Subjective layout question

Got a quick non-technical question will like to keep back from the group. This is related to where and how you are assigning the devices on SmartThings app.

  1. For circuits and switches that are not tie to a room, e.g. hallway lights, stair lights. You tie them to a nearby room or make the stairs or hallway a room?

  2. For entrance, do you tie your entrances to a room that the entrances go into? If so, which side of the room do you pick (e.g. garage door going into your mud room, would this door contact go in with the garage of mudroom) or group all entrance as a group like Room for all Entrances?

I am sure everyone has their own method for grouping devices. For myself, I tend to group some items together for simplicity and because my mind processes easier.

  • group all my door locks, sensors and associated lights
  • group all outside lights and devices as one group
  • group together certain areas such as the laundry room, hallway outside and the stairwell since they are basically together.
  • group my sensors together
  • grouped nest devices into one group
  • group for hubs, bridges and controllers
  • everything else is grouped into their respective rooms

Just remember that there is a limit of 20 rooms in the new app.

But I must admit, I have reorganized several times over the years as I have added more devices and rethought the old way of grouping.

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At our house, physical devices are assigned to a physical space, and spaces are defined by however people normally call them. If we call the Light in “the hallway Light,” then we would need a room called “hallway“ in the app. But we are three roommates and there are in normal times a lot of different people going in and out of the house. We want everything to feel intuitive.

As far as contact sensors, again, it’s based by how we think about it. Typically we name the sensor based on whatever we call that door in every day life. So if we call it “the front door“ then we would call the sensor attached to it “the front door sensor.“

In your example, if you call that door “the mudroom door“ then I would call it “the mudroom door sensor.“ if you call that door “the garage door“ then I would call it “the garage door sensor.“

It just keeps things simple. :sunglasses:

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Have not try it yet, but can the app do nested room? 1st floor , than it go into living room, kitchen, etc

No, you can’t nest rooms. You can sort rooms on the main dashboard…that is about as close as you will get. But if you logout/login or uninstall/reinstall the app, you lose the sorting.

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I have a room I call “Core”, as in “core household functions”. It has the hub, thermostat, front door lock, siren, smoke detector, and a few virtual switches that affect multiple rooms.

I also have a room called “People” for all our presence sensors.

Everything else is tied to a physical room (family, kitchen, garage, etc).

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Yep. Rooms in ST don’t seem to gain you much outside the app and the IDE (maybe with Bixby they might but I’ve never used that) so I prefer to have the room name as part of the device name, and then group for whatever I find makes the most sense for how I do use the app and IDE. Generally that means grouping by type rather than physical location.

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Also your requirements May change over time.

Originally, we named all the devices with the room name included. So “bedroom ceiling light“, “kitchen ceiling light “, “family room ceiling light,“ etc.

That had the advantage of making each name unique and very clear in automations.

However, once we started using lots of voice control that introduced multiple issues. For one thing, we would have a zillion devices with “kitchen“ in their name and that could cause confusion. Also, it became a lot to say. On the plus side, we stopped having to say a lot of the names at all once echo had location awareness: we could just say “turn the lights off“ and the lights in that room would go off. :sunglasses:. Guests didn’t have to know the individual device names at all anymore.

So at that point we renamed a lot of items. We took the room name out of the individual device name. We Took numbers and apostrophes out of the device names. And we started giving them names that guests might not ever know but that were short and intuitive for the people who live here. So “entry“ for the light in the entryway, “green lamp“ for the green lamp in the family room, “tower“ for a standing floor lamp in one housemate’s room That he’s just always called a tower. My other housemate has a bedside lamp called “Waldo.“ (We don’t ask. :wink:)

The point is we started out with highly structured techie looking multilevel type database names. And we ended up with pretty crazy short unique device names based on whatever the people who happen to live here actually call those devices. And we let echo sort it all out with the “lights on“ generic command.

Both systems worked well for us at the time, but the change worked well for us once we started using voice a lot.

So it’s really a matter of finding what will work best for your own household. :sunglasses:

(BTW, HomeKit does have zones as well as rooms, and Alexa lets you put the same device into multiple groups (like “family room“ and “downstairs“) so we have been able to take advantage of that in our voice commands as well.)

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Bingo. I am barely 3 months into this journey and have already re-imagined my setup several times.

First, I named things with nerd precision (Exterior Front Entry Light in room Outdoor). When I started using webCoRE, the names looked appropriate in a programming environment.

I really wanted absolute precision, but the robot vacuum presented my first challenge. The charging base is at the edge of the dining room, but it really belongs to the entire first floor. So, Floor1 became a room. Now, I am really liking @tleroy’s scheme of grouping items that have broad scope.

After Prime Day, I started converting a Fire HD tablet into a Fully Kiosk Browser with Alexa. Alexa is able to give things different names - “turn on the Family Room Lamp”, while Smartthings still knows it as “FR Lamp Outlet”. I am trying to think of how my wife would say things from across the room. We at least have a common understanding of what rooms are called. COVID is keeping me from thinking too much about making it intuitive for a guest, pet sitter, etc.

My yard is a whole separate nightmare. I have about 12 outlets next to trees, presumably for string lights. They currently have names like N Mesquite Outlet, NE Mesquite Outlet, SW Palo Verde Outlet. Not sure how I am going to clean up that mess.

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