Over the weekend, I added a First Alert combo alarm and 2 GE Dimmer switches. Things did not go well and I’m left with many questions. (I’ll not go on about the annoying outage many of us experienced the other day…)
Let me get the good news out of the way first. I added the First Alert device and the process was EXACTLY what I expect out of a 21st century smart system. I activated the device, told ST to find that device and it did! It even added it to my SHM. All this happened in about 60 seconds. Awesome.
Then came the switches. These are the standard, rocker Jasco/GE things everybody raves over, bought at Lowes so they are Z-Wave, not Zigbee. After I installed them, the door lock (Schlage) stopped working. Now, let me pause for a moment and ask some questions:
- Why would the door lock stop working just because I added some switches near the door?
- Why, if the door stops responding, would the system not in any way tell me that the door wasn’t responding to anything? This is a SERIOUS problem with ST. If I’ve lost communication to my door lock, I don’t know if it is locked or unlocked or even if I can get into my home. If I request a refresh or change a code using a Smart App, there certainly has to be an expected response. If there is no response, the system just goes on…there are NO WARNINGS to tell someone that there is a problem. Ridiculous and DANGEROUS.
- I tried to repair my Z-Wave network first, but never received any feedback to let me know it had completed. I waited several minutes but never heard back from the system that the repair was complete. I only have 4 z-wave devices…how long can it take??
- Why is it that a routine will tell me after I start it that the routine has completed…but will lie its digital butt off. Did the light really turn off? Did the lock really lock? Nope. But the system will happily tell me the routine was completed. Liar.
So after I reset my door lock, things started working…but not how I would want them to…
- Why would ST think my switch was a plug? Can’t it tell the difference? I know it a minor detail, but I’m bothered that my light switch icon in ST is an outlet.
- Why doesn’t ST have control over the fade time of this dimmer? That is the most basic parameter of a dimmer switch for crying out loud. Level, Fade Time. 2 parameters and ST is missing one of them. I see there are some conversations about this so I’ll have to see what’s been written, but really…I expect that sort of thing to just “be there” without me spending an hour researching, downloading, etc, etc for a basic function of a device that is used by more than half the people on here.
All that and the SHM outage. Yikes.