Advice on my next SmartThings Thing purchase

Hello, I am new to SmartThings, I have the V2 SmartThings hub and two peanut smart plugs to turn off and on some table lamps. I have $200 committed to expand on my smart home. So for all of you experienced guys out there should I buy a smart thermostat, a wifi camera, or some wall switches and maybe some motion sensors? I know this is all personal preference but I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on this as well as some other “thing” I have not listed.

I agree on personal preference bit. I myself would like to first know if doors/windows are open so those were my first investment into the ST world.

So you basically use it as a home security system? Or that is where you started?

Since you said peanut plug, are you in the UK? Or the US? Device options are different. :sunglasses:

Sort of, a self monitored one I guess. It will not stop there though, it’s addicting lol. After you know that the doors and windows are close/open, you’ll then think of is the door locked? :slight_smile:

I am in the US. I read reviews on how well the peanut worked and how cheap it was so I decided to try it.

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The following recent discussion should give you some ideas :sunglasses::

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I would get a few motion sensors and smart light switches. Triggering lights based on motion is one of the most visible home automation benefits.

$200 would get you 3 Light Switches and 3 Motion Sensors. That was enough to do my Kitchen/Living Room. After having that for a couple months we decided to expand it to most of the house.

I would recommend only starting with 1 light Switch/motion combo. I did 3 and for the first month my living room one did nothing as I learned the system and figured out what I wanted to do in my Kitchen.

The other nice smart thing I have is my Schlage front door lock. Its nice to not have to use keys. I live in a 3 story house, and its nice not to run up and down the stairs to check the lock status.

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I have been leaning toward a switch/motion combo as my son doesn’t believe in turning off lights lol. Of course I can save money with a thermostat but I don’t see me using it very much once I get it set up. My wife wanted a doorbell to see who is at the door but I think I would rather have a camera set up outside to monitor all of the time if I went that way. I definitely want a lock and sensors in the future.

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In my house we actually have gotten to expect lights to turn off when we leave the room. My master bath is not “smart” yet (have to figure out what to do, multiple lights) and we leave the lights on all the time.

In smaller rooms likes closets and bathrooms we use the $17 Motion/Switch Combo. Knowing what you want to do with the switch is important. If you just want motion (with lux check) these are cost effective. If you want to remotely turn on/off, maybe with rules or when you are on vacation, then get a zwave switch.

I have a Ring doorbell, its nice and I can see what is going on all the time. I rarely get visitors, except UPS/FedEx, so if I did it again not sure that would have been done at the top of my list (was #2 behind Thermostats/Protects in my new house).

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Do those switches work well if someone is in the shower?

Edit: I see you can change the timer

In my opinion, the light management gives you the best experience to get you hooked on HA. Motion sensors and contact sensors are much appreciated in our family, along with remote control.

Second best is door management (locks, garage door opener) and security cams. Not worrying if doors are locked or who is in front of the door, really gave us peace of mind.

Lastly, climate control. Thermostats didn’t have much impact because like you said, you may not use it as much, especially if you have one that has a good scheduling. However, in conjunction with smart vents, it was a big success.


Probably not. I used them in bathrooms with just a toilet and wash basin.

My bathrooms with showers have 2 sets of lights, one over sinks and one nearer the shower.

Thermostats can have an impact. I have mine set to different temps when people are gone. My house is dual zoned so at night it also sets the temp downstairs differently than the zone where we sleep. Its behind the scenes, and is boring.

If I would do it again this is the order I would:

  1. Hub (have to start with something)
  2. Motion lights in high traffic areas (Living Room, landings, Kitchen)
  3. Bathroom motion with semi-smart switches
  4. Amazon Echo
  5. Thermostat
  6. Camera Doorbell (figure this is a better crime prevention than siren, at least I have a picture of someone)
  7. Smart Locks
  8. Door/Window Sensors on main floor
  9. Leak detection (washer/dryer, and for me Attic furnace)
  10. Smart Smoke Detectors (Use Nest and on Alarm all lights turn on which is nice)
  11. Camera System (may drop #5 if I knew this is what I wanted.)
  12. Harmony Remote
  13. Siren for Alarm (which mine is currently off, not reliable enough yet)
  14. Motion Triggers/Switches in lower traffic areas (Bedrooms, they are also hard because they can trigger at night when sleeping)
  15. Power Window Coverings (Costly, but super handy)

I got a deal on light switches (Lowes) so I ended up replacing 80% of my switches with smart or semi smart switches. Only outstanding item is Camera System and a few low traffic areas. I am on the fence about cameras, not sure I want them in the house looking at me.

I got power shades since I needed new window coverings. They are super nice. We have dumb shades in about half our house (came with our new home) and want to replace, but can’t justify the cost. I would recommend if getting new coverings otherwise invest in other areas.

edit: Updated the list with a couple items I left out.


Thanks for all of the info guys!

If you’d be willing to bump your budget up to $240, I personally would recommend adding an Amazon Echo ($180 new, $150 refurbished) and a Logitech Harmony hub. ($99, often on sale at Best Buy for less).

Once you have those, you have voice control of most of your SmartThings devices and your AV home entertainment devices. This is both very cool and practical for many families.

You can add a Harmony button remote, but you don’t need it if you just want control via echo or SmartThings.

We were able to get the harmony home with the button controller for $99 on sale last year around Labor Day at Best Buy, so it also depends whether he willing to wait a month to see what’s on sale.

But being able to say “Alexa, trigger Netflix” and have the TV and the Roku both come on and automatically bring up Netflix is just very cool.

There are other things you can do with the echo as well, of course. And some people don’t like talking to devices. But it’s definitely worth considering. :sunglasses:

( Oh, and you don’t need the harmony hub extender. That’s what you would get if you didn’t have a SmartThings controller and you wanted to use a few zwave devices. But in your case you would be using the SmartThings hub instead of the harmony hub extender.)


I forgot to mention that I have an Echo. The Harmony Hub looks interesting, I am going to look into it as well.


Crap, I have both things @JDRoberts mentions. :scream: So many smart home items.

Echo would be before Thermostat for me. The harmony is another only if you need a universal remote. I use mine all the time.


Might not work work for everyone but I use a contact sensor on glass shower deal to manage standard motion turn off. I just leave the door open when not in use. Could probably do something similar with properly placed moisture/humidity sensor for door-less showers

ok, this is frightening and obvious why you’re a regular around here. Replace #7 with locks and you have my set up, including Echo and Harmony and instead of a stand alone siren, I have a different security hub that has one incorporated and functional because Abode is as reliable as it gets for security purposes.

Oh, yeah. Forgot about that. You’re right. It is important cost savings. It’s been so long since t-stats have been part of my set up, that I forgot all of their benefits.

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Works for me - I’ve had one for 4-5 years, set for time off at 5 minutes. It’s in a small bathroom at faces towards the shower. Using a curtain. It has shut off maybe once or twice a year, but that’s rare. A simple hand over the top and it’s back on.

Extended reading practices and it will time out :slight_smile: