Why should I make the change?

Hello All,
I’m very new to the whole HA thing and so far, I’m spending money and my wife hates it, but that’s ok.

I started out with the beta test on the Amazon Echo. As soon as I saw it in the email invite I knew they were going for the home automation world. So, I jumped in bought 2 of them. One for upstairs and one for down.

My current configuration is this - 2 Hue Lux bulbs with bridge, 2 Hue bulbs (these 4 are connected to Echo via the Philips Bridge. I have 14 GE Link bulbs (connected to Echo via the Wink Hub). I had all of the bulbs connecting via the Philips Bridge but the GE bulbs fell offline several times a day. I’ve had zero problems with that since I got the Wink hub. Which by the way I only got for 2 reasons #1 - Echo integrated with Wink first and #2 - I got it for $20.00 with the purchase of two GE Link bulbs.
I also have 3 Wemo in wall switches and a Lutron plug in dimmer. And to wrap it all up I have two Honeywell 6580 wifi thermostats.

Everything works great the way it is and I’m planning to greatly expand my system,

I’ve read a lot of great things about ST and read some things that make me question the future of Wink.

My main concern is putting my money into a system that isn’t going to be supported at some short time in the future.

I understand that ST is much more user friendly as far as what can be done. I especially like the idea of the virtual switches to make things work.

I want everything to work through my Echo devices.

So, why should I leave behind Wink and come to ST? Will the devices I currently have operate with the ST hub?

I’m sure you’ve all heard these questions before and I greatly appreciate your responses.

Here’s my big reason for picking Smartthings. If you have any kind of knowledge of programming, you can get the hub to do pretty much anything you want.

I can tell my Echo “Alexa, turn on Night Mode” and all the lights in the main part of my apartment turn off, the lights in the bedroom turn on and the thermostat adjusts. This also turns one light in my living room into a night light that comes on at a very low level when there’s movement in the room.
All I had to do was link a Virtual Switch to a Hello Home action and call the Switch Night mode. It took me less than 10 minutes to setup.

I’ve written many Smartapps. I am a programmer by trade, but I really don’t find the language difficult and the documentation is getting better all the time. Smartthings really encourages and supports the user base. I just don’t trust Wink.

As for support, that’s the beauty of Smartthings. If you can figure out how to write the integration, then Smartthings supports it. I could connect my Roomba to Smartthings. And then tell my Echo “Alexa, turn on the vacuum” which is, I believe, above and beyond anything any other hub can do.

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I’m with her… :slight_smile:

I came from MisterHouse programming in PERL and the more closed-sourced HomeSeer, along with a few other HA solutions, and the advantage that ST has over everything out there is right here in the community.

The software and hardware are far from perfect, but you have a large base of people working on all kinds of different things, and chances are that you will have a hard time finding something that someone hasn’t done already. Or you will come up with something and someone else will improve on it, or vice versa.

Now, to some people that whole reliance on community development is not necessarily a good thing, and they want something more turnkey. A lot of the things that are cool about ST are not in that category though, but the platform as a whole is pretty solid.

I had my concerns when I started as well because of the kickstarter thing and the possibility that it was fly-by-night, but here we are still poking away at things… :slight_smile:

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@viguera @geekychick, thank you. That was exactly whay I was looking for and hoping for. My background is in electronics, computers, and programming.
The platform seems to be stable enough that I wouldn’t have to bring it back online on a daily basis. I need it to be reliable enough that my family can use it and not have problems while I’m away from home. When something goes wrong, my very non technical electrician wife is not pleased.

I like that the hub is very open and with some creativity anything is possible.

I believe the one thing that will have me make the jump is the community. I’ve been exploring it and I see a lot of knowledge and skill being freely passed around. I also really like that there are actual company employees responding to postings and driving ideas. That is rare in today’s tech world.

My only other concern is this. Will the equipment I have transfer over to ST? I know the hue bulbs will, but what about all of the GE link bulbs, and the Lutron & wemo switches?

I appreciate all of the feedback. Now, I’m just going to wait for ST. Hub v2 to be released and then I’m feet wet!

Links and Wemo but no love for the Lutron I’m afraid :frowning:

Well, can a virtual switch be designed to make it work? If not, I will just put that $20.00 wink hub to use!

No idea at this point I’m afraid, I don’t have my ST hub yet, still on Wink so I don’t fully understand how it all works.

Same here… I’m waiting for ver 2 to come out then I’ll jump in full force. I was going to buy some sensors for the wink, but I’m going to wait on that for sure.

So long as they are Z-Wave/ZigBee why not go ahead now? Though apparently there will be a new series of ST devices at some point, no idea when.

As far as Lutron goes, all three systems you’ve mentioned have IFTTT channels: smartthings, Lutron Caseta, and wink. So you can use IFT TT as a “man in the middle” with virtual switches and get some integration that way. However it’s not full features, and there may be some lag. So you can look into that, the problem is that light switches are usually the thing that you need to be the quickest in home automation and it may not be a satisfactory solution for most use cases.

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That is a very good point about the speed if I use the IFTTT. There is a very noticeable lag time. But then again, there is also a noticeable lag time with the Wink hub.

In my kitchen I have 5 wink lights in the overhead. When they were connected to the Hue hub they would all switch on/off instantly and at the same time. With the Wink hub they come on one at a time. Not sure why that is. Will it be the same way with the ST Hub?

I’ve used IFTTT a bit, but mostly for things like making the porch lights go on and off and to turn of certain lights in the house at a certain time. Then I found the scheduling options in the hub and found them to be more reliable.

When you say Wink lights do you mean the GE Links? These aren’t Wink lights, they were just made popular by Wink. Also, what firmware is your Wink Hub running? Initially I could never get groups working on early firmware so gave up and created a shortcut instead to turn on/off a collection of GE Link bulbs, this won’t ever turn on/off lights together and will always do them individually.

Groups however, now that they work will turn all of the lights that are part of the group on/off at the same time. Occasionally one or two bulbs might change out of sync but for the most part, they all respond at exactly the same time, dimming too.

Yes, I meant the GE Link bulbs. I have them in a group (kitchen lights).

If I use the group created in the Wink app the lights all come on and go off at the same time.

If I use the group created in Echo the the lights come on one at a time.

Maybe Echo sends an individual command to the hub for each light?

The Wink hub is running software version 1.1.0

In which case it sounds like Echo isn’t really using the group, rather it’s a pseudo group of devices and as such is sending individual commands to each bulb.

I’ve not got the Echo so not sure how it integrates/works with Wink but rather than creating a group on the Echo, can you not point an action to the group created on your Wink hub instead? That way Alexa is working on your Wink group rather than Alexa working on a group on the Echo that happens to have a bunch of bulbs in it.

This actually works very well

If you set them up correctly they can be made to all turn on\off at the same time. Case in point: i have 2 speaker lights in my bathroom. One screwed in in the the bathroom fan light, connected to a z-wave light switch. The other is plugged into a zwave outlet (2 separate loads). In smartthings i have the “big switch” smartapp turn on the speaker outlet when i turn on the light switch. This way will not turn them both in at the same time there will always be a very short lag. i added a SmartenIT ZBWS3B 3 button controller and used the buttons to turn on the light, fan and both speakers. This does turn them both on at the same time. If there is any lag it is to quick for me to notice. The only reason i added the SmartenIT ZBWS3B is because my bathroom has 2 doors and this the easiest and cheapest way to make a 3-way. The lag for me is barely noticeable.

With the state of V1 your wife will not be happy. For many of us here, the houses are often visited by ghosts who turn on and off lights in the middle of the night. I have very high expectations that v2 will be the ghost buster. As for Lutron switches, there is no reliable solution to integrate them in ST. Yes, you can use IFTTT to link Wink and ST, but there are many limitations as to what you can do and the lag is just awful. If you use any kind of sensors, your wife, just like mine will manually turn on and off the switch and walk out of the room before the IFTTT recipe fires.

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Love your optimism, buddy! I prefer to be pleasantly surprised instead of disappointed…

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Yeah, for example I don’t necessarily expect ST to be any more reliable than my Wink Hub but I’m looking forward to other things like the programming aspect of it that the Wink just can’t do, if it happens to be more reliable/responsive at the same time that’s just an added bonus.

I still think that too many people are placing too high expectations on V2 being the last final ‘fix’ that will be needed…

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I think it is imperative to define ‘reliability’. In my opinion, keeping your promise is the first step. You cannot say you will do something and then come back and say, well that didn’t work, but the future product will take care of that. That’s where my high expectations are coming from. I really hope that once v2 is out, we will stop hearing for months that v3 will fix that! ST is an awesome concept, but my experience so far, was like someone offered me a nice car and when I asked where the keys are, the answer was: we lost the keys, but we are making a new set and is coming with the my new model in a ‘few weeks.’

If you search the community, you will find a common theme - “the apps to nowhere.” Many great ideas that once were functional, now hit a brick wall and are at standstill. The road to success is paved with failures, but also the road to failure is paved with too little success! I do hope that once v2 is out, things will settle and apps that work, will continue to work. I am not talking about hiccups in service, I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect reliability!

I’m not sure I get your analogies… When I talk about ‘reliability’ I’m talking about, a motion sensor always triggering a set of lights to turn on or, a sunset/rise function always working properly, etc.

I just don’t ever expect a 100% reliable system and I say system and not hub because the hub is just one component in the system of light bulbs, sensors, switches, etc and you can’t blame ST just because once again a power cut makes all your GE Link bulbs stop responding for example.

Z-Wave and ZigBee are ‘standards’ but… everyone has their own interpretation of that ‘standard’ :wink: