Infrared TO SmartThings

(pillock) #1


I’m looking for a way of bridging IR and SmartThings, but in the opposite way that the entire population of the internet seems to want to do it (if my Googling is anything to go by)

Everyone seems fairly happy that they can use ZWave to IR converters, that is they can use a Smart Hub of various types/makes to control their IR devices. Loads of those things exist.

I would like to be able to point my fancy Logitech Harmony One IR Remote (which doesn’t have any BT or wireless capabilities) at an IR listener somewhere near my TV cabinet, and buttons I press will trigger ST actions. Essentially it’ll be mapped as a button in ST so then I can use any SmartApps that understand what a button is.
The end result is that I’ll be able to press “Watch a movie” and not only will my Xbox fire up, my TV change to HDMI3 and my soundbar turn on and change to Digital Input, but my Hue lights will drop to 25% brightness in the living room and everywhere else in the house will go into darkness.

Any ideas? I’m half hoping the answer will involve a Arduino, ThingShield, some soldering and a bit of code but it would be pleasant if it was a product that I can just buy off Amazon.


If you get the Harmony hub, You’ll already have this with the official smart things/harmony integration. But it’s not based on infrared. It’s just based on an activity. You can include SmartThings devices in harmony activities already. So instead of pressing an individual button, you just start an activity that includes smartthings devices. One of those devices can be a virtual switch which then triggers a SmartThings routine or pretty much anything else you want smart things to do.

There is also a specific harmony button remote called the harmony home companion which includes four special buttons which can be mapped to the control of smart things devices and don’t have to be included in an activity. But for that one you have to have that particular remote. We have it in my housemate uses those four buttons to toggle lights on and off.

So you can already get two-way control through the official integration. You can start from harmony and trigger smart things events, or you can start from smart things and trigger harmony activities. But you will need the harmony hub to make it work.

No matter how you do it, there has to be something that can eventually communicate with SmartThings. The harmony hub is the easy way to do that. Without that, you’ll have to have something that can talk to the Internet so it can talk to the smart things cloud and then come back to harmony.

So just getting the hub would probably be the easiest and cheapest way to get to where you want to be. But I don’t know if you’d need a different model remote as well.


But how does he do that without the Harmony hub?
The Harmony One does not use a hub.

(Ernie) #4

You could try this.


No, the Harmony Hub is required for the official integration. There are some other options as was just mentioned, but they won’t combine SmartThings events with a harmony activity, they would just let you trigger SmartThings events from an IR device using some kind of middleman, which isn’t quite the same thing.


Sorry, I guess I was confused. I thought you were telling him how to use the Harmony integration, which won’t work with the remote he has.


Yeah, my bad, I missed the model issue. Thanks for pointing that out–I fixed my first post.

(pillock) #8

Thanks for the replies so far guys. I’ve been thinking along the same lines as the laptop/IR Reciever thing but perhaps using something a bit more embedded like a Pi or a Arduino to accomplish that - whilst I’ve got plenty of spare laptops, the idea of a 60W power supply churning away just to keep a laptop going seems a bit overkill :slight_smile: On the plus side, there’s seemingly already some HTK software for Windows that can read and respond to IR signals, where there’s very little for little computers.

(Nick) #9

You may have found this by now, but if not, you can do this with Arduino and Thing Shield.
The project is here :