Thank you. Your reply was very helpful.
I have around 150 devices so far and no complaints. I’m not saying the system is perfect - it isn’t - but for $50, I think it is a steal if you’re a DIY geek and don’t expect enterprise-class reliability. I’ve not had any major issues for quite some time.
I got a good six months of stability but for the last few months, it’s really annoying me and REALLY annoying my wife. Things randomly come on, the siren has randomly gone off, door sensors say open, then closed, then open, then closed, over and over again, not sure why it’s sucking so bad lately. Echo integration has been terrible, with one switch working and then an hour later, Alexa can’t find it but it worked flawlessly for months prior.
When it works, it’s awesome and the flexibility plus this forum are great but when it doesn’t work, you want to give up on it so it may not be the option for you.
In my situation, it’s a country home, so Internet is metered, and unreliable (Hughes Net Satellite, goes down even in light rain.) and cellular is weak. From the comments, it seems a lot of issues are cloud related? My primary interest is lighting. I have to have a system that works when the internet is down. Touching the cloud for me is BIG NEGATIVE.
And no, I don’t want to spend the big bucks for a system that ties me to a “dealer only” product. I don’t have a Mac, so it’s Windows or Android, and as I have a robust home network, I prefer a Windows based solution for programming the system.
While you may have heard that The second version of the smartthings hub introduced “local processing” it’s still primarily a cloud-based system. The only thing that can run without access to your SmartThings cloud account is some parts of the official smartlighting feature and a small part of the smart home monitor feature. And that’s it. You can’t use the mobile app at all if your smart things cloud account is not available, even if your phone is on the Home Wi-Fi. You can’t do anything based on sunset or sunrise. You can’t run routines. You can’t arm or disarm the security part of the system, which can be very inconvenient. And only a very limited set of devices can operate without the cloud.
In addition, probably the strongest feature of the SmartThings platform is the ability for customers to add their own custom code for additional devices or automations. However, at the present time no custom code of any kind can run without the cloud.
So at the present time, in smartthings the “local processing” is really just intended to make sure that you still have a few lights that work if the Internet is temporarily not available. It’s not a robust local system.
If you need something for a location that only has sporadic Internet access, you should look at one of the automation systems that doesn’t have a cloud requirement, or that only requires the cloud to set up the account but not to run day to day. If you have strong technical skills, homeseer or Vera would probably be your best bet. Insteon is another possibility, although it uses its own proprietary protocol, not Zwave. But I don’t think SmartThings is going to be a good fit for the situation you describe.
If you are looking for perfect stability, ST is not there yet. But it has improved noticeably since the big rants we were used a year or more ago. There are still issues, and most of them are with the cloud. You will always run on minor issues, but as long as you’re not relying on ST for security in a dangerous neighborhood, you should be good, in my opinion.
For lights, if you decide to go the ST route, just get all the devices that run locally. There is a list of devices that run locally and you can use it to guide your purchases, so that everything light-related can work without the cloud hassle.
My two cents.
Yeah in your case I can see why stability and local process would be very important. I’m in the opposite boat with gig fiber and redundant power.
Same here. When I was researching I thought the same thing about Control4. I’ve seen and used it first hand, but the dealer only support and associated cost was well beyond what I wanted to spend. I tried Vera as well, and kept it for a week (if that).
I’m not sure what would be the best for you. Perhaps a hybrid/mix of solutions, but that gets to be a handful to manage too.
Now that I use Alexa for most commands and not the app I went through my devices and switched everything I could from custom device types (which ran in the cloud) back to stock device types (which ran locally). Once that was done I had one Z-Wave water shoutoff, my EcoBee, and my Konnected Security devices that were still “cloud” processing. I contacted support about the water shutoff since its using the SmartThings genaric “Z-Wave Water Shutoff Valve” that should be running locally but isn’t (and that’s a big one for me).
I will say once everything that I could switch back to local was done I have had less issues and overall faster response times. Like Smart Lighting seems instantaneous for my routines. Third party devices are nice in that they expand the abilities of a device but for me right now they aren’t worth not having them run locally. I would hope people making these device handlers put in pull requests on the original SmartThings code and I similarly hope SmartThings goes through and actually commits some of those pull requests. It would be nice to have some of the extra capabilities and still run locally (GE Fan control for example).
Just for clarity…
SmartLighting Automations and “routines” are two different things in the SmartThings platform. Some smartlighting automations can run locally, but routines cannot.
Routines have a few unique features in the SmartThings platform. They have widgets and can be automatically made available to echo. So they are somewhat different than smartlighting automations.
Yeah, when I said routines I meant my different Smart Lighting rules as the things running locally. Local sensor, local switch, local rule, etc.
I forgot to mention if you really are interested only in lighting, Lutron Caseta by itself is a very good system, very stable and reliable. When you add their smartbridge, you get remote access from outside the home as long as the Internet is available, but when the Internet is not available everything still works great in the building, including time-based schedules. So just another possibility.
If you’re willing to add an Apple TV 4 or an iPad, you can also use HomeKit with the Lutron devices and everything works locally except the Siri voice commands. This allows you to add sensors as well as lighting if you want to do that. So again, just another option.
In both these cases, you are limited to much simpler rule parameters and a narrower selection of devices than you get with SmartThings, but that may be all you need in this case.
Just looking for a clarification on a statement. So you only need the Lutron bridge if you’re looking to control their switches outside of your home network? I didn’t know that. (I’m trying to reduce the idea of having 10 hubs for different manufacturers around the house
If you want to use Lutron Devices with SmartThings, you have to get the SmartBridge: it’s a cloud to cloud integration.
If you are not going to use SmartThings and you want to use Lutron devices on their own, you only need the SmartBridge if you need features that will require the Internet, such as access while you were out of the building.
The original poster had said that he has a building in a remote area that doesn’t have reliable Internet connection and that his primary interest is lighting. So I was just suggesting that he might look at Lutron on its own as a possible solution, since smartthings is a cloud-based system.
JDRoberts. Thank you for that response. I didn’t know all of that but that is nice to know!!
JDRoberts. I think I may have sent you a PM. Just making sure it went through on your end.
I don’t read PMs very often.
I laughed when I saw this😂
Oh I see. Thank you for that information. I may post smartthings helpdesk response to my ticket on the forums shortly. I would like to have others insight to my issue. Maybe I am just missing something on how to fix the issue I am having myself.
Just out of curiosity, for us laymen, what is it that that causes the system to not be stable?
I used Staples Connect for almost three years. Yes it was a closed system with no developer flexibility at all like SmartThings provides. But for what I used it for, mainly lighting, it just worked for three years with no problems.
Not asking because I think that I or anyone else can do anything about it, not a complaint, but just curious about what factor provided the stability that Staples Connect had. Stronger zwave radio in the hub? Better hub design? Better firmware?
Thank you for your response. Well here is to hoping that SmartThings has longevity and continues to improve and evolve.