Newbie Guidance


#1

Good Morning- I am new to SmartThings and just joined this community. There is so much great information - it’s just overwhelming but I’m afaraid I can’t see the forest for the trees! For example, I have a Schlage Connect lock and am really interested in enhancing it with a Smartapp (I think that’s what I need to do) but don’t know where to start or what to do. I hate to ask a bunch of dumb questions right off the bat (I’ll do that later), and was wondering if there are resources for beginners that can help me get up to speed. I appreciate any help/advice. Thanks!


(jkp) #2

Welcome to SmartThings. There are two apps available for locks you should check out.

There is a free version from @ethayer

There is paid version from @RBoy

You should check out both.

:slight_smile:


#3

Welcome! :sunglasses:

As you’ve noticed, SmartThings is very powerful, but not very intuitive. But you can always ask questions in the forums and people will be glad to help.

@jkp has given you good advice on the locks.

On a more general level, here are two good resources for newcomers.

First, this describes the various options for controlling your devices ( this is a clickable link):

Next, if you look in the community – created wiki at the quick browse lists in the project report section and look at the list for “get started” you’ll find lots of topics of interest to new people. Everything from “the top 10 things to do with SmartThings” to an “impress your friends” List. Lots of topics, both practical and just for fun stuff.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section#Quick_Browse_Links_for_Project_Reports.2FQuestions

The quick browse lists are always a good place to start, but again if you can’t find what you’re looking for, there will always be forum members who are glad to help.

(Because this is an international forum and the device selection does vary from region to region, just make sure you specify what country you’re in when you ask specific questions.)


(Dave Gutheinz) #4

Great advice. Some other things to note for newbies:

  1. SmartThings compatible. The term SmartThings compatible is being thrown around. It means that the capability is native to SmartThings; however, it does NOT mean all functions work. (Example is the Sengled Element Plus Bulb listed as compatible. However, the color temperature function does not work with the native SmartThings application.)

  2. More functionality available? For SmartThings compatible devices, if the device is short critical (to you) functionality, check in this forum for an enhanced device handler or Smart App. (Example: native Lock Support is shallow versus community developed device handlers.)

  3. Devices without listing as SmartThings compatible may indeed work using community developed device handlers. Search as above or a simple search for the device name (i.e., Schlage Lock) will show discussions that point to released device handlers and smart applications. This is particularly true for wifi connected devices.

  4. Beware of rabbit holes. Example: I had some legacy TP-Link bulbs and plugs w/o SmartThings support. I had to write my own device handlers and have been on a six month journey of discovery to a final, cloud-cloud based product. It has been fun and rewarding; however, time consuming.

  5. ASK, ASK, ASK. Find the forum topic that matches your device or create a new one. The only dumb question is the question not asked.


(www.rboyapps.com - Make your home your butler!) #5

You will find a wealth of resources on these forums. @JDRoberts has put together an amazing list of apps available on the community, both paid and free. Check them all out for ideas no what you can do with them and use cases. You can find more ideas on lock specific uses cases at www.rboyapps.com
There are lots of ways to achieve what you want but start by trying to figure out what you want to do with your locks and st environment/home then work towards how to get there.


#6

This is great! Thanks so much everyone-- I’ll get started on my homework.