SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit

3 comments for “SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit

  1. user6149
    January 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    21 of 24 people found the following review helpful

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Pretty cool item with lot’s of possibilities, September 13, 2013

    By Jeff Hayden (Chicago, IL United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: SmartThings Know Your Home Kit (Tools & Home Improvement)

    I bought this earlier in the week. It was quick and easy to set up. Since then I also purchased z-wave switches and outlets as well. So what can you do with this? With IFTTT plus the SmartThings app there are tons of possibilities! So far….

    1.Turn my bathroom light on only after sunset when the motion detector senses my presence. If I am away from home and the motion detector senses motion I am alerted by text.
    2.If carrying the presence sensor that comes with the starter kit turn on all Hue lights to medium using IFTTT.
    3. I placed the mulit sensor that come in the starter kit in my wine cooler. Let’s me monitor the temp of wine plus are alerted when I am away is the door is open
    4. Place system in home, away, vacation mode. Each mode can have different rules. For example on vacation and motion or doors open trigger a text message. Light switches are turned off etc…
    5. Turn on my Hue lights but only the foyer light when I get home. IPhone and using IFTTT

    Overall a pretty cool product. I plan on continuing to add additional z-wave devices

    Some things I would like to see:
    1.Would be nice to get alerts in the temperature sensed by the multi-contact changes
    2. Would be nice if IFTTT had a trigger based on mode changes in SmartThings… So if mode changed to vacation illuminate these hue lights daily for x to x
    3. Would be cool if major appliances had z-wave – example refrigerator goes above 40 text me..

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  2. user9726
    January 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic home automation system for the masses!, September 17, 2013

    By J. Vaughn “John” (Cottage Grove, MN USA) –

    This review is from: SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit (Tools & Home Improvement)

    I’ve been using the system for about three weeks or so. It was very easy to setup. Adding devices are extremely simple and any bumps along the way have been quickly addressed by their excellent support department (I had a bad presence sensor that they quickly diagnosed and swapped out.)

    I bought the $299 package and then added several Schlage door/window sensors. I have a nexia doorlock coming in the next day or two to start automating some of my locks.

    The best thing about the system so far is that I placed a presence sensor into my daughters backpack so that I know right when she gets off the bus and home from school. The range is very surprising (reaches a block for me) and comforting that I know when she gets home. I think as they add more smart apps that the system will become a more and more significant part of our lives.

    I love that I receive a push notification when one of our “alternative” doors are opened (i.e. deck or basement) so that I know if our young kids are heading out where they shouldn’t be.

    I’ll be adding a siren to the system in the near future to turn it into a fully functioned home security system.

    Honestly, so far so good. This is the system I’ve been “dreaming” about since I was a kid. A system where my house would know when I’m home or when I’m gone. When I go to sleep, when I wake up and adjust its parameters accordingly.

    Again, can’t say enough about their support. Very helpful with any questions. I think the only suggestion that I have right now is that I wish there was a better way to jump into the “community” forums/aspect of the product. It sometimes takes some google searches to figure out how to do somethings (i.e. program a multi sensor to serve as a garage door open/close sensor).

    Give it a shot!

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  3. user8803
    January 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    37 of 42 people found the following review helpful

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Pretty cool although more for geeks than novices, September 27, 2013

    By Sitting in Seattle (Seattle, WA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit (Tools & Home Improvement)

    I got this for a few purposes: to do basic presence detection for security purposes (whether a rarely opened door is opened); to control lighting in the house when traveling and at home; and to monitor potential leakage events in the laundry room and water heater.

    So far, I’ve had no bad events to detect, luckily, but the system works fine. For example, when my “rarely opened room” door is opened, I get a push notification on the Android phone task bar that it was opened. Thus, if someone broke in and opened it, I would know. I will just assume that the water detector works as well — I tested it with small bit of water on a counter top but luckily have had no other incidents. The lights on/off control works well, too. It’s pretty fun to sit at work and turn on and off a light that I can’t see across town (or across country). Note that I’m reporting on the Android version of the app controls, not IOS.

    Despite that, here are some reasons I suggest it mostly for geeks and tinkerers rather than everyone. First, the instructions are minimal. For instance: how do you install the multi detector? Do the pieces have to touch or not? It doesn’t say. Answer: they don’t, but you have to experiment and figure that out. How is the water detector (purchased separately) to be installed? Answer: on its back so that the two little connectors are down, but it doesn’t say that. Why does one of the doors show as “open” even when it’s not? Answer: sometimes one of the pieces needs to be installed upside-down from how it arrives in the box. You should expect a lot of tinkering and Googling to figure these things out.

    Second, the instructions are pretty much non-existent for the smartphone app. It took me quite a while to figure out how to set up the notifications, for instance, as they were not at all intuitive. Specifically, to do notifications, you have to install additional “SmartApps” from within the smartphone app itself. To do that, launch the SmartThings app, then click on the little bubble icon on the upper right. There is an option there to “explore SmartApps”. Pick that and read about the various ones available (timers, security notifications, etc). To set one up, you click to install it and configure the rules and which device it applies to (e.g., which room’s door sensor, which outlet to turn on or off, etc). It makes sense once you see it — IF you also think like an engineer, to whom it makes sense to apply rules to a device — but is not easy to find.

    Third, after you find the SmartApps, it will require trial and error to get the apps to do what you want. For example, I wanted to use the motion detector to turn on a light, and then turn it off again after a certain amount of time. I tried several combinations of apps which did not meet the need — until I discovered the “Light Follows Me” app, which does exactly what I wanted. So you should expect a bit of experimenting with those.

    It’s important to know that it requires an IOS or Android smartphone to control. Blackberry and Windows Phones are out of luck, as are (as far as I can tell) desktop users without smartphones.

    I’d buy it again and love the idea, hence 5 stars for the concept minus 1 star for the lack of clearer instructions and for a general feeling that it is “unfinished” (which may be a good thing, just so that you know). Cheers!

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