I have a SmartThings Hub, about 40 Philips Hue bulbs (so far) and just fitted a new Yale Keyfree Connected lock with z-wave module; all hooked up, fine. I’ve had to substitute the Remote Fob module I had for this (the fobs were great, but can’t use both pieces of functionality)
I like SmartThings as it provides a central hub and allows me to integrate multiple ‘things’ to talk to each other, but the app isn’t the easiest to use if you want to, for example, turn on/off lights or unlock the front door.
For the lighting I’m just using Philips Hue as the App is easier to work with.
What are your experiences with the App and using it to control the door locks?
It would be great if I just had some simple button / widget on my phone that I could just hit to control the door instead of opening the app, scrolling to the bottom of my things list and changing the door status.
Is there something like this out there before I think about switching it back to keyfob mode???
You’re not wrong re: The Mobile App. I think it’s very important to understand the Zen of SmartThings. This has been discussed before so you can do some searching and read more if you’re so inclined.
SmartThings has always been (in my opinion, supported by some others including some ST employees) about home automation, not so much home remote control. The overriding idea is for your home to just do what it’s supposed to do when it’s supposed to do it with very, very little input from you, the user.
There’s plenty of nuances involved here… I’m greatly over-simplifying it, but in short and condensed form, the Mobile App is NOT conceived of as a Home Remote Control. It’s designed as an interface to configure your home automation.
This is all well and good, but where does that leave you when you just want to unlock your door? Well, there’s a number of options here.
1.) Automate it: Setup your phone as a mobile presence device and setup a SmartApp to automatically unlock your door when you move within the geo fence area.
2.) Use SmartTiles: SmartTiles is a user created web interface that allows you to setup a number of short cuts for quick access to your devices. (Note that this would also be great for controlling lights!)
3.) If you’re using Android, check out the SharpTool app which lets you create Widgets on your home screen for various devices.
4.) Setup a Routine to unlock your door (as well as potentially do other things). Still a handful of steps (Open App, navigate to Routines, tap routine to run it.) but probably faster than digging down to the lock devices and opening it that way.
First, to get it out of the way, you will find many philosophical discussions as to “control” versus “home automation” in the forums. And that’s all that those are. Philosophical discussions where opinions differ. There is no official SmartThings position on this. Even their own staff disagree.
An obvious Counterexample to the “SmartThings is about automation, not control” argument, is the fact that the company invested significant resources in developing and promoting their official Amazon echo integration, which is solely a “control” device under this definition.
One of the best things about SmartThings is its versatility. There are many of us, myself included, who use it primarily for control. It’s up to you how you use it.
Because of the lock model you mentioned, is it possible that you are in the UK?
If so, unfortunately there is a current bug regarding third-party use of smartthings devices, called “the OAuth problem” which will prevent you from using many of the possible widgets currently available. But you can still use the official widgets. I agree those are probably the fastest easiest way.
Other scheduler options
You might also find the scheduler FAQ helpful. However, again anything that involves third-party services is probably not currently working in the UK.
You can track the resolution of the UK issue in the following thread (this is a clickable link)
[quote=“JDRoberts, post:5, topic:28728, full:true”] Your Use Case is not My Use Case
First, to get it out of the way, you will find many philosophical discussions as to “control” versus “home automation” in the forums. And that’s all that those are. Philosophical discussions where opinions differ. There is no official SmartThings position on this. Even their own staff disagree. One of the best things about SmartThings is its versatility. There are many of us, myself included, who use it primarily for control. It’s up to you how you use it.[/quote]
Definitely true, and I didn’t mean to imply that SmartThing could only be used as automation (vs. control) or automation is the right choice. Just saying that in my opinion the Mobile App appears to be designed more around Automation vs. Control.
I guess it was a very long winded way of saying: “You’re right, the mobile app doesn’t work great for control, here’s why I think that that’s the case.”
You’ll note that of the four options I listed, 3 of 'em are control options!
Absolutely agree that the app is more geared towards ‘automation’ and exactly what my primary use case is, but there are some areas we will always need to control; for example, the door situation as Yale don’t have a separate app that I can use for this, and their self imposed limitation means I can’t use the Remote Fob if wanting to use Z-Wave as well (otherwise I’d just be sticking with the Fob to open the door and then link to everything else) - some of this ownership needs to be equally taken by the originating device manufacturers to not just assume SmartThings will do anything.
According to the Yale site I can use Z-Wave to integrate with a Smart Phone to add/manage all the lock codes; but whilst the functionality may exist there is no actual app for this (at least from what I can see; but do see Recipes on IFTTT for this kind of thing)
I didn’t even realise there was an OOTB SmartThings widget, and this actually solves the specific challenge I have; as now I can select the Unlock Door routine straight from my phones main screen! - I just wish there was the ability to re-order routines (going to raise a separate thread on this) as just had to delete all my routines just so this displayed towards the top of the screen.
Now to spend some time researching all the other options you guys provided me!
hi Mike, just wondering if you got any further with figuring out ‘smart’ functionality with your Keyfree lock…I have one coming in a couple of weeks on a new door, and being a complete newbee to home automation/control, I’m trying to work out what kind of integration I can expect. I’m going to grab a Smartthings hub today to start playing I think. Adding/managing the lock codes with an app was one of the things that attracted me to it in the first place…is this even do-able at the moment then you think if there’s no app available to do it?! you mentioned there are some ifttt recipes that might help?
Keen to learn your experiences if you have anything to share…I’m trying to get my head around automation and control before the lock arrives. I’d love to get some lights working to come on when the door is unlocked for example, so might look more into lightwaverf linked to the smarthub with the code from @adamclark_dev options for this. cheers, Charlie.
I’ve had a play around although aside from unlocking the door through a ‘widget’ on my phone there isn’t much more that I decided I need my door to automate (for now).
Lighting: Yes, you can turn link the unlock of the door to turn on lights; but for me I’m home most of the day (work from home); and also set up an IFTTT recipe linked to the weather app; so that at sunset in my area; the lights will come on automatically (as well as auto turning off at midnight if I have forgot). Would you only want your lights to come on when you unlock the door (I have an outside light to consider); or just to generally be on when you are home? - You can also consider the use of the presence detector (if it worked) so that the lights are triggered by this.
Music: I just bought a Sonos system and was disappointed to find that the SmartApp built for this didn’t have a parameter to switch it on based on ‘Locks’ - almost everything else under the sun; but this is just a shortcoming of that specific SmartApp.
Door Codes: I have not yet found anything that will allow me to manage the door codes. It must be out there though…With Smart Tools you can define Widgets to trigger any command allowed programmable. With Z-Wave Lock I have the following options:
Whilst Lock/Unlock work - which I’ve used for my Widget; we need something more to manage the codes
Who have you bought your door through? - Have you made sure the lock comes specifically with the Z-Wave module - if it’s coming with remote fobs, then it won’t be…and is it definitely the Yale Keyfree Connected Lock and not the old Yale Keyfree?
After replying I thought I’d try to solve the lock code management thing and came across the below post. I just copied the code into my own SmartApp (very easy to do on the developer site) and just tested which resulted in me being able to add and remove codes as well as setting expiry dates.
ahhh, good find Mike! thanks for the quick reply too. Good point re whether the lock is Connected. The door is coming from a company called Solidor. I suddenly worried the other day just before I ordered when I realised there was an older Keyfree model that just offers a fob! Quite a few door suppliers are offering the Yale Keyfree handle as an option now it seems (have researched a lot of doors recently to find the right one!!). So anyway I called the supplier direct (they deal though a reseller chain normally) and they confirm they supply the Connected Lock but I’ll have to buy the z-wave module separately, but it looks like it’s a fairly straightforward swap out.
The lock user code management app looks great, exactly what we need to make the lock truly ‘smart’!!
Out of interest, what lighting system are you using? I’m drawn towards the Lightwaverf options coz it seems to make sense to use sockets and switches, rather than connected bulbs, since once they’re in, they’re in and won’t break/blow, and also the missus wants to get some fancy filament bulbs for the hallway, so this way, she can do that and they can still be controlled from the hub!
Fingers crossed for you then. I bought from YaleDoor and had a nightmare; they delivered me the KeyFree and finally got it swapped out last week for the right one. Looking at the Solidor page it also seems to describe the old one (i.e. talks about setting a code between 4-12 digits; but with the new one they enforce min of 6).
Swapping the modules is easy, but just make sure you disconnect 1 battery first; otherwise it doesn’t register the swap.
I’m using Philips Hue. I have Philips Hue Phoenix (cool->bright light only) downlights all through the house; as well as a few standard bulbs, a Hue Go and Hue Bloom.
I looked at Lightwave but for my personal preference preferred the Hue system, as I can control and automate everything via my phone (even considered removing all the light switches). For example; put some motion sensors in your bathrooms and you can have the lights just coming on when you need to (it’s a hard habit to forget to always leave the switches on!)
Check out a video below that I just uploaded showing the automation of my lights
Also this one that I did for the Kids (mainly me) at Halloween:
As it seems you’ve already found out, SharpTools automatically pulls in all of the available commands that a device has. While the most useful ones for a widget are lock, unlock, and toggle, many of the other commands are particularly useful if you use Tasker for automation.
I could see a use case where you might want to have a widget that lets you quickly set or delete a code, so those methods are always there if you want to use them.
If you are looking for something more fine-tuned for managing locks, I would recommend one of the dedicated SmartApps like the one you found or the one by @ethayer:
PS. I’m the developer of SharpTools, so feel free to PM me or tag me (@joshua_lyon) if you have any questions.
Hi Mike, was it easy to get your Hue Phoenix down lights to work with SmartThings? are the Hue Phoenix and the ST hub both UK versions? Phoenix bulbs aren’t stated as officially supported devices, that’s why I am apprehensive about buying them in UK. Hope you can advise, thanks!
It was amazingly easy to get the Hue Phoenix working with SmartThings. Obviously you need the Philips Hue Hub; so once you pair with that; within SmartThings you just add the new bulb(s) you added which will go via the Hue Hub.
Hi all, I have just had a Yale Keyfree Lock installed which I specified to come with the keyfob.
There are 4 people who live here (2 adults & 2 kids) and I am the only one with an Android phone. My wife and the 2 kids have iPhones and my wife and daughter are the least technically minded so whatever I do has to work for them.
Obviously iPhone users cannot use widgets and I do wonder how I could get it to work using geofencing as of the time limit on how long the lock stays unlocked for.
I could just buy another 3 fobs and be done with it but deep down I would like to try the z wave module and work out an easy way to automate the door unlocking.
Is anyone using iPhones and the z wave module?