New to Smartthings - how to automate?

The question of why people prefer switches over bulbs is covered in the FAQ on that topic:

But the short answer is usually one of the following 3 Reasons:

  1. Smart bulbs need to always be on power. So you have to figure out what to do about the switch to keep people from manually turn the bulb off. There are a lot of different ways to handle this, including smart switch covers which fit over the existing switch and then give you buttons you can push for on and off. But that means buying an additional device which adds cost. If you live alone, it’s not usually a problem. But as soon as there are visitors or kids or even just other family members who want to have a switch on the wall, you have to address the issue.

There is an FAQ on This:

FAQ: Philips Hue and Other Smart Bulbs - What sort of light switches to use with them? (Long FAQ)

  1. they have an existing fixture which doesn’t work well with the available smart bulbs, such as a fluorescent tube fixture

Three) if you have a power outage, most smart bulbs will come on to full brightness when the power is restored . smart switches will usually go back to whatever state they were in before the power outage, or they may stay off, depending on the exact model.

This behavior really bugs some people, and doesn’t bother other people at all. Personally, I like to be awakened if there was a power outage and the power comes back on, since it alerts me to check the house for any problems. Other people would prefer to sleep through.

There is a smart app that one community member developed that will reset all the bulbs after a power outage so basically they were just blink on and go off again. That solves the issue for some people, but not everyone.

For sliding door, there’s a new Z wave sensor, the sensative strip, which works really well with smartthings and a number of community members have it and like it. It is just 3 mm thick, so it fits very nicely on most sliding doors. It’s also weatherproof and can be painted.

The big issue is the cost. It’s about twice the cost of the regular box sensors. However, it has a built-in 10 year battery, so you would get some of that cost back by not having to replace a battery every year or so.

So not for everyone, but if your budget can manage it, the strips are worth considering. :sunglasses:

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V1 hub:

V2 hub:

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Also, there should be a model number on the back of the hub. :wink:

I think I have the V2, from the pic posted above.

and those strip look great, but too expensive, any other cheaper alternatives?

As far as bulbs, my house has the regular bulbs which look yellowish, are whites better or the warmer yellowish? or is it just personal preference?

for a white smart bulb, which would you guys recommend, in order of brightness and reliability

GE link, hue, LIFX, Cree

I like the Iris V2 contact snesors. light color is personal preference. Cree tend to be the most reliable, but there are many pros and cons

LIFX are the brightest.

For quality and versatility, I would recommend the hue bulbs connected to the hue bridge. :sunglasses:

I haven’t heard any reports of the Cree being more reliable than the Hue. Just a little less expensive.

*most reliable for being connected directly to the hub :slight_smile:

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How much are the hue whites for, on amazon they look pretty expensive compared to GE or Cree.

the Iris V2 sensor, can this be added to ST?

[quote=“tin369, post:30, topic:65139, full:true”]
How much are the hue whites for, on amazon they look pretty expensive compared to GE or Cree. [/quote]

Hue has two different white models. The plain “Hue White” should cost about $15. It’s always that price at Best Buy, and usually that price at target and Amazon.

Amazon also sometimes has it in a three pack for $40, which drops the price to $13.33 per bulb. :sunglasses:

This bulb has a round top like a regular incandescent shape.

The “Hue white ambiance” is a bulb that can change color temperature from warm white to cool white. That’s the one that costs more. It has a flat top.

Also, don’t get the GE link bulbs. They have a lot of problems. That’s why they are not on the official “works with smartthings” list.

So the hue A19 without the flat top is comparable to the GE Link and Cree and those also cant change color temperature.

only the hue white ambience and lifx can change color temperature.

Also, reading a lot of argument about switches/dimmers vs. smart bulbs. In a room where a switch controls multiple lights, I can understand going with dimmers, but for rooms where there is only 1 light for the switch, that becomes expensive, doesn’t it?

it does, but you also have to factor in ease of use. Bulbs getting turned of manually at the switch means they no longer respond to automatons since they don’t have power. bulbs also come on at full brightness whenever you have a power blip.

With the Hue make sure you factor in the cost of the hue hub (or whatever it is called).

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Hue bridge. :wink:

You can regularly get the hue bridge plus two Hue white bulbs for $70, and you may be able to find some on sale from time to time.

One bridge can support up to 50 bulbs.

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