SmartThings has Arrived!


(Chod) #1

I received my SmartThings kit in the mail yesterday and just wanted to share my experiences.

It was a bit of a wait for this, but i have to say that it was 100% worth the wait. The packaging is very professional. Everything was packed tightly and secure. Everything worked out of the box. It took a few minutes for my hub to recognize all of my devices. I just had to give it some time… i also had my smart things hub sitting in between a NAS and a switch which may have caused interference… so i moved it.

I received 2x Smart Multi Sensors (open/close, temperature and acceleration?), 1x IR Movement Sensor, 1x Presence Sensor, 1x Power Outlet. The build quality is amazing on the smart things stuff. Its all extremely light and everything seems to use the AAAA batteries. Seriously, the plastic housings of the multis/hub and presence sensor is just fantastic. Props to the team for this! Great work.

The iPhone app works pretty well. It crashed twice during setup, but has worked flawlessly since. My first minor grips is that it is difficult to tell the smart multis apart. It would be nice if you could change their icon, just like you can for the presence sensor/power outlet. Or perhaps name them. The smart apps are really easy to install and configure. Again the only grip i have here is that when configuring a mode setting smartapp, you should pick from a list rather than type the mode you want it to change to. It would probably be much easier to configure all of this via a web interface, but the iphone app is fine. The only smartapp i had trouble with was Sunrise/Sunset. For some reason i could not install this smartapp. Instead i had to install scheduled mode start for sunrise and sunset to change modes appropriately.

Here are some photos of the system:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793920207/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8804501660/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793920549/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793920809/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793920895/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793921047/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793921235/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ch0d/8793921375/

All in all, I am VERY impressed. Here is my wishlist:

  • Add the power monitoring to the smart outlet

  • Add battery level indication for all the smart things

  • Add the ability to change the icon or name the multis somehow so they appear different on the main screen

  • Add multi-user support for the smart things iphone app to allow multiple iphone presence things


(Cory S) #2

Agree with all of the above. I was highly impressed with the quality of the devices, and the ease of setup. To add to your suggestions It would be nice if you could spin the multi sensors into individual icons so you could monitor everything if you wished with a glance. I also highly agree that there needs to be away to change icons of things, and it would also be nice to be able to label them on the main screen, so you don’t have to go into the thing to see the name.

On another note it’s interesting how much different your smartthings app looks than mine. Mine is laid out a little different, and I don’t have the status reports at the top of the screen like how yours told you it went into away mode automatically when everyone left.


(Gray) #3

I agree with both of you.  That list sounds good, and I’d include @corys’s suggestion as well.  I want to use my multi sensors for open/close information and secondarily temperature, so I would like to be able to separate out the functionality to easily view whatever I need.

Also, I would add to that multi-user support suggestion to say that this is needed for lots of things beyond presence.  I don’t want for my wife to have to use my login to access the app; currently that’s the only way to access any of our things.

But mainly I need an android app so that I can stop annoying her with requests to use her iPhone to set things up!


(Chod) #4

Definitely having the temperature on there along with open/close would be handy. Perhaps it could just change colour with a very small icon to show the open/close state. Temperature could also just be a small number somewhere. Hopefully we can set it to Celsius too. The icon could also change colour depending on the temperature… might be getting too tricky and not as useful.

I noticed that when you edit a multi you can select the temperature or open/close… does it change anything other than what it displays on the main view? I could have sworn that when i changed the multi to temperature, it sent me temperatures every minute, otherwise it sent them every 5 minutes?!

Just about to order some GE ZWave switches and outlets. Do you guys know if there is a GE ZWave 3way switch which can dim LEDs? I know there is one for incandescents… but LEDs are different.


(Chod) #5

One more thing i forgot to mention. The range of all of this stuff is just outstanding. I walked about 60 meters down my street away from my house (yet still within line of sight) and took a multi with me and the open/close was working as if i was a few meters away. Same with the presence token… it was sensed ages away. This bodes well for anyone wanting to secure a garden shed or things like that on a larger property.


(Cory S) #6

@Chod, Yeah the range is crazy. I was thinking the presence tags weren’t working because I was 6 houses down and it still showed me as connected. It wasn’t until I rounded the corner and got out of line of sight did it finally disconnect. However, that’s actually a problem for the scenario of using presence tags on pets collars to notify you if they get out of the gate…they could get a long ways off before it notifies you. It also seems to take about 3 minutes to timeout/disconnect after it is out of range.


(Chod) #7

Just wanted to update everyone.

After getting really excited when i installed smartthings, i went online and ordered a whole bunch of switches and outlets from Amazon. Specifically i ordered:
GE 45614 Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control 3-Way Switch Kit
Jasco 45609 Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control On/Off Switch
3x GE 45605 Z-Wave Technology Duplex Receptacle
GE 45603 Z-Wave Technology Wireless Lighting Control Fluorescent Light & Appliance Module

They arrived within 24 hours. Decent prices too.

I installed everything last night and i must say that pairing with smart things was effortless. They showed up almost instantly. The outlets and switches are a bit bigger than the standard switches i had installed. They dont mix nicely with other switches because they have this large metallic flange. It sticks out quite a bit from my gang boxes. I couldnt find a way to stick it in deeper. All in all, this isnt really a problem… but if you have 3 switches in one box, and only one of them is the ge zwave, it may look a little funny when you put the plate back on.

Installing the 3 way ge switch was very simple. It works unlike any other switch. I recommend jumping onto youtube to check out some of the installation videos. The manual that comes with it can be a little confusing.

Next thing i am going to order is a light sensor.

Loving SmartThings.


(Cory S) #8

Chod,I just broke these flanges off with some vice grips on mine. Worked great.

Mine buzz like mad though, one even while turned off.


(Chod) #9

Forums are finally working for me again, hence why i have been unable to reply.

All of my devices are working great. All the zwave jasco/ge outlets and switches are fantastic. Cory, i did remove the flanges on the sides but they seem to stick out more because of the flanges at the top. I dont know if you can break those off, i would imagine not.

Its an amazing feeling coming home and have your house respond to your presence by lighting up your driveway or entrance room as the front door opens. I am waiting for the smartthings store to open so that i can buy some more PIR sensors and multis. The build quality on those is very solid. Rather than buying another brand i want to try to stay consistent as much as possible. Still need to buy the aeon labs outdoor light sensor/tmperature and movement sensor as well as some more jasco switches to control things like ceiling fans (for automation when the temperature gets above a certain point while we are home).

I also wrote a smarter night light which i am waiting to be able to publish to the smartapp store for people to use. In my very biased opinion it works much better than the existing “smart nightlight”. I also want to make a multizone smart nightlight which is trivial from the smartapp i have already written but i just havent had the time.

Oh and i need 2 more presence tags… those are brilliant.


(Chod) #10

Oh, and my jasco outlets/switches dont seem to buzz… or at least i can’t hear them buzz. Is it just one or all of them?