My ST install was completed yesterday. I’d say it was VERY successful!
On the outside chance someone else is thinking about doing what I just did, I’ll describe how the install went, some small issues I had, and why I am very pleased with what I’ve done.
THE INSTALL -
Very straight forward and easy to setup the entire system The SmartThings APP walks your through the steps, after I got past the first sensor or two, it was a breeze. I had 5 smart motions and 6 smart sensors installed within an hour. I then moved on to the Zwave devices. The process for the Zwaves is exactly like the sensors, a couple of times I hit the “+ CONNECT NEW DEVICE” button, instead of the “Switches & Dimmer” button - the difference being that “+ CONNECT …” just does a whole scale search, where the specific type of device narrows the search to just the specific brand/type of switch. There were a couple of old Zwave switches that were added, but said they were the wrong type of device - that leads to a little extra setup for that device, but nothing too difficult to complete. It took me about another hour to connect 2 entry locks (a Kwikset & a Schlage), 2 light wall switches, 9 interior light plugs, 3 exterior light plugs and a FortezZ siren.
Once all the sensors and Zwave devices were connected and functioning, I then tackled the HUE lights. Again, very easy to install, and very impressive that there is so much control (by individual light bulb). And that concluded my install.
SMALL ISSUES -
The biggest small issue was learning how to program activities / triggers. Having switched from Alarm.com with a very small actions list, there was a lot to learn with programming SmartThings actions. I got stumped once, and jumped on the ST Blog to see if I could find an answer - I ended up clicking on their chat link and someone in ST customer service walked me through what I needed to do. Once I got that brief tutorial, I figured everything else out on my own, and spent the majority of the evening setting up triggers & actions.
I was not able to connect an Evolve garage door actuator. Not because I couldn’t get the device to connect, but because my garage door opener is MyQ. Some quick searching this morning on this forum, I found what I need to get for that to work, and I ordered the MyQ bridge from Amazon this morning. Hopefully that portion will be completed by Sunday.
I was not able to connect a generic smoke detector or CO2 detector. I know these are Zwave, but I lost the manuals and don’t know how to connect them to the Zwave network now. I tried everything I could think of, even took them off the walls to look for buttons on the back - no luck. I do have a couple of NEST Protect devices in the house - hopefully there will be ST support for those soon. Otherwise, I’ll order some First Alert detectors some other time.
The final small issue, actually leads me to why I’m glad I made this move. After setting everything up, I was trying to figure out how to use this system as an alarm system. I downloaded the Smart Security app from within the ST app, but couldn’t get it to operate correct. So again, I jump on this forum looking for help, and stumble on the SMART ALARM thread. I have never been good at programming, or even following directions, but I took my time, followed the directions closely that were provided by geko, and within 20 minutes I had the SMART ALARM smart app on my ST iPhone app and was setting it up.
REASONS WHY I’M VERY PLEASED …
The SMART ALARM smart app has put the cherry on the sundae that is SmartThings for me. The SMART ALARM smart app operates exactly like my Alarm.com system. I have specific motion sensors turned off so my dogs don’t set off an alarm, while other motions and all doors/windows are left active. It’s set so the FortrezZ siren goes off, and all the lights in / on the house turn on. It is exactly what I was looking for!
With my Alarm.com system, my home automation was very sluggish - probably because of the cellular data connection. And my Zwave devices were constantly reporting issues, then not functioning correctly because of it. The SmartThings sensors are responsive, and events trigger quickly. When I push a button on the app to turn on/off a light it happens almost instantaneously. With Alarm.com, I could turn off the light in the Kitchen, walk to my bedroom, turn on the TV in there, get into bed and finally the light would turn off.
Geofencing works! Could never get this feature to work with my Alarm.com setup. I played with the geofence distance to get it to change modes just as I pull into / out of my subdivision.
VERY pleased with this transition, and looking forwarded to doing even more with my SmartThings as I get more comfortable altering actions and installing more smart apps.