I’m very new to this, and am still trying to decide what system to buy. To be honest, I’ve never really given much thought to home automation stuff until recently. I purchased 2x Nest thermostats and 3x Nest CO/Smoke detectors a few weeks ago. They’re all nice, but now that the new has worn off, they’re just wifi addressable devices, which I figure I can do with something else, for less. They are all still within the return period, so I’m seriously considering returning them and going a different route.
My interest was sparked when I was in Lowes yesterday and saw the Iris system. After researching, it seems to be a Z-Wave & Zigbee compatible controller. It looks promising, but paying someone $10/mo. for the privilege of having advanced control of the devices I already purchased isn’t too appealing. So this lead me on a Z-Wave quest, which naturally ended up at the VeraLite. To be honest, I was on the verge of ordering the VeraLite when I came across the SmartThings discussions.
As a computer systems engineer, I love to tinker and am comfortable with a soldering iron in hand (though designing simple circuits is still out of my reach, I have no idea why I’d use a resistor/capacitor/diode, or how to determine which one), but I can follow a schematic and copy someone else’s work. Being a programmer in a past life, I have no problem writing code, and am a unix guy at heart (with a fondness toward iOS and Mac OS)
Ideally (like many I’m assuming), I envision using my iPhone as a hub for all for all of this data and control.
My primary interests in this are:
= Thermostats - See current temperature, adjust, and change from heat/cool/off
= Smoke/CO Detectors - Notify me remotely of an alarm (and ideally, be able to turn alarm off via phone).
= Garage door opener (up/down & opened/closed sensing)
= Water sensors
I’m hoping for alerts either via push notification, in-app or by SMS.
That said, still being very green at this, I have a few questions I’m hoping someone can answer.
= Can SmartThings control all of these things?
= While I’m not planning on integrating an electronic door lock right now, I see that SmartThings can’t set the pin. When is this expected to be resolved?
= I like the fact that Iris can use a backup plug-in Verizon cell modem for $5/mo. Can SmartThings (or VeraLite?)
= I see that many folks are simply using an addressable AC plug attached to a relay to control the garage door opener. I was planning on pickup up a Linear FS-20Z-1. Can SmartThings control it?
= I’m confused about discussions that VeraLite doesn’t require cloud access, but SmartThings does. Can someone elaborate? I’m assuming this means for control from remote, not between devices?
= If I was using an IP camera, where would I have it record to with SmartThings or VeraLite (Iris apparently goes to their cloud service as part of the $10/mo. extra).
Thanks for any help!