Looking for quick clarification on ST and harmony confusion

Hi guys, sorta new to figuring this all out. So I have a google home and ST and I can do lights and everything just fine, but now I am looking into harmony to do IR signals to tv etc. Im a little bit confused because harmonys website says it can do lights etc as well as ir blasters. Does harmony control zwave devices like ST does? if it does, why do people use both ST and Harmony? Or is it as simple as ST = zwave thermostat, lights, etc and harmony is just IR.

Harmony can do IR, wifi and Bluetooth. Intereraction with your lights is likely to be through another hub/gateway like SmartThings or Hue.

The Harmony hub doesn’t have a Z-wave radio but I think there’s an addon that actually can do zwave or Zigbee to give you control over other devices. @JDRoberts?

Everything said so far is correct. :sunglasses: Smartthings can control Z wave and zigbee devices, Plus some additional cloud integrations, but has no way to send IR commands. Adding harmony gives you control over IR devices, both home theater stuff and some air-conditioners and fans with IR remotes.

There is an additional device called the “harmony hub extender” which has some Z wave and zigbee, but if you use that you can’t use SmartThings with those devices. And the harmony device is really simplistic, it’s mostly just intended to let you use motion sensors with your home theater. For a more complete discussion of that device see the following, but the short answer is if you have SmartThings you don’t need the hub extender.

So then the question is what would smartthings give you that just harmony plus its own hub extender wouldn’t, and that answer is very clear: SmartThings is way smarter. Just as one example, harmony will not let you unlock a lock if you’re not at home. Not even with IFTTT. SmartThings will, so you can use it to unlock the door when a holiday guest calls to tell you they’ve arrived, for example.

Smartthings also lets you just do a lot more. For example, there is no way with harmony to get a message if a door is left open, whether it’s at a particular time of day or for a duration longer than five minutes. With the harmony extender you could have opening the door cause the lights to come on. But you can’t get any notifications at all.

So the shortest short answer is that if you have SmartThings, you don’t need the harmony hub extender. And if you use the Harmony hub extender you can’t use SmartThings with those devices. But if you have just the harmony hub and the smartthings hub, you add an additional set of devices to each, and you get to take advantage of SmartThings’ much more sophisticated scheduling options. :sunglasses:

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Think of this way. SamrtThings(ST) controls all your z waves devices. Your Harmony Remote(HR) control’s all your IR devices. If you add a Harmony Hub (HH), you no longer need line of sight for IR devices. The remote will talk to the HH and the HH will tell IR devices what to do. Now, Your remote (will have a shortcut button to a light) talks to the HH and HH Hub will talk to ST. ST Will turn the lights on. This a great option if only one person controls the setup of ST in their phone app. But someone else simply wants to turn a light on or off that does’nt have an actual light switch. This is the most simplistic version of thigs you can do. To be clear ST talks to Zwave and Zigbee devices, at some point is supposed to support BlueTooth device). Harmony supports IR, RF, and Bluetooth devices within range of the Hub.

Small note: Dont expect to control and IR device with the remote when the remote is not in range of the RF of the Harmony Hub. Apparently a limitation, and in my eyes a flaw. A universal remote that is no longer universal without a secondary dependency is just dumb. If you are using the non HH version of IR then it works.

Thanks for the clarification guys. 1 day and im hooked on messing with ifttt, apps, etc :slight_smile:

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