Hello SmartPeople! New Home Automation Enthusiast Jumping on the Train

Hello all! New to the forum and home automation. I discovered Smarthings about a month ago and am hoping it is as easy and versatile as promised.
My education was in chemistry and math. I have no programming knowledge of any sort other the modifying a couple of sketches downloaded to a Arduino to make LEDs blink and a temp sensor a year or so ago.

I recently purchased the V2 hub, a few Wemo and Cree bulbs, an Aeon motion sensor, Aeon power cord, and 2 2gig dimmer switches. Dimmers haven not been installed.

On setup the hub found my network, and pairing of the devices was surprisingly quick and simple. I can’t understand why the app is laid out like it is. I fell I’m losing the sense of automation when I have to: 1. wake up the phone. 2. swipe screen to unlock. 3. open the app. 4. tap the rooms tab. 5 tap the room. 6. tap the device to turn on off. 6 steps?

Is there a widget or short cut package I can download?

Please bear with my stupid questions while I’m discovering this system. I’m fairly smart but I will be surely make you doubt it at times.

Looking forward to learning a lot from all of you.


Welcome to the community.

Check out the Smart Lighting app in the market place. You could use your Aeon multi sensor to turn on a light with motion as one example. Are you on Android or IOS?

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Yeah, the app can take a little getting used to initially.

One important note is that SmartThings is design as home automation, not home remote control. The underlying principle is that your home will just do what it’s supposed to do when it needs to.

That’s not to say that it can’t be used for remote control things, but it the idea is that you won’t be grabbing your phone and turning stuff on and off that often. When I first ordered SmartThings off kickstarter years ago my plan was remote control. But the more I used it, then less I used it in that manner. I think you’ll find the same thing.

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Welcome aboaed, mate! It is going to be a some ups and downs and we stick together!

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Versatile, definitely. Easy, not so much. :wink:

As others have said a good place to start noodling around is either routines or smart lighting. Both allow you to set up conditional events using your devices.

To get to Routines, tap on the little checkmark icon at the bottom of the page in the mobile app.

To get to Smart lighting, tap on the Marketplace icon (the colored asterisk in the lower right of the mobile app page), then choose SmartApps, then “SmartThings recommends.”

SmartThings has an official intro section in Support:

The following forum topic may also give you some ideas:

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Hi Jody and thanks. I should have added some more info to my introduction but I didn’t want to go on to long.
I was commenting more on the app’s layout. I’d like it better if the home page was a list of groups/rooms and a widget/shortcut or 2 to utilize.

I do have the motion sensor set to turn on a lamp and I luckily stumbled upon a thread that mentioned virtual switches. I created several that allow me to group bulbs and set different levels with voice commands via Tasker and IFTTT on my Galaxy S4.

The motion sensor I have set to turn on the lamp also sends temp info. Can I use the temp info to turn on the Aeon metering switch (power cord)?
The only things I have listed under SmartAp is, IFTTT, and Smart Lighting. I pretty sure it can be done via IFTTT but I’d like to keep it in the Smartthings system if I can.

I’d like it to switch on a low voltage ceramic heater to keep a dehumidifier from freezing up in the cold months.

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Thanks Ron, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.
Good to now there’s a great group of ppl behind this.

If you look at running routines or toggle lights via widgets, you probably would like SharpTools. You can download it from Play.

As for your heater, did you check the ‘virtual thermostat’ in the marketplace? That may work…


Looks like the perfect solution. Thanks! Don’t know how I missed that section. I was thinking a 'Marketplace" was a place to buy something and didn’t explore it to far.
Trees getting in the way of the forest again.


I had two friends who had exactly the same reaction to “Marketplace,” and when I mentioned I thought it was confusing for new people, forum friends told me I was crazy. Which maybe I am, but it doesn’t mean I was wrong! :wink:


Welcome aboard… you’ve now fallen down the rabbit hole!

If you’d like to go a lot deeper and you’re looking for something that is much easier than having to use your phone… take a look at the Amazon Echo.

I also feel that Home Automation means that my house should just do stuff. What’s the point in having to get my phone and go through all of the steps to turn on a light. By the time I’ve gotten the light on I would already be done with going in the room and coming back out.

Voice activation is what sells me.

(no, this is not an advertisements for the Echo. I just love the damn thing)

My front porch lights come on at a set time, and the go off when I want them to. After that the motion sensor takes over and turns them off and on as needed.

I have closet lights and room lights turn on and off when the door is opened and closed.

When I wake up in the morning the house turns on the alarm, turns off my fan, turns on certain lights, and gets ready for me to get out of bed. It knows when I leave a the bed room and turns the lights off for me.

When I’m sitting in my recliner and I forgot to turn off the kitchen lights, I just tell the house to turn them off…

My wife tells me that Skynet has been brought home… I just tell her the house is now called the Enterprise.


Glad to hear the Echo is working well for you. I think that will be my Xmas present to me. Hoping Amazon Prime members will get a deep holiday price cut. If I try to slip that past the “accountant” so soon after the other gadgets arrived this space might be my final frontier.

I agree… I’m trying to convince the wife that wet need a couple of more here in the house. I’m wanting one in each bedroom, as well as the dining room and garage. We already have one in the master bedroom and the kitchen/living room. I really do not believe 5 more is that bad.

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Lookup “SharpTools” for widgets.

Also a pretty efficient browser based dashboard at: http://SmartTiles.click

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If you are already using IFTTT, you could take a look at using the IFTTT do button app. If that won’t work for your shortcuts try @joshua_lyon’s SharpTools as others have mentioned.


The IFTTT Do button is fine, but it used to be that you actually got more widget functionality with the native SmartThings widget for android. Did we lose that in the 2.0 version of the mobile app?

I know SharpTools is better, but the official widgets will run a routine, right? So you would need two routines per device since you can’t toggle, but you should be able to control devices pretty well.

One more tip… this is something that can confuse some people initially: Routines vs. Modes. I think the new app handles the distinction between these better than the old ‘Hello Home’ vs. Modes, but in case this is a hang up for you or anything else who’s reading:

Routine: A collection of actions to be run a specific time.
Mode: A condition that the hub is in activates or restricts certain actions.

For example, a Routine called “I’m back” might do a things like: “Turn on some lights, unlock doors, turn on music, and change mode to home.” This routine might run automatically when you get home or at a specific time of day or when a certain door opens. A routine runs, and then it’s done.

A mode on the other hand is a condition that the hub sits. For example, you might have a SmartApp that turns on a light when motion is seen, but you only want this to happen when you’re home. When you install the smartapp you specify if it should run in all modes or just specific ones. If you chose only the ‘home’ mode, this will only work when you’re in home mode. It won’t happen if you’re away, or if you home is in night (when you’re sleeping) mode so a pet doesn’t trigger the light on in the middle of the night for instance. Modes or conditions that the hub stays in until they are put into a new mode.


Welcome @TEWphotography

Looking forward to having you apart of our community! :smile:

Thanks Tim! Hoping to eventually learn enough to be a contributing member.

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