Newby looking for some guidance (UK)

Hi everyone,

I’m a complete newbie to all thing ST and pretty new to smart home and automated living apart from a few light bulbs here and there. After a pretty poor experience I moved from Alexa to GA and so far OK until I stumbled upon ST. Well a few weeks later, I’ve spent a small fortune on gadgets etc and found your forums to of been a great help, however, there’s a few things I’m still a bit unsure of and would appreciate some guidance:

  1. is it worth creating my own system such as home assistance. From reading their guidelines I feel semi confident I can get it up and running
  2. now here’s a really stupid question about smart apps, what are they and how do I access them. I’ve used the standard apps for our locks, speakers, lighting etc… but the more in depth ones such as creating virtual switches,. I seem to be hitting a blank wall. It’s probably something really simple, but is there a walk through guide maybe?

Also, being in the UK and living in an apartment block our whole apartment is electricity only. We are upgrading to electric underfloor heating, I’ve seen a few z-wave plus controllers, any recommendations on the best one that could work almost like a central heating system?

Anyway thanks in advance, I’ve been driving the other half crazy with my tinkering and experiments :joy:

Just to address part of your question - Home Assistant would be a good fit for you if a) you like messing about with tech and b) you are keen on the idea of not being internet dependent for operating your smart home. It’s harder (but possible if you limit yourself and buy lots of buttons) to be offline with SmartThings.


Thanks for the reply, I’m retraining for a career in OT, so seems a good way to get a bit of tech experience and have a play. I like that ST is almost foolproof so to date most of our appliances are ST compatible.

Hey Kayn,

Welcome! I got on the smartthings train a couple of months ago and it’s been an enjoyable ride. Home Automation is an expensive hobby that’s for sure. Especially living here in Australia where it takes so long for things to be released here and you spend around $100 on wifi plugs years ago when now you can finally get smartthings zigbee energy sensing plugs for $50! Anyway…I wont rant i’ll try and help you.

There is plenty of tinkering you can do with smartthings, I wouldn’t necessarily go looking at Home Assistant just yet. It sounds like you haven’t looked at the IDE yet. if you go here: then click ‘my locations’ up the top left after signing in. You then click my home which takes you to the appropriate smartthings web address for your location. After that you can check out your devices and configurations. This is also where you add device handlers, smart apps and virtual switches.

I’ve had other members recommend not going with zwave products, it seems when you have a lot of them you run into problems. It seems zigbee is the way to go. I would suggest going to youtube and watching some video’s there, maybe specifically search for how to install webcore, that should be one of the first if not the first ‘smartapp’ you should install. ‘The Bearded Tech Guy’ is one that comes to mind…he is doing a series on webcore.

Enjoy sending your mrs crazy! :slight_smile:

That link will not work for most people in the UK: it’s the wrong shard. :disappointed_relieved:

When posting to the Forum, please use the universal URL, it will automatically direct people to the correct shard for their account.

Welcome! See the custom code FAQ for an explanation of terms and what a smartapp is.

FAQ: An Overview of Using Custom Code in SmartThings (SmartThings Classic)

That said, these days you probably don’t need them. Between WebCoRE and the new Rules API you should be able to create any rule you need. See the following:

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings

There aren’t many people using both Home Assistant and SmartThings unless they’re doing a lot with MQTT, and there’s a new SmartThings MQTT interface in development that should handle that. :sunglasses:

Rubbish… I’m in the UK and use the same link, even clicked your link and took me straight to IDE

Well I spent 7 hours last night having a play around, accidentally created duplicates and then triplets of devices but created my first virtual switches. Even managed to get my hearing working with ST, can’t even remember how I did it, but it’s working. I did however set the house alarm off a few times

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Maybe they’ve become more joined up lately. The other advice I keep seeing repeated is that only the SmartLighting automations run locally. It’s not been true in my experience, since both SmartLighting and normal Automations run locally if and only if all the devices affected also run locally. Though I want to distance myself from the first word in your post. I’d not reply to a person who goes out of their way to help, in that manner.


There are some UK accounts on the original shard, so I’ve edited my post above to say that most UK accounts are not. This has been a common issue in the forum, you can find many posts on it. It’s easier to just give the universal link, which is

The URL:

That should work for everyone, regardless of what region they live in or what hub they have. :sunglasses:

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Hello @Kayn_Matthews! Welcome to the Community! as @JDRoberts says, nowadays you won’t need to create an SmartApp with everything ST is providing, I strongly recommend the Rules API for complex rules, as it allows you to create rules with multiple conditions.
I also encourage you to share what kind of things you would like to do, so we can recommend the best for your case.

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Hey there, thank you. I’ve already decided I’m going to stay put with ST. It’s a much more user friendly system than Alexa, which is great for my technophobe other half.

So a couple of things that I’m looking for help and recommendations with really if you wouldn’t mind? I currently have two roller style blinds on the Tuya platform that I’ve managed to bring over, but I’m looking for companies that offer the twist/Venetian style blinds. So far I’ve only come across Somas that offer that functionality?

I’m only very basic when it comes to computing etc (for now) so I’m taking it at smalls steps. I’m just getting my head around the smart apps. I spent a whole day searching the app store and Google play a couple of weeks ago until I realised they were internal apps :see_no_evil: I am however thinking what’s the best way to get my security system setup with automatic rules and conditions as I’m not the best at remembering to set the alarm. Currently I have Simplisafe inside the building and Arlo cameras in the garden and out the back. Arlo has been pretty simple to setup but I’m getting conflicting information about Simplisafe.

Thanks for all your help!

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