The wireless sensor tags (aka Cao Gadgets) are intriguing as they have up to 700 ft range, have long battery life, have quick response and are relatively inexpensive. I read a forum post from over two years ago that talked about integration with the SmartThings hub but there was never a “wireless sensor integration to SmartThings for Dummies” comprehensive solution posted complete with pro/con issues.
It appears that the wireless sensor tags communicate via a radio base station that connects to your internet router via Ethernet connection. There appears to be no Z-wave radio in their base station and I assume that this prevents direct SmartThings integration to work with the ST2 hub meaning you have to go a round about way as mentioned in that forum post. It would be great is the wireless tag base station included Z-wave support but in lieu of that has anyone put together a “how to” thread with specifics on what obstacles and limitations one can expect?
I get the impression that there may be a lot of folks who would be interested in use of Kumo wireless tag solutions but since there isn’t a comprehensive “for dummies” explanation of how well the integration works, the difficulty, limitations, cost, etc. that this prevents many from taking the leap to include them in their home automation system.
Pros: longer range and smaller size than most of the sensors that integrate directly to SmartThings. Also provide a more precise calibration for temperature and humidity than most sensors in the same price range. And are weather-hardy. See the technical specs on the manufacturer’s site.
Cons: you’re setting up a separate system using their ethernet bridge and then integrating to it rather than integrating the sensors directly. This adds cost and complexity. The cost of the bridge has come down over the last year so that it’s now $49, and one Bridge can support up to 40 of their sensors. But the sensors themselves run about $40 each, and you can probably find something in zigbee for about half that, although again with shorter range and less precision.
So like everything else, choice is good. Some people will prefer the Kumo Wireless sensors (the company name is Cao gadgets). Other people want something that can integrate directly. Some people may just use them for specific use cases.
There’s a good welcome FAQ on how to select sensors which already includes this brand, you might find that interesting: