First let me begin by apologizing if this has been asked before. I know, i know im getting into the SmartThings game very late. But my everywhere i look i get different info. So here is what Im looking to find out. about 5 years ago I did my entire home light switches cameras and Thermostat all on ADT Z-Wave system. I no longer have ADT but still have everything connected and still use it with no automation of course, recently I purchased a Z-wavw Schlage code lock and a few other items. So my question are 1 what would i need to buy to begin to automate my home 2, could I reprogram all my switches and Thermostat that I had with ADT to whatever i purchase so i can use with my SmartThings app and finally is there anything on the market as in adaptors that i can get for older.items such as lamps, dishwashing machines, laundry machines so i can also integrate those into my SmartThings app… and finally once i purchase whatever you guys suggest, what should i look for when purchasing anything new going forward such as window blinds, garage door opener etc etc…again im sorry for the silly questions… but im new to all this and im finally breaking down and beginning to like this automation stuff. Just need some guidance. Anyhelp is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for anyones help.
Can Non Smart items/Appliances work with smarthings if i get wifi dongles
Welcome! sounds like an exciting project.
First things first… I’m pretty sure not all of your devices are Z wave because there aren’t any zwave cameras. So we come back to the first rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ Basically, we’re just going to have to look at each of the devices you have, and see whether they are going to work well with smartthings.
POSSIBLE ZWAVE ISSUES
Most Z wave devices will work with SmartThings, but there are a few caveats:
One) smartthings has never had good support for zwave “local scene“ controllers. So if you have any of those, the integration may be trickier.
Two) smartthings also doesn’t provide official support for “Z wave scenes.” it does offer its own version of scenes, but they are set up differently, and may not have quite the same features as what you’re used to. So we’re also going to need to know exactly how your devices work together. In particular, do you have situations where pressing one dimmer switch causes another dimmer switch to match it? And are you controlling groups of devices with a single button press?
- smartthings also doesn’t provide official support for zwave direct association configuration, which is a pretty big missing feature If you’re used to an all zwave setup. This can make it trickier to set up three-way lighting, and some other use cases. It can still be done, but it may require custom code.
SMARTTHINGS USES A PROPRIETARY ARCHITECTURE
All of the above is because from the beginning, smartthings made the design decision that they would support multiple protocols (zwave, Zigbee, some Wi-Fi, and now thread), and they felt that they didn’t want their average customer to have to know what all those differences were. So they hid everything under a smartthings – specific architecture layer, so it would all look the same. Which is a good ambition in some ways, but also means that you lose some of the features of the individual protocols. So, again, the model number matters.
We can talk about other kinds of devices and how you would go about choosing new devices and all that, but first let’s start with the foundation: exactly what models do you currently have? And are you using them in the ways I detailed above?
MAKING DUMB DEVICES SMART
As far as adding smart controls to older dumb devices, sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it’s not, and (all together now) the model number matters. Most appliances cannot be made smart except by literally adding a “robot finger“ to push some of their physical buttons. Some people, particularly those With physical disabilities, may choose to do that, but it’s probably not what you were imagining.
If the older dumb device happens to have a separate remote control, there’s sometimes more that we can do in terms of automating.
And if it’s just an on/off device, whether it’s plugged in, or is wired to the mains, it’s usually quite easy to add an additional smart relay device to get control of that.
So if you could also give us a list of the model numbers of the devices you currently have that are dumb that you’d like to make smart, we can see what’s possible with those.
Welcome again: it will likely be possible to reuse a lot of your existing devices in a smartthings setup, but it just comes down to the details.