SmartThings Community

Is Smart Things the right way to go?

Hi! Im a current user of Smartthings, I have it in my appartment to basically control lights, some sensors, and minor things. It works ok, I cant conplain…

Now my parents are buying an appartment and they have asked me if I could install ST for them, their appartment will be much much bigger, and they want to be able to control more things. For instance what they want to do with the home automation:

  1. Manage sound: Different zones, different volumes or song/audio selections
  2. Control Shades (motorized)
  3. Control on/off of the chimeny (fireplace)
  4. Control lights / sensors
  5. Control projector lift and projector screen
  6. Control TVs/Direct Tv

Is everything of these possible with Smart Things? If so, from 1 to 10 how easy is to implement? Im not a programer, but I understand a bit and can follow instructions.

Thanks for your advice!

Best Regards,

FR

SmartThings is not the best fit for some of the things you mentioned. Where do your parents live (country) and what’s their general budget?

In particular, I would not use SmartThings to control a gas fireplace, Samsung themselves say it should not by used for anything that might affect personal safety, and control of a gas fireplace definitely fits that category.

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Hi JD, thanks! I understand the fireplace issue. Well budget is not much, initially they were considering Control4 but costs were too much, thats why I let them know about ST.

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I don’t think you’ll easily get full control of all those features through smartthings (and I agree with the fireplace safety issue).

The home entertainment and shades would be more easily accomplished through a Harmony Hub remote setup, and something like Sonos for the multi-room audio. That said, smartthings might be able to tie some of those services together.

For a basic user, I would only use smartthings for basic lights/sensors/etc.

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  1. ST integrates officially with Samsung Speakers and unofficially with Sonos, but I’m not sure how much control it gives you on either route:
  1. reasonably easy using devices such as the Fibaro Roller shutter modules or more dedicated setups such as ZebraBlinds:
  1. Don’t do it (with any system)… May even be illegal in some parts of the world!! But some discussion here:
  1. Same as 2, as long as you select a projector screen that has the necessary wired control inputs (up, down, common).

Personally I much prefer projecting directly onto a bare wall coated in projector paint. I found that the hanging screens distort the image and flap about in the slightest of breeze.

  1. Samsung have been promising integration with their 2016 range of TV’s all year, and it looks like the extend dongle is finally close to release (BETA testing ongoing), but I wouldn’t invest just yet. Look into Logitech Harmony as a more integrated method of controlling any IR TV + everything else connected to it:

I’m installing ST in my disabled mothers new build home, not because it’s particularly reliable (it’s good enough though, and has recently improved ten fold) but more because of the flexibility it offers in regards to community rule engines (CoRE), the sheer number of compatible devices and of course this community which will always help.

As well as the above I’m looking at integrating automatic sliding doors (internal and external), height adjustable kitchen worktops, CCTV, vehicle gates, shower valves and even a smart toilet. I will also be setting up iBeacons everywhere so the house knows where in the property she is.

There will be a panic / fall system as well, but as this is safety critical it will be a standalone, dedicated system, installed by a licenced contractor. If it has an output facility then I may consider hooking it up to a binary sensor to turn on lights or unlock doors, but I will NEVER trust ST with the core function of sending the alert to the call centre / physical key holder.

I’m not however expecting her to actually do anything but enjoy it, as she can barely send emails and has only recently (to my horror) discovered Facebook :scream:. Everything will need to be fully automated via sensors with as little user input as possible beyond remotes and wall switches for running routines. It will easily revert to manual control should things fail. I will need to be her ‘on-call’ technician and I’m expecting that to be a full time job!

My experience with ST is that it can do almost anything when you put your mind to it… It just takes a lot of work and regular maintenance as use cases evolve (but that’s the same for any system). For the price point though, I think it’s great!

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I cannot recommend Smartthings to anyone starting out from scratch. I don’t know what to recommend in its place. Those of us that are already here will hang out until they run it into the ground and then will have to find another solution.

I’m very disappointed with their decision to disontinue the thingshield and fear it is the first step to creating a more slosed environment in the future. Given the only thing ST has going for it is the open culture that the patform currently allows, any hint of closing that down is very concerning.

Thin thingshield was so popular, they couldn’t ever keep it in stock and the only “official” answer they gave on why it was discontunied was because it wasn’t very popular.

Their business model is flawed (“Give me $99 and I’ll give you a cloud infrastrucutre to make it all work forever”) and until they share how they are going to make the platform make sense for them financially, I cannot recommend it to anyone.

If you haven’t bought anything yet, I urge you to look elsewhere. Otherwise, you may find yourself disappointed when they change the rules at some point in the future.

That has been my experience, and judging from what I’ve read in this forum for 1.5 years, most people’s experiences as well.

OP wants a system that can integrate many different devices, is relatively easy to use and doesn’t cost that much. ST can integrate a lot of stuff and it doesn’t cost that much. But their idea, which is great, has been executed poorly for a long time now.

If you want to setup ST for someone else, expect to be their (frequent) maintenance person as well.

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Honestly @frantona, ST can do pretty much everything you require, with the caveats listed in this thread.

Despite other opinions, I find ST to be a fairly simple entry-level system that is also fairly versatile and has awesome community support.

The near future is bright, despite that the long-term may be bleak.

Wow! Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. I its for sure of great help. Also to the others who took the time to give their opinion, thanks!! I can see this community is very supportive!

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