Gone on vacation for 10 days - So how did ST perform?


Over the last couple months I’ve seen improvements with ST, but I was still a little skeptical of what to expect just letting ST run without any intervention by me for 10 days until today. Please note that my environment does not have any Sonos, a Harmony hub, a Hue hub, or any wifi thermostats. In summary, my overall experience was pretty good with only 3 devices that needed attention (I have almost 260). I would like to make it months without an issue some day.

We left our home for a long vacation with a few days in the US, and the rest was spent at sea with only 3 days on islands in the Caribbean. Connectivity to the “world” was decent, and was purposely kept to a minimum.

We were wanting to disconnect for a while, and only wanted to get important messages. I only checked email once (work and personal), and never surfed the web. I only checked in here once to see if anything interesting popped up, and I logged in to the IDE only a couple times. I used the ST app just to keep tabs on things every so often, including my Blink cameras and a Samsung HD Pro camera.

We left behind a couple adults with explicit instructions to not burn the place down. They use the ST app, one Alexa, and minimotes in their rooms and elsewhere within the house. They don’t mess around with troubleshooting ST issues. I consider them “normal” users of ST, and they just expect things to just work with how they live in our home.

I do not use ST for security at this time, but other systems are in place for that. ST does all my other automations via Smart Lighting, Rule Machines, custom SHM rules, my own apps, Routines, and my continued testing of SHM. Here’s how things went based on me just checking in here and there, receiving notifications, and the people in our house providing feedback:

  • Routines

We set up 4 key Routines: Arm SHM and Disarm SHM using nothing but Android mobile presence devices, and Good Morning and Good Night that managed switches and thermostats. Arm/Disarm also sent notifications. All our Routines worked without any incident caused by ST. In fact, SHM sent me arm/disarm notifications well within acceptable time frames of when my primary security system sent similar messages when it was manually armed/disarmed.

  • Automations

All our outside lights and outlets executed perfectly (on/off) for every sunrise and sunset cycle every single day.

Motion activated lights (on or off) worked perfectly - lights on when going up/down stairs (then off), on with motion and then off after x minutes of no motion, certain outside lights turn on with motion but only after sunset, and many more.

Lights on/off events related to contact sensors (mainly some closets) worked perfectly every time.

Minimotes are awesome. No more to say about that, except if you don’t have one, get one. Promotes laziness though…

Bathroom exhaust fans always turned on when humidity exceeded limits, and then turned off when back to normal. These are Rule Machine rules, not Smart Lighting or custom SHM rules.

Notifications from rules monitoring how long doors, windows, and/or locks have been left open worked perfectly.

  • What broke or worked differently than expected

I have a ton of motion sensors, and only 1 got “stuck” on motion. It’s a PEQ motion sensor (zigbee). There are a few threads (and support tickets) on motion sensors getting “stuck”, so I won’t go into detail on that; but I’m convinced this is not a device issue.

A GE switch (the old 4xxxx series) died half way through the trip. The switch still worked manually, but it refused to work with ST anymore. I replaced it when I got home with a 12xxx series GE switch, and it had no problem joining right up to the hub. This is my first GE switch that completely died, and it was in service for over 2 years. Obviously automations trying to control that device did not execute correctly, so in some cases an LED light left on controlled by that switch did not get turned off when motion stopped. Luckily, it was a frequently used switch and it wasn’t left on for hours and hours.

I missed two ST disarm run events because in both cases the phones had a dead battery when it arrived, and it caused an intrusion alert when a door opened or motion was sensed.

I had a few zigbee devices that would normally have “Last Activity” be within 60 minutes go for hours before an update. This may be normal, but I’m use to seeing last activity be 60 minutes or less. I have an open support request regarding odd zigbee issues, so I’ll be paying a little closer attention to this behavior.

I had an Ecolink open/close sensor decide to say a window was open when it actually wasn’t. I’ve had a few Ecolinks do this before, but I don’t think this is an ST issue. I have other zwave open/close sensors that don’t do this. I think the reed sensor in these devices are super sensitive. Magnet placement for this particular device was also questionable, so I moved it to a better spot. I’ll monitor this for a while, and if it still false reports I’ll replace it with an Iris device.