Recomendation for Newbie please

Bought the SmartThings hub and ordered some door/windows sensors. Is there a way to have the system announced when the door/window is opened? What do I need to get in order to make that happen?

I also want to get some in-wall light switches to control the lights while I go on vacation to turn the lights on/off automatically in the evening to make the home looks occupied. I checked and I have the neutral wire in the existing switches.

There are a few things I want to do. Is there anywhere I can start reading about and quickly pick this up?


The first thing you need is a device that can speak announcements. People used to do this with an android tablet or phone, or a fancy speaker like Samsung or Bose. But now if you’re patient and you’re willing to do some technical work you can do it with SmartThings and a $49 Amazon Dot. :sunglasses:

The set up is pretty complicated. You’re going to have to set up an Amazon developer account and then there are two different community – created smart apps which can do these kind of announcements for you. They have slightly different features. One is AskAlexa and the other is EchoSistant. There are many community members who will be glad to help you set up either one. So at this point I think that’s the most popular way. Either that or get one of the fancy speakers.

You can find information about both on the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki. Look in the project report section on the “voice” list.

As far as doing other things with SmartThings. I suggest you look in the same place, but look at the “Get Started” List. It will bring you back to these forums but with a selected group of threads, everything from “top 10 things to do with SmartThings” to “what device should I get next?” So lots of interesting stuff, both the fun and the practical. :tada:


I thought you want able to use the dot as a speaker yet?
Do you have any links I can try to set it up ,
I’ve already got the Amazon developer account with ask alexa setup but think it’s probably outdated now as I’ve not used it in months.
I do use Lanannouncer and Big talker to send text to my tablet which works well by I prefer the voice they use on the echo :slight_smile:

@JDRoberts I didn’t think the Echo could be used for announcements, only in response to a question directly asked to the Echo skill…

@why hy You can still use a tablet or a computer running VLC (Tablet options have been covered above and VLC can be done via a VLCThing device type handler).

In terms of how to do different things… then please do use the search :slight_smile:

In terms of a notification if you leave windows open then the below app I believe does this (after an easy search):

Or Big Talker:

For vacation lighting:

Alternatively CoRE or webCoRE allow you to build your own fully customised rules for pretty much anything!

Personally however I’m using an app I’ve written myself which handles all my lighting, security, notifications, scenes etc etc which does both of the above you have asked for and in fact a lot of other things… it’s searchable under SmarterHome but support is limited as I am the only developer and as far as I am aware the only user (I haven’t intended for it to be a mass used app as I don’t have the time to support it) :slight_smile: The app however is incredibly powerful and customisable and built to make all things play nice together, rather than a bunch of independent apps…

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