I’m just getting started with ST. I have a hub, some Hue White bulbs, a Leviton appliance module and a GE outdoor lighting control module coming on Monday.
I have been using X10 to control lights for years and the X10 controller died, so it’s a good time to upgrade. I’m going to start out with a few lights and a coffee maker and expand from there. I also plan on integrating with Echo.
What apps or other devices do you all recommend for a newbie?
Also, what resources should I go through to make this all easier?
As far as resources, there are two FAQs you might find helpful.
This one is the intro to scheduling:
And this one explains how custom code is used in SmartThings. You don’t need to use custom code, but there’s a lot of it available, and it can add many features to the base system.
In addition, check out the quick browse lists for Project Reports in the community – created wiki, in particular the “get started” list. It has things like “the top 10 things to do with home automation” and “what device should I get next?” Which should be helpful.
There’s also a list of “impress your friends” projects with everything from a magic wand to a secret bookcase room. You probably know all of these in general terms, but these will discuss them in a SmartThings context.
You’ll also find list of smartapps organized by function, which are considerably easier to review then just Using the forum search here.
Since someone’s bound to bring it up in the first post or two in this thread, if you’re technical, check out CORE. But if it seems too complicated, don’t worry about it to begin with, you can add it or not later if you find that you want that degree of complexity in your home automation rules.
And for the sake of balance, I should probably include the FAQ for people who want to keep everything simple.
As far as device selection, it sounds like you may already know all of this, but the following thread has lots of details on why you might select one particular model over another:
And there is an FAQ section in the Device category of the forums for common device – related questions like “what switches can you use with Hue bulbs?” and “how do you set up a WD and a WT GoControl switch together?” ( yes, that’s a common question, mostly because it’s done differently in SmartThings than in some other home automation systems), which is worth knowing about although you probably don’t need it right now. But if you do have a specific device question that you think has probably been asked before, that’s a good place to look.
Well, that should be more than enough to start with! But you did ask for resources… SmartThings is very powerful and versatile , but not always intuitive, so there are a lot of community-contributed resources available.
My one money regret on my system is spending $200 for 4 BR-30 color Hue can bulbs for my kitchen (haven’t changed the colors on them for over a year). I should of just got a $40 GE light switch and bought some cheaper dimmable LED’s. Plus you don’t have to worry about somebody turning off the dumb switch then.
But i love my simple Hue bulbs in my end table lights in the bedroom with my Echo Dot & a couple of other Hue lights where I don’t have to worry about the dumb switch.
At a minimum, you must buy a $50 Amazon Dot. I have an Echo & 2 Dots, and they make this ST’s system much more fun and easy.
As others have recommended, CoRE is probably the most powerful smart app you can install. It allows you to do pretty much all that’s possible with smartthings right now. Personally I wanted to turn lights and switches off if they are on and after a period of no motion. The built in smart lighting app can do this but ONLY if there was motion to begin with. With CoRE even if there’s no motion since the light was turned on, it will do what I need.
Thanks! So far I’m enabling three table lamps in a couple of rooms. I’ll think about the rooms with ceiling lights later, but I can see the value of the wal switched. My kitchen has fluorescent tubes, so I will have to look into the LED equivalents.
For the Echo Dot are you using those in different rooms? As I get into this I can see the value of at lest on on the second floor.
Some manufacturers of Z wave devices, particularly Leviton, do make wall switches that can control fluorescent tubes. You just have to match the specs. These are usually called “universal” switches. So you can swap yours out for LEDs if you want, but you won’t have to.
Leviton’s new line of Z wave plus switches is supposed to be on the market at the beginning of January if you can wait that long.
Just one on each floor. I love the Echo/Ecobee 3 integration. This time of year it can be 28 in the morning and 72 degrees in the evening where I live, so I might adjust the thermostat a couple of times during the day. All I need to do is say; Echo, thermostat 64 or thermostat 70.
Congrats! I am still a newbie, but I have found this community to be extremely helpful!
I recently switched from Echo TO GH simply because I am Android guy, and looking to the feature, I feel like GH will be more suitable. I started like you, asking about smart bulbs and the ST Hub. 3 months later I have, ST hub, Hue Bridge, 5 Hue bulbs (Color), 1 cree smart bulb, 3 GE link bulbs, 2 Osram Lightify Gardenspot, Yale RealLiving Zwave door lock and Google Home. Yes, I have a problem!!!
I am looking into some cameras and thermostat next!
When the package arrived today I realized that the Hue bridge isn’t coming until tomorrow, so the only thing I had to play with was the Leviton appliance module. I hooked it up to the lamp in my home office but named it ‘Espresso Machine’.
You should have seen the look on my wife’s face when she walked by and heard me saying “Alexa, turn on espresso machine”!