Please help. New to smartthings and I’m not sure what to do first

Start with something simple. Of the things you listed, I’d rank them as follows from simplest to most complex

  1. Door and window contacts. The challenge here will mainly be getting a strong mesh. Start close to the hub, plan for powered devices (battery operated devices don’t relay messages)

  2. Switches. My experience is Z-wave, but if you’re doing a lot of Zigbee door and window sensors, using Zigbee switches will greatly help your mesh. If you don’t own one, buy a “non-contact tester” for working with 120v wiring! The age of your house will be a factor, most smart switches need a neutral wire accessible in the box. Older wiring may not have that.

  3. Thermostats. Avoid Nest if you want to control your thermostats with SmartThings. Google has recently shut down the “works with Nest” API without providing a replacement. Beyond that, I’ve got no advice.

  4. Smart locks. From what I read here, these seem to have a whole host of their own challenges. If you end up with mostly Zigbee devices, stick with Zigbee for any locks.

What’s the difference between zigbee and z wave?

Are the interior walls concrete, or only the outside walls?

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For my master bedroom interior and exterior. For the rest of the house just exterior and roof

It’s like saying what’s the difference between an electric stove and a gas stove. They are two different ways of doing the same thing. Some aspects are exactly the same: you turn a knob, the pan gets hot. But the technical method for accomplishing that is actually quite different.

The following FAQ will discuss the differences in terms of what they would mean to you when setting up a home automation system:

Because smartthings supports both protocols, my first suggestion would be that you just get an inexpensive device, either a plug-in pocket socket or a sensor, of each protocol and try them in several different rooms in the house and see if one is having more difficulty than the other. you may not notice any difference, but it’s a good test to try before you start buying a lot of equipment.

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In that case, we can go back to the more typical situations. :sunglasses: Don’t put the hub in the bedroom. You should be fine with either Z wave or zigbee in the rest of the house.

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Well my kitchen is center of house I can run a ethernet cable there

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for thermostats I use Hive and the hive (connect) v3 Smartapp, I am in the UK, so I am not sure if that makes a difference here. I know that Hive is available in the US, however it may not work with the Smartapp without some code changes to the hive API code.

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That won’t help either Zigbee or Z-wave both of which are “pure wireless”

Both Zigbee and Z-wave create mesh networks where one device can relay messages to a next nearer device until it gets to the desired destination. The two protocols create completely separate networks.

And they are separate from your Wi-Fi and Ethernet TCP/IP network.

More info in the articles linked by others here

I get that HalD. Here was my logic behind that. If put it in my master bedroom next to modem it is surrounded by 4 concrete walls. So my thought was put hard wired switches in master bedroom and run an ethernet cable to kitchen which is on the other side of my bedroom. Wall and center of house. Place hub there. That way I would have more reception of zigbee zwave throughout the house.


Ah! Of course. I answered before morning coffee. That should help a lot.

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So currently I run to different networks in my home. They are both different entities would that be an issue?

Not likely to be a Problem as long as you keep the hub/routers at least 3m from each other. Most people are running multiple networks but don’t even realize it. :wink:

For example, the Phillips hue bridge forms its own mini network regardless of what other hub you have.

An Amazon echo plus will also form a zigbee network if you add any Digby devices directly to it.

If your home has a smart meter, that’s likely another Zigbee network Even though it’s one you don’t have any access to.

I have 14 different networks in my home right now. The security system has one, the Lutron smart bridge is another, we have two separate Hue bridges on separate accounts, there’s a medical monitoring system… Just lots of stuff.

We do have some issues with an area where we have boosted Wi-Fi drowning out some zigbee in the same room, but that’s just a matter of locating devices appropriately. :sunglasses:

Has anyone tried zooz or inovelli light switch?

Both are very popular in the community, and both companies have representatives here who can answer any questions. :sunglasses:

Both are small companies with innovative designs and the latest zwave technology at relatively inexpensive prices.


Zooz vs. Inovelli Switch?


I have 18 Zooz switches and dimmers, ZEN26 and 27.

Was attracted to them by the fact they can replace the line side of a 3-way without either replacing or rewiring the other side. I’ve had a couple of minor problems, all resolved with the help of excellent support.


I have a ceiling fan with light in the dining room mainly used just for the light and fan switch off on motor most of the time by pull chain on the side. Whould it be an issue?

By that do you mean your WiFi SSIDs? Or the various different protocols (i.e., Zigbee, Z-Wave)?

When I started out I ran two separate WiFi SSIDs. It worked ok, but was going to be a bigger issue as I expanded the smart home projects. For that, I ditched my older repeater router in the middle of the house and invested in an Orbi mesh WiFi setup. Now the whole house has one SSID for everything.

As to the rest, I currently have Z-Wave, Zigbee and Lutron’s ClearConnect networks running. No issues there, they all have different signal specs and don’t step on each other.

I have the ST hub placed in the center of the house and have added devices spreading out from there. That’s worked quite well. So far I’ve only run into one range issue, easily solved by adding a similar-protocol smart plug as a repeater.

So I am assuming and please correct me if I am wrong.
As long as hub is connected to the internet via ethernet it doesn’t matter if connected to modem on one side of the house or my router on other side of the house which is being fed hard wire from modem. So as long as I create a solid zwave and/or zigbee mesh I should be ok?


Fans require a bit of care. Basically you need to make absolutely sure you never connect a fan or any electric motor to a dimmer. Fires are a real thing.

Most fans allow you to run separate power to the fan from your wall switch.

If you have separate switches / power for light and fan at your wall:

  • you can use a dimmer on the lights side of the circuit and either an on/off switch or a fan controller (read: a device listed to control fans, like GE/Jasco’s Fan Controller, NOT a Dimmer) for the fan.

If you do not have separate power for the fan (and rewiring is not an option)
you can either:

  • Use an on/off switch at the wall and control the entire fan as a unit (keeping your chains as they are)
  • Use micro switches inside the fan housing to control the lights / fan independently. (leaving the wall switch always on)

There are also other options, but they are all basically variations on this theme.


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