So I’ve waited for all the hoopla to die down before playing with this functionality and sat down to see what this has to offer.
While I think this added functionality within SmartThings is a wonderful addition and long overdue, it only provides very basic functionality for turning on/off lights and setting to a single solid color.
All of my lights (indoor and outdoor) consist of Hue and LIFX colored bulbs. Now that the holidays are approaching us, I wanted to see what the Scenes in ST would allow / not allow me to do.
So, prior to playing, with the lights in the front yard (6 LIFX Mini bulbs), I set up a few different Themes (Santa, Holly, etc) along with different (Flicker, Animate Theme, etc.) within the LIFX native application that allow these lights to constantly change colors, and fade in and out with brightness (Caution: pressing and holding the strobe effect could cause a seizure).
Then there is Hue in which setting up Scenes is somewhat similar to what ST has implemented, it is so much easier to create / modify a scene within Hue. I also have a bunch of the 3rd party apps that bring these lights to life with different effects (Hue Thunderstorm, Hue Disco, etc…) similar to what I can do with the LIFX app natively.
Along with both apps allowing me to turn on/off lights based on Sunset to Sunrise and widgets from both apps on my device to allow me to set different Scenes and /or Themes w Effects with a single touch, using a set of Routines or webCoRE to turn these lights on/off is all there is to offer with my already previously defined Scenes created in the native apps.
I also like flickering candlelight for the non holiday time of year or just fading lights in and out with a smooth transition.
For me outside of setting up/using Routines / Smart Lighting / webCoRE to simply turn on / turn off lights based on different environmental variables (leaving the house, vacation, bedtime, motion, etc.) this basic functionality of Scenes in ST defeats the overall purpose of what the other apps already do natively and easier (setup) for my use case scenarios. I would want one place to be able to set everything up with the advanced capabilities or not use it at all as it just becomes one more thing to manage and maintain, making things more complex when something breaks.
I’m sure there are other bulbs where they might be restricted or have no native app to setup any level of timing, routines, themes, scenes or effects natively and having this new functionality might be worth taking advantage of.
I realize that most people using ST are probably setting up lights for basic on / off functionality and setting a basic color based on something and these Scenes are great to take advantage of. A Use case I do like is that if someone broke into my house, I could set a scene to change all the lights Red, but without setting up a bunch of other scenes to revert the lights back to their original setting (color, brightness, on/off) would be a pita.
This is not a knock on what ST has given to us as I said before, this is awesome that they are moving in a forward direction, but it has a long way to go and I’m hoping that they continue to build on this functionality and enhance the capabilities in the future. Hoping it’s not just a one and done feature introduced.