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Everything posted by Smitho

  1. Opinions: how reliable is IRIS for security?

    I have used iris for security around 3 years now. I've only had a couple of false alarms in that time and I've found it to be pretty reliable. Once I had a newly install contact sensor that I didn't secure properly fall off a door, but that was user error. The other times it has been one particular motion sensor... it happened two times around the same time of day and same time of the year. I attributed it to something with the sunlight coming through the windows and shadows. If you have too many issues with motion detectors you can also enable a setting that requires 2 sensors to be tripped to trigger the alarm. I will say I've had a few issues with keyfobs leaving and reconnecting in the middle of the night also, but there is always a good reason. We have a designated place to hang our keys, and if we put them where they go we've never had a problem. In the event my wife leaves her keys in her pocketbook and it gets placed in certain areas it can happen. Also with my keys in my pants pocket, if they end up at the bottom of a laundry pile it sometimes happens. I have also experienced this with low batteries. I have found a few things to do to mitigate this issue. #1 Have a designated place for your keys where they should have clear communication with the hub. Key hangers work well. Try to avoid placing them in wire frame baskets that might interfere with the signal. #2 Ensure batteries are not low. This might sound obvious, but I've not found the battery monitoring in iris to be reliable. #3 Create schedules for presence based rules. My keyfob rules which lock/unlock doors or modify the state of the alarm system are not active between midnight and the time we normally get up. This way, if something did go wonky while we were sleeping the doors would not be unlocking and nothing would change with the alarm.
  2. This is rather disappointing. I've searched the exhibitor listings and I can't find anything for iris. Hopefully I am just missing something, but somehow I doubt it. This is the 2nd year now they have had no presence in the biggest consumer electronics showcase in the world. All the biggest names, (and most of the smaller ones as well) in smart home technology are represented, but no Iris. I was hoping the relative silence recently was indicative of something big coming and we would learn about it at CES. Unfortunately, they just aren't looking like they will ever be a big player in the industry. This is sad.
  3. My wife has been wanting a Keurig or something similar for Christmas. She is the only Coffee drinker in the house. I was looking at the different options, and I cant seem to find one that would work properly with a smart plug. They seem to all have momentary contact start switches, so there would be no way to leave it on so when she rolls over in the bed she could ask alexa to turn on the (smart switch for the) coffee maker. Has anyone found a single cup coffee maker that would work this way? I don't want to take apart and hack a brand new Christmas present, so I'd rather find something that would work this way out of the box. Basically, it would need to be configured to come on immediately when plugged in... It does not seem like there is anything on the market that could do that. I know people have been successful doing this with regular cheap coffee pots, but she doesn't drink enough coffee for that.
  4. Presence Rule that Would Improve Fob Detection

    I have a scene that runs when I arrive, that includes turning on the front porch lights (even during the day). This way I know when the light comes on my door is unlocking. The front porch light is configured to turn off automatically after a few minutes, so it doesn't really waste a lot of power. This is done via a smart switch instead of a bulb, so I don't have to worry about anyone accidentally leaving the power to the bulb turned off at the switch. I love this idea.... so much so that I already mentioned it in this thread about a year and a half ago:
  5. So, I have seen a few creative uses for devices, including: Placing a contact sensor in the mailbox A motion detector's temp sensor to trigger a ceiling fan. I imagine pre-loading a toaster in the kitchen before bed and triggering it with a motion detector in the bathroom (but if nature calls, you might end up with an unexpected midnight snack)... besides, I prefer toaster strudels which should not be thawed. I always see the coffee maker as an example, but every coffee maker we have ever owned had a timer built in already. Most digital devices now can't simply turn on when plugged in... for instance our coffee pot and TV's would have to be manually powered on after the power was interrupted. What are some other innovative ideas you have had with basic sensors and smart plugs which didn't involve dismantling a device?
  6. I can't seem to find a way to turn on a light at a specific brightness on motion. I already have rules that turns on the hall light when motion is detected in the hallway, but that rule is set to go inactive at my children's bed time (as to not wake them up) I would like to create a new rule that will turn the light on at a low percentage with motion after bedtime, but I can't find a way to do this. Any way to work around this limitation? Am I missing something?
  7. Light brightness on motion

    Yeah, I don't know that I'm willing to do all of that. If I scheduled it to come on at the desired brightness at bed time, I cant see that being too disruptive. However, I don't want a schedule that turns them on at full brightness automatically in the morning. In the event we have an opportunity to sleep in, I don't want the hall light coming on to wake up the kids. Hopefully this will come sometime in the future... I was hoping I was just missing a rule somewhere that would do this.
  8. Lowe's Iris smart home membership jumps 40% in 2017

    I've always kinda figured they have more control over what stores get iris than the other smart home products. It's possible they have to sign agreements with nest, ring, and other manufacturers saying that they will stock them in all of their stores. It is likely that they know these other devices will not perform well in certain stores, however they assume that risk because its the only way to get them into their other stores. It just comes off as having more confidence in the other products than their own.
  9. Lowe's Iris smart home membership jumps 40% in 2017

    Imagine how well it could have done if the local Lowe's stores didn't act like they wanted it to fail. If they would keep the iris sections looking presentable, keep the shelves stocked, and have someone in the store that even knows what it is, that 40% could have been even higher. In most stores a lot of the iris products are kept "in the cage" and you have to ask about them. The last time I went looking for an iris product there wasn't even a place on the shelf for it... they didn't have pickup cards or anything, although they had several in stock. Meanwhile the iris section is full of phone chargers, cat 5 cables, hdmi wall plates, bluetooth speakers, and random wemo and idevices smart home products which aren't even iris compatible. What frustrates me is I have been told my local Lowes store doesn't even keep iris stuff "because the local demographic doesn't support smart home devices" however, over the years they have started to carry all the Nest, Ring, idevice, wemo, rachio, and google home stuff.... pretty much everything EXCEPT iris. I pass a lowes store every day coming home from work, yet I have to go to one 45 minutes from home to get iris devices. How is iris supposed to compete when their own store will not carry their stuff, yet push competing products?
  10. Santa Tracker

    Ok, I'm neither complaining nor bragging (I don't want to open that can of worms again).... However, I still do not have the Santa tracker card. Just curious if anyone else here got it? I am on iOS, just made me wonder if there is a pending update which has been delayed.
  11. Disconcerting Performance from Monitoring Service

    My understanding is that this is "by design". It's only panic alarms that get dispatched immediately. Fire and burglary call first. I guess the logic is that panic button alarms are usually when someone is in immediate danger and has made a deliberate effort to hit a panic button... in cases like an active home invasion lives could be at stake and there is no time to waste. It could be argued the same for burglary and/or fire, but TYPICALLY those are cases of property damage/theft. There is a better case for immediate dispatch for fire do to the possibility of loss of life, but there is probably a much higher false alarm rate for fire than panic (ie. I've never had a false panic alarm, yet I've had false alarms from smoke detectors). This all sounds fine unless you have a toddler who has just become obsessed buttons. My 2YO hasn't hit the panic button YET, but only because I've caught it more than once. He has hit other buttons on my keypads, but I've been pretty lucky. One arm of our couch is right below the keypad in the living room, so he has a bad habit of standing on the couch and trying to press buttons. I might be imagining this, but it seems I have also heard that carbon monoxide alarms are also an automatic dispatch without confirmation. This would also make sense, because carbon monoxide is a silent killer and can be an immediate threat to life. I also would imagine that there is a very low false alarm rate with CO alarms.
  12. Just to throw this out there; I've not had a good experience with that Bosch motion sensor. It's the only product I have for my iris system that is completely unusable. It constantly detects motion (like every 5 minutes) when there is no motion... to the point I had to remove it because it was filling up my logs and made it impossible to find anything. I have been told by someone here to call iris and request a firmware update that they say fixes that problem, but I've not had the time to do it. From the various posts I've read here, I'm not looking forward to ever calling their support in the future.
  13. I've fought with this since I put my water heater in, but just now getting around to posting about it. Does anyone else have difficulties making changes to the water heater temp? Every time I go to change it, I have to change like 1 or 2 degrees at a time and then wait for a while, then change a couple more, and repeat until I get it where I want. If I change it by more than a couple of degrees at a time it just jumps back several degrees (usually back to where I started). I also get random disconnects with my water heater, so I'm wondering if its an issue of wifi coverage....
  14. Iris sent me news about Santa Tracker

    Yep, this has been around for quite a while... and I doubt it was even developed in house. They turn it on and then back off every year. I understand your frustration that we are still missing some V1 features, but realistically I think it's unfair to say "we are not even close". Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like almost all of V1 functionality has been introduced in the V2 product with maybe a handful of items still remaining. These are the things I've noticed are still missing: Energy monitoring Scheduled access to locks Change the indicator lights default state on Z-Wave wall switches Some water heater and blinds functionality (Not sure about this one, but I believe these are more limited in V2) In fact, a lot of what required a premium account with V1 can now be done with a free account on V2. There is a thread on parity issues here somewhere... I'll try to dig it up. I bet you will find that a LOT of the items on that list have already been addressed.
  15. Water heater adjustment not sticking

    The official iris beta web interface at They don't have a "water card", however if you go to "devices" and find your water heater, you have basic + - adjustment and the ability to change the mode between standard and energy smart.
  16. Iris vs SmartThings

    Although I now have monitoring, this used to be a biggie for me! I get bombarded with text, emails, and push notifications during the day. While at work I often get several notifications which go long periods of time between reading them. A phone call, if not picked up immediately, is at least viewed before I hit the ignore button if I can't get it. I've always been very impressed at how quickly the call comes from iris! I just got a call today about a water leak (I was testing something) and the call literally came in before I got the push notification (which in itself seems to happen in real time). In fact, it happened so fast I assumed it COULD NOT have been iris that quickly and for a split second I was frustrated that someone was calling and interrupting my test! haha As far as the "open door count", I do like that feature as well... but I wish it replaced the number of open doors with some text like "all closed, 1 unlocked", or "all closed and locked" when there is nothing open. Not a big deal, just me being a bit picky. It would give me a warm and fuzzy feeling to scroll through my dashboard and see the following text (instead of blank cards where "all is good"): Climate: 68 degrees Home & Family: No one is home Lights & Switches: All off Doors & Locks: All doors are closed and locked Windows: All secure Alarm: Security is armed / no CO or water leaks Water: available at 120 Degrees F Care: no alarms triggered Lawn & Garden: Next event Sat at 6AM Cameras: Last recording at _______
  17. For YEARS my iris security alarm has armed successfully without fail using the "when house is empty" rule. Today it occurred to me that, while I have water leak sensors, I can't remember ever testing them. On my lunch break I stuck a leak sensor lead in a cup of water and I immediately got an automated call from iris explaining the alarm. I hit the # sign as instructed to confirm receipt of the notification, and went on with my day. I locked up as I left but did not manually set the alarm. About an hour later, while at work, I opened the iris app which still showed the water leak alarm was active... I was under the impression that hitting the # on the phone dismissed it but I guess not... I hit the cancel button and returned to the dashboard. Now, the strange part.... my security alarm was NOT enabled. I looked at my history and it showed the "away" scene was run shortly after I left. The away scene includes an action which arms the security alarm, and this has never failed to run in the past. I have a feeling that this had something to do with having an active water leak alarm. Is iris unable to arm a security alarm while another type of alarm is active? If that is the case, it's not a huge issue but explains why my alarm did not arm. Otherwise, I'm not sure what happened.
  18. Iris vs SmartThings

    You must have really enjoyed the V2 transition then... They basically wiped out all the features and you get to "enjoy" these "new features" being added back..... hahahahaha Seriously though... they have gotten to the point where things are ALMOST back to where they were with V1. They have made some progress with some big things like local processing. I think we are still waiting on a few big items though... Energy monitoring is probably the biggest thing that is still completely missing. Some other things include lock access scheduling and some little things like the ability to change the state of the LED on GE smart switches. Also, I hope water heater functionality eventually gets back to at least the point it was with V1 and I'm still not a fan of the way presence works with thermostats in V2. Oh, and there are still some people really upset that you can barely do anything with blinds.
  19. Water heater adjustment not sticking

    No luck... I just tried changing it from 110 to 130 (by tapping the + sign 20 times). After 20 consecutive taps it showed the temp at 130, then after about 10 or 15 seconds it jumped to 117, where it stayed for at least 5 minutes. I then tapped it up from 117 to 130, after a few seconds it flashed to 117 and then to 130 and stayed. I've messed with it quite a bit after that and sometimes it "works its way up" as you mentioned, but occasionally it just stops somewhere in-between. I have found that changing the temp via the web interface seems to work much more reliably, so I believe its just a bug with the app. I remember having similar issues with a CT101 quite a while back (I have switched to the nest since then). I wish they would redesign it with the wheel like the thermostat has now. We could also use some rules and ability to include water heater temps as part of a scene.... its ridiculous that an item as expensive as a water heater would get almost all it's functionality stripped away during the move from V1 to V2 and 2 years later it is still being ignored!
  20. Using Alexa to Run Scenes

    Have you tried naming them "Frontporch light" and "Backporch light"? I haven't tried that, but I'm thinking it might make a difference.
  21. Using Alexa to Run Scenes

    I've been running iris scenes through alexa for a while and not had any issue with it, however you should note that they seem to only work on lighting/switch/smart plug scenes. If the scene involves the alarm, a door lock, or a number of other devices it will not work. The command is "alexa, turn on [name of scene]". I know it can be an awkward command, but it does work ("alexa, turn on goodnight"). Alternately, amazon has recently released something called routines where you can create your own trigger phrase to control a series of devices, run scenes, and do things like play a flash briefing. Last I checked iris scenes were not yet compatible with alexa routines, but iris has said they were working on fixing that soon. As a workaround I have recreated some of my scenes as a routine in alexa. I can say "alexa, I'm home" and it turns on my entertainment center (via harmony) and several lights (via iris). I also have created some simple routines containing just a single device just to make the command more intuitive. For instance, "alexa, let the dog out" will "turn on" the smart plug that powers a kennel opener, which is much more intutive than saying "alexa, turn on the kennel opener".
  22. Logitech Harmony Smart Control and Alexa

    This should be no problem, as harmony now has a "secondary hub" skill for alexa... (I'm planning to do the same thing soon) I've been using the smart control for a while and I'm really satisfied with it! I'm hoping to get a refurb harmony ultimate soon for the living room and move the smart control to our bedroom. We use the alexa integration often just to change the activities or to turn everything off. I also pause, play, and adjust volume occasionally with it when I'm not near the remote, and sometimes I will use commands like "alexa, turn on NBC". I have some scenes in alexa called "Blu-Ray cinema experience", and "Tivo Cinema Experience" which will change to a specific harmony activity and also launch a lighting scene via iris. Also, when leaving the house I just say "alexa, turn off everything" which turns off all lights, switches, ceiling fans, etc... (I have EVERYTHING on iris now) as well as shuts down my home theater system. The integration with alexa isn't going to replace the remote... if you are sitting down in front of the TV you are still going to want to use your remote. However, it is nice to walk in the door and say "alexa, I'm home" and have your lights come on and your preferred harmony activity start (likely TV activity set to a specific channel) while you walk to the kitchen to grab something to drink and walk back to the living room without missing a beat. One of the reasons I want this for the master bedroom is to set a routine to run at a scheduled time in the morning which will turn on the TV and some lamps to wake us up with some morning programming. Ideally I would eventually get a somfy setup or our blinds to also open them and let in some sunlight in the morning.
  23. Slippery Cloud Connection

    I posted that mine was doing something similar a while back... however I was running a cellular backup modem so every time it happened it switched to cellular and then back.. One of the times it had a fit like this I was watching netflix in the living room and my wife was watching hulu in our bedroom and neither of us had any issues. Additionally, when my internet goes down I have echos throughout the house that start complaining about loss of connection. We are HEAVY internet users and I know we would have noticed if our connection had been that spastic. Eventually it settled down and it still happens occasionally (which could be legitimate ISP issues), but nothing like what was happening before.
  24. New models for Iris components??

    Today I noticed there is two versions of the wifi smart switch now. One has the old logo and one has the new logo (not sure if this is "new" or not though) The 4 button fob looks different? A redesigned fob can ONLY be a GOOD thing!!!!