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SmartThings Home Automation Kicks Butt!

Control Your Home from a Phone

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in Interior DIY Projects
SmartThings Home Automation

The house next to us got robbed.

It was scary.

I decided to do something about it and share that with you today.

You’ll see how I set up the SmartThings home automation system to monitor our home and kids.

And unlike traditional home security systems there’s no monthly fee.

Today’s tutorial unveils the SmartThings Smarter Home Starter Kit and there’s a sweet giveaway you don’t want to miss 😀

If you know how to use a smartphone you can totally setup the SmartThings system.

All you need is the internet, WIFI, and a smartphone.

And as I said earlier there’s no monthly fee to operate it.

The SmartThings kit I’m reviewing today comes with these Things

You can start with just a Hub ($99) and a few Open/Closed Sensors ($39).

Hubs connect to your WIFI router via an ethernet cable.

SmartThings Hub

They help your smartphone communicate to all the devices, e.g. SmartSense Motion Sensor.

Each home automation system also requires an app on your smartphone.

Apps allow your phone to communicate to the Hub.

Installation goes like this

  1. Install the Hub to your WIFI router
  2. Install the home automation app on your smartphone
  3. Start connecting devices to the Hub via the app on your smartphone

Yep, it’s simple.

The only thing I don’t show you is how to add the Hub to your WIFI router.

Frankly it’s very easy AND my office was too much of a mess, meaning I was just a bit embarrassed to show you it!!

Let’s start the tutorial by showing you the Hub installation.


Installing the SmartThings Hub (changing a diaper is harder)

The last time I changed a diaper I put it on backwards.

Yah, thank goodness my niece didn’t eat prunes that day!

SmartThings’ hub only has two connections: power and ethernet.

SmartThings Hub

Plug one end of the ethernet cable into your WIFI router and the other end into the back of the Hub.

Then you can plug the power supply into the Hub and any standard wall outlet.

The next step is to install the SmartThings app onto your smartphone.

SmartThings App

The SmartThings app is available for iPhones, Android, and Windows phones.

You’ll have to setup a free account within the app.

Once that’s done you can register the Hub using the Welcome code that came with it.

Don’t worry, I show you how to do this in the unboxing video below. Super easy stuff.

At this point you can add Things (or Devices, whichever terminology you prefer) to your smartphone.

Things include the SmartPower Outlet, Motion Sensor, Open/Closed Sensors, etc.

To do this you just need to press the “+” in the app.

Add Things

Setting up all the Things in the kit takes about 1-2 hours.

I’ll show you how simple and cool this is.

My favorite Things are the Open/Closed Sensors and the Presence Sensor!


Setting up Things in your smartphone (haha, another way to track kids…)

Full disclosure, I totally told my daughter I put the Presence Sensor in her backpack.

She thought it was pretty neat but then again, she’s only 12 and not a teenager quite yet.


Adding Things to your smartphone starts in the SmartThings app dashboard.

Press the “+” and search for the Thing you want to add.

The first Thing I installed (after the Hub) was the SmartPower Outlet.

SmartPower Outlet

If you watched my a previous home automation video you know  I LOVE the ability to monitor lights.

For some reason my kids think leaving lights on is OK.

Plug a lamp into the SmartPower outlet and this light problem is solved.

Use the app to program the outlet to control lights in all these ways

  • Turn on when a there is motion
  • Turn off when there is no motion
  • Turn off after a period of time and MORE

Yah, there are tons of ways to lower your electric bill.

Watch my video to see the outlet in action.

You can pair the SmartPower Outlet with the SmartSense Motion Sensor.

SmartSense Motion Sensor

These two Things can combined make a dynamic duo.

Use them to turn on lights when someone walks in the room.

If you have a pet they can also trigger the motion sensor to make it seem like someone is home.

So it serves as a home security system, too.

BUT my absolute favorite Things are the Open/Closed sensors and Presence Sensors.

Watch my video to see why

SmartThings Home Automation


What’s Next

If you don’t want to pay monthly fees yet still want a great home security setup, SmartThings is a great option.

Also, grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Send Me The Guide


Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.


Jeff Patterson





P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

  1. Vefa says:

    Thanks for the review. I would like to try this kit to make my home more secure.for example on more than one occasion, I have forgotten to close the garage door overnight, leaving it open for anyone to walk in. I am hoping this kit will help me prevent that from happening again.

    1. Oh my gosh, we’ve done the exact same thing Vefa. This could totally help with that problem. At the very least it would let you know if you left garage door open. If you have a newer garage door opener you could even control that with your smartphone. I know that Chamberlain has this capability. Which reminds me, maybe I need to do a tutorial on that, lol.

  2. Barbara Curtis says:

    Would start out using the SmartThings to control the lights constantly being left on when my family leaves a room. Then I’d add on to the system for home security. Thanks for all your excellent home tutorials.

    1. Thanks Barb, yep, that’s exactly my plan, too. Home security is a big one!!!!

  3. Brett P says:

    Great review! This would be perfect for us to use while going away on vacation; great to use for turning on/off lights as well as monitoring the garage doors.

    1. Vacation always makes me nervous, even if I’m gone for two days. So many stories of people being robbed or coming home to busted pipes. Nice to be able to monitor stuff from afar!!

  4. ma perez says:

    I enjoyed your video. You make it easy to walk through the instructions. I luv techy gadgets, especially if they work. I would definitely enjoy this product in my home. I’m a single parent and checking lights and doors, as well as when kids come and go can be quite demanding so this would be helpful. This system would also save me money, rather than paying for a monthly monitoring system. I believe I can also run a video camera to the front yard with this.

    1. You’re right about the camera, you can go to the SmartThings site and see which ones will work. This is a total DIY job and you’ll be happy with the final setup.

  5. Fran says:

    Thanks for the super easy-to-follow video! Love the concept. I, too, have left garage doors WIDE open all night. We leave our car keys in our car in the garage, not really a great idea when we forget to close the doors. And the dog seems to get a kick out of running back under the door at the last minute while it’s closing, so that it opens back up again. Arrive back home, door wide open. This kit could help me keep a tab on things like that, along with lights, etc. while on vacay.

    1. You could also keep tabs on your dog Fran. Add the Presence sensor to the collar and you’re all set. But yah, those garage doors are tricky, lol

  6. Greg says:

    Home automation is neat tech. I’d probably use it like you to control lights and send alerts. Monitoring the garage door is something else that would be useful. I’m always checking that it is closed.

    1. Getting the notifications is totally cool Greg. Makes keeping an eye on the house so much easier. Also makes me feel better during the day 😀

  7. Colby Ruffing says:

    Awesome review of an awesome product!

    For me I’d start by using the sensor for the door that goes into my garage/shop. I have a toddler that is learning to open doors and wonder so it would be great to know if she managed to wonder into that danger zone. Since the hub is compatible with so many things I’d also begin to expand it to cameras and light switches too. Such a cool product. Seems to have endless possibilities.

    1. You’re right Colby, there are endless possibilities. I never thought about adding a sensor to the door leading to the garage, that’s a great idea. Maybe even adding a sensor to the basement door, too. Good point about this also being a child safety device. You could add a sensor to kitchen cabinet doors that house chemicals.

  8. Terri Gold says:

    I would LOVE to replace my expensive, monthly charge carrying system. This is perfect as we do not live in a high risk area (although you never know.) Doors are often left open around here and this will let me know when and which one is ajar. The motion sensors are perfect for knowing if there is movement in the home when there should not be! I’m sure this can be used as a burglar protection system but that would have to be configured with the right accessories.
    Thanks for the video showing how easy the product is to use.

    1. My pleasure to help Terri. Monthly charges stink, especially since most of us have huge cell phone bills!!! Getting rid of one more bill is awesome.

  9. Lee Wells says:

    I would love to get this sensor as a starter to setup a security system and eventually expand it to lights and other areas…

    1. That is the cool part Lee, being able to start with the Hub then expand out.

  10. Mary C. says:

    I don’t have a smart pone but I’m passing the information to my son to look into. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Mary, I think he’d really like this option 😀

  11. Laura says:

    This is perfect. The fact that there are no monthly fees makes it even better. I am recently divorced after 36 yrs of being married to my high school sweetheart. It is the first time I have ever lived alone. It can be quite scary at times for me. Living on a fixed income paying those monthly fees just wasn’t an option for me. Thank you so much for sharing this product and most of all showing how easy it is to install it yourself.

    1. Sorry to hear about your divorce Laura, that stinks. This certainly would help with home security and just being more comfortable living alone. Best part, it doesn’t get grumpy like a husband 😉

  12. Jay says:

    Just a thought , these are heavily dependent on wifi & internet which is also the single point of failure reason being most cables (phone or internet) are exposed and can easily be tampered with and the alarm becomes useless when you are not home . It still works as a deterrent and alerts you if you are home.

    1. Good point Jay, might be a good idea to have the internet or wifi somewhere inconspicuous. It’s a long shot that someone would tamper with the wifi first but who knows these days!!

  13. JT Thompson says:

    This is fantastic timing! A friend was broken into 3 days ago… and then again yesterday so I think this is going to be a godsend for them.

    Thank you!

    1. Awe man, sorry to hear about that JT. That sucks. This could certainly make your friend more comfortable.

  14. Gladys says:

    My husband and I are moving soon and we’ve seen that al!most everyone in your neighborhood has a security system. However, we don’t want to have those monthly charges so we would love to have this system. We don’t to be the only ones in the neighborhood without a system making it even more likely that we would be a target!
    Thanks, Jeff, for telling us about this system and I hope I win!

    1. Congrats on your more Gladys. Best part about this system is that you can take most of the devices with you when you move. Pretty cool.

  15. Gary E Coakley says:

    My wife is very ill and does not get around well. I think I could put a sensor on her. When I’m outside mowing the yard or whatever I will know that she is alright.

    1. You know Gary, I’ve even thought about using the new smart watches in that way for my Mom and Dad. I know they’re expensive but something like that would allow for communication back and forth, as long as the person was awake. Getting older stinks!

  16. Cyndy B says:

    Thanks for the review. We have a monitored security system, but would like to try this kit to make our home more secure. On occasion, we have forgotten to close the garage door overnight, leaving it open for anyone to walk in. This seems to be exactly what we’ve been looking for to prevent that from happening. And I like the idea of turning lights on and off. Nice gadgets!

    1. Gadgets are awesome, aren’t they Cyndy. Being able to control lights and switches is so cool. Down the road I’ll be doing a tutorial on a switch that can be used with the SmartThings Hub 😀

  17. Deb F says:

    Since I am single lady, the added assurance of having a security system like this would add peace of mind. I too sometimes forget to close the garage door. And although the neighbors call me sometimes to remind me to shut the garage, I can’t always count on that! LOL.

    1. Don’t worry Deb, you’re in good company 😀

  18. Sherry O says:

    This sounds like a great product. Thinking ahead instead of behind to get one soon. Thanks for the review and information of this product. Been doing research and didn’t have this one in our sights. Would love to have it.

    1. Which ones were you reviewing Sherry?

  19. Rich says:

    Our home is currently monitoring by a central station, but it’s of limited value. Both doors to the house are alarmed, and there’s a central motion detector, but from years of experience I can you they won’t do much to protect your valuables (I only have one because it eases my wife’s mind). Burglars will kick in your front door, run to your bedroom where *everyone* stores their jewelry and valuables, and is out the door again. The police probably were only just getting notified by the time the burglar’s leaving.

    My central station first calls the house to see if an activation was a false alarm, then calls the police, and then my cell phone to notify me. That’s a long delay.

    A system like SmartThings is better because, besides giving you immediate push notifications of a door or window being opened, it gives you flexibility and control that allows you to have lights turn on and off to give the appearance of someone being home. I will definitely be looking into this system more.

    1. Good point Rich about the delay factor and the intruder not worrying about getting out. It’s interesting to think about all the different scenarios that could happen. The lights being turned on by the motion sensor could help deter an intruder 😀 or maybe you could plug a tape recorder into the motion sensor that would have the voice of a burly guy saying he’s got a gun!! Now that would deter me 😀

  20. Ryan Schultz says:

    Hi Jeff,
    It’s ironic that just last night I told my wife I think we need to get a security system. Our first child is going to be here in about 3-4 weeks and I want nothing more than for my family to both feel and be safe. I have a good feeling that this is a solution to my concerns and the added features are priceless. No monthly fee makes it all the better and since I’ll probably soon be putting diapers on backwards… The easy installation is perfect.

    1. Lol, don’t worry, I’ve put plenty of diapers on backwards. One learns very quickly that’s not a good idea. Both you and your wife could monitor the house at the same time. Cool stuff 😀

  21. Maryann O says:

    This sounds so simple! I am a woman living alone in my first home. Sometimes my job has me coming home late at night and ALWAYS when I first enter my house, I have an unsettled feeling of what might be on the other side of my front door. Being able to check my phone to be certain all is well before entering my house, would be amazing! I have looked into home security systems and just the set up fees start at $700. Not including monthly fees. This product is a great idea!

    1. Whoa, $700!!

      I had no idea. That’s pretty expensive. Now this system looks even better.

      Thanks Maryann for sharing.

  22. Wesley Wong says:

    I love the presence sensor. I have a cat who goes out at night and back home in the day. By putting this on her collar, I could get notifications of when she leaves and when she comes home! Too Cool.

    1. You’d love it Wesley. Instant notifications would help track her down.

  23. Renee P says:

    Hi Jeff: This system sounds amazing! I especially like it that there are no monthly fees associated with it and it is fairly easy to install. We have a tendency to leave the garage doors open to let everyone and their brother can walk in!!! We live in a low crime area but it has started to invade very close around us. We don’t always remember everything like we used to. A system like this would assure that our home is protected when we are away from it. Thanks for your insight to the product. Really like it when something new is recommended by someone you can trust!

    1. Thanks so much Renee, you’re the best.

      New techie things are really great when you know they help keep your family safe. This one can do so much and the ability to setup different commands is way cool.

  24. Betty Lien says:

    I would really love to win this. We live in a rural area & many time when we leave
    the house it worrys me that it will broke into. There is a lot of drugs & thefts around us.
    They didn’t tell us when we bought the house.
    I love your tutorials. We are retied couple in our 70 & 80’s.
    Hope to be th lucky person to win.
    Thanks Betty

  25. Lindsey says:

    Wow I would LUV this! I really like adding tech to the house even though my wife is not a fan. lol I’ve started replacing even the cfl with LED bulbs and they’ve been great! They throw off kore light than cfl and I’ve found I actually use less bulbs! (3 bulb light I only use 1-2 led). This new tech would be incredible! How many times do we drive away thinking gosh did I close the garage door? Or lying in bed did I close the back sliding door?? Being on vacation would be epic with this. Turn some lights on and off and house looks occupied!

  26. Chip says:

    This looks to be the best way to jump into the world of home automation. Plus, home security with no monthly fee is very appealing.

  27. Patti B says:

    You had me at “no monthly fees!” We’ve been tempted to jump on our local cable companies security features, but always cringe when we think about how much more (and it’s already a lot) we’d be paying every month. Great tutorial – you make it look so easy!

  28. Amazing review! I think you did a great job. I wonder what type of automation you can do for newly remodeled bathroom? Any suggestions?

  29. Ryan Schoonover says:

    I am curious about the motion sensors, particularly about sensitivity and durability. I use ADT as I like having the fire and break in monitoring protection (just have to remember to set the alarm) but I am curious if the SmartThings motion sensors can be used out doors. Most break-ins in my area have been someone going through a side gate and breaking in through a back window or door. I would love to be able to monitor my side gate to know if it has been opened or someone is moving around in this area and this seems like it could be a great solution. I wonder if the motion detector is able to be covered with a clear plastic cover so it can be protected from the elements and still work. Also, I’d like to know if the sensitivity can be adjusted so it isn’t set off by branches moving, birds, cats etc. The motion sensor in my house is set for something over 40 pounds and I hope this can do something similar. Would be awesome to be able to monitor my yard and side gate without setting off an alarm. Something to explore!

  30. Lori B says:

    What a wonderful item and a great review/tutorial! Being single it would give me a lot of peace of mind to have something that would let me know if someone is in my house. It would also be nice to come home to a light on in the winter months without having to pay for a light to be on all day. Last but not least, I cannot tell you how many times I have driven around the block to make sure I shut the garage door, so it would be great to be able to check to make sure it is shut without having to drive home!
    Thank you for the video and for the opportunity!

  31. Norma Salsberry says:

    This is such a great alternative to the expensive monitoring services! We have been looking for a simple DIY solution to those, and this appears to be the answer. Thanks for the tutorial and the opportunity to win a hub.

  32. Chris Massad says:

    Awesome review, Jeff! You’re videos are always entertaining and I’ve been contemplating getting the Smartthings system. You sold me on it! Thanks again.

  33. John Meyer says:

    Great presentation Jeff!
    I would use this Smartthings system to monitor my house and control the lights from my iPhone. It would give me piece of mind knowing when I am away on business I can still monitor my home and not have any monthly fees. Thanks.

  34. Ryan Rice says:

    I’d like to try using a presence sensor along with an automatic doggie door. I’ve seen others like it but this system is more versatile. I’d also use a presence sensor to turn on lights in the house when I arrive. I’d like to try using a motion sensor in my hallway instead of having to turn the light on and off every time so I can see items in closets and such. There’s so many ways to use it!

  35. Mark Cuda says:

    For me, SmartThings is just the coolest thing ever. I’ve been reading online about the LFM-20 Evolve Relay switch, so I can wire up my garage door and control it automatically! Wow! That and I would LOVE to dive into some insane IFTTT integration hehe. Thanks for the giveaway, man! Love it!


  36. I’d use it just to automate turning off the lights! No one but me ever does so in the house!

  37. Jayne Keedy says:

    We are so tired of paying monthly fees to a service for a system that does one thing only. Some of our neighbors have installed their own home monitoring systems and love them. We’re ready to cut the cord!

  38. Jason says:

    I simply like to make things as technologically superior as possible.

  39. Nancy Payton says:

    I would use many of these items to replace ancient X10 devices I have all over my house. I made a huge investment in x10 devices 25+ years ago. They still work, mostly, but when the x10 company failed, I lost support for their highly proprietary software packages, so I have had to maintain a computer solely for the x10 app installed on it. I have all kinds of macros and motion sensors stored in the command unit, which is clunky and sometimes hard to update/modify. Also, Since x10 communicates over the power lines, my setup has become less and less reliable. As a result, I have lost some of the automation :Certain lamps no longer come on at desired times, or worse, they don’t shut off. I have been considering something more reliable and flexible, and this looks like a great stepping off point for my new wave of automation. I am such a ‘home automation’ geek!

  40. Rosene Hurd says:

    I’m excited about this product to keep my home safe. Our neighborhood has also seen a rise in break-ins during the day. GRRR! I live by myself with my large dog and I’m intrigued by the motion sensor turning on a device (light, radio, fan) instead my dog setting off alarms when I’m away at work, a great way to trick someone into thinking I’m at home. I’m on a tight budget so the $0 monthly fee is perfect. Plus many security monitoring companies are a rip off. It looks like a super easy install, no wires. YAY!! Even a girl (me) can do it. Hahahaha

  41. Andy says:

    I currently have a wired security system that we installed after someone broke into our house. I have looking to upgrade or change to a wireless version that I can control from my phone. This looks like a neat setup and would make my wife much more comfortable when we are not at home. Great tip and recommendation. Sure could use one in today’s economy and society.

  42. Wayne Knowles says:

    I like this cause I like “stuff.” 🙂 And I need home protection too.

    1. Lol, I like stuff too Wayne. Especially techie stuff. You should upload the SmartThings app to your phone and check out all the different devices that you could get. It’ll blow your mind.

  43. lara verrecchio says:

    Very cool and slick!

  44. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for this timely information! We have been talking about getting a security system, but have been put off by the monthly fee. Our daughter is home for the summer from college and is really nervous about staying home alone when my husband and I are traveling. This sounds like the perfect solution.

    1. She’d like it a lot Michelle, especially the fact that she could be notified if a door or window was opened. Add a Drop Cam to the system and you have a great home security setup!

  45. Mike says:

    A certain member of my household is always leaving the garage door open and the lights on. It would be nice to know so I can do something about it before the whole day elapses. There is only two of us in the house; I’ll ket you guess who I am talking about.

    1. LOL, I’m not going to get in trouble by guessing Mike. I’ve left the garage door open myself. One time we actually came home after a few hours of being out and the front door had blown open. Yah, that was startling!!

  46. Vanessa says:

    Guess what? Our home was robbed on Palm Sunday this year between 11:30pm and 4:30am while we were home. And we have two kids 5 and under. To say this is frightening is beyond words. I went to bed early with the kids and my husband forgot to shut the garage door and the door from the garage to the house was unlocked. We have baby gates on all of our stairs (thank god!) so they didn’t get further than that. I considered a system like this but we are only on one income so it is too expensive and it runs on WiFi which we don’t have. Instead I checked out a Home Security book by Better Homes and Gardens. We have all exterior lights on timers (Flip Switch Timer @ $16 each). We have 2x4s secured on the door to our garage so no one can bust it down (cost of $5). We also have Door Guardians (about $19 ea) on all exterior doors and bedroom doors. We are going to do more exterior low voltage lighting, shrubs and add peep holes to exterior doors. And add a storm door. The thing is I don’t want to live like I’m in lock down all of the time. This is scary that it’s happening and I believe is a sign of the poverty and/or drug abuse in our city.

  47. David Nelson says:

    Thanks Jeff for another great idea to improve our homes and lives. I love this DIY security system,esp. the “presence sensor”. The cost to start adding more pieces might seem high at first look, but take a look at what ADT or Wells Fargo is charging for the same number of pieces. Then divide any difference by their monthly charge and you can see how fast your saving $$$$$. KEEP UP THE GREAT JOB, AND THANKS!
    David Nelson

  48. Carolyn Atkinson says:

    Hello, my mother in law passed away, and owned the home across the street from us. The house was broken into and everything in it was either opened and gone thru and stuff was taken, bikes, tools, personal items. Something like this would be great so that the house could easily be watched.

  49. Linda says:

    I’d like this system to monitor my garage door. I have found it open when it shouldn’t be — usually after lightning storms, so I guess something is triggering the opener. I may not be able to stop that, but at least I’d know it is open and could get it closed sooner. Thanks for your always interesting reviews and give-aways Jeff!

  50. TraciB says:

    Great demo! I like the idea of being able to automate my home. Being notified if a door has been opened is a plus too!

    1. Thanks Traci, it’s fun to setup and see all the device options. I too like the open/close notifications 😀

  51. Bill says:

    We’ve been thinking about this for several months and this video jump started us to take the initiative and make this happen to not only make our house secure and energy efficient, but to explore how this technology can be applied effectively in our rental beach house. Thanks for the kick starter.

    1. Rental beach houses would be a perfect location for SmartThings. You could totally secure it with the sensors, a Drop Cam, door lock, etc. It would be awesome to get it setup and that way be more at ease if you live far away.

  52. Len says:

    Great review Jeff! I’m going to try this out to replace our 20-year old system. Probably a good idea to make sure your breaker box is secure so it isn’t so easy to cut power to your house.

    1. Could suggestion Len, ours is right next to the garage man door. Good thing I have a sensor on that door and it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a Drop Cam

  53. Darren Paffenroth says:

    I would use it with my door lock to make sure my home was secure and create rules to control lights based on sensor input. Turning off lights when people are not in the room, turning them on automatically at night when they are.

    1. The rules are so cool Darren, they can manage all the devices in a multitude of ways. That’s a whole different tutorial in itself.

  54. Margie says:

    I would like the confidence that as my husband and I get older,we can feel a bit safer in our own home. We pastor a small church and are on the go. This would be added peace of mind. I’m hoping my un-tech savvy hubby could install it! :]

    1. Anyone could install this system Margie, I did, lol.

      Being on the run is tough, and having something like this gives us peace of mind 😀

  55. Cathy Spence says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I have been obsessing about installing something like this for some time now.
    Our neighborhood too has been going through a series of robberies. I was thinking of something that is attached to a tree near the driveway that could alert me to someone coming on the property I suppose that would require cameras and such.. I watch too many mystery movies! Unfortunately (fortunately?) I have 3 acres so that’s a lot to monitor and am a corner lot so accessibility is easy.
    I will totally look into this because I am an empty nester now, my husband travels frequently and I occasionally go with him.
    According to my twenty something’s I don’t deserve a smartphone because I don’t utilize it fully, but I think I’ll show them.
    Totally love your website.

    1. You deserve a smartphone Cathy 😀

      My Mom is 74 and has one, now we text all the time. You could setup the Drop Cam and add a few motion sensors and that would be a great security setup. I think you’d impress your twenty somethings!!

  56. Mary O. says:

    SmartThings would be great for my daughter’s apartment. She had her door busted open while she was at work and her large flat screen was stolen plus some expensive purses. She now has a stronger door lock and frame and she now keeps her second story apt. curtains drawn. She and her roommate have not installed a security system yet. I will recommend this to her. Thanks for offering the discount.

    1. That stinks Mary, sorry to hear about your daughter. I was just saying in a different comment that this system is perfect for renters. Beefing up the door lock was good and adding a few sensors to the doors/windows would help. She could even add a motion sensor and a drop cam to view the house while away 😀

  57. Charlie says:

    Love the SmartThings concept, it will definitely be a great help in my home improvement project. The door open sensor is especially useful when I rent out a room for a tenant.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. You know what Charlie, I didn’t mention this but the modular setup with SmartThings is perfect for renters. They could use the sensors and when they leave they could take them. It’s great for homeowners and renters.

  58. Kimberly E. says:

    Thanks for the review! I like the no monthly fee aspect. I’ve been wanting to install a security/monitor system in our house but the cost and the monthly subscriptions make me hesitant since we are on one income right now. This SmartHub sounds pretty cool and it would fit right in with our nest!;-) Our house was broken into once before (we weren’t moved in yet) and I still get nervous when we leave the house that someone is just going to do it again. Although nothing was stolen but a couple of rolls of toilet paper and a case of bottled water, you still feel violated.

    1. Oh man Kimberly, that’s so scary. Sorry to hear about your home being broken into. Sensors setup properly can help with this problem. And the cool part is you can buy only what you need. This might only be a few sensors, like 2-3.

  59. Jimmy Stinnett says:

    I could totally use the motion detector for lights in the kids room to save energy cost as well as using it to turn on lights to give the appearance we are home when we are away for extended periods of time .

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more about controlling the kids lights and managing home security. The motion sensors are fantastic at setting up other things like controlling coffee production in the morning, lol. You can use it along with the outlet to trigger the coffee maker to go on in the morning. SmartThings truly lives up to its name

  60. Connie says:

    I would like to try it because I had to cancel my alarm monitoring system among other things as well due to some changes that I am free and feel better for! I have never heard of this brand or system until I got your email Jeff. Would love to give it a try and be able to share this good news with everyone I know too! Good luck to everyone!

    1. Congrats on your changes Connie, always feels better to be free of restraints. SmartThings is pretty cool, lots of different devices you can add in a modular fashion. Starting with a Hub then adding on from there is a good approach. I like how you can can control everything from one place, your smartphone 😀

  61. Margie S. says:

    Wow …that’s a wonderful new device! My cell phone contract is up in about 2 weeks and I plan on getting a smartphone. I could probably set it up by myself (thanks for the great tutorial) it seems to be simple enough to install. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out the smartphone first and then add some of these neat security ideas. Wish me luck!

  62. Travis Taube says:

    I really like your reviews of cool tech items like this! I just bought my first house and the help I’ve gotten from your website, as well as some cool ideas, have been invaluable! I have quite a few projects to work on, one of them being automating many of my appliances & lights since I can be very forgetful and leave them on all night. I would also like to keep my home secure because we currently have an ADT panel but don’t have the extra cash for a $40/month plan. This hub would help to solve both of those problems! Thanks again for the cool videos and advice!

  63. Matthew Clemente says:

    We just bought our first home (and trying to take care of it is the reason I read your blog). I love the idea that tech can give us more control and information about our lives. I’d absolutely use this to control lights and monitor doorways. Security + lower electricity bills = wins. Plus it looks like they have lots of ways to expand the automation. Thanks!

  64. CB says:

    Awesome video man. Been following you since you started. How can I get them to send me a kit for review? I have a growing tech channel and this is just the type of thing I feature. Well, I hope I win the Hub.

  65. Troy G says:

    I like the open door sensor. We leave doors open all the time!

  66. robb capeling says:


    great video…. I have been looking into home security options…..this looks like an awesome item for every homeowner


  67. Gabriel says:

    I really like your enthusiasm! I am totally wanting to move into the SmartThings universe. This is pretty cool stuff.

  68. Fred says:

    I would immediately add a door lock that I can control remotely and program to let me know who and when they come and go.

  69. Chandy Krenn says:

    I just moved to a new house. I don’t have a good feel for the neighbors, so having this would provide an extra level of piece of mind. It would also be great when I travel for work to do the “am I really sure, I set it?”

  70. Kirstin says:

    I have been robbed. While I was home sleeping. My old condo is hard to hardwire. This is the ticket. Thanks

  71. Phillip V says:

    Having no monthly fee to start a security system would be ideal. Esp since I just purchased the house that was vacant for a few years.

  72. Linda Brown says:

    I’d love to try this! My husband is a truck driver and on the road a lot. This would help me sleep a little better knowing I have a little help securing the house!

  73. Jeff W. says:

    I’d use it for security purposes first and then work toward some additional home automation. Looks like a very good product.

  74. D Hobbs says:

    This looks pretty cool and I could definitely use it around the house, besides, I need something hi tech to show my sons-in-law that I am not a complete dinosaur when it comes to new technology (just almost one:)!

  75. Bob says:

    Cool, thanks for the review (and giveaway!).

    I’ve been very interested in home automation for a while, but haven’t wanted to buy in while there are so many competing standards, etc. I’d use it for lighting controls, to start, and probably end up trying to connect my home heating/cooling controls. (if that exists yet. I’m an electrical engineer, so it would be a neat project).

  76. Nick Conrad says:

    Hey Jeff. Can I work this from my 2015 Toyota Sienna?

  77. Ric Martinez says:

    This looks great! sign me up for the contest!

  78. Carol Best says:

    As a senior I would love to have this type of security in my home…..just another item to combat intruders…thieves….down the road I plan to have a storm door installed……will have lock in place…..thank you again for tutorial…..

  79. Granny says:

    Being a senior I am always looking for ways to stay safe. This hub would be a great start to automating my home safety. I hope to be able to either win this one or purchase one in the near future.

  80. steve says:

    Jeff, i live in a mobile home and use 2 bedrooms as my shop. This where i keep all my tools and the neighbors see what i am using every time i take a project outside to work on it . Security is a definite concern. That would be a great system.

  81. simplydab says:

    With the hours I work, I always worry about home security. This would be an awesome item to have to give me piece of mind, and the added benefit of being able to expand the system as money allows is a definite plus. Not to mention the ability to monitor what’s going on from my smart phone would be neat!

  82. Jayme Dinsmore says:

    Thanks for the awesome review and extending a nice giveaway to us 🙂 owning and living in a historic row home in baltimore city, i really need to step up my security. I cringed getting the quotes from adt and similar who want to lock u into contracts at almost 50/month. This sounds like a solid, smart investment.

  83. Rebecca says:

    How about….. I’M SCARED LIVING ALONE!!!! This would be great because it would make me feel safer. I have a fear of coming home from work and finding someone in the house. This would alert me if someone opened a door, etc. I truly am a chicken and have never lived alone till recently. I hope there are other gadgets you can add to what you showed in your video. One thing though, I saw something like this on my local news station a few weeks ago and they said if you were watching your home then others could somehow hook in and they too could be watching your home. (Like they could see when you leave!). Any comment on that, Jeff? Is it true and if so how do you fix that? Just need to feel safer….hope I win!!!! Love your videos!

  84. Duncan says:

    Jeff. This is right up my alley. Simple, wireless, informative, oh did i say simple. I like the coffee idea, but i would use it to light up the house when i get home etc. I like it because we can get creative with it. Thanks for all.your videos.

  85. Duncan says:

    Jeff. This is right up my alley. Simple, wireless, informative, oh did i say simple. I like the coffee idea, but i would use it for the lighting. Setting the mood when we walk in the room. Can’t go wrong with that.

  86. BRENDA PORTA says:

    I live in Ferguson,isn’t that a good enough reason. I could really use this set up. I’m taking care of my parents so I’m gone at all hours.
    Thank you

  87. Hello Jeff,
    I currently have home cameras that we installed ourselves but I feel like I need more security for my house. I wish I could afford the entire kit but I cant. It looks cool to have in the house. Thank you.

  88. Ann Freeman says:

    Wow, wow, and wow, this sounds perfect. I love it when people take the raw materials God gave us, and use them to make life better for others.

  89. terri says:

    First off thanks for the review it really got me going.(I watched it (twice). I would love to make my apartment more security safe. I will be having my bathroom remodel within for months but for right now I have a 5yr old son and a 2yr old daughter that is now 100% potty trained. I would like to find a way to use the motion sencor to turn on the light when she goes in to do her bussiness and turn off about 5 min after she leaves instead of it being on all the time. Is there any blubs that I can have installed to use this set-up. I’m going to be using the smartsence open/closed sensor since my little one now is taal enough to open the door. Thanks for all ur ideas. looking forward to seeing more from u.

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