I am at the point now where I can talk about migration to Smartthings from Iris on a one for one basis as I have reached and now exceeded where I was with Iris.
My Iris system state as of 1/31/2019 when Lowe’s announced the death of Iris.
Iris 2nd generation smart hub.
Iris 2nd generation safe and secure kit. Keypad, 2 contact sensors, and 1 motion sensor.
15 @ Iris 1st generation contact sensors. 2 configured as tilt sensors on hinges for garage doors.
5 @ Iris 1st generation outdoor cameras (OC821). NOT happy with them as outdoor cams…
Iris 3rd generation Zwave smart plug. This is connected to a lamp in the kitchen to simulate light on / off at night to simulate presence…
2 @ Utilitech indoor sirens.
Items that were planned pre existing but not implemented. While Iris integration would have been appreciated, I could have lived with just Ring function only. HOWEVER super happy with how ST integrates them, mostly…
Ring Video Doorbell 2.
Ring spotlight cameras x2, wired.
Ring floodlight camera.
What I chose to replace Iris with and why.
I was already planning on integrating the above mentioned Ring devices, and had bought the Ring doorbell…
I opted for the ADT Smartthings home monitoring starter kit. That got me the ADT SmartThings Security Hub, 2 @ ADT SmartThings Door and Window detectors, and 1 ADT SmartThings motion sensor.
To this I added the 15 Door and Window detectors. And just like Iris, I configured 2 of them as tilt sensors on hinges on the garage doors. This configuration is simply awesome! I love having reliable monitoring of the overhead doors.
And of course I added the Utilitech sirens to the system.
Now to this I have added the ring spotlight cameras, AND floodlight camera. I actually get BETTER coverage, and MUCH higher quality video, particularly at night, compared to the old Iris cameras. (not totally done with those though!). Now SmartThings integration for Ring isn’t 100%, so I still have to have Ring cloud service for my video since that isn’t coming into the app, but I get lights, and motion sensors out of the ring cameras. Now I am NOT going to use outdoor sensors to trip alarms, If I did I’d have constant alarms… But I do get lights on, and other lights on (more later) inside the house with the motion sensor.
Now on after that was done, I was able to add to that, 4 Sylvania Zigbee 10 year smart bulbs. Not my long term solution honestly, I am long term going with smart switches that way I am not having to unpair / re pair every time I blow out a light bulb… 2 of them are in the front porch fixture, and 2 are in the front hallway fixture.
Some things I noticed during the migration.
#1. Because of the limitations of the ADT Home Security monitoring being limited to only ADT branded hardware, that left me with a bit of work to do to get compatibility with my third party stuff, and extra functions like turning lights on, or flashing them during an alarm. That required I install Smart Home Monitor before I set up, and THEN install ADT Tools 2, then configuring to get the functions I wanted. This process could possibly, and most likely be daunting, and even a deal breaker for many users wanting a simple plug and play envirnonment. I was happy enough to DIY tech stuff so in I dove…
#2. Compared to Iris, pairing devices was almost instantaneous. I was absolutely stunned by how quick it was…
#3. I have yet to have a single sensor drop offline. My bathroom window sensor under Iris was always falling offline and going back online.
#4. The integrated touch screen keypad on the hub. It has advantages, and disadvantages. I love how it is only one device, with no real worries about batteries or anything like that, but… I ran into an issue where my hub was absolutely hung and IO via the touchpad was absolutely non responsive. I am used to tech, so yeah this happens, Reboot… Otherwise, flawless, easy to deal with, and one less thing stuck to wall, or not. You see with Iris, I could stash the hub out of sight so the keypad was the only thing on the wall. And the Smartthings hub needs to be near a power outlet, which means power cord running down a wall. It’s too small to use an in wall box to mount a power oulet behind it like you would with a flat screen TV, the only answer I came up with was small diameter cable raceway that was paintable to camoflauge my power wire. So far so good.
#5. I have said this before and I will say it again, there is a learning curve. While most / all of the function of Iris is here in Smartthings, it IS different. And SmartThings, from what I can see is so much more powerful than Iris was, the comparison is sort of like a PC running Windows and a PC running Linux. The Linux box is a whole lot more DIY, and you had better know what you are doing lest you mess it up, but you can so so much more than you could even dream of in Windows… (not the best analogy, just go with it…).
So what is happneing with my old Iris stuff?
The hub, keypad, and 1st gen contact sensors are getting put away in a box. I am trying to work with the Arcus Smart Home team to see how I can help get that going. If I can, I will get that stuff working again, and put it to use elsewhere… I have options.
The 2nd generation contact and motion sensors are being put to use for non alarm functions, but rather alerting. I know a matter of semantics, but I simply want a message saying that the sensors have been activated. They help me track access to my workshop and home office / studio from inside the house…
I do need to figure out how to integrate the OC821 cameras into my system. I have NEVER been comfortable about them being outdoor cameras, but I have a few spots indoors that could use cameras tripped to record should an alarm be triggered, such as my garage workshop, home office / studio, kitchen, and master bedroom. (keep that one covered while we are home ya know…)
So far, system performance wise, I can honestly say I am far more impressed with SmartThings. Now my investment in ST was at some fairly cut rate sale prices well off of MSRP, so my level of risk is farily low, but… given the fact that both my wife and I own Samsung premium phones (Galaxy Note 9s), and have had their premium phones since the Galaxy S4, SmartThings seems to be well embedded in their, and excuse the pun, Galaxy… this experience is helping push me in a positive direction toward other Samsung products I hadn’t considered, like when it is time to replace my fitbit, I am seriously considering the Galaxy Gear assuming it has the features I want. We are at the tail end of the remodel we are working now, going to be in the market for flat screen TVs, and sound equipment, so I can guarantee my product experience here will move them up (or down if the experience goes sour) the list of considered vendors…
All in all, at this point, I am happy with SmartThings, time will tell.