Holy Moly - has SmartThings come a long way

I got my VeraLite system up and running a few years ago. As a developer, I found their platform just garbage to work on. The Apps and UI are an unorganized mess too. I looked into SmartThings at the same time, but it was just getting going. So I stuck it out with my Vera. Did NO updates (cause it broke everything all the time on updates) and just left it alone. It worked fine really, but now I want to update it and realized it’s so far out of date and some of the plugins that I was using are no longer around.

So…starting over. I just purchased a NEW SmartThings hub and I’m throwing the Vera out once I get all my functionality up and running on the ST system…

I just scanned over the development environment. WOW! It’s awesome! Can’t wait to dive in.

I’ve got Light switches/Dimmers, Water Sensors, Honeywell Vista 20P alarm system (EVL-3). I’ve got scenes that get triggered for basic things like it’s dark out and a few scenes that trigger off the alarm events (text and email to a few users that the alarm is going off).

Hopefully I can find some off the shelf STUFF (not sure on the ST lingo yet) that get me up and running.

The only thing I’m not sure on is the Alarm Panel. I think there is a project that requires some server stuff to run between the EVL-3 and the ST hub, but I’ll have to look at that. Seems a shame to have to run another 24x7 server just to interface the 2.

Anyhow. If anyone can point me off into some:

  • Basic get your system up and running docs (integrate a single light switch and get the iPhone APP running).
  • More info on “scenes” on the ST platform. For example, some info on setting up a light switch to trigger to ON when its dark and OFF when it’s dawn.
  • More info on the best way to integrate the Honeywell Vista 20P panel/EVL-3 to the ST platform.


1 Like

The person you seek is @JDRoberts. He is pretty much the local go to encyclopedia for home automations.

Welcome to ST.


Sorry, I have bad news for the developer… someone has done most of the work for you already :wink:


I also recommend you read this:



Thanks…I’ll have a look. It’s interesting when things are a few years old…you end up reading useless old outdated info half the time.

Excellent. I’m getting lazy in my old age LOL

If you have an Amazon Echo you may want to search the forum for “Ask Alexa” and “Echosistant”. If you have a Nest thermostat search for “NST Manager” and if you use Smartthings on an iOS device, look for “Homebridge”… just to name a few to give you some ideas. There are lots of other really good apps.


And yes, there is a getting started tutorial, too…

1 Like

Welcome! :sunglasses:

You’ve gotten some great pointers already, so I’ll just call out 4resources you might find of interest.

  1. Welcome letter for those with a strong technical background:


  1. Brief FAQ on using custom code in SmartThings, including the terminology used:

The process is pretty straightforward, basically you copy the author’s code and paste it into your own account,

  1. So now where do you find the code to copy? There’s a lot of great stuff in the forums, but to be honest, the search sucks. :disappointed_relieved: So check out the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki. That includes both code and project reports.


  1. And finally, while you should find the project reports inspiring and interesting, and the Device Type handlers useful, here’s the reason why you may not need much if any of the custom code for smartapps anymore: webcore is essentially a scripting language for SmartThings. Very powerful, and has done most of the heavy lifting for you. Great for stacked conditionals “If This, then that–unless…”

Have fun! :sunglasses:


Welcome back! (And please give ActionTiles a try as the popular web browser based dashboard building app… www.actiontiles.com).


Also, if you want to jump straight to setting up scenes before you get too far down the rabbit hole of the other resources, see the intro to scheduling :sunglasses:. (The screenshots are a little out of date, but the information is still good.)


Wow @JDRoberts thanks for all the info. I’ll start reading. Hey can you steer me to the best Honeywell Vista Alarm panel integration? I’ll be using the EVL-3 for now (since I have that).

I think this one here sounds like the one to use, but wanted to check ([RELEASE] Honeywell / Ademco Vista 20P Integration) Looks like @redloro is the author.

sorry, I’m not familiar with the specifics on that integration. I’d just suggest checking the “security” quick browse list in the project reports section in the community – created wiki and seeing what’s there. Once you get into one of the Vista threads, you should be able to find people using different code and get their opinions. :sunglasses:


1 Like

BTW. When I “reply”, I would have thought it would have included the thing I’m replying too. What’s the deal on this platform? I see you are doing it, but wasn’t sure how. Is it the “Quote Whole Post” icon that does that?


1 Like

Check this out for tying in your alarm accessories to ST.

1 Like

Thanks! I did see that one, but the Honeywell panel is so reliable, I think I’ll leave it in place and just “monitor” what it’s doing via ST somehow.

Just tried it. Thats more like it!

1 Like

My Hub arrived today (to Canada and didn’t even have to pay customs or tax)! Guess I’ll have to figure out how to use it now!