Help! I can't seem to get ANYTHING to work right

I have to admit that I am super disappointed in my SmartThings purchase so far… I was all excited to be able to connect things and have a smart home, yet NOTHING has worked right. I set up the Hub and then tried to install some light switches. I bought the Inovelli switches as those seemed to have some of the best reviews. First project: a three-way dimmer switch. After several hours of trying everything I could, I cannot get the 3-way switch to work properly. If the other slave switch is turned off, then the smart switch doesn’t work. Whatever, I have an electrician coming to try to get those wired right.

So I moved on to a simple on/off switch for my outdoor lighting. I was able to get this installed ok. I can turn it on and off from the app. Yay. So I have tried for several days now to get it to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise. No luck. One day it turned on, but never off. Last night it never turned on. I tried removing the automation and redoing it. Half the time I get all the way through setting it up and then get “cannot connect to server” errors. Other times it says it is programmed and yet, still no lights on at night.

I swear everything I have tried to do has been a frustrating experience. I will install a new switch add it with the app once it is recognized and then immediately when I try to operate the switch through the app it says it can’t connect. Like 2 seconds later. It adds it, but then can’t find it???

And then there is the confusion with the apps themselves. When I set up the Hub I started using the SmartThings app on my Samsung phone (yay, how convenient…). Then when I tried to troubleshoot, I couldn’t figure out why none of my screens or menus matched what I found online. Then I figured out I needed to download the SmartThings CLASSIC app. Why are there two apps? It seems like I need to use both of them depending on what I want to do… One doesn’t have sunset as an option for automations… one only connects half the time.

Then when I try to look for solutions online, everything seems to involve all kinds of code and programming. What am I missing here? This has been so incredibly frustrating and I just want to throw all this stuff away and be Amish.

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@a2pfunk are you in the UK / EU? If so a lot of us share your pain. The platform has gone tits up. A lot of people will unfortunately have bought Smartthings at the recent prices and must be massively disappointed. I’ve got a second hub I can do bugger all with. My first hub is working fine thankfully as it’s in Spain. The one I have here in the UK is just a white plastic paper weight. I’m hoping this may get fixed soon as it’s been going on for days. BTW rather stick to the classic app if you can.

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I’m actually in the US… Although now you have me curious as to how it makes a difference.

For the sunset automation, have you set your location so the system knows what time zone you’re in?

Could the issues be because the OP is using both apps? I seem to recall from other posts here that using the SmartThings (Connect) app will cause issues in the SmartThings Classic app. I haven’t touched the new app so I have no experience.

In theory, if you created your account after May 2017, it shouldn’t matter which app you use.

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To be date specific from the Account Migration Beta:

Translated the other way, anyone who created an account on or after May 4th, 2017 would have a Samsung account and therefore, technically be able to use both applications.

@prjct92eh2, @WB70

Thanks for the clarification. I wasn’t sure.


Unfortunately you’ve come in right in the middle of a major transition that’s causing trouble for a fair number of existing users too. For now, just use the Classic app, and ignore the other one until you have to switch (they’ll send out notices)

As for “3 way” there’s a ton of guides on how to rewire for smart master/slave switches. You cannot just use the existing wiring as is. You first have to determine the method of your existing 3way switch (power into switch, or power into light), if you have the required neutrals in the junction boxes, etc etc.


The original SmartThings app was already on my phone (although I think under a different name until the app updated). I am guessing my account was created a few years back when I made a Samsung account for the phone. I just downloaded the Classic app in the last two weeks. Should I delete the SmartThings app?

If it was me, I would only use the classic app. I don’t know if it’s necessary to delete the other app but I wouldn’t use it.

Did you get any of your lights working correctly yet? If not, why don’t you post how you have them set up. Which smart app, etc. Screen shots? Maybe one of us might be able to see IF there is something wrong.

Also, if they are not working, and you created them with the new app, you could try and remove them and create them with the classic app. If you can control them manually through the classic app, then we need to look at your rules. You might have tried this already but these are things that are coming to mind this morning.

Smartthings really did make a bonehead move with this old and new app situation by not having the new app completed and ready to go.

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Sorry you’re having a tough time. I think others have given suggestions for most of your issues, so I’ll just ask:

  1. What lights are you using?

  2. How far away from the Hub are they?

Different lights use different technologies to connect to the Hub, and they have different limitations. @JDRoberts has a helpful guide on how best to position things in your network, but the main takeaway is: try to put the Hub in the centre of your house (vertically as well as horizontally), and build out a strong mesh of similar technologies.


So far… I had an electrician come over and help with a couple of the 3way dinners that were giving me fits.

I am using Inovelli nzw30 and nzw31 switches. One is a dimmer switch and the other is not. I don’t believe distance from the hub is an issue because they connected fine and I can turn them off and on using the manual switches on the dashboard. It is just that when I try to program a sunset to sunrise on they don’t work. I have tried adding the trigger several times from the SmartThings app and the SmartThings Classic app. Finally, I realized the simple solution and just used ifttt and setup an easy trigger. It is just frustrating because the SmartThings app gives me nothing but trouble and I feel like I am now cobbling together all kinds of different apps and programs to do things.

Speaking of the app, I was going to delete the non-classic app, but it is bloatware in my phone, so I can’t. Besides, on my version of the Classic app, certain things (like sunrise and sunset) are not on there. Other problems I am having are that whenever I try to run the repair z-wave network function, nothing happens, it just says Z-wave network repair started. I have let it sit for hours and nothing happens. So I have no idea if the mesh of my network has ever been properly setup because I can’t even run this simple option. I am really starting to feel like I picked the wrong system since nothing ever quite works. For example, right now… My outside lights were turned on by the ifttt trigger. When I open the classic app to look at all my devices, it shows them unavailable. But when I click on it, I can see that they are on and I can turn them on and off. So are they unavailable or not???

So I guess at this point, my questions are… how do I repair the z-wave network? Is the app ever going to get more reliable? Should I look into Iris or Wink?

If you use Smart Lighting in the Classic app sunset and sunrise are in +More Options at the bottom when you set up the conditions for your rule.

Your are right. Using IFTTT to do simple things like turn on a light is cobbling it together and I don’t think you are going to happy going that route.

If your not using Smart Lighting in the Classic app give it a try. If you need screen shots let me know and I’ll pull them off the phone.

Thanks, I will give that another shot. I was using the Smart Lighting and it was not working. I’ll try again tomorrow (before sunset). Thanks!

Sounds like a plan. Make sure to post with any questions.

If your location set in the more menu so SmartThings knows what time zone you’re in?