Tuya Smart Life using SmartThings Hub as a Zigbee gateway

a newbie here ! I am on a 2 years old SmartThings Hub, with devices from Samsung, Philips, Ikea, and few others. recently bought some Tuya Zigbee switch modules and scene switches for trial. I THOUGHT that I could use the SmartThings Hub as the Zigbee gateway, but apparently I cannot go through the config screen on the Smart Life and locate the SmartThings Hub.

I could SEE those devices from SmartThings app, but they are just THING, and cannot be connected.

thanks for any advice !

Welcome!

There is a partial integration between Smart Life and SmartThings, but it is one way from Smart Life to SmartThings. So first you add the devices to the Smart Life app, then you add your Smart Life account (not the individual devices) to SmartThings as a linked service, then some, but not all, of your Smart Life devices and scenes will show up in the SmartThings app. Most people seem to have the best luck bringing Smart Life scenes into SmartThings, but it’s a pretty limited integration.

TUYA-MADE ZIGBEE DEVICES

Some Tuya-made Zigbee devices can be connected directly to a SmartThings hub, but Tuya uses its own proprietary messaging structure so, as you noted, they often show up just as a “thing” and cannot be controlled. :disappointed_relieved:

Some individual community members have figured out the exact messages required for some specific models and created “custom code” which does allow those specific Tuya-made Zigbee models to be attached to a ST hub and show up in the SmartThings app and be used in routines there. You will have to check this forum for each individual model you have and see if such code exists and how to use it.

But you should also know that if you do choose to connect your Tuya made Zigbee devices to a SmartThings hub, then whether you get them to work or not, they will never show up in the Smart Life app. Nor will any other devices on your SmartThings account, including the hub itself. Because the integration is only one way, Smart Life into SmartThings, not the other way around. :thinking:

If that’s something you would be interested in, we can help you figure out how to use specific devices in SmartThings, but we will need the brand and model of each device.

Tuya devices are still pretty popular here in the community among power users because of the very low price and advanced features, but Tuya never really intended them to be used with other hubs and the integration sucks. :persevere:. So using them can require a lot of work to set up.

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thanks JDRoberts

I may need to manage two different levels of issues : i) the basic connectivity with the Tuya devices, and ii) the integration from Smart Life to SmartThings.

BASIC CONNECTIVITY
technically, I may need a ‘not so robust’ Tuya gateway (those listed in the Smart Life), that helps to connect all Tuya devices. my current SmartThings Hub CANNOT be applied as a gateway for the Smart Life and connects to those devices.

otherwise, I may force the SmartThings <> Tuya devices connection by applying the device handlers into the SmartThings then control those devices directly from the SmartThings app. I see this is a popular solution in the forum, and I am not familiar with it.

TWO GATEWAYS
at this point, I may keep my devices on two separated gateways (SmartThings Hub for Samsung, Philips, Ikea . . . and Tuya Hub for Tuya devices). this involves two different apps in the smartphone as well.

INTEGRATION
as you mentioned, the integration is likely to be one way, and future maintenance and update may be an issue. as well, not all Tuya devices are smoothly migrated into the SmartThings too. let me do some homework and understand this option then.

for your information, Tuya devices on my list :
i) MOES switch module, MS-105Z
ii) MOES dimmer switch module, MS-105Z
iii) MOES 4 buttons Scene Switch, EU4S-WH-MS
iv) Tuya Zigbee Breaker, ZJSB9

see if I have any luck on the device handlers !

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Very well-organized reply. And, yes, more research is the next step.

Before you spend too much time on that, we need to bring up one more issue, which is that smartthings itself is in the middle of a complete platform architecture rewrite.

From Groovy to Edge

The old architecture used a Groovy programming language cloud and individual customers were able to write their own custom “device type handlers“ (abbreviated DTH) in groovy and use those. So pretty much any threads in the forum which are older than October 2020, will be referring to that first generation architecture.

The new architecture, which is still in development, will not use the groovy programming language. Or DTHs. Instead, it will use the Lua programming language and the replacement for DTHs Will be “Edge Drivers” that will run on each customer’s own smartthings hub instead of in a common cloud. And there will still be cloud to cloud integrations, usually provided by a third-party service or a device manufacturer.

The goal of all this is a faster, more reliable system, but it means a lot of changes are coming and most of them are still in beta right now so the new stuff can be glitchy. But the old stuff will be going away pretty soon, we just don’t know exactly when. (Originally the transition was scheduled for December 2020, but obviously they missed that date and they haven’t given us a new one yet.)

Getting Started in a Time of Transition

So what does all that mean for you?

It means that you can start researching and you may very well find some custom groovy DTHs in the forum that work with the devices you have and you can use them right now. But you should be aware that they will be going away pretty soon.

So you might want to just start with Edge Drivers. Although edge itself is still in beta and there are some glitches, that’s where smartthings future will be. Also, edge drivers are easier to install. You just get a link from the code author and follow it and the code gets automatically downloaded to your own hub.

You can find both the groovy DTHs and the currently available edge drivers by checking the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki.

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

For more about edge, start with the community FAQ. The FAQ also has the links to the official announcements about all this, if you’re interested in those:

FAQ: I have no idea what Edge is. Is that a new developer tool? (2022)

It’s up to you whether you want to use DTHs, Edge Drivers, or some of each right now. There are pluses and minuses to both. Just be aware of that at some point smartthings is going to shut down access to the groovy cloud and any custom DTHs that you have will stop working.

(Anything using a Samsung provided “stock“ DTH is supposed to be automatically transferred to a new stock edge driver eventually, but historically smartThings as a company has not been great at automatic migrations, so we will have to see how that goes.)

The Future Isn’t Here Yet

So you’re getting started with smartthings at a time of great change when we are all feeling a little uncertain about the details of how things will work in the future. It doesn’t mean you can’t move forward, it just means you have to be aware that more changes are coming and there may be more than the usual number of glitches for a little while.

I myself am feeling mildly optimistic about where smartthings will be in 2023. I like the direction they’re going, and some of the staff, particularly @nayelyz and @SamsungZell have been participating a lot in this forum trying to help us all get through it. Plus occasional participation from other staff as well, of course.

And there are some community members who have been doing a lot of research and a lot of coding on the new edge drivers and have been super helpful to the rest of us as well. @Automated_House , @orangebucket , and @jkp, Again among others, have been doing lots of detailed research on the new architecture and sharing that with the rest of us.

And community coders like @TAustin , @Mariano_Colmenarejo , @ygerlovin , @philh30 , @erickv , and again others have been producing beta edge drivers on a regular basis and doing some pretty amazing stuff with them. (I’m sure I left out a bunch of names, but you get the idea: it’s a busy and creative community with a lot of positive things happening.)

So welcome again. I’m sorry there’s not an easy beginners guide for using tuya Zigbee devices with smartthings right now, but at least you’re in the right place with the right questions. And hopefully you’ll be able to find the right answers for what you want to do. :sunglasses:

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thanks JD Roberts for the warm welcoming !

DO NOW - today I ordered a Tuya Zigbee Gateway, in couple of days I could see if everything is connected and is working. the Tuya Zigbee Gateway costs <20% of the price of the SmartThings Hub, I start to wonder the quality and the reliability.

DO NEXT - I aware of the transition from Groovy IDE to Edge driver, but I didn’t follow it yet. once the Tuya Zigbee Gateway and the Tuya devices are in-place, I have more time to test individual beta edge drivers. don’t worry, I am a beta-friendly user :sweat_smile:

please give me a shout if anyone needs a serious beta-user for following devices :
i) MOES switch module, MS-105Z
ii) MOES dimmer switch module, MS-105Z
iii) MOES 4 buttons Scene Switch, EU4S-WH-MS
iv) Tuya Zigbee Breaker, ZJSB9

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Tuya is a major hardware company. Their quality and reliability seem to be good.

(In fact, based on reviews, the reliability of devices used with their own gateway is somewhat better than SmartThings, but that’s typical of closed systems. The kind of versatility that SmartThings offers is always a challenge. But Tuya does use unique messaging, which is what can make it difficult to use their devices with other hubs.)

If you do want to try an Edge Driver with one or two devices to get more functionality in the ST app than the regular account-level integration, you will need to subscribe to the Edge driver, then reset the device so it no longer appears in the Smart Life app, then add it to the SmartThings hub and it should pick up the Edge Driver automatically. :crossed_fingers:t3:

So if you want to use an Edge Driver for a Tuya Zigbee device, that device has to be directly connected to a SmartThings hub, and then the Smart Life app no longer knows it exists because it’s only a one way integration. So it just depends on which setup works better for you.

Here are some existing Edge drivers that work with some Moes devices, you can check to see if they already include your specific models. If you have any questions on those, just ask in those threads.

[ST Edge] Zigbee Driver for MOES 4-Button Scene Switch (TS004F)
.

(NEW RELEASE) Version 5 of the Edge Beta Driver: Zigbee Switch Mc
.

[ST Edge/Beta] Zigbee dimmer driver (supports MOES)
.
If there’s a model number that doesn’t already have a driver, you can add a post here:

Post Requests for Edge Drivers Here (community-created)

Good luck!

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