I have recently become pretty obsessed with automating our home.  It began with trying to find an easy way to turn on/off our holiday decorations.  I installed a system that would allow us to automate our front window candles on a time schedule.  It also gave us remote control of these lights and our two Christmas trees via our smart devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.).  Solving that issue created an even bigger itch.

What if I could use various sensors, adapters, light bulbs and switches to have my home do things on its own, based on conditions that I program? Even better!  In steps Smartthings.  I started with the “Smarter Home Starter Kit,” which is a good way to get a bundle containing the hub and a few different sensor types to get on your way to automating your home.

My initial goals were fairly modest:

  • Start boiling my coffee water (since I use a French press) while I’m getting ready in my bathroom
  • Notify me when my kids get home from school
  • Turn on / off lights based on time of day or whether or not someone is home

These are easily accomplished with a home starter kit.  I quickly found out that the only real limitation is my imagination.  Smartthings was acquired by Samsung last year, so the growth of their product lines and integrations is only going to grow. They also had a large presence and announced new products and integrations at CES this year.

One of the things I really like about this particular platform is it’s openness.  It works with a variety of protocols and products.  I just recently received a shipment of GE Zwave toggle switches and am looking forward to adding these to my current setup to automate lighting and scenes in my home even further.  I will continue to update my progress here.

If you’re ready to get started with home automation, there is never a better time than right now.  Buy a SmartThings Hub or Kit and get 10% off your order (new customers only). Secure your home, control lighting, and more—from your smartphone. Click this link to get started!

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Below is a quick primer video of some of the things that are possible with a Smartthings smart home:

Hello, Smart Home: Steve from SmartThings on Vimeo.


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