SmartThings Community

Want to Switch from Nexia to Smartthings, need advice


(Scott E Levy) #1

Hello,
I am brand new to SmartThings and just purchased the SmartThings Hub. I have been a NexiaHome user with my Schlage Z-Wave locks and Honeywell Z-Wave thermostats. I phoned Samsung to ask if all these products will work with SmartThings and confirmed they do, BUT that entering the codes for Schlage and working with codes is not covered and would be a community developed app. Before I get too deep into this, I am techy, but I am not a programmer. Am I making the right decision by scrapping NexiaHome for this new Hub (2nd generation)? I have a rental home which relies very heavily on my entering and deleting lock codes remotely. Is SmartThings robust enough to do this and if yes, what app do you recommend my attempting to install (I assume one of the Community made apps)?
Thank you for your time and support,
Sincerely, Scott


(Ben Lebson) #2

Installing custom SmartApps in the SmartThings IDE can be a bit tricky at first but you’ll find many guides on the community to show you how to do it.

As for controlling the locks, @ethayer has recently released an updated Lock Manager smartapp which will let you add users to your locks. It even gives the ability to create one-time/limited time use codes and scheduled codes.


(Mark) #3

You won’t have to write any code yourself, just follow directions on how to add custom code developed by others.


#4

You’ve gotten a lot of good information already, but I am a little bit surprised that someone who has been using Nexia to manage a rental property would be considering moving to SmartThings.

SmartThings is primarily a cloud-based system, and there’s been at least one major outage each month for the last six months except for January.

http://status.smartthings.com

In addition, there are maintenance updates which you can’t either postpone or delay which will take the system off-line for anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. We usually get an email notification of these a few days in advance, but not always. And it’s not uncommon to require that after one of these updates, several individual devices be manually reset, which requires being at the location to do so.

I like the advanced features of SmartThings, particularly the notifications, but if I were a landlord it wouldn’t be my first choice for remote management.

See discussion in the following thread:

Of course if you live close enough to your property to go by every time there is a problem, and you’re OK with the system being off-line during maintenance, then this may not be an issue for you, but I just thought I would mention it.


(Scott E Levy) #5

Thank you for this input. I do have a concern of getting stuck going down a rabbit hole trying to install these items and then managing their reliability. Can you let me know how reliable you have found the system?


(Scott E Levy) #6

Thank you, it’s already starting to look heavy : )


(Scott E Levy) #7

Hello @JDRoberts,
Well, you are asking the right questions here - and here is the answer:
When I went to turn down my thermostats at my rental home, which is also my vacation home, the Thermostat controls would only allow me to go as low as 55 degrees for heat. Now, I knew that the desktop nexiahome site only allowed the reduction of heat to 55 degrees because they feared liability from users who might burst pipes in their homes from dropping temps too low, but the iPhone App always allowed me to go below the 55 degree mark to any number, which I left my heat at 48 degrees - having a large ranch home, it’s a huge difference in heat cost for that 7 degrees, and with temps warming up, why have the heat kicking on at night because 55 was lowest? So when I called Nexia on this, they had bad information and lack of clarity. I requested it go up to a supervisor level and they said it would take 3 to 4 days to hear back. It’s been 2 weeks and I am confident they aren’t calling me back. That said, I can’t have control over the thermostats be only down to 55 degrees for heat, it will cost me hundreds of dollars per month extra in heat cost. This is why I got the Smartthings, but after hearing all the concerns, it appears that I should possibly keep the controller but maybe split it up - only use the Smartthings for the Wifi thermostat control and then use the Nexia for the lock controls? Any opinions here? Also, is the WINK Hub any bit better for the purpose I require. I would love to cut the cord from Nexia for remote lock control, but it sounds like from what you are saying @JDRoberts that it is the most reliable and robust system out there excepting the Thermostat and cost factors ($9.99 per month and I have two homes that use it). Please weigh in here as well marktheknife and blebson, Thanks, Scott


(Michael Walsh) #8

Scott,

I have the Nexia and had the same issue with the limit of 55 on the thermostats. To get around it I built an Automation that monitors the temp and when it drops below 46 It turns on the Thermostat to heat at 55, runs 15 min and then turns the Thermostat OFF. I have a condo in Mammoth Lakes and it when I’m not there I don’t want the pipes to freeze but 55 is too warm and cost to much. It works great and I have had zero issues.

I just bought a Smarthub and I’m pretty worried that it will take a lot of work to get the things the Nexia app does out of the box with no programming. I don’t like the monthly fees, so I’m hoping I can get away from it…we shall see.


(Scott E Levy) #9

Hello Michael,
The Smartthings Hub works very well for controlling the thermostats below 55 degrees – that part works perfectly well – and I will say, it was very easy to setup and get integrated. And, no monthly fees, yay! That said, I cannot find an easy user friendly way to get it to do a simple date and time turn up or down of the heat. That was simple with Nexia, so simple that I cannot believe that smartthings just doesn’t offer it and that there are no easy user friendly programs available. I so far have just been doing everything manually and “trying” to remember when so that renters of my home don’t come in to a frozen house, or I don’t forget to turn down after my cleaner comes. That all being said, I only wish the smartthings hub would do this simple feature – you can’t get it all from any one system… I still use my nexia at the same house for door lock control as Nexia can’t be beat for that.
Scott


(Michael Walsh) #10

Thanks Scott. I bought a Smartthings Hub and I will play with it to see if I can get it to do all the things I do with the Nexia. I agree 100% on controlling locks, codes, guest codes, one time codes, scheduled codes. It’s does that so well, and if it weren’t for the monthly fee I wouldn’t even be considering it. I appreciate the input.