Welcome FAQ

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This post was originally published in the forums as a welcome letter from one of the technical community members to a newcomer who had asked for resources , hence the conversational style. Other wiki writers should feel free to extend it or update it as needed over time.


As far as resources, there are three FAQs you might find helpful.

2019 Beginners Guide to SmartThings

Short overview of where SmartThings stands at the beginning of 2019 and where to find more information. Should be helpful regardless of your technical background.


Getting Started

This one is the intro to scheduling:


And this one explains how custom code is used in SmartThings. You don't need to use custom code, but there's a lot of it available, and it can add many features to the base system.

Using Custom Code

And this FAQ is the 2017 introduction to the different rules engines for creating “if/then” rules for SmartThings. Some are official features and some were created by the community. This information only applies if you are using the SmartThings classic version of the mobile app.

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings Classic

In addition, check out the quick browse lists for Project Reports in the community – created wiki, in particular the "get started" list. It has things like "the top 10 things to do with home automation" and "what device should I get next?" Which should be helpful.

There's also a list of "impress your friends" projects with everything from a magic wand to a secret bookcase room. You probably know all of these in general terms, but these will discuss them in a SmartThings context.

You'll also find list of smartapps organized by function, which are considerably easier to review then just Using the forum search here. 😎

How to Quick Browse the Community-Created SmartApps Forum Section

Let's see, what else?

To Infinity and Beyond: CoRE

Since someone's bound to bring it up in the first post or two in this thread, if you're technical, check out WebCore, which is essentially a scripting language for SmartThings.. But if it seems too complicated, don't worry about it to begin with, you can add it or not later if you find that you want that degree of complexity in your home automation rules.


And for the sake of balance, I should probably include the FAQ for people who want to keep everything simple. 😉



As far as device selection, it sounds like you may already know all of this, but the following thread has lots of details on why you might select one particular model over another:


When you're ready to start shopping, it's helpful to know the Amazon is not always the lowest price on these kinds of devices. Sometimes Lowe's and Home Depot are better, especially if you have a coupon, for the brands they carry. Beyond that, shop around:


And there is an FAQ section in the Device category of the forums for common device – related questions like "what switches can you use with Hue bulbs?" "Do I Have To Replace All the Switches in a 3 Way Setup?" and "how do you set up a WD and a WT GoControl switch together?" ( yes, that's a common question, mostly because it's done differently in SmartThings than in some other home automation systems), which is worth knowing about although you probably don't need it right now. But if you do have a specific device question that you think has probably been asked before, that's a good place to look.


Official Developer Docs

The official developer documentation is available from a link at the top right of the first page of the community forums. Or you can go there directly.


Intro to Writing Device Type Handlers

And if you want to start writing your own device type handlers, there's an introductory thread on that process that should be helpful.


Well, that should be more than enough to start with! But you did ask for resources… SmartThings is very powerful and versatile, but not always intuitive, so there are a lot of community-contributed resources available.

Welcome again. 😎