Controlling LED Strips

My favorite example of ST limitations…

Aeotec makes a zwave battery powered “quad“ button whose product description says you can control up to 16 different scenes with it. Which is true with most Z wave hubs.

However, with SmartThings you can only control up to 8 different scenes, because smartthings does not recognize the down swipe or up swipe on each button.

And Aeotec is the hardware manufacturer partner for smartthings in both the US and EU: they are now the source for ST compatible hubs.

But their own device is crippled by the ST architecture. :disappointed_relieved: there’s a stock DTH for it, but it gives you less functionality than you would get with most other Zwave hubs.

I find most of this quite new honestly, I checked out reviews of the ST ecosystem and was told it was “The most compatible ecosystem, with a little less automation power than Hubitat”. They even gave scores to each. Naturally, they don’t tell the whole story but… yeah, I’m learning the good and the bad I guess haha.
Either way, I guess knowing the strengths and limits of the ecosystem through direct experience is the best way ^^"

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I’m not familiar with the remote you’re referencing, but the lack of functionality you’re describing sounds like a limitation of the stock DTH, not any overall limitation of the architecture. If other z-wave hubs are receiving those swipe scenes, then it should be completely possible to do it in ST. It’ll just take a motivated individual writing a driver, presumably with a custom capability to deal with some of the shortcomings of the stock button capability. There are plenty of devices that are similar in that stock DTHs don’t provide the functionality advertised on the box. Edge is exciting since we can add those features now without sacrificing local execution.

On the questions about RPi, you can definitely interact with devices on your LAN using Edge drivers. If you’re interested in a home built device, go for it.

So in order to fully customize my experience with an RPi I need to then write my own edge driver to install on the hub? If so, how does one write an edge driver? All I know is that they’re in LUA, but if there was any starting guide or developer FAQ that’d be great!

Nope. It’s because the button doesn’t send that message to the hub. It’s a Z wave thing and I don’t want to derail this topic further.

Start here:

Announcement | SmartThings Edge for Devices and Automations

A cloud based system like Smartthings will not give you total freedom, and is fairly locked down. You generally can get things working the way you want, but are at their whim if they want to change things. That being said though, the plus side is it is an excellent place to start out with a system that can get you up and running out of the box quickly, with stock configuration options for supported devices. I agree with the post from @jdroberts above and think the link he posted gives a lot of great ideas for Smartthings compatible light strips.

As you expand and want to go beyond though, you may end up outgrowing Smartthings at some point. I started with Wink, came to Smartthings after Wink imploded, then moved onto a dual Smartthings Home Assistant setup for awhile. Eventualy, I moved everything to Homeassistant. I don’t have anything against Smartthings and the future with Edge/Matter looks promising - those things were not on the horizon at the time I left about 6 months ago, and probably would have had me hold out longer if I knew they were coming.

The king of controlling LED lighting is Dr. Zzzs - I’d take a look at his videos for some more ideas - it can get advanced and uses Home Assistant, but he has tons of videos and projects that can show you the potential of LED light control.

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I see. Do you think SmartThings and Home Assistant can work together? I’m mostly trying to understand how everything works and I think it’ll be a long while before I do actually outgrow it, even the examples I mentioned can probably be done with ST and the commercial light strips, it’s just to understand what the boundaries are, what matter/edge drivers will do to change things (the former being one of the reasons I wanted ST) and… really understand everything in this new world ^^"

Yes they can work together well - I ran a dual setup for awhile. Once Home Assistant is installed, there is a Smartthings integration in Home Assistant to expose Smartthings devices to Home Assistant.

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SmartThings is taking their usual “ Half a loaf is better than none” approach to Matter.

They have announced that they Will be able to bring mattercompliant devices into a smartthings account, but A SmartThings/Aeotec hub will NOT be a “Matter bridge,” so you won’t be able to bring devices connected to an ST hub into other mattercompliant apps, like HomeKit or Philips hue. So that’s a one-way Matter integration.

This is in contrast to Aqara and Philips Hue Who have announced support for two way matter integrations. Not only will you be able to bring other matter compatible devices into their own apps, their hubs will show up as a bridge device In other companies’ matter compatible apps. It’s a big difference, but one you won’t be able to tell just from looking at the logos listed on the box :thinking:

For more information about smartthings and matter, see the following discussion thread:

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And is the viceversa possible? Or at that point you’re using ST’s hub to be the hardware and HA as the software? How did you run it?

Controlling Home Assistant devices through Smartthings was not as easy as the other way around with that integration. It is possible though using virtual switches. If you create virtual switches in Smartthings, those will show up in Home Assistant, and then you can write automations on either side that trigger different devices off of those. Keeping their status (ie on vs off) in sync was a bit of a problem though.

I also had used Node Red and webcore together, but not sure if webcore is worth investing too much time in since it is Groovy based and likely will not last much longer

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And how were you running it overall? Using mostly HA to create automations and so on, with ST as the hub?

I started out looking for a replacement for webcore for automations due to its uncertain future, and found Node Red. I was able to bring all the Smartthings devices into Node Red through Home Assistant using the Smartthings integration I posted above. Although Node red and Home assistant are two different programs, Node Red is an “addon” for Home Assistant and many people use them together.

For a little while, I was doing automations all over the place (Smartthings automations in the app, smartlighting, Node Red, and Home Assistant). It started becoming too difficult to manage what automation was where, so eventually I just moved everything to Node Red.

After moving all automations to Node Red, at that point, all I used Smartthings for was as a hub to bring zwave and zigbee devices to Home Assistant. Since that was cloud based, I was still subject to internet connection issues and Smartthings outages (and an uncertain Smartthings future at the time), so eventually I got zigbee and zwave sticks and disconnected the Smartthings hub. Now all my zigbee and zwave devices are controlled locally with automations locally through Node Red/Home Assistant direct.

Shifting through all those programs was gradual though - Node Red and Home Assistant are difficult to learn and not user friendly. I took about a year before I fully switched over, but the dual setup gave me time to learn everything.


I see, thank you for the explaination!

Going back on topic, currently I’m browsing to find the best LED Strip and then I think I’ll buy a ST compatible controller, like @JDRoberts suggested in the FAQ he linked, so that if I ever feel like taking on the RPi challenge I can just change the controller rather than throw away the strip, but I still have the easy ST take on the matter. Not many of those he suggested are available in Italy (at least that I found) though, so I guess I’ll have to find one that works here, is there a list of all LED Strip controllers that have Edge Drivers available?

Gledopto should be available in Italy.

As far as edge drivers, remember that edge itself has only been available for public developer beta for about six weeks, and people are just getting started with it. You can find a list of available edge drivers in the community-created wiki:

But it’s still pretty sparse.

Specifically, though, @Mariano_Colmenarejo has several models in his channel:

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Oh, is it only six weeks? I thought it had been a few months. Seems like I joined this world in revolutionary times ^^"

Anyway, is it this one? If so, can it control individually addressable lights (and does it even make sense to buy them if you don’t write code for them)? I feel so lost in all of this new stuff xD

Ask in the author thread for the edge driver and they can tell you if it will work with that model or if that model could be added.

I don’t think that model lets you control individual LEDs individually from SmartThings, instead, you can have different settings for the four primary options: red, green, blue, and white. but it’s for the whole strip. But hopefully someone else will know for sure. :thinking:

I see, are individually addressable ones usually worth it in your experience? Especially since they are quite a bit pricier than their counterparts, and if I’m not coding with them (at least at first) then it may be an useless expense

It’s a very individual choice. Some people like them for the special effects but I don’t have any of that type and haven’t found a need for them. It really just depends on the use case. :sunglasses:

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