First review of a basic SmartThings setup (UK)

I was lucky enough to be selected for the SmartThings trial programme @ Insiders. Here is a review after 10 days of working with the kit.

Insiders sent me the SmartThings Starter Kit to play with. On receiving the package my first thoughts were wow! The packaging is superb and I already felt like I was opening something very special. Set-up was an absolute dodle. Plugged in the hub, ripped out the plastic battery strips installed the app on my HTC One M8 and hey-presto “there be smart things”.

Now I have to start making the system do something. I set-up a couple of rooms, Lounge and Hall. Motion Sensor located in the Hall, Power Outlet and Multi Sensor in the Lounge.

Setting up the actions is easy and intuitive and is in the form of “do something when happens”. Setting SMS and Push alerts provided me with a multitude of notices of things moving or door opening. All very good but now what?

I have a Samsung R6 speaker which I realised could also be added to the system. That provided some audio feedback to events. Adding “There is Motion” and “A door is open” audible alerts lasted all of 24hrs. Far too annoying as I couldn’t seem to deactivate when I am at home. Then I found it … the scenarios that could set the status to Home, Away or Night … this is now getting very interesting. Back on with the audio alerts :smile:

Still wanting more, I rushed out and picked up a Philips Hue Starter Kit. Always liked the idea and now had a real excuse to get it. Again, very simple to install and within minutes I had millions of colours at my disposal.

Setting up the “Good morning”, “Good Night” and “GoodBye” routines in SmartThings was very simple and great fun. I have lights coming on in the hall and lounge when we get up and everything turns off with “Good Night”. I still don’t have enough equipment for a full security set-up so “Goodbye” isn’t working for me yet, it’s easier to use the Hue app to cycle lights.

The Presence Sensor so far just tells me when it’s at home or now. Haven’t found a way of getting it to know where it is. I’d like to think I could use it to switch lights on when I get home but only if it’s dark but no light sensor to sit in the chain.

So what do I think? Love it but need more connected equipment. Disappointed my Salus 500IT Thermostat doesn’t link up or my NAS connected Foscom IP Camera. Would like to investigate security potential further. UPVC multipoint doors all round so only lock option is the Yale multipoint and at £400+ each that’s a big investment.

Hope you find this quick review interesting and I’d love to hear how you are using SmartThings as well as any innovative solutions implemented.



Thanks for the nice review. I just ordered my starter kit and can’t wait to start checking things out as soon as I get it. I’m also interested in using it for security and plan on getting a siren and a few more door/window sensors.

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