Lowe’s is killing off and bricking its Iris smart home products at the end of March

If you’ve got any gear from Lowe’s Iris line of smart home products, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.

Lowe’s has announced that the line is toast, with plans to flip the switch on “the platform and related services” at the end of March. In other words: much of this once smart connected gear is about to get bricked.

On the upside, Lowe’s is committing to refund customers for “eligible, connected Iris devices” — with the caveat that you’ve got to go through its redemption portal. “PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CONNECTED IRIS DEVICES BACK TO A LOWE’S STORE,” they note repeatedly. They don’t want it either.

Refunds will be issued in the form of a prepaid Visa card. They also note that some — but definitely not all — Iris-compatible devices work with alternatives like Samsung’s SmartThings platform.

As of November of 2018, Lowe’s was attempting to find a buyer for the product line.

It might seem easier than ever to make any home a smart home — but for many, it’s still just a maze. Type “smart lightbulb” into your favorite mega online retail site — half of the results are probably from mystery brands that you’ve never heard of. Are they secure? If someone finds some nasty exploit that lets hackers tap that lightbulb to poke around your wider network, will it be patched? Will they even work in a year? For anyone who walked into a Lowe’s and figured they could count on the house brand to stick around, the answer to that last one, it seems, is a no.

This is why people worry about Internet of Things gadgets that can “betray you even after you toss them in the trash”: these things probably won’t last forever.