This guide is a set of best practices, FAQ’s and getting started tips for folks who’re migrating from Wink to SmartThings.
First of all, welcome to the SmartThings community. You can find a ton of resources on the community forum, the search is a powerful tool, tags and categories are generally well maintained.
BEFORE GETTING STARTED
- If you have Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, you will need to exclude them from your Wink hub before you can pair with your SmartThings hub. While it’s possible to reset most devices or have the SmartThings hub exclude them for you, if any of the Z-Wave devices (especially locks) are using the Anti Theft command classes, you will not be able to use them unless the original controller (Wink) excludes them first. So just to be safe, exclude them from your Wink controller and then pair with your SmartThings hub.
GETTING STARTED WITH SMARTTHINGS
What Do You Need
- SmartThings supports Z-Wave, ZigBee and many WiFi devices (Bluetooth is on the roadmap).
- To use Z-Wave or ZigBee device you will need a SmartThings hub. Some LAN devices (e.g. Nuki lock, Foscam/Amcrest cameras etc) also require a hub.
- If you have only Connected/WiFi Cloud 2 cloud devices (e.g. TV’s, WiFi plugs, Nest, August etc), then you just need the SmartThings mobile app. You can see a full list of supported devices in the new SmartThing mobile app
SmartThings Hub (for Z-Wave, ZigBee and some LAN devices)
- There are many different versions of the SmartThings hub -> V1 (2013), V2(2015), V3(2018), WiFi, ADT, Nvidia Sheild etc. The most recent hub is the SmartThings V3 (2018) and SmartThings WiFi hub. Rest assured they all work just fine with SmartThings however there are few subtle differences between them.
- Once you’ve got your hub, you will need to create a Samsung account and add your SmartThings hub to the account.
There are two SmartThings mobile apps for the iPhone/iPad and Android phones:
- SmartThings (aka: New v3 app / Connect / OneApp)
- SmartThings Classic (aka: Legacy v2 app)
It is recommended to start with the new SmartThings app and register your hub using it. The Classic app is due to be retired later this year. While both apps can work together, each has has their pros/cons. The new SmartThings app is standardized and supports the next generation of devices (Cloud to Cloud, WiFi, Bluetooth etc) in addition to Z-Wave and ZigBee. The Classic is the older app and is geared more towards custom UI’s for Z-Wave/ZigBee devices and is an optional download. Note that some SmartApps and devices require the use of the Classic app to get access to their custom/full functionality.
Keep in the mind that both the ST mobile apps are just user interfaces to interact with SmartThings (see image below), everything runs in the SmartThings Cloud (platform) or the Hub and not on the mobile app which is why both ST mobile apps can be installed/used at the same time and both will show the same information (with some exceptions).
How SmartThings is Organized
SmartThings has four key concepts to note:
Automations - A feature of the new ST app which allows you to create basic automation triggers/rules from within the ST app itself. e.g. If motion is detected turn on light.
Scenes - A feature of the new ST app which allows you to create groups of devices which can be controlled via Automations.
SmartApps (SA) - These create use cases and automation functionality. They can range from simple basic automations (turn on/off devices) to complex automations (climate control, lock users, property management, security, rules). The forum has many custom SmartApps, you can find a list of apps on this Wiki and SmartApps installation instructions here.
Device Handlers (DH/DTH) - These allow the hub talk to your ZigBee, Z-Wave and WiFi devices. While SmartThings has a wide range of stock device handlers, custom DTHs bring out the best features of devices, a custom user interface and also connects devices which don’t have stock support. The forum has many custom Device Handlers, you can find a list of apps on this Wiki and Device Handler installation instructions here.
SmartThings is a cloud platform with some local processing. It means that almost everything goes through the SmartThings cloud, all SmartApps and custom device handlers run in the SmartThings cloud, the SmartThings mobile app (Classic and new) send your requests to the cloud. The cloud in turn communicates with your hub which communicates with your ZigBee, Z-Wave and local LAN devices. A few Z-Wave, ZigBee device handlers and SmartApps/Automations run locally on the hub (due to limited resources on the hub) which provide a faster response time. It means that it’s a best practice to keep your hub and internet router on a UPS so that it’s always connected to the internet in order for you to have constant access to your devices from your ST app.
First start by connecting all your devices to SmartThings (Z-Wave, ZigBee, WiFi, Cloud etc). Now you can start using Automations and SmartApps to control these devices, create notifications etc.
- Short guide on getting started with SmartThings: SmartThings Beginner’s Guide (2020)
- A community setup Wiki that is an organized list of various projects, SmartApps and Device Handlers: https://thingsthataresmart.wiki
- A set of common FAQ’s
- A recommended read if you’re using Locks with SmartThings
- List of wink to ST tagged topics #afterwink
- Integrating Alexa with SmartThings
- Step by step instructions on how to install custom SmartApps and custom Device Handlers using the new ST app
What’s the best approach to start pairing my devices with SmartThings?
Assuming that you’ve already excluded your devices from your Wink controller, it not start by resetting them and excluding them using your SmartThings hub.
In general it’s a good idea to follow this order for adding devices to your hub for a smoother migration process:
- pair your mains powered Z-Wave Plus devices
- pair your mains powered ZigBee devices
- pair your mains powered Z-Wave devices
- pair your battery operated Z-Wave Plus devices
- pair your battery powered Z-Wave devices
- pair your battery powered ZigBee devices
- setup your WiFi and Cloud to Cloud (C2C) devices
If your device has trouble pairing, try these steps:
- Exclude the device (again)
- Reset/power cycle the device
- Reboot the hub (power cycle)
- Bring the device within 5ft of the hub and try pairing
How do I connect WiFi or Cloud devices to SmartThings?
SmartThings has a built in library of integrations for many WiFi and Cloud devices. Using the new ST App, click on
+, click on
Devices, now search for your device (by Name or Brand) and follow instructions to have the devices show up in your list of devices.
If you can’t find your device, then search the community forum for any custom device handlers or integrations for those devices.
Feel free to share your feedback and comments and I’ll keep this guide updated.