Getting started. Looking at keeping wife happy (Using the same devices with both HomeKit and SmartThings?)


#1

I’m looking at moving into my new house after a few years of renting. It will be my first foray into smart home but I’m technically competent to handle SmartThings and a bit of electrical work.

I love the things that I read that SmartThings is able to support. But, selling it to the wife will mean keeping it as simple as possible.

I see that the Lutron Caséta light switches with their hub are supported in SmartThings and HomeKit.

Can I setup things so that my wife can manually control the lights via her iPhone interface and Siri while at the same time SmartThings can also control them manually and automatically (timed programs, scenes and what not)? I.e. can both user interfaces be active to the switches at the same time?

(I know that Apple HomeKit support is available via a unofficial HomeBridge work-around. I guess I can always attempt that and create a simplified interface for my wife. But, it would be best if my wife just saw the lights and the myriad of sensors and the like were hidden from her daily-use view. I’m wondering if I can do this without HomeBridge.)

Thanks for your responses. I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions.


(Stephan H.) #2

Yes, your Lutron Casetas with SmartHub can be connected to both systems simultaneously. No functionality will be lost on either ecosystem by connecting to the other.


(JBrown) #3

I use homebridge and only link the things my wife uses with the apple Home app. My wife likes the apple Home app far more than the smartthings app.


#4

Welcome! :sunglasses: (I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs and preferences.)

We started out with SmartThings and after 15 months ended up moving our critical need use cases to HomeKit because of the reliability issues with SmartThings. But we still like SmartThings for convenience notifications, which it does better than pretty much anything else in its price range, and we keep hoping the stability will improve. So we have a lot of experience with having both HomeKit and SmartThings in the same house.

The short answer is that as of this writing, June 2017, Z wave and zigbee devices Will not work with HomeKit (although the zwave alliance says there will be a HomeKit/Z wave hub available in 2018, but no details).

Most companies make either a homekit version or zwave Or zigbee version of their device, so it’s one or the other. For example, Fibaro makes sensors which look identical, but one model can work with HomeKit and the other model can work with SmartThings via zwave and they aren’t interchangeable. The same is true for Leviton switches. The cases look identical, but one version works with SmartThings, and another version works with HomeKit. Schlage locks work with either HomeKit or SmartThings, but not both.

specific devices that can work with both

There are a few companies which make devices which work with both and where are you can use either control method throughout the day. As of June 2017, these included:

Lutron Caseta Devices and Serena shades when connected via the 2nd generation Lutron SmartBridge

Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips when connected via the second generation Phillips hue bridge

Some IHome pocket sockets

Logitech Pop buttons when connected via the second generation pop bridge

Ecobee Thermostat (HomeKit-compatible version)

You can use a Hue motion sensor connected to a hue bridge to turn on A hue bulb, and then have either HomeKit or SmartThings or both notice that that bulb came on and then do you other things, but it’s kind of a clunky set up. Other than that, all the sensors currently available work with one system or the other but not both.

WeMo has announced that they are going to release a bridge device this fall that will allow existing WeMo devices to work with HomeKit. It’s likely that this would be the same as Lutron and Phillips hue, where the devices could work with both SmartThings and HomeKit at the same time, but we won’t know for sure until we get more details on the new device.

Any device which is HomeKit compatible and also has an IFTTT channel could get indirect integration with SmartThings that way, but there aren’t many of these.

Conclusion

For the specific devices you mentioned, the Lutron Caseta switches, everything works great as long as you have the version of the Lutron smartbridge which is HomeKit compatible. Both SmartThings and HomeKit can control the Lutron switches, both get status updates, switching back-and-forth is seamless. We use this at our house.

For other devices, you just have to look case by case. But there was a new announcement at WWDC this month that Apple is going to make a software integration option available going forward, so that HomeKit compatible devices will no longer require a special hardware chip.

For some complicated technical reasons, that’s not likely to mean direct smartthings/homekit integration immediately*, but it should mean that we will start seeing more and more devices come on the market that could be used with both. :sunglasses:

.*. since you mentioned homebridge, I’m going to assume you have a technical background. So the reason why the software option won’t be immediately available with SmartThings is that HomeKit is still going to require that everything be on the same LAN as a security factor. And SmartThings is still largely a cloud-based system. Same reason why when you use homebridge you have to set up a “man in the middle” server. But we’ll just have to see what actually happens as things move forward.


(Garrett) #5

Good luck keeping her happy.


#6

I forgot to mention, as you get farther into the project you might also want to look at the “get started” project reports list in the community – created wiki. Lots of good information there. :sunglasses:

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


(Pizzinini) #7

I know you only mention Homekit and Smartthings in your post but you may want to consider Amazon Echo as well. It works even better than Siri and there are a number of community created apps (e.g. ask Alexa, Echosistant) that make it even better.


#8

Thanks for the insights everyone - especially JDRoberts’ novella :slight_smile:. I’ve been hunting around for information and with everything changing month-after-month it’s really helpful to find up to the moment information.

I am happy to realise that I can move forward with my plans and have SmartThings and HomeKit coexist. It prevents me from trading off the full-features/complexity of SmartThings with for the polished, if simplified interface of HomeKit. (Note, I’m not claiming any authority in judging the systems, just reflecting back what I read as the common view on the systems.)