New Home with Control4 vs SmartThings?

Hey Everyone… I’m an existing SmartThings user with multiple lights, switches, and shades integrated as well as Alexa and Harmony One all working together.

I am moving into a home that has wiring, switches, speakers, and cameras for Control4 but the previous owner is taking the controller (and guessing any amps) with them.

I’m looking for advice on what would be the best course of action to get myself whole home audio and functioning control of the lights (and possibly garage/security):

  • buying Control4 controller and amps and trying to integrate it to SmartThings
  • buying a different vendor’s solution all together and using existing switches and wiring (not sure this is even possible) and attempting integration to SmartThings
  • selling the switches and replacing them with standard zigbee and using SmartThings and looking for a different audio solution
  • other options??

I’m not exactly sure where to start here but I’d like to be more knowledgeable in my options before contacting any A/V specialists.

Any advice is appreciated.


What is (some of) your criteria for evaluating a solution?

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If you have control 4, you don’t need Smartthings, and they aren’t going to integrate well. But you do need to get their hub and pay an annual maintenance fee.

If you can afford it, I would definitely go with the control 4: it does everything smartthings does plus a whole lot more, particularly in audio visual.


I’d like it to be relatively inexpensive (I’m fine with buying a controller if needed) and well integrated. I’d like the flexibility to expand and add things with relatively minimal effort. I’d love for cameras, security, garage, lighting, and music to be all integrated but full integration isn’t necessary as I currently use Ring for cameras.

Is there a different vendor’s solution that would be superior to Control 4 and be able to use the existing wiring and wall switches?

The short answer is no. Control 4 uses a proprietary zigbee profile, it’s not compatible with anything else.

Can’t you negotiate to buy the whole system off the current owner ?

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I’d get a quote from a Control4 dealer before you even think about switching.

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Nope. He took it before even listing the place and was apparently pretty adamant.

Not sure if the original owner is leaving any bits that are ‘Control 4’ specific or if they are all general items (wiring, switches, speakers, and cameras you say). Are the switches wireless ? If they’re not C4 specific then Control 4 is going to be a fairly expensive path unless the incumbent integrator will do you a special on the exact same system - which they might (still expensive though).

If it’s just general stuff then you could plan it out and see if the wiring and layout suits your needs - probably using some form of controller with wired input/output capabilities rather than Z-Wave/ZigBee. Here in Europe we have Loxone that is home owner programmable for example. Not sure on your technical capabilities and intentions/time in this regard. Wired systems are very reliable.

You mention ‘functioning control of lights’ - are they now not working at all ? I thought you couldn’t legally sell a house in these circumstances, although if it was declared in advance perhaps you can.

I would get rid of control4, it’s way overpriced, impossible to do your own programming as well. It’s very proprietary as well. If you need anything changed or added, you have to have the tech do it. Plus the $99 fee to use the app. A joke… For very large homes and someone who has money to burn

I’m kind of leaning that way. But I’ll have to swap out all the wall switches I think which will be a huge pain.

So I finally moved in and I’m probably even more confused. I’m guessing because I’ve never played with Control4 before. So maybe you guys can help me make sense of this house…

  • There is no HDMI cables routed to where the TV is mounted; only Ethernet and Coax… Is Ethernet and Coax the only thing used for video and audio transmission in Control4??

For Control4 questions, try the following forum:

Hey Harozi2 , you can P.M. I would talk to you more about control4 system, is a great system.


The Home could be setup using a Multi-Room Video system using a Video Matrix hence maybe why you see only the Ethernet and Coax cables. Most Multi-Room Video system solution are aim towards a centralized management of your Audio Visual equipment.

I read that the previous owner took the Control4 controller and to be honest not sure why he / she did that as he / she should have just left it there.

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yeah you need an HDMI over cat5 to use that setup