There are three central buzzwords in today’s digital home security solution: Internet of things (IoT), home automation and smart homes. You can literally control almost anything from your smartphone now. We are talking about everything from light bulbs, thermostats, smart locks and digital home security systems. Naturally, these smart devices mean that you will have to juggle a handful of applications … or so one would think. This is where Samsung SmartThings comes into play. Here you will find everything you need to know about Samsung SmartThings!
Samsung SmartThings: What is its role in Digital Home Security Solution?
Samsung SmartThings is actually a general term for the home automation software and hardware components in the digital home security solution. The cornerstone of the SmartThings system is that Samsung has tried to provide a unique control point for all its smart home devices. SmartThings does it in two ways: 1.) offering good and evil smart devices, and 2.) supporting an extensive list of third-party products.
The bottom line is that SmartThings makes it really easy to configure all kinds of devices and create automation routines to take your smart home to the next level.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub is the centrepiece of Samsung’s smart home ecosystem. The Hub is the cornerstone of the entire automation system. It connects wirelessly to all your smart home devices and allows you to monitor and control them with just one application. The Hub needs an active Internet connection to operate and must be connected to your Wi-Fi router through an Ethernet cable connection.
If you don’t want the hassles of a separate Wi-Fi router and hub, Samsung also has some options for you there.
Last year, Samsung introduced Connect Home and Connect Home Pro, which combines a Wi-Fi router with a hub. Connect Home is an AC1300 mesh Wi-Fi system and is available as a package of three. On the other hand, Connect Home Pro is a single AC2600 unit. Open the door for greater bandwidth usage and can be configured with other Connect Home devices to create the mesh network.
Of course, there is also a third newer option for those looking to combine their Wi-Fi and hub experience. Samsung mesh WiFi hub has many of the same features of Connect but with intelligent artificial intelligence.
There are a few different types of Samsung SmartThings sensors that Samsung has available to help you begin your home automation journey.
The Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensor is, as the name implies, an all-in-one sensor that can detect vibrations, orientation, inclination, temperature and when things open and close. You can place it on doors, drawers, windows, cabinets and more to know when they open and close. The fact that it detects vibration means that it can also differentiate between when a door is opened and when the door is knocked. You can configure alerts for all these activities and anything else you can think of.
You can configure it to receive alerts if there is any unexpected movement in your home or in a particular room. Keep children out of prohibited areas and, of course, make sure nothing bad happens when nobody is supposed to be home. You can also connect it to smart lights so that they turn on or off when there is any movement.
The Samsung SmartThings arrival sensor lets you know when people approach or leave a specific area or room, and can activate different actions in this situation, such as turning on the lights in a room and even ringing the bell when someone approaches the front door. You can also set it to receive an alert if someone does not arrive home at a specific time.
The Samsung SmartThings water leak sensor sends an immediate alert to the first sign of excess water. You can set it to activate a light or sound an alarm if the water is detected where it does not belong. If your house has a sump pump, you can also place the sensor next to it and receive a notification if the pump fails.
Samsung SmartThings Outlet
The Samsung SmartThings Outlet is basically a wall adapter that allows you to control lights, electronics and small appliances with your smartphone. You can set it to turn the lights on and off when entering or leaving a room, save energy by preventing electronic devices and appliances from staying on all the time, or receiving alerts if you accidentally left a light or an appliance on.
Another very useful feature of the SmartThings Outlet is that it also works as a Zigbee repeater. It can be used to extend the reach of your Zigbee devices. That’s useful since all Samsung SmartThings devices and some third-party products are Zigbee devices.
As mentioned, one of the biggest selling points of the Samsung SmartThings system is its compatibility with a large number of third-party smart devices. This is a great move by Samsung to ensure that users are not completely trapped in a single product and product ecosystem. It offers consumers the opportunity to find the device that best suits their needs.
There are currently more than 200 products listed as “Works with SmartThings”. These include smart lights and switches, security cameras, bells, exits, door locks, thermostats, speakers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water valve controls, vents, garage doors, irrigation systems, and much more. . You can find the complete list of officially supported devices here and you can also find a complete list in the Marketplace section of the SmartThings Classic application.
Kits and packages
It can be quite difficult to keep track of the devices you need to start your smart home. To help, Samsung has created a couple of useful kits and packages.
The Samsung SmartThings home monitoring kit comes with a SmartThings hub, a motion sensor, two multipurpose sensors and a plug. You can configure everything to activate different actions in different situations. Of course, with the Hub, you can also configure other smart devices such as light bulbs, cameras and more. The main advantage of buying this kit is that you get them all at a reduced price, compared to buying these products individually.
Samsung has also collaborated with the ADT security firm to create an ADT home security starter kit. This kit comes with the ADT safety concentrator, two ADT door and window detectors and an ADT motion detector. The ADT Security Hub comes with a seven-inch touch screen panel, built-in siren, and has a battery and cellular data backup. It also works as a SmartThings Hub and also offers control over several third-party smart devices.
A useful but optional extra is a subscription to ADT professional monitoring services without a contract that includes sending the police to offer you a little more peace of mind.
Finally, there are the Samsung SmartThings Lighting Kit and the Entertainment Starter Kit. Both kits come with a SmartThings Hub, a motion sensor and two smart bulbs. In the case of the lighting kit, these bulbs are the adjustable Sengled Classic LED bulbs, while the entertainment kit comes with two SYLVANIA colour LED bulbs that allow you to change the colour of the light to one of the thousands of options. These are some fun starter kits to have in your hands.
First steps: hub configuration, device addition and more
The SmartThings Application(s)
There are now two applications that can be used to control the configuration of your smart home. Samsung recently launched its own SmartThings application, formerly known as Samsung Connect, which consolidates more than 40 of Samsung’s various smart home applications and smart devices into one. In addition to controlling your SmartThings products, the new application also allows you to manage other Samsung devices such as smart TVs, smart refrigerators and more.
The application that everyone has been using so far is called SmartThings Classic. This application will eventually retire, but the good news is that it probably won’t happen for a while. Samsung is still working towards a perfect transition between the two applications to allow users to easily transfer their existing settings, routines, device lists and more to the new application. In addition, new ADT customers will still have to use the Classic application since all ADT features are not yet compatible with the new SmartThings application. The SmartThings Classic app also seems to be more beginner-friendly.
Basically, it is better to use the SmartThings Classic application to configure your home automation network for now, unless you have many other Samsung smart products or are configuring your network for the first time using the Samsung Connect Home Hub instead of SmartThings Cube. In the next examples to add devices and configure routines, we will use the Classic application.
Configuring the Hub
Connect the hub to your Wi-Fi router using the Ethernet cable (one must be provided).
- Plug the hub into a power outlet and turn it on.
- Download the SmartThings Classic application. You will need a Samsung account to log in.
- To configure the Hub, you must write the Welcome Code found on the back of the box that contains the instruction manual.
- Follow the instructions on the screen, and the hub should take a few minutes to initialize.
Adding a Device
- To add a device, open the My Page tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Three tabs will appear things, rooms and scenes. Touch on things.
- Tap Add a thing. You may already find some emerging smart devices here, which means that no additional configuration will be necessary for them.
- Something to keep in mind is that when you try to add a Thing for the first time, keep it close to the Hub. You can move it to the desired location after completing the configuration process for that device.
- It may not be necessary to add first-party Samsung SmartThings products by following the steps above and the Hub will automatically recognize them and be displayed in the application.
- While it is possible to add devices other than SmartThings (Z-Wave devices), some additional steps may be necessary. There are too many different devices to list the instructions here, but you should be able to easily find them on Google.
Voice control settings
Amazon Alexa: Samsung SmartThings works well with Alexa. All you have to do is go to the Alexa skills store, search for SmartThings and enable it. Then go to the smart home screen in the Alexa application and tap Discover, which will show you all the devices that can be controlled with Alexa.
Google Assistant: You can use the Google Assistant through your smartphone or the Google homepage. In the Google Home app, go to Home Control -> Devices, tap the plus sign in the lower right and tap SmartThings. Log in to your Samsung account and tap Authorize.
Advanced features: routines, smart applications and more
Everything is set up and ready to go. However, for now, you still have to individually control all the smart devices you have in the house. This is where the automation part of “home automation” comes into play. SmartThings offers some different ways to achieve it.
Routines are basically single-line commands that you can configure so that different smart devices work together in several ways when certain conditions are met. As a simple example, you can turn on all the lights in a room if a motion sensor is activated. Routines can be set to activate when something happens or at different times of the day. The possibilities are virtually endless, depending only on how many and what kind of smart devices you have and your imagination. Routines can be added through the Automation tab in the SmartThings Classic application.
Routines can be difficult and confusing to set up, especially if you are a beginner who has just started your trip home smart. This is where SmartApps proves to be of great help. No, SmartApps are not more applications that you have to deal with. Instead, these are common tasks that smart devices are capable of performing and that you can enable with one touch. A great example is “Ready for rain.” This warns you if the doors and windows are open in case there is bad weather along the way. Assuming you have the right sensors, of course. There are numerous SmartApps options created by SmartThings and by external developers. SmartApps can be found on the Automation tab in the SmartThings Classic application.
If This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that allows users to create their own automation routines that can include smart devices, other web services, social networks, email and much more. IFTTT allows users to configure events that simply will not be possible with routines or SmartApps. It also helps in the smooth functioning of the digital home security solution.
SmartThings is not for everyone. A certain amount of technical knowledge is recommended. Although there is an attempt to make it as simple as possible, the not so expert in technology can have problems with the most complicated aspects of the system. And it can definitely get complicated. All of the above is just a general description and a very small part of what SmartThings is capable of in digital home security solution. Not to mention the fact that this can be a very expensive habit as you go deeper.
However, smart homes seem to be the next big thing, at least in the technological bubble in which we live. Samsung SmartThings certainly has an advantage in this space. This advantage is courtesy of the incredible support available for third-party smart devices. If “all smart” really is the future, SmartThings offers a great way to get there.
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