My Iris to Smartthings migration experience

The 1st of the gifted NuTone Z wave on / off switches is installed and configured.

Installation was simple considering I was replacing the Zen 27. I already knew what wire was which

There is a lot less visible flickering when bringing the light on and off. Pairing was somewhat trouble free. And pairing the Zen 27 was also fairly simple as I just went through the remove and exclude process and the app more or less walk me through it I couldn’t be happier.

I know get to take apart a couple more of the boxes and take some detailed illustrations to get in front of Zooz support so that I can be ready to install the 3 way switches…

Then a productive weekend with smart things more or less. The Zen 27 that I took out of the kitchen because it was a dimmer and I needed a standard on off switch is now installed in the master bathroom and is working flawlessly. It did not come out of these Zwave network as cleanly as I would have liked. But a Zwave network repair and I was easily able to add the switch. I had it back to my rules and all is well. Right now I have the ADT smart things motion sensor triggering Matt light however I am going to be going to the zoo’z 4 in 1 sensor as soon as budget gets happy enough.

This was the 1st smart switch that I install that required pulling back a smart bulb. The fixture for this bathroom was changed at the same time since I had the circuit powered off. I now have the to bulb fixture that has been sitting waiting to be installed for the last 5 years finally installed! My wife wanted me to paint the ceiling in that bathroom 1st but I just wasn’t even planning on putting that fixture in today. And they can drop it enough with the screws to get a paint brush under it and mask it off so I don’t give a paint on it.

I have been emailing back-and-forth with Zooz Support on how to wire the Zen 27 for my 3 way switches since there is no neutral between the switches there is a neutral coming into the main Box but the white wire running between the 2 switches is used as the traveler. I think I know how to wire it but I want their opinion of it. Once that’s set up to more smart bulbs come out for the 1st one and then I have the other Zen 27 To set up in the main bathroom vanity…

So after a week and a half back and forth with the vendor, I ended up using a different model smart switch. The Zooz Zen 22 was more appropriate for my specific location application than the Zen 27.

I have found, and I am not sure I mentioned it here already, that my master bedroom ceiling fan is incompatible with the Hampton Bay controller due to the manner of attachment to the ceiling. It’s badly out of date, and not entirely balanced, blah blah blah… Time to replace the ceiling fan. Problem is the one my wife likes is also one of the most expensive at Home Depot… I am wanting the $100.00 model, she wants the $200.00 unit… Ugh…

So my inventory right now left to install is…
#1. 1 Zooz Zen 22. This will likely be installed in the other 3 way configuration in my house, this is the main vanity.
#2. 2 Zooz Zen 27s. One will go to the living room ceiling fan light control. The fan is controlled separately. The other Zen 27 is most likely going to be installed in the master bathroom vanity.
#3. 1 NuTone NWS15Z Zwave on / off 15 amp switch. This is slated to be isntalled for my garage workshop lighting, I need to update the bulbs from 32 watt flourescents to 14 watt LED tubes.
#4. 2 Hampton Bay Universal Wink Enabled White Ceiling Fan Premier Remote Control. One is slated for the back bedroom, the other is slated for the kitchen ceiling fan, AFTER I add a light kit. (My wife deemed the kitchen too dark and wants a light kit on that fan…).

I am now insanely past where I started with my basic Iris system, and am on track for where I had intended to go with Iris. I am finding however issues with making a decision, wait for Alexa Guard and see if ADT will monitor Alexa Guard with ADT SmartThings, or buy the battery powered ADT ST smoke alarms. I do NOT like that option as it does NOT meet the required code for my area…

I am seeing some people saying they are integrating smart devices into the Ring alarm system, which I find shocking. I had looked into Ring, even asking Ring support about automation / smart device support and they said no… which was part of what led me to SmartThings…

As my system has been growing, I am tying in automations to it. So that for example, my timer for my coffee pot goes off about 10 minutes before my alarm, by the time the alarm goes off, ST runs Good Morning and turns on the hallway and kitchen lights so I don’t break my toes getting to the light switches or wake my wife up telling Alexa to turn on these lights… I leave with my phone, the lights turn back off. I come home, the driveway light, and front porch lights come on, and the Echo Dot in the living room tunes to my favorite iHeart Radio station.

The thermostat typically is allowed to run on its schedule, we have it run up in temp on the AC a few degrees when we are away from the house since we aren’t there enjoying it, and the schedule works well for us, however there are days when we are off of our schedule, and we can use either SmartThings or Alexa app to nudge the temp where we want it whenever we want…


Check out Modern Forms. They added official SmartThings support a month or so ago.

It is a recent addition to Ring alarm. I’m personally keeping an eye on it to recommend to friends that want alarm monitoring and home automation but may not want the complexity of SmartThings.

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Ring Alarm was my second choice when Iris was shutting down. But when I inquired with them in Feb they said no HA, no HA in planning. Poor sales technique for sure… Oh well…

Looked at the Modern Forms fans, nice, but not our style…

yeah, they don’t divulge any future plans at all. I asked on Twitter if they would ever integrate their sensors into Alexa for use in Alexa Routines. They said no plans right now, and then literally the next day it went live :confused:

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Yep, horrible way to get people interested in buying their products. They still don’t show any HA on their website…

well they may not yet. They’ve allowed you to pair lights switches, but those don’t show up in Alexa yet AFAIK. So right now it seems it is manual control from the Ring app. But as soon as they expose those to Alexa you will be able to automate.

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2 more Zooz switches installed. One is in with the living Room ceiling fan light circuit and the other is for the master bathroom vanity. I have 2 more switches in my inventory to install 1 Zen 22 which I am having to rethink where I’m going to install it it will probably go for the front porch light. The other 1 is the NuTone 15 amp on off switch that I am going to install for the workshop very I have what looks to be about 3 more circuits I need Zen 27 switch is for assuming I can get the wire run for the 3 way configuration. After that it’s simply a matter of the ceiling fan switches and controllers.

I am a bit confused by the ratings on the switches what do they mean by W resistive versus say CFL or LED? I have currently 448w of Fluorescent tubes in shop light fixtures plus 300 W of ambient air filter on the same circuit that would be controlled by the 15 amp NuTone switch. I am planning on swapping those LEDs these in eventually which will bring me down to 196w for the lighting.

I am well within the 15 amp limit but I don’t understand the limits on the lighting that makes no sense to me. Can someone explain it?

Physics. :wink:

Resistive loads: Halogen or Incandescent.

Nonresistive loads: LED or CFL.

The physics for these two categories are very different, which is why the load ratings are different.

Also, because the physics are different, when you go to dim these lights you literally cut from a different part of the sine curve. This is what “leading edge“ versus “trailing edge“ means. All of which is why better dimmers do a much better job. :sunglasses:


@JDRoberts That’s a great explanation however I am actually at least with what I’m talking about at the present intrested in a 15 amp on off switch. No dimmer. I’m just turning on fluorescent lights and a 3 amp max motor.

The dimmer part is just additional information. But it’s still the same difference in physics, and answers your question if you read the article.

“Resistive“ loads produce light by generating heat. Those include incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs.

Non-resistive loads like CFL‘s and LEDs work in a completely different manner.

In particular, LEDs have a very high inrush current compared to their operating level.

Challenge of High Inrush Current
As with any power supply, the LED Driver contains internal capacitors. For the typical LED Driver, the capacitors charge in less than one millisecond after power is turned on. This rapid charging creates inrush current which can be 100 times the LED driver’s continuous current rating. Compared to older lighting modalities, this is 6 times the inrush current of an incandescent lamp and 4 times the inrush current of the magnetic ballast used in fluorescent lighting.
Legacy electrical services were designed for older lighting modalities which had much lower inrush current . An upgrade to LED lighting can create problems for existing electrical equipment due to the LED driver’s inherent high inrush current. This can result in nuisance faulting of circuit breakers, welding of relay contacts and failure of light dimmers. The installer can be faced with derating the load previously handled by the electrical branch circuit, upgrading existing electrical equipment, or both.

So the load limits are different, whether it’s a switch or a dimmer. Hence the derating for a nonresistive load.

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Okay well, moving forward with what I DO have, I ordered up a light kit for my kitchen ceiling fan. Wife insists on a light there, so instead of a fan control switch, it’s a Hampton Bay ceiling fan / light controller time… I need to pull the mechanical switch out and replace it with a simple on / off switch, this is the same triple gang box the shop light circuit is on. For now, I am just going to unplug the ambient air filter from the ceiling power and run it to a separate wall outlet. I have outlets every 6’ in the shop so no problem… The air filter had a habit of coming on whenever the lights come on anyway and I am not crazy about that… This will allow me to do the smart switch upgrade while holding off on replacing the flourescent tubes with LEDs…

I still need to sort the 3 way switch wiring for the main vanity. Zooz has asked for an update on the wiring layout that is there, and what I remember doesn’t match what I can see. Need to take the box back apart and meter it out again…

Slow but sure progress of a sort. My light kit for the kitchen ceiling fan came in yesterday. It had 3 mounting / trim plates they call fitters. One is brushed nickel, one in oil rubbed bronze, and one in gloss white. The white was the default. I swapped it over to the oil rubbed bronze and am now ready for the install.

The switch is housed in the same 3 gang as the garage lights, driveway light, and then this…

The plan is to…
#1. Remove the ambient air cleaner from the garage light circuit for now. Route that to the closest wall socket. I should note this is something I should have done a LONG time ago as turning the lights on often triggers the ambient filter to come on when I don’t want it, and there are times I want to leave the shop but leave the filter running on its timer without using the lights. So this is long overdue.
#2. Turn off the breaker and verify power is off.
#3. Remove and replace the garage light switch with the NuTone Zwave switch.
#4. Remove and replace the driveway light, and ceiling fan switches with Leviton lighted Decora switches that I already own. This removes the manual / mechanical 3 speed wall switch.
#5. Power on and test. Pass test, power breaker back off and verify.
#6. Install light kit to ceiling fan using dimmable LED bulb. It came with a non dimmable.
#7. Install Hampton Bay ceiling fan / light ZigBee controller.

Amazon has a mothers day sale on Echo devices, and they had a couldn’t pass it up deal on the regular 2nd generation echo, so the master suite now has a full size echo, and the kitchen now has the 2nd generation echo dot from the master bedroom… That is already set up and makes my wife happy. She can put her music on the stereo group between the living room and kitchen and keep the volume at a reasonable level instead of blasting the one little dot and have to shout at it to get it to hear and understand commands…

Yeah, to me, voice integration is part and parcel of home automation. Failing that I might as well just use a clapper.

I installed the 2nd new tone switch today the process was a lot more involved than I would like to admit to because the wire nuts just didn’t want to grab…

But I got it…

I took the ambient air filter out of that circuit so I am well under the limit even with the fluorescent bulbs install. Which makes me happy I installed to standard the Kora on off switches one for the light at the driveway and another for the ceiling fan.

Tomorrow if everything goes according to plan I’m going to install the light kit in the ceiling fan and the Hampton Bay controller for the ceiling fan and light kit.

OK it took a little bit longer than I expected because we had a foul turn of the weather and honestly I found something a little odd in the install.

I installed the light kit to the kitchen ceiling fan light and it works fantastically… now.

However when I 1st installed it it didn’t work at all let me break it down for you.

Years ago when this particular fan was installed I was still somewhat chicken to deal with alternating current I was still learning and so I farmed this job out and paid a contractor to install it.

After watching the contractor install this fan I thought Gee I can do this and really started to look into doing my own electrical work and I have been working with friends that are electricians that have been walking me through a lot of this.

Well long story short the contractor I hired left the blue wire that feeds the light kit disconnected in the canopy because well the fan didn’t have a light kit so why connect the wire right?

So I went ahead and installed the controller in place in made the proper connections. I wanna head and joined the device to smart things and made the edit in the IDE that I needed and sure enough it’s working exactly as planned.

So right now I have one Hampton Bay ceiling fan controller left in my inventory and 1 Zooz Zen 22 3 way switch and a matching 3 way switch to install in the front bathroom. The problem is and the thing that’s been holding me up is the wiring between these switches and the devices is 14-2 to not 14-3. I will likely have to pull new wire from between the 1st switch the Zen 22 the 2nd switch and rewire the targets which are 2 recessed can lights.

I haven’t decided yet which fan I’m going to install the remaining fan controller in period the master bedroom fan needs one but he had has a funny hanger that wont-work because it would allow the space I would need to replace the down rod ball and hanger bracket which I’m not allergic to because I actually like this fan.

The other possible fan is the back bedroom which needs some sort of automated control for security reasons but it’s a plain white Hampton Bay fan that my wife wants to replace.

I have 10 Iris 2nd generation motion sensors that should be showing up here Friday they will allow me to automate lighting and fan controls much more easily.

Status as of 5/15/2019.

ADT SmartThings Security Hub.
ADT SmartThings Door and Window Detectors x 18. 1 at each door, 1 at each garage door configured as tilt sensors. 1 at each window sash, 1 in master bathroom on door excluded from monitoring.
ADT SmartThings Motion sensors x2. 1 in master bathroom, 1 in guest vanity to control lighting. Both excluded from monitoring. This is scheduled to change, see bottom of this post for details.
2 Ring Spotlight Camera Wired. 1 over garage doors, 1 at corner between garage and kitchen covering setback.
1 Ring Floodlight Camera at back of house covering full back yard.
1 Ring Video Doorbell 2. Front door.
2 Utilitech 85db adjustable to 100db Zwave sirens. 1 in garage, 1 in dining room.
NuTone VWS15Z Smart Z-Wave 15 amp wall switch in kitchen for main fixture.
Zooz Zen 22 installed in dining room. Dining room chandalier features 9 A19 dimmable LED bulbs.
Zooz Zen 27 installed in master bathroom controlling Hampton Bay 2 bulb LED fixture.
Zooz Zen 27 installed in Living room controlling living room ceiling fan lights.
Zooz Zen 27 installed in Master Vanity controlling recessed can vanity lights.
Zooz Zen 22 installed in front hallway controlling Hampton Bay 2 bulb LED fixture.
Iris 3rd generation smart plug in kitchen controlling lamp in front window.
2 Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets (Smart plugs) in front room powering bedside lamps.
2 Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets (Smart plugs) in center bedroom / studio controlling desk lamp and fan.
2 Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets (Smart plugs) in back bedroom controlling bedslide lamp and fan.
2 Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets (Smart plugs) in living room controlling sofa end lamps.
2 Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets (Smart plugs) in master bedroom controlling bedside lamps.
Hampton Bay Universal Zigbee Ceiling Fan / Light control in front room controlling ceiling fan.
Hampton Bay Universal Zigbee Ceiling Fan / Light control in kitchen ceiling fan. This included a Westinghouse school house globe style light kit.
Sylvania Smart + A19 dimmable Zigbee smart bulbs installed in the following fixtures.
- Driveway light. 1 bulb.
- Laundry room. 2 bulbs, controlled with Iris 2nd generation motion sensor.
- Front porch. 2 bulbs.
- Bedroom Hallway. 1 bulb.
- Master Bedroom fan. 4 bulbs. To be replaced with Hampton Bay controller and new fan, or reconfigured fan mount / down rod.
- Dressing Room. 4 bulbs in ceiling fan. To be replaced by Zooz Zwave Plus controller upon release. Need a ceiling fan / light controller that will work with a hugger style fan.
Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Wi-Fi 7 Day Programmable Color Touch Thermostat.
Amazon Echo Dot 2nd generation in front bedroom.
Amazon Echo Dot 2nd generation on dining room / breakfast bar.
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd generation in living room. Pending move to master bedroom.
Amazon Echo 2nd generation in master bedroom.
All Echo devices configured with Alexa Guard listener for glass breakage, and alarms.
NuTone VWS15Z Smart Z-Wave 15 amp wall switch for garage ceiling light circuit. Overhead air cleaner moved off of, and pending move to a different circuit.

Updates pending but items in our inventory, or already purchased and en route.
Zooz Zen 22 Installed in Main bathroom vanity 3 way. PENDING INSTALL. Determine proper wiring schematic for this. Re-probe the wiring and send schematic to Zooz. Complete setup if Zooz can give me a workable diagram, or rewire with 14/3 if need be.
Hampton Bay Universal Zigbee Ceiling Fan / Light control. Desired location for this controller is the master bedroom fan, but the non standard mount is a problem. Working to resolve issue.
Sylvania Smart + A19 dimmable Zigbee smart bulbs. I need to re-inventory, but I believe I have 4 or 5 unused at the moment Add to the following locations to complete lighting automation.
- Back bedroom ceiling fan.
- Office / studio ceiling fan.
10 Iris 2nd generation motion sensors in following locations.
- 2 in master / guest vanity.
- 1 in master / guest commode / shower.
- 1 in kitchen.
- 1 in master vanity / dressing room.
- 1 in dining room.
- 1 in living room.
- 2 in main / front hallway.
- 1 in garage / workshop.
4 Iris OC821 outdoor cameras. Assuming, and this is a big assume, I have seen a procedure that should work, but my initial attempts to get it to play nice have so far failed, but assuming I can get these working properly under ST, and recording somewhere to the cloud, allowing me to remote view my cameras, they will be mounted…
- 1 on fence / ungated side of the house / yard.
- 1 on fence / gated side of the house / yard.
- 1 inside the garage workshop.
- 1 inside the living room.
ADT SmartThings motion detectors x2. Leave the one in the master bath in place, include it in ADT monitoring. Move the main / guest bath sensor to the office / studio to cover the side window / motion. There is no camera at this point currently, again OC821s aren’t integrated yet…

FAILING INTEGRATION OF OC821s, I would consider, assuming they output standard formats, and will allow me to cloud record until I am satisfied with it, not some obnoxiously short clips, 2 Wyze cams with outdoor covers and 26’ power cords to get to the closest power supplies. I would use Ring Stick Up cams, OR spotlight cams, but they are more money than I want to put into these spaces.

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I’ve been looking into the Wyze cams, mostly out of laziness, the refresh rate on the video is horrible on them. Might have to look at a different camera system. I hate the cost of them, but I might consider a couple more spotlight cams. I know they work well…

So further along in my remodel and one of the fixtures that has a Sylvania Smart + bulb in it has been changed from a plain white ceiling fixture with a plain white frosted globe, to an antique bronze ceiling fixture with a crackled crystal style globe. It’s still a basic single bulb ceiling fixture, but with a different, more attractive finish and globe. The bulb is now visible, and ugly according to my wife, and I can’t really argue with her on that because, well she’s right…

So we ordered up another Zen 27 from @TheSmartestHouse (If I haven’t mentioned it, these things are AWESOME, and are really budget friendly!) and we are going with Ecosmart G25 Edison bulbs, okay one since this fixture only can hold one bulb. We are doing the same treatment to one of the closets too… I’ll post up photos of it once done. It’s in a very short hallway but it is prominent from the living room so it has GOT to look good and work smoothly… This should really do the trick!

One item that has me wanting to wait to install is I don’t have a fan controller to install in that triple gang box. I’d like to reduce the going in and out of that box a bit…


So the Zen 27 came in a few days ago, I was sitting on it because I was honestly dreading getting back into that triple gang box. Ugh that thing is a pain in the tail to work in… Too many wires, not enough space for them and my hands…

Anyway aside from the expected physical movement restrictions of the box, I was able to get the Zen27 installed, and a gorgeous dimmable LED Edison style bulb in the controlled hallway fixture.

The one issue I ran into, and I need to double check with Zooz on how to adjust this, the LED indicator light on the switches. There is a Zen22 in this same triple gang box, the Zen 22 LED is on when the circuit is powered off, the Zen 27 LED is on when the circuit is powered on.

I believe this behavior is adjustable, I want the indicator LEDs on when the circuit is off. Aside from that, I still need a fan speed controller switch and that box is done.

So it’s not a lot, but there is one more smart bulb being taken out of the rotation. Seriously considering like I said, getting my BIL either a SmartThings, or Hubitat Hub, and giving him my leftover bulbs to get started…

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