Over the weekend I set forth to migrate all my devices from my Wink hub to my ST V2 hub which I received last Monday. To be honest I was dreading it a little, what with how finicky the Wink hub can be and the threads I’d been reading on here about people migrating from their V1 hubs.
I had the following devices:
- 20xGE Link bulbs
- 4xCree Connected bulbs
- 2xPhilips Hue Iris + 2xPhilips Hue Bloom
- 2xEcoLink PIR-ZWAVE2
- GE 12722 Z-Wave On/Off Switich
- GE 12730 Z-Wave Smart Fan Control
While I understand my situation is not as complex as other setups, it seems my migration concerns were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over blown, everything is migrated over and everything works! I have 100% of the functionality as I did before but I am MUCH happier now than I was on the Wink hub, is everything perfect on ST? No of course not and while I realise I’m late to the game with ST, jumping straight in to the V2 hub and not even experiencing the first version of the V2 Android app, I feel like if a lot of the people here ‘lived’ with the Wink hub for the last year, they’d too be singing the praises of ST, despite the current issues.
After doing a Z-Wave exclude on the four Z-Wave devices I had and going around and performing the reset dance with all my GE Link and Cree Connected bulbs, I began the process to add them all to ST. Click ‘Market Place’ at the bottom right and click on ‘Connect New Device’ and it’s waiting… So I turn on one GE Link and it’s detected, thinking I’ll now need to give it a name, etc, I wonder why it’s still ‘searching’ for new devices… wait… it says ‘1 device found’… does that mean I can add another right now? So I go to switch on another GE Link…‘2 devices found’… “Get the hell out of here!” I proclaim, this is off the hook! So I press the on button for the GE 12722 ‘3 devices found’… So I go nuts turning on everything “12 devices found”! Alright let’s go nuts, let’s start really pushing the limits, so I flip a light switch connected to 4 GE Link bulbs, three of them are found! You’re not even supposed to do it like that so I don’t blame ST in the slightest for not getting all of them! And you lot said migration was difficult…
I know I’ll come across as an ST fan boy but I’ll happily point out the problems as well but first let’s start with response times. It was hard to judge how quick the ST hub was at turning on light bulbs from reading various threads, there were plenty of complaints but it all seemed like ST was on a completely different level as Wink, I mean, someone complained that it once took 3 seconds to turn on a light…3 seconds!!! I mean, that’s outrageous right? Except not in the Wink world, really, I wasn’t joking in response to that post saying how Wink users only dream of a 3 second average response time when for the most part, the Wink hub would turn on the GE Link lights on, after the EcoLink sensor triggered anywhere between 10-30 seconds later… No joke.
So it was an extremely pleasant surprise for me and my GF to see them react virtually INSTANTLY… This actually almost made me mad, mad that I wasted so much time with the Wink hub. This point alone was enough to sell it to me, this has reinvigorated the idea that HA is awesome and can be implemented to good effect where the Wink hub was slowly killing my passion for it, making me question if it was all worth the cost. It even dims the GE Links on and off and looks super slick doing it! Did I mention it’s SUPER quick?! I’m not sure if it’s running locally or it’s just, that, fast. Seriously, in fact is there a way I can tell? I know that the Hue’s are running in the cloud and they’re basically just as quick as the GE Link bulbs… If it is running in the cloud, even for the GE Links, that’s SERIOUSLY impressive though I do realise there may be times when it won’t always be as quick.
So what are the problems?
- No native way to group bulbs/switches. In the Wink app you can do this and 99% of the time, when you perform an action on a group, if all the devices are are of the same type, they’ll turn on/off/dim at exactly the same time. I don’t know if this is part of the ZigBee protocol that allows lights to be timed properly together? It looks more professional like this though I’ll happily trade groups (for now) for the fact that they now turn on/off so fast and with ‘sexy’ dimming. A group of lights that don’t turn on for 10 seconds isn’t professional, even if they do all eventually turn on at the same time.
- No multiple users. Again, another Wink app function that I’ve ‘lost’ although it does seem to have been a feature with ST that is somewhat AWOL in all things V2. I understand they are working on it and for now I just logged into the app using my credentials on my GF’s iPhone.
- App crashes/freezes. Wink app had it’s fair share though later versions were a LOT more stable. Wink app (stock Android 5.1.1 on Nexus 4) would freeze for a second every time I switched to another app and back again later, I don’t get this on the ST app though it really doesn’t like it if my screen goes to lock (fading out) and I stop it by pressing the power button. If I’m in the ST app at the time it’ll lock hard for a second or two. There also appears to be certain ways to get the app to crash though I haven’t looked for a pattern yet, seems to be associated with editing/manipulating devices but only happens occasionally.
- Look/feel of the app. It’s not bad but I can certainly see some of the comments that others have made, it’s not bad but certainly could do with some ‘tidying up’, just some alignment issues, sizing issues and perhaps getting some higher resolution pictures. Additionally for some reason when I try and change the icon for a device, it has only ever worked for two devices, the rest never seem to save and for that matter if I change the dim speed for a GE Link, it doesn’t seem to take effect for a while.
- THAT bug with the Smart Light app. I have a couple of motion sensors that turn on different sets of lights and is supposed to turn them off 1 minute of no motion detected when in actual fact it sometimes just decides to turn the lights off at one minute and won’t turn them back on even if motion is still being detected… I understand they are working on this as well.
Last couple of things, and this isn’t a fault with ST but I have a ‘SmartSense Motion sensor’:
My GF thinks it looks like a square boob with a nipple, I’m inclined to agree but that’s not the issue. I’m trying to power it with a USB power supply from my phone in the hopes that I’ll get more frequent updates from it but I can’t work out if it’s actually receiving any power at all, anyone know a way?
Finally, I didn’t put the batteries in the hub yet. Do I HAVE to unplug the power cable and network cable before I do this?
All in all I’m extremely happy with the ST V2 hub. I know it comes with its own faults but it’s SO much better than how things were with the Wink hub and personally, I feel that in the long run there is a future for ST and that things will be better on the ST platform.
Thanks for reading.