Everything You Wanted to Know About Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Automation System

Not sure if you heard, but I’ve spent the past number of weeks replacing various smart home gadgets around the house with a plethora of new next-generation IoT based smart devices?

So for the past few years; we’ve been using a mix of smart home products using hub systems such as Vera and Eminent and a bunch of sensors, mostly using the Z-wave protocol.

In recent times; I decided that next-generation platforms like Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and HomeKit were mature enough to warrant spending some money!

Planning the Smart Home Upgrade
Because we have plans to incorporate so many connected products, we decided that a central hub with a universal app fitted our requirements. There are various hubs available but for this project, I decided to give version 2 Samsung SmartThings hub a try and see how we get on.
So ended up purchasing the new Samsung SmartThings from Amazon in early October; here is a short video of me unboxing the various bits and pieces that came in the box.

Here is a step by step of what happened next:

Step 1: Setting up the new Samsung SmartThings Hub
Once unboxing was finished; went about setting up; which included the following distinct steps:

  • Physically installing the smart home automation hub
  • Initial Mobile app setup
  • Personalizing the smartthings hub
  • Using my iPhone and my wife’s Samsung phone to Identify comings and goings

Step 2: Installing a Smart Door Contact And ‘Pairing’ With SmartThings Hub

Here is what was involved:

  • Physical installation on door
  • Configuring the app to recognize the new smart sensor on our door
SmartThings Door Contact Install
SmartThings Door Contact

Step 3: Mounting a Motion Sensor In The Kitchen
The process involved installing the motion sensor was similar to what I did with the door contact and involved pairing up the sensor and physically attaching to our wall.

SmartThings Motion Installed
SmartThings Motion Installed

Step 4: Install a Wireless Siren
To make things a little awkward for any aspirational thieves, I also purchased and configured a siren to ‘talk’ with my spanking new SmartThings hub.

SmartThings Siren Configuration
SmartThings Siren Configuration

Step 5: Connect My Hub to An IP Camera
Staying with the theme; I purchased an IP camera; setup it up as a standalone initially and end up hooking the smart camera into the hub.

SmartThings IP Camera Recording Intruder
SmartThings IP Camera Recording

Step 6: Configured My SmartThings App to Arm and Disarm My New Smart Alarm
Next up I configured the app to automatically monitor the O’Driscoll household for intrusions. In addition to monitoring, I set up the hub to react with sirens, video recordings, and notifications to my phones in the event of a break-in.

What Happens to SmartThings During a Security Alert
What Happens to SmartThings During a Security Alert

Step 7: Added a Leak Detector to the System
To mitigate the risk of water damage in your home, I also installed a low-cost water detector on the floor of our utility room. Here is what now happens once a water leak is detected:

Step 8: Install a Smart Plug
Smart outlets are simple devices that plug into an electrical outlet. For the moment I set up one to control a lamp shade in the sitting room.
Step 9: Add Some Whole Music to Create an Atmosphere around the House
The multi-room music system is one of my favorite features of the O’Driscoll household at the moment and installing it was simple and involved the following:

  • Buying a new Sonos speaker and setting it up
  • Configure the new Sonos speaker within the Samsung SmartThings mobile app
  • Control a Sonos speaker from within the dedicated smart home automation app

Step 10: Refining Different Scenes
When all the devices were installed I then went about setting up scenes (Referred by SmartThings as routines). The system comes with default scenes that can be refined for each household.

Over the coming weeks and months; I hope to expand the remit of our SmartThings based system to include integration with various Nest and HomeKit products that have also made their way into the O’Driscoll household; so stay tuned.

The Main Takeaways:

  • Secure your family home with some smart motion sensors and door/window contacts initially.
  • Add an IP camera, visual security is all the rage nowadays.
  • Increase safety levels against water and introduce one or two smart moisture sensors around the house.
  • Use a smart home hub to allow all of your devices to communicate with each other and notify you of any issues that may arise.

If you want to learn how Gerard set up an end-to-end smart home system in 1 week and look over his shoulder while he is doing it then check out my new course, titled:  Home Automation For Beginners: Create Your Own Smart Home.

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ICT professional, author, serial Internet entrepreneur, investor, and of course, a smart home enthusiast!

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