SmartThings is Samsung’s SmartHome platform that allows you to configure sensors and other devices to automate certain tasks and keep your home safe. Here are some clever ways to use these sensors that you may not even have thought about.
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SmartThings offers a number of different sensors, but the most popular options in the line are the multipurpose open/close sensor, motion sensor, and arrival sensor. They all have obvious uses, but you probably don’t take full advantage of them, and with a little creativity, you can do some pretty cool stuff with them.
Automatic activation of wardrobe lamps
If you have a closet that has a light that you turn on with a switch, you’ll probably fiddle around to find it, especially if it’s one of those stretch string lights where you never seem to find a stretch string. rope. However, using a motion sensor or an open/close sensor makes things a little easier.
Unfortunately, you’ll need some kind of smart bulb, so if you haven’t already invested in Philips Hue or another brand of smart light, this one might not be worth the extra cost, but you can get a Philips Hue starter kit. for just $79 and add on to that for just $15 a light bulb.
Auto-Activate Attic Lights
It’s like a closet lighting puzzle, but attic lighting is much more stubborn and annoying than closet lighting, depending on what type of attic space you have. If you have an attic staircase with retractable lights, you know how annoying it is to try to find light in a dark, hot place that no one likes to be in.
However, you can place an open/close sensor on an attic retractable ladder that can activate a smart light bulb that turns on automatically, or you can even use a motion sensor.
Receive notifications when receiving mail
Call me crazy, but I love getting mail and I always like to know when it arrives. However, our mail doesn’t usually arrive at a certain time each day, so we never know when it will arrive, but by using the SmartThings sensor inside the mailbox, we can be notified whenever the mailman arrives.
If you have a traditional mailbox on the side of the road (or a small mailbox in an apartment complex like the one pictured), you can put an open/close sensor in it, with a smaller magnetic element attached to the door. If you live in a city where mailboxes are near your house at the front door, your options are more limited, but you can cram a motion sensor into the bottom of the mailbox.
Of course, keep in mind that this won’t work in all situations, especially if you have a long road where your mailbox is on the side of the road. At this point, the sensor will be too far away from the hub.
Create a «panic button» to turn on all spotlights
This requires smart bulbs, but it can be a great way to scare off burglars, or just give yourself some light if you need to go outside at night.
By installing an open/close sensor to control all of your spotlights outside, you can place it anywhere inside your home where you can easily access it, then simply activate it when you need it, instantly turning on all of your headlight spotlights.
You can also set up the scene in the smartphone app, but using the open/close sensor is much faster and easier, which is perfect when you’re in a panic.
Protect your shed and other outdoor items
It’s obvious to install open/close sensors on doors and windows in your home, but many people forget about their sheds or other outdoor buildings. You could lock them up, but that still couldn’t deter a burglar.
You can place an open/close sensor on your barn door or use a motion sensor and whenever it goes off you can get a notification. You can even connect a third party siren/alarm to SmartThings to scare off burglars before they can look inside.
Get notified when your child comes home
If you want the best peace of mind knowing that your child has returned home from school safe and sound, with the arrival sensor, that can happen. Simply attach the sensor to their backpack or other item, and as soon as the sensor gets close to the SmartThings Hub, you’ll get a notification.
The same can also work if you want to know when your child came home last night and if it was before curfew. Attach the sensor to their car keys and SmartThings does the rest.
Get notified if your dog is running away
If your dog has a habit of jumping on a hook whenever he sees an open door, or playing smart with a backyard fence, you can attach an arrival sensor to the collar and get a notification whenever Bucky runs away. From there, you can call your neighbors or a friend to help find him.
Protect your cabinet of valuables
Whether it’s a jewelry box or a special closet filled with your most prized possessions, you don’t want anyone to have access to it unless they have permission to do so. You can put a lock on it, but sometimes it can be difficult to do in some cabinets.
Using an open/close sensor or a motion sensor, you can keep track of when something has been opened and even get an alert when it opens. You can also do the same for cabinets that are child-proof, but it may be better to get a child lock to prevent kids from opening them in the first place.
Keep track of your elderly loved ones
If you have a parent or grandparent who lives alone and cares about their well-being remotely, you can track them using SmartThings sensors and know if they are working at the right time.
You can place motion sensors in their bedroom so you know they’re awake, and you can even go as far as to place motion sensors in every room so that if they fall and can’t get back up, you’ll know about it.
Get notified when the room temperature rises unexpectedly
Something you may not know about SmartThings sensors: They also come with thermometers and can measure the temperature of the room they are in.
That being said, you may be notified if the temperature uncharacteristically drops or rises above the normal temperature, possibly indicating a broken stove or air conditioner. Of course, you can do this with most smart thermostats, but if you don’t have one of these, this can also be a great option.
Images from Rubbermaid/Flickr, lori05871/Flickr, Steven Pisano/Flickr, Mikolo J/Flickr, Waxy/Flickr, Mike Cole/Flickr