Making Progress? (Multiple hub brands in one house?)

I’ve only been on the ST platform since the day that the V2 was released… well, not actually… I bought my hub that day, but it took a bit to get here.

I’m a Wink refugee here in ST land. I have to say, I am so very much more impressed with ST than I ever was with Wink. But, I can say this about Wink… the little bit that it did, it did pretty ok. As in it did work… just slowly and it didn’t do a whole lot. I was really glad about the integration with Echo. Especially since Echo was my first piece of equipment in the HA world. I was incredibly disappointed that I could not dim my lights with Wink. At that time, the only devices I had were light bulbs. Now, that I’m with ST I have bulbs, motion, switches, plug-in modules, and open/close sensors with temp. I also plan on doing a whole lot more.

But, in light of the problems that have been plaguing so many this past week, coupled with the very minimal (aka almost non-existent) communication from ST via both email and this forum, I have been rethinking the amount of money that I have planned to invest over the next couple of weeks. Not saying that I’m ditching the platform, as I have no intention of doing that. But, some things have made me question my trust level with them. So, I’m going to tread lightly until that trust is rebuilt.

And on to the purpose of this entire post…

How many of you are using a hybrid system using multiple hubs? Is anyone using ST along with Hue and Wink?

And… has anyone else seen the most recent news release by Wink? It seems that even though they entered bankruptcy they are making some pretty good changes.

Opinions please???

Check this out:

Wink continues to move forward, but how much of that is momentum from the past? Financially, they are out of money if they don’t get bought in the next couple of months. (They are literally in bankruptcy now.) So maybe they will, maybe they won’t, there’s just no way to tell.

I have an Amazon echo directly connected to a Phillips hue bridge.

I also have a GE link hub connected directly to the Amazon echo which I use for a few Link bulbs which seem to be more successful staying connected to it than to SmartThings or the Hue bridge.

I have a harmony home hub which is connected to SmartThings, but which I also use independently with Beecon+ and IFTTT.

The instability of the last week left me unable to get out of my house for three days unless I called someone to come open the door, so I need to move the lock off of SmartThings now. I’m sure things will get better pretty soon, I’m just also sure that the reliability isn’t there for my particular needs for this use case. But I am an edge case. (I’m quadriparetic with limited hand function. Although it is physically possible for me to unlock the door, it takes about 10 minutes and it’s very tiring. So I need my automated systems to work there.)

So I think it likely that I will end up with yet another control mechanism just to manage the door lock.

I also have two completely separate systems, one for security, and one for medical monitoring, but both of those are basically “set and forget” systems.

I also have a separate video intercom which doesn’t integrate with anything else, but I really like it. :sunglasses:

Oh and I have a separate sprinkler system, but that’s another set and forget. The yardwork guy adjusts it every month and I never do anything with it.

Parallel Means of Control for Now

So right now, I have a lot of different parallel means of control. I do really like the sensors that I can use with SmartThings and the various notification options so I continue to use that.

I could replace everything with one unified system, or maybe everything except the security and medical monitor systems, but I honestly think there will be multiple candidates for the summer of 2016 that have a lot more features, are more reliable, and have a price in my price range. And I do expect Samsung/Smart things to be one of those candidates, so I’m putting off any big decisions until then.

I wouldn’t be replacing the lock now except it just has to work better than it has been. So I know I may replace that yet again in about a year.

So for me:

SmartThings for sensor monitoring/notifications for nonemergency systems
Amazon Echo +Hue Bridge +Hue dimmer for lights
Amazon Echo + GE Link Hub + GE Link for those specific bulbs
Harmony + IFTTT + Voice Text + Beecon+ for A/V control
IBeacon + IFTTT + Beecon+ for geopresence
Apple watch + HomeKit for miscellaneous
Kuna for video intercom
? for lock
Sprinkler system
Mr Beams for nonnetworked motion lights
Security System
Medical monitoring system

Not where I want to be forever, but should get me through the next year or so. Or at least a week without having to call my neighbor! :sunglasses:

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That is a lot of different systems all in one place. But, I can fully understand your needs for reliability outweighing my needs for just wants of things.

I’ve been trying to keep my system as simple as possible. I’ve always felt that simplistic leads to reliability. I really learned that from working on the avionics systems of fighter aircraft.

I believe that this is one of the reasons I’ve such a minimal amount of problems this week.

I originally was planning a hybrid of Wink + ST + Hue + Echo. But once I got the ST hub I offloaded the Wink because ST was honestly out performing it. An honestly, it still is.

I understand that frustration with this weeks issues and I understand that each of us has their own unique system to fit their own unique needs and wants.

I’m interested to learn what others wish to share. My motivation there ~ I find inspiration in others.


Yeah, my issue is that each individual use case has to be reliable. It’s not like I have one core thing I really need to do and then all the other stuff is for fun or convenience.

So I end up having to choose the best match to each specific problem.

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I started my HA project with Wink, Harmony and Lutron hubs and moved to ST when Wink bricked my hub. After trials and tribulations of managing multiple hubs, I decided that ST is the future because is flexible like no other system on the market, and offers a multitude of options. In almost two years, I’ve seen every company going through the same accidents as ST went through this week. But none of them handled the situation any better. Having the ST community as strong as this is, makes ST very unique. And this is the main reason I decided to stick with them. I completly phased out my lutron hub and devices, I trimmed down the activities I handle in Harmony and I stopped using Wink altogether. The decision of phasing out Lutron was not only to get devices compatible with ST, but to eliminate proprietary devices from my system. I now have only z-wave or zigbee devices, which I can move to any new hub that might come along.

I have (or had at some point) multiple hubs, including ST, Wink, Vera Edge, Staples Connect, Hue and Echo. I tried running both Wink and Staples Connect as secondary controllers to SmartThings, both with rather disappointing results and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

First, multiple controllers work only with Z-Wave devices, as there’s no such thing as “secondary” controller in Zigbee HA. Second, due to some technical peculiarities of Z-Wave protocol, multiple “smart” hubs don’t play nicely, resulting in a brittle, unreliable network. Z-Wave was designed to have a single “static” controller (hub) and multiple portable controller (remotes). This configuration works well, but multiple static controllers tend to conflict with each other.

I do run the Hue hub completely separate from ST. This is the most reliable component of my setup and I don’t want to compromise it by linking to ST, which is the least reliable.

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I completely agree with you about the community here. It is definitely one of the main reasons I moved here as well, and why I am staying.

I also agree about using only z-wave and zigbee. I currently have several Wemo Light Switches (wifi) which I am about to get rid of for GE Z-wave switches. I also very quickly got rid of my Lutron devices shortly after the change over.

I do have 2 wifi enabled thermostats. I had them connected with ST for a few days but realized that I use the programming options on them 99% of the time. Therefore I disconnected them from ST just to free up the resources. If I need to make a quick change, I just use the thermostats App.

Thermostats are a big part of my ST set up, so I keep them connected. I also have Wemo, which are connected to ST. My irrigation system is independent and so are my Nest smoke detectors & cams, plus Arlo, which I am still disappointed that are not yet integrated with ST, even though they were announced at CES this spring. As for my garage door, I use My Q, which was connected to ST until this week and I am probably not going to connect it again any time soon.

Hello! I’m curious as to why you have disabled your My Q and don’t plan on reconnecting it? This is a big reason why I’m jumping into the Smart Home of things…Getting my ST hub today. :slightly_smiling:

Hey, that’s a nice idea. You can think about gathering everything by raspberry pi (with a controller role) and kaiot platform. I built a small system at home with different sensors from amazon and for the moment it works…well. I can’t say that perfect, but if we compare the price of full Smart-house system and my solution - it’s good :slight_smile:

As I mentioned in response to your other post, since this forum is for users of the Samsung SmartThings Home automation platform, community members are more likely to be using the Artik/SmartThings cloud than Kaa. Artik is free at levels up to 100,000 messages per month, comes with many popular prebuilt integrations including Echo, and has native integration with the SmartThings mobile app which community members will already be using for their other SmartThings devices.

So since the cloud is free, the app is free, and the hub ( which includes both a certified zigbee coordinator and a Zwave controller) typically goes on sale for $79 a couple of times a year, I think the built-in features are probably worth it to most people. :sunglasses:

If you enjoy working with the raspberry pi and don’t want to get a smartthings hub there are definitely a lot of IOT projects you can do, but in that case you will probably find more useful discussions in one of the Raspberry Pi forums. Most community members here will only use a raspberry pi as an add-on “man in the middle” server to handle traffic to a specific IOT manager like Lutron or LightwaveRF.

Direct zigbee traffic (limited to devices using the ZHA 1.2 profile) will be handled through the SmartThings hub using the prebuilt SmartThings libraries.