I’ve had smart devices in my previous home (Wemo switches/plugs, Sonos, Schlage lock - all controlled by Alexa). I’m looking to now use SmartThings to improve the automation around our new house. However, I’m at a loss as to which is the best hub to get since I’ve never used a hub before.
You only need a smartthings/Aeotec hub if you want to get Zwave or zigbee devices. But there are many other devices that you can use with a smartthings account that are Wi-Fi or use a cloud cloud integration and you get all the same automation features. It’s just a different way of connecting.
As @jkp said, if you do want to use zigbee or Z wave devices so you need a hub, then the Aeotec V3 is the current model. It’s available in both the US and the UK/Europe.
So what specifically were you hoping to get by adding a hub? It may be that you wouldn’t even need one, it just depends on the specific use cases you want to solve.
For example, you could get much more advanced automation routines with the Schlage lock then you had with Alexa, but you probably wouldn’t need a hub to do so.
That’s a good point and question JDRoberts. TBH, I don’t know exactly, but I do know that I don’t want to be limited. The most advanced routine I can think I want to run (at this time) is simply turning on lights in the hallway at night to appx 30% when I wake up to go to the bathroom at night. That way I don’t get blinded every time.
I’ve got more research to do on specific routines as I’ve never utilized them in the past, just had the devices. But again, I’d like to not have limitations and if purchasing a hub is all I need to do to ensure that, I’m fine with that.
Very popular use case, and one that we use at my own house. You don’t need a SmartThings hub for that, it just depends on which switches you use. For example, at my house we use Lutron Caseta light switches with the Lutron SmartBridge. They show up in the smartthings app exactly the same way a switch connected to the smartthings hub would, and I can make the same routines with them. You could also do it with Meross Wi-Fi switches. Again, no hub needed.
The hub doesn’t change the routines you can create with smartthings. What it changes is the specific brand of devices you can add to your smartthings account.
If you want to, we can get into the technical details of why you might choose one network protocol over another, but a lot of people don’t care.
I think the biggest practical difference as of this writing, April 2022, is that if you have a smartthings hub you will have a much wider choice of battery operated sensors, because the communications protocol that the smartthings hub uses for hub-connected devices just tends to be better at power management than the other options. But within the next year or so, that’s quite likely to change because of a new third-party standard, Matter, which is scheduled to be released and which will allow for the use of Thread-enabled sensors that may not require a smartthings hub. But we don’t really know all the details on that yet.
All of which is to say if you want to get a hub that’s fine, but you may not have to depending on the specific use cases you want to solve.
Back in 2014 I started out with a smartthings hub in my own home, but after a year or so I found that it just wasn’t reliable enough for my own needs to be my primary home automation system. (I use a wheelchair and I’m quadriparetic, so reliability is really high on my list of requirements.) eventually I switched to using smartthings in a “hub optional“ configuration, and that’s how I’m using it right now. I may end up going back to using a smartthings hub once they’ve completed their current platform transition because they’re doing quite a few exciting things with The new architecture. But I need to wait and see what they actually deliver, again, because my own everyday needs are very practical.
But in any case, as of right now while having a ST hub gives you more device choices, it doesn’t give you more automation choices. The power is in the platform design, not the physical device.
(www.rboyapps.com - Making SmartThings Easy!)