Beginner SmartThings set-up help needed! (UK)

Hey guys,

Totally new to this forum so was hoping someone might be able to give me some advice. I’ve actually read a few posts this morning and JDRoberts seems to be the guru on most things so if you’re out there… I need your ninja support!

OK so, this is what I currently have although none of it is set up as i have just moved in to a new apartment;

  • Fiber Broadband
  • SmartThings Hub
  • ST Motion Sensors
  • Somfy Wireless Roller Blinds and Curtain track
  • Somfy Tahoma with smart plugs
  • Smart bulbs compatible with SmartThings
  • Sonos soundbar (Lounge) and play 1 (Bedroom)
  • Alexa Echo (Kitchen)
  • Alexa Dot (Bedroom)
  • SmartLock (unsure which one to get - steering towards Danalock) - (will order at some point)

This is my Ideal automation set up;

I arrive at my front door and the smart lock automatically opens without me having to do anything and locks itself once I am inside my property. The revers when I leave - it opens when I approach the door and locks when I am away from the property. The same for others i give access to.

I want to be able to open the front door and the motion sensor above the door recognizes the movement and turns the smart bulbs on in my hall and kitchen / living room. It also triggers the curtains and blinds to open. Everything in reverse too. I leave the property and the lights turn off and blinds / curtains close.

Happy to keep it simple (I think) and have the lights in the hall and kitchen / living room stay on with the added ability to be able to say something along the lines of “Alexa, dim the lights in the hall to 20%” or “Alexa, turn the lights in the hall off and dim the lights in the kitchen to 50%”. As well as the ability to say something along the lines of “Alexa, close the blinds in the kitchen” etc.

I also want a scene / routine to be able to shut everything off in the hall / kitchen / living room whilst turning on side lights in the bedroom. Along with this, I want to be able to have another scene to be able to say something along the lines of “Alexa, bed time” which will then turn the side lights off in my bedroom. Same for waking up… “Alexa, start my day” which then opens the blinds and turns lights on.

I was thinking about having the lights in the bedroom working through a motion senor too but I can’t figure out how it’d turn off the lights and not turn back on when I move in bed (and deactivating the scene / routine / sensor or whatever it might be - between certain times also doesn’t seem to make sense as it wouldn’t work if I went to bed an hour earlier than the “deactivation” time programmed as the sensor would still be working and whilst it could turn off after say 1 minute of no movement - if I moved again and before the time it is deactivated, it’d turn back on).

I also want to be able to say something along the lines of “Alexa, shuffle playlist on spotify in the lounge / bedroom” and for it to play the music in either one of the other.

Ultimately i’d like routines that do a bundle of things at once (like arriving and everything on or leaving and everything off) as well as being able to individually control things through Alexa and sensor.

I think I have covered everything and apologies it is so long.


1 Like

Welcome to the community! You have an impressive list there. @JDRoberts is definitely a guru in this area. He will be able to answer many of your questions. And there are many other members here who are very willing to help. This “forum” is full of LOTS of information, so do your research and read. Many of us have systems like what you desire. It has taken me several months to get my system “fully functional.” I am tweaking it all of the time. My advice, take it one small system at a time and integrate as you go. Don’t expect to get it all together in one week. Get your devices integrated and working with SmartThings first. Then you can focus on the fluff. Alexa integration can be finicky at times. I started this process wanting a “Jarvis” type system. I met with frustration quickly. So stay mentally focused and ask questions often.

1 Like

Thanks so much for the reply. Yes, I tend to be super impatient and want everything set up perfectly, right away so will take that “step by step” advice away with me.

I realise in the “ideal set up” part of my comment there isn’t really any questions. So to clarify - I am questioning whether I can do all of what i’d like and how it’d be done :slight_smile:


1 Like

Welcome, and thank you for the kind words. :sunglasses:

As @pantheon mentioned, There are many different members here who will be able to help you on many different topics. I myself just happen to stand out because I am interested in two things which most people find very boring. :sleeping:

First, I was a network engineer, so I know a lot about the communications protocols and tend to keep up on the most recent news. Most people don’t need to know much about that , so I tend to be one of only a few who post in those threads.

Second, I’m a hardware guy. When a new device comes out, the first thing I do is read the testing lab reports and the second thing I do is read the user manual. And only then do I start looking at the marketing materials and the glitzy new “smoke and mirrors” marketing video of the company has released. :wink: It’s like being a Game of Thrones fan whose primary interest is costume design. You just pay attention to different things. (By the way, did you know that some of the winter scenes were filmed in a warm climate? so to keep the actors from fainting from heat exhaustion the fur cloaks had tiny tubes sewn in and a cooling unit that pumps ice water through them.)

Let’s see, where was I? LOL!

Anyway, I don’t answer anything about code (I depend on text to speech software and, trust me, you don’t want to try to do groovy coding with text to speech.) I don’t talk about wiring beyond the specifications of the device you’re considering wiring in. I stay out of most of the discussions these days about the apps because neither one is voice navigable and I’m getting really out of touch on those.

But device specifications and in particular comparing one candidate device to another for a particular use case is the part I really enjoy, and the part most people don’t, so that’s where you will tend to see me the most. And where I tend to run into new folk in the community. :handshake:

But I digress. :rofl:

Most of what you’ve described can be done with the classic app. But because of some changes in Samsung’s design philosophy, some of it, like the door unlocking, cannot be done with the new app, and that may be an issue since we’ve been told the classic app will be going away eventually, we just don’t know exactly when.

And some of it, like shuffling to Spotify list, depends on features provided by the third-party integration, in this case echo, which I’m not sure are available. You can definitely have echo start playing a specific station. But I don’t know if that’s enough for what you want.

Before we go any further

The first rule of home automation:

The model number matters.

We need to know the brand and model of the smart bulbs and the sensors and even The smartthings hub. We even need to know which country you are in. And which version of the SmartThings mobile app you are using.

Then we can start looking at the individual use cases.

Welcome again! Sounds like a very cool project.

JDR, you’re a legend!

I did not know about the cold scenes of GOT being filmed in warm climates! Here’s my fun fact; I have never watched GOT!!! (Please still help me :slight_smile: )

So cool to speak to someone / people so passionate, so once again - thank you for your advice and time.

OK here’s the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth;

•SmartThings Hub - I am yet to buy this but will be buying the latest version as soon as Broadband is set up in my (new build) apartment.
•ST Motion Sensors - again, yet to buy this but i’ll likely buy it as a package with the latest ST Hub so it’ll be the latest version.
•Somfy Wireless Roller Blinds and Curtain track. Just ordered these from Somfy this week and so will be delivered in the next week or two. I assume it is their latest motor.
•Somfy Tahoma with smart plugs - again, ordered this last week and have it sat at home in the box. Latest version of everything.
•Smart bulbs compatible with SmartThings - Yet to buy this so really interested to get your opinions on which ones i should be considering given my needs mentioned.
•Sonos soundbar (Lounge) and play 1 (Bedroom). I have both of these and i don’t think they have changed or have newer versions. The only thing to mention is thre Play 1 I have does NOT have built in Alexa.
•Alexa Echo (Kitchen) - 1st Gen
•Alexa Dot (Bedroom) - 1st Gen
•SmartLock (unsure which one to get - steering towards Danalock) - (will order at some point) - keen to get everyone’s opinion on the best option for me based on system set up and needs.

I am also yet to download any SmartThings app as I have no need to as of yet so i’m open to downloading any version (if available).

I am based in the UK - London and thus do get confused with a lot of info online as most refers to the states!

Thanks again and let me know if you need anything else :slight_smile:

I am so glad there are people like @JDRoberts. I despise reading manuals and product literature. I do my research. But I usually purchase on the heels of others. I am rarely the guy at the front of the technology curve.

I am jumping head first into webcore code. And I think that I am going to have to learn groovy. I have a computer science degree. But after practicing emergency medicine for 27 years, I’m a little rusty. But I am getting back into it.

I know that the SmartThings app can do many of the things in your list. But I have opted to use webcore. And for me, those solutions can be relatively simple with small, easy programs (pistons, in webcore).

Alexa integration can be tricky. I have expected far more out of the stock Alexa operation than is possible (or that Amazon allows). You will have to look into EchoSistant and Echo Speaks for more in-depth Alexa functionality.

1 Like

That’s my problem. Whilst I’m probably patient enough to learn how to code and how to use webcore etc I’d rather not have to if there is a way an already user friendly app can give me what I need.

I just need the people who know to tell me whether it’s possibly or not and then how to :slight_smile: