New to the Game! (UK)

Hi All,

I’m wondering if anyone can help me. I’m new to home automation and smart home systems so I would appreciate any advice, trust me it’s all useful.

To give some context, I have a wide range of smart devices that I use currently. Due to me being quite new, I have had a bit of an ad-hoc approach and have never stuck to one particular brand or format. I’m still learning about it all and to be honest, some of it is slightly overwhelming. Which is where I am hoping you helpful people will come in! :slight_smile:

The systems I use currently are as follows:

tpLink Kasa Smart Lights (No Hub)
tpLink Kasa Smart Plugs (No Hub)
IKEA Tradfri Smart Lighting (Gateway Hub insitu)
HIVE Smart Heating (Hive Hub insitu)

I’m getting quite frustrated with the different systems and hubs that are required for these devices, I know there is only two thus far but I much prefer a universal approach and this is the ultimate aim. And I’m also hoping to free up some Ethernet ports! Anyway I digress…I use Google Home Assistant currently to integrate the features across these separare brands, but the separate physical hubs is somethings that bothers me as I’m somewhat of a minimalist shall we say.

However, to spare the expense of replacing all of the different ecosystems with one specific ecosystem (like I have indeed considered in the past), I am wondering whether the SmartThings Hub would be able to integrate and centralise all of these different systems for me, so I can cease using the separate hubs and just use the ST one instead? I hope this doesn’t seem like too much of an obvious question, but I really don’t have a clue otherwise. I only know the very basics but I keep reading about ST everywhere so it is only worth me asking. Advanced users…please be patient with me, as I do appreciate it.

Basically, what I’m really wanting to know is how can the SmartThings Hub benefit me and my situation as it stands above, in the simplest of terms?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance!

Kind Regards,
John.

At the very least you can certainly integrate the Kasa and Tradfri stuff into SmartThings. I have several Tradfri plugs and bulbs and directly link to my ST hub–never bothered with the IKEA one. I don’t know about the Hive.

Depending on how many things you end up adding, you may not be able to avoid multiple hubs. I am at 3 right now–SmartThings, Lutron, and Harmony. I don’t anticipate needing any others though.

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Welcome! :sunglasses: First rule of home automation: the model number matters. Some hive devices can be used with smartthings without their own hub, others cannot. This is even true when there is no additional hub involved: some TP link devices may work with smartthings while others don’t.

As far as the IKEA devices, you can use a smartThings hub instead of the IKEA gateway. In fact, you would have to, as each of these expects to be the primary controller. Some people do keep an original IKEA gateway so they can do firmware updates on their tried free devices since the smartthings hub can’t do that. Your choice.

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Oh, and as far as ethernet ports, you should be able to just add an ethernet “switch“ depending on the model number of your router. This is sort of like a power strip but for ethernet ports. It plugs into one port on your existing router and then it splits the signal into multiple ports. This is how you can plug-in six devices into a four port router. These are widely available and pretty inexpensive, it just depends on the specs of the router that you have. :sunglasses:

You didn’t say what country you were in, but since you mentioned hive I’m going to guess the UK. Here’s a typical ethernet switch, but there are many different brands:

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Thanks so much, that’s really helpful.

Does Hive integrate with ST then? I’ll probably end up getting rid of the IKEA Gateway to be honest, I really am not a fan of it.

In response to your other reply yes you are correct I am in the UK :slight_smile: I have a Virgin Media Hub 3.0, I have seen those ethernet extenders before and think I will get one!

Thanks again!

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Thanks Chris, that is very helpful.

What do you use your other hubs for if you don’t mind me asking, and do you have smart heating?

Besides a v3 ST hub, I have a hue bridge and Bond to control some ceiling fans. Could never get it to work with the fireplace, unfortunately. Between the 3, they handle everything I need (personally).

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First rule of home automation still applies. :wink:

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My apologies! When I said about Hive - I did mislead slightly when I said it was already insitu, it will be this coming Monday as I’ve only just purchased it. For the sake of convenience I just said I already had it as that is the heating thermostat I am going for. So I assume it will be the newest model and therefore will integrate with ST? Although I’ve also read somewhere that Hive has a closed communication protocol or something along those lines, so you’re tied into their products?

Is the Hue Bridge for your lighting system? Similar to the Tradfri gateway? Is there no way you can integrate that with ST? I’m assuming not otherwise you wouldn’t be using it but I’m surprised as ST seems to be quite limited as to what it can actually do up to now? But again I am no expert, and I’m sure there are other functional aspects of it that you use what I wouldn’t etc.

Yes it is. Our entire house is outfitted in Hue bulbs and accessories for lighting/light scenes. The only exception is our main bathroom. We just use a GE zwave dimmer switch in there to control all 4 of the vanity lights. I have my Hue bridge integrated into ST, thus having all of my bulbs controllable through Automations/Scenes (I’ve been switching all of my routines over to the new app from classic for the past week). You don’t need a hue bridge to add the hue bulbs to ST, but without it, the hue devices would be controlled over the cloud. Hue uses ZLL, which ST doesn’t support. So keeping them on the bridge, while giving the ST hub access to the bridge, all of my light controls stay local. I’d rather be able to control my lights if the internet goes down rather than rely on the cloud. We have hue dimmer switches for every room, so no internet connection is necessary.

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The only official integration between SmartThings and Hue is via the Hue bridge. There are lots of reasons for that. See the community FAQ (the topic title is a clickable link).

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Model number?

I’m not sure yet. I’ll come back on Monday when it’s installed and let you know :slight_smile:

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You can post a link what you have purchased.

Hi Gabor -

I didn’t even think of that to be honest, thanks! It’s the Hive Active Heating 2.

John

Ok, there is no direct integration with smartthings and you do need to have the hive hub installed and operational.

There is a custom integration that some community members have used in the past, but I don’t know if it works with that particular model. You should ask in the following thread:

[RELEASE] - Hive (Connect) V3.0 (British Gas Hive)

Didn’t see the question until now, John. Sorry for the delay. Besides the ST hub, the Lutron one is required for the Caseta smart switches I have. Then I have a Harmony Elite remote that uses their hub (long predates my foray into smart home stuff)–that drives the home theater and allows ST to “see” when activities are on or off. So for example, when I hit the Play A Movie activity on the Harmony, ST then sends a command to dim the living room lights to the Lutron hub.

No smart thermostat yet. I have an ecoBee 3 Lite sitting in its box. I just need my contractor to fish a new 5-lead control wire to replace the simple 2-lead one in the house.

Oh, and I happen to have two of almost exactly the switch model that JDRoberts linked. One at the main router by the computer, and one at the home theater setup. I’m using the Orbi mesh wifi for signal through the house, and all the HT devices hardwire to one of the switches, which is hooked to one of the Orbi satellites. I can drive multiple HD screens plus multiple mobile devices and laptop with no noticeable lag.

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Hi,

Thanks for all of the replies, I really appreciate it and apologies for the late response. So it looks a bit too complex for me to achieve at this point re: integrating the Hive Hub, so I was just going to abandon buying an ST Hub altogether.

BUT…when it comes to lighting, I am getting a bit bored of having to tell Google Assistant to switch off and on all the time using my voice, so I thought this is where the ST Hub may come in handy with associated motion sensors. Ideally I would like to control my lighting via motion and was initially going to replace all of my bulbs with Hive bulbs as they have motion sensors associated with the bulbs in their range. However, this would be costly as you can imagine - and Hive isn’t cheap.

Therefore, I was wondering if I am able to use the ST Hub to link both my tpLink kasa lights and IKEA Tradfri lights to the ST hub and control them via the motion sensors associated with said hub?
Would this be possible?

I hope this makes sense and again would appreciate any advice. Apologies in advance if this is the wrong thread and for changing the subject so quickly!

Kind Regards,
John.

First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ That hasn’t changed since the last five or six times I’ve posted it in the last week. LOL! :wink:

So…some TP Link devices and some Ikea Tradfri devices can indeed be integrated with a SmartThings setup and be triggered by some Motion sensors. But it depends on the specific models.

I don’t know that the whole thing would end up being less expensive than a hive set up, though, if you’ve already got the hive hub.