Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub 2nd Gen.

4 out of 5

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4 out of 5
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SmartThings lets you easily control, monitor, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. The heart of your smart home, the Samsung SmartThings Hub will connect all of your different smart locks, lights, outlets, thermostats, and more and let you control them from the free SmartThings app….

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Reviews

  1. by Adidas1976

    I recently purchased this in November 2016 with the soul purpose of integrating my new Amazon Echo with it to voice control my house. My current set includes: Amazon echo in the kitchen, an Amazon dot in the playroom, an Amazon dot in our master bedroom, approaching 30 different GE Zwave and Zwave+ light switches/dimmers and add on switches (more on that later) and 3 HUE colored light bulbs (more on that later, as well).Goods:1. Pretty easy installation of the hub and app2. Easy recognition of newly installed z-wave devices3. Very active community board with multiple “How-To’s” and FAQs on the smartthing website to help with productsBad:1. The Hub is moderately priced, but buying devices to integrate into the hub is dang expensive2. Occasionally, does not always do what it is meant to do3. Hub has to be plugged directly into the routerDownload the app (I have an iPhone 5). Plug in the hub and DIRECTLY CONNECT THE HUB TO THE ROUTER. This means that the hub has to be in close proximity of the router (I have the latest generation of Apple’s AirPort, which hasn’t changed in 5+ years). Follow the instructions on the app and you’re up and running! I had no issues.Integration goes like this: Purchase GE Zwave light switch, which runs between $35 an $40 a pop! There may be cheaper ones, but not by much. (I recommend staying with the same brand throughout your house. It makes it easier to trouble shoot later on.) Multiply that by how many switches you have in your house! But, you can do this one switch at a time. No need to do all of them all at once. Turn off breaker. Pull out old single switch. Connect the black line wire to the LINE connector on the zwave switch (this is the power coming into the switch box). Connect the black load wire to the LOAD connector on the new switch (this is the black wire coming from the light to power it). Now, these switches need to be connected to the white Neutral wire that is crumbled up in the back of the switch box. These switches come with a pliable extra white wire. Wire nut the whites together. Turn on the breaker and the blue LED light comes on that’s on the switch. Test the switch manually to make sure that you can turn on and off the light. If the blue lights not on, you probably have the black wires switched. Open the app, tap on “Add a Thing”, press up on the switch and the hub recognizes the new switch. Rename it and you’re set.Sounds complicated, but the hardwiring the switch is more complicated than integrating the new switch with the Hub. With the app, I have it set so when both my phone and my wife’s phone break connection with our home wi-if, SmartThings turns off everything. (Have to always remember to remind the babysitter!)Amazon Echo has it’s own app that needs to be integrated, but SmartThings has step by step instructions on that. Had no problem. Now I say, “Alexa, turn off living room lights” and all the lights in the living room turn off. Awesome!The only problem I have had is with 3 way switches. This is where there are 2 or more switches doing the same light. When you pull out the switch on these bad boys, you’ll be met with black, white and red wires. These are wired differently than normal 3 way switches. The way it is suppose to work is that there is one main zwave switch and an add on switch (which has no receiver). When you press the add on switch, it’s suppose to turn off the lights AND send a signal to the main switch, to send a signal to the Hub, so that it registers as on/off on the app. I’ve had some of the newer zwave+ switches that do not register on the app. I.e., I turn off the light with the add on switch, but the app still says the light is on. Not a big deal, but it is annoying. This has only happened on the newer GE 14xxx Zwave switches with the older 12xxx add on switches.Besides this issue, everything has worked flawlessly. Other issues that have appeared are due to my figuring out complex 3 way switches that power multiple different lights. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone interested in an easy entry into home automation!

  2. by MRL

    For me, the Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub (hereafter known as the “Hub”) has exceeded my expectations and is working flawlessly with various Z-Wave Plus devices and with Alexa. My wife and I live in a large three-story townhome. I have 2 Wi-Fi (802.11 n/ac) access points – one that came with my Verizon FiOS in the basement and a TP-Link Archer C9 in a bedroom on the top floor. I have an Echo on the middle floor and an Echo Dot in the basement and on the top floor. The “Hub” is connected to a wired Ethernet local area network.I am in the process of replacing an ancient (predates the dinosaurs) homegrown Elk security system that has no chance of incorporating home automation. I decided to dive headlong into security/automation products. I wanted a complete all-in-one answer rather than one system for security and one system for automation. I also wanted Alexa and IFTTT integration. Enter the “Hub”. Perfect.To test the system before replacing all the old security sensors, I purchased several products – all Z-Wave Plus: Leviton Switch DZ15S, Leviton Dimmer DZ6HD, Leviton Plug-In Outlet DZPA1, Ecolink Motion Sensor with Pet Immunity PIR-ZWAVE2.5-ECO, Ecolink Door/Window Sensor DW-ZWAVE2.5. The Ecolink Door/Window sensors are large. I actually tried several other smaller sensors to no avail.Every one of the devices connected with absolutely no issues.The “Hub” software and the integration with Alexa are working perfectly. I have geo-fencing set up so that when either my Android phone or my wife’s iPhone leave the house or return, the system sends both a text and push notification. I can turn on all the lights when I park the car in front of the house. My front porch lights go on at sunset and off at sunrise – simple setup using the Smart Lights capability. When my wife walks upstairs to the bedroom, a simple “Alexa, turn on the bedroom light” and the light is on. I have not yet tried to set up scenes or rooms but I suspect that will be easy.Ready for this? There are two apps on the Windows 10 Store – Home Remote and SmartThings To Start – that give you access to the devices while sitting at a PC. The SmartThings app on Android, the iPhone and iPad is very easy with a simple interface. You can even put your favorites on the lock screen.The SmartThings app development is open-source. That means you can code your own apps if you are so inclined to try it. To code a smart app you use a derivative of the Java programming language name Groovy (and yes, Groovy is groovy, an easier and more concise language than Java but runs in a Java Virtual Machine).There is also IFTTT if you want to code various actions based on events.So, only a month into my testing, no problems. I am constantly opening and closing doors and windows, walking by the motion detector and giving Alexa a workout turning lights on and off or changing the dimming.The Ecolink devices use the CR123A battery and all devices after a month still show 100%. The Ecolink devices report their battery level to the “Hub”.My house is well covered by two Wi-Fi access points. The Z-Wave Plus devices act in a mesh network and so far no problem with devices not being detected. I would strongly recommend going with Z-Wave Plus devices as the coverage is better with less power draw than the original Z-Wave.For those adventurous souls, there are several tutorials online about coding a SmartThings app using Groovy. One sample has you code an app to turn on a light if motion is detected.By the way, some window/door sensors (the Fibaro and Nortek GoControl for example), are not detected as a window/door sensor but rather as a switch. They report an activity when an event happens (open or close) but do not show the current status (open or closed).And now for the security part. SmartThings has paired with Scout Alarm for professional monitoring. This solves my requirement for one system to handle security and home automation. There is no additional hardware nor contract required to utilize Scout. You can pay my month or yearly at a discount.I expect to continue testing for several more months before I undertake a complete removal of the old security hardware. I will update this review as my testing proceeds.All in all, Groovy!

  3. by Michael

    I have only had this hub for a few weeks, but so far I am VERY impressed with its capabilities.I did my research into what hubs are currently available to make your home into a smart home – and most reviews and information keep pointing back to the Samsung SmartThings Hub.I think the biggest draw for most people is the customer service that comes along with it.Let’s be honest – designing a smart home for your personal tastes is a homebrew hobbyist project that is NOT cheap and will come with its share of frustrations.This hub will instantly download the newest firmware once you connect it to the internet. It will appear to reboot once this is done.DON’T BELIEVE IT!!this was the only major cause of frustration for me. Once all the lights stop blinking and go solid green again, take a moment and unplug the power and backup batteries. This will force a hard reboot and THEN your hub should function just fine. You can then start pairing away.Side note:We had a helluva time getting my wife’s phone to log into the SmartThings account. I set everything up on my phone, which is an LG G5, without issue. I sent her an invitation request, but because her phone is a Samsung Note 5, she already had an existing Samsung account. It simply would not accept the invitation and log in. And yes, we had created a separate SmartThings account for her phone.I got lucky, though. I went into the settings for her phone and to her accounts. My plan was to deactivate her existing Samsung account – but in her accounts section was the SmartThings app. So I clicked on it, entered her new SmartThings account info, and voila – logged in with access to everything.The only thing that does not work is we cannot add her as a mobile presence device. Gotta figure that one out.I like the sleek design of the hub. It doesn’t take up much space, make noise, or get hot. We have a 25 download 2 upload internet account and everything works instantly for us. No delays or waiting for things to happen.The only negative thing I have to say is that it does require internet access to work. That also means that Samsung’s SmartThings Cloud server MUST be working properly and MUST be connected properly to third party Cloud servers, too (ex iHome). So if connectivity is an issue for you then this may not work all the time.Currently I use the following with it:Sengled Element Plus bulbsEcobee3 thermostatIHome sp6x plugLutron Casetta switches (best option for older home wiring with no neutral wire)Ecolink motion sensorEverything works as it should when their cloud server is running well. There is a strong community help discussion board, too.Ideally do believe it is your best choice with what is currently on the market.

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