Indigo as a secondary Z-Wave controller?

I’m switching over to SmartThings from Indigo (for my reasons, but chief among them is how messy Indigo is to debug and use), but was wondering if anyone has used Indigo as a secondary controller on the SmartThings Z-Wave network? That way the Mac could perform other duties potentially?

I have used Indigo for years and ended up writing my own server to communicate with it, iRule, Tasker, and SmartThings. While my plan is to eventually phase out Indigo completely, currently it still controls a number of legacy devices I haven’t replaced yet.

You can check out my server app here.

What did you not like about Indigo, Scott?

It’s really just all over the place. The mobile app is woefully inadequate for a whole house remote, and Android (currently my mobile platform of choice) continues to go unsupported. Building complex rules is too much of a chore, being spread out across devices, action groups, and scheduled actions (too many windows, and way too many mouse clicks). And once done, confusing to remember what you’ve done and where to go back and make edits. I have actually found it simpler to do all of my if-then-else logic in a single AppleScript attached to a device. And all Indigo has been doing for me recently, is controlling legacy devices from AppleScripts executed from HAM Bridge. Once they’re gone - so is Indigo.

Don’t get me wrong… Indigo is very capable (and for the most part overkill), but their focus over the years has been feature bloat (I suppose to justify the $200 asking price), and not an attractive, well designed interface.

Have a spare mac mini laying around and was giving them some thought. Was thinking things may be easier if I had more control over the machine


It depends what you want to control. Much of what I control with SmartThings have public API’s that let them be controlled easily from my Mac (my thermostats, Hue lighting, cameras, all of my A/V gear, etc.), and even SmartThings controlled devices (Zwave, Zigbee) can be set up with endpoint calls a Mac can make.

I use iRule as a whole house remote because I like the versatility, and being able to make it look how ever I like. But it can’t control Zwave or Zigbee, but my Mac can, and it can talk to my Mac.

And then there are scenes that involve turning on lights, switches and a number of A/V components, and setting inputs and sources. I can’t build a macro in iRule that will control all of it, nor a SmartApp in SmartThings. But I can put a script on my Mac to do all of it, and call it from both iRule and SmartThings.

All of my Hue scenes are shell scripts. They are just simple little text files that I find much easier to edit/clone than either the Hue or SmartThings interfaces (plus SmartThings doesn’t support transition times yet - which is one of my favorite features), plus they’re available from both iRule and SmartThings, and even a web browser.

You’re spare mini can be set up to do a lot! I just don’t think Indigo is needed.

Yeah, I figured that using the mini as a controller may be more versatile… I’m not sure that the ease of use that I’m looking for is there without some sort of software layer (such as Indigo) and it seems to be the leader on the mac software end of things…

Have a look at HAM Bridge.

Folowing your Google Plus page,
will look into it - thanks!

@Ethan_Kaplan just wondering after over a year, what your thoughts are now of ST vs Indigo?

I’ll offer up mine if you’re interested…

Oh what a difference a year makes. I moved almost everything I can back to Indigo, mostly due to SmartThings unreliable nature. Local device control is provided buy iRule and Tasker via HAM Bridge.

I still use SmartThings for internet based access and notifications, and some ZigBee sensors, hoping it will get better. Laughable that I switched to SmartThings for better reliability over my powerline stuff!

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That isn’t what I wanted to hear, but I am about to throw down the money for Indigo. The lack of reliability is killing me.


Indigo was the platform I had my mind set on when I first started dreaming about a smart home back in college (2000). It wasn’t until last year (2014) that I actually owned a home and had the money to throw around on these toys. I landed on Smartthings, but have been so disappointed with the reliability. (and my wife hates me).

I’m shocked that Indigo is still around and apparently flourishing.

While I’m going to wait another 6 months to a year to make any rash decisions, I’m definitely including Indigo in the decision making process.