System put me at risk

3 days ago, my garage door opened on its own. It was open shortly after I went to bed until 2am. I messaged support at that time to find a remedy and have yet to receive a reponse. Just a fair warning to anyone thinking of integrating any crucial services to this system.


I’ve had my garage door mildly integrated with a virtual switch and IFTTT with a wemo device for approx 6 months and I’ve never had it open when I didn’t want it to that wasn’t my own fault.

I even have a rule to automatically close the door if it’s open after a certain time.

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no details?

Do you have presence devices on your keys, or phone presence?

Does arrival appear in the phone app log?

How long is your departure delay?

How far is your is your zigbee repeater and/or hub? Hub v2?

That might clarify.

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I limited my risk by only allowing the garage doors to be opened in modes other than “Sleep”. Now of course, ST can still mess up my modes, but since I did that, I haven’t had a single middle of the night garage door incident. As far as locks, I only automate my interior garage door one to open, not my front door or side door.

I feel your pain. I moved most of my home automation over to other controllers after our front door lock began randomly unlocking back in November. Support looked at this as did SmartThings engineers, and although they verified it was happening, no one could figure it out. My personal guess is that it had to do with synchronization between the cloud and the V2 hub, but I’m not sure.

We had had SmartThings for about a year prior. I am mostly homebound and spend much of my time in one of two rooms, the one where the lock is and the one next to it. In addition, my service dog is trained to go to the door when it unlocks. So I’m pretty sure this didn’t used to happen as one of the two of us would’ve noticed. But it did happen at least five times in one week in November 2015. At different times of day.

I continue to see this type of behavior on some of the night lights that we have left on SmartThings. You can see it in the logs.

The following thread is by an engineer who has identified one synchronization problem. This might well have been the cause of what I was seeing.

Or it may have been some kind of database corruption and my house was receiving commands intended for someone else’s account. It was right about this time that another member reported seeing a mysterious device named “dining room sensor” on his device list even though he doesn’t have a dining room.

No way to know. We couldn’t force the failures to happen, but we couldn’t stop them from happening either.



I also had a garage door open on its own in the middle of the night. There were no automations attached to this door. Evidently, something caused the LFM-20 to fire, as in the morning it was on. That’s bizarre because it’s set up as a virtual momentary button device, so it should turn off right away. My conclusion is that the device type failed, for unknown and probably unrepeatable reasons.

One failure was enough for me. I have now removed the LFM-20s from my garage doors. I have one z-wave lock on my system, and it has never failed – yet. That may have to bite the dust too.

The sad reality is that ST is not a well designed system. It totally lacks critical reliability, and cannot be counted on AT ALL. No security or home access should be based on ST, unless you want false alarms, missed alarms, doors unlocked or opened randomly. My own opinion, arrived at after extensive use of ST, is that the cloud based design is fundamentally flawed. Home Automation is local at its heart. Depending on the cloud for local automations is a bad idea, and it will never work reliably. We have seen this as a continuously true statement about ST for as long an any of us have been involved with it.


This has always been my biggest fear. I live in LA and my garage is attached to my home in a busy area. I’ve always wanted to automate my garage door and everything else in my home as I fell in love with smartthings the first day it appeared on Kickstarter. But it’s situations like this happening that has prevented me from automating everything. I do have one schlage zwave lock on my front door which I still worry about it unlocking on its own in the middle of the night and am close to removing it. I would feel more safe having smartthings control every external door and garage if I lived in a more remote area like some of you do in the middle of the country where your homes are situated back from the main streets. But in LA that’s impossible and with the amount of crime we have I just can’t fully utilize smartthings they way I want to beyond lighting due it is unreliability.

Like stated above, I don’t trust anything security related to ST (or any other automation for that matter). I do have a keypad lock on the garage door (manual, not connected) so I can go run without taking my keys but nothing automated.

As for the garage door, I originally thought it would make life easier on the motorcycle to open the door automatically, but again, I don’t trust the system.

Instead I went a little more old school, bought a universal opener and wired it to my brights. Now when I get home, as I’m coming up the drive, I flip on the brights and the garage door opens. Still fancy, no accidents! :smile:

For the car, I just push the button that’s right in front of me. :wink:


We’ve only been at this a few weeks, but given the issues we’ve already seen my husband and I have gone from “We’re going to automate All The Things!!!” to “We’re only going to automate for entertainment and convenience” (at least for now). We don’t trust the system for anything critical, not right now.

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This statement pretty much sums up all my feelings about ST. I really wish that they would stop adding any new devices, features, markets or do anything at all except devote 100% of their resources to changing tact on this. All it takes is one competitor to come along, offer the same interoperability as ST but have a local based system with cloud services only as they are needed. I see 2 competing products due for launch soon, which are each essentially exactly the same as ST (on paper) but have this issue under control. If ST doesn’t sort this out soon I don’t know of anyone who would not want to switch given the choice.

“Due for launch soon” … That’s funny… You don’t think other companies are subject to the same incredible challenges that face SmartThings and won’t have tremendous hurdles to launch a stable product?

Who, by the way?

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Yes, this is true. There are incredible hurdles, but not insurmountable. And, it wouldn’t be as hard as what ST has attempted, with everything in the cloud. They didn’t need to do it that way. It’s much easier to do it the efficient stable way, that doesn’t entail this giant effort of servers handling events in realtime.


Indeed… Oomi home uses a local processing architecture – but they are at least a few months behind schedule and counting. I personally warned them that it was unethical to use optimistic “estimated shipping dates” in their campaign. Oh well. Whatever.

Oomi also very explicitly is not offering any sort of open API – for stability reasons.

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I should add that realtime events generated by a local device with a local intelligence handling events (the hub) that are intended to control another local device should never be handled by anything other than the local intelligence. Every other design is BS. I mean, come on, this is basic engineering. Trying to turn the cloud into a local event realtime processor is beyond stupid, unachievable, and doomed for failure. ST proves this day in and day out.


Before I go to bed, I lock the door with the electronic wall switch on my LiftMaster. I did this before I ever had ST. Also, you can set push or SMS alerts to let you know the door has opened or has been left open. I use a multi sensor for that job. Easy to setup and nothing I wouldn’t do with or without HA. Also, are you sure ST opened the garage? It probably did, but are you sure?

We asked and repeatedly told this to SmartThings during their Kickstarter over 3 years ago…

And yet we still purchased the system. Are we masochists? :confounded:

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Perhaps, but it wasn’t very expensive, and it’s been a fun hobby. It’s not a viable HA system however, due to its flakiness. Lighting just has to work, period. Security has to be definitive and rock solid. Entry/exit logic has to be hardened. Which of these does ST offer? None.

I’ve enjoyed the abstraction model they have, obviously. But I’m ready to move on to something that actually works, and if I don’t, I will have growing issues with my wife. For some odd reason, she doesn’t want to live in an experimental home that often fails.


Bruce, please don’t leave! Without Rule Machine, I would have given up on ST since I’m unable to code SmartApps on my own. It’s been a lifesaver. Not literally of course, who would entrust life support to ST? :grin:


It’s the reason I jumped on hub v2 right away just to have local process with outdoor lights. Little did I know it’s also controlled by the same damn server for schedule as v1.

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I always have my device app as well. Example I have the Chamberlain Garage door opener and keep their app on my phone so it sends me open/close notifications.