Logitech Harmony & ST? What are the benefits? (2019)

Thanks again for this run-down, @JDRoberts

Now, I’m going to actually try to use it.
I discovered (OK, rediscovered) that I have some light strips (the cheapo, non-smart kind) that work with Harmony.

I would like to create automations in SmartThings to turn them on/off, change colors, etc.

I think I understand correctly that anything I want done like that should already have the appropriate ‘Activity’ created for it in Harmony. I have that.

Now though, how/where do I choose those Activities from within SmartThings in order to build automations (mainly thinking of webCoRE here)?

…or is it the sort of thing like with Alexa Routines where I don’t really create any direct automations between the two, and instead, just have webCoRE turn on/off simulated devices in SmartThings which Harmony sees, and does Activities based on those device changes?

Hmmm…I believe, but may be wrong, that Harmony Hubs are really a one (1) Activity at a time sort-a setup. Meaning if you are on the Watch Boob Tube Activity and then you run the Activity to change your light color, it will turn off Boob Tube and turn on the other Activity.

Best thing is to find a way to connect your strips to SmartThings. There are a couple of cheap controllers out there that can connect. LED Light Strips are stupid cheap.

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@rontalley

Aha! So, I couldn’t tell it to turn on light1 with red color at 5:15 pm, and then tell it to turn on light2 with green at 5:20 pm, and still leave the other one on in the same state that I told it to turn on in (unless, of course, I included that in the second ‘Activity’)?

If so, then does that mean that when @JDRoberts has SmartThings tell his Harmony hub to turn on the candles, he wouldn’t be able to…let’s say an hour later…have SmartThings tell Harmony to turn on the tv, and the tv back light, and leave whatever else on that it had already turned on unless that was also included in this new Activity?

Harmony might have the ability to use Home Automation things in an Activity without bothering the other active Activity. Might…

OK. So, I guess I will do some testing to find out.

I just need help figuring out how to do it in the first place lol

I have both integrations connected (the one where I add the Harmony Hub SmartApp from within SmartTHings, AND the one where I connect to my SmartThings account from within the Harmony Android App).

However, I’m just not sure where to go, or how to find the Harmony devices somewhere in SmartTHings to make them do anything.

You can have as many “home automation” activities running at one time as you want.

You are limited to one “home entertainment” Activity at a time.

Unfortunately, IR controlled devices are considered entertainment devices.

Lots of people have requested a way around this, harmony always says they’ll think about it, meanwhile there is an official work around. It’s sort of a pain to set up, but it does work.

https://community.logitech.com/s/question/0D55A0000788jaUSAQ/creating-a-home-activity

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That’ll do her then! So, as the title proposes, this is definitely one benefit in 2019. :grin:

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I finally figured it out. :slight_smile:

I know that some of this info exists elsewhere, but it’s not really all spelled-out that I can find anywhere. So, sorry if this seems redundant.

For those that haven’t gotten that far yet…

The ‘official’ integration available as a SmartApp within the SmartThings mobile app specifically looks for two kinds of things in your Harmony system;

  1. Your Harmony Hub/s
    and
  2. Your Harmony ‘Activities’

Once it finds them, it lists them within the SmartApp.

The user then needs to tell it which ones out of that list (both lists actually) the user wants to use in SmartThings.

Once that is done, the SmartApp creates the following…

  1. Hub
    For the Hub, it creates a new device named Harmony Hub, using a device handler named ‘Logitech Harmony Hub C2C’.

  2. Activities
    For each Activity it finds, it creates a new device named after its name in your Harmony system, using a device handler named ‘Harmony Activity’.

These devices can then be used in automations. In my case, I use them in webCoRE pistons, like this…

  1. Hub
    With this device, there are some options, but when I tried to use it in a way that seemed obvious, nothing happened.

  2. Activities
    These are basically simulated switches, and work about the same as expected. i.e. tell it to turn on, and the result is the related Activity in Harmony turns on.

More points…

  • No-Sync-Back
    It appears this is a one-way sort of thing, where the actions in SmartThings only result in something happening in Harmony.
    i.e. When an Activity in Harmony (even if it was turned On by SmartThings) gets turned off, it does not sync that off state back to SmartThings.

  • Safe to Ignore On/Off State of Harmony Activity Devices in SmartThings
    Since the state of Harmony Activities is not synced back into SmartThings, it may seem like there is a need to turn the simulated switches representing them back off when you know that the related Activity in Harmony turns off. However, it’s safe to just leave them On all the time, because the next time you send a command to turn one of them on, even if it is already in the On state, it will still trigger the On event for the related Activity in Harmony.

Not quite, it’s just there is a delay. If you wait about 5 mins they will sync up.

You can get around this by adding the switches that are created in SmartThings for the Harmony Activities as devices within the Harmony remote app. You can then set up commands for those switches in your Harmony Activity and the switches will update in real time in ST when the Harmony Activity runs. I don’t do this - I just live with the delay I mentioned before.

More detail here:

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Really simple to do. You just go to Harmony Setup in the Harmony App, then Add/Edit Devices and Activities, then Devices, then SmartThings and select the corresponding SmartThings Harmony Activity to turn on/off with the Harmony Activity start/stop sequence…

Will look like this:

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OK…I totally understood the post from @Nezmo (thanks!), but @rontalley I’m not sure. Seems like all you said was how to use it (which I just explained that I understand).

The part I wasn’t clear on was actually exactly what @Nezmo addressed.

The response that you (@rontalley) gave didn’t really even seem to address the portion of my post which you quoted.

: confused :

I just listed out the steps to take to bring in the SmartThings Switch [Harmony Activity] which you would add to the start/stop sequence of your Harmony Activity. This is what @Nezmo discribed and gave a link where you would find the steps…I just posted the steps here.

If you look at the bottom of the screenshot, the last part of the Harmony Activity is turning On the Switch in SmartThings that is the associated Harmony Activity.

Sorry for the confusion.

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Doh! I see it now.
When I looked at it before, when I saw [Harmony Activity] I thought it was just running another Activity within Harmony lol

I get it now.
Thanks, man.
No sorry needed…the confusion was obviously on me. :slight_smile:

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I have moved this question to the other thread…

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Please start a new thread for this, we’re getting pretty far off topic.

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Doing that now…done. :slight_smile:Official SmartThings-to-Logitech Harmony Integration

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All this is good, but complex automation does not work correctly, or is wrong in conjunction - Smart things + harmony hub activites, for example: I create automation, with a motion sensor (Aeon lab 6 in 1) and harmony, in the Samsung application, so that the TV turns on in the morning from 7.30 to 10.00 on the move and install - use the action once a day, and so it does not work! Often it does not turn on in time but even in the evening and many times a day so that I do not do it does not work.
the attempt to control TV through harmony and to Alex was also unsuccessful, I did not achieve normal control - it works 1 time, and 3 times says that such a device cannot add sound or switch on. it is also bad that the harmony of the hub is very hard to remember new device buttons - for example, for an air conditioner, I spent 3 days to program the commands. In general, I am not happy with Harmony

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You’re not alone. It’s an awful product

I have 3 Logitech Harmony Hubs installed throughout the house. They work amazingly well for me.

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I’ve been very happy with the harmony hub for almost 4 years now. The native echo integration is very good.

The SmartThings integration, on the other hand, has had a lot of issues for me, mostly in that they kept changing it without any announcements and it would stop working for a while Until we figured everything out.

Since I am unable to use a regular button remote (I’m quadriparetic), it just became too frustrating and I eventually just took smartthings out of the equation altogether. Since then, it’s reliably done exactly what I wanted to do, which is give me voice control over television, cable box, Roku, and even some battery operated flameless candles. But different things work for different people. :sunglasses:

If you want more granular control beyond the activity level, and have a strong technical background and are willing to go through a fairly complex set up process, there are other devices and systems you can look at, including global cache itach. Or if you don’t want to deal with all the technical stuff, you can just get a smart television. But as long as smartthings is in the mix, you are going to run the risk of something that worked great on Sunday not working on Monday even though you haven’t changed anything. :disappointed_relieved:

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