Smartthings or Zwave USB Stick

I recently decided to move on from Smartthings as I could not really control my Wifi devices with it and after some reading, Home Assistant seemed like the best fit (not sure why I would want to integrate my water heater but I can and will). I was originally planning on just getting a zwave USB stick and ditching SmartThings completely but I have noticed some folks keep SmartThings to integrate the zwave stuff. It seems easier as all my zwave stuff is already connected to it but was wondering if there are any downsides to going SmartThings over zwave USB stick. What would you folks recommend I do?

I started migrating from SmartThings a couple weeks ago. I hit the SmartThings max devices limit in SmartApps and couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve only got about 5% of my devices migrated so far. I have around 425 so, a ways to go. I’m using WiFi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave devices on Home Assistant, no issues so far. Things are very different. A lot more flexibility but you have to spend a little more time figuring things out. I miss webCoRE, but I’ve moved onto using Node-RED to do my automations with Home assistant. I recommend…

GoControl Zigbee + Z-Wave Combo Stick - So far zero issues, great range.

HACS for Home Assistant (Community Store)

More in the next post, I’m a new user… only two links in a post!

And…


Node-RED for Home Assistant, installed through Hass.io
https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-home-assistant-websocket

Damn two link limit! One more…

And…

Visual Studio Editor for your YAML, installed through Hass.io
Home Assistant Community Add-on: Visual Studio Code

Well…it appears I have some reading to do! My setup is pretty limited right now with with only about 30 zwave devices and a few cameras and doorbell. Did you have any issues with SmartThings and home assistant on the Pi? It seems like the simpler option as a fill in until I understand how to go all out like you have.

I tried native HA Z-Wave and ZWave2MQTT after smartthings then hubitat…
Both failed to keep my devices, they kept being marked as dead. I’m back on smartthings. It’s a good integration but cloud dependancy is a problem for me.

I tried to use a GoControl USB Zigbee/Z-Wave stick with Home Assistant but the pairing/unpairing of Z-Wave devices is a pain, and I couldn’t rely on Home Assistant to be always up and running since I am constantly updating and making changes to the configuration. I have SmartThings as the Zigbee/Z-Wave hub and use it define some basic lighting automations with my Lutron Caseta switches and Zigbee bulbs. Using both SmartThings and HA has worked well for me–SmartThings and its lighting automations has been working well for over a year, and though my Home Assistant instance has gone offline repeatedly, it is not powering any critical automations, so I can live with it.

Since you already own a SmartThings hub, then you should use it with Home Assistant and see for yourself how reliable it is. If you use Home Assistant Cloud, it is incredibly easy to integrate the two together. Only takes a few minutes to complete. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably try out Hubitat (like ST but does local processing) and Home Assistant together.

At the moment my setup is combined - ST as a HUB (I have 20-30 zWAve and Zigbee devices) and HA as a front end and automation platform. From my perspective this works very good due to few facts - HA is a nice platform, but still not mature enough - some times after upgrade to newer version - I have some issues. With ST - as a hub - I can have 2 installs of HA - one for “prod” and second one as a test - just to check that everything is working. Also if I have some issues with HA - I can manage / monitor the things directly via the ST - and this is OK.
Also some of the most critical events are managed by ST itself - like water leakage and etc. … In general for almost 1 year I have issues with ST just few times for few minutes and with HA situation is different - sometimes upgrades are breaking the things.

Also as you already invested in ST - no reason to spend more money for Zigbee/zWave USB hubs and etc.

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I started with Aeotec USB Stick and native HA, and was fine in the beginning
but as I added different kinds of devices, I began hitting roadblocks or complex work-arounds so I wanted something with better ZWave device support.
I moved over to ST and indeed it has been pretty good for device support.

For me, ST with HA has two drawbacks:

  1. Time delay.
    It can take as much as 10-12 seconds for a ZWave motion detector to turn a light on.
  2. Some ZWave devices have multiple instances of a function. For example Aeotec’s Quad Wallmote has 4 touch switches built into a single device. ST can handle the multiple instances, but it can only export one instance to HA. There are some ST Device Handlers that can create virtual devices so that multiple instances can be exported to HA, but there are not very many of these. So now ST looses some of its advantage for device support.

I am considering Zwave2MQTT using Aeotec USB, and so may end up with a hybrid where ZWave2MQTT is used for some devices and ST for the rest.