Do I go with new Smarthings as the backbone of my Smart House?


(ravi) #1

Looking to take the leap - debating new smarthings versus one of the other platforms out there (for those looking see this - http://postscapes.com/home-wireless-sensor-systems)

First Question - I am looking for a thermometer/humidity sensor, could not find one on the new smarthings website, what could I use?

JK


(Kyle ) #2

SmartThings do a humidy/temp sensor- check the store . . . I have purchased them myself from there . . .


(ravi) #3

Thanks Kyle, just found it. Does anyone know what the max temperature is? Looking to put one in a Sauna if possible.


(Kyle ) #4

Operating Temperature: 32 to 104°F, 0 to 40°C (indoor only)

I took me all of 3 seconds to find that, which means that i am guessing you have just come straight to the community to ask questions like most new users as a pose to googling the question or looking on the website for it:

Manuals / Guides / Specs / Info - all present for every device on every device/support page

:slight_smile:


(Mike S) #5

Honestly, that site you linked has a few different options but it really doesn’t provide any useful information. You could spend time researching each individual option, as many of us here have done, and land on one (as everyone here has done:)

I myself tried Staples Connect, Lowe’s Iris, and a Z-Wave Z-Stick with half a dozen different computer controllers. I landed on ST and haven’t looked back. It’s by far the simplest system I used while still being completely open. At $100, it’s not a break-your-budget price that once you dive into it’s hard to get out of (I’m looking at you HomeSeer). It’s up to you, but do your research. Everyone here is likely to be biased towards ST.

With mine, I have an alarm system that requires zero interaction from me to arm/disarm, and with no monthly fee. I have a temperature system that adjusts the temperature for my kids rooms at night when they’re asleep instead of in the main living area, but keeps the living area comfortable during the day. I have lights that turn on/off when I go down stairs in the middle of the night, and that don’t blind me. I have external front lights that turn on and off with the sunset/sunrise. I have others that turn off automatically when we go to bed - or several on at the same time through a single switch (multiple floors, one switch).

My thermostat turns off when we leave a door or window open too long. My garage door lets me know when I’ve left it open. My basement fan turns on when the humidity gets to high. I have an alert for extreme temperatures.

My door lock alerts me when someone else, who is authorized, enters the house. I have codes for family and friends.

I get a phone call while away from the house and the alarm is triggered, or a smoke detector goes off.

All of this took a little bit of a learning to achieve of course, but was all really easy thanks to the support of this community and it’s developers who make custom software available for free to others. I’m not a dev, but I can easily copy/paste as most steps require.

Best of all, 100% wife acceptance. She doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary, yet has complete peace of mind while I’m traveling.

I couldn’t do all the above with any of the other options I tried. They all had gaps, be it no zigbee support (some of the sensors) or addons for security, or secondary (or third) services required for text/email/phone calls. ST ties it all together in one easy to use package with a TON of support from the community, IFTTT, and even Amazon Echo. Lots of extendability, and really a limitless number of options.

You’ve got Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wifi, and Bluetooth support. All of the major standards in one $99 package. I know, I sound like an advertisement - but you did come to the ST forums to ask what we think :smile:


(Dan) #6

Great write up! This is exactly why I am anxious to get my v2. I have not had ST or any home automation solution yes so I am very excited to get started. How do you have your house arm/disarm without having to touch a thing? Do you do it time based? (e.g. dusk/dawn?). How do you keep it from accidentally tripping if you open a door/window sooner than expected?

Another random question, what motion sensor and alarm do you use?


(Mike S) #7

I use smart alarm and I have 3 stages - away, night, and home. They are self explanatory, but it switches to night mode when its after 10pm and there is no motion on certain motion sensors for a certain amount of time.

These sensors are internal, and won’t trigger the alarm. They also trigger the lights when its late and we’re getting something down stairs…

To disable or switch to Home mode it has to be between a certain time, for instance if it’s between 5am to 10am when it gets motion on my stairs sensor it will switch to home.

No intervention from me, it does it based on rules that I set up quite easily and using sensors in the home.

For a siren I have the one Lowes sells for Iris. Its a standard zwave siren.

Edit:

Oh, motion sensors are a combination of a zwave sensor off Amazon and some of the smartthings sensors (purchased under the Peq brand name that bestbuy used to sell).


#8

There’s a Bluetooth radio in the V 2 hub but it’s not turned on yet and there’s no timeline for when it will be. So I’m not sure we can say we have “Bluetooth support.”

But zwave, zigbee, IFTTT, and echo, definitely. :sunglasses:


#9

Everyone has different preferences and requirements for what gives them peace of mind in a security system.

I personally have three minimum requirements:

one) it must have 24/7 professionally monitored service which is authorized to call the fire department in my area

Two) it must work when the Internet is out and the power is off

Three) it must communicate with the monitoring center by cellular, not Internet

Smartthings has neither one nor three, and two is not fully available yet. You can sign up for professional monitoring through scout alarm, but it only covers intrusion alerts–they can call the police department in some areas, but cannot call the fire department.

Also, I do not find that Smartthings meets my reliability requirements for a security system. So I pay a separate monthly fee for separate security system.

Other people absolutely cannot stand the idea of paying a monthly fee, or of having separate systems. So they will make other choices.

On the other hand, smartthings is the only system I’m aware of under $5000 that can give me natural language voice control on my home entertainment system. It does that through integration with Amazon echo and harmony. And it’s amazing. I can say “Alexa, turn on ESPN TV” or “Alexa, pause Roku” and everything works as long as I have a connection to the smartthings cloud. For a lot of people, that would just be a toy, but I’m quadriparetic with limited hand function, and it’s a huge benefit for me. Smartthings makes echo 100 times better. And Echo is great to begin with.

So different people will make different choices for different reasons. There’s no one right answer. And some people, like me, will find they are best served by multiple systems. :sunglasses:


(Marc) #10

For me “Turn on ESPN”, turns on the TuneIn ESPN radio station. How did you get yours to work?


#11

It just works for me but you can change the name if you need to, “turn on sports” or maybe try “turn on ESPN TV”

edited to add verified that, for whatever reason, “turn on ESPN” is now turning on ESPN radio, but if I change the group name to “ESPN TV” it works fine again.


(Mike S) #12

And you just sold another 1000 hubs and echo’s by illustrating the ability for voice activated “turn on sports”. Now, enable “turn on wife” and we’ve sold a million!

Good points you’ve made! I’ve no interest controlling entertainment systems, but I’m not interested in a monthly fee for an alarm system. We all have different needs or desires for these system - its whatever you want to automate, you probably can.

It was in these forums that really sparked the home automation “light bulb” for me. I was looking for a keypad or button to enable and disable the alarm when I came across a post on here asking for the same thing, someone had replied with something along the lines of “its not really home automation if you need to a button to do something. It should just do it for you, automatically.”


#13

That’s one philosophy, but not the only one. Again different people have different preferences.

Because I’m a quad, anything that gives me independence is a big deal. But it’s also true that I have a totally variable schedule, completely unpredictable. And a lot of different people coming and going.

For me, it’s all about “environmental control systems.” Not so much automated routines. Voice control, touch free switches, combination locks.

Choice is good. :sunglasses:


(ravi) #14

Thanks for responses. Decided to take the plunge and get a Smarthings Starter Kit which went on sale yesterday in the UK.