The Ultimate Problem: What Is SmartThings
It’s one of the biggest names in smart home devices, but what is SmartThings? And more importantly, how does it work? If you’re struggling to work it all out, then fear not, just keep reading, and I’ll answer all of your questions.
SmartThings was created by Samsung, which makes it a little less of a device and more of a brand name; it’s the Addidas for smart devices.
And SmartThings doesn’t just refer to physical products; it’s also part of the App and the cloud-based intelligence that makes your smart home technology work.
And this is the part that makes SmartThings so attractive to so many people. It provides the user with one unified point of control. It does this by controlling SmartThings devices as well as third-party products, which in the end, makes your life so much easier.
What Is SmartThings
It’s all very well knowing what SmartThings is, but what you really need to understand is how it all works. If you’re planning on setting a SmartThings home system, you need to know how it truly works.
SmartThings starts at their home hub; it’s what you connect all your devices to control them remotely. You can do this from the SmartThings App.
If you’re using the SmartThings hub to set up your smart home, you’ll need to make sure any smart device you purchase is compatible; you can usually find this out on the back of the product or the website.
By using SmartThings, you can create complex (or simple) schedules for all the devices. This means you can create scenes for your home depending on what mood you’re in, or what you’re doing. The best example is getting your room ready for a movie.
This could mean:
The possibilities are endless, but how do they talk to each other?
Let’s imagine you want to light on from your smartphone, the communications with the Samsung SmartThings hub will start at your phone.
Your phone will send information using an internet connection; this will then get sent to your smart home hub, which should also be connected to your WiFi.
From there, the SmartThings hub will then choose which connection that suits your lightbulb; this is usually WiFi, Zigbee, or Z-wave. If you haven’t heard of Zigbee and Z-wave, don’t worry too much I’m going to explain a little bit more about them.
They are leading smart home protocols, and smart home devices rely on wireless tech and mesh networks to perform actions. Zigbee is basically a radio frequency that allows you to send messages back and forth between devices.
What Devices Work With SmartThings?
There are so many devices out there that work with SmartThings. And not all of them share the brand name. So to help you out I’m going to list some of their best devices, let’s get started:
This is the most important part of your SmartThings system; it’s what controls all the devices.
SmartThings are now on their 3rd version of the hub; I personally own the SmartThings Hub 2.
But for this small section, I’m going to be giving a quick overview of the SmartThings Hub V3.
The smart hub is partnered with well over 100+ partner brands; this gives you a wide array of connection options.
Via the App, you can take advantage of 24/7 monitoring if anything is not as it should be, you’ll receive notification alerts to your mobile phone.
SmartThings works with voice assistants such as Google to provide a hands-free experience.
You have a choice of connection options, either Wireless or Ethernet. The SmartThings Hub can be used to control lighting systems, security devices, and much more.
If you already own an Amazon Echo device or Google Home, the SmartThings hub will set you back just over $50. If you haven’t got one of the voice Hubs, it will add a little bit extra on to the cost.
You’ll have no issues finding SmartThings enabled lighting solutions, but if you want the very best, there is only one option.
And that’s the Phillips Hue Range, but for now, I’m going to be talking specifically about the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance.
The Phillips Hue light bulbs have a wide range of colors, 16 million to be exact, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a color to suit your mood.
You can group and pair up to ten light bulbs on their free to download App; from there, you can group and schedule bulbs depending on what suits you.
The beauty of Philips Hue is there easy of installation, it’s pretty much a case of screw-in and follow the prompts from the App.
Another attractive quality is the life you get out of these bulbs; they claim to have a lifetime of 22 years or 25,000 lifetime hours.
These bulbs are incredibly efficient, costing pennies to run. The scheduling is also a huge highlight; it gives you total control of the lighting system.
This is another area in which SmartThings and the right thermostat can help save you money.
My favorite smart thermostat at the moment is the Nest Learning Thermostat Generation 3. And that’s what I’m going to be speaking about below.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is, in my opinion, is the most advanced on the market.
The auto-scheduling takes away the programming and does it for you. From the day you hook the thermostat up, it starts learning how you like the house and at what times.
This means within a couple of weeks of using it, the thermostat has already picked up your schedule, and it does this for a few reasons:
- It makes your life easier
- Saves you money
Some other great features are the ability to control the thermostat using your voice; this can be achieved with an Alexa device. And the ability to control it remotely, if something out of the ordinary. And lastly, the Farsight mode, which allows the device to pick up movement across the room and display the information.
They’re one of the most popular smart home devices, I own the Schlage Connect Century and run it with the SmartThings Hub V2.
And it’s performed excellently, so for that reason that’s the product i”m going to talk about.
The smart home lock is battery operated, which means you don’t have to hardwire anything during the installation process, which makes the whole thing very simple.
The most noticeable feature is the Grade 1 ANSI rating, which ensures your property stays safe.
The lock comes with a built-in three-stage alarm, this means if the code is wrong too many times, or the lock is tampered with or forced open, you’ll receive a notification to your phone.
By using the App, you can set codes for friends and family, while also being able to check who it was in the history section.
My personal experience with this lock has been fantastic, I have codes for friends and family, and one for the cleaner. If I have people staying or need a package delivering, I can set temporary codes.
Before you go, there are a few things you need to take away, firstly, Samsung SmartThings isn’t a device, but more something that controls all of you connected devices from a singular point. Secondly, Samsung SmartThings is incredibly easy to set up and highly effective.
And lastly, they can connect to multiple third-party smart home devices, which means you don’t have to stick with Samsung smart devices. This allows you to create complex systems for your house to perform. Hopefully, all this should answer the question, “What is SmartThings?”
But if it didn’t feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. But, in the meantime why find how to automate your home?
Frequently Asked Questions
The App is used to control and connect your home devices; this allows you to connect you SmartThings hub with other devices to create groups. This means you can connect your speakers to the TV and turn the lights down depending on your mood.