Thoughts on my smart home project

Hello Community!

I am new to house automation, but during the past year I saved some $$ so I could buy some cool stuff for my home, uhulll :slight_smile:

As I am new, I decided to post my idea over here just do double check if everything would work as I planned. I know that in real life things don’t go as planned hahaha

I want to avoid having a bunch of different apps on my phone to control different things.

Things I will be buying on Round 1

  • Sonos 1 for my room (Play music + alarm clock)
  • Samsung SmartThings Hub (Control everything, main hub)
  • Logitech Harmony Hub (Control the entertainment system, TV, PS3 and etc…), from what I saw, I can control this hub via the ST Hub
  • Philips Hue A-19 (alarm clock and turn them on/off)
  • Philips TapSwitch (just want to control the lights without touching my phone)
  • Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor (know when I get home and play music, turn the lights on/off)
  • Samsung SmartThings Outlet (Turn my water boiler on, I love to drink tea
    whenever I wake up)
  • Door Smart Lock (I haven’t found the perfect one yet)

Things I want to buy on Round 2

  • Sonos 1 for my bathroom (Play music)
  • iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning

For the Philips Hue, do I need the Philips Hub or can I connect them directly to the ST Hub?

Has anyone used the new ST hub already? From what I read, the old one had some issues with the cloud that the new one wanted to solve.

Thanks people!

The Harmony hub can’t be controlled by SmartThings. I’m pretty sure this is Logitechs issue and it looks like they don’t have any plans to fix it. You can supposedly control SmartThings with Harmony but not the other way around.

SmartThings can’t control Philips hue lights directly. You need the Philips hub. Philips just announced version 2 of their hub. You may want to wait a couple of weeks to get the latest version.

Your phone can act as a presence (arrival) sensor. No need to buy a standalone sensor unless you want to give it to someone without a smart phone.

While this used to be true, the two-way integration was quietly pushed out for all customers with the V2 version of the app. You will never see to harmony smart apps. Harmony connect, and “Logitech Harmony triggers”.

So now you get some really nice integration, although you do have to do some set up work to make it work.

Many of us are using Amazon echo to control harmony activities by voice now. This is done by having smartthings trigger harmony activities. For example, I can say “Alexa, turn on Netflix” and the echo will tell smart things to turn on a virtual switch which then triggers a harmony activity. Very cool.

You don’t get full control of harmony, and some of it’s a little wonky. For example if you want to be able to make the volume go up you have to have two separate harmony activities and keep switching back-and-forth between them.

But you do get a lot of control. For those of us who want to use voice (I’m quadriparetic) it’s especially nice.

But you can definitely have a SmartThings routine start the TV or some other harmony – controlled device.

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Thanks, I didn’t realized it was fixed. I thought everyone was still doing the IFTTT hack. I’ll try to get it set up when I get home.

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Again, this used to be true, but things have changed just in the last month or so.

In this case it’s changing for a different reason. Smart things actually could always control individual Phillips hue bulbs without a Hue bridge but the problem was that once you attach those bulbs to the SmartThings hub you could never reset them again because Phillips doesn’t use the blink method for a factory reset. That cause a ton of problems for various different reasons

However, with the release in September of a $30 handheld zigbee controller, you can now easily reset the bulbs.

So although the official recommendation is still that you do use the bridge, there are a number of community members who connect Hue bulbs directly to the smartthings hub instead. It’s a personal choice.

I continue to use the Hue bridge because there are other third-party integration and that I want to make with Hue that do require the bridge. While for most home automation devices a device can only be connected to one controller, the hue bridge is unusual in that it will allow connections to multiple other controllers. It really is more of a “bridge” in that sense. So I do find it useful. :sunglasses:

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I would ditch the HUE tap and get an Amazon echo…
The tap can only control HUE lights, the Echo can control everything…

Last I heard the harmony integration was working both directions (it is for me anyways)

And, if programmable voice announcements aren’t a required feature, and you can settle for a little less bass, the Echo could replace the Sonos as well…


It’s a good start, two suggestions though, based on personal experience. First, just like @Mike_Maxwell mentioned, I would definitely ditch the Hue Tap. If voice control is not something that interests you, then get an Aeon minimote. You can do so much more with it. With Tap you’d be stuck on changing the colors of your Hue bulbs. And second, instead of a presence sensor, I would get a motion sensor. You can use a service like Life 360 for presence, which is free and some say it’s even more reliable. With a motion sensor you can actually set up a lot more automated activities when you are in your home.

There is no integration with SmartThings yet for this device, the much cheaper 500/600 series work great with the thinking cleaner add on. The 700/800 series is currently on Kickstarter. If you are hard set on getting your 880 to work with SmartThings you’ll definitely want to help fund it.

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The echo is the main way we control lights at our house, it’s great. :sunglasses: But there are many different devices you can use. See the following topic (this is a clickable link)

Get the newer models which are much brighter.

As @Mike_Maxwell said. Ditch it. If you really want it get the new Philips Hue dimmer switch for xAF factor. Have 6 sitting unopened ;). Did not install it yesterday as I am currently malfunctioning (not feeling too good) :wink:

How about waiting on the new Elite series?

Phone presence works well for some people, not for others. the arrival sensor works well for some people not for others. There are a lot of local issues so sometimes you just have to play around to see what works. I ended up using a combination of the arrival center and an iBeacon to address some local interference issues I had with the arrival sensor and a neighbor’s boosted Wi-Fi.

The biggest advantage of the arrival sensor over the phone presence is that the phone presence may think you left the house every time you reboot the phone. And most people reboot their phone a lot more often than they think they do. The arrival sensor is" always on "device except for once or twice a year when you change the battery.

The arrival sensor can also be given to someone who doesn’t have a smart phone.

But presence detection is just one of those things where different things work for different people.

Hello everyone!

Thanks for allll the comments! They were really helpfull, I will be tweaking the setup.

I really loved the idea of using the Echo to control the lights and everything.

Does ST play along with Apple’s HomeKit? I did search about it, but couldn’t find anything.

@smart, from what I saw the Elite series will only include a better remote, no? The hub seems to be exactly the same.


No clue, buddy! I will think a hundred times to spend that much on yet another harmony remote. For the ultimate homes neither me or my wife can recognize the favorites channels icon on those: Haven’t read the specs on the elite series even! 349 plus taxes…:smile:

As part of their security protocol, HomeKit requires a hardware piece that the SmartThings hubs do not have. It’s possible that sometime in the future there will be a SmartThings hub that does have a HomeKit chip in it, Samsung haven’t ruled it out, but it’s also not on any specific time line. So for right now no there’s no SmartThings/HomeKit integration.

How does Philips crack it each and every time… They always find a way! Respect!

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To add to @JDRoberts comment there is a thread on Homekit that includes a some of Smartthings stance on the subject.