SmartThings Community

5 Quick Questions for Someone Looking to Buy! Thanks!


#1

Hello all! I’m new here.

I have been looking into home automation for a while, and decided now is the time.

Before I go ahead and spend a ton of $ on it, I wanted to make sure my needs will be met! There’s a lot of information out there, but it is overwhelming and sometimes difficult to figure out exactly what every device does.

Here is what I’m looking to do. :grin:

1.
Run a ‘Goodnight’ schedule where all my smart switches turn off (Lutron Caseta).
a. This turns all the lights off in the house,.
b. Turns the lights in the bedroom on.
c. Turns the bedroom TV on.
d. Turns the bathroom light on.

This all seems easy enough, except for the TV. It is an older TV, so it doesn’t have any smart apps/integration.

If I place a Harmony hub close to the TV and FiOS STB, can I have the Harmony hub turn the TV and STB on? I don’t have a Harmony remote (Well, I do, but it is 5 years old).

2.
The next question I have is can SmartThings be controlled by Amazon Echo/Alexa? Can I ask Alexa to run a SmartThings routine? The routine wouldn’t exist in the Alexa app, but only on SmartThings.

Can I say "Alexa, run ‘Goodnight routine’, or something like this?

3.
Can SmartThings run routines based on your presence?
Using presence keyfobs (or something like this), can SmartThings “KNOW” when you leave the house?

My goal here is to run a routine when no keyfobs are present.
a. Turn off all lights.
b. Turn off all TVs.
c. Turn on alarm system (other SmartThings sensors)
d. Lock all doors
e. etc…

4.
Can SmartThings run different tasks based on the time?
For example, if #4 is possible, can you then set it to do different things when the 1 or more presence fobs returns?
a. If it is before 10:00pm, turn on the living room TV and the living room lights.
b. If it is after 10:00pm, turn on the bedroom TV and the bedroom lights.


5.
Last question!

If you internet/wifi is down, will SmartThings still work? I read that the Lutron integration is cloud-to-cloud, so I don’t think this would work.

Thank you so much for your time!


(Marvin Chan) #2
  1. Yes, if you have switches installed on all the places listed. Turning on bedroom TV is possible with the Harmony Hub.
  2. Yes, you can have Harmony Hub run actions that can be tied to the remote or Alexa, you just need to integrate them together and have Alexa run a routine.
  3. Yes, like on mine I have a Goodbye routine, so when everyone cellphone presence sensors see’s that everyone is gone, it ARMS the house and turns off all lights within the home. Can also tell Alexa to execute the Goodbye/Goodnight routine to do said goals.
  4. Yes, you can create different scenarios when a certain sensor comes home, for example: When anyone comes home, it will automatically turn on the Kitchen Lights in the house, disarms from AWAY to HOME, don’t have it programmed to turn on my TV but can easily do that if needed.
    Additional Examples:
    a. My front garage lights come on automatically when the sun goes down and off when the sun comes up.
    b. My Turtle tank heater/UV light comes on with the sun.
    c. When my Ring doorbell senses motion at the Front Door it automatically turns on the Front Porch Lights.
  5. Generally it doesn’t if the internet/wifi is down but I haven’t had that issue of any outages, etc.

Basically you can do anything you want as long as you have an idea of how you want it to function, like you wanting to turn off all lights when everyone leaves/lock all doors/close garage door is all feasible as long as you have those installed. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask and welcome to the community!


(jkp) #3

Just a quick note that you willl need the Lutron casita bridge or bridge pro in order to use your caseta devices with ST.


#4

Thank you for all of that info. If you don’t mind, can you help with just a few followups?

  1. That’s great. I’ll probably need 2 Harmony hubs, one for each room.

  2. Just to clarify - I only want to ask Alexa to run a routine, not tied to Harmony. For example “Alexa, tell SmartThings to run Goodnight” - then it will run my SmartThings “Goodnight” routine. This routine contains instructions for the Harmony and the Lutron hubs, as well as arm the alarm.

  3. That’s great! Obviously the same routine wouldn’t run if someone came home 10 minutes later. Did you do this by adding a parameter that says something like ‘when changing from 0 to 1 presence sensors’ - or similar?

  4. The scenario I’m looking for is based on time. So if someone is the 1st person to come home before 10:00pm, run this routine, but if the first person comes home after 10:00pm run this routine instead.

  5. Got it!

I really appreciate your time. I will look a bit further into the Harmony hubs and see how I can get multiple units set up.


#5

Thanks for the info! Do you have either hub? If so, which and which would you recommend?


(Hal) #6

As a SmartThings noob, let me say one thing:

You will almost certainly be able to do all those things, but most of them will not be as simple as you might want. You should be prepared to do a lot of reading here and to spend some time on this new hobby.

I don’t mean for this to discourage you, just don’t expect it all to work ten minutes after you plug in your SmartThings hub!


#7

Thanks! I do like tinkering around with things, so I’m prepared!


#8

I just had a support chat with Logitech.

  1. You can only have 1 Harmony hub paired with 1 SmartThings hub.
  2. If you want a 2nd Harmony Hub, you must either link it to another hub (Echo/Alexa/similar), or buy a 2nd SmartThings.
  3. You don’t need a remote :slight_smile:

I do have an Echo, but I’m not sure if it is going to work now.
SmartThings - Turn off living room using Harmony Hub 1.
Alexa - turn on bedroom using Harmony hub 2.

I’m not sure if # 1 is going to work now… Can SmartThings tell Alexa to run a routine?


(Hal) #9

You’ll definitely need a Harmony Hub in each room, probably with a new Harmony remote. The hubs come with a one or two wired infrared emitters that you put on or near the devices to control. The hub itself also blasts out IR. The Harmony website/setup supports configuring multiple Harmony remotes.

Be sure your STB can be controlled via an IR remote. You don’t want to have to juggle multiple remotes.

Since you already have a Harmony remote, I’m sure you’re aware the remote has no feedback from the devices. So hide all other remotes so Harmony’s state doesn’t get out of sync with reality.


(jkp) #10

I have two harmony hubs connected to my 1 ST hub.


(Hal) #11

Ah. Was not aware of the limitation of one Harmony hub to one SmartThings hub. That’s very poor design, imo.

You can have multiple SmartThings hubs but I think it would be … complicated.


#12

How were you able to do it? I only spoke to PRE-SALES support… so I’m not sure if they are actually technically savvy.

Was it straight forward, or did you have to do some work around?


(jkp) #13

Classic app : marketplace : things : remotes & buttons

Make sure all your harmony hubs have latest firmware installed on them. All need to be on same network. And check your harmony app to ensure you deleted any hubs that are no longer in use. It never hurts to try rebooting everything.


(Hal) #14

This sounds suspiciously like a sales guy telling you what they think you want to hear.

While I think it’s possible to control volume and channels via voice using Alexa or something, I’m sure the novelty will wear off in about 10 minutes.

I’ve got no idea what the ST control interface for Harmony looks like but I have used a Harmony hub with remote and smartphone app. Unlocking smartphone, finding the app, launching the app, navigating the app are lots less convenient than just poking buttons on the remote.


#15

Right, I don’t want to tell Alexa to do anything, except start a routine if needed - for example, :alexa tell SmartThings to watch a movie"… in this case, lights dim, some turn off, AVR switches input, etc…

Switching inputs requires the Harmony Hub.

I don’t plan on having alexa do the minor things, like volume, channels, etc… only start routines, and some of these routines would include either 1 or more harmony hubs.

Eventually I will have my basement finished and another TV/Movie set up down there. This is going to require a 3rd hub, and more scenes/settings.

I want to automate what I can, so scenes are just easier to automate than manually doing 8 different things either by actually doing it, or by pressing 20 different buttons on my phone.

The remote comment was specifically because I asked if I had to buy a remote to register the hub. You don’t! :slight_smile:


(Marvin Chan) #16

Agreed, I have the hub/remote and I just have Alexa turn on / off the TV when I can’t find the remote. I have two hubs also attached to my ST so I don’t know where the sales team got that info.

Just to clarify - I only want to ask Alexa to run a routine, not tied to Harmony. For example “Alexa, tell SmartThings to run Goodnight” - then it will run my SmartThings “Goodnight” routine. This routine contains instructions for the Harmony and the Lutron hubs, as well as arm the alarm. – on this, yes, it will follow the routine you have set in Smartthings for the “Good Night” routine.