Introduction: New kid on the block finds ST alternately enjoyable and frustrating

New to the community, long-time hobby level HA tinkerer. Retired from 25’ish years in various levels of IT support - not a total n00b but not an engineer either (unless you count some old Novell CNE certs.)
Lately I’ve been trying to connect everything in my house. It’s an old (circa mid 50’s) cape, basement, main level and two upstairs bedrooms, out in the country, so WiFi noise pretty much only originates with my setup. Something like 70 devices currently - Wemo outlets and bulbs, LIFX and Cree bulbs, Alexa devices, Sonos speakers and SmartThings and a few renegade devices that do their own thing.
I’m finding ST to be alternately enjoyable (when I feel like tinkering) and frustrating (when I don’t and wish stuff would just WORK). Still, of the various solutions I’ve tried, ST comes the closest to working… most of the time. Thankfully, I’m retired and have time to spend chasing down problems. Dunno how anybody can keep a working system going and hold down a full-time gig at the same time unless money is no object. Seems to me it’s like herding cats or juggling chainsaws.
Anyway, that’s me. Hello, and look forward to learning from you folks…!


welcome to the community!

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Welcome! :sunglasses:

Smartthings adds a lot of power, but also some instability. So just depends on what your goals are. You can get exceptional reliability from other brands, but at the cost of giving up some of the versatility of the system.

You might find the following two threads interesting:

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

  2. Classic vs New V3 Android App?

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Thanks! :slight_smile:

What other brands would be considered “exceptionally reliable”? I’ve gotten what I’d consider to be good reliability from LIFX. Not so much when addressing the gear through another platform, like ST or (sometimes) Alexa… I ran Wink for a while, but they seem to be understaffed. Support and development slowed to a trickle. That’s when I moved to ST. Used to run X10 via Homeseer years ago. X10 is a Latin word, meaning: “unreliable”.


Depends what you’re trying to accomplish.

For example, Lutron is extremely reliable for automated lighting systems. Also responsive. They are an engineering company that focuses on Lighting and they hold a ton of patents on both dumb and smart devices.

Their Lutron Caseta line is intended for DIY installation. They have an open API and work with lots and lots of home Automation Systems, including smartthings, wink, Echo, Homekit, etc.

Did you get a chance to read the links I gave you already? They covered a number of different options.

Welcome to the group.

That’s pretty much where I’m at. It’s nowhere near perfect but it works as well or better than anything else I’ve looked at.

Thanks… I took just a cursory look at the links - thanks for sending them. I need some uninterrupted “me” time to give them proper attention. No more of that today, but I’ll get there.

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Agreed. Couldn’t say it better myself.