Today we’re going to take a look at Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem. We will see if it is more interesting than that of Amazon, Google or Apple.
If you’re just starting to automate your health home, you could easily use a smart speaker as a hub. Indeed, the iconic Echo Plus and the brand new Echo Studio are both equipped with Zigbee.
But when your projects go beyond just scattering a few devices around your health home, there’s no substitute for a dedicated health home hub. Remember that your health home automation experience will largely depend on the quality of the ecosystem you engage in. So it’s best to get it right from the start.
The Samsung SmartThings app
We’re thrilled that Samsung has solved the app debacle with SmartThings. For a while, two apps were running simultaneously. Everything is now in the main SmartThings app.
While testing it, I found it responsive and pleasant to use. Device management is done within the app and the overall experience is solid. Samsung still has work to do, but no app is perfect.
As with any smarthome ecosystem, you need to familiarize yourself with the basics first. This is what we are going to see now.
You may be a newcomer to health home automation. If so and you are looking to build an efficient smart health connected health home, reliable WiFi is vital.
How is the signal through your house? Are you suffering from these irritating dead spots in some places? If you have a big house, are there some places where you have a hard time getting decent WiFi?
Mesh WiFi networks are a great alternative to regular routers. You use nodes – like mini-routers – instead of the standard setup. This allows you to route the WiFi signal from one corner of the smart health home to another; even in a very large house.
This is what the Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Mesh offer offers.
SmartThings Mesh WiFi
For anyone intending to build a SmartThings ecosystem from scratch, investing in this mesh WiFi system is a great place to start. To start with, you will have 3 devices capable of covering spaces up to 420 square meters with super-stable WiFi coverage.
Each of the nodes has a range of 150 square meters. The modular nature of a mesh WiFi system allows you to add up to 32 nodes if you need more firepower. With so many devices crowding the 2.4 GHz frequency, use 5 GHz WiFi as well.
This mesh system will optimize devices and channel hopping in the background. No more fiddling with settings and say hello to a flawless signal throughout the house.
Setup is a snap, with simple instructions provided within the app. You will be able to use this app to see exactly what everyone is doing online. This monitoring ability is very useful if you have children and are trying to limit screen time. Also, this mesh router comes with a built-in SmartThings hub.
Samsung SmartThings Hub (third generation)
If you want to get the most out of your SmartThings ecosystem, you’ll want all of your devices to work well together; and be controlled remotely or by voice.
The Samsung SmartThings hub makes this possible. Now in its third iteration, what makes Samsung’s Gateway stand out in a crowded field?
Perhaps the main selling point of this hub is the fact that it is equipped with Zigbee and Z-Wave radios. This allows your hub to help other devices work together seamlessly. Once your SmartThings hub is plugged in and smart health connected to your health home’s WiFi network, you can pair any device to it.
The only condition is that they must work on Zigbee, Z-Wave or WiFi. Bluetooth does not work with SmartThings. Once everything is set up, you can take care of everything using nothing but an app on your smartphone.
What about voice control? No problem either. Add an Echo device or Google health home speaker and you’ll be up and running with Alexa or Google Assistant.
The best of smart health connected objects
With the establishment of the SmartThings foundation, it is time to think about the use of certain devices …
A smart outlet is a great starting point for health home automation. These nifty devices make it easy for you to take remote control of otherwise dumb devices.
From lamps and ceiling fans to heaters and coffee machines, handle your old appliances using the SmartThings app on your phone. You can also program the devices to turn on or off at certain times. As with the entire SmartThings ecosystem, you’ll need the hub to take full advantage of this compact yet powerful addition to your smart health connected health home.
If you thought you would need to dig deep for Samsung’s foray into the competitive smart light bulb space, you would be wrong.
The price of these smart LEDs is very low, despite their power. As with all low power LEDs, you will save money by using less electricity. You will also benefit from an increased lifespan from these bulbs compared to older incandescent bulbs.
This white A19 bulb is dimmable, so you can create mood lighting with just a few brush strokes without having to get out of your seat. If you prefer voice control, these bulbs are compatible with Samsung’s proprietary AI, Bixby.
You can also use Alexa or Google Assistant if you have a smart speaker or smart display.
The best use of the versatile Samsung SmartThings motion sensor is to regulate the lighting, heating and cooling based on whether or not a person is in a room.
You can even have the music play when you enter the living room or health home theater; or for the stage to fall into place when you get health home from work. The sensor’s magnetic ball mount allows you to easily manipulate the angle you need to best capture motion.
Control is simple in the app, as with all SmartThings technologies.
Do you have a big house with windows and doors everywhere? If so, protect everything with the help of a few versatile sensors.
As long as the hub is in place, you can stay alerted by the app on your phone if any doors or windows are opened unexpectedly. This feature is just as valuable whether you are upstairs at night or on vacation.
If you get more involved in automation, you can have your sensor ping your smart health connected thermostat or lights for more comprehensive control.
If you’re looking to stay smart health connected to your health home even when you’re away, this arrival sensor will keep you updated if someone enters your health home. You can set up an automation system so that certain smart health connected devices turn on or off when someone enters or leaves the room.
Schedule lights and music to turn on when you get health home from work. By leaving in the morning, you can have your smart devices turn off when you wake up.
Use this sensor in tandem with your smart thermostat to adjust heating and cooling based on room occupancy.
Water leak sensor
Water leak detectors might not be the most glamorous buy for your smart health home.
Buy at least one, and you’ll have precious peace of mind when you’re away from health home.
Any devices you have smart health connected to your Samsung SmartThings hub will turn on and off if moisture is detected.
You will receive an immediate alert in the app so that you can take preventive action. Save yourself the headache and financial cost of a water damage claim with this inexpensive SmartThings sensor.
Buttons have yet to receive the attention we think they deserve. This inexpensive product from SmartThings allows you to turn your compatible devices on or off with the push of a button.
Customize the controls so your devices do exactly what you want, even when your cell phone is not in sight.
Indoor security cameras have many uses besides capturing images if someone breaks into your health home unthinkably.
Whether it’s monitoring your baby or teens, you can even use the camera to monitoring your pets when you’re at work. Despite its low price – all SmartThings kits are very expensive – you will still enjoy 1080p HD video.
Images are stored in the cloud and 24 hours of storage is provided before you need to start paying. You also get two-way sound. Intelligent object and motion recognition minimizes false triggers.
What else works with Samsung SmartThings?
Samsung continues to expand the SmartThings ecosystem with new devices; but you are not limited to proprietary technologies. One of the main attractions of SmartThings is the ability to add hundreds of devices from most of the big players in health home automation.
Although you rarely run into compatibility issues, keep an eye out for the “Works with SmartThings” label to stay on track. Google Nest devices are not compatible with SmartThings.
Most HomeKit devices are also excluded due to the lack of a Bluetooth radio in the SmartThings ecosystem. Overall, however, we have to say that SmartThings is by far the most inclusive ecosystem.
How to connect your Samsung SmartThings technology
Fortunately, getting started with Samsung SmartThings couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is bring up the application and then press the + button at the top right.
Then scan your device’s QR code and follow a few simple onscreen instructions. What if you can’t locate the code? Manual search is a breeze by brand or device type.
SmartThings was once reserved for real geeks. And while it remains a top choice for those same people, the user-friendly updates to the app since Samsung took over the product have made it a more viable option for the general public.
However, it is not yet suitable for everyone. The relative openness of its platform compared to most of the competitors is the source of some headaches; especially with regard to the pairing of devices.
But if you stick to gadgets that are certified as compatible with SmartThings, it will be easier. Even if you’re already invested in a smart health home ecosystem like HomeKit, Alexa, or Google, SmartThings can be a great addition. Samsung SmartThings is an easy way to overload your smart health home.
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