Unreliable Platform

Got my SmartThings last week and I was playing with it.

The first thing I did, was to set some simple automations.

I did connect my Hue system to it. Not issues so far, I was able to control the lights within the apps.

Then I created the automation:

  1. Turn Lights On on sunset
  2. Turn Lights Off on sunrise

My first issue was setting the color, the colours available are all messed up and do not represent the actual color.

The second issue is that it simply fails to execute it 50% of the time. Sometimes it turns on but then it doesn’t turn off. When I was checking the event log, the “sunrise / sunset” event doesn’t gets called or it is not listed there…

Seriously, there are a bunch of issues with very simple automations and then expect us to use this to secure our homes?

1 week has past and I am already disappointed.


I’ve only been with ST since the launch of the v2. There’s plenty of threads all over this forum for scheduling related issues. ST is working on a new scheduler but who knows how long that’s gonna take. Apparently scheduling has been off and on for over 2 years from my reading. This also seems to effect people differently too, some ppl report hardly any problems and some ppl who have nothing but problems. There are work arounds and it’s definitely worth looking into until this scheduling gets resolved. If you want to stick with ST scheduling then choose odd times that are away from the hour and sunrise/sunset times. This however will still b sketchy.

You can use ifttt and setup virtual switches to trigger your time based automations. This will be a bit delayed (3 min from my experience) but reliable.

If your familiar with the raspberry pi and Linux, you can setup cron jobs. This is personally what I’m doing now.

There’s a new post about using event ghost. Don’t know much about this yet but looks awesome.

Might be more workarounds but this is all I’ve seen so far. Good luck and welcome.

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Yah for EventGhost! My personal feeling is that if folks are integrating with other PC activities (such as HTPC - home theater PC, etc.), then might as well also use the nifty scheduler plug-in and general Python coding abilities of EG. It is not the friendliest tool out there … though not much worse than SmartThings native. In short … EG is just an example of how both clever SmartApps and external processing engines can vastly improve the functionality and reliability of SmartThings, but not without drifting in all sorts of directions.

To get back on Topic:
When talking about “reliability”, I wish we would break it down feature-by-feature. Some features have much worse reliability than others. Some features have much more practical workarounds (or outright replacements) than others.

It would require a moderator, however, to organize the reliability discussion on a feature-by-feature basis.

In my off the cuff guess (personal opinion, personal observations, and Forum reading…), the least reliable features (from most unreliable downwards…) are:

  1. Scheduler (known to be complete bonked; odds are higher that a schedule function will fail than survive). Major overhaul is in the works, but non-trivial problem, so expect this to be many weeks from resolution. Lots of great ideas for workarounds; though no single-one stands out. I’m participating in a discussion to abstract “Schedule Driver” into a Device Type, then any SmartApp can use an alternative scheduling device or service. Implementation is probably not worth the effort because it is too hard to get the Community to agree on a standard API, even though I’ve proposed on for discussion: External Time Source / Schedule Driver for SmartThings - #48 by tgauchat

  2. Presence (both ZigBee tags and mobile App). No known progress from ST. Lots of workarounds though, some very reliable.

  3. Mobile App. Every version has new problems … “Unexpected (but benign, mostly) Error” messages, inconsistent fonts, SmartApp preference input issues, unfriendly layouts, difficult/impossible to customize the UI for custom device type handlers, very little granularity of security. Some good partial-alternatives: SmartTiles, SharpTools.

  4. Smart Home Monitor (SHM). It requires a stable platform to function well, but it’s design has some inherent weaknesses and flexibility issues and there is no official API for other SmartApps to interface with it. Alternatives SmartAlarm and Rules Machine.

  5. Cloud/Internet latency and dependence: Very little of the platform is current able to run “locally” in Hub V2. No status on progress of this. No workaround.

  6. Cloud Outages (full or partial) … Often caused by bug introduced during major or minor releases. I think only one case so far of a “Hub V2” outage (i.e., unable to connect to cloud without a manual reboot).

  7. IDE (developer environment) bugs (e.g., simulator currently mostly not working), and can be very slow at times and can create inconsistent data structures.

  8. Other data consistency issues … Devices or SmartApps that cannot be configured or removed by the Customer directly, “ghost devices”.

  9. Local device ZigBee / Z-Wave issues: Not inherently a SmartThings problem except that they don’t publish enough information on how to suspect / detect / resolve these.


After the “Hub Firmware Release Scheduled for 2/29/16 (Hub V2)” update my schedules based on sunset and sunrise still fails and that firmware update was supposed to fix it.

Is anyone else experiencing that?

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Since the update, my Good Morning routine fails and mode value no longer displays in the mobile app, it displays the word “mode” instead.


It’s true that my good morning routine has not worked since the update.

The problem with only seeing the word “mode” instead of The actual mode turns out to be an accessibility issue. I’m not sure how long it’s been there. In the iOS version of the mobile app, you can now use a finger to move things list up-and-down and when you do, it can cover the mode value.

Since I use voice, I wasn’t aware that this could move and I’m not sure there is a way to move it using just voice. I do have to experiment with that more. But obviously at some point it was positioned so it was covering the mode value.

I had my aide shift it, and we’ll see if it stays that way.

Same here. My outside light are driven by Sunset - Sunrise fail sometimes. I changed the trigger to specific times and they are back to working. Wonder how Daylight Savings time will affect all my routines.

I have moved my to luminance and just avoid the whole time/sunset BS in the first place. Much happier.