Home Automation Part 3: SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit
In our continuing series on home automation, we now turn to specific products that centralize and automate control of lighting, doors, appliances and other devices, making life more convenient, energy efficient, and comfortable. Today we’ll take a look at SmartThings’ Know and Control Your Home Kit.
While the concept of home automation is nothing new, practical solutions are only recently beginning to gain traction and popularity. The SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit is one such entrant, and the starter pack includes two key fobs, two door sensors, a motion sensor, and a smart outlet. Each part of the system, or each thing, communicates with the most important piece of all: the hub. Additional components to expand the control capabilities of the system are also available. Set the thermostat, unlock the front door, adjust lighting throughout the house, take pictures from a webcam, play music, are only a few of the seemingly endless control possibilities.
Beyond setting up automatic processes, SmartThings also offers the ability to monitor and control a household from a smartphone, even when it isn’t connected to a home Wi-Fi network. Despite the age we live in, the whole concept of home automation still seems futuristic. The future, however, is officially here.
SETTING UP THE SMARTTHINGS KNOW AND CONTROL YOUR HOME KIT
Setting up and connecting the system was a straightforward process and only took a few minutes. First, I installed the free SmartThings app (iOS and Android) on my smartphone and created an account.
Next up was to connect the supplied hub to a power source via the included micro USB cable and link the hub to the network with an Ethernet cable. To pair the hub and my account required entering a unique identification code, supplied with the starter kit, into the app
Once the hub was registered, all the sensors and outlets were connected to the network using the app. A small tag is removed from each item to enable pairing mode. Clicking on a big plus button on the app’s home page added each thing to the drop down menu and completed the pairing.
After adding each component to the hub and account, thing-specific automated tasks may then be set up. Under the Alerts tab on the app, notifications and texts are defined to send alerts when events such as a balcony door opens or when motion is detected in the kitchen. The Actions tab is used to set up individual automated tasks, such as turning on the living room lights when the front door is opened, or turning on the TV when I my key fob came within range of the hub. Some of this requires a sea change in the user’s thinking, but the possibilities appear to be endless.
Click here to continue to Page 2 – Using the SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit
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