SmartThings Community

Ecobee 3 Integration/SmartApp Questions


#1

Hi Everyone,
I just recently added an Ecobee to my ST ecosystem and just had a few questions regarding certain smartapps and device handlers. Looking for pros/cons. So far I’ve added the official Ecobee smart app and have created a few ST automations for Away/I’m Back/Sleep/Good Morning. Good Morning and Sleep are set to execute at specific times if we are home and Away/I’m Back are based on presence within our home geofence.

It seems like there are many other ways to control these functions using IFTT, custom device handlers and smartapps. My question is, what am I missing out on by just using the basic ST automations and the official Ecobee smart app? It just seems like there are redundant solutions out there but perhaps I am missing something or these were originally developed when there was no official Ecobee support?

Just curious to hear about other people’s experiences and reasons for using other integrations. I feel like I might be missing something or not aware of what these other things offer.


(John) #2

I use the stock DTH and a couple of SmartApps.

What do I lose? Some of the functionality built into the ecobee.
Does it matter? No.

One app monitors presence and does a better job of knowing when I’m home or not than the device itself. Furthermore, using a smart app allows me to vary my home and away times and it’s always set the way I want it. Essentially the app overrides the temp settings when I am away and resumes programming when I’m home.

Another app does a setback for me. For example, if everyone goes to bed, it will override the settings for night, and resume at an appropriate time in the morning (different for work days and weekends).

In the end, what did I lose? Money! I could have used any cheaper controllable thermostat to accomplish this. I do use the temperature averaging within the ecobee with respect to the remote sensors. Functionality-wise, I have everything I want and more. I never use the ST app to directly control the ecobee, I prefer the ecobee app. I was able to make the thermostat smarter by relying on ST and better logic.


#3

I believe that I am using ST the same way you are- without the Ecobee app. What I was wondering is what the benefits are of some of the open source/3rd part smart apps and device handler’s out there vs. just using ST to control the Ecobee for home/away/sleep, etc. They seem redundant but I’m sure they have to offer something more. Just curious on other people’s experiences with them or where they shine as compared to just using the stock ST integration with the officially supported Ecobee smartapp.


(Yves Racine) #4

Hi @mhadler,

When you buy a smart thermostat such as ecobee (which is more expensive than others on the market), you may want to take full advantage of its features for Home Automation, especially when combined with a platform such as SmartThings (which is very versatile although it has some weaknesses in scheduling amongst others).

  • My ecobee device has been designed to take the best of both worlds: ecobee’s reliable scheduling and ST’s home automation capabilites in a unique package.

I’ve been the 1st developer to fully expose all the richness of ecobee APIs here on the ST platform (it’s been more than 2 years already). Before the ST stock device, I was also the 1st to expose all the ecobee3’s remote sensors to SmartThings for home automation.

  • As you may know, the ST stock device does not even expose the methods to set your thermostat to away or present, so it’s a very basic version that just allows you to set your setpoints, your thermostatMode and thermostatFanMode, and resume your program (not much more than a cheap z-wave thermostat). I believe the ecobee thermostat as much more to offer to ST, so that’s why I created My Ecobee device.

  • With the latest version (which uses async http requests), My Ecobee device is more resilient (and more reliable) than the ST stock device to any ecobee disconnect due to the unique mechanisms in my code. Recently, there was some maintenance done at ecobee, and My Ecobee device was not even disconnected during the whole maintenance window.

  • You may want to use any of your ST connected (motion & temp) sensors to average out your inside temp and set your thermostat to away for more comfort & energy savings.

  • Here is the ecosystem of smartapps available with MyEcobee device, just check it out:

With My ecobee device and my smartapps, it can be done in a matter of few minutes instead of waiting for at least 30 minutes (often more than 1 hour) with ecobee’s default smart away feature.

  • Now, since My ecobee device V5, there is a very nice integration with Ask Alexa and you can get ecobee tips for more comfort and energy savings by interacting with Alexa (get/play/repeat tip verbal commands ). The generated tips are based on the actual indoor/outdoor conditions at your home, and the HVAC runtime stats available at ecobee (Furnace, air conditioner, fan, any connected equipment).

  • There are many other benefits of using MyEcobee device, you may want to check the full list under my thread (and also some user feedback):

Finally, I’ve also implemented some zoned heating/cooling solutions based on My Ecobee device and smart vents such as Keen Home (and they can leverage also any other ST connected thermostats, motion & temp sensors) that can create zones inside your home for more comfort. Check out the details under this thread:

  • My ecobee device and most of my smartapps are documented under the ST community wiki (with some screenshots):

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=My_Ecobee_Device
http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Category:Unpublished_SmartApps

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at services@maisonsecomatiq.com

Regards.

P.S. I ask for a small contribution to download MyEcobee device given the work that I’ve done so far (there is more than 15k lines of code around My Ecobee device and its ecosystem of smartapps).


(John) #5

I’ve used a third party app. It worked well. The advantages is that they can (and do) expose most, if not all, of the features of the ecobee. While I found that nice and cool, I never used those features from within ST. As I said, for that functionality, I much prefer the ecobee app (or another app - i.e. weather - I don’t need it within the thermostat inside the ST app). The ecobee app isn’t constrained by the tile UI and is tons faster to use (sorry, but the ST is just too slow). I find the ecobee app easier and quicker to use than any DTH within ST (stock or third party).

I have two modes set on my thermostat. One for when I’m home and one for when I’m sleeping. I control the away and vacation feature with my own SmartApp. The follow me feature of the ecobee was always a little fakely and didn’t provide what I wanted well enough. I do use the temperature averaging and that works pretty well. I use the Alexa integration with the stock device and I have no issues. Stock and third party apps work with CoRE. They do offer different levels of integrations, but then those are features that I don’t need or use (or I get the info through another method).

I am extremely happy with the setup. While I am overriding some of the ecobee features, it works much better than it ever did. With ST I can provide the logic for what works for me. If I stay home and/ or my wife doesn’t, everything is set the way we want.

I am extremely happy with the integrations. I does everything that I want.


(YankeeJohnboy) #6

I use the DTH from @StrykerSKS in combination with a couple of smartapps, Life360 & IFTT.

I use IFTT/Life360 to trigger home/away based on the location of our phones. It’s much smarter than baked in home/away logic and because I have a larger bubble for L360 than ST, it kicks the HVAC in quicker on return trips.

I use a smartapp that monitors the open/close status of my windows, and turns off/on the HVAC accordingly, so I don’t have to think about it if I want to open the windows, it just happens.

Utilizing the DTH, I trigger mode changes in the Ecobee based on mode changes of ST (sleep=sleep, home=home, etc).

By and large, this works really well, and WAF has been pretty high :wink:


(Paul) #7

I just installed mine yesterday. I think exposing the ecobee sensors to SmartThings and using your other sensors as inputs into your Ecobee are worthwhile. Essentially, this is saving you money because these are all useful sensors that you don’t have to buy. I bought @yvesracine device and smartapps and I think it has already paid for itself for that alone.

So far, it looks like I may end up using Ecobee’s interface for some things, but it appears the extra intelligence these device types and apps provide may make the Ecobee product that much better. Excited to figure out what else I can do to more fully integrate into my smart home.


(Yves Racine) #8

Hi @paulseverio, the integration with Ask Alexa is really worthwhile as you don’t need to go to the ST or the ecobee app to change your climates, your setpoints, resume your program, set your climate to away, home, and even your ecobee custom ones…

Also, with new verbal tips and alerts features, this is something you’d really enjoy. It’s a totally different user experience…

Regards.


(Joe D) #9

Newbie question, but does your integration also work the same way with siri as it does with alexa? I am currently controlling my devices through homekit via homebridge integration with smartthings. My thermostat unit is the Ecobee Smart Si.


(Yves Racine) #10

Hi @Joe_D, sorry Siri does not allow custom development as much as Amazon Echo/Alexa.

Apple is more of a “closed” environment…

Regards.


(Joe D) #11

Thank you for your input, I will look a little bit more into alexa integration.


(George) #12

Very cool. Is there an open source device handler and smart app that i can use to take advantage of the ST temp sensors for averaging? I am not interested in paying further, have payed up to the wazoo to get a bunch of all these devices and hardware integration. Credit card fatigue. Any pointers to cool Github links much appreciated.


(Yves Racine) #13

No, there is no other DTH (except My ecobee Device) that can do the averaging of all ST connected sensors.

This represents more than 3 years of work and more than 10k lines of code, so good luck to find an open source one.

Regards


(Deepak Krishnan) #14

@mhadler
I’m using a UK and can’t seem to find ecobee in thermostat under marketplace. Can someone just copy paste the DH and smartapp from the IDE here so I can add and create the device manually?


(YankeeJohnboy) #15

Check this out from @storageanarchy (who forked development from the efforts of StrykerSKS)… I’ve been using for a year or so now with great success, as have others. [RELEASE] Free Ecobee Suite, Version 1.2.*