How Our Family Uses SmartThings

“Our family lives in a full house with a lot going on: There are two parents, two kids, one cat, and one dog. We have been using SmartThings for about a year now to help keep our girls safe and keep our family on track. We have the following set up:

• 1 SmartThings Hub
• 2 SmartPower Outlets
• 1 SmartSense Moisture Sensor
• 1 Aeon Labs Door/Window Sensor
• 1 SmartThings Multi sensor (with 2 more coming any day now)
• 1 Evolve Z-Wave LFM-20 Fixture Module
• 2 Ubi speakers

I initially convinced my partner to let me start installing home automation as a way to make sure our basement didn’t have a flood. We have a finished basement and I wanted to be able to prevent a minor flood from becoming major.

At the same time, I purchased two SmartPower outlets to automate our archaic light timers that we use. Setup was easy and things typically just work.

We then left town one day to visit family and I could not remember if I had closed the garage door. After several frantic texts and calls to a neighbour, they agreed to check on it once they arrived back home. But since they would be out for several more hours, had anyone walked by and saw my tools, power washer, or our kids’ bikes, they could have easily been gone by the time our neighbours.

I started looking for a better solution to make sure I didn’t accidentally leave the garage door open. I then received a SmartSense Multi sensor and an Evolve relay switch for my birthday and now have the ability not only know when the garage door is opened, but to close the garage door remotely. Hooray!! No more stressful family outings (due to the garage door that is…).

We also integrate Smartthings with our two Ubi speakers (one on each floor). We use Ubi as an intercom, to remind the kids of various things, give a weather report in the morning, or have it tell us things based on SmartThings.

bear-and-smartthings (1)We have a dog who, when the opportunity presents itself, will take to galavanting around the neighbourhood with little concern for traffic. I had the awful experience of chasing him throughout the neighbourhood in my PJs and bare feet when someone left the gate open. I decided SmartThings could help me with this and keep our little (okay, medium-sized) pooch safe. Our backyard gate now has a sensor on it that when opened, plays a notification on our Ubis so everyone knows the gate is open. If the gate is left open for more than five minutes, UBI also lets us know and sends us a text. Initially for the dog, this also gives us peace of mind as we have a pool in the back yard.

Next up, I’m adding a sensor to the dryer so I can have UBI tell us when the dryer is done. It is in the basement and we often don’t hear it!

We have been quite happy with SmartThings. My partner is tolerating my new smart home ventures well, which is a huge measure of success!” – Brooke

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  • Xan Bertison

    Just wait until everything starts falsely reporting. Doors “opening”, lights having a mind of their own. It’s fun to be living in the Disney movie SmartHouse where this thing eventually finds a way to kill me.

  • SuperByteMan

    I’m getting ready to look for what kind of ductless heating and cooling system to put in my little house. (I only really need to control two rooms). Can someone recommend what ductless system is compatible with Smart Things (I also own The Ubi and Amazon Echo) but have not purchased any of the SmartThings items yet.

  • misa

    This is a warning!!!!!!!

    Do not use ST for any automation where you cannot verify the results in person every time (clearly defeats the purpose of using ST). This system is outright dangerous. Saying this system is a joke is being generous.

    For over a month, my wife and I kept finding our front door unlocked and garage door open in the morning. After blaming each other for several weeks, we eventually figured out that ST was the culprit.

    We have now verified that ST does indeed delay the automation that should occur upon arrival for hours until my family is fast asleep.

    It is absolutely irresponsible (even criminal) for SmartThings to claim that their system provides safely and security, when in fact, it places individuals and families at extreme risk. It’s just a matter of time before ST is sued for causing direct harm or contributing to personal loss and/or injury.

    ST is clearly and fully aware of these problems based on endless postings on ST’s community forums and the companies own half acknowledgments and apologies for the same.

  • Keith Decher

    In the video it looks like something is attached to your UBI is that just another plug or something attached to your UBI?