Moving from Control4 to Smarthings - requirements (UK)

Hi All,

I’m new here and looking to get some advice on setting up a new smart home. I currently use Control4 but getting a bit fed up that I have to speak to a dealer every time I want to make changes or something doesn’t work. I’d like to move over to SmartThings but not quite sure if it meets my requirements. I’d be really grateful if I could get some advice on the following and any recommendations on products:

  • Electrics blinds - theses are currently controlled by IR but I believe I should just be able to replace the controller with a switch as this is effectively what the current controller is. Would this be correct? Can anyone recommend a cheap option
  • Light switches - I’d like to be able to have dimmer switches with LEDs on each switch that can change colour. The switch should also have the ability to have different controls - e.g. double tap top, double tap bottom
  • Heating - I need a simple on off switch to control my boiler - no thermostat or anything else needed
  • TV - this where it is tricky - currently I have IR commands sent to my TV but I cnan’t seem to find anything that is would replace this easily. I don’t want to have a replacement remote I just want to be able to send IR commands from the SmarthingsHub. The TV is a Samsung UE40D6500

I’m based in the UK so I think there may be less options available for equipment.

If anyone is able to help then please let me know. I"m based in London so if there is a dealer that might able to assist as well I’d be happy to talk. My place is not large so it seems difficult to find dealers to help!

@pstuart I have read a few of your posts and I wondered if you might be able to help on this? Appreciate you are in the US but would be interested to know your thoughts if I can keep any of my exists Control4 hardware - Light swtiches are LSZ-101 and current switch for the boiler is WCS10-R-EXT-ZP


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As I’ve often said on these forums, if I had the money, I would switch to control 4 in an instant to get the combination of reliability and versatility. SmartThings has the versatility, but reliability continues to be a challenge for them.

Since last November, I have yet to go 10 days without an impactful SmartThings failure. These are typically “minor” in the sense that either SmartThings themselves fixes the problem in another day or two or it just requires resetting a device or fiddling about a bit with the app.

My problem is that I am quadriparetic (use a wheelchair and have limited hand function) so I have to pay someone else to do anything, even just reset the batteries in a sensor.

So going to bed with everything working fine on Monday and waking up on Tuesday to find several things acting erratically just doesn’t work well for me. Other people might find the glitches less of an annoyance. But it is a very different kind of operating environment than control 4. So I just wanted to mention upfront that you will find a very big difference in the amount of hands-on maintenance required between the two systems if you do changeover.

The company is very aware of the issues and is committed to improving the situation, but they just aren’t there yet.

OK, that said, I will leave most of the specifics to others to discuss, but as far as the television control you can get just the harmony hub and it can handle converting SmartThings’ requests to IR commands to your home theatre. You don’t need to use their button remote if you don’t want to. And you can continue to use any other remotes that you have.

Thanks @JDRoberts Interesting to hear about the reliability. I’ve had a few issues with C4 but most frustratingly I can’t change it myself and as reasonably tech savvy I’d rather do that than have to always pay for someone to make changes. That said - what sort of things stop working/require updates/fixing on a regular basis?

With the Logitech Harmony Universal Hub does the TV/BluRay etc. have to be in view of the Hub or can you add extenders like this?

You can just search the forums for “reliability” or “stability” or check the first bug reports in the community – created wiki. The problems can be anything. SmartThings is largely a cloud-based system and you can’t delay or refuse an update, so when they make an update to the cloud it affects a lot of people. And sometimes they break things.

Most recently, they made a change to some device handlers which resulted in on being off and off being on for some very popular light switches. That confused a lot of people.

They have ongoing issues with scaling which means that some routines don’t complete as they time out or have database write problems in the cloud.

They added compatibility with Arlo cameras and everything worked fine for the first few weeks and then a change was made and people could no longer open the video clips in the smartthings app.

Samsung appliances suddenly lost connectivity with SmartThings for a week or two. I think that one has been fixed.

Again, these were all situations where things would run just fine for months and then suddenly stopped working or worked erratically without the customer having changed anything.

As far as the harmony, IR is always a line of sight protocol, so you do have to have something within line of sight of the devices that will be controlled. It comes with two mini IR blaster’s which allow you to put the hub itself on the lower shelf for inside a cabinet and then just put the blasters line of sight to the television.

There are some additional options for other extender devices. @pstuart or one of the other AV expert could say more on that. :sunglasses:

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Yes and no. As @JDRoberts has pointed out control4 is light years ahead of st. Moving your dimmers over to st is possible but you lose a lot of functionality beyond you dimming.

If your devices aren’t upgraded to ZigBee pro and need to be upgraded. The expense of doing so can be greater than just finding better diy dimmers ZigBee ha or zwave.

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Thanks @pstuart. How can I see if they have been upgraded to ZigBee pro. And if not (or even if so), can you suggest what would be a good like for like replacement for both the LightSwitches (different colour LEDs, ability to double/triple tap), and also the switch for the boiler (this is a straightforward on/off switch).

Thanks for you advice - it’s much appreciated!


Well, what version of controller for Control4 on? 2.5 or greater? if so, its zigbee pro. if not, it might be still embernet, but ever since 2.0 came out you were able to upgrade them. So hopefully your dealer did.

I’m not the ideal person to recommend alternatives since I have about a 100 dimmers via control4 in my house. So I haven’t had to use anything else. Plus you can’t use a standard zigbee HA dimmer ala GE / Jasco ones in Control4, nor can you use zwave dimmers either (that may change but limited to a few vendors).

I highly suggest you compare ST to Vera Plus coming from Control4 since vera is LUA based and very similar in capabilities (minus the AV IR and RS232 control) and runs local.

Vera will support close to everything ST controls, but does it local albeit a bit more of a UI challenge and a bit steeper learning curve for programming, but it is set it and basically forget it. Where as ST is, did it really work? or is the UI just telling me it worked?

Plus, there is a very nice driver in Control4 for bringing vera devices into the control4 dealer.

Also, doesn’t hurt to shop around for DIY friendly Control4 dealers as well :slight_smile:

Hope that helps.