Life Hacks with SmartThings

Hi guys,

I’d be interesting in hearing about any Life Hacks that you have been able to come up with using SmartThings.

I have a pretty simple one to start: My wife and I share pick-up duties for our young children, so I have setup a secondary ST Location at the daycare and set our phones to notify us when someone arrives. This just serves as a double check that everyone is where they need to be. I’m currently working on finding a method to integrate with our calendars so that I would trigger an alarm if it doesn’t happen.

Looking forward to hearing your great ideas!



Hey Dave! I’m interested in the calendar/alarm thing too!

I usually follow a pretty regular schedule, but there are times when an early wake up might be needed… any chance you might have something to help with that?


How do you setup a secondary location? Are you using the same device?


Hey Daniel, I think there are more options for those users on Android, using Tasker, but I’m on iOS so I think for now it will either be IFTTT or the Geolocation feature build into my calendering app (Pocket Informant).

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To add another location you go to the ST application, Dashboard, click the drop down for location and then at the bottom is +Add Location

Thank you @DavidCreed, For some reason I thought that was for adding a new HUB location.

It’s intended for a hub location, but if the only thing you’re using it for is presence detection of a mobile phone, it can show you that. (With the usual limitations of Mobile phone geolocation.)

If you were using the ST presence fob, that wouldn’t work at the second location because there’s no ST hub there to make the zigbee connection.

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@DarcRanger and @JDRoberts

That is correct. Currently ST does not allow events based on secondary locations to trigger any events on the main hub. Rather unfortunate because there are times it would be nice to have something happen at home, based on events at other locations. Something like turning on a light to announce your spouse has left work.

I have to say I’m rather disappointed that (at this time) 122 people have read this post, but no one has any ideas to share. Come on guys, I’d love to hear them! :sunglasses:



I was actually trying to work on something similar. Instead of using a calendar function I was more trying to use a timer and a virtual switch to represent picked up or not. Essentially the timer would count down 8hrs lets say and if the switch was still on then it would start pushing notifications accordingly. Haven’t really had enough time to dedicate to it yet…

This whole category (Projects and Stories) is already a place for people to post life hacks–you’ll find lots of clever stuff if you browse around here.

Maybe if you try a more specific topic more people would respond, like “favorite use of mobile presence” or “favorite use of ST for family scheduling.” I guarantee you someone will go off topic pretty quick, but it might be easier to start with a smaller target. :blush:

I must be dense this morning… can’t find that option.

EDIT: Found that you have to hit the / down arrow near your current location’s name to see the + to add a new location. You can also add a location in, but you still need to select it within the app to set it up. Found it odd that I needed to recreate my mobile phone as a “thing”.

@DavidCreed, I love the idea of this thread. I love reading other people’s ideas to try to incorporate them into mine.
I wish I had something but am just starting. I would have never thought of setting up a second location, to bad you can’t trigger off it though. Maybe they will add that :smile:


Yes I have IFTTT hooked up to do the same thing, lets me know when my husband gets to the train on the way home so I can know when to start dinner

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I’ve got the following things hooked up in the last month of ST ownership:

  • Outdoor lights were on 4 different switches across the house. I’ve replaced the bulbs with GE Link and covered the switches. Hooked them to a Aeon minimote that I’ve mounted by the back door we mainly use. The lights turn on when I arrive home between 5-12 midnight for 5 min. They also turn on for 5 min every time we unlock the back door which is a Kwikset smartlock.
  • Home security & smoke hooked up for alerts through Dropcam and Nest Protect with a few door sensors
  • Warm up: I have a small space heater in the guesthouse outbuilding that is hooked up through a smart switch. When someone comes over for dinner and has a few too many, I can heat up the room from the dining table, which makes that difficult conversation about them driving home a little easier.
  • Kids are awake: Aeon multi sensor in the kids room. Lets me know when their room is too cold so I can turn up the heater (although I haven’t directly hooked it to the Nest). When we run the fireplace where the thermostat is in the evening, it stops the heater, making their room cold and waking them up (which we do NOT want). Also keeps a log of their movement so I can tell when they really go to sleep and wake up if they are super cranky.
  • I’ve got Sonos waking me up and telling me the forecast before I get dressed (although it doesn’t work half the time)

looking forward to solving more problems with this flexible system next month!


Well this looks fun! I’ve got A LOT of IFTTT recipes made that tie in with smart things.

With Life360, I already get notifications when my wife or I go or leave from our respective jobs or home.

So with that, we can both tell when we leave work early or whatever, and that helps with planning things out like my wife will sometimes send me a text, “Hey, while you’re out, can you pickup some_____?” and that way we can get more done because my job is a lot more flexible than hers is.

I also have eventghost on my PC, which I can then connect with pushbullet dynamically to and from IFTTT, so when I get an alert with Smart Things, I utilize IFTTT to record everything, any lights that come on, any motion detected, any pictures or video taken (along with Sentry which also connects to IFTTT), I have an SMS sent to both myself and my wife as well as a couple of our very close friends who could respond. I’m actually working on a way to have the system automatically contact emergency services.

I also have EventGhost tell me everyday what the price of bitcoin is, just in case it gets low and I can buy a lot more and make money in the future.

Additionally, any texts I get, any texts my wife gets, any texts we send out, we track them all in an excel spreadsheet in case anything important is messaged to us that we want to reference later like part numbers of things, or the name of a website or something.

Also, I have the ‘Automatic’ dongle installed on my car, so I’m able to reset the light on my car in case there’s an engine light on, I’m able to track all my trips and how much I spent in gas for them. I also have emergency notification in case one of us is in an accident. Additionally, if either of us calls 911 the other one of us gets an SMS saying that we’ve just called 911 and need to respond immediately.

We also have life tracking with life360 for our phones to find out where each other are, in case anything goes south, as long as one of us has our phones on us, we can be found rather quickly.


Damn dude! Anybody got dibs on you for their zompoc team yet?

Lol is that directed to me? I don’t know what a zompoc team is :stuck_out_tongue:

Zombie apocalypse (team), man! It’s a compliment.

lol ok? Well…um…thank you :stuck_out_tongue:

Eric, you need to write a few tutorials and get a blog or something! Very curious to see how some of these are setup. Maybe you could be a guest on @gigastacy’s IOT podcast.

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