Learning, help me please before I start investing

I love stuff like this. I have lots of ideas of things I might do rolling around in the back of my head, but first I have to convince the husband. I am thinking that taking the bathroom light and using IFTT to say between 10pm and 6am if he goes in there the light will come on dimmed that would be a good start for showing him what it can do to make his life better. So questions. 1. Should I wait to buy the hub 2 when it comes out.? Then, I assume I need to change out the wall switch for either a z-wave or a zigbee dimmer switch. I have been unable to find a wall switch that dims and is motion activated, so I assume I need a motion detector? What are your thoughts and suggestions? Is this a good place to start? We have a Filtrete Radio Thermostat that we operate from an app and he loves that…Thanks

As far as the Hub v2, wait for the CES announcements this week which should give us more insight in the future of SmartThings. You will probably have a better idea by then.

I would go with zWave over Zigbee since it seems more widely used should you want to switch home automation hubs at some point to a competitor. You will need a separate motion sensor, there’s some zWave’s out there. I hear great things about the Fibaro. I am not a fan of the Aeon motion sensor, but the SmartThings one works very well (it’s Zigbee though).

Fibaros and the ST motions are the best. I like the Fibaros better coz of their form factor and being more accurate (not 100 are about this as I am using this for the few days only).

You can achieve this scenario with Hub v1. Unless you have scenarios that will require Bluetooth LE, wait for Hub v2.

IFTT has too much processing delay/latency to use for real time device control in this situation.
Besides, ST directly supports this type of activity right now.
For the above scenario you would need a dimmer module, a motion sensor and the ST hub.

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Will I need a certain type of light bulbs to do this? I currently have the curling fluorescent bulbs in the bath. Thanks of telling me NOT to use IFTT… I did not realize that.

Fluorescent bulbs do not dim well, if at all.
Dimmable LED’s seem to work with most dimmers. I’m using AEON micro dimmers, which dim my LED can fixtures quite nicely down to about 20%.

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Linear dimmers work very well with LED lights. I can get mine down quite low. And, they are less expensive than others!

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Thanks… added those to my Amazon Wishlist so I can find them again.

There is also a three way switch (which does not control load) that works with it. I have several of these combinations downstairs and they work very well. They are seen as Evolve switches in SmartThings. I assume they are OEM, similar to the Centralite stuff.

IFTTT is a great tool. As Mike_Maxwell stated. Your first smart app can be accomplished within minute or less.

I have had great luck with Aeon motion sensors. Once there is no motion detected mine reset in about 4 seconds. You have a couple of options as far as lighting the bathroom:

  1. You could change out your current switch(s) for zwave/zigbee switches.
  2. You could get these, Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd Edition (DSC27103-ZWUS). These micro switches can be installed behind your existing switches. You will need to buy some 18 gauge sprinkler wire. I have a couple of these they work awesome.
  3. You could get a zwave outlet and change out a bathroom outlet. Then buy a plugin night light. You will Then flip the switch on the nightlight it will always remain in the on position. Your Smart app will then detect motion between your defined time and switch the outlet on.
  4. You might want to add some fun lighting to the bathroom with Hue bulbs or an under sink light strip.

In regards to the Hub you want to check out CES. It should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect in the upcoming months. I believe Version 2 will have Bluetooth technology if it does I would definitely wait.

I have a feeling things are about to change regarding motion sensors. Lately there has been a lot of chatter regarding beacons. Once this technology comes into play you will be able to create zones in your home etc. it’s going to get interesting.

Good luck, look forward to hearing what you decide.

PS, you don’t have to worry about your husband he’ll be on board especially once he sees the possibilities. make sure you show him the SmartThings website and watch some of the videos together.

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@Cheekid in reading your post I had a question… If I change out the outlet and do a night light… I assume I still need a motion detector… correct?

And thanks for all the good advice.

All of the solutions should work. I personally would go for the linear dimmer switch as mentioned above. In all cases you will either need a door switch or motion sensor. You should be able to accomplish your stated goal without IFTT though. For instance I have some living room lights. They turn on at 60% at sunset. They then turn off after the living room motion sensor senses no more motion for 15 minutes (kids have gone to bed). Then when we are in night mode, if the motion sensor detects motion, it turns on 2 lights at 10% for a night light until there is no more motion for 5 minutes at which point it turns them back off. On weekdays since I leave for work early, the motion sensor turns on the lights and leaves them on until my phone presence is no detected. This was all accomplished using the lights and switches smart app along with modes and hello home phrases.