Thinking About Switching Teams (Wink to SmartThings)

(Mike) #1

I’ve been using Wink since it’s inception. Generally I’ve been pretty happy with it. But updates are coming less frequently and less is being added. I’ve had to work around a lot of odd things… for example, the Wink enabled Hampton Bay fans? They work like crap on Wink Hub V2. So I have them on Hub V1s. For everything else V1s are terrible. I just had a Schlage Z-Wave lock decide to stop working with either of my Hub V2s though. Why? How? Whatever. It’s working on a V1 for now.

Wink constantly tells me that a bulb that doesn’t exist on my Hue account is disconnected. Why? I deleted it from Wink, just stop.

Ok, but I didn’t come here to talk about the problems with Wink. I want to hear about Smartthings. I want to hear from someone who switched from Wink, ideally with a large complex setup. How’d it go? What are the things about Smartthings that frustrate you? I don’t expect Smartthings to be perfect. I know it’s not. So what are the things that the community wishes Smartthings would do better?

I have a lot of devices. Tell me about what issues I’ll run into connecting things like the following. How often do things drop offline or need maintenance?

GoControl stuff (door/window, motion, siren)
Quirky Trippers
Schlage z-wave locks
Lutron Caseta (This is a big one. All of my lights are Caseta.)
Hue (I’d love to not use the Hue bridge at all anymore, honestly. All I have on Hue is the rope lights.)
Hampton Bay Wink enabled fans
Nest equipment (smoke detectors, thermostat, cameras)
Ring doorbell & floodlight cam
Rheem Water Heater

The Hub & app
What’s Smartthings range like? I have a typical ranch style home. I’ve needed 2 wink hubs on either end. I know Smartthings has community supported add-ons. How reliable are these? How often does an update break them? IFTTT connection? Stringify Connection? Google Home Connection?

Lastly, I really don’t want to deal with the fanboy thing. On one of the Wink groups on Facebook, every time someone has a problem, a couple these guys show up talking down about Wink or the people that use it. I don’t care about that kind of thing. Wink’s been pretty reliable, but it’s not going anywhere anymore. I want to hear from level-headed real users of Smartthing.

(Benji) #2

I used to use Wink a long time ago. I started out home automation with Wink. It was an utterly utterly terrible experience that nearly put me off the hobby completely.

With that being said, Wink has come a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way since then and is a much better platform and with that being said, I still think SmartThings is better by a long shot. Not without its own issues but I’ll take those trade offs/negatives with ST over Wink in a heartbeat.

We’d need to know your full list of devices/models to know what will work and what won’t work/will be unstable. In general I find ZigBee the least stable on Wink and ST and personally, I have a much higher preference for Z-Wave or “LAN connected” devices (which really means any WiFi connected devices as well).

GoControl stuff (door/window, motion, siren)

Most GoControl stuff is Z-Wave and usually works out of the box, otherwise, custom DTHs can be found.

Quirky Trippers

I think these are ZigBee…

Schlage z-wave locks

These are supported out of the crate so you should be good here.

Lutron Caseta (This is a big one. All of my lights are Caseta.)

I’m assuming you’re connecting these directly to Wink which I believe it has its own Caseta radio, the ST hub doesn’t have this radio BUT you can get a Lutron SmartBridge hub and connect them through there:

Hue (I’d love to not use the Hue bridge at all anymore, honestly. All I have on Hue is the rope lights.)

Technically you can connect Hue lights directly to the ST hub but DON’T DO IT, there are some actual technical reasons why you shouldn’t, reasons that can cause big issues for your Hue devices if you do decide to pair them directly with ST but again, DON’T DO THIS. Connections through the Hue Bridge actually work very very well, stick with the Hue bridge.

Hampton Bay Wink enabled fans

Nest equipment (smoke detectors, thermostat, cameras)

Not officially supported HOWEVER, NST Manager IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE WORLD, do not use anything else!:

Ring doorbell & floodlight cam

Currently only the Ring Pro is officially supported for video however, RVD2 works I believe (if you just tell it it’s a Pro) and I believe RVD1 will pair so you can use them as “motion sensor” and “button” type devices. The Floodlights and SLCs are rumoured to be supported in the future but we haven’t heard anything in a while, I’d like this as well!

Rheem Water Heater

Do you have they Hybrid one? Technically there is this:

However, might I offer an alternative, personally, I have my Rheem water heater paired directly with my Nest account, I have NST Manager installed in ST to hook my Nest account to ST. What happens is the following:

SmartThings changes mode to away --> NST Manager tells my Nest account to change to away --> My Rheem account sees that Nest has gone to away and changes the water heater into “eco” mode (which is actually just vacation mode.

I don’t know if it has changed with Wink but originally you could only add one device at a time, with ST you can add multiple and it’s glorious, I start the search and then go round pressing all my light and fan switches. Custom devices can be a bit of a pain adding the Device Type Handler and/or SmartApp code to your account but at least you have the option, whereas with Wink, you’re stuck with only being able to use whatever they support (with some Z-Wave exceptions).

The SmartThings app is pretty good but does have some glaring issues (font sizes anyone?), with that being said, SmartThings encourages you to do more smart home automation instead of just being a smart home controller and thus if automated properly, you’ll need to use the app very little. There is the option of IFTTT and Stringify and so on however, my advice is that you avoid these like the plague, they should only ever be used as a very last resort and you should automate things in this order first where possible:

  1. Built in functionality

If not possible then

  1. WebCoRE

If not possible then

  1. IFTTT/Stringify etc.

I also recommend that to make the installation of some of the most popular DTH/SAs (including NST Manager and WebCoRE mentioned above) ultra ultra simple, install this first:


We have both wink 2 and SmartThings 2. For the last 18 months I would say that smartthings offers the ability to do much more complex rules, but Wink has consistently been more reliable. We have had an MFOP (maintenance free operating period) of over six months for wink: with SmartThings, we are lucky to go 12 days.

Smartthings has had at least one outage every month for the last 18 months except, I think, January 2017. Sometimes these are pretty minor, sometimes they are very annoying. :scream:

SmartThings Does a lot of updates and improvements, which is good, but that also leads to what is hands-down the most frustrating aspect of the platform: things which you had set up and running perfectly for a couple of months which then just stop working one day when you haven’t made any changes. This happens frequently. And most of these do not get posted to the official status page, for whatever reason.

Here’s a current one, which is typical:

You can see a list of the community bug reports in the community – created wiki:

People who are tinkerers, very budget conscious, happy to spend an hour or two on maintenance and troubleshooting every week, and really enjoy seeing how far they can push the logic for a home automation system generally really like the SmartThings platform.

People who don’t fit that description may find that other systems suit them better. Different things work for different people. :sunglasses:

(Devesh Batra) #4

i have both and love SmartThings over Wink

Have kept WInk for some odd devices like my GE appliances which integrate well with the platform and some trippers as they kept disconnecting from ST (may be over my 30 battery device limit…)

Otherwise everything is now on ST (over 100 devices). Yes, there are occasional issues, but it provides the best integration so far…

(Bob Kerr) #5

Former Wink user here who jumped ship before Wink v2 came around. You’ve got some great insights, so far, but doesn’t seem like anyone mentioned Smartthings’ current strategic struggles. They are in the process of changing a lot of things to their backend, new API, new app, new infrastructure. We are all but at standstill watching what is going to happen. The so called classic app will be replaced by a new app, formerly known as Samsung’s connect. It is a move that may or may not sit well with existing user base.

So, everything that was said previously in this thread, may or may not exist in the future and that is true for both the “feature set” and “reliability issues”. So time will tell…

(Mike) #6

Thank you! This has been super helpful so far.

@Benji That was extensive and really helpful. Thank you. I went ahead and plugged in my Smartthings hub and at least connected Ring, MyQ, and Nest. Might connect some other cloud things as well.

@JDRoberts your post about outages each month concern me. When I first started HA I was super into messing with it each weekend. Now it just annoys me when things break…

@BatraD 30 battery device limit? Tell me more.

@HA_fanatic how much of a concern is this switch? Surely it’s going to be at least somewhat backwards compatible? Should I wait until this is all over?

(jkp) #7

I believe @BatraD is referring to the 32 zigbee device limit without zigbee repeaters