Newbee to smartthings and what to buy ( specifically want black outlets)

Hey ya’ll
Just getting into this
My entire house has black switches sans a couple bathrooms.

I think I’ll just start with 5 or so switches to automate some exterior lights and landscape low voltage transformer.

I also have 2x Nest, Vista 20p, 7x Hikvisions on BlueIris on a home dedicated PC, a doorbird to control front gate and a Ring at the front door.

I just ordered a 828LM garage gateway to control 888LM doors
Considering an EVL4 to control security and tie the entire package in.


  1. Anyone recommend which tablet to use to control all of the above?
  2. What do you recommend for black outlets to get (consider stability, efficiency, performance, price etc.) I will need about 5-10 to start, 5 or so are 3-4 way.
  3. Favorite GFI smart outlet for low voltage transformer (it is 1500w rated)
  4. Favorite app to run over tablet for trying to run all of the above
  5. Lots of the newest equipment is WiFi not Zwave (which do you think is better if I’m just diving in?)
    Extra credit
    Any issues you see integrating all of the above?

I cannot answer most of this but I will comment. I use Amazon Fire HD pads to control lots of my home automation, including my Ring, Konnected, Z-wave and Zigbee outlets. I used the EVL4 for almost 2 years. It was OK. I recently switched from the EVL4 to Konnected (and Smart Home Monitor) and I am very pleased so far. Just my two cents…

That’s great Info. I really want to try Konnected but I only have a wired siren and the rest is wireless. I think that means I have to get all new sensors right?

Sounds like an exciting project!

First question: what country are you in? The device selection does vary somewhat.

Second question: what kind of phone do you have, android, iOS, or Windows? Again, the device selection may vary somewhat.

For technical reasons, there are no smart GFI outlets in the United States. That’s because the radio inside the outlet needs to always have power, or can’t hear the next network command. But a GFI outlet needs to be able to cut the power to that particular device completely. So you can’t get both features in one device.

There are two common approaches.

One) use a smart plug-in “pocket socket” Plugged into a regular dumb GFI outlet. That gives you all the safety features of the GFI outlets, but means as long as the GFI has not tripped, the radio in the pocket socket will work.

Two) install a regular GFI outlet and then put a smart in wall micro upstream of that device. That allows you to control current to the outlet on and off even if the GFI is tripped, but the GFI feature in the outlet itself will still isolate that device if there is a problem.

Either method can work, so it’s just a matter of preference. The wiring for the in wall micro is obviously more complex, since there is no wiring requirement for the plug-in pocket socket. But you might not like the looks of the plug-in as well.

There are also black smart outlets, but they don’t have a GFI feature.

Yes, presently, the Konnected only works with a wired system. Will the EVL4 work with a wireless system? The core of my system is wired.

My experience is pretty limited so far.

Leviton Decora Z-wave switches come with white and almond paddles. Black can be purchased separately for a few bucks per switch. I assume their outlets are similar but haven’t researched those.

Levitons are fine IF you update the firmware. Multiple folks here, including me, have had issues with them disconnecting from the Z-wave mesh. Problems have been solved by updating firmware on the switches. So include in your budget the Homeseer Z-flash utility and a USB Z-wave stick.

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Anybody have experience with the wifi leviton switches. I read they run hot and gobble up power unexpectedly when not in use. Now hearing this from Hald about needing to flash all the levitons w the older model of zwave (no wifi) is interesting.

Anybody else know of other black dimmer switches that are consistently good?

Also. Since I only have 1 wired alarm, 1 wireless motion and 3 door sensors with my Vista 20p would you guys recommend just abandoning and going with wireless sensors?

Are you in the US? It does matter as far as what’s available.

With regard to switches, there are a number of good brands. For reliability and quality engineering it’s hard to beat Lutron, which is neither Z wave nor Wi-Fi, but uses its own proprietary protocol. There is an official integration with smartthings. And if you happen to have an iOS phone, there is also a HomeKit integration which is very good.

EnergyAvenue is a no-frills warehouse operation which usually has the lowest prices on Lutron devices. Quite a few community members shop from them.

Or of course you could use an in wall micro, typically Z wave, and then you can use any switches you like. I like what Mike Maxwell did with his, but you could also put them behind a regular dumb switch.


I personally really like the look of the Eaton Cooper zwave switches in black, and they are very reliable, but for whatever reason they never came out with a zwave plus line, so they are the older generation. Still nice switches, the main feature missing is they will have a shorter range than Z wave plus devices will.

The device class features FAQ discusses what features a zwave Switch might or might not have and why people might care about it. Start with post 40 in that thread for the light switch discussion. :sunglasses:

( The topic title is a clickable link)

There are a lot of Wi-Fi switches that have come on the market in the last two or three years because of Amazon echo and the fact that most mass market consumers don’t want to fuss with a hub, but most of these are cheap Chinese made brands with no safety certifications.

Read the following thread and it discusses the issues in detail based on a 2019 article from CEPro. It should answer most of your questions on that subject.

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Yes. I’m in the US. I’ll do some reading. Thanks so much for the direction!!

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Okay after reading it seems mass market is going to gobble up 2.4Ghz. Sad :-(.
Sometimes reading too much and investigating about doing it right is takes me more time than doing it twice, so I just bought a few of this and that on Amazon

I also bought the ADT panel/hub combo on Amazon for $99 and it comes with 2 doors and a motion. I really would like to move that over to Noonlight to pocket the $15/mo in savings, but Noonlight says they don’t support the hub???

I searched and found that noonlight isn’t supported on the ADT Panel/Hub :-(. That was from March 20th 2019. Since going off topic going to revive that thread and bump it to see if anyone has found a work around.

What about Scout? Does Scout work with ADT Panel does anyone know?

The scout integration has been discontinued.

As far as noonllight, if you ask them about an “ADT“ hub, then they’re going to say they don’t work with it.

But with the ADT/SmartThings Hub, there might be a way using the SmartThings side of that system, but it may get complicated. And you won’t be able to use things like the cellular calling feature, as that is locked down to the ADT option.

@Mavrrick58 might be able to say more, he is an expert on the SmartThings/ADT model. :sunglasses:

Also, @heythisisnate did the first work on Noonlight with a standard ST hub, and might also have more to add.

JD, you are awesome!!

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Hard to beat Fire tablets with fully kiosk browser. Once ST is all set up, then do your tablet and decide if you want a turnkey app or a DIY free app. If turnkey buy a copy of ActionTiles or SharpTools. If DIY download my HousePanel app. There are long threads on this forum about these choices for tablet dashboard apps. Lots of good mounting advice on the forum too. Search will get you to all threads quickly.


Thanks @kewashi!

@Mavrrick58 or @heythisisnate. You think it is possible or had it been done to put the adt hub on to noonlight? Losing cell backup is okay with me.

You can find more details on dashboards at the following site or feel free to tag me if you have any questions. :smile:

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Even faster if you go to the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, look down near the bottom of that page for the “project reports” section, and then choose the “dashboard“ list.

Seriously, I’ll race you. :wink:


(I don’t know anything about this picture, it just cracks me up. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I remember how exciting it was when I got my first wheelchair that went over 5 miles an hour. Zoooooooom! )


I just can never remember the link and the search tool on the forum works incredibly well. But I would never race a man with a supercharged wheelchair.

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6 MPH for 15 miles, baby! You may beat me in the 1st mile, but I’ll lap you twice by the end. LOL!