Navigating this community - finding how-to's & ideas (newbies / dummy's guide to extending & leveraging ST)

New to ST, have had it a few weeks now and getting setup. I have played around a little leveraging threads I came across on the community however I’m wondering what I’m missing out on.

How would someone learn more about the ways to extend and leverage ST beyond reading and browsing thread after thread on here, hoping you’ll come across something? I see no sticky threads, no ‘guides’ for beginners. Every topic, although many are great - is isolated and independent.

It’d be great if there was a sub category or even just sticky thread somewhere (maybe there is and I just don’t see it) that gives newbies like myself some how-to write ups, tips and visibility into all the awesome things people have done using ST.

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Hey @Matt_P

Have you seen the FAQ section?

Hey there and welcome to world’s most dysfunctionally awesome forum!
You’ll either go stark raving mad…
Or… Yeah… You’ll go mad!

But hey… Here’s a great place to start!


Welcome! You have indeed identified both the major strength and weakness of SmartThings… One question, five answers. :sunglasses:

This might help as well (this is a clickable link):


Welcome !

I had those exact same questions when I started up a few months back and I totally agree with you. Have fun exploring and if you are married and your wife is anything like mine I would start looking now for counseling or a referee :laughing:

When I was new to the community, after reading the link that @JDRoberts suggested above to you my next most helpful one as a newbie was this. These should be mandatory sticky threads.


Thanks all.

I’ve browsed the Wiki and FAQs and still struggling on a couple items.

  1. How do I set something up to announce when a contact sensor (door) has opened? I assume I can’t have Alexa (my Amazon Echo) announce this based on what I’ve read as it’d have to be setup as a speaker to do that and then renders it useless otherwise. Could I have my tablet running smarttiles announce? Or a bluetooth speaker?

  2. How do I setup the lights in the house to ‘flash’ based on a certain event? I read a few posts where people are using that paired with home monitor. My thought is to use that currently as an ‘alarm’ response when an intrusion is detected.

There used to be a way to do this with SmartThings, but I don’t think it’s available anymore.

If you have a zwave siren with the strobe feature, you can activate that through SmartThings. This is what people who are deaf will typically use for emergency alerts.

If you are using zigbee bulbs, there are some custom device handlers that can do that. Or if you have a Phillips hue bulb on Phillips hue bridge you can use the Phillips hue IFTTT channel to blink very easily. We use this at our house for some minor notifications.