SmartThings Hub: by Samsung

By on October 16, 2015

Here’s my story of my SMARTTHINGS experience so far.

First let me explain how I got to purchasing the SmartThings hub and accessories . . . 

switches-liftmaster

LIFTMASTER: Hub, Garage Door Button, Wall Switch, and Outlet Switches

I previously and currently have a “My Q” hub from LiftMaster for my garage door openers and I also purchased a couple of their remote outlet adapters and in-wall light switches in order to remotely control my garage doors as well as some lights in my house.  I purchased this setup about 2 years ago, before the “Smart Home Revolution” began. You see, I’m always ahead of the curve, so-to-speak when it comes to new technology. 

Liftmaster claimed to have a “Connected Home” experience. With your smartphone, you could control a few things in and around your home from anywhere in the world! I was on board with that!

This worked great for me as I already had over 10 ip cameras operating all around my home and it helped a couple of times when I was at work and had to let delivery people unload packages into my garage which I opened remotely with my smartphone. Also, on nights while watching TV and wanted to turn on or off some lights that I had connected. Heck, my wife even used it on her smartphone and she’s nowhere near a geek like me. 


So why did I add a SMARTTHINGS hub and ALL of the accessories to my home when I already had the LiftMaster “My Q” hub and accessories?

Because I wanted a FULL-HOME-AUTOMATION experience and LiftMaster just couldn’t provide that kind of experience because they didn’t have all of the accessories available and there was no compatibility with other accessories on the market.

I looked into the WINK hub and a few others but they required a monthly fee to operate them or didn’t work with the majority of accessories on the market today. I thought who wants to pay a monthly fee after they purchase the hub and all of the accessories! That’s Ridiculous!!

I have to say, when I researched the internet to find a hub that would provide the most for me to create my “Smart Home Experience”, It was very confusing to say the least. There were many options but I read the reviews and searched-and-searched because I didn’t want to fall into the same trap of buying into a product that would limit my abilities to fully connect and automate my home. There are so many different protocols involved like bluetooth, wifi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, etc. So confusing! I want to be able to buy accessories that will work with the hub I choose, and work great.

smartthings-hub-outside

SMARTTHINGS hub vers. 1

I researched the internet and realized that some door locks and some light switches, etc. did not operate together within one hub and one app. But, most of them did with the SMARTTHINGS hub and better yet, there was NO MONTHLY FEES! I can just buy the equipment and it’s done and paid for. This story gets better . . .

 

 

So, I purchased a SmartThings hub almost a year ago along with one GE brand in-wall light switch. I thought I’d give it a try.

I received my products and was so excited and I hooked them up the first day and after I installed both the SmartThings hub and the in-wall GE light switch I continued to try and connect the GE light switch to my hub through the SmartThings app from my smartphone (samsung). It wouldn’t connect! I tried to connect this GE light switch to the SmartThings hub for over an hour. I researched in the SmartThings website forum about how to trouble-shoot the issue I was having in connecting my light switch device. Nothing worked!

Some of the advice was to bring the SmartThings hub within 5 feet of the new light switch device in order to connect them. Well that wasn’t going to happen unless I purchased an extra long CAT5 network cable to bring my hub closer to the light switch from across the other side of my house….uughhh. I was done with this gimmick!

Amazon ECHO

Amazon ECHO

So I gave up . . . UNTIL . . .

Fast-Forward a couple of months . . . I learned of a GREAT bit of news!

Amazon announced the integration of the Amazon Echo to communicate with Samsung’s SmartThings hub. Well, I have an Amazon Echo of course, so this really peaked my interests again with the SmartThings hub.

With the Amazon Echo in your house, you could actually speak commands and have them control everything connected to the SmartThings hub operate as you wish. I wanted this to work!

So, I ordered a few GE wifi light bulbs and got them connected instantly when I tried to connect them. That was so cool! Then I tried to connect that old GE in-wall light switch again and guess what? It connected instantly! Why didn’t it connect before? Well after more research, I determined that it was due to the SmartThing’s hub being connected to the cloud. It was something on their end that was not working that particular day and this happened to me one other time after this as I purchased more GE wifi light bulbs and tried to connect them to the hub another day and they would just not connect. . . I tried the very next day and they connected instantly.

And, there is better news . . . the ALL NEW Samsung SmartThing hub (vers. 2) has been updated with a built-in processor that will operate in-home on the hub mostly, rather than cloud based exclusively. I’ve already purchased one. They’re only $99.

aahhh, there’s no better geeky feeling than being in your living room and speaking “Alexa – Lights ON” and the lights turning on instantly. . . or “Alexa – Lights dim to 25 percent” . . . done! All of this can be done with Amazon’s Echo with Samsung’s SmartThings hub.

If anyone else has had good experiences with the Samsung SmartThings hub or devices, please share in the comments section below!


 

Watch this in-depth video published by Tested (2 smart guys) for a great understanding of what the Samsung SmartThings hub can do to make your home smarter!

Published on Oct 23, 2014

Will’s been testing the SmartThings system since its successful Kickstarter campaign, and shares his experience setting up home automation for his family. SmartThings lets you set a house up to be contextually aware of a variety of events, with no reoccurring fees. We discuss what aspects of home automation may make sense for most people, and how home control works via the app.

3 Comments

  1. Rob

    November 2, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Thank you for your video.
    I have just ordered an amazon dot.
    To start off, I would like to control lights in my home.
    Do I need a Smartthings hub AND an Philips HUE hub or just one of them?
    I’m hoping you can help.
    Thanks again,
    Rob

  2. Sally

    November 29, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I’m considering buying both the Echo and the Smartthings hub. Are you able to monitor and open and close your liftmaster garage door opener? If so, did you keep myQ connected? Or do you have the ability through the Smartthings app?

    • twhome

      November 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Sally, I was able to keep my Lift master (myQ) setup with the garage doors and use it through both apps, lift master as well as through the SmartThings hub with downloading an add-on app for SmartThings from the SmartThings development community. Search for My Q within the SmartThings development com minty and add it to your smartthings hub 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *