Is there any way to get WIFI devices, such as a plug, to list in ST? I currently have 3 WIFI plugs that are running off Alexa, but I would like to get them into ST somehow so I can include them in my automations, plus it would be nice to have everything in one place and feed to my ActionTiles.
It really depends what make/model the wifi plugs are.
Although they may not be officially supported there are a lot of guys on here that have created software to make different wifi devices run with SmartThings.
TP-Link devices are already completed and running. Link below:
Belkin Wemo devices also have some integration. Main problem is determining the command structure for the cloud-based integration. Should be simple, however, simple is not a word understood by SW developers.
As others have mentioned, it depends on the specific brand and model.
Wi-Fi doesn’t have a fixed set of standard commands the way Zwave and zigbee do , so it’s not just a matter of being on the same network. SmartThings would have to know the exact message content that that particular device expects.
Typically you can get integration in one of five ways depending on the brand and model:
the device manufacturer publishes an "open API," which is documentation describing the exact messages that their device expects. These are the manufacturers that want to encourage integrations, such as Phillips hue with their bridge. If the manufacturer has an open API, it will usually be described on their website, again because they are trying to encourage integrations.
The device manufacturer has an official integration with SmartThings. There are some of these, like iHome, Currant, Meross, TPLink Kasa, and Globe Electric. In that case, it will be listed by brand in the SmartThings app.
The device has an IFTTT service/channel, and then you can get simple integration that way. For example, miLight has one.
Smartthings will never see these directly.
Instead, you can create a “virtual“ switch to act as a proxy for the real switch.
Then you use Ifttt with four “applets“:
when WiFi switch turns on, turn on proxy switch
when WiFi switch turns off, turn off proxy switch
when proxy switch turns on, turn on wifi switch
when proxy switch turns off, turn off WiFi switch
OK, that gives you a way to look at your smartthings device list and see whether the Wi-Fi switch is on or off. It also lets you turn it on or off from smartthings, because when smartthings turns the proxy switch on, Ifttt Will turn the Wi-Fi switch on.
This is the basic method for use with any Wi-Fi on/off device that has an ifttt channel.
And, yes, it’s a lot of work to set up because you need to create those four applets for every individual Wi-Fi device you want to control.
And it really only works well for on/off. It’s not very good for dimmers or for color changing. There may be some ways to make that work as well with a similar method, but it depends on the exact details of the device and it can be a lot of work.
If the Wi-Fi device has scenes that show up in its Ifttt channel, you might also be able to use those. But again, that varies a lot from model to model.
So that’s the basic Ifttt approach. Create a simple on/off virtual switch to stand in as a proxy for the Wi-Fi device. Then create four different Ifttt applets to keep your proxy device and the real Wi-Fi device in sync.
Note that while Ifttt used to be free, as of September 2020 you will not have to pay a monthly fee if you have more than three applicants which means using this method will require a paid subscription with them.
Using Alexa as a “man in the middle”– works better for pocket sockets than for Wall switches.
If the device works with Alexa routines (not SmartThings routines), you can set up a virtual sensor in SmartThings and then use that to trigger the Alexa routine. The problem is if someone turned the switch off at the wall, smartthings won’t know it. ( that may change in the future as Amazon is adding new features all the time, but for right now, it’s a one-way integration)
The device works with HomeKit. If so, If you’re already running HomeKit and you’re willing to run an additional computer as a “man in the middle” server, you can set up a Homekit simulation, called homebridge, and get some integration that way. This is the more technically difficult Then the first four methods, but there are other community members who will be able to help you if you are interested.
OK, those are the fairly straightforward ways.
Then, as has been mentioned, if none of those five are true it sometimes happens that a community member has figured out what messages the device is expecting and has set up some kind of integration. These often require a strong technical background to set up, and may require an additional “man in the middle” server like a laptop or a raspberry pi. ( or in the case of Sonoff – based devices, flashing the firmware to change it to something that is more compatible with SmartThings.)
To find those, usually the easiest way is to go to the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and look on the “pocket socket” list in the device type handler section. If an individual thread is tagged " requires server" then it’s one of the ones that is going to need an additional server device and some programming skills.
You can also check the same quick browse list to see if there’s a simple integration that’s already been done. Or just search this forum directly.
So it just comes down to the specific brand and model.
If you already have an MQTT broker running, you can try the following code, although recently people have been reporting difficulties getting it to run.
Again with Wi-Fi it’s not a matter of just being on the same network, you have to know the exact format of the messages that the devices will understand. It’s like the difference between being on the same phone network and speaking the same language. I might be able to call your phone, but if I speak Hungarian and you speak English we aren’t going to be able to communicate.
Last I heard, insignia is a Best Buy house brand and doesn’t talk to anything else except Alexa. It might be possible to do something with Tasker and sharptools if you have an android phone. But if you have an iOS phone i think you’re going to be out of luck.
There are also, I’m not kidding, some people who’ve set up a cheap android device sitting next to their echo and automate the android device speaking command to the echo to get integration with devices that can’t be reached in any other way. But that’s a pretty hacky way to do it.
There are some Wi-Fi plugs that work just fine with SmartThings, it just depends on the brand and model. For example, the iHome plug iSP8 works and some people like those because they also work with HomeKit.
Zigbee, zwave, WiFi, and Bluetooth, along with a number of others, are all communications protocols. So all those devices are “smart.“ For comparison of the ones that work with smartthings, see the community FAQ. It’s old, but it’s still accurate.
Also, I suggest you go to the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, look down towards the bottom of that page for the project reports section, and then choose the first list, “get started.“ It should help answer many of your questions.
If you haven’t bought the plugs yet, the TP Link Kasa line has an official integration now and is usually comparable in price and features to the other popular WiFi brands. You no longer need to use the more complicated community built integration, they should work out of the box now.
I’ve searched all the lists and can’t see any way of supporting these direct on ST. As I google I’m amazed how few results I get, which suggests it’s the same as a more popular brand, and whitelabeled… maybe. Anyone any ideas?
The typical cause of this inability is that no one has completed the integration with SmartThings and therefore the device will not directly integrate with SmartThings. Someone could write an IFTTT-based integration for these, but that has probably not been done.