Two questions: SmartThings enabled hubs, and dusk-to-dawn lighting options

Short version: Two separate questions of (1) Where can I find a list of SmartThings Enabled Hubs, and (2) what is the best way (balancing easiest/cheapest/most long-term versatile) to add one specific automation (dusk to dawn lighting on one 3-way circuit with two lights) starting from scratch. I know these seem to be unrelated questions, but while I expect to expand on my smart-automation options, this dusk-to-dawn issues is my only current smart-things feature needed, and so the questions become related.

I know from research that the Samsung SmartThings hub is discontinued. I’m reading a lot of things about how to work with your “SmartThings Enabled Hub” but I can’t for the life of me find a list of what hubs are considered SmartThings Enabled Hubs. Can someone please direct me to a list of what hubs can be controlled with the SmartThings app?

Side question: I"m seeing Samsung SmartThings hubs available for fairly cheap but I’m guessing it’s because they are no longer supported?


I am trying to determine the least expensive way to add dusk-to-dawn controls to a set of exterior lights (two lights, one circuit, 3-way switch)) via a smart switch that doesn’t require a neutral wire, or smart bulbs, that requires the fewest (and/or least expensive configuration of) separate things to be purchased/configured. FYI I do not yet have a smart hub.

I was originally hoping to find smart lightbulbs that are outdoor rated and that can be set up with a dusk-to-dawn schedule (using region/timezone, not specific times scheduled) using just an app for those bulbs, but that didn’t happen. Ditto for a switch but 3-way/no neutral wire and not willing to buy a bridge just for one light switch meant that didn’t happen.

So I’m looking for either smart lightbulbs that are outdoor rated that can be set up with a dusk-to-dawn schedule using a smartthings hub, or a smart switch that doesn’t require a neutral, preferably without also requiring a manufacturer-specif cbridge for those devices (i.e. Philips bridge for Philips Hue bulbs, Caséta bridge for their switch). I would rather buy just a smart hub to do this dusk-to-dawn control if possible. I know that I can just buy the bridge to do this, but the smart hub has a lot more uses and the bridge is just for those specific devices.

A few things to note:

  • I don’t yet have a smart hub of any kind so I’m open to all things. Just trying to minimize how many different things I need to buy/configure (smart bulbs, switches, smart hub, and bridge) while trying to maximize what other things those hubs can do (as in, prefer smart hub over device-specific bridge IF I can do a hub without a bridge).
  • Both lightbulbs that I'm trying to set up for dusk-to-dawn are on the same circuit with two switches and no neutral wire (blasted electrician apparently chose to use the white as a traveler instead of as a neutral).
  • I can't use a dusk-to-dawn timer switch (no neutral wire).
  • I can't just replace the outside lights with basic dusk-to-dawn fixtures, bulbs or bulb-attachments (reasons that aren't worth typing out, just know that I can't).
  • I don't need to do anything other than dusk-to-dawn for these lights: I don't need voice control, remote control, or anything else.

Samsung has now chosen official hardware partners by region.

Aeotec is The official partner for both the US and the EU/UK, so their “works as a smartthings hub“ is the current hub that you would get. Just get the right one for your region.


Official announcement:

An Update Regarding our Hardware

SmartThings in a Hub-optional Configuration

BTW, if all you want is your dusk to dawn light, you don’t need a smartthings hub at all, as in fact the majority of smartthings customers now run without a hub. You only need the hub if you were going to use a Z wave or zigbee bulb.

If you were going to use a Wi-Fi bulb or one that has its own bridge like Phillips hue, then you don’t need the smartthings hub.

So in your particular case, you could just get the Phillips hue bridge, and use smartthings, and not need a SmartThings hub.

You could also use a Wi-Fi bulb like LIFX and not need a smartthings hub but still use the smartthings app and rules engine. :sunglasses:

You can do lots of things with a smartthings account in a hub optional configuration. All the same rules engine logic and the same app is available to you. You just need to choose Wi-Fi devices rather than zwave or zigbee. Or choose devices with their own bridge like Lutron or Phillips hue. So there are quite a few choices longterm if you do expand beyond that specific use case.

And before I forget, if you do get Phillips hue lights to use with SmartThings, you should also get their bridge. Although it’s technically possible to get by without it when you have a smartthings hub, neither company recommend that configuration as it can mess up your Zigbee network.

So whether you get a smartthings hub or not, if you want to use hue lights with SmartThings, you should get their bridge. :sunglasses:

FAQ: Do I need the Hue Bridge/Hub to Use a Hue Bulb with SmartThings?

One more question: what’s the weather like? And will the bulbs be in enclosed but vented fixtures?

There are quite a few bulbs which are only rated for indoors but which do fine in temperate climates as long as they are in a vented enclosure. But if you are in Minnesota or Alaska, it’s a different situation. :thinking:

Thank you!

What’s got my head spinning is that while I love the idea of eventually adding automation, I’m not there yet BUT any investment I make now I want to support that rather than being a dead-end stub only for that device. Which is why I was looking for a way to do what you’d think would be a relatively simple thing by getting a smart hub instead of a device-specific bridge. But (at least with the Philips) it sounds like I’d need their bridge anyway.

You could also use a Wi-Fi bulb like LIFX and not need a smartthings hub but still use the smartthings app and rules engine.

This is the type of thing I was originally searching for, but I couldn’t find anything that didn’t require either a bridge or a hub or both. Let me see if they do what I need… which is dusk-to-dawn, period LOL.

And I definitely want to look into the whole “hub optional” thing. Is there a list specifically of wi-fi devices that work with the smartthings app and rules engine? The “works with Smartthings” page is rather vendor-focused and doesn’t easily lend itself (from what I was able to see, anyway) to seeing a list of devices that use wifi vs zigbee vs z-wave.

Or maybe the better question is, is there a good resource for getting started in a hub-optional home?

As for your other question, I’m in Delaware which is mostly temperate but some tropical storms and occasional snowy/freezing weather, and the bulbs are in barn-style lights so the bulb is pretty exposed (though they’re under an overhang which provides some protection).

Again, thanks!

What’s the size of bulb?

Also, the following might be worth looking into for your particular use case. These are not connected bulbs: you can’t control them with anything. But they have a built-in sensor and all they do is turn on at dusk and turn off that dawn. Much less expensive than any other option we’ve discussed so far, so might be a possibility.

I know in a sense it’s a “dead end“ choice but in my experience rather than trying to think about the whole universe of things you might do someday, it makes more sense in many cases to solve the problems you need solved. If the barn lights only need dusk to dawn, this is a good solution while you figure out what other kinds of automation you may want to do someday. :sunglasses:

Note that these bulbs are $24 for a pack of three, and you don’t need anything else with them.

There are similar devices from other brands in a similar price range

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