Smart home starting point, multimedia and lights, etc (UK)

I’m now planning how to install a smart system in my home, at first it will be kitchen multi-media and probably lights as well as a smart zoned heating system. I’ve got a Samsung Galaxy note pro with Android that will be installed in the kitchen for web browsing playing apple music and as a central controller for all smart devices. I might also use iphones for certain things as the system grows but the tablet will have everything on.

From day 1 i need to install a zoned heating system, the best way to do this is with smart trv’s that connect via a controller to turn the boiler on if any one room gets too cold while keeping the trv’s closed in rooms that are already warm enough.
From day 2 i want to set up all 5 lighting circuits in the kitchen on smart switches with physical wall switches and controls through the tablet.

I want to be sure that the platform i choose is expandable to things like outdoor lights, electric gates etc but most of that can be achieved as long as smart switches or relays are available that i can wire in to the other systems.

So currently I’m thinking about a Samsung SmartThings hub with lightwave lighting and lightwave trv’s. Does this seem like a sensible approach?
Will i need the Lightwave link or link+ devices or will the individual components talk directly with the SmartThings hub?
I assume i can set up voice control for some things using the Samsung Galaxy note?

Any suggestions or help is welcomed.


What country are you in? The device selection does vary. :sunglasses:

I’m in the UK

LightWaveRF is indeed realistically the only wired smart switch solution currently, it is however only available as dimmers, there is no switch only option.

You can do a wired switch and/or dimmer solution using a combination of micro modules and standard momentary switches, e.g. Fibaro, Aeotec, Insteon, etc.

For outdoor lights it depends on the type, wall mounted aka bulkhead style lights could be treated just like an indoor light, garden lights like path lights might be better via Philips Hue and that can be linked to Smartthings via the Hue bridge.

Yes Lightwave could be used for heating, I am not sure it would do hot water as well though. Others used with Smartthings include Hive, Drayton Wiser, Tado, Netatmo, Nest - although Google have made Nest impractical these days. There are probably others not listed here.

For voice control you are best looking for products that can both link to Smartthings and directly to your choice of Smart Assistant e.g. Alexa.

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Hi John,

Thanks for replying. I looked again at the lightwave site about hot water control and they say to use one of their smart switches and connect it in place of the manual switch that controls the hot water. This isn’t helpful though when most systems have that button built in to a controller so i guess i need to look for a system from a heating company that links to the SmartThings system or directly to the tablet but has an all inclusive wall mounted controller as well.

If i was to run neutrals down to my light switches does this give me more choice for light switches?

An important point i need to understand at the moment is do i need to buy a controller / hub for every system or is there one that can do a multitude of applications? It would be good to avoid having to buy a SmartThings hub and a lightwave hub and a heating system hub and a media control hub. It must be simpler and cheaper if one hub can talk to all devices regardless of system so long as they are compatible.


As far as multiple hubs, it just depends on the specific model. In most cases Z wave devices and Many zigbee devices can be managed just with a smartthings hub. But anything else will probably require its own hub or bridge unless it’s made specifically for smartthings.

It’s not that big a deal, because generally you set it up with its own hub and app, but after that you can create all your rules (called “automations“ on the smartthings platform) and do your every day interactions through the smartthings app.

If you have neutrals at the switchbox you definitely have a wider selection of light switches to consider, particularly some Z wave switches.

See the UK lighting FAQ:

VFAQ: Lighting Control Options for UK SmartThings

Think of it this way. If you didn’t have a smart home system, would you expect your thermostat to also be able to turn on your entry lights? Or start your sprinklers? It’s not surprising that there are different control devices for different sub systems in the home. :sunglasses:

again, as long as it’s not something that you have to deal with every day, that is you have a unified interface for just turning devices on and off, The fact that there are different subsystems with their own individual controllers used when you first set up the devices doesn’t really affect you much.

So I think most people find that the important criteria is that there be a unified control interface, an “umbrella” interface if you like, rather than that there be only a single hub. :open_umbrella: Most people find a unified app is much more important to system satisfaction than a single hub.

Yes running neutrals will increase your choices but the choices of full-blown wired switches in the UK is still very poor, there are far more options for micro modules or similar for use with ‘dumb’ switches to convert them in to smart switches.

It is worth looking at the link @JDRoberts mentioned for a summary of the UK lighting options.

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