IFTTT is a free service that allows you to connect an event from one service/device with an action in another.
A typical example is if you get tagged in a Facebook photo, your Hue bulb blinks blue.
You can also use it to create indirect integration between two home automation systems that have no direct communication. For example, Lutron Caseta window coverings have an IFTTT channel, and so does SmartThings. This means that you can have a switch going on in SmartThings trigger your Lutron Serena shades to open, even though the two systems cannot talk directly to each other. However, there may be some lag while the message is transmitted through IFTTT, even up to 15 minutes. This is usually OK for things which run on a schedule, and some people find that the lag is much less at their house, about 30 seconds or so. So it can be a very helpful method of indirect integration. However, the lag may be too much for something like turning on a light when a person flips a switch as they enter a room.
Learning more about IFTTT
The following IFTTT tutorial includes the Do Button widget feature which was introduced in 2015.
The SmartThings IFTTT Channel
SmartThings has an IFTTT channel [] that works pretty much like any other IFTTT channel (which is the point of Ifttt).
IFTTT will be told when something specific happens in your SmartThings system, and then IFTTT will tell something specific to happen in a different system that also has an IFTTT channel. That's pretty much all there is to it.
If This, then that. Works great, but it could take a few minutes to pass the messages around. And you don't get full integration with all the features of either system, just the ones they've chosen to make available through IFTTT.
So IFTTT just extends the features that you have.
Using IFTTT to control SmartThings modes or run routines
The SmartThings channel will include a list of devices for both the "if" and "that".
If you want the outcome to be changing a mode or running a routine, then you can use a virtual switch to represent it and when IFTTT turns on the virtual switch, you can have SmartThings then change the mode.
There are several free SmartApps in the Lights and Switch subsection of the Marketplace section of the official SmartThings mobile app that provide wizards to set up the association between a virtual switch and a mode or a routine.
The UK. OAuth Issue
At the present time, IFTTT is not working in the UK, hopefully it will be added soon.
Forum discussion thread on the UK issue. []
Known Issues with Specific Integrations
- Channels that can only be an "if," not a "that."
- Amazon Echo channel can only be an "if," not a "that"
- Flic can only be an "if," not a "that"
- Channels that can only be a "that," not an "if."
- Harmony activities can only be a "that," not an "if."
- Lutron devices, including switches, can only be a " that," not an "if."
- Philips devices, including Hue Bulbs, can only be a "that," not an "If"
- Wink Shortcuts can only be a "that," not an "if."
- Other issues
- Amazon Echo channel choices are limited to a few specific events, such as adding something to a shopping list.
- Logitech Harmony activities that include Locks cannot be activated through IFTTT
- The Lutron Caseta Pico Remote is not included in their IFTTT channel