors.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #13

The cost of the driver isn’t the issue, its the custom programming that needs to be done. I will give you previous project cost ranges, from 5,000 - 25,000 dealer cost (usually marked up to consumer).

I don’t sell the driver, I sell the integration services that involve the driver. I have hundreds of hours of development over 2 years into this.

Since SmartThings doesn’t have an API, each install is custom.

It sounds like this install may not be worth the costs. Why are you going control4 if you already have a complete ST solution? And why do you just want them to show up in the UI? Wouldn’t you want to trigger automations via either system instead?

Where are you going to program your automations?


(Jake Madia) #14

I need the onscreen navigator. Guests don’t understand my hdmi matrix, I don’t like to carry my iPhone around my home, they require a harmony at each tv and blaster run to my rack, switching hubs is time consuming, I’d like to be able to view cams and unlock doors accordingly. Many reasons… Maybe I’ll just have to rebuy since I decided to buy z-wave instead of zigbee. Worst decision of my life.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #15

I would highly recommend looking at Wink, since they have a full API and a relatively cheap Control4 driver available. Still requires setting up virtual custom devices / drivers for each devicetype, but works better out of the box.

You can find wink hubs for 50 bucks or less.

But you are right, for those devices, ebay them and buy the control4 versions of them, hook the lights up to hue and use the hue driver for control4.


(Jake Madia) #16

Pstuart,

You’re responses have been fast and super helpful. Much appreciated. Wink is z-wave and zigbee? You could do this wink -> control4 integration? I’m getting close to figuring this out!

Thanks much,
Jake M


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #17

Wink supports z-wave and zigbee, has a published api and another dealer has written a driver for purchase. However, I’m not sure of all the virtual devices / drivers it supports.

I have not done a Control4 to wink integration, but I have heard other people do it with little issue.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #18

keep in mind wink is slow and cloud based as well. Internet goes out, no control over devices, just like SmartThings.

If you can run the devices natively in Control4, do it.


(Jake Madia) #19

Ugh. I knew you would say that. And I understand. But I can bite the bullet as far as internet connection. Haven’t lost it once in three years. I can rebuy the zigbee outlets over time. But I can’t rebuy two locks… That’s nearly 500 down the drain. Does the wink driver have a nominal fee? Or is structured on what I need. Today my control4 dealer offered me a job, so access to composer may be daily option for me soon!


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #20

Nice, well if 500 is too expensive for locks, I’d be looking elsewhere than control4 (unless you are a dealer and can get dealer prices)…

The average control4 install in over 50k and most dealers won’t even bother with installs under 20k.

The ea series does open up a lower end opportunities, but the labor costs of things don’t change. I have 7 years experience with control4 and 25+ years of HA experience, so I don’t work cheap…

If you get access to composer pro and the driverworks SDK and learn LUA code, you could write your own driver and then write your own smartapp and virtual devices on both ends and get things working… :slight_smile:

There are some simple things that can be done, but recreating all the devices in Control4 is not easy and given the unstable platform of ST, will be unreliable for sure. I have had to put in a ton of defensive coding in my drivers to keep things in sync and a lot of custom coding to make sure my clients experience is as good as I can get. But I am constantly having to fix broken issues every week or so with changes in ST’s platform (they keep breaking things).

So, good luck. Control4 is a solid product, but the hardware costs are the cheap part, the real cost is the time it takes to learn it or pay someone who knows how to do it.