Good Edge Driver dev starter kit?

I’m thinking of getting into edge driver development with a small flashing LED project. Does anyone have experience or advice working with these devices? Also good to know if there are better deals out there.

The Station is Samsung’s new low cost hub, probably intended mostly for Matter devices although it also has Zigbee. It’s a nice product for the price, particularly if you have a Galaxy phone. (Some features are only available for galaxy phones.) However, it does NOT support Zwave devices, unlike the standard Aeotec SmartThings hub, which is the other current option.

https://aeotec.com/products/aeotec-smartthings-hub/

So it depends whether you want to learn to develop edge Drivers for yourself or for the larger community. If it’s for the larger community, I think the hub with zwave makes more sense. But it’s also more work to learn more protocols, so if you want to specialize in either LAN or zigbee the station might be enough.

If you’re thinking about this as a commercial path, the problem with specializing in Zigbee is that many of those devices are going to be able to be bridged by their own hubs via matter, so I think there may not be as much demand for custom edge drivers for those a year from now. I think that will definitely be true for both aqara and tuya, for example. :man_shrugging:t2:

As far as what end device to start with, you’re picking a very difficult one. I don’t know if that’s what you wanted.

The edge drivers which are easiest for community developers to create for are the ones for Zigbee or Z wave devices.

Sengled makes devices of different protocols. The Zigbee ones can connect directly to a smartthings hub and do use edge drivers.

The Wi-Fi ones, however, use a cloud to cloud integration. No edge driver. That’s true of most Wi-Fi devices with the exception of matter-Compatible ones. Which the model you linked to is not. (And, again, if it uses matter, it probably won’t need a custom edge driver.)

So I don’t know if you meant to link to a Zigbee model, in which case, sure, that might be a good starter device.

But for a nonMatter compatible Wi-Fi device, you have to check to see if it has an open API that you can get to you by LAN. THESE TEND TO BE CUSTOM TO EACH MANUFACTURER (AND SOMETIMES TO SPECIFIC MODELS), WHICH IS VERY ANNOYING, AND IS PART OF THE WHOLE IMPETUS FOR MATTER, TO GET RID OF THAT ISSUE. WITH ZIGBEE AND ZWAVE, THERE IS AN INDEPENDENT THIRD-PARTY STANDARD FOR COMMUNICATING WITH HOME AUTOMATION DEVICES. WITH WI-FI OTHER THAN MATTER, THERE IS NOT. (Sorry that’s all in caps, my dictation program flipped and I’m too tired to fix it.)

So… Were you looking for something easy or something hard? You didn’t say much about your technical background, so I’m not sure what direction this conversation needs to go in at this point.

Here’s the official schema for the new smartthings architecture. I’ve added the two text labels.

A) is how the current official sengled to smartthings Wi-Fi integration works.

To make it use an edge driver, you would have to shift it to B), and I don’t even know if it’s possible for that model. It might not be. :thinking:

So, if you’re just looking for a “hello world“ kind of project, I think a different device would be better.

If you’re looking for something really challenging to show that you can fill a missing market niche, then it might be exactly what you want.

Thanks for the tips. I’m a mainly Lua developer exploring career potential of edge drivers while trying to stay in a budget (about $100). My experience is more in apps than hardware drivers, so an easier project is probably best to start with.

I was thinking of first trying a LAN device following this Tutorial | Creating Drivers for LAN Devices with SmartThings Edge since the Station doesn’t have Z-Wave and especially if Zigbee may start going obsolete soon as you say.

On further research, I see LIFX and Tuya do have open APIs. Would a LIFX or a Tuya Smart app controlled light be a better choice then?
LIFX Mini White (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb
dalattin Smart Led Strip Lights WiFi

Sorry, if I was confusing. I wasn’t saying that Zigbee would be obsolete, quite the contrary. Rather that the need for custom edge drivers for many zigbee devices will diminish as matter bridges become available and supported.

I may be mistaken, but while they may have open API’s, I don’t think either tuya or LIFX are LAN devices, are they? Both require going through their own cloud, which is a rest API kind of integration, not an LAN edge driver integration.

You want something with an open API which uses TCP over the local area network, not going through a manufacturer’s cloud. That’s what the documentation you linked to was discussing.

I believe edge drivers are specifically limited to staying within the local network, they are not allowed to go out to the Internet. So they can’t talk to a manufacturer’s API if it requires a cloud connection.

To get around the restriction, some community projects add an additional device to act as a server so that smartthings will talk locally to the server device and the server device makes any necessary Internet calls. But that’s adding another whole layer of complexity. And again, it’s not what the documentation you linked to was describing.

For your purposes, the easiest kind of device to start with will be a bog standard zigbee 3.0 device that doesn’t use proprietary clusters. That means no tuya devices. Gledopto Zigbee, Innr, Sonoff Zigbee are all possibilities.

I would suggest this one. Note that this price is only for the controller, you’ll have to get some inexpensive dumb LED strips to plug into it, so factor that into your budget.

There is already an Edge Driver for Lifx devices.

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Not at all, I was hasty in my response. I take it writing for Zigbee is still perfectly good for learning purposes.

I like the look of this one, a full kit for the same price. I’ll go ahead and buy before midnight unless a better idea comes along.
https://www.amazon.com/GIDERWEL-Dimmable-Backlights-Lightify-Ambiance/dp/B0B2D5721X

That’s probably a rebranded Gledopto, but I don’t know if it’s a Gledopto pro model, which I prefer for some technical reasons. But for your project, it may not make much difference. :thinking:

Actually I noticed these are not the individually addressable type, it can only be all one color. In fact digging deeper still, I couldn’t find any sure way to use individually addressable strips with Zigbee. So they don’t have as much room to play/experiment as I hoped.
I went with this pair of bulbs so I can have 2 colors at least :slightly_smiling_face: The ST hub would of course be used instead of the packed-in one.

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That looks like a good choice for your project. Have fun! :sunglasses:

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