Looking for use cases. What can SmartThings do for you?

For those that aren’t seeing my other posts, let me bring you up to speed. I am a former Iris user that has moved over to SmartThings, I am also in the process of remodelling a 4 bedroom 2 bath, 2 car garage 1980s ranch style home with a workshop.

The remodelling has me redoing pretty much every single square foot, and most fixtures in the house, swapping the original Almond color standard outlets and toggle style light switches with white cover plates (no joke) for Decora style units. The HVAC is on its last legs and we are pending the rebuilding of that with a dual zone system, primary zone which covers the common areas of the house, and the 3 kids bedrooms, and a secondary zone which covers the master suite.

The garage workshop is heated / cooled as well with a 12.5K BTU portable AC, and a 1500 watt oil filled electric radiator.

Each bedroom, the living room, kitchen, and master vanity room have 52" ceiling fans. The kitchen being the only fixture lacking a light kit which we will be adding…

So now to the Security / HA and what can SmartThings do for us…

We have an ADT SmartThings system, security hub, 1 motion sensor, and door and window sensors at each exterior door and sash, including the roll up garage doors arranged on hinges to act as tilt sensors. We have 2 additional ZWave sirens, and 4 external Ring camera devices, a Ring Video Doorbell 2, 2 Ring spotlight camera wired, and a Ring Floodlight camera.

We have one Iris 3rd generation smart plug, 2 second generation contact sensors, and one second genration motion sensor that we have sending notifications, but not triggering any sort of alarm / alert.

We have one of the Hampton Bay zigbee ceiling fan / lighting control units in a ceiling fan already, with the intent to add them to all of the ceiling fan fixtures except the living room, which has separate wall switches for fan and light, and 4 Phillips Smart + bulbs for the front porch and front hallway.

Incoming is 5 Ikea Tradfri zigbee smart plugs, which will be put in each bedroom, and one in the master vanity, to reinforce the Zigbee network, and provide a repeater near each fan.

We presently have 3 Amazon Echo dots for voice control. And FireTV sticks for streaming / voice control of the TV.

And one Honeywell smart wifi thermostat.

As the projects progress, my aim is to do the following.

#1. Full control of HVAC for both zones. Including temperature sensors in each area that has a ceiling fan, trigger fan on / off, and speeds depending on temperature readings.
#2. Have dehumdifiers in each major area of the house including the garage workshop, triggered by RH readings. Need info on a good sensor for that…
#3. Full control of all lighting, inside and outside of the house. Automated responses depending on alarm state, schedule, and presence sensors. I.E. randomly turn on and off lights in the house while we are gone after dark to simulate presence. Turn on exterior lights in driveway, front walkway, and front porch when we arrive home after dark, Turn same said lights off after a period of time, or when we leave. Etc…
#4. In the unlikely event of an intrustion, get as much attention as possible by making as much noise and light as possible.
#5. Long term, professional monitoring for security, and safety (smoke alarms etc…).

Aside from the items listed, what else can I do with SmartThings?

I see the use case of starting a coffee maker automatically, but my coffee pot has a timed start, no need for integration. I have the time I need preset, I simply load up my coffee maker and tap delay brew and go to bed…

I know I have a long long way to go, and I am already past where I was with Iris, but I am working dilligently to get it done as it were… Just looking for ideas on how to get the most out of home automation.

There are literally dozens of these already posted in the forum, so you should have plenty of material to go on. :sunglasses:

If you begin with the “get started” list on the quick browse lists in the community -created wiki, it includes threads on everything from “best use cases for color bulbs” to “top 10 uses for smartthings” to “what device should I get next?”

Even when the technology changes, the use cases are typically the same, so I would definitely start with what’s there. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

You might also, just for fun, take a look at the “impress your friends” list, which has some of the more unusual ideas like a hidden bookcase room and a magic wand controller. :closed_umbrella:

To get to the “get started” list go to the quick browse page in the wiki, look down near the bottom of that page for the “project reports” section, and then choose the first list, which is the “get started” list. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

Man the roomba control is deprecated! That’s awful!

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True, although Roomba has significantly improved their IFTTT channel over the years, and you may find that that’s all you need:

I honestly haven’t dug into IFTTT yet, that is something totally new to me as Iris didn’t support it…

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You can start with the Wiki post from JDRoberts, great repository of information about apps, DTH’s and all sorts of information.

For these 2 specific cases check out this app if you have access to RBoy Apps:

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You won’t need IFTTT just for Devices within the SmartThings platform, but it can be very useful for integrations with other devices that don’t have a SmartThings integration and don’t have an open API. Like the Roomba. :sunglasses:

The examples in the official SmartThings supportbase were oddly chosen, since a number of them are things that you can do without IFTTT, but it will show you the process for setting stuff up:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/211978466-IFTTT

The quick browse lists aren’t just for smartapps. :sunglasses:

They are divided into four sections: custom DTHs, custom smartapps, third-party developer sites, and project reports.

The project reports items might include topics like good ideas for naming conventions when you are using voice assistants, the previously mentioned best use cases for color smart bulbs, ideas on managing a remote location, pictures of kitchen remodel projects, all kinds of stuff which doesn’t involve code. So that’s where most of the use case examples come in.

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Okay FWIW, and I know this is a LOT and it is a long term project, but here goes nothing…

#1. Fully video recorded and alerted exterior of the house. Video recording and alerting for garage and home office / studio. I am close to there, just need to add the Wyze cams to catch the weak points…
#2. Fully monitored perimeter of home with open / close sensors. This includes ADT compatible “tilt” sensors, and multi stops for window sensors on windows that will be held partially open for say a window air conditioner. I am already there…
#3. Fully monitored glass breakage and smoke detector alerting for each primary space via smoke detectors and Alexa Guard. Pending general availability of Alexa Guard. Also need to determine if Alexa Guard will be ADT monitorable with SmartThings or is it just for pulse customers?
#4. Fully monitored leak detection to prevent water damage from plumbing leaks.

Alarm events will. (The intent is to attract as much attention as possible, and to drive intruders out / away before harm can be done).
#1. Trigger siren in each bedroom, living room, dining room, garage.
#2. Turn on all lighting visible outside of the home.
#3. IF we can arrange the function, enable Siren functions on outdoor sirens on Ring devices on alarm events. This is not officially supported. Custom configuration pending.

Voice control over:
#1. All lighting inside and outside the house. This includes bed side lamps and free standing lamps, so smart plugs will be needed. Since pretty much every smart plug I have seen does NOT allow for 2 to be in a dual outlet, I will need to attach them off of surge supressors at night stands for the bed side lamps…
#2. All HVAC control, including multi zone HVAC. Single zone currently, and it is struggling. Pending feedback from my AC guy and getting antsy…
#3. All ceiling fan speeds, including the comfort breeze setting. 1 of 7 done.
#4. Entertainment system control. Turn TVs on, and off, change channels, search for streaming media etc… 2 TVs, and a monitor with a FireTV stick done, getting there…
#5. Turn on / off up to 8 garden hoses for irrigation and cooling.

Automation. Automatic actions taken.
#1. HVAC control set on schedule, weather, humidity, presence and / or temperature.
-1A. Example: Summer, both of us leave the house, run the cooling to 76 or 77 deg F and turn the dehumidifier on. Arrive home, reduce temp to 73 deg F.
-1B. Example: Winter heating mode. Leave the house, turn the heat to 62 deg F. Arrive, raise temp to 68 deg F.
-1C. Example: Summer cooling, goodnight. Reduce temp to 71 degrees IF we are present, AND it is between 9 P.M. and 10 A.M. Set ceiling fan in used bedrooms to medium speed.
-1D. Example: Winter heating mode. Goodnight. Raise temp to 70 deg F. and turn ceiling fan on to low speed.
#2. Dehumdification based on inside RH. Anything over 50% RH turn the dehumidifier in that space on.

Looking for ideas on hardware and rules to accomplish all of 1 and 2…

#3. Lighting. Rules set to turn on driveway, front porch, front entry, and living room lights as we arrive home after dark. Mostly done… Also want to add smart lighting to my front walkway that lights up when I come home…
#4. Lighting. Rules set to turn off all lights as we leave after dark. Done.
#5. Lighting. Rules set to randomize lights on, and off, inside the house when we are not present to simulate presence. Trying to figure this out…
#6. Audio. Rules set to start playback of specific streaming services upon arrival home. Done thanks Alexa!
#7. Audio. Rules set to start, and maintain streaming audio from various Echo devices while we are away.
#8. TV / Video. Rules set to turn on TV, and start specific programs at certain times when we are away.
#9. Arm / Disarm alarm from smart lock set. Enter code to unlock door, automatically disarms alarm, enter code to lock door automatically arms alarm. Presence sensor (phone) MUST be present!
#10. Time based, turn lights on with motion, if on, dim after period of non motion, then turn off after extended non motion. Turn on dimmed for say Master Vanity / Bathroom after 10 P.M. etc…

And of course looking for more ideas…

Yes that is an awful lot, but I have made headway, and will continue to do so assuming budget and time cooperate…

You need to keep looking. :wink:

There are two different ways to handle this.

A) look for “stackable“ smart plugs which don’t cover the other receptacle in a wall outlet. See the following discussion thread:

B) choose a pocket socket with two outlets where each is independently controllable. There aren’t many of these, but there are a few.

Do you know of any of those dual outlet pocket sockets that are zig bee? Part of the reason for having these here is for zig bee repeaters

See the official “works with SmartThings“ list.

This has one Zigbee controllable socket and one always on dumb socket, but it’s stackable with some Devices. It’s using the same case as the Z wave model previously mentioned. ( i’m not sure if you can put one above the other, though, I haven’t tried that.)

Like the Z wave, it also comes in two models. One is dimmable for use with lamps and one has a grounded outlet for small appliances.

My expectation remains that we will see more of these introduced over the next year or so because of the increasing market that the Amazon echo plus creates.

( there are some others, but for complicated reasons they make smartthings support heads explode, so I would stick with the GE for now. Or the Leviton Lumina, but it’s just a single socket.)

I should mention, that I need the additional sockets at the night stands. I still think the Tradfri outlets on surge supressors is a good idea. I have one 2 socket outlet behind the bed in each room, and there is a need to run a lamp on a smart outlet, I have guests that are CPAP dependent so I need to provide power for that, and of course power for the Echo dot… Both the CPAP and echo dot don’t need smart power handling or scheduling, and total load on the circuit won’t even got close to the rating of 15 amps (total load would hover around 10 amps…).

Not worried about dimming lamps, but now you have me thinking about it, thanks… I am now about to regret buying the smart plugs I did!

It is likely that I might be better off at least with the lamps, using smart bulbs instead of smart plugs… I was trying to avoid having to disjoin a bulb and join a new one when a bulb burns out…

If you are using Phillips hue bulbs, and you have them configured properly so you are not cutting the current to them, the manufacturer estimate is a 15,000 hour lifetime. In a bedroom that should be 12 to 15 years typically (2 to 3 hours/day). So you shouldn’t have to calculate for burnout.

Using Sylvania Smart+ bulbs…

They claim 10 years.

Again, I wouldn’t think burnout would need to be part of your calculation.

Well, now I need to redistribute the smart plugs…

I have a home studio / office that I was planning more smart plugs for for my desk lamp, and a fan (single speed), so I know where 2 of them are going…

The soft white dimmable smart bulbs are actually quite affordable. It’s the rgbw versions that get spendy…

Never put a smart bulb on any dimmer that controls the current to it, whether it’s a smart device or not. They confuse each other and you will likely burn out either the bulb or the dimmer.

And it’s not advisable to put a smart bulb on any switch where the power will be cut regularly as you can significantly reduce the life of the bulbs due to the inrush current each time the power is restored. Making those expensive bulbs that much more expensive

Never put a smart bulb on any dimmer that controls the current to it, whether it’s a smart device or not. They confuse each other and you will likely burn out either the bulb or the dimmer.

And it’s not advisable to put a smart bulb on any switch where the power will be cut regularly as you can significantly reduce the life of the bulbs due to the inrush current each time the power is restored. Making those expensive bulbs that much more expensive.

So once you put smart bulbs in to nightstand lamps, you will want to either provide a separate, typically battery operated control for it, or make sure people are only using voice or motion sensors to turn it on and off.

sorry, not planning that. I was planning on a smart bulb that would dim itself…

Such as the Sylvania Smart + A19s…

These are the bulbs I already have for the front porch, and front hallway fixture. They are dimmable and produce, for a soft white bulb, a very nice not too horridly yellow light… (most cool whites tend toward too yellow or too pink for my taste…).

I’ve been doing some reflecting on my requirements. I hadn’t considered the ability to dim lamps. Never been something I have been able to do, not familiar with except for the old fashioned 3 way incandescent lamps.

Let me lay out my thought process on lighting / automation of lighting…

Normal behavior for folks is to manually turn off bed side lamps, by turning the switch. I don’t want to expose those bulbs to constant power up / down cycles.

Thus, I think that for now anyway, I am still best off with smart plugs to manage bedside lamps. So I am back to the issue at hand. Let me explain…

The house is 4 bedrooms, one is being used as a home office / recording studio (I play guitar / bass, my wife plays piano).

Of the bedrooms, the master suite has a king bed, with 2 nightstand lamps. There is also need to power USB chargers, and run the Amazon Echo devices etc… I want to run it off of the outlet behind the headboard.

I am planning on using surge supressor strips mounted on the back of each night stand to provide the power outlet. Orientation is important due to the shape of the smart plugs. It would be a good idea to have USB charger built into the surge strip…

For controlling the lamps I will be using the Ikea Tradfri Wireless Control Outlets, one per power strip.

We move on to bedroom #2, which we use as our guest bedroom, so the same sort of arrangement. 2 more power strips, 2 more Tradfri outlets…

Bedroom #3 currently has a full bed, with only one night stand / lamp. I should mention my wife and I have no children, although Adoption might be an option for us, and part of the reason we are working so dilligently to automate / remodel the house. LOTS of safety updates going in! But this space will likely change depending on that status. But even with, will still only require 1 smart plug, and not likely to need CPAP power or anything like that…

Bedroom #4. Home Office / Studio has a desk lamp. Again controlled with a smart plug, and standard LED bulbs…

The standard LED bulbs are plenty affordable…

After the lamps, and ceiling fans are controlled by smart plugs, and the Zigbee light / fan controllers, I have the following lights that would need to be added.

#1. Main bathroom water closet. (Commode / bathtub room). 2 bulbs, but one is powered on / off with the fan, so not doing that one. Likely going to use a smart on / off switches for the light, AND the fan / light combo since I will be in the wall anyway…
#2. Main bathroom vanity. 2 bulbs. Have a couple of locations I need white BR30 bulbs,

Front porch has 2 bulbs already in place, front hallway has 2 already in place, back porch covered by the Ring Floodlight camera lights.

That leaves the bedroom hallway, 1 bulb, front bedroom closet (only walk in closet in the house) 1 bulb), Master bath commode / bathtub room 2 bulbs, laundry room uses 2 bulbs, driveway uses 1. So with the 1 4 pack already there, I will have a total of 3 4 packs, and be left with one spare bulb…

Now, that leaves me with the dining room chandalier to decide what to do. It has 8 A19 type bulbs, but they are quite visible in the fixture. I was hoping for a more Edison bulb look for this fixture, and am considering the following bulbs…

I would need to control that fixture with a smart dimmer switch, this is where I get into the wall switches…

I would need 2 of these, one for the dining room, the other for the living room ceiling fan.

To control the living room ceiling fan speeds I will need an in wall controller…

And the kitchen will need a couple of standard on / off switches for the flourescent lights and under cabinet lights… Not certain of the second switch though, again, looking into RGBW LED light strips for under cabinet lighting…

Lastly, a standard on / off switch (linked above) for my workshop / garage lights. I have 7 2 bulb 4’ fT12 lourescent shop light fixtures. To reduce the electrical load, lower operating cost, improve light, and reliability, I am planning on converting those fixtures to LED tube bulbs…

My plan is to start with the Tradfri outlets which are on the way, the lamps presently have standard LED bulbs, next move on to the smart bulbs, and move on with switches as finances allow. The last is to convert the flourescent fixtures to LED (Both shoplight and kitchen).