Check out our best SmartThings UK tips from 2021

With the year ending soon, our UK SmartThings team have rounded up their top smarthome tips from 2021. Share your own for smarter living in 2022 and beyond. What ideas have you rustled up in 2021? Any you’re thinking of trying for 2022?

To implement your own start by adding a Device and set a Routine*.

Wishing you and your families a happy festive period!

Samsung SmartThings UK team

*links work best on mobile

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To set up my magical Christmas Scene I have a smart plug, my Sonos speaker and of course the SmartThings app.

So my Scene turns on the smart plug which the Christmas tree lights are connected to - which is great as that’s tucked behind the sofa out the way of little hands – and then starts play back on my speaker, carrying on with the last Christmas playlist I’d been enjoying on Spotify.

I did think about putting the scene on a timer or connecting it to the motion sensor in my lounge but with a toddler, you never know what time you’re going to be up, or for that matter who else in the house might still be trying to sleep.

Now if anyone can suggest to me a good smart plug for outside, I’ll tackle the lights in the front garden.

Equipment used:

  • Sonos One speaker
  • Aeotec SmartThings Hub
  • Aeotex zigbee plug

Andy (SmartThingsUK)

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For the UK, Meross has a good outdoor smart plug that works with SmartThings. This is one of my preferred brands for Wi-Fi devices as they have very good safety certifications. :sunglasses:

In this model, each of the two sockets is individually controllable. :snowman_with_snow: :snowman_with_snow:

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They make a similar model for the US.

Depending on the exact location and use case, you might want to add a weatherproof plastic outlet cover. These should be readily available at most DIY stores.

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Not that we are the poor relations in the UK, but it seems that even the staff have to share an account …

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Did UK users also have the 200 device limit removed, or only USA users?

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The ‘Homework time’ routine has been a game changer in my house – specifically during the homeschooling period where my son quickly learned he could take advantage of the fact I was balancing work alongside keeping him fed/clean/educated!

All you need to do is have your TV registered in SmartThings and make a new routine. Click here for a shortcut, then:

1) Under “IF” add the times you want to restrict viewing

2) And then add your TV and pick “on”

3) Go to “THEN”, select Control Device and pick your TV, and set it to ”Off”

4) Tap Save and name your routine (e.g. ‘TV lock’)

He recently got his first games console and so I’m glad I’ll be able to use this over the school holidays as well – to ensure he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night to get his Super Mario fix.

One tip, though: let the other adults in the house know what is happening… my fiancée was NOT happy that I’d set this up without telling her, but once I showed her how to manually de-activate it, by toggling it off in app (incase the adult want to watch TV during these times) I was back in the clear.

Nida (SmartThings UK)

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I know it’s an old classic, but it really makes me feel safer when I’m out to know the lights come in at home when someone comes to the front door.

I’ve set it up so that when I’m not at home, my house lights (I’m using Hue) turn on if my Ring doorbell detects movement. I also have them turn off again shortly afterwards so I’m not wasting energy.
This is all linked together by a Routine (shortcut to your routines here):

1. Under “IF”, set the “Location Mode” to “Away” and pick your doorbell
2. Set the Doorbell to “Motion Sensor: Motion detected”
3. For “THEN” pick the lights you want to turn on
4. If you want them to turn off again pick “Auto turn off” and set a time.
5. Save and away you go

A quick and simple deterrent, ready to go. Just remember to set your location to Away when you go out.
Anyone got any other easy suggestions for things I can add to my simple security set up?

Stacey (SmartThings UK)

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Much better for home security would be to use webCoRE.

Everyday at 2200
Wait randomly between 1 minute and 45 minutes.
Turn off light.

The community-created wiki has project reports organized into quick browse lists. Everything from “Get Started” to “Holidays” to “Impress Your Friends.”

Lots of creative ideas there, both practical and fun stuff. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section#Quick_Browse_Links_for_Project_Reports.2FQuestions

For 2021, some of my favourite projects were for Work From Home needs. Check out the “Alerts and Notifications” list for ideas on zoom call notifications, for example.

My favourite new product in this category is Meross’ small multicolour table lamp. You can turn it on and change colours with a routine or by voice.

They have two models. The taller, slightly brighter one can also be turned off or changed back to white just by tapping on the top, very convenient if you use it for a notification like “The post has arrived.”

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Available for both the UK and the US.

(Note that there are many similar looking devices, but only the ones from Meross have SmartThings-compatibility. So in both regions, I recommend only buying the “sold by Amazon” or “sold by Meross Online/Meross Direct” offer to be sure of getting the right model.)

UK:

Smaller light

Touch control model

US:

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Except for the fact that webCoRE will be most likely be phased out when groovy is shut down

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One more 2021 favourite for the Meross table lamp…

We are three flatmates. Of course this year we all got lots of food delivery. Robert’s room is in the back of the house and if he’s playing videogames he doesn’t always hear the doorbell.

So we can now say “Alexa, Robert Code Orange” and the Meross lamp in his room turns orange, letting him know he has a delivery at the front door. :grinning: :pizza:

Saves the rest of us from having to be his butler all the time!

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Doesn’t SmartThings have a sunset trigger? Could you set the lights to come on X minutes/hours past sunset.

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A coworker has curious kitties. His curious kitties love the Christmas tree. Tis the season.
Using his SmartThings, and a multi sensor he’s been able to set up a routine which notifies him when the multi-sensor is disturbed and his kitties are climbing around the tree. He hangs the multi sensor like an ornament.

The message from the routine…“add your kitties to Santa’s naughty list”

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By the way, in case anyone else thinks this thread seems odd, it is being referenced in a glossy marketing e-mail from SmartThings. The contributions from the UK staff are part of the mail. My UK accounts received it today.

I have more to say but I’ll try to rise above it (*).

(*) Let’s just say I am jolly cross.

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:sunglasses: Amazing!

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I have a couple of porch lights and would love to get this to work, I have Google Home and use Google nest doorbell/camera with smart life bulbs.

I have attempted the IF, THEN options but although the doorbell camera says there is movement the lights fail to come on. In Google Home you can set how long the movement needs to register, I set this to 10 seconds, would this stop it working?

Any help would be appreciated

Ian

We have the lights triggered from the Nest Hello doorbell, which might cut out the middleman - could go green to start with, and then you could still trigger code orange if he doesn’t go…

Given the plethora of SmartThings and general smart home tech you seem have to enhance your life, surprised you don’t already have a doorbell wired up already!

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Since we are three flatmates with lots of people coming and going, we don’t want to signal Robert for every visitor or he’d just start ignoring the signal!

Instead, when a delivery comes, I check the doorbell cam. If it’s for him, I turn on his signal light so he knows and then go back to what I was doing.

So, yes, we have both security cameras on the front walk and a video doorbell and I get the alerts on my Apple Watch. But the signal light in Robert’s room is handled manually when one of us notices he hasn’t picked up a delivery. Sometimes he does go to the door right away before we have to signal: many of the services text him when they’re on their way, and if he’s waiting for it, all’s well.

But sometimes he’s deep in gaming and ignores his phone. The signal light is for those situations where someone’s standing at the door and he hasn’t gone to meet them. We use the intercom to find out who the delivery is for, then if it’s for him, turn the signal light orange. After that, it’s his problem. :wink:

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