I am moving to a new house. Currently I use the Aeotec hub to run Smartthings with about 10 light or switch plugs. Nothing special. Separately I also run a Ring system with 5 cameras, contact sensors, motion detectors and First Alert smoke detectors. I also have a few Echo devices to talk with Smartthings or Ring.
I am moving to a new house and will set up a new system. Should I stick with Aeotec or maybe switch to the Zooz-Fibaro hub? I like Z-wave but am not confident about its future. I don’t really trust Samsung and Smartthings. I already got burned in the past having the ADT Smartthing sytem that got abandoned. Though I do prefer the Ring security system and I got back the cost of new devices with a lower Ring subscription than the ADT Smartthings subscription.
So Aeotec vs. Zooz-Fibaro?
Or go with no hub and use Zigbee devices and Echo?
Z-wave vs Zigbee?
Congratulations on the new house! I’m sure you have a lot of exciting projects ahead.
As far as your questions, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that there’s no one right answer. It depends on a lot of different things, including the amount of technical tinkering you’re willing to do each week, your financial budget, what country you live in, how complicated you need your Home Automation rules to be, what type of phones your household has, how often your local Internet goes out etc. (for example, if you have all Samsung galaxy phones, then smartthings has some additional features which can be nice.)
I agree that smartthings is not The best platform for a mostly Z wave set up right now. So at the time of this posting, if someone is mostly interested in z wave, I am recommending some other alternatives. Why don’t you start by reading the following:
Next, before going any further, we need to talk about rules complexity. When you say a “simple system“ the platform you choose Will depend a lot on the kind of Home Automation rules you want to create, not just the type of devices you want to select.
Read the following FAQ on that topic, and then give us a sense of what level of rules complexity you need to support.
If it’s just a simple system, then I would stick with the V3 hub you already have. With the Echo devices, Ring works well with ST. Plus, you’re already familiar with how you have things set up now, and it should be very easy to set it up in a new house. If you’re buying new devices, then I would lean towards Zigbee or Matter devices; however, with the V3 and a small setup, Z-Wave should also work fine.
For more details I live in the US. I use an Apple phone, my wife uses Samsung. Currently I have routines for turning on/off certain lights at set times each day, and a routine for when we are out of town that turns on/off more lights. We use our phones as a location sensor to turn on certain lights when we come home, which seems to only work about half the time, sometimes depending on if the ST app is open or not. I’m not looking for lots of scenes or complicated rules. I will be getting a new hub for sure as the old one is staying with the current house. I’ll probably add 6 - 12 light switches and some portable outlets. I’ll have a 2nd story laundry room so probably a leak sensor. I like the convenience of giving Alexa voice commands vs opening the ST app. Figuring new hub and switches I’ll initially be in the $500 range for equipment and then my setup time. I really don’t want to tinker with it each week, rather set it up once and be done except for some occasional new devices and a new rule every now and then. I’m not concerned about having everything in the house on one system. Currently, I use ST mostly for lights, Alexa for convenience, a Ring system for cameras and monitored security, a Rachio controlled irrigation system and a Honeywell thermostat, each of those on their own apps. I don’t need TVs, speakers or appliances working through ST. I don’t trust ST enough to have everything run through it.
For basic light switches and outlets, I’d be looking at Matter devices. I like the Leviton D215S and D26HD switch and dimmer (Matter over Wi-Fi). I haven’t tried it, but the Eve Energy Duplex outlet looks interesting as both its outlets are switchable and Eve has power monitoring that works with ST. I have their portable outlet and it works well (Matter over Thread). I also have the Tapo P125M portable outlet. It uses Matter over Wi-Fi but doesn’t have power monitoring.
If you are buying newer Ring devices, you need to check if the Ring->ST integration supports them. Multiple reports of the latest devices not showing up in ST.
If you have newer Echo devices that support Matter, you might want to ask yourself if you even need ST? Could Alexa routines accomplish your automation needs? You can do location tracking with Alexa (whether you are using ST or not) which I’ve found to be far more reliable than ST location tracking (we use it on both Samsung and iPhone for multiple locations).
If you are going to stick with the ST ecosystem and can live without Z-Wave, I’d go with a ST Station which we believe has more memory and better processor than a v3/Aeotec hub. I would not rely on a Samsung appliance or TV with built-in ST hub and Zigbee/Thread dongle as multiple people have reported issues with them going offline and the Thread stack going to sleep (I’ve experienced both with my fridge Family Hub and dongle).
For leak detection, I’d go with the Aqara Zigbee leak sensor. It can be a native Zigbee device in ST or be Matter capable in ST using the Aqara hub and Matter over Bridge support.