Will Smartthings be suitable for medium to large scale projects?


(diyaeldin) #1

Hi,

This is my first post & I hope I can get the support expected.
I work for relatively new company, and we decided to go into the smart homes business as part of our scope. Currently we are still looking for suitable vendors to adopt, and I came across Samsung Smartthings.
I would really like to know if Smarthings will be able to satisfy my projects to come, against the other home automation companies specialized in this field, such as Control4 and others. Will Smartthings be able to achieve such a high-end application? an example for such application is luxurious palaces, villas, and big offices, where they require theater systems, light and dimmer controllers, etc…

Kindly advise.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

No. No. No. No… Just… No.


Control4 = $10,000 to $100,000 per household.
SmartThings = $99 to $4000 per household.

Absolutely not comparable.


#3

If I were starting a business that focused on smart home consulting and installation I would not use SmartThings as my go to hub. Not that SmartThings is a bad choice, but that reliability and instability are prevalent.

It could be the choice of devices is the predominant factor, but from what I have experienced SmartThings in a consultant installation would result in repeated calls for individual sensor/devices outages.

For some businesses this might equate to recurring revenue. For others this might equate to a customer perception of unreliability.

Net net, I think the recurring service calls would either create a business where ignorant customers paid you for the instability of the system you installed or they would blame you for said installation.

I think SmartThings is a great platform for hobbyist and tinkers, but I’m not sure it is a great platform to build a business upon.


(Ron Talley) #4

Tried it with ST, Customer Service nightmare.


(diyaeldin) #5

Thank you all for your replies, you all made a lot of sense.
I believe you already know the main issue with going to a high-end vendor such as Control4 or Crestron for example, they ask for high initial fees with compulsory training before claiming dealership.
Any idea if there’s any vendor with reasonable initial requirements suitable for new/small consultancy companies like ours?


(Mark) #6

If the market you’re going for includes luxurious palaces and villas, why would those homeowners settle for something less than the high-end automation systems like Control4?

Maybe an office/business would appreciate your focus on cost-cutting, but not the luxury home market (kind of by definition).

What kind of market research have you done before forming this consultancy company?


#7

For “luxurious villas and palaces,” at the present time I think only Crestron or Control4 provide the reliability and versatility required on a large scale, particularly once home theatre is included. (Or Savant for iPhone users.)

In order to compete in that market niche, you probably will need to consider becoming an authorised installer.


(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #8

Requiring that installers in your intended market are well trained is good and creates quality and thus happy customers. You will be competing against these installers for business.

I think RTI may be a more affordable entry point for you and is well regarded. But your competition will come from Crestron, AMX, Savant, Control 4 etc who have already absorbed their entry cost and are time efficient for projects.

K


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

EXACTLY!

When I first saw and invested in SmartThings (Kickstarter), I was hoping it would be a great product for an integrator/installer to use for “mid-market” homes; but it never crossed my mind to compete with Crestron/Control4/Savant/etc. for luxury homes.

When SmartThings’s developer program never solidified and when they refused to create a “Certified & Supported” dealer/integrator Program, I completely abandoned the idea.

An integrator is only as good as the products they sell, their level of training and expertise, and the exclusive “dealer only” specialized support channels they get from the wholesale vendor. Discounts are not necessary: Heck, I think dealers should be required to pay extra because of the extra responsive support they ought to be able to get from SmartThings.

SmartThings is a super challenge for integrators; it would be quite difficult to not add substantial margins to make the effort worthwhile, and the result would not be a savings to you or your customers, and, probably rather unfair to your customers, @lightworx.

But several ventures exist in this space and are trying to make it work… Here’s one I know of:

@ashutosh1982
http://www.smart-dots.com


(Edward Niedziejko) #10

Smartthings would need 24/7 support staff and a better track record of outage prevention or significantly more local processing to be suitable for anything other than hobbyist/enthusiast use. Also the number of devices are limited for larger deployments. If people can afford mansions or villas, they can afford a fully supported and integrated local control and automation system. :slight_smile:


#11

I wasn’t clear on your answer to this :grinning:


#12

Smart Dots isn’t marketing to palaces and luxury villas, though. :wink:


(Edward Niedziejko) #13

I’ll be honest, the thought of smartthings being used in a palace brought a smile to my face.


#14


(Adam) #15

What do you think of Fibaro? I’m know couple of people from that company and system is z wave and local processing with app on phone. Maybe that’s the way to go?


#16

Here is the palace that SmartThings was installed in:

200w%20(15)


#17

Fibaro’s end devices are excellent, the controller not so much, although they have great marketing. :wink:

But again, it’s just Z wave devices – – and that won’t do a home theater.


(C L Sanchez 1877) #18

I agree with the others here. I am not sure what you mean by medium or large scale, but this is what I have:

  1. 40 light switches (4 three way and 1 four way)
  2. 9 smart plugs
  3. 2 Ecobee thermostats with 10 wireless sensors
  4. 5 ceiling fans (future)
  5. 1 front door
  6. 7 additional doors (future)
  7. 1 garage door
  8. 1 additional air conditioner for garage (future)
  9. Add in my remote shed (door, windows, lighting)
  10. Port over alarm system (future)

As a home owner comfortable with DIY installation, tinkering, debugging and constantly tweaking and evolving…YES, SmartThiings is as good as it gets (and I have played with plenty systems for over 20 years).

For a PROFESSIONALLY installed sytem. Hell to the F*ing NO!!! If I paid your or anyone else to professionally install a smart home system and you gave me this crap, I would see you in court. There are some really great systems out there. They are expensive and require professional installation. If you want to do this as a business, you need to get trained and certified to handle the real thing.

SmartThings is for the renter and/or home owner who does not want a professional system, whether its affordability, customization, tinkering or a combination of the above.

Best of luck,


(Mike Reed) #19

As a ST newbie, I still don’t understand why the ST Hub doesn’t do as much as possible LOCALLY. It is clear that Samsung doesn’t have anywhere near the stability/reliability as say Amazon. I mean couldn’t the Hub keep data in its local memory, reaching out to the ST cloud only to make backups, refreshes etc? I’d be ok if they doubled or tripled the cost of the ST Hub - if it could localize everything. As I read posts in these forums, I end up thinking “do I want home automation that sort of works?”! No, I’d rather it work as reliably as my ISP, or Amazon Echo and their cloud. Why is Samsung having so much difficulty in this endeavor? They have plenty of money, so what are they missing?


(Edward Niedziejko) #20

I think there’s a bunch of marketing people with a vision that are getting in the way of the engineers actually providing the product that the people want.