Lowe’s Iris is a disappointment.

14 Responses

  1. HP says:

    I don’t know why the Iris rep told you Iris doesn’t work when the internet is down.
    When you lose internet connection you get a text and email to let you know Iris servers lost connection to your hub, however all the functionality like turning on the lights if my motion detector detects movement, or set my hub to disarm when I supply the correct pin number on my deadbolt still works. The functionally you will lose is all the notification rules you had set like email/text/calls , remote controlling your home, or if you try to make any changes/configurations.

    Regarding the credit card and billing, I personally pay for the premium service plus the cellular backup and never paid more. I’ve also setup two other hubs on the free service and never needed to paid any overage nor heard anybody in the Iris community mention they were bill extra either. Maybe this might change in the future but currently users are charged for the services that are selected and have not been surprised by extra fees.

    Let me know if you have any questions and good luck on your home automation project.

  2. Scott Kahler says:

    First, thank you for your site! I’ve been using IRIS for about a 19 months and have been very pleased. I do wish they had better integration now that services like IFTTT are available. But, that all takes time and a very reasonable tech director. I am a little concerned about this article which seems to judge the entire IRIS platform (Lowe’s Iris is a disappointment.) when you never used any of the products. According to your article, you never finished the setup process or connected/used any of the devices. So, your negative assessment of IRIS really is based on the fact that they ask for a CC upon registration and not based on the quality, cost, or usability of the platform. I understand your feeling negative about the service out of principle. But, let’s give the developers of the product a fair shake. I’m assuming you purchased some of your other SmartHome products online. Did they get your CC number when you facilitated that transaction?

    • admin_amh says:

      Hi Scott, thanks so much for your comment. We are happy to hear that you have had a great experience with Iris over the last 19 months. You happened to find our very first blog on the subject, but we did give Iris more of a chance and we are still using it as one of the four active platforms we have running in our house. Check out these other two posts: Lowe’s Iris works ok but too slow and Which Smart Home platform for you? which talk in more detail about our experience with Iris. Iris has some great features we like – for instance, we love that it notifies us when the internet is down or the power is out, and we love the management console that lets us see all the devices. But our main issue is that everything goes to the cloud so a lot of actions are slower than other platforms. We don’t necessarily have a problem with the credit card in and of itself – we use credit cards to buy things online all the time obviously – just that when we bought the device in person at Lowe’s we didn’t understand that an account with a credit card was required just to use the Iris hub.
      We would love to hear more about your experience and how you are using Iris at your house, and what devices you are running.

  3. George says:

    Keep in mind that Wink at Home depot is the same price and does not have the complicated set up Iris does nor the limitations

  4. admin_amh says:

    Hi George, thanks for your comment. We also have the Wink installed, as well as the Relay, some smart sensors and the tapt switch. It is not as complex as Iris and doesn’t require a service fee. We have had a similar problem with the latency, not as dramatic as Iris, but still pretty slow. Using it with Amazon Echo has been wonderful though. I’d encourage you to check out all the platforms we have tested here:


    • admin_amh says:

      our review is for the older Iris – we are still waiting for our second generation one. When did you install yours?

  6. trl says:

    The first hub was great, the second version just doesn’t work.
    It has no where near the capability of the first and is lacking in all areas it does have. Not to mention going down all the time.
    I have remote areas that are dependent on heating and cooling so outdoor animals survive. No problem with first hub. Second gen hub may end up resulting in animal deaths if it keeps malfunctioning.

    • admin_amh says:

      we agree, the second hub is not nearly as powerful and some of our services have just stopped working. what a disappointment!

  7. Brett says:

    I’ve been using X10 an Insteon devices for many years. Recently, my primary controller failed and I didn’t feel like rebuilding it. (It was a DIY project) I decided to look into Zwave products and the Iris product caught my attention at Lowes. I was considering buying several as gifts for other family members as well. So, I decided to buy one for myself first and see how it worked. I bought the hub, a GE smart switch and one of the remotes since it’s a 3-way switch config. After some difficultly fitting the smart switch and all the wire in the tiny junction box and installing the remote switch and verifying they function properly, it was time to setup the smart hub! I downloaded the app and was starting to wire up the hub. While trying to setup the account in the app, the app kicked me a out twice while setting up my account. Then it wanted details on the house. Ok, more than I wanted to give out, but I’ll play along. After repeated attempts (5-6 at least) the app kept restarting and I was never able to get it configured. So online I went to see if others had a similar result. Then I found out that even if I could get past the annoying sign-up problem, a credit card was REQUIRED even for basic functionality. Sorry, I have to agree, that is over-reaching. Too many companies these days feel they are entitled to as much of your personal information as possible. Combine that with the crappy experience with setting up the app initially, and I’m done. In today’s age, if you can’t take the thing out of the box and have it setup without having to call support, you lose! I’ve worked in the IT field for decades and I’m also an electronics hobbyist. I know things don’t always work, but I also know when I see I’m not going to be happy with a product based on it’s design and ease of use. So iris is probably not going to be in my future. I’ll keep the zwave swtiches for now since they are supposed to be multi-vendor compatible. As for the hub features, I have a raspberry Pi, can buy a zwave usb stick, and can probably write something myself that I know will work. Fortunately, I have those skills. Honestly, a big disappointment for me from when my day started. I had such high hopes. Yet another vendor who has let me down. I’d say someday they’ll learn, but unfortunately there are so many people out there who are clueless with technology, they’ll always have a big enough pool of people to make money on inferior stuff. Well, of to return my hub… Oh, and now I need to think of a different gift for the other family members…

    • Mark says:

      Hi Bret, thank you for the comment. Sounds like you found what we have when it comes to the issues with these DIY vendors. Some are less intrusive though. We are finding Wink to be a good solution. They work with many other devices and support GE/Jasco switches well. Z-wave devices do have advantages in that they do not directly consume Wi-Fi bandwidth and nicely mesh themselves so as to provide good coverage around the house. This said you’ll then need a hub, like the Wink Hub 2, so you can access remotely. Since Wink works with others you can group devices and make robots to automate actions. They even have shortcuts that you can then use with services like IFTTT. The other hub worth looking at is Smartthings. We have one of those for our Konnected.io project you may have recently read about on our blog. It seems similar to Wink in capability. Whichever you do buy though, make sure it works with Alexa for voice control (which is very cool indeed). As for gifts, Amazon Echo is clearly something anyone would like to have and get immediate use. Setup is a snap, and connecting to the devices on Wink is almost automatic. Chamberlain MyQ is another great product for your friends that forget if they closed their garage door, it to works with Wink, though not required. We’ve pulled together a wish list that is on amazon with the devices we use, amazon.com/shop/appmyhome where you can find many gifts in one convenient place. All the best on your journey, and please let us know how you are progressing. Mark

  8. Senior says:

    IRIS might not be around for much longer with competition from amazon’s alexa echo system. Amazon has purchased RING which now works with the alexa echo system. amazon has also launched Toshiba FireTV along with their fire stick which are also alexa controlled.
    Google bought NEST, but that is pretty limited when compared to all the products new coming out which will be alexa enabled. If IRIS fails there will be no further support for that platform. Don’t know how long HomeDepot will keep messing around with IRIS.

    • Mark Pallone says:

      Lowes IRIS has been searching for a path to market for a while. Seems their current strategy is to provide a service. They do have some new/updated devices and a new hub, https://www.irisbylowes.com/products/iris-wifi-smart-hub/, however we have not tested these. Presently Wink continues to be our main Z-Wave/Zigbee hub and has been stable. Plus Wink works well with Alexa, which as you point out is a major player in the smart home space.

  1. February 2, 2019

    […] after we brought it home we almost immediately returned it when we discovered that Iris required a credit card just to set up the system, even if you just […]

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