Extending network to Garage/Office (UK)

I’m looking at ways to extend my ST zibee network to my garage which has some Tradfri sockets and xiaomi sensors. I get intermittent connections and need it reliable as I would like to use the xiaomi sensors to regulate a heater.

I’ve also got alarm sensors in the garage wired to Konnected and ethernet.

I have read a load of suggestions about extending Zigbee networks and I have been thinking of creating the xbee repeater.

Whilst the ST hub was on sale, I bought a ‘spare’. I’m wondering if I should be using this in the garage instead.

Would using an additional hub give me the ability to create a separate smart home monitor for the garage?
Could I use my ActionTiles to control this SHM?

What are the downsides to using another hub?

Have you had a chance to read the how to article on automating an outbuilding in the community – created wiki? It covers most of the issues you’re talking about. :sunglasses:


Also, we should ask which country you’re in and which exact models of the hub that you have.

The country is particularly important because the option discussed about using an Xbee pro as a long-distance zigbee transmitter would be illegal in the UK. (The UK limits unlicensed RF transmission levels to about half that allowed in the US.)

On the other hand, if all you need is zigbee, if there’s a place in the yard to put an iKea bulb or two in a sheltered enclosure that might be all you need. Those are very good zigbee repeaters. :sunglasses:

Thanks @JDRoberts, I did spot that article but it didn’t cover a single location with multiple hubs - perhaps that isn’t even possible?

With multiple hubs, do I need to manage device handlers, smartapps etc. Independently?

The article also alludes to the use of smart home monitor.

I am in the UK, and wasn’t aware of the legal aspect - thanks for pointing this out.

I did install IKEA bulbs in the corridor nearest the garage with the intention of using the Xiaomi sensors for automation but sadly the latency leads everyone to reach for the switch - so they spend most of the time without power!

You can solve the switch issue a number of different ways. The easiest is to put a box cover over the original switch and then mount any of the many different battery operated or battery free devices which are available over the top of that.

This can look very nice and keeps people from turning off power to the bulb.

( there are other more complicated methods but those get into various safety codes and the UK codes regarding switches are different than the US so be aware of that as well. But the battery operated options leave the original switch still in place, so that’s not an issue. )

Here’s the FAQ on button options. Some of the devices are for the US, some for the UK, some are battery powered, some are mains powered, so read each description carefully.

The FAQ is intended to have only one or two posts per device. There should be a link to a discussion thread for each of the devices in the main post, so please use that for any follow on questions, or come back here and ask. Thanks! :sunglasses:

FAQ: Full list of buttons and remotes confirmed to work with SmartThings

As far as a single location with multiple hubs, while it is technically possible, it can also cause a lot of issues with automations and the official smartthings knowledgebase recommends against it.


Note: It is not recommended to add a SmartThings Hub to a Location with an existing Hub.

You can set up each hub as its own location, though. That works better, it just gets complicated and some third-party integrations, including echo and actiontiles, will get confused.

It’s just a cleaner approach to give hub its own smartthings account as discussed in the how to article. And of course then each has its own SHM. :sunglasses:

Thanks for the link for buttons. One idea I’d thought of was the Xiaomi vibration sensor on the door. Depending on how sensitive it was, it might identify people walking towards the door…I’ve ordered one to see if its any good.

Perhaps I will go ahead with a separate hub / location. I’m a bit concerned about the splitting of the Konnected setup whereby the garage hub would trigger alarms in the primary. Maybe I’ll need to think about a separate siren in the garage!

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Tagging @heythisisnate @tgauchat

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Only a separate “Location” would allow a second SHM instance, but most people with multiple Hubs have one Hub per Location and so the short answer is yes and yes.

While ActionTiles works across Locations (and even SmartThings Accounts) most SmartApps still do not. I don’t think even Scenes can span Locations. A single Alexa Account can only connect to one Location.

As of the release of the New App, a Location can contain multiple Hubs (nearly seamlessly)… But SmartThings officially recommends against this - without telling us exactly why.

It may be just to avoid general extra complexity - though I can actually speculation a few specific situations that the platform doesn’t clearly anticipate multiple Hubs in one Location - who knows who messed up where.

Personally I’m trying it. Haven’t got many devices on second Hub, so perhaps that’s why I don’t have issues.