SmartThings Community

My initial thoughts of SmartThings (Coming from Vera 3)

#7

The ability to add my Foscam cameras it what pushed me over the edge to investing in Smartthings. I was able to add them via the developer interface and have them arm and disarm based on certain rules. Huge plus!

(Justin) #9

The lack of pin code support still blows my mind. Both vera and revolv have this and the locks are even sold in the ST store. Shame in an otherwise great system.

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(Korban Hadley) #10

I would love a to manage Pins for door locks. But I also second better user management. That should have been a first thing when originally setup.

(Ricardo Souza) #11

Hello, there! Thanks for posting details on your experience moving from Vera to ST. I wonder if you can give me some help. I am trying to move from a Vera 2 setup to my recently acquired ST Hub. Most of my devices are Z-Wave. I am going through the (very) tedious process of un-enrolling each device from Vera, turning the Vera Off and then re-enrolling it with the ST Hub. This is such a horrible process that I wonder if there is an easier way to do it. Also, I am having a lot of difficulty with the devices that are fixed to the awl, such as a GE smart outlet and an Aeon Labs Micro Switch, wich resides behind the wall light switch. They don’t have an enroll/unenroll button and, if I just delete them from Vera, they don’t seem to be found by the ST Hub. I also have an Aeon Labs DSD37 Repeater. I managed to remove it from Vera and it’s red LED blinks saying that it’s ready to be enrolled, but my ST Hub doesn’t see it.
Anyway … any light you may shed here will be greatly appreciated. Should you prefer, please email me directly on ricso at me dot com
Thanks in advance.

(Ron S) #12

Love the Samsung part in your post!

(Mike Maxwell) #13

For the Aeon micros, ten toggles of the switch within 1 second or so puts them in pairing mode.

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Converting from Vera to ST v2...Advice requested
(Michel Labelle) #14

Richardo, you can use the SmartThings Dashboard to simply clone your existing Z-Wave network and switch controllers. Note this is a z-wave standard function and you can do the same to go from SmartThings to Vera or other.

To do so from the Dashboard

  • Click the 3 bars (top left)
  • Click the Gear icon
  • Scroll to where it says Hubs, and select the right arrow
  • Select Z-wave Utilities
  • Select Join or Leave Existing Z-Wave Network
  • Select Join

Note it may not always work the first time and you should ensure you are fully committed to the swap before proceeding. I’d also backup your existing VERA config prior to swapping.

I was able to do this before Christmas with no issues, but you will probably also have to run a Repair Z-Wave Network function.

Don’t be afraid to e-mail support for more info on how to do this right.

When you are done, you can reset your VERA if desired and continue to use it, but only as a secondary controller.

I moved everything except my door lock as that is still experimental here on SmartThings but the new developer code appears to be relative stable.

Good Luck

(Ricardo Souza) #15

Thank you, Mike and Michel, especially for the quick replies!!
I followed Michel’s instructions to make the ST Hub join the Vera Z-Wave Network - if it all works according to plan, I may not even need to follow Mike’s instruction. Now, how do I actually clone the Vera’s setup over to ST? Did I miss come thing on the post?

(Michel Labelle) #16

Just to be clear, you are transitioning the “z-wave devices” not the “z-wave config”. I.e. if you have specific programming (scenes) on your Vera, these will NOT come across. As such you will need to reconfigure these on the SmartThings either via the dashboard, or via the IDE (especially if you want macro like functionality). SmartThings uses a different language, these are now called Phrases and are tied to modes. Thus you would call the “Goodbye” phrase to transition from the “Home” to “Away” modes. You would create additional modes (Movie night, home alone), and create additional phrases to transition from one mode to another. The phrases are the action sequences that you want performed, while the mode is the state you want your system in.

It’s a good idea to document any customizations that you have done, or scenes you have configured in your Vera to assist with the “family-acceptance-factor” as we’ve been calling it. If your family is used to things working a particular way, you will need to re-program your SmartThings to do the same.

Key apps to look at once you are over is DoubleTap, ActiON Dashboard, SmartAlarm and a few others depending on your level of integration. Within the SmartThings App (i.e. Dashboard), you will want to set up presence, and alerts appropriate to each family member.

Hope that helps. It takes a few weeks to get out of Vera land and adjust, so be patient, and as I’ve said before, unlike the Vera world, you’ve got great support here directly from SmartThings so feel free to e-mail them any questions. Don’t be a guy… and pretend you are not lost when you are! It’s ok to ask for help.

Cheers

Moving from VeraLite to SmartThings help
(Nicholas Murarik) #17

Wow, this is so dumb and useful. I had no idea.

(Mark) #18

@greysonmorrow,

You mentioned concerns about Samsung in a earlier post. I’m considering a switch from a Vera 3 myself and wanted to know if the service and community are still strong now that Samsung is in the loop. The Vera community is also good but the device still feels like a Linux hobby project. Nice for hacking but things can get to be a mess too. After the last system update, reliability has gone from about 90% to 20% (in terms of devices responding/visible). I made no system changes. It’s frustrating enough to dump the system and Smarthings is looking like a nice option.

(Geko) #19

The grass is always greener on the other side :smile:

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(Mark) #20

Exactly my fear. I switched from an all Insteon home to Z-Wave hoping for better reliability and it was initially great but now seems flakey. I’m hoping it’s the controller. The Smartthings hub is cheap enough to give it a try (plus, the 30 day return policy)

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#21

Don’t listen to the haters @simdude. While SmartThings can be quirky, you get unmatched support from everyone on this forum. The problems are still there, but the great work of the ST team and coders here you can not loose.

(Scott Greenwell) #22

Hi, I am switching from a Vera3 to ST. Once I have finished the “Select Join or Leave Existing Z-Wave Network” process, how do I convert the ST into the primary controller (vs. secondary to the Vera?).

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(Geko) #23

Community support is great, but it means nothing if the platform is broken. New issues crop up almost weekly and there’s nothing that community can do about it. I’m not an ST hater by any means and have been an active developer for more than a year, but I’m forced to make a switch to a more stable platform.

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(Paul) #24

Which platform are you switching to?

#25

I’m curious also…switching to what? My wife got me ST for Father’s Day, but I’m still not sold on it.

#26

Bon Voyage! We will be here when you come back after you realize that the grass is Greener on the other side of the fans. By that time we all @ ST we’ill be on Hub 2.0 with little or no problems to boot with more choices than other platforms offer! :smirk:

3 Likes
#27

Different platforms have different pluses and minuses. Right now, there’s no clear winner.

SmartThings has a great vision, great staff, and a great community. But things that run fine on Monday fail without warning on Tuesday, even the simplest things like turning on a light in the morning. The usual fix is to uninstall and reinstall whatever failed, at which point it will work for awhile and then something else will fail.

Staples connect, in contrast, made reliability their top priority from the beginning because their target market was small businesses, but they got that reliability by significantly limiting both the devices and features they offer. No geofencing, no IFTTT channel, no custom code. Only specific brands work. If you read their forums, the main complaints are about wanting more devices.

Vera works well for zwave, but nothing else.

Iris is usually described as “broad but shallow” and charges a monthly fee.

HomeKit is just starting to roll out, doesn’t even support sensors yet. A significant update will arrive with iOS9 in the Fall, but it will likely be 2016 before it’s a real competitor. And of course IOS only.

Insteon has a lot of features but right now it’s really hard to tell how things will work once the HomeKit integration is complete. Investing in their non HomeKit stuff seems like a waste right now, but the HK pieces aren’t yet available.

Amazon Echo, if you have strong WiFi, works great to control Philips Hue lights, but that’s about the limit of its connected home options at the moment. However, it’s getting better all the time, and we can expect many more integrations in the coming months. If you just want lights that come on when you get home, or at certain times, and the ability to turn them off after you’re in bed, Echo + Hue will be easy, reliable, and fun. (This is now the main way we control lights at my house. We use the $15 GE link bulbs with the Hue bridge. Everybody likes it.)

Wink has a reputation for poor engineering quality (read any review).

Nest and “works with Nest” has a good reputation but still limited devices.

Peq, sold at Best Buy and Walmart, is a re-label of zigbee devices sold by others. Good devices, reasonable prices, but there is a monthly fee. Best Buy doesn’t really promote it much, it’s hard even to find reviews.

Several big companies offer systems similar to PEQ (often the same devices) but linked to a monitored security system and with much higher prices, including much higher monthly fees. That includes ATT Digital Life, Xfinity Home, and ADT Pulse.

Much talk about other no fee home automation systems which are still in development and aren’t shipping yet, including OOMI and google’s Brillo, but I’ll wait until they’re actually available to evaluate.

So lots of choices (more if you include pre orders for stuff you can’t actually buy yet), but nothing perfect.

My personal guess, which is purely a guess, is that by summer 2016 there will be several reliable plug and play systems which would meet my needs for under $3500, so I’m putting off any major decisions until then.

For now, it just comes down to your personal preferences and priorities.

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