I’m very new to the world of smart/automated home, and I’m looking for some help and advice from those of you that have added smart bulbs to your SmartThings system. Santa brought me a SmartThings hub and 2 SmartPower Outlets. A key reason for me choosing SmartThings is because I have a Windows Phone and very few of the home automation systems and devices support Windows Phone.
I’d like to expand my SmartThings system with some smart bulbs. Scanning the discussion forum here, I’ve see mention of GE Link (uses Zigbee Home Automation), Phillips Hue (uses ZigBee Light Link) and TCP (not sure which technology is used).
As far as I can tell, each of these 3 can stand alone (outside of SmartThings), with their own hub for controlling & coordinating the bulbs - and each vendor seems to have iOS and Android (and NO Windows Phone) apps to manage that control.
In addition, from perusing these forums, it looks people have had some degree of success adding each of these 3 to their SmartThings system. I’m looking for some guidance with deciding which lighting system to go with, along with detailed steps for adding bulbs to SmartThings.
- From a capabilities and SmartThings integration/stability perspective, how would you rate GE, Phillips and TCP?
- I realize that Phillips bulbs costs more - Any other big Pros or Cons of the vendors that I should consider?
- If I’m using SmartThings, do I NEED to purchase a hub with any of the 3 (i.e. would I miss any capabilities by not having a vendor-specific hub), or can I just purchase a few bulbs and pair them directly to SmartThings?
- Are there any documentation or guides that cover how to add an manage bulbs from each of the vendors?
- Are there any other smart bulb vendors that I should look at?
- If you had to start from scratch today, which bulbs would you go with?
Thanks in advance for your insight!!