New guy in need of help!


(Greg) #1

ok, so i am sure there are thousands of post in here that are the same opening line, but i am going to give it a try. I am brand new to HA i was looking at the lowes IRIS system only because i was not aware that the systems had come so far, from poorly built relays and highly expensive professional installs. After about 3 days of forum reading I am definitely looking to go with ST, here are my questions (I am traveling outside of the country right now and a 30 second youtube clip takes about 5 minutes to load so i am sure its addressed somewhere i am just not able to find it).

  1. How intuitive are the rule engine’s can i set up if___ then ____ without using another platform like IFTTT?

  2. if it is intuitive can a single device be linked to multiple scenarios? if in night mode and motion detector 1 detect motion turn on hue at dimmest setting and also have it used for a date night scenario if in date night mode same hue light glow red and dim? if in away mode and motion 1 detects motion turn on light (ultimately i will add a camera system to send a video feed but i cant seem to find a supported camera system yet) and send video to a mobile device or a link via sms to direct you to the feed.

  3. I cant seem to find a clear answer on what scenes are, my understanding is something like this for example if the system detects via geo fence user A approaching home it can turn on the outside lights (if it’s z wave and programmed) unlock the side door and turn on a specified light open the garage? am in on the right track?

4.I plan on having several devices around the house, my phone and tablet wife’s phone and tablet and an extra ipad we have to use as a stay at home remote, will i be able to add the app to this many devices and control the same system? and will i have to set up all of the rules on each individual device or does the cloud setup circumvent that?

  1. my entire house has plantation blinds in every room but the bedrooms i saw the shuttereze in another thread and would love to have there everywhere paired to a aeon
    multi sensor to let light in the morning shine through but as it warms outside change the angle to allow some light in but keep the heat out. I looked at the kickstart site and the web site and they just seemed to be abandoned any word or any other similar products out there?

6.This one is a little complex and i am sure open to discussion, I know not a z-wave devices are compatible as of yet I see its been around awhile but it looks as if the technology has finally come around. how quickly can i expect smart things to be supported. example i was looking on the web and found a z-wave spa pool controller, GENIUS i have an older hot tub and would love to be able to leave it at a lower temperature and then remotely heat it up and turn on a music player like sonos and a relaxing hue light after a rough day at the office all by telling a UBI in my den i had a rough day.

  1. I know i am asking allot here but the reason i looked at the IRIS system to start was ease of integration but after doing research I realized the system would not grow the way i would like it to and be able to handle all of the smart things I envision integrating into our home, on top of the proprietary application and fees.

I know i am going to start out jumping in with both feet just looking for help, manuals, ect. I understand very little about software but am a hardware guy i am by no means a programmer or developer so i would like to be able to have an easy to setup system but i also enjoy tinkering and can be pretty patient when it comes to new technologies.
We just moved into a new house and are already renovating and am really wanting to get creative and start making this a really smart house.

So please HA ST users help out the new guy am i getting in over my head? i know i will have a sharp learning curve but like everyone I value my time and really want a easy to use system (if it is not the wife will surely make me rip it back out). I am ok with hiccups and headaches along the way or is what i am envisioning still out of reach unless i hire a programmer part time?

Thanks in advance! I Look forward to getting my creative juices flowing and hopefully contributing some really great ideas as well!


(Steve B) #2

Greg, I come from a Jds, Homeseer backround and so far I find the smarthings platform to be less intuitive if you have been trained in
other formats. Simple time of day commands, if then, type of commands you need to dig around in the explore smartapps section of the app. I finally found one named Once a Day that allows “me” to setup when I want certain lights to come on, my current question is do I need to keep reinstalling this application if I have other devices I want to control using time? I am frustrated at this point and although there tech support is top notch I am not getting the performance I get from a dedicated computer I had running homeseer a number of years ago. Just my two cents.


(Chrisb) #3

@greg615

1. How intuitive are the rule engine’s can i set up if___ then ____ without using another platform like IFTTT?

That’s a hard question to answer because it depends on what you consider intuitive and how complex of options you are trying to do. I’ve beta testing the Android dashboard right now and I think they’ve got some very nice basic rules you can setup. (If this opens, turn on that. If this comes home, notify me by…) But for really complex stuff I think you’re still going to need smart apps.

2. if it is intuitive can a single device be linked to multiple scenarios?

Something like this would almost certainly need to be done via SmartApps. It certainly is do-able, but I don’t it can be with the basic rules. But I’m not a HUE user myself, so I can’t say for sure.

3. I cant seem to find a clear answer on what scenes are,

Scenes or modes are sorta ‘different operating’ conditions. When a differet mode or scene is selected it can have different effects depending on what you want to do. It can triggers certain events or it can be used to include/exclude certain SmartApps. Yes, it can be used for the example you specified. That’s triggering specific things. But another example: I have a various SmartApps set to turn on/off different lights at different times in my house to make it look like I’m home when I’m not. I have all these apps set to run only when mode is ‘Away.’ When I’m home these apps aren’t running. But if I leave then they run automatically.

4.I plan on having several devices around the house, my phone and tablet wife’s phone and tablet...

I don’t believe that there is any limit to the number of devices you can use. I’m currently using it on three different Android devices (phone and two tablets). I know some people have mixes of both iOS and Android.

5. my entire house has plantation blinds in every room but the bedrooms i saw the shuttereze in another thread...

I don’t know if Shuttereze is compatible out of the box or not. I’m pretty sure someone wrote a custom Device Type to get it working, but I can’t say for 100% sure. As for what you want to do with it: Certainly can be do with a SmartApp. But I suspect that no one has written an app like that yet so you’d have to do that yourself.

6.This one is a little complex and i am sure open to discussion...

Theoretically possible, but as you said, complex. I know someone here wrote a DeviceType and an App to control one of the older Intermatic Spa systems. If yours of the same time then it should be possible… again this would have to be a smart app and would probably need to be written. I believe all the components to make this work are in place as far as the Hub, Hue, and the Spa controls. I don’t know if Ubi is integrated with SmartThings yet.

7. ... i am by no means a programmer or developer so i would like to be able to have an easy to setup system but i also enjoy tinkering and can be pretty patient when it comes to new technologies.

For what it’s worth, I was never a serious programmer. I did some coding back in the mid 90s, but nothing terrible complex and I haven’t really looked at code in more than a decade. However, just by looking at example apps and doing searches online I was able to write some decent programs for myself. One, for example, is a program that looks for motion after a set time and if it sees it turns on lights at a dim level for 5 minutes… not unlike part of what you’re looking for in question 2.