FAQ: Adding existing zwave devices to a SmartThings hub--Is there a wireless option?

(Matthew Valeri) #1

I’m coming from an established HA ssetup (Vera, OpenHab) and as such I have things installed that aren’t really easy or feasible to bring to Smartthings to include like door locks (which are notorious for having to be almost touching the controller to include) and my garage door relays. Is there a wireless option that I can carry Smartthings to the device or is the only choice to find a long Ethernet cord? Both my other controllers (Vera 3 and Aeon Labs Z-Stick) had to be brought to the device wirelessly.

Thanks in advance.

(Mark) #2

I think that’s what some people have done with their ST hub as well, it’s an Ethernet only device.

I suppose you could move your hub, plug the hub into power and also plug in a wifi bridge next to your hub. Then connect an Ethernet cable from your hub to the wifi bridge. At least that way you don’t need an Ethernet cable running the length of your house to keep the hub connected while you move it for re-pairing.

(Dan P Parker) #3

I wouldn’t automatically assume that you’re going to have that problem with a ST hub. The Schlage deadbolt I installed on my front door paired immediately…and has stayed paired…with the ST hub on the 2nd floor.

(Mark) #4

I’ve heard with locks it depends on being within one hop of the hub. @Rhinesel how far away is the lock from your hub?


Assuming we’re talking about the current V2 generation of the SmartThings hub, that’s a Z wave plus controller and your other controllers were the older zwave classic generation.

That means two good things. :sunglasses:

First, the range of a single hop from the hub will be significantly further than with your previous controllers.

Second, zwave plus end devices other than locks can probably be paired in place even if they are more than one hop from the hub.

So even though there is no wireless option for the hub itself, you may find that a number of your wired devices can be paired in place.

For many of the older devices, including a garage controller or any light switches, you can probably use an Aeon Minimote. This is a small handheld controller. It can be used as a button remote for every day activities, and also has administrative functions which allow it to include devices to your SmartThings account. Shop around as prices vary, but you can usually find it for around $25.

So between Z wave plus and a minimote, that should take care of everything zwave except locks.

Zwave locks have to exchange a security key with the controller at the time of joining, and that usually has to be within “whisper distance” of just a few feet. So you usually do have to carry the SmartThings hub to the door lock, and the hub has to be cabled to an Ethernet connection.

If you have a Wi-Fi access point device that has an ethernet connector on it, sometimes that’s the easiest way for a very large house. Plug the access point device in near the lock, cable the hub to that, pair the lock, and then return everything to its original positions.

Just remember that if you do have to physically move either the hub or an end device after pairing, you’ll need to do a Z wave repair utility once everything is in its desired location in order to update the routing tables.

(Matthew Valeri) #6

To follow up, my Kwickset lock about 10-15 ft from the Hub included fine.

I have a second one on a lower level going to my garage. Initially it didn’t include but I think that was more to the fact that my daughter was watching the lights of my old controller and mistakenly told me it excluded when it didn’t. I got a Ethernet cord that reached at least the door at the top of the stairs and was able to exclude and include.

My Vera 3 had to be almost touching the lock, Smartthings (Hub 2) was definitely better (second lock was down a flight of stairs and then at least 5 feet in a 90 degree angle).

And I also have a Minimote connected so it was nice to learn I can use it to connect the other items in the garage.

Thanks for the good info!