Total newbie help required (UK)


(jeff) #1

Hi all I’m soon to be moving into a new home in the UK and looking for advice and recommendations please.
id like to achieve the following all controlled by iPhone if possible.

2 external cameras.
4 door sensors
external Sounder (alarm style)
control of heating
pet immune type sensors

any help is gratefully received
cheers jeff :slight_smile:


#2

Welcome! I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own setup.

When you say control of heating, are you looking for a wall thermostat like a nest or something similar? Or are you looking for valve control for radiators?

That is, what your heating system now and how is it currently controlled? Or have you not selected the actual home yet?


#3

Also a reminder to other members posting here that the OP is in the UK, so please confine responses to devices available there. :sunglasses:


(jeff) #4

its currently a combi boiler for the heating, with a basic room stat. and yes home selected :slight_smile:


(Kraeg) #5

I might be able to help with a bit of that:

Heating - 2 that I know work well - Nest and Hive. Nest is a DIY install which replaces your thermostat on the wall ( providing you have one)

I went with Hive by British Gas, they send an engineer round to install it for you and doesn’t require a thermostat. That’s all included in the price.

External cameras depends on what you want them to do. I have a stand alone DVR system which I pipe through a program called BlueIris which means SmartThings can do bits with it. Arlo is another solution, outdoor rated and also run on battery power.

Door sensors are 10 to a dozen, SmartThings ones seem to be ok, I personally starting to like the Sensative Strips more and more as they are 10 year battery and hide in the door jam - so you can’t even see they are there…but only report open/close (whereas SmartThings one reports vibration and temperature)

As for siren - I’ve not got one (I have a stand alone alarm system) and I wouldn’t get one (yet) as I trip my SmartThings Smart Home Monitor a little too often and I would annoy the neighbors. Plus SmartThings isn’t 100% reliable…yet.

Other people will have loads of ideas for you, Vesternet is a good place to look at devices (just run a search on these forums to check the device is compatable) and their support is top notch…but to make it simple, if it’s ZWave or Zigbee you should be ok

Hope that helps a little

Kraeg

P.s. Sorry if that’s not written very well - I’m on my mobile


(jeff) #6

STAR !! thanks for the recommendations, ill probably go down the hive route and checkout what it can do with smart things hub as the brain.
the door strips sound great :smile:
ill leave the siren for now, as I agree the annoyance factor is probably high lol
you mentioned cameras, how much integration can you have? motion detect and view live on iphone?

thanks for the assistance
jeff


(Kraeg) #7

My camera have a few ties in.

I have motion alerts for outside (BlueIris does the alert and then trips a sensor in SmartThings, from that I can do anything like turn on lights etc)

I have it pipe the video feed into ActionTiles (a web panel for SmartThings - search the forums for info or go to www.actiontiles.com) I have several tablets around the house running this so I can view cameras all the time

You can also pipe the feed direct into the SmartThings app if you want to view the stream via the iOS app (not sure about android) using the Generic Video Camera App (think that’s it name)

Seriously look at ActionTiles though - good bit of kit :slight_smile:
Kraeg


(jeff) #8

thanks ill check them out :slight_smile:


#9

Zwave should be compatible with SmartThings, although some older “scene controllers” may not work as expected. And because zwave frequency varies by region, you have to make sure you’re ordering one that has the correct frequency for your hub.

Zigbee is a whole different story. There are many zigbee devices that do not work with SmartThings. See:

And I second the recommendation for Vesternet. Excellent technical support, good technical information on the website, good selection. Not everything there will work with SmartThings, so always check the forums before ordering, but it’s definitely one of the dealers to consider:

http://www.vesternet.com/smart-home/technologies/z-wave

There are some more shop options listed in the following thread:


(jeff) #10

do you know of any standalone external camera that go straight into smatthings or am I barking up the wrong tree?


#11

SmartThings has extremely limited direct video support:

If the camera does have an IFTTT service/channel , you can get indirect integration that way, which may work for some needs.


(jeff) #12

cool ill see what vesternet can do :slight_smile:


#13

I too am I the UK and constantly adding to my system. I find the ST multi-sensors are pretty good and as well as monitoring open/closed states they monitor temperature so I use one of mine to control a heater in my office.

I have also just installed 2x Ring outdoor cams which although not supported on ST yet, the doorbells are so the cams should not be far behind. They are battery powered so installation was easy and I have to recharge them every couple of months.

Hive is awesome and there is a hive app on here which works well and allows you to setup rules for home/Away and temperature actions.

Lastly if you have hue these integrate well with ST. Don’t forget to install CoRE as it allows far greater control over everything.


(Steve ) #14

I think people have covered most things lol
I’m similar to you but I’ve had SmartThings set up now for 3 weeks and am loving it so far…
I bought the starter kit which all work well the little presence sensor is good I’ve hooked it up to my sons keyring and me and my wife now get a notification when he’s home from school safe.
My motion sensor is in the hall set to turn on my downstairs lamps on when it detects us in the morning :slight_smile:
I was recommended Xiaomi products from Ali express as they are dirt cheap compared to official ones and have 3 door/window sensors a push button that when pressed at night it turns everything of and turns alarm to on.
I want to get a outside camera next so will be looking at any recommendations you get lol.


(Jeff Pallett) #15

That sounds great. A good start to the system if you work the cameras first let me know as your system as it stands sound very similar to what I would be doing.

kind Regards Jeff
.


(Steve ) #16

I’m not sure I’ll be getting the camera just yet as the next thing I want is the Nest thermostat :slight_smile:
I looked at them on display in Currys and they just look really smart and have a nice finish which I prefer to Hive.
I do already have a “sumvision” internal WiFi camera that is not officially supported but there’s a smartapp that’s supposed to connect to it but can’t for the life of me figure out the right connection RTSP stream even though it connects on my laptop.
I also have 6 Sonoff devices as I’m a tight sod and they’re only a fiver each delivered from China and I’ve flashed them to work with SmartThings and I lot them on lamps in the bedrooms where I don’t see the wires as you have to snip the cable and fit them in place.


(Paul) #17

Hi there,

UK user here. Some info about what I have setup. No right or wrong answer, the info below might just give you some lines of enquiry.

2 external cameras:
I too am a user of BlueIris. Solid product. I have 7 cameras hooked up to it and I generally keep that solution separate to ST. The only exception there would be the fact that I use one of the camera feeds on an ActionTiles panel via a tablet. That said other users are using BI to detect motion and then carry out actions within ST.

4 door sensors
I use a combination of ST, Orvibo and Xiaomi. As discussed above ST sensors give you temp and vibration but if you just want basic open/closed detection and you property is not huge then go with the Xiaomi or Orvibo. Solid bits of kit and shouldn’t cost you much more than a tenner each.

External Sounder (alarm style)
Don’t use one. I have a separate old school alarm panel. I use ST to control the home environment and provide information when I’m away, for example: When I’m away the heating goes down to 10, lighting changes so that it comes on (as opposed to motion based when at home), garage door is diabled, etc, etc. I rely on the alarm to scare off Burglars and keep neighbours swearing.

Control of heating
I’ve got a 3 zone heating system. All controlled using a community developed handler. I have 3 battery powered z-wave thermostats that cost me about £40 each set on eBay (search Secure or Horstmann).

Pet immune type sensors
Not sure here, haven’t researched it heavily enough. Question here is you have door/window sensors on all entry/exit points then do you need to use motion sensors for security. Note that my alarm system has wireless pet immune IR sensors on it.

Couple of other points.

CoRE - Get this installed and have a read around it. It’s an essential component of the ST toolkit. If a Smart App doesn’t exist for your requirement then CoRE can do it. This is a very clever if X then Y else Z rule engine. Quick use case: I have a TKB z-wave metering socket on the tumble dryer. CoRE is setup with the following rule: When power drops below 10W for more than 120 seconds send a push notification stating “Tumble Dryer has finished”. It’s the little things that matter!

This community and search is your friend. The amount of co-operation and willing to assist from members is awesome.

If you’ve got nothing better to do grab a drink and starting reading the FAQ. Lots of useful info in there!
https://community.smartthings.com/c/devices-integrations/faq


(James Scholes) #18

Also in the UK, Smartthings Starter kit arrived last week. I already had a Nest thermostat, harmony hub, LIFX LED strip and a couple of TP-link power switches.

The only additional thing I’d say is: Lots of the devices in my setup will integrate with each other directly, but that gets confusing pretty fast. Stick to one place (almost certainly SmartThings) to do most of your logic, utilising IFTTT for any rough edges (I’m using IFTTT mainly for Google Assistant integration and a couple of notifications unrelated to my home)

Best rule so far: (Using CoRE) If no motion detected in the living room for 5 minutes and TV Smartplug power is less that 15W (ie: TV on standby, no-one around) switch off the Smartplug (and tell harmony to switch off the rest of the AV system).
Paired with motion sensor switching it back on when someone enters the room :slight_smile:

I’m now going to let things lie for a while so my wife gets used to it before sticking some fibaro switches on my lights.

Oh, and I’m planning on hunting for & updateing/writing a new UK-focussed getting started guide - Some of the info around GitHub integration and IFTTT is quite out of date


(Jeff Pallett) #19

Hi paul. A very good point on the door and window sensors and not putting in passive detectors if not needed especially at £10 each compared to circa £75 for the passive.

I like your tumble dryer mod I may do the same :grinning:
Without sounding stupid what is the integration from the cameras to the blue iris. From a quick scout it looks like a pc based system so do you need to have a pc on all the time ?

What are you using as a main brain ? Any recommendations there.
Thanks for the help :grinning:
kind Regards Jeff


(jeff) #20

Hi James thanks for the reply. How are you finding the programming of the smart hub ?
Cheers Jeff.