Alexa vs Google for SmartThings integration

I picked up SmartThings a number of years ago mainly for the STHM.
So I can arm and disarm my house as the locations sensors leave and return, arm and lock my house at night, I have a tablets with ActionTiles on them to show me the status of all my doors, locks, windows, garage door, leak sensors, also I can see the temperatures of all my ecobee sensors.

That’s about the extent that I’ve needed SmartThings for up until now, haven’t needed it for lighting or many of the other things it can do.

I’m now looking to get 2 ceiling fans and some smart light switches and I’ve having trouble finding exactly what I want style wise and control wise that is SmartThings compatible. Everything is either Alexa, Google or HomeKit.

So I’m thinking I now need to run 2 home automation system. I don’t really want to change out SmartThings because I already have so many sensors and locks and tablet dashboards and the STHM works great. I’d still like to keep the core of the automation in SmartThings (unless Alexa or Google routines have far surpassed SmartThings automation, I’ve never used there’s).

I want to do some basic stuff like when my ecobee turns on (heating or cooling), I turn on my fans.
And when I push my light switches, it will turn on a light (either smart light or dumb light), but I don’t like the look of the z-wave switches, I much prefer the more modern looks of the C by GE switch or new Wemo switch, neither of which are SmartThings compatible but both are Alexa and Google compatible.

So my question is, which is going to be my best bet (Alexa or Google) for having SmartThings Automation control Alexa/Google devices (like a fan)?

And having Alexa/Google devices (like Wemo light switches) control SmartThings devices (like a z-wave light) and show their status in SmartThings (which I can then added to my ActionTiles dashboard)?

(I don’t want or need any voice control, everything is sensor, button or time based).

I’m guessing I could do that stuff all within Alexa/Google (not sure though), but I like the idea of having all my automation in one place and just having specific devices I can’t get for SmartThings in Alexa/Google.

Anyone have any recommendations of Alexa vs Google for having SmartThings Automation talk back and forth to their devices.

Sorry for the long post, hope all that makes sense :slight_smile:

Not quite sure I understand what your issue is, since there are several different fan control options which work well with smartthings and then will also work with either Echo or Google home. You don’t need to use echo as an intermediary.

Have you had a chance to look at the fan control FAQ? Although it says “Alexa“ in the topic title, it would also work with Google home.

FAQ: 2019 Ceiling Fan and Dimmer light wall mount control compatible with SmartThings and Alexa?

As far as echo versus google home, both work well for a voice control. If you are already heavily invested in chromecast and other Google systems, you may like Google home better. Otherwise as far as home automation goes at the present time echo offers some features, in particular much better routines, which are a somewhat better fit. They definitely make integration with non-smartthings controlLed devices easier than if you were just using Google home.

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?

But there are plenty of people using each, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

I have a Google Homes in my house. They work ok with Smart Things. I had to set up a server (or raspberry pi if you’d rather) though to do things like broadcast to my Google Homes. I believe Alexa has these integrations out of the box, no extra steps necessary. I was lucky I already had a plex server so I used that for the Google Integration.

As far as routines go, Smartthings + Webcore runs circles around anything that google can do. I keep all of my automations in Smartthings since I don’t really start many routines with my voice anyway. Google just notifies me and answers questions. Most of my other automations trigger off of something I was going to do anyway, for example, when the TV turns on after 8pm turn the living room and kitchen lights off and kick the hallway light down to 10%. That’s just not possible with google routines.

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Hi JDRoberts,

Thank you for the reply!

I’ve been down the VERY long road (like weeks of research) looking for exactly what I want in a fan that integrates into SmartThings, if I’m going to do it I want it to work seamlessly and conveniently and look good.
I’m replacing a light, so I can’t use any wall switches that requires the fan motor at the switch.
The fans that directly integrate to SmartThings (some look really nice) but they all have 3000K integrated LEDs, light is too yellow for my house.
So I need a fan I can put my own bulb in which means I need to go with something I can add an RF module to.
But I’m in Canada so my options are much more limited when it comes to fan controllers, than what’s available in the USA (I couldn’t find the Hampton Bay module available in any of our box stores or
I also need something that’s CSA, UL or ETL approved, so I can’t just grab something cheap from China on (there’s a number of them).
If I go the RF route I’ll need a Bond Bridge, which I’ve been seriously considering and have contacted their customer support with some questions (their customer service is awesome!). But if I can do it without another hub in my house that would be ideal.
So that leads me to the path of getting a fan that’s Alexa or Google compatible and then having SmartThings talk to it.
(And if I’m going that route then I’ll be looking to had some more modern looking like switches to the setup like the Wemo of C by GE switches rather than the standard decor switches).

I’m not invested in either one, I have nothing for either one. I went SmartThings from day one and haven’t needed anything else until now. That’s good to know on the routines though with Alexa. I’d like to keep all the Automation in SmartThings but if I find something I just can’t do in SmartThings Automation then it’s good to have a backup that has good routines.

Hi Ryan,

I haven’t got into Webcore, I’m guessing I may at some point. Thank you for the inside on Google.

I use Alexa just fine with my SmartThings! I use ST for 90% of my stuff, but on occasion I like to talk to someone, and Alexa is much nicer to talk to than Google (to me).

I will say - I do not have a fan or light switches that are not ST compatible (fans are a far off project, light switches are Lutron Caseta).
But for the rest of the things I have that are not ST compatible and are Alexa compatible, I use this guide!:

Yea, it’s a bit of a workaround for setup, but honestly, it works great for me.
I’m not sure if it will work for you completely, but it could maybe lead to something that does work!

The method in that blog article is the same one linked to in the community FAQ In post 2 above, except that the blog article gives an old IDE URL which will only work for people on a particular shard. It doesn’t use the universal sign on URL (which works for anyone), so more and more people will find that the method given there does not work, unfortunately.:disappointed_relieved:

But the community FAQ has been kept up-to-date.

what year? :slight_smile:

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Perfect. Thank you everyone, sounds like Alexa will be my 2nd home automation :slight_smile:


Btw, The C by GE line do not work with SmartThings.

Ya, that was one of the reasons I am looking for a 2nd automation platform (besides for the fan).
I’m looking for more modern looking light switches than the normal decora, so I liked the C by GE and the new Wemo switch.
The new Wemo’s don’t offically with with SmartThings either (I called wemo to ask), but I saw someone on youtube that said they got it working. So that’s probably a 50/50 if they work, so if they don’t work with SmartThings, Alexa will be my backup if I go the wemo direction (which I’m kind of leaning towards right now).

Thanks again for all your help. These forums have an awesome community!