Help with Moving to SmartThings and Possible HomeKit

I have a legacy Vera z-wave controller that is around 7 years old. I’ve been having issue with my newer Schlage locks not working with the controller. I also have two GE dimmers that have started to flicker. They are around the same age as the controller.

I’ve been going back and forth between an other Vera and ST. I believe I’ve settled on ST because Vera updates just seem to be lacking.

I’m looking for advice on how to best move to ST and still allow me to try/use Apple HomeKit.

I’m looking for advice and validation of what I’m doing.

My use cases are as follows (limited by current controller):

  • Lighting on/off based on sun raise/set +/- x number of minutes.
  • Lighting dims as evening progresses
  • Lighting runs for x number of minutes
  • Monitoring Schlage locks

Current hardware

  • GE Dimmers - z-wave (possibly needed to be replaced)
  • GE On/Off switches - z-wave
  • Schlage z-wave dead bolts
  • Genie garage door opener (purchasing from Costco)
  • Samsung Range WiFi ST-enabled
  • Samsung RoboVac WiFi ST-enabled

New Hardware

  • SmartThings (most current version) hub
  • Lurton Caseta Dimmers
  • Lurton Caseta Pro hub

New Use Cases

  • Connect Caseta to both ST and HomeKit (not interested in the Caseta app)
  • Use ST for sense/automation/on-off
  • Use ST for monitoring Schlage locks
  • Test/Use HomeKit for what ever works

Tagging @pizzinini

I don’t know about the Luton Caseta and the Genie devices because I don’t have them but all the rest is all doable with Smartthings.

I recommend you read this:


It is an “unofficial “ integration of Smartthings with HomeKit. i recommend you install this on a raspberry pi (total cost ~$30) I have it working for years now and with that recent version I actually use the Apple Home app and Siri more than The Smartthings app or Echo.

Good luck!

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Lutron Caseta integrates with both SmartThings and Homekit. The Lutron Bridge is required and also the Lutron Caseta app which is needed to set up Lutron Caseta devices. I know the OP stated they did not want to use the Lutron Caseta app but it is needed.

If the Genie Garage Door opener has MyQ then you can integrate it with ST using MyQ Lite. To integrate it with Homekit, the MyQ Home Bridge is required.

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You only have to use the Lutron app to add a new device to your Lutron account.

Once it’s set up and added to your Lutron SmartBridge, you can then use the Caseta switch with both HomeKit and smartthings as you like. I only open the Caseta app maybe once a year. :sunglasses:

You can create all your rules in the other systems. It will run locally with HomeKit and it’s a cloud to cloud integration with smartthings.

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Thank you all for the quick replies.

I’ve heard about HomeBridge, but have not looked into it. The r-Pi is well within my comfort zone. I’m not sure I want to tinker with it. I’ve had to do that with my Vera and it became a time suck. For someone with basic to average Mac/Linux/Ubontu experience, how long is a safe guess to setup the device(hours, days, weeks)

It sounds like everything comes to where I want my user interface (UI) to live. Also processing location comes into play. I do like having HomeKit local or at least the option to have HomeKit local. I also see the advantage of running both integrations. In away I’m future proofing my setup. If eco-system starts to phase out, I can fall back to the other.

I’ve not setup any automation on either ST or HomeKit. I’ve only seen screen shots. Is automation vs monitoring better on one system than the other?
If I decided to start without the HomeBridge, is there a difference in effort to add it later?

Assuming that I use the Caseta switches and Pro hub I think the below scenarios are valid.

SmartThings and Caseta only
ST hub handles all z-wave devices (not sure about wifi samsung appliances)

  • Dead bolts
  • On/Off light switches
    Caseta hub handles Lurton switches/devices
  • Dimmer switches
    User experience
  • Caseta app will be for setup only
  • ST apps will be able to see and control all devices
  • HomeKit (if used) would only see and control Dimmers (Caseta devices)
  • This could change as devices are upgraded

SmartThings, Caseta and HomeBridge
ST hub handles all z-wave devices (not sure about wifi samsung appliances)

  • Dead bolts
  • On/Off light switches
    Caseta hub handles Lurton switches/devices
  • Dimmer switches
    User experience
  • Caseta app will be for setup only
  • ST apps will be able to see and control all devices
  • HomeKit with HomeBridge integration would all HomeKit access to all devices

The Samsung Wi-Fi appliances are handled via the smartthings cloud, not the hub. Same ST app, so they can be combined in automations, although I do see some disappointment about the level of integration, I just don’t know the details.

As far as which app to use primarily, smartthings allows for much more complex rules than HomeKit does at present, but is less reliable.

I personally use HomeKit for all of my critical use cases, including things like turning lights on at sunset. I use smartthings for complex convenience notifications, like receiving a notification if the guestroom window is open, rain is expected, and the guest is away from the house. But I myself put reliability at the top of my requirements list now, because I am quadriparetic, and home automation is not just a fun toy for me. Also I may not have as many “Plan B” options as someone else. So there are a lot of individual factors that go into deciding which rules creator you want to use.

See the FAQ:

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings (2017) (SmartThings Classic)

Your scenarios look valid with the one note that using the official smartthings integration, smartthings cannot see the Lutron pico remotes. You can still use them, but only as a parallel means of control.

There is an unofficial integration with uses another server device for a “man in the middle” integration that does allow you to use pico button presses To send messages to the smartthings hub if you’re interested in that.

There are a few other devices besides Lutron Caseta which can be seen by both HomeKit and SmartThings. There is an article in the community – created wiki that lists them. So it comes down to the specific devices you select. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Devices_that_Work_with_HomeKit_and_SmartThings

I guess I will need to assist with updating the devices that work with homekit and ST page- there are some devices that need to be added :slight_smile:

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Thank you for pointing out the devices that work with both HomeKit and SmartThings.

I’m strongly looking at changing my switches to devices that natively support both systems. Since I only need 2 dimmers, I could splurge on iDevices and migrate other switches over time.

For now the financial invests is limited to the ST Hub and 2 Dimmers (iDevices or WeMo).

WeMo seems to be back by Belkin and iDevices also seems like solid company. Is there a real world difference between them?

*** EDIT ***
I should have read the page more closely. Only the On/Off Switch currently support a direct connect to ST. Is this still correct?

I would love these to work because Costco is selling them at a great price.

The IDevices connection is cloud to cloud. It’s an official integration, but neither direct nor local. That’s going to be true of all Wi-Fi devices except for smartthings’ own branded models.

Personally, I would choose Lutron over idevices for switches, although I do have some iDevices pocket sockets and sensors.

Step one completed.

I ordered a ST hub from amazon. I’m still waffling on the switches.

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Setting up Homebridge on pi takes about 45 min… but 99% of it is just waiting for installations to complete. Once it is up and running there is usually no need to interact.

You can set it to reboot automatically if Homebridge fails.

I will see if I have documented the exact commands I used for installation and post it.

Just to give you an idea… here is a step by step for the previous version:

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@gundrted. Lutron casseta works great with ST and has solid, easy, native HomeKit support. I’d go that route for homekit switches. Also after 4 years of home automation experience I can say that Lutron casseta switches is only brand that did not have at-least one smart switch die over time, so now each time a smart switch dies I replace it with with a Casseta one. Homebridge works okay, but I had to bring it offline after multiple security breaches into my NAS which I did not want deal with any longer. It also does not retain iOS config well and at times can work well for months an other times not stable, so many times you find yourself re-importing the homebridge devices in iOS, reassigning them to rooms and favorites and whatever else you set up in the home app. Lutron HomeKit in contrast super stable and no rework since initial setup.

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Thanks everyone for the input and all the resources here online.

So far I’ve got my ST Hub v3 and Caseta up and running. The connection between the two was stupid simple.

The Caseta dimmers are great. So far there is no flickering at 60% or 30%. I’m very happy with them. I do use the ST for all the automation. The Pico remote was the only exception. I dropped all the light switches in one ‘room’ and added the Pico to it. This way I have a single that acts as a all on/off switch for the house.

All of my old GE z-wave switches and sockets work with ST. The only issues I’m having are two old Schlage deadbolts. I’m pretty sure one died when removing it from my old z-wave network. It won’t connect to anything any more. The other seems to have a bad ‘0’ key and the programming code has a ‘0’ in it … go figure. Looks like there is at least one new lock in my future.

I’ve only poked around with HomeKit, however so far it seems easy enough. Not very feature rich, but it has a nice interface.

On the new lock, by default I’m looking a the Schlage Connect. Schlage been around for ever. I really like that fact it has a key. I don’t like the idea of the system failing me the lock being unusable. When I was at Lowes I saw an August lock and it also had a manual key. Why opinions as to how they compare to a Schlage?