SmartThings Community

Decided on SmartThings...help with devices!

I’ve decided that I’m getting a smartthings + google home to start my home automation journey. I currently have a Harmony Hub, a chromecast, and am getting some chromecast audio deviecs as well for whole home audio.

I’m trying to get a device list together of things that I need to accomplish some of my goals, and I was hoping to get some input from the reddit community. Below are some of my goals to start.

Lighting/Switches

  • I’d like have certain rooms with RGB lights and some with regular lights.
  • Most rooms will be dimmable, very few will not.
  • i’d like to be able to control my fans
    Surveillance and Security
  • Motion detection to trigger certain events in certain areas
  • window/door sensors
  • eventually will add surveillance cameras
  • I want to be able to control/monitor my garage doors as well
    Temp
  • I’m going to replace my thermostats with smart ones
    Home Theater
  • control over turning stuff on via harmony hub
  • I plan on getting X10 Powermid PM5900 Remote Control Extender Kit to control my living room with harmony too

I’m sure there will be more eventually…but I’m just trying to find a good place to start. Based on the above info I’m looking for some help to find the proper devices. Switches/outlets/lights/sensors etc would be best for a smartthings setup that provide the best results. Any other questions definitely don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks!

I have all of that. I have used mostly Smartthings sensors for the windows and doors but a few iris ones as they were on sale once. I have a mix of motion sensors they all work the same. I have about 10. I have a harmony and it integrated well. I also had Honeywell thermostat and it was ok but dropped allot and little control via alexa before GH. I got two ecobee3 to replace them and much better in my opinion. I use all the light switches and rgwb builds osram were I want color. If I use them in a room I use osrams switch and bind the lights to it and has worked pretty good. oh yeah I have two garages and used iris door opener and closer works great.

Welcome! (I moved this to projects so you can get individual suggestions on your requirements.)

That sounds like a very ambitious undertaking!

You can use the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki to quickly find various threads by subject. In particular, you might want to take a look in the project report section at the “get started” list. It has a lot of interesting threads, including “top 10 uses for home automation”, " what device should I get next?", Etc. There’s also an impress your friends list which is fun to look at. :sunglasses:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section#Quick_Browse_Links_for_Project_Reports.2FQuestions

You might also find the following thread helpful:

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Thanks a lot for posting that thread. Lots of excellent information in it. I’m still reading through it now!

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I am slightly confused on how a 3 way switch would work vs a regular single pole. Let’s so I decide to go with GE for an in-wall switch. In a 3-way situation would the below be correct? It seems wrong to me…so i’m assuming it’s wrong. For a single pole switch i’m assuming just the first link would be appropriate?

One of these:

Two of these:

In the US, a “three-way” means two switches and one fixture. In the UK, a “three-way” means three switches and one fixture. So I’m a little bit confused since you’re linking to US switches but it sounds like you’re using UK terminology? In the US, one master switch and two add-ons would be a “four-way.”

Anyway, the following thread explains about networked auxiliary switches, which I think is what you’re asking

If I’ve misunderstood, just let us know.

Okay great, thank you. I’m in the USA. I was thinking 3 way as in my main hallway downstairs 3 physical switches that all can control the lights. My kitchen has a few sets of lights each controlled by a single switch, and one of the sets of lights in my kitchen controlled by 2 switches. So your saying my hall is a “4 way”, and that light with 2 switches in my kitchen is a “3 way”? I’ll take a look at that thread now…but I think i confused myself…haha

After reading the thread it makes sense. Thanks again! Now deciding on the brand to use is the hard part…

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So if i decide to go with Leviton these would be the appropriate switches for dimming and 3 way situations?

DZMX1-1BZ (main)
VP00R-10Z (2nd/3rd switches)

Yes, if you don’t need instant status from the master switch.

The Leviton models that start with a D are the budget models. They don’t have instant status reporting.

The Leviton models that start with a V are the high-end models. They do support instant status reporting.

If two-way feedback is required, Leviton recommends the Vizia RF + product line, which provides advanced features beyond DZC, which must be polled in order to update the status. DZC is not intended to be a stand-alone lighting control system, and thus if zone/scene keypads are desired, Vizia RF + is recommended.

I’m not saying you do need instant status, I’m just saying you should know that there is a difference between the two model lines. Oh, and they both work with the same auxiliary switch.

And all of that said, if you don’t have an immediate need for the switches, you might wait about a month when the new Leviton Z wave plus models are supposed to be out. They will give you a longer range as well as supporting pairing in place, which is really helpful for switches.

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Thanks, a lot JD! Waiting a month sounds about good to me. I’m in the process of moving so most of my planning is for the new house.

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I am definitely saying you need instant status :slight_smile:

Maybe there are a few places where you don’t (closet lights etc…), but I promise it’s better to have it and not use it than to try to save a few bucks on the switch and want it later.

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I definitely agree. I am going instant status everywhere. This is my list so far…any comments/suggestions are definitely welcome.

Switches/Main Lighting:
VRMX1-1LZ (will probably wait until new version)
VP00R-1LZ (will probably wait until new version)
Any LED dimmable bulbs will work…right? Any suggestions?

Fan Control:
VRF01-1LZ (i think this…?..will wait for upgrade probably)

Accent Lighting:
Phillips Hue Bulbs/Strips

Thermostat:
Ecobee3’s

Door/Window Sensors:
Iris Door and Window sensors
vs
aeotec door/window sensors 6 (these any good?)

Motion/Multi Sensors:
Still need to research sensors…any suggestions?

Surveillance/Cameras:
Still need to look into this further…

All the Aeotec devices are good, it’s just that the ones that use secure join can be fiddly to pair.

One decision to make right now is whether you want to have both Z wave and zigbee devices or just Z wave.

( you don’t have to worry about the Phillips Hues, they form their own mini network with their bridge so from a SmartThings point of view that’s a LAN integration, not Zigbee.)

Your light switches are all Z wave, which makes sense. Most fixed location devices are Z wave because with zwave you don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi interference. So that means you’re going to have a strong Z wave mesh, since each switch will be a Z wave repeater.

So that would be a reason for going with zwave sensors.

If you go with zigbee sensors, you’re going to have to add a whole additional set of devices to be zigbee repeaters.

(Battery powered devices don’t repeat because it would use up too much battery life. Most mains powered devices do act as repeaters for other devices, which typically means light switches, outlets, plug in pocket sockets, in wall micros, and plug in sensors. But Z wave repeats only for Z wave and zigbee repeats only for zigbee, so from a backbone standpoint you’re really building up two separate networks when you use these two protocols.)

So in your case, I’d seriously consider going with Z wave sensors. That means Aeotec, Fibaro, and GoControl as the most popular, and some additional brands.

Linear/GoControl are fine, they’re widely available at big box stores as well as online, and you can often find a sale. They’re reliable and budget priced, but they are much bigger then the more expensive Z wave sensors and they don’t have as many features. The eco-link pet immune motion sensors are similar in size and quality to the gocontrol. I have some of both of these, and while they’re not quite as fast as some of The more expensive brands, they work for a lot of use cases.

The Fibaro is a really nice multisensor if you don’t mind the weird eyeball effect. And the cost.

Different things work for different people, and all of these are popular in the community. :sunglasses:

Zigbee sensors are usually smaller, have someone better battery life, and transmit somewhat better through rain and snow. But it’s not a huge difference, and Z wave plus lowers the gap considerably. ( except for the rain part)

I likes zigbee sensors for preference, but then you have to have zigbee repeaters to go with them.

Thanks again JD. I think it would be easiest to just stick with Z-Wave. The aeotec stuff looks pretty good…I think i’ll give the multi 6 sensors and the window/door sensors a shot…they are a bit cheap and offer 6 sensors in one instead of 4. I was reading some of the Fibaro features require their hub as well? I like aeotec looks a bit better too.

Fibaro works with SmartThings instead of its own hub, but will require a custom device type handler to access all the features.

Got it…and aeotec fully works…right?

Same situation, may require a custom device handler to access all the advanced settings.

Stuff like this is my only concern with choosing smart things as my hub. A recent post on Reddit about people having issues lately below.

Almost daily. Honestly I’m more surprised when it DOES work than when it doesn’t.

If I could buy a non-cloud based hub that worked with all of my devices I’d do it in a heartbeat. I think their extremely unreliable cloud service is their weakness. It’s usually pretty solid during off-peak hours. During peak hours it’s like they can’t keep up with the traffic - automations are delayed by sometime as much as 60 seconds or don’t fire at all.

Seems like every product has their own little issues here and there. The community here is the best in my opinion…so SmartThings is still my final choice. It also sounds like Samsung is investing more in their infrastructure, which is a great sign!