Your trip to the smart home can start with something as simple as buying a couple of smart light bulbs and changing the atmosphere of a room and controlling everything at home without physically interacting with anything. Choosing from hundreds of products and identifying the right ecosystem can easily lead to confusion. Samsung hopes to alleviate this confusion by providing a single point of control for all your smart home products with Samsung SmartThings. Here’s all you need to know!
What is Samsung SmartThings?
Samsung SmartThings is actually a broad and comprehensive brand that covers both hardware and software. The biggest selling point of the SmartThings system is Samsung’s attempt to provide a single and unified control point for all your smart home devices. It does this not only with its own devices but supporting an impressive number of third-party products that can be managed with the SmartThings app. Samsung makes it very easy to find the best smart devices for you.
The best Samsung SmartThings devices
Samsung has several devices on offer that are part of the SmartThings brand, but SmartThings’ strength is its compatibility with a large number of third-party products. In addition to ensuring that you are not blocked in a single ecosystem, this broad compatibility also means that you will have no trouble finding devices that fit your needs.
There are over 350 products currently listed as “SmartThings Products“. These include everything, smart lights and switches, security cameras, doorbells, sockets, locks, thermostats and speakers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water valve control, air intakes, garage doors, systems irrigation and much more. There are too many categories to list them all, but below you will find some of our favorites.
Samsung SmartThings Hub and SmartThing Wi-Fi
The Samsung SmartThings hub is now in its third iteration and serves as the basis for the smart home system you’re building. This is also the only essential device for building a Samsung SmartThings system. It connects wirelessly to all smart home devices and allows you to monitor and control them using a single app. The Hub needs an active Internet connection to function.
Of course, if you don’t want to face the inconvenience of a separate hub and a Wi-Fi router, Samsung offers you Samsung SmartThings Samsung Wi-Fi. This is an AC1300 Wi-Fi mesh router that also acts as a hub. A single router provides coverage for an area of 1,500 square feet, but more can be added for larger homes.
The Samsung SmartThings hub costs $ 67.99 while a single SmartThings Wi-Fi router costs $ 117.99. You can also buy a pack of three Wi-Fi routers for $ 249.94.
The best Samsung SmartThings sensors
There are a few different types of Samsung SmartThings sensors that Samsung has available to help you get started on your home automation journey.
The Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensor is an all-in-one sensor that can detect vibrations, orientation, inclination, temperature and when something opens and closes. You can place it on doors, drawers, windows, lockers and more. The fact that it perceives the vibration allows the sensor to distinguish between when a door is opened or if there is a knock on the door. You can set up alerts for all these activities and anything else you can invent.
The use of the Samsung SmartThings motion sensor is self-explanatory. You can configure it to receive alerts in case of unexpected movements in your home or in a particular room. You can also connect it to smart lights to turn them on or off in case of movement.
Philips Hue smart light bulbs
The Philips Hue is probably the best choice for anyone who wants to get into the game of intelligent lighting. A hub is required. The wide variety of lights offered by Philips can be controlled by the SmartThings app. If you have an intelligent speaker, these bulbs can also be controlled using Google Home and Amazon Echo devices.
When looking at purchase options, you do not need to get a basic kit, as you will not need a Hue Bridge. A pack of four white light bulbs will cost you $ 40.99, but if you’re looking to add some color to your life, a single premium light bulb (with 16 million colors) is priced at $ 37.
If you’re a fan of Amazon Echo, you’ll be happy to know that Ecobee4 has integrated Alexa for easy integration into your smart home. Even more important, in this case, it is compatible with Samsung Smart Things. Included with the thermostat we find a room sensor (and you can buy others) that allows you to control and set the priority for rooms that need heating or cooling. You can control everything with the SmartThings app even if you’re not at home. The Ecobee4 thermostat is priced at $ 198.99.
Schlage Connect Doorlock
Better home security is one of the best reasons to invest in smart home products and the Schlage Connect door lock is a great starting point. You can lock or unlock the door remotely using a smartphone and the SmartThings app. It is also possible to set who can or cannot enter from that port by providing the access codes that can be entered via the touchscreen. The Schlage Connect doorstop costs $ 199.99.
Doorbell Pro Video Ring
Along with a smart lock, another way to strengthen the security of your home is with a video doorbell. To open the door is the Doorbell Pro Video Ring. It allows you to see, hear and talk to anyone who comes to your door using your smartphone, tablet or even a smart TV. It supports videos up to 1080p and offers crystal clear video even at night. Ring Video Doorbell Pro is priced at $ 249.
Arlo Pro 2 wireless security cameras
The final product that should help cover most of your home security needs is the Arlo Pro 2 camera. These wireless cameras are designed to work both inside and outside your home and are equipped with night vision and audio bidirectional that lets you scare off intruders. You can watch live video streams remotely and also access up to three days of recordings. Arlo Pro 2 is priced at $ 349.99, but you can enjoy significant discounts with multi-camera packages.
How to use Samsung SmartThings
The SmartThings app
Samsung introduced the SmartThings app last year. In addition to controlling SmartThings products, the new app also lets you manage other devices such as Smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart washing machines and any other smart product currently offered by Samsung.
The SmartThings app has improved a lot since it was released and is now much more capable. If you are new to the SmartThings world, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the new app from the beginning. However, if you’ve used SmartThings for a while, you’ve probably already configured everything with the SmartThings Classic app. In this case, it is completely normal to continue using the previous app. In fact, the Classic app still has some features that have not yet passed to the new app.
Once you’ve downloaded the app from the Google Play Store, you’ll need to sign in with a Samsung account. If you have a Samsung smartphone, a smart TV or other company smart devices, I think you already have an account. Otherwise, all you need is an email address and a password to create one.
Configuring the Samsung SmartThings hub
- Connect the hub to the Wi-Fi router using the supplied Ethernet cable. If you have a new third generation hub, you can connect wirelessly to the router. This step will not be necessary if you have a SmartThings Wi-Fi.
- Launch the app and tap the larger icon (Add Device button) to get started. A list of compatible Samsung devices and another section hosting third-party brands will be displayed.
- In the Samsung section, touch “Wi-Fi / Hub”.
- A list of hubs will appear. Touch the device type and follow the instructions on the screen.
Add a device
- Connect and turn on the smart devices you want to connect to the SmartThings hub.
- Launch the app and tap the larger icon (Add Device button).
- You can tap the “Automatically detect” button to allow the app to quickly find compatible devices. But remember that this does not always work as expected. Until the app receives the required software improvements, the manual path might be the best solution.
- On the devices page, find the brand of your product and tap it. For example, to connect the ring video bell, touch “Ringtone”, then touch “Bell” and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Update and repeat for all the smart products you want to add.
Setting up voice control
- Amazon Alexa – Samsung SmartThings is fully compatible with Alexa and is the reason we recommend buying an Echo device for voice control. All you have to do is go to the Alexa Skills store, look for SmartThings and enable it. Then go to the Smart Home screen in the Alexa app and tap Discover, which will show you all devices that can be controlled using Alexa.
- Google Assistant: you can use the Google Assistant via your smartphone or the Google Home page. In the Google Home app, go to Home Control -> Devices, tap the plus sign at the bottom right and tap SmartThings. Log in to your Samsung account and tap Authorize.
Setting the automation
- Start the app and open the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines on the left side). Touch the relevant section and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Scene – Scene allows you to configure multiple devices to work together with a simple touch on the phone or a voice command. For example, you can set up a scene where all the lights and your smart TV turn on in the living room.
- Automation: automation brings the concept of scenes one step ahead. This allows you to create scenarios “first this then that one”. So with a motion sensor on a bedroom door, you can automatically turn on the lights in the room every time the door is opened.
Configuring SmartApps (SmartThings Classic app)
- Launch the SmartThings Classic app. You must log in with your Samsung account if you have not already done so.
- Navigate to the Automation tab to access Routine (like Automation in the new app) and SmartApps.
- SmartApps – Routines can be difficult and confusing to set up if you are a beginner. This is where the SmartApps prove to be of great help. These are common tasks that smart devices can enable with one touch. An excellent example is “Ready for Rain”, which alerts you if doors and windows are open in the event of bad weather conditions.
- Assuming you have the right sensors, there are numerous SmartApp options created by SmartThings and third-party developers. Go to the SmartApps section, find the devices you have and you will be able to find all the available SmartApps.
Unfortunately, SmartThings is not for everyone. Samsung has done a great job trying to simplify the configuration process so that everyone can do it. However, we recommend a certain amount of technical know-how, especially when (not if) problems need to be solved. The end result is fantastic: having multiple devices allows you to perform various functions with the push of a button: setting everything can be a long and tedious process. The SmartThings app is also not perfect and there are lots of bugs and problems that need to be fixed.
However, now the technology of smart homes is now at the “door”, at least in the technological era in which we live. Samsung SmartThings certainly has an advantage in this, thanks to the incredible support available for third-party smart devices. If “smart everything” really is the future, SmartThings offers a great way to get there.