Got a quick question regarding best practices and how others are implementing there smart home integration. There seems to be alot of decent sales on Amazon for wifi/Alexa devices for lights, plugs, etc. We have a few Echo’s around the house, but our primary smart home hub is smarththings and I dont really plan on moving away from Smartthings. My question is for most of these devices where there are no smartthings integration available, is the best option to integrate with smartthings is through a smart plug? I currently use alot of the smart apps and webcore, but dont really want to have to get into IFTTT, stringify, and other rules base apps. Any advice would help. Thanks
I feel as you do. I love my ST/Alexa integration. I have smart devices (plugs/switches/lights/locks/etc.) all around my house. I use ST and webcore to control almost all of them. I too prefer to stay away from rules apps like IFTTT. I do have a couple of devices that are controlled by Alexa but will not interface with ST. I hate that, because I cannot use webcore with those (without doing some DTH trickery). I am sure that opinions will vary wildly, but I am having great success with smart plugs and the like.
That’s going to depend on the type of device, and in some cases the specific make and model. Do you have some specific devices in mind?
Here are some strip lights i am considering that are on sale right now, but there just seems to be alot of random sales like these on amazon where it is primarily alexa/google or wifi connectivity as opposed to zigbee or zwave
If the devices that you choose work with echo, then you can use echo routines to tie them to smartthings.
The following FAQs should also be of interest:
But it does depend very much on which specific brand and model that you were looking at.
Thanks for your response. I also use actiontiles which pulls from smartthings, for example, would i be able to control the light strips in actiontiles or would i just manage it through a smart plug?
@Luke_Christian, I control all sorts of things through my ActionTiles panels. BUT, and here is where I have some problems…I have not been able to easily use AT to control devices that are not integrated into ST. For example, I have two outlets that can be controlled by Alexa (using the Smart Life app). They are not recognized by ST. SO, I have not been able to easily integrate them into webcore and my AT panels. Here is where the DTH trickery comes into play. And I just have not stepped into that yet.
You might ask your question in the action tiles forum, they would probably know best. But since the method detailed in the FAQ link I already gave you involves setting up a virtual device as a proxy for the echo-controlled device, I would think you’d be able to use the virtual switch in actiontiles as well.
That said, that method would work better with IFTTT, because you could set up to 2 way synchronization. If you are only relying on echo routines, then action tiles/SmartThings will not know when the device is turned on by voice using echo. So the status will get out of sync.
So I would say definitely if using a SmartThings – compatible smart plug makes sense for a specific use case, that would certainly be the cleanest integration. On the other hand, then you are paying extra to get the smart plug, so if you reason for going with the Wi-Fi device to begin with was cost, that might change the equation
I did not know that 2-way was possible. I’ll have to look into that.
As always, it depends on the brand and model. And you have to set up one IFTTT applet for each direction.
But just as an example, the generation 2 lightwave RF devices allow for this, because the switch can be either the “If” or the “That.” So if someone turns the switch on at the wall, you can use that as the IF and turn on the proxy virtual switch as the “that.”
But the lightwave RF generation 1 switches did not report their status, so they never showed up as a possible “if.“
Devices that use the popular “SmartLife” app Have similar functionality for some models.
So there are quite a few people who have set up two way updates To maintain synchronization for some devices. It works well, but only if that specific device can be used as either the “if” or the “that” in IFTTT.