Need help building a setup|

Welcome! Different people have different preferences. And different use cases need different solutions. It often comes down to very small details. Some people want the LEDs on every light switch in their house to match. Other people don’t care about that. :sunglasses:

Usually the simplest way to begin is to think about each problem you are trying to solve individually and sketch out the must-have parameters for that solution. Then before you actually make any decisions, go on to the next first stage problem. And then once you have three or four of those sketched out, start thinking about the overall platform solution.

Wi-Fi won’t really make any difference at all. It’s not one of the protocols that SmartThings uses. In fact, very strong Wi-Fi may interfere with zigbee devices! That’s OK, though, because smartthings is a multi protocol platform. In particular, it supports direct communication with both zigbee devices using the zigbee home automation profile (ZHA 1.2) and Z wave. There are pluses and minuses to both, but one of the big pluses to Z wave is that Wi-Fi doesn’t interfere with it. :sunglasses: So that just tells you that you may want to lean somewhat towards Zwave devices for your house.

Oh, there are some Wi-Fi devices that SmartThings communicates with indirectly, cloud to cloud, like WeMo, so strong Wi-Fi does help with those individual devices.

Anyway, to answer your question, you can do everything with one protocol. But most people end up using at least two. They just do what is best for each individual problem. But again, that’s up to you. I would note, though, that since you’re also talking about IR, that’s a separate protocol. So, probably like most of us, you will end up with multiple multiple protocols, and that’s just fine.

How do you choose which device to use for each of your individual use cases? By first thinking about the details of what you want to do and then looking at what’s available in different brands and models of devices. The following thread (this is a clickable link) discusses many of the different kinds of features so it can help. But again, thinking about the devices is the second step. The first step is to think about the problems that you want to solve.

Budget is another major factor. There is a lot of difference in the cost of different solutions. So it’s good if you have an idea going in to each individual problem about how much money you’re willing to spend to solve it. :wink: Even devices like motion sensors generally come in a good/better/best range. Cost can vary a great deal and you may not need the advanced features of the “best” models.

Just as an example, here is my project report on my phase 1 home automation. I’m not saying you have exactly the same use cases as I do, but the decision process might be interesting:

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