Wi-Fi devices are usually cheaper just because there’s a bigger consumer market right now.
The good news is that now that Amazon is including a zigbee coordinator in their new version of the echo show (releasing in the U.K. in a few weeks) We should start to see a lot more zigbee Devices, and at a lower cost.
Sure, some. It just depends on exactly what you were looking for. For example, the harmony home hub is quite popular with people who have RVs because it does work without Internet and just the local Wi-Fi, although you have to have Internet to set it up the first time. But it only has very very simple schedules.
Apple’s HomeKit runs everything locally except voice recognition, and works with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Lutron devices which are certified to work with HomeKit. You can also get other devices to work with it if you use Homebridge or a similar integration.
SmartThings has implemented this on a case-by-case basis, so the integration with the Phillips hue bridge will work, but I think the integration with Harmony does not. Although things may be changing with the new platform.
Am I understanding that you want something that works with both smartthings and with HomeKit? There aren’t many such devices, but there are some. There’s an article in the community – created wiki that lists them:
I gave up trying to “future proof” for home automation about a year and a half ago. The technology is just changing too fast.
Instead, I shifted to a mobile phone type model. I set aside a certain amount of money each month to pay for services and equipment, and I buy each individual device expecting to replace it in three years. And that includes the hub. If I end up using a device for longer than that, that’s a bonus, and I have more money in my home automation budget to play with new gadgets. But I don’t budget for a smart light switch the way I budget for a dumb light switch anymore.
That said, my own favorite light switch is the Lutron Caseta working through the Lutron SmartBridge Pro. Very well engineered, doesn’t put any extra burden on my Wi-Fi network, and works today with SmartThings, HomeKit, and IFTTT.
I personally don’t want to have more than about 20 total WiFi IOT devices Because they use up a slot on the router and you can run out of slots pretty quickly. By using bulbs That work with the hue bridge, sensors that work with the hue bridge, and lutron switches, I really lighten the load in terms of Wi-Fi addresses. But if you can make it work at your house, go for it.
I discovered this on an Amazon Echo forum, in talking with a UK person.
UK home automation protocols are not the same as the US.
I googled the heck out of trying to find z-wave or zigbee switches/outlets for a UK person who wanted to know if the Echo+ was a good idea for them because all they could find was LightWave stuff. I couldn’t find any.
Here in the US, I can walk into Lowed (a bigbox hardware store) and easily buy Z-wave and zigbee switches and outlets to wire my home up. ST loves that, and I am certain was the primary reason it was invented. There’s a few competitor hubs that also support z-wave and zigbee, so I am future proof in that I can change hubs without re-wiring my house again.
If I had a Zigbee house, I could dump ST and buy an Echo+ or Show2 and be just fine (sans better automation scripting with ST).
I don’t know what the most common protocols are in the UK. Maybe LightWave. But I am certain it isn’t z-wave or zigbee. Because of that, I don’t see how/why a UK person would want an ST, it’s primary protocols aren’t viable over there.
In terms of getting this back on topic. This is a bit of a ramble…
If I was Samsung/SmartThings I would be doing everything I could to fend off the likes of Amazon, Google, Wink etc and keep new (basic) features coming to the SmartThings platform on a semi regular basis. This doesn’t mean massive improvements or features, but small steps they can advertise.
If I was an outside user; SmartThings has actually taken a backwards step (in the UK at least). Official SmartThings “Works With” pages list less devices now then they did a year or so ago. Even “new” SmartThings branded Devices look the same, with the same features.
Granted SmartThings has introduced a couple of new “hubs” but they don’t do anything massively different to the V1/V2 and I would argue they actually just confuse things…look at the Extend stick for TVs and the two Apps on the go at the moment.
For the past few years SmartThings has been inward focussed on reliability and bringing their back end together but from a cusomters standpoint they couldn’t care less that that needed doing. I work in IT and if I told a cusomter “we’ve been busy working behind the scenes for you, aren’t you happy”…they wouldn’t care unless they saw something for it.
I’ve read a few times above people saying “SmartThings leads this market, nobody is even close”. I bet that’s what blockbuster said before Netflix (and the likes) hit the scene, or what MySpace laughted at a small startup called Facebook…now look.
You appear to stand still in the technology market and you’ll soon be dead - guaranteed.
So in terms of answering the OP question: Is SmartThings falling behind?
Answer: No, but they certainly don’t appear to be moving forward in a rush either
The updates to their device handlers paints a different picture. They’ve been adding a lot of devices in the past ~3 months for Europe (or at least brands I don’t recognize). Orvibo, Neo Coolcam, Fibaro, Aurora, Innr, Leedarson, Zipato, Philio, FireAngel, etc.
both Z wave and zigbee devices are popular in the UK, but you don’t buy them from everyday brick and mortar stores
Zwave is very popular in Europe. Vera is probably The most popular zwave controller, but Fibaro is also big. And Zipato is also well known. But the devices aren’t bought on the high street: these days they’re almost all bought online.
Vesternet is one of the biggest online home automation retailers in the EU: take a look at their selection:
Zigbee is extremely popular in Europe for lighting (remember both Philips and Osram are EU companies). And there are a whole selection of brands for professionally installed zigbee systems there.
The main difference is that safety codes in many EU countries limit the amount of wiring that a non-electrician is legally allowed to do, even in their own home. (But that’s one of the main reasons that Phillips created the whole Hue LINE to begin with: to come up with Lighting systems that don’t require re-wiring.)
Finally, the big EU telco companies sell installed home automation systems which typically use Z wave or zigbee.
So in general the same protocols are popular, but you buy them from different sources than you would in the US.
( also, it’s true that zwave operates on a different frequency in Europe then it does in the US. But that’s not that big a deal because normally the only ones sold in a region will be the ones that work in that region.
Amazon increasing the zigbee market in both the US and the UK
As I’ve mentioned before, now that Amazon is including a zigbee coordinator in both the echo plus and the echo show units (for both the US and the UK) I expect to see many more zigbee devices in both markets, and they are easy to find by going to the echo plus page on Amazon and then looking for the link to the list of compatible “simple setup” devices. Those will all be zigbee.
Here’s the UK page:
Lightwave RF is a proprietary protocol and does not require a neutral wire, so it has become quite popular in the UK specifically. Sort of the equivalent of Lutron in the US. But there’s no official lightwave RF/SmartThings integration except through IFTTT.
As @bobbles notes below, you can set up an additional device as a server to be a “man in the middle“ and get a SmartThings integration that way. See the following thread:
As usual @JDRoberts a great article but can I slightly disagree with your above statement. You can integrate Lightwave RF with ST and Hubitat. You do need a Lightwave Hub though.
It can be done in two ways.
Cloud to cloud. When you turn the light on/off in ST it sends a message to the RF hub via that fluffy cloud thingy to turn it on/off.
ST hub to RF hub via an RPi. This is the method I use.
It is worth noting that the V1 devices are stateless so if you turn them on manually via the switch, ST will never know about it. Because of this I turn off command optimisation in webCoRE to ensure triggers/actions always work.
For anything more, you need to look at one of the “man in the middle” server options. But that would be getting pretty far off topic for this thread, so you should either start a new one or look at one of the existing ones on lightwave RF.
Personally I find IFTTT very unreliable. Sometimes it would take over a minute for anything to happen. That’s my experience and for some it works great. I need things to work in less than a second for motion lighting.
Here is the thread that tells you all you need.
BTW I have Gen 1 devices. As said above Gen 2 does report its state but I have no experience with it.