I’ve been using the SmartThings Hub for around 6 months now and thought it would be great to share my experience during this time.
I chose the SmartThings platform above all the other choices for several reasons. It supports both Zigbee & Z-Wave (the most common smart home protocols) so supports a huge range of devices, Smartthings is owned by Samsung, so it’s got the backing of a huge company and finally because it’s the most user/wife friendly Smart Home ecosystem in my opinion.
I bought the SmartThings UK starter pack which includes everything you need to start creating a smart home. The Smartthings Hub which is the brain of your new smart home, a motion sensor, a multi sensor (door or window contact), a presence sensor and a smart power outlet. This is a really good selection of smart home kit that’s an extremely good starting point for anyone that’s looking to smarten up their home.
After some pre-purchase planning, I also purchased an additional power outlet, multi sensor and motion sensor for my home.
The unboxing experience is really nice with all the pieces of kit nicely presented. Once you’ve got everything unboxed it’s time to get the hub plugged in and the app downloaded.
The SmartThings app is available on both iOS and Android and it’s well designed and user friendly. There’s a lot of information available to you at any one time (doors open/closed, temperature, motion detected etc.) but the app does an amazing job or presenting all this information without constantly overwhelming you.
The app talks you through pairing your SmartThings sensors and outlets as well as paring existing lights, thermostats, TV remotes, cameras, locks and other compatible devices too.
Once everything is paired you can begin to automate your home with Routines. These are incredibly powerful and enable all kinds of fun and useful things to automate your home. Would you like the lights to turn on when you walk in to the room after a certain time? You’ve got it! Would you like the lights to turn on gently before your alarm in the morning and the TV to come on to wake you up? You’ve got it. Would you like the kettle to turn on when you arrive home? Yes, that’s also possible. How about turning off the TV and all the lights when you leave the house? Yep, entirely doable using the SmartThings platform.
You can also combine any of the above together into an even more powerful routine. Depending on your set up these routines can includes thousands of different smart home products too. The only limit is you imagination (and budget)!
After 6 months of usage, I’m pleased to report that my SmartThings Hub and accessories have worked really well. The greatest compliment I can give this tech is that it’s blended in to my home beautifully and it’s become almost invisible. Just working tirelessly behind the scenes to turn on lights as I walk in to rooms (and back off again when I leave them). Invisibility is the end goal for all technology and SmartThings are ahead of the curve here, no upkeep, no charging, no constant faffing. Once you’ve got it set up, it just works.
Another Device that I highly recommend in bringing your smart home together and introducing voice control is the Google Home. Once you get Google Home you can just say “hey Google, turn on the Kettle” and thanks to SmartThings, the kettle just turns on! It’s literally like living in the future! You can read my Google Home review here.