Odds a random zwave device works?

What are the chances that a random (not known on this forum) zwave device will work with ST? Shouldn’t any zwave device work assuming you know the network id, etc? Does the “connect” in the app just scan for new devices on the zwave network so anything should show up?

If it is some standard type of device such as an on/off switch or outlet, there’s a good chance it’ll work. If it’s a lock or thermostat, at least basic features should work. Anything else and it’s much less likely. If it doesn’t it’ll require a custom device handler to interpret data from the device and send commands

Cool. So assuming I know how to read the commands ST is versatile enough to accept pretty much any device assuming I create the device type? There are a bunch of zwave devices that are not that popular that are cheaper (and maybe nicer) that I’d like to try out. I’d start with motion sensors and switches since they seem easier.

Pretty much, and the community here is great with helping users with setting up new devices and writing device handlers

Is this the same for zigbee devices?

it can be the same for zigbee devices but will only automatically pair if they share the exact same ‘fingerprint’ as the published SmartThings zigbee devices. Within ST zigbee doesn’t have a set of default generic devices like z-wave does, only the ones that they sell (SmartPower Outlet, SmartSense Motion, SmartSense Open/Close, SmartSense Multi, etc). If it has very similar functionality but a slightly different fingerprint it might pair as a ‘Thing’ and then allow you to assign an existing devicetype for it.

First, you have to define “works.”

SmartThings is certified as a Zwave controller at the “basic” level (that’s a Zwave term). That means you should be able to pair any certified zwave device and send it a “basic” command, which basically means on/off.

And…that’s it.

Zwave also has many advanced command sets, like scene replication, and allows for manufacturer-specific commands.

So the first thing to do when considering any new certified Zwave device not already on the official “works with SmartThings” compatibility list is to go to the Zwave Alliance products website and look for its official " conformance statement." That will show you the command sets it " supports" (can receive) and “controls” (can send).

You can compare that with the SmartThings hub conformance statement.

whenever there’s a mismatch, you may find that features provided by the manufacturer don’t work with SmartThings.

Some typical examples are multibutton scene controllers. Typically after pairing SmartThings will be able to turn one and only one button on and off. Or react to one and only one button going on and off. Anything other than that may require a custom device type–or may simply never work with SmartThings.

So it all comes down to the exact command sets that the device requires.

For example, most of these don’t work with SmartThings, even though they’re Zwave-certified. (The Aeon Minimote is an exception, but it works through association, not scene management.)


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As for zigbee devices, it’s a very similar situation.

If the device is certified for the Zigbee Home Automation profile (ZHA 1.2) it should be able to pair with the SmartThings hub as a “thing.” If it uses a different profile, it may not be able to pair, or it may pair but not stay connected to the network for very long.

However, what it will do once it is paired will vary. If it is a device on the official “works with smartthings” list, you should be able to get some control of it, although not necessarily everything that the manufacturer provided. For example, if it was a pocket socket, you might be able to get on/off control but not be able to get energy monitoring reports.

Additionally, SmartThings does not as yet support some types of zigbee clusters (the equivalent of advanced Z wave command sets) so if the manufacturer designed a device to use those clusters, you may not be able to activate those features at all with SmartThings.

And of course many companies add proprietary features to zigbee which will not be available to SmartThings either.

If the device does use standard ZHA clusters that SmartThings supports, you can create a custom device type for it and get access to those. That’s what community members have done, for example, with the securifi key fob.

So just as With Zwave it all comes down to the individual commands (in this case clusters) that the device requires, and whether SmartThings happens to support those specific ones.

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Thanks, what a PITA. :smile: Probably best to stick with what works for the most part but there are some cheap parts online that if they might worth might be worth testing.

Always good to search the forums and see if anyone is already using that specific model and if so with which device type. :sunglasses:

The other thing to watch out for is the radio frequency for Z-Wave is different in the US and other parts of the world

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