Device suggestions needed! (Canada)


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #1

So, a friend of mine is planning on getting smartthings and wanted suggestions on what works best in each categories that are relatively affordable as well:

Sensors

  1. Door/Window Sensors
  2. Motion Sensors

Cameras
What do you guys recommend using or setting up that is relatively affordable. Most likely need between 4 - 8. Good idea to use the camera’s as motion sensors as well?

Lights etc
He’s currently debating individual bulbs vs wall switches. I personally told him to go with wall switches since its cheaper per room (especially if you have lot of lights on a single switch).

Vaccuum
Neato or Xiaomi? I use neato’s and haven’t had any issues with them, anyone have experience with the Xiaomi’s?

Anything else you think we should add?


#2

There’s no one right answer here: one person’s “ relatively affordable“ is another person’s “outrageously expensive.“ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: And features vary In importance.

Have you had a chance to look at the device class features FAQ? Most of those will be available in Canada, and it will give you a better idea of what some of the options will be:

As far as bulbs versus switches, there are literally dozens of threads on that in the forums as The question comes up a couple of times a month. Again, different things work for different people or even in different places in the home. While switches are often less expensive, now that there are widely available $15 lightbulbs, that’s no longer true.

People generally choose bulbs for one of the following reasons:

  1. They want the colour changing features

  2. They want to create Lighting zones in a room where everything runs off of one light switch, such as a kitchen or basement.

  3. they want a no-wiring solution

This is why quite a few people, myself included, have some smart bulbs for specific uses and switches everywhere else. :sunglasses:


#3

As far as other stuff, is he aware of the potential outage issues? This happen (Historically at least once a month, and sometimes more often) both because of platform outages and because of hub updates, which can be neither refused nor delayed. Planning for outages can affect device selection. :wink:


#4

Oh, and you may also want to take a look at the “get started” quick browse list in the project report section of the community – created wiki. There’s a lot of very creative stuff there, including “top 10 things to do with SmartThings“ which might give you more ideas. :tada: The Project reports section is down near the bottom of the page.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section


#5

As JDRoberts already said, there are so many options and no right answer here.

However, I can give you my experience with a few products.

Motion and Door Window Sensors. I use the cheap Xiaomi products. The device handlers have come a long way in the last year and they have become very reliable for me. Make sure you have the SmartThings v2 hub though as they seem to work best with that one. Also there is a 32 device zigbee limit on the SmartThings hub so if you get more than that you have to start looking into repeaters. They are cheap and a good point to jump in and play with.

For camera’s I have the Ring floodlight cam outside and a couple Wyze cameras for inside. None have direct SmartThings integration though but the Wyze cam’s were so cheap it was worth it. The v2 of them is suppose to add IFTTT integration which you can that tie into SmartThings but no word on when yet. Also you may have to put in a little work to get them from the states.

For my lights, I’ve gone with all switches. I’m not the only one in the house and wanted a physical switch everywhere that still worked. Installation is a bit more complicated and you need to worry about things like neutral switches but its all worth it. I do have some bulbs in my basement, I set those up to automatically turn on and off when I turn on the basement stair light. Its an unfinished basement and I like it all lit up when I go down there.

No idea when it comes to vacuums. Read a lot of good things about the Xiaomi vacuum’s but also very hesitant about ordering something that expensive from china. If it breaks will warranty be an issue? I haven’t looked too deep into it though.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #6

I have the cheap Xiaomi sensors and they work great. Just wasn’t sure if he would have the patience to get them working. How did you get the eye cameras working? Can you see the camera feed in st?


#7

If you mean the Wyze cams I don’t have them integrated with smartthings. At this point I just use the native app to view the feeds. Viewing it using their app is probably a better experience.

What I am hoping is that with the IFTTT it allows us to do things like turn on/off the camera or trigger events that we can utilize in smartthings. However they haven’t mentioned anything yet in terms of that.

I only liked the Wyze cams because of the cost. Other solutions were way more expensive and still didn’t give integration. These work well.


(Jane) #8

Where do you get the Xiaomi sensors for Canadians?


#9

I ordered mine from gearbest. Sign up for their mailing list and wait for the sales before ordering. My first order from them last year took a month. My last order from them last month took about 2 weeks.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #10

I use gearbest or banggood.


(Jane) #11

Thanks! I have never heard of these sites! Looks like they offer lots of interesting things. Which motion sensors do you recommend to work with ST?


#12

These are the motion sensors I have. Looks like they are currently on sale so a good price. Keep in mind, some people have no issues with them, others find them a pain in the ass. So be prepared to put in some work.


(Jane) #13

These look really big. Are they big?


#14

Not at all. About 1.25” tall and across. The base will add a bit more if you mount it. But they are a nice size.


(Jane) #15

Are these the same? Will they also work with ST and the same DTH?


#16

They look the same to me. Pretty sure they would work. I’ve only ordered the devices from gearbest but assume they are the same.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #17

That’s what I have. Just one thing to keep in mind, keeping these paired and working can be frustrating initially but once paired properly they work great. Haven’t had a single one drop off in over a year whereas my smart thing multisensory drops every month or so.


(Jane) #18

do these have a one minute delay before they will detect motion again. I saw this site which explains how to install them for ST and they mention it.


#19

Yup. It believe it’s part of the chip. No big deal really. It never caused me a problem with anything.


(Jane) #20

Sounds good! I will probably get these then. Is there anything else these sites offer for integrating with ST? Like bulbs, switches, plugs, etc?