SmartThings Community

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

Hi,

Is there a way to connect my Logitech Harmony Hub with ST? Would there be any benefits to doing this?

Thanks.

See if this helps. I am not sure if you can add Harmony using the new app (if your not using classic).

I have it connected and use it to turn the TV on/off under certain conditions. It can do more than that though if you want to.

It “just works” if you work through the SmartThings (Classic) app. I use it to dim the lights when I switch the media player to watch a film and also use the Light buttons to allow me to turn the lights off fully - but this is very slow.

Also, in my most recent re-wire I moved my sub from being turned on by the amp 12V signal to using a Samsung socket linked to the Harmony. Less wires trailing back around the wall…

As was mentioned, there’s an official integration, although it’s been in Beta for three years, so it doesn’t appear on the official “works with smartthings“ list, but there is a supportbase article on it:

This integration has changed many times over that period, But the basic idea is always the same: each harmony activity will appear as a switch in smartthings, And smartthings – controlled devices which are switches can be added to Harmony activities. So you can set up an automation in smartthings that can initiate a harmony activity, and you can set up an activity in harmony which can turn some lights on or trigger other smartthings events through a virtual switch.

Benefits of the Integration

It just depends on what you want to do. Back in 2015, one of the biggest benefits was that this was a way of getting Alexa voice control of harmony, but now Harmony has its own direct integration with Alexa, so you don’t need smartthings in the mix anymore for that.

Here are some of the things the SmartThings/Harmony integration adds:

  1. The ability to adjust the lights for specific harmony activities. This is very popular.

  2. The ability to use sensors to trigger specific Harmony activities. Both companies always talk about this, but I don’t know how many people actually use it. You don’t typically want the television to go on every time you walk past it, for example.

  3. the ability to combine Geopresence and other filters to trigger specific harmony activities. Some people like this a lot. For example, you could have a television come on switched to the news when a specific person walks in the front door on weekdays. Again, I don’t think most people use this, but some people do and really appreciate it. Those are people who have pretty much the same routine every time they walk in the house, and part of that routine is turning on the television.

  4. The ability to use harmony as a “man in the middle“ to give smartthings control of IR or Bluetooth devices. This is clunky, but it can work, and sometimes it’s the only good way to get control of a particular air conditioner or humidifier or some other device which harmony can control and smartthings can’t. (Smartthings doesn’t have an IR emitter.) there are other devices like global cache which are probably better for this, but they tend to be expensive and if you already own a harmony hub in the room where the IR device is, it can be nice to find out you can at least add on/off for that device to your smartthings automations. At my own house we use this method for control of some electric candles, for example.

  5. and as @nezmo Mentions below, if you have more than one harmony hub, using the smartthings integration may give you better access to the additional harmony hubs.

So I think that’s pretty much it. Add smartthings-controlled devices to Harmony activities, add harmony–controlled devices to smartthings automations, and add more types of triggers to Harmony activities (particularly Geopresence and sensors)

Whether any of that is something you would find valuable only you can assess. :sunglasses:

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OMG, JD!
This is great.

Is there any way of selecting forum members to ‘follow’?
If there is/were, I think k I’d be a bit further ahead in the game if I could be alerted every time you say something on here. :slight_smile:

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Unless you have more than one Harmony hub. There is another Alexa skill for a second Harmony hub I believe but it’s clunky.

I use the Alexa Harmony skill for my most used Harmony hub and Alexa-controlled ST switches (the switches being the ones set-up for Harmony activities in SmartThings) for my other Harmony hubs.

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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…