Which method do you use to control? SmartThings App, Alexa (app or voice), Google Home (app or voice)

My Smart Home gear is kind of a mixed bag, since I acquired it little by little. I’ve got an Echo Dot, a bunch of WeMo outlets, an Ecobee 4, a Google Home Mini, a couple of double smart outlets that use the Smart Life App, a SmartThings Hub, and a couple of Smartthings Buttons for controlling lights. All of this stuff mostly works together, but it’s also a little redundant. The voice assistants can turn things on and off, but you’ve got to set everything up in all of them individually. Their apps are nicer than the Smartthings app, but not as powerful. So I’m wondering how people use these pieces together? Do you pick one and ignore others or use it all in different scenarios? Or is it less about app control and more about scheduling and automation for many of you?

As an example in my home, I’ve got a two lamps on smart outlets in my Master Bedroom. One outlet is a WeMo, the other is one of the double one. I’ve got the buttons in a couple of places in the room to turn them on and off. In both the Alexa App and the Google Home app, I can configure them to be part of a group called “Master Bedroom”. Google Home can turn them all on at one or individually. Alexa only seems to allow turning them on as a group. Smartthings can only turn them on individually, which seems odd - there’s no simple way to just say “turn on all of these devices at once.”

At our house, we use all different kinds of ways, it just depends on the needs of the moment. :sunglasses:

With the Alexa app, if you can put the devices into a group, you can definitely turn them on or off individually just by saying the name of those individual devices. If you show us a screenshot of your Alexa group we can try to figure out what’s going on, or you can talk to Amazon support. But definitely being in a group doesn’t prevent the device from being turned on by Echo individually.

With SmartThings, you can either use a scene, except you will need one scene for them all on and one scene for them all off, and then remember which is which.

Or you can create the equivalent of an echo group by using a virtual device and having the individual devices mirror that one.

So there are all kinds of ways to do it, it’s just that some ways are more intuitive than others when it comes to setting them up.

Which version of the app are you using, “smartthings classic” or “SmartThings ( Samsung connect)” ?

Here you can see we have a group called “bedroom control group” which has the echo device in it so we can just say “echo, turn the lights on” without having to specify the room name.

But if we just want to turn on the Headboard light, which is part of that group, we just say “echo, turn the Headboard on.”

Or if we are just using the Alexa app, we can just tap the on/off button next to that individual Light.



Man, I put all kinds of bad information in my original post! I meant that Google Home lets you only turn on all the lights and not the individual ones, from within its app. As your screenshots show, the Alexa app lets you do groups or individuals. And I figured I could address them each individually via voice. But I didn’t realize the trick about saying “turn on all the lights”. I knew about groups having assigned Alexa devices and speakers from my Sonos. You can specify a Sonos as the default speaker, and then you no longer have to say “Play (music) on (speaker name).”

I’ve got both SmartThings apps on my phone, but I’ve been using the Classic one more - it seems more useful. I actually really like the way the Alexa app works - it’s just kind of slow to load, and then you have to navigate over into the Smart Home Area. Certainly lots of different ways to do this stuff.

OK, for the classic app, there’s an article in the community – created wiki on how to group lights:


And here’s a very good tutorial on how to create a control group so you can say “echo, turn on the lights.”

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