Samsung's SmartThings Starter Kit, which normally retails for £199 is currently £125 on Amazon and best of all, it's actually rather good. In the starter kit you'll find the hub, a plug, a multi-sensor, a motion sensor and a presence sensor. So why is it a good buy?
In the smart home world, many devices run on the Z-Wave standard. Many others run on the Zigbee standard. SmartThings supports both of these, which makes it pretty unique in the market. If you want to mix and match devices from other manufacturers as well as those from Samsung themselves, it's an excellent choice. It won't work with everything, for example Lightwave has its own proprietary protocol, but for those devices, there's another option within SmartThings - custom integration scripts that let you integrate with other hubs and services. Written in a language called 'Groovy', they are incredibly powerful and work really well. Best of all, thanks to the popularity of the SmartThings ecosystem, there are lots of them already created and ready to go within the SmartThings community site.
Let me talk about how I use Smartthings in my home. I have the hub plugged in, invisible, in a cupboard in the centre of the house. I have various plugs about the house with things like electric blankets, fans, home theater gear etc. Not all those plugs are Smartthings - Hive plugs use Zigbee so work fine with Smartthings and I prefer their design, so I've added some of those. The multi-sensor is on my garage door, so I can tell if it's open or closed, moving and what the temperature is out there. The motion sensor is in the house and can alert when my daughter comes in from school, or any unexpected movement while we're away, all configured using Smartthings' own smart recipes and also IFTTT integrations if needed. The presence sensor is in my bag so I can trigger things automatically when I get in from work. I have a water leak sensor connected up from a generic manufacturer, again using Z-Wave. I have our Hive heating added in SmartThings , plus our Harmony universal remote and a number of other third party services. I have our Hue lights added too, directly on the Samsung hub. Our UniFi cameras can be used to trigger motion detection events. Oh, and we have LIFX Wi-Fi bulbs too! Most connected things we have I have been able to get working, which is incredibly powerful. It's all controlled by the SmartThings app on Android which is actually pretty good, easy enough for anyone to use in the house and best of all, it's reliable.
The real selling point of SmartThings is that it is easy to configure yet powerful, can be added to bit by bit and it just works. As an entry point to a connected home I think it's unbeatable.
Tempted? Head on over to Amazon to grab the deal!