I’m still happy with my ST purchase, although I would be happier in some ways. I will note I am planning on expanding my implementation.
What I like about it – I’m a tinker too, not a developer. I’m experimenting with home automation to figure out things that will help in areas – but I’m not quite ready to dive into device integration and programming, yet.
What I’ve found – ST is a good way to start. I’ve made 2 separate purchases of sensor and switches, and am planning on making more. I started by simply replacing the timers on lights in the house with smart programmable ones. That allowed me to test implementation and experiment with implementations and “if then” type logics. I’ve since added several sensors (doors and temperatures), and am now adding dimmers. So far my wife and family are very happy with the implementations – they find it transparent to what they want to do, with some added functionality (knowing the garage door is open or closed, if the shed we use for storage is too hot, ability to force a light on or off, etc.) Next step will be replacing more existing dimmers with existing ones, adding a smart wall receptacle of two (did we turn the coffee pot off??) and perhaps some motion sensing in the house. Cost to implement this has been reasonable, and I like being able to buy a yard at a time, instead of the whole cloth as I figure out what I want to do. We have a wired security system, and ST and it operate just fine together – although I’m not planning on having them interact.
The ST app is fairly good – runs fine on my iPhone, but I’ve not been able to get it in any way on my Kindle (which would be useful). Adding devices is fairly simple, once you figure it out. Adding schedules and apps to activate/ deactivate devices is fairly easy with a bit of fiddling, and notifications that a door is open/ closed has been simple.
What isn’t good is that I’ve had some flakiness in the app. I’ve had one sensor flaky bad out of the box, and some unknown incidents – the hub went down about 40 minutes one night for now apparent reason, and some schedules have changed for no apparent reason, and some devices didn’t activate for no apparent reason. I suspect this is due to the cloud-based approach from ST. As such I wouldn’t recommend this for critical functions in the house that need to be very reliable quite yet – such as an alarm system, or activating a garage door or a door lock which opens a path through the security system, etc.
What I haven’t been able to do… I would like to be able to add some basic additional sensors into the house, simply. Things like weather data, pool/ spa temperature, pool water and chemistry levels, fan on/off sensor, etc. I’m not heartbroken that ST doesn’t have this – you can kludge some solutions to these I believe. But as the devices and development community grows, these are the things I would like to see.
Would I buy ST again? For what I want to do – which has a lot of experimentation in it, absolutely. Would I recommend it to a friend? Depending upon what they want to do – yes.