Do most WiFi devices work with SmartThings?

I have just received my new ST hub (not even installed yet) and waiting on other devices to get here. For a variety of reasons (not preferred) most but not all the devices will be wi-fi and not Zigbee or Z-wave. I have checked the ST device integration and most of them show up at least by brand. My question is will I be able to add brand-supported “wifi” devices to this hub and then use them for certain routines, schedules and automation? Thanks.

It reeeeally depends on which devices you are using. Theres no industry standard communication protocol for WiFi smart devices so its a total game of roulette as to ‘will it work with SmartThings’.

Thus is both the reason @JDRoberts says ‘model number matters’ and why I personally avoid Wi-Fi smart devices like the plague.

Sonthe answer is, maybe… list devices including model number.

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You only need a smartthings hub if you are going to use zigbee or Zwave devices. If you’re only going to have Wi-Fi, you can operate in a “hub optional“ configuration. That’s because even though the hub does have a Wi-Fi radio, it doesn’t use it to communicate directly to the devices, almost all will all go through the smartthings cloud first. (There are one or two exceptions, but we can discuss that later.) So you don’t add Wi-Fi devices to the hub: you add the integration to your smartthings account through the smartthings app on your phone. :sunglasses:

These days there are many individual brands that have at least some models with official cloud to cloud Integration. For example, TP Link Kasa, Meross, LIFX, Arlo, Leviton’s WiFi devices, August door lock, many more. They don’t necessarily expose all features of a device, but you can build a good system that way. The main thing that is missing is battery operated sensors, but that’s a whole separate discussion.

If the manufacturer doesn’t offer an official integration, there are also some other integration options that may work. See the community FAQ (The topic title is a clickable link):

So, as @nathancu mentioned, it all comes back to the first rule of home automation: “the model number matters.” :sunglasses:

Thanks, that is pretty much what I thought. Would have liked either of the Z’s but didn’t want to spend that level just starting out (over 30 switches to be replaced). Most of what I have gotten are "supposed to be supported by ST but who knows until I ter. My main wifi devices will be:
Switches: TP Link Kasa (HS 220, 210, 200)
Thermostat: Ecobee 3 Lite
Garage Door: meross MSG100
Irrigation: Orbit 57946 B-hyve (no ST support listed)
Plugs: Amazon and TP Link
Voice: Echo and Google
Other Zigbee devices (no Z-wave yet)
Bulbs: Sengled
Door Lock: Kwikset

Remember The first rule of home automation: the model number matters, not just the brand. Seriously, it’s a big deal when it comes to planning integration with smartthings. :sunglasses:

Thanks I am starting to learn that about model numbers. Most of my wifi model numbers are showing supported except with meross which just does not show any devices but is listed in ST brands.

Most of the Meross devices will say if they work with smartthings in the product description at Amazon. They usually make two versions of a device which will have an identical case, one will work with Homekit, and one will not.

I have a number of different devices of this brand and like them a lot. Good engineering, excellent prices, and very good safety certifications, which is unusual for devices in this price range.

I also like the fact that the HomeKit compatible models can work with both smartthings and HomeKit at the same time.

I myself am quadriparetic. I use a power wheelchair and have limited hand function. So home automation is more than just a hobby for me. I use HomeKit for all of my critical use cases because it meets my minimum reliability requirements, which smartthings does not. I still use smartthings because it is a more flexible, versatile system and works with some devices that HomeKit does not. HomeKit is also able to run everything locally except voice control, which means my Wi-Fi devices continue to work even if the Internet is out. But again I require a higher level of reliability than many people.

Your TP link, Meross and Ecobee should be fine.
The orbit - https://community.smartthings.com/t/depreciated-orbit-bhyve-controller-hose-faucet-timer-integration-smartapp Looks like the dev stopped supporting it in October. BUT it look slike he/she stopped before the custom UI beta started, so it’s not a wont work, just a needs new integration code written
Sengled - if it’s the Zigbee bulbs you’re fine. In fact it’s my zigbee bulb of choice rt now. Just make sure you plan Zigbee repeaters - they don’t repeat on purpose.
Kwikset -need model number.

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Thanks much. I pretty much knew I wouldn’t be getting the Orbit in which isn’t a big deal for my HA plans.
The Kwikset will either be 99140-008 (Zigbee) or the 99140-023 (Z-wave) both are listed as supported I think. Thanks for the input, greatly appreciated.

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One thing you may already know, but I do feel is important to mention early on in the research process is that smartthings is primarily a cloud-based system, regardless of the protocol of the end devices that you select. And the terms of use, which you agree to when you set up your SmartThings account but which most people don’t read, say that Samsung can change or withdraw any of the features of the system at any time even if that means that devices that you already bought no longer work. There is no guaranteed term of service. Many people are surprised by that, but it’s pretty typical in Home Automation these days.

There are different ways to deal with that fact. One way is to only purchase devices that work with one of the third-party home automation standards like zwave or Zigbee with the idea that even if Samsung dropped the SmartThings service all together you’d still be able to move most of your devices to a different brand of hub.

that is not true of Wi-Fi devices at the present time because there is no independent Home Automation standard for WiFi yet. There is one in the works called project Chip, but there aren’t any devices using it yet. So with or without smartthings, any of your Wi-Fi home automation devices which use the cloud might stop working at pretty much any time.

I’ve chosen a different way of thinking about this issue. I look at home automation as a service similar to mobile phone service, and the devices are just the delivery mechanism for that service. Like my mobile phone. So I budget with the idea that I might want to replace any of my home automation devices every three years, even the hub.

that might be because a company drops support, it might be because there’s some other system with new features that I like better, it doesn’t matter. The point is that this is rapidly evolving as both a technology and an industry.

By figuring out how much I’m willing to pay per month on an average basis assuming a three-year replacement cycle I take a lot of stress off myself in trying to figure out what the future will be. And if a company does drop support three years after I bought something, I’m OK with that, financially and psychologically. Of course if the device keeps running for longer, that’s just gravy, and means more money in the Home Automation budget for other shiny new stuff. :heart_eyes:

Another alternative is to only buy a system which can run forever no matter what the manufacturer does, something which runs locally without forced updates. That way you protect your sunk costs and your system should last for as long as the hardware lasts.

So there are different ways to plan, and the best one is whichever one feels right for you. But what you don’t want is to buy cloudbased smart devices assuming it’s like buying traditional plumbing fixtures, because it definitely isn’t. A cloud-based system has both pluses and minuses, it’s just important to understand what those are before investing a lot of time and money. :thinking:

Yes I realize that I am going to be dealing with potentially although hopefully minimal risk by putting most of my devices in a cloud based system along with accepting other downsides like latency and slower response times. I am trying to go with the larger and better supported brands but this will always be a risk at this time. Based on my research my ideal setup would all be a local hub based system like HA/Hubitat and using Z-wave switches but that is not going to happen at this time but may give me the motivation later to move up once I understand what I am doing :roll_eyes: Thank you for the great advice. :clap:

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I think this is a good answer. But it is for a contrary reason that I have started to prefer WiFi devices over Z-Wave or Zigbee devices. And that is my feeling that it might be more likely that Smartthings will go out of business before Amazon or Google do. I suppose a different mfgr hub could replace it, and my feelings may change in the future. But my main criterion now, particularly with respect to wall switches, is that the device has to work manually even if the wifi is down or acting flaky. My Belkin WEMO light switches occasionally would fail to work manually if the WEMO connection to my WAP devices was flaky. Having said that, the Zigbee and Z-Wave switches have never done that. I guess I have stream-of-consciousness mixed a couple of different issues/topics here.

Non-issue - as long as you use standards-based Zwave and Zigbee devices - anyone else’s hub that supports them could move in to ST’s place for me - I can name 3 off the top of my head right now.

Except the other hub may not offer the same rules logic, which is an issue which has come up for quite a few people. Or have its own rules logic with a fairly complex learning curve. Finding a hub to handle zigbee and/or Z wave devices is pretty simple these days. Finding one to replicate what you can do with webcore, however, is not unless you do your own programming.

Just sayin’… every hub has pluses and minuses, and support of a very sophisticated scripting language which doesn’t require actually being a coder is one of smartthings’ very real competitive advantages. :sunglasses:

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