What genuinely useful stuff to do with ST?

Hello everyone,
I’ve had my ST hub set up for around 2 years now. I think I’ve done all the usual stuff, like automating lights and wall sockets, plus some more unusual stuff like writing new device handlers and building ‘Things’ myself (feel free to check my other posts if you are curious :grinning:)
The problem is that while this is fun for me to setup and play around with I am struggling to find some really good use cases that don’t make life harder for the rest of my family (who don’t have or want ST installed on their phones).
The most useful thing I came up with so far is random lights for security when we go out, but this is not really a killer feature so I am looking for inspiration! Can anyone suggest some genuinely useful ways to use ST (ideally fun too) to help convince me we aren’t all wasting our time?

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Excellent question! I suggest you take a look at some of the project reports from other community members. In particular, look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, look down near the bottom of that page for the “project reports” section and then look at the “get started” list.

Some of the topics there include “top 10 things to do with smartthings,” “gadgets that changed the way we do things,“ “ how do you use routines?“, “use cases for color smart bulbs?“, “ what are the best projects on smartthings?“, and even “ what are your practical uses for smartthings— no fun stuff“

Any of those should give you some ideas. :sunglasses:


In my own case, because I am a wheelchair user, pretty much everything I do is about practicality. For those kinds of use cases, take a look at the list which is marked “accessibility.“

So different people have different categories for the same use case: what’s just fun for someone else, like a touchless door lock, might be essential for me.


Door left open warnings
Whole house temp data collection and charting
Multimedia Integration with Harmony hub
Pool automation
Tablet based control panel
Google home based radio player

So many things I want to do, but there just isn’t any time!


Some of the essentials at my house:

  • Turn on porch light when motion is detected on Ring Doorbell. (Prowler deterent)

  • Lock external doors and arm SHM automatically each time they close. (Nevermore forget to lock the door.)

  • Disarm SHM when a person unlocks an external door manually or with keycode.

  • “Alexa, do anything I ask you to.” Because opening apps and pushing buttons is so 2010.

  • Close and open all the blinds in the house by schedule or on demand, because apparently I was the only person in my house who bothered to do this manually and it was sooo monotonous.

  • And a special thanks to konnected.io which helped me repurpose all the existing hardwired security sensors that were hooked up to that dusty “thing” in my closet that wasn’t enabled because I never got the code when I moved into the house and I didn’t want to sign up for overpriced service or sign a long term contract for outdated security tech.


Laundry room closet left open for more than two minutes (lots of toxic stuff in there)

Guestroom window left open when rain is expected and the guest is away from home

Smart lock (everybody’s favorite non-speaking device)

Pathway lights to create a path from the living room to the bedroom or reverse with one cue

Lights turn on when motion is detected. Really nice for laundry room.

Notification when front gate is opened

We used to use smartthings to enable voice control of the television, but now we just use echo directly with the harmony hub in one room and fire TVs in the other rooms.

  • Auto-changing to one of three different sets of Heat/Cool setpoints based on our distance from home (and therefore, recovery time)
  • Our arrival and front doorbell activated selected outdoor and indoor lights for safety and visibility
  • Alexa verbal notification and lights flash when the doorbell rings while we’re in the Home Theater (might not hear it)
  • Auto whole home water shut off if water detected at any of the (6) current possible leak points
  • All-day ‘Gloomy Lights’ on/off control
  • Schedule via both time and sunset/sunrise as well as LUX control for internal and external lights
  • Seasonally auto-adjusted HVAC setpoint timing changes
  • Auto re-locking of internal garage to home door after 5 minutes.
  • Many automations have Alexa and button-available overrides
  • Although we have a separate, monitored security system, when we’re ‘Away’ or on ‘Vacation’ the SmartThings Motion Sensors are set to also monitor and will send notifications if active for added security
  • Motion controlled Lights in six different rooms based on time of day and LUX levels
  • Scheduled changes to daily HVAC day/night thermostat setpoints
  • Verbal control and query for lights, locks, thermostat, automation overrides, room temperatures
  • Seasonal schedules for outside outlets (Christmas vs Summer)
  • HVAC recirculation fan running periodically based on schedule and current HVAC state
  • Verbal Control of my FrontPoint security system
  • HVAC temperature monitoring and notifications (Reminds me to turn on the A/C if it’s off when the temperature rises too high to efficiently recover and lets me know that the furnace and A/C are functioning properly).
  • Halloween lights-off change if we’re not present

I’m doing most of the above and possibly the dumbest one I’m working on right now:

  • Motion activated exhaust fan over the litter box with a filter so litter dust gets sucked up and filtered then air returned to the same room so stuff in my storage room doesn’t get dusty.