Which smart system fits me the best?

Hi folks

Firstly I apologize for my silly questions. I’m new to this smart home things, after a long time of research I still couldn’t figure it out which hub fits me the best and I am looking for help from you folks…

What I want to do:
1, set up some smart lights combine with motion sensor
2, a Sensibo or Tado so then I can control my AC on my phone from work
3, set up speakers throughout my place so I get music anywhere I walk into
4, a camera, of course
5, a smart lock with passcode access

I’ve looked into the SmartThings, but found 2 things, the samsung hub and compatibles are quite expensive compare to other brands like Wink. Also the ST system interface is not very user friendly? I’m trying to teach my uncles and seniors in the family to enjoy the system with me so the interface should be as simple and friendly as possible.

People say Wink is a very good system with more options of compatibles but not as stable as the ST, so I wanted to ask if you folks could suggest which system fits me the best?

Many thanks in advance.


Every system has pluses and minuses. There’s no one market leader yet. It just comes down to what you yourself need.

Systems where the hub cost less than $500 are all considered in the “very inexpensive” range. That includes smartthings, Iris, wink, insteon, etc.

Wink has two big problems at the moment.

First, in terms of daily use, there is significant lag between, say, flipping a switch and having the lights go on. This is probably the number one complaint about it by people who already have it installed.

The second is that their parent company is literally going through bankruptcy right now. The asset auction is scheduled for next month. They are trying to sell the home automation piece, wink, separately, but so far the only better is the company that makes the hardware for it, and they don’t really want it they just want to get someone else to bid higher for it.

So there is a very real danger that if you buy wink, the cloud service part will disappear in a few months. Everyone hopes that isn’t true, but the company is out of money. I would wait on that one.

If you think smart things it’s expensive, you probably will not be interested insteon, although it’s the most mature and has a nice user-friendly app. And a very wide variety of devices.

Staples connect is definitely easier to use than smartthings, and the hub costs a bit less, but has a very limited set of devices. Very reliable. It’s worth looking at.

Iris has a monthly fee if you want to use most of its features, and they’re just putting out a whole new model line now. I think I would wait on that one just to see how the new models work.

So there are a lot of possible candidates, but not necessarily anything that exactly matches what you were looking for. I think you would probably like the feature set from Insteon the best, but it may be out of your price range.

Second to that, I would look at Staples connect before I looked at week just because of the company instability and the lag in daily use.

My personal guess, and it’s just a guess, is that by next summer, 2016, there will be multiple plug-and-play home automation options available in the inexpensive category. But we just aren’t there yet. So I decided to go ahead and just do a phase 1 last year with a limited budget, the doorlock, some lights, and some voice control of my television, and stop there and wait to see what will be available in the market matures.

But there are other people who have gone ahead and automated their entire homes with everything from sound systems to lighting in every room. It’s just a personal decision. There will be a lot of different opinions.

Thanks for your reply. I saw many fellows on this forum are using VeraLite as well. How do you like VeraLite?

I totally agree with you, I would love to give Wink a try, but I don’t think it’s a good timing to do so.

I know the second generation of ST will be coming soon. Do you think it could be a good idea to get the Vera first then maybe get the next gen ST after?
Is Vera a good product?

The second generation of smartthings is available now. It began selling last month. You will see you it marketed as “Samsung smartthings hub.” All of my previous comments applied to the second version.

Like everything else, Vera has its pluses and minuses. You do have to be fairly technical to set things up with it. The last time I looked, it didn’t have any way of tracking Geopresence, that is when individual people come and go, which is a popular feature for big families even when it doesn’t work perfectly.

You will find people in this community who used to have vera and left it to come to smartthings. And people In the Vera community who used to have smartthings and left it to go to Vera.

Vera is less dependent on the Internet than smart things (you need Internet to set up the account but not for daily operations), but it’s really intended primarily to work just with zwave devices, which can be limiting. The community has built out additional integrations there, but they are all quite technical and often require additional hardware.

I definitely like Vera better if you have out buildings on the property, like a barn, or a separate office. Or a house and a guesthouse that you want to run on the same Network. And if someone only wanted zwave, I would probably look at fibaro first ( although it’s significantly more expensive) , Vera second, and smartthings third. But I would still consider all three.

As soon as you throw any other protocols into the mix, Though, Vera would drop down the candidates list for me, but again other people to feel differently.

I chose smart things over Vera for three big reasons that are important to me, but might not be important to someone else:

One) very easy way to add zigbee devices, particularly small inexpensive sensors

Two) IFTTT compatibility

Three) ability to add voice control of my Home entertainment components, which I originally did using the Harmony and IFTTT, and now do with harmony and echo. Smartthings acts as the go-between. I am quadriparetic with limited hand control, so voice is a really big deal for me. :sunglasses:

But like I say, everybody has their own priorities

Yes just realized now they have the batteries and local communication.

JD do you know anything about the Vera? anything good about it?

See my post just above yours. There are some differences between the different models, but none of them would change my previous comments.

Thanks JD! I will do more research and probably decide which one I’m getting by tonight, very excited about this!!!

Honestly, if you don’t mind a bit of tinkering (and I haven’t even done any yet), I would highly advise against Wink… Really really bad idea. If you want a more polished interface, things that supposedly ‘just work’ and no ability to do really do anything/no tinkering… by all means be my guest.

Personally I’ll never go back to Wink, even if in the unlikely even that ST fails me, I would try any other option but Wink again.

Waiting for the boxes to arrive is always the most fun time of any home automation experience. :wink:

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Yea totally, I have made up my mind by going for the ST!