HomeSeer vs SmartThings- Updated Research

If you want to set-up a new home automation system or thinking of switching from your old system to new one seriously, you need updated research. These are two open source smart home hubs/platform. In this article, we evaluate every aspect of HomeSeer vs SmartThings in 2020.

Before diving deep into the research, we briefly discuss HomeSeer and SmartThings. Then we will articulate every ins-out of SmartThings vs HomeSeer.

Table of Contents

Brief Discussion About SmartThing

SmartThing wi-fi hub is cloud based smart controller which controls smart outlets, smart lights, etc. It can easily be integrated with Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A wide range of smart devices is compatible with SmartThing Hub and lets everything work together. It supports all the standard wireless protocols(Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, etc.) used by smart devices and integrated them into one place.

The SmartThings app works on both Android and Apple operating systems. The app lets you design to configure and view all added devices at a glance.  It has a large supportive community as well as a customer support portal( Support.SmartThings.com) that always updates and solve various issues.

Recently some users in America complain about issues with delayed device health events and Hubs incorrectly showing offline. According to https://status.SmartThings.com/incidents/cy7p3kcfjc7s they solve the issues. But the main issue about SmartThing is its cloud dependency. Although some security devices/features work locally, such as automatic water shut off valve, doorbell, security camera, Philips hue bulbs, door/window sensor, smoke detector, etc.

Brief Discussion About HomeSeer

If you want a Home Automation system where all the smart devices are controlled by personal server/ controllers. So the devices are not talking to the outside world nor are the outside world talking to them. That is, all your personal data is remained under your control and secured. Your goal of the locally controlled system is attainable with HomeSeer-3. Although it will cost you more time and money than SmartThing.

You can access to your local server/ controller remotely via HomeSeer Touch App which can be created and customize by yourself. However, if the internet is down, everything runs perfectly according to the rules set up by you other than not being able to access it from an external location.

There are plenty of devices such as IP cameras, motion sensors, smart switches, dimmer, outlets, door/window sensors, thermostat, smoke alarm, water heater and so many z- wave devices which can operate locally under control of SH3.

Understand Your Expectation First

To write this article, I talk to 100 plus smart home users and try to understand their demand and problems with home automation.

From my experience and according to user expectations, I categorized them in the following three tiers.

Tier -1 Consumer:

Tier -1 consumers don’t want to mess with the home automation system. They only like an easy -to- go system, which is cost effective and fast. They also want a smart hub that can easily work with Alexa and Google home.  They don’t want to invest time in build and maintain a Home Automation system. They don’t mind going through the cloud for remote access. Although they still want to control the smart devices locally as long as they can do it easily. User in this category, like to use SmartThing.

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation

Tier -2 Consumer:

This type of Smart Home user is a pro consumer. They are a little bit more involved in set up their home automation system and want privacy. They like to run their controller network (z-wave or Zigbee, wifi) locally with no cloud dependency but they don’t mind having app that will use cloud services. In this category, they use HomeSeer, Vera, Hubitat, Home Assistant, Open HABL, etc.

HomeSeer HomeTroller Zee S2 Home Controller

HomeSeer HomeTroller Zee S2 Home Controller

Tier–3 Consumer:

This type of Smart Home users is very much professional. They are ready to do their own code for the app and set up their custom local system/server or willing to hire professionals to set up their home automation system. They like to run local-based processing for everything except apps/plug-ins. Their main priority is data privacy and reliability. An entirely local home automation system requires a substantial amount of time and knowledge to set them up correctly.

They always remain conscious of choosing smart devices, which is totally cloud independent. They never mix any cloud dependent device in their system. Because mixing any cloud dependent device causes the break-down of this system.  User in this category uses HomeSeer Pro.

HomeSeer HomeTroller S6 PRO Smart Home Controller

SmartThings vs HomeSeer – Which System works Best Remotely:

If you have a proper internet connection, you can control and monitor all your smart devices via  SmartThings mobile app. Though some security devices/feature which connected to SmartThing also run locally but you can not control them manually without internet. You need not spend extra money on SmartThing mobile app.

With the New HomeSeer mobile app/ old HomeSeerTouch mobile app, you can control and monitor all HomeSeer supported smart devices remotely. Of course, you need an internet connection for this purpose, but HomeSeer does not depend on any cloud service. So it is more reliable.

SmartThings vs HomeSeer – Which System Work Best Locally

Without an internet connection, Certain SmartThing supported devices, that communicate via Zigbee or Z-Wave can run locally with the SmartThings Hub (2018), SmartThings Hub v2 (2015), and SmartThings Wi-Fi. To run SmartThing supported devices locally, make sure that you are not mixing any cloud-dependent devices in the local SmartThing network.

Unfortunately, SmartThing mobile app only works via SmartThing Cloud. So without an internet connection, you cannot control or monitor any devices by mobile apps.

Since all devices are locally connected to HomeSeer on a dedicated home server/Controller, you can control and monitor all devices with your desktop as well as HomeSeer mobile app/ old HomeSeerTouch mobile app without internet. HomeSeer is a full cloud independent, self-controlled home automation system. So it is fast and reliable.

 Note that you need a dedicated server or controller to set up a HomeSeer smart home system and need many plug-ins that cost much more than SmartThing. We also recommend you not to go for HomeSeer if you not have enough knowledge about server maintenance or not ready to get professional assistance to set up the HA system properly.

Cost Related to Individual System- SmartThings vs HomeSeer:

SmartThing Hub is easy to go system. It needs not any Plug-ins or add-ons. It will cost you around $90.

To set up a complete cloud independent HomeSeer home automation system, you have to have a controller and server, plus add-ons/plug-ins that will cost you around $500-1000. The cost is justified in terms of its reliability.

Which System is More user-Friendly-  SmartThings vs HomeSeer:

You need not much knowledge to set-up a SmartThing hub. All SmartThing supported devices can be controlled and monitored through a SmartThing app. You do not need much knowledge about coding or server set-up. It works properly with all types of voice assistants like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Siri, etc.

HomeSeer, home automation system, is more reliable than a cloud-based system like SmartThings because it works entirely without an internet connection. But if you integrated voice assistants like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Siri with HomeSeer, it will lose its cloud independence. Since it needs a dedicated server/controller, user should have proper knowledge about server maintenance. It needs more time and money to maintain a HomeSeer home automation system.

Requirement To Set up a SmartThing wi-fi hub:

No additional add-ons or plug-ins are needed for SmartThings Hub (2018), SmartThings Hub v2 (2015), SmartThings Wi-Fi. It will take care of all smart devices by its cloud. You only need a proper internet connection.

Requirement To Set up a HomeSeer Home Automation System

  1.   HomeSeer server software
  2.    PC running Linux or Windows 10 for dedicated Sever or Controller.
  3.   Several paid/free Plug-ins for different devices.
  4.   HomeSeer mobile app(some are paid/some are free)
  5.   Z-Wave Controller for Z-Wave devices

Updates- SmartThings vs HomeSeer:

SmartThings works to facilitate more local functionality.

HomeSeer announces that it releases an HS4PRO very shortly. It already takes pre-order. It promises that HS4PRO will be more versatile and user-friendly than HS3.

SmartThings –Pros

  • It is a set and go system.
  • You only have to buy a SmartThing hub that cost you $90-100. No additional add-ons or plug-ins are needed.
  • It is cloud base system. It works perfectly with the internet.
  • It has a large supportive community as well as a customer support portal( Support.SmartThings.com) that always updates and solve various issues.
  • It supports all the standard wireless protocols(Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, etc.)
  • It can easily be integrated with Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

SmartThings –Cons

  • Dependent on Cloud/Internet (if  internet goes down, then entire Home Automation goes down, though some security features work locally but cannot monitor control or monitor them without internet connection)
  • Lack of complete customization.
  • No built-in web page building
  • No Desktop client
  • Need 3rd party iTunes support

Homeseer –Pros

  • Fully cloud independent system.
  • All your personal data is remained under your control and secured.
  • Complete customization ( You can customize all your smart home rules and routine.)
  • Touchscreen customization (You can create your own  HomeSeer touchscreen interface)
  • Community support (A large online forum for support)
  • All your personal data is remained under your control and secured.
  • HomeSeer offers some audio/video control that SmartThing does not.

Homeseer -Cons

  • Price (The controller and server, plus add-ons will cost you around $500-1000)
  • Setup (It is not an easy to go system, it requires a lot of time and dedication to configure  correctly)
  • The HomeSeer system needs professional assistance frequently.

Things To Remember If Like To Convert Old HA To new HA

If you like to switch from SmartThings to HomeSeer or HomeSeer to SmartThings, erase all data from the old one otherwise you may be confused from old system notification.

Recommendation

So before the end of HomeSeer vs SmartThings research here my final verdict of these two:

If you don’t like to go with coding or regular cost for a hire a professional SmartThing is the best option for you. On the other hand, if you want everything is secure and private and no problem with the coding app or hire a professional then HomeSeer is for you.

SmartThings Supported Devices 

SmartThings Featured Products

  1. SmartThings Smart Bulb
  2. SmartThings Cam
  3. SmartThings Wifi Smart Plus
  4. Ring Video Doorbell pro
  5. Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth (ZigBee)
  6. ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control

SmartThings Hubs and Kits

  1. SmartThings hub
  2. Samsung SmartThings Wifi
  3. SmartThings Link for NVIDIA® SHIELD™ TV Bundle
  4. ADT Security Hub
  5. SmartThings Link for NVIDIA® SHIELD™ TV
  6. Samsung Connect Home
  7. Samsung Connect Home Pro
  8. SmartThings ADT Home Security Starter Kit
  9. SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

SmartThings Integrations

  1. SmartThings for iPhone and Android
  2. SmartThings for Google Assistant
  3. SmartThings for Amazon Alexa
  4. SmartThings for EVEConnect Subaru
  5. SmartThings for EVEConnect Tesla
  6. SmartThings for Garmin Watches
  7. SmartThings Classic for iPhone and Android

SmartThings Voice Assistants

  1. Google Home
  2. Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
  3. Amazon Echo Plus
  4. Amazon Echo Show
  5. Amazon Echo Spot
  6. Amazon Echo Dot
  7. Amazon Echo
  8. Amazon Tap

SmartThings Lighting and Switches

SmartThings have 150+ Lighting and Switches. Here Top 10 SmartThings Lighting and Switches

  1. SmartThings Smart Bulb
  2. Philips Hue Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb A19 E26
  3. SYLVANIA Smart+ Full Color LED Bulb A19
  4. Leviton Universal Dimmer
  5. Philips Hue Hue White Bulb E26 A19
  6. SYLVANIA Smart+ Adjustable White LED Bulb A19
  7. Leviton 15A Switch
  8. Philips Hue Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip Plus
  9. Lutron Caséta Wireless 600W In-Wall Dimmer
  10. IKEA TRÅDFRI LED bulb E12 400 lumen, white spectrum

SmartThings Outlets

SmartThings have 50+ Outlets. Here Top 10 SmartThings Outlets

  1. SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug
  2. iHome iSP8 SmartPlug
  3. Leviton Appliance Module
  4. GE Plug-In Smart Dimmer (ZigBee)
  5. SmartThings Outlet
  6. Leviton 15A Split Duplex Receptacle
  7. Centralite 3 Series Smart Outlet
  8. Centralite 4 Series Smart Outlet
  9. Go Control 500 Series Plug-In Dimmer Module
  10. Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Plug-in Outlet

SmartThings Sensors

SmartThings have 60+ sensors. Here the top 10 SmartThings  Sensors

  1. SmartThings Water Leak Sensor
  2. SmartThings Tracker
  3. SmartThings Arrival Sensor
  4. Zooz 4-in-1 Sensor v2
  5. BeSense Ceiling Motion Detector
  6. Nyce Ceiling Motion Sensor
  7. Iris Contact Sensor v3
  8. Neo Coolcam Door Window Sensor
  9. Dome Door/Window Sensor
  10. Fibaro Door/Window Sensor

SmartThings Cameras and Doorbells

  1. SmartThings Cam
  2. Arlo Pro
  3. Arlo Q+
  4. Ring Floodlight Cam
  5. Arlo Pro 2
  6. Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
  7. Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

SmartThings Door Locks

SmartThings have around 50 Door Locks. Here top 10 SmartThings Door Locks

  1. Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth (ZigBee)
  2. Schlage Schlage Connect Doorlock
  3. Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Deadbolt Door Lock (Z-Wave)
  4. Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt Door Lock (T1L/YRD120)
  5. Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt Door Lock (YRD240-ZW)
  6. Yale Touchscreen Lever Door Lock (YRL220-ZB)
  7. Yale Push Button Deadbolt Door Lock (YRD210-ZW)
  8. Yale Push Button Lever Door Lock (YRL210-HA)
  9. Kwikset 888 Smart Lock (Z-Wave)
  10. Kwikset SmartCode 912 Lever Door Lock (Z-Wave)

SmartThings Thermostats

SmartThings have 20+ Thermostats. Here Top 10 SmartThings Thermostats

  1. Stelpro Maestro Smart Thermostat (Zigbee)
  2. ecobee ecobee4 Thermostat
  3. Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Wi-Fi Thermostats
  4. Stelpro 4000 W KI Thermostat
  5. ecobee ecobee3 lite Wi-Fi thermostat
  6. ecobee ecobee3 Thermostat
  7. Stelpro Ki Thermostat (Z-Wave)
  8. Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat
  9. ecobee Smart Si Thermostat
  10. Zen Thermostat

SmartThings Speakers

SmartThings have 20+ Speakers. Here Top 5 SmartThings Speakers.

  1. Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Music System
  2. Bose Lifestyle SoundTouch 525 Entertainment System
  3. One
  4. Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier
  5. Bose SoundTouch® 300 Soundbar

SmartThings TVs

  • Samsung TVs (Voice Control)

Other SmartThings  Devices

  1. LeakSMART LeakSmart Valve
  2. FortrezZ Water Valve
  3. SmartThings Button
  4. FortrezZ Siren Strobe Alarm
  5. Neo Coolcam Z-Wave Siren
  6. Wireless Indoor Siren
  7. Ecolink Z-Wave Plus FireFighter Wireless Audio Detector
  8. Dome Siren

HomeSeer Supported Devices 

HomeSeer Lighting

  • HomeSeer Wall Switches
  • Aeotec
  • Belkin
  • Cooper Wall Switches
  • FibaroMost Z-Wave Modules
  • GE Wall Switches
  • GoControl Wall Switches
  • HoneywellWall Switches

HomeSeer Thermostats

  • Aprilaire WiFi Thermostats
  • Ecobee WiFi Thermostats
  • Fujitsu Mini-Split HVAC
  • GoControl TBZ48
  • Heatmiser Neo Thermostats
  • HiveThermostats
  • Honeywell Evohome Thermostats
  • Honeywell Lyric Thermostats
  • Honeywell WiFi Thermostats
  • Honeywell Z-Wave Thermostats
  • Insteon Thermostat

HomeSeer Door Locks

  • August Smart Lock Pro
  • Baldwin Z-Wave Door Locks
  • DanaLock Z-Wave Door Locks
  • Kwikset Z-Wave Door Locks
  • Schlage Z-Wave Door Locks
  • Yale Z-Wave Door Locks

HomeSeer Sensors

List of motion sensors that work with Homeseer hub. Find the best Zigbee motion sensor here.

  • HomeSeer Z-Wave Sensors
  • Aeotec Z-Wave Sensors
  • Dakota Alert Long Range Sensors
  • Dome Z-Wave Sensors
  • Ecolink Z-Wave Sensors
  • Everspring Z-Wave Sensors
  • GE Z-Wave Sensors

HomeSeer Cameras

  • HomeSeer HomeSeer Security Cameras
  • Amcrest Net Cameras
  • Foscam Net Cameras
  • Netatmo Welcome Security Cameras

HomeSeer Garage Doors

  • Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge
  • Garadget Garage Door Controller
  • GoControl Garage Door Controller

HomeSeer Smart Speakers

  • Amazon Echo, Dot & Fire Products
  • Google Google Assistant Devices

HomeSeer Security Systems

  • Ademco Vista Panels
  • Cytech Comfort Alarm Systems
  • DSC PowerSeries Panels (not NEO)
  • Elk M1G Panel
  • GE Concord 4 Panels

HomeSeer Water Management

  • HomeSeer Smart Water Valves
  • Rachio Irrigation Controller
  • EZFlora Irrigation Controller
  • WGL Rain8 Irrigation Controller

HomeSeer Audio / Video / Media

  • Denon AV Receiver
  • DirecTV Set Top Box
  • Global Cache Infrared Controllers
  • Home Theater Direct HTD Lync
  • iTunes Media Player

HomeSeer Appliances / Heavy Loads

  • Aeotec Heavy Duty Smart Switch
  • GE Enbrighten Heavy Duty Switch
  • Intermatic CA3750

HomeSeer Shades / Blinds

  • Aeotec Z-Wave Motor Controller
  • ESI Z-Wave Motor Controller
  • Somfy Z-Wave Motor Controller

HomeSeer Robotic Vacuums & Mowers

  • Husqvarna Automower Mower
  • Neato BotVac Vacuum
  • Roomba Robot Vacuum
  • Worx Landroid Mower

HomeSeer Weather

  • Netatmo Weather Stations
  • Oregon Scientific Weather Sensors

HomeSeer Energy Management

  • Aeotec Home Energy Meter
  • Brultech Energy Monitor
  • The Energy Detective TED Energy Monitor

HomeSeer Health & Fitness

  • Withings Healthmate SirMeili Withings

HomeSeer Automobile

  • Tesla Auto Monitor Shill Tesla Vehicles
  • Jaguar / Land RoverAuto Monitor Steffx Jaguar/Land Rover

Requirement to set up a SmartThing wi-fi hub..?

No additional add-ons or plug-ins are needed for SmartThings Hub (2018), SmartThings Hub v2 (2015), SmartThings Wi-Fi. It will take care of all smart devices by its cloud. You only need a proper internet connection.

Requirement to set up a HomeSeer Home Automation System...?

1. HomeSeer server software 2. PC running Linux or Windows 10 for dedicated Sever or Controller. 3.Several paid/free Plug-ins for different devices. 4. HomeSeer mobile app(some are paid/some are free) 5. Z-Wave Controller for Z-Wave devices

I am very much enthusiastic about Home Automation and actively developing open-source software to extend its capabilities so this is going to all be biased by my own experiences.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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