If you’re looking for a delightful way to upgrade your SmartThings smart home setup, you gotta check out Alexa! It’s one of the best options for adding voice control to your life.
You might have to put in a little effort to get these two BFFs (Alexa and SmartThings) playing nicely together, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Here's what we cover:
- Can SmartThings Connect to Alexa?
- Why Connect SmartThings and Alexa?
- Do I Need SmartThings Hub With Alexa?
- SmartThings vs. Alexa Reliability
- What Alexa Devices Will Work With This Setup?
- Connecting SmartThings To Alexa
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Go to the Samsung Skills section.
- In the search field, search for SmartThings.
- When you find the Smartthings Skill, tap it.
- You should now see a big blue “Enable” button. Tap it.
- You will be prompted to log in to your SmartThings account.
- After you log in, you will come to an authorization screen. Choose your SmartThings location in the drop-down field and tap the “Authorize” button.
- If everything goes well, you should see a page that shows that Alexa and SmartThings are successfully linked.
- Click “Done” at the top left of the screen.
- Adding Devices SmartThings to Alexa
- Setting Up Alexa Guard With SmartThings
- Triggering Alexa Routines With SmartThings
- Controlling SmartThings Scenes With Alexa
Can SmartThings Connect to Alexa?
Yes, SmartThings can connect with Alexa devices. The Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot are two of the most popular Amazon devices that work with smart home systems like Samsung Smartthings.
Why Connect SmartThings and Alexa?
The main reason why you would want to connect the two together is to add voice control functionality to your SmartThings devices. When you set up the devices to be controlled by Alexa, it opens up a new world of just being able to vocally tell your devices what to do.
For example, do you want to turn on your kitchen light? Just say, “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light.” BOOM! They turn on!
Do I Need SmartThings Hub With Alexa?
The answer to your question is both a yes and a no. You’re golden if your devices are already connected to your wifi network! You can control ’em without a hub. But, if you’ve got some devices that are not connected to your wifi network, then you’ll need a hub to control them.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, I’ve just the thing for you! The Samsung SmartThings Hub is the bees’ knees. You can connect to just about any device with it, no matter what protocol they use – Zigbee, Wifi, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, you name it! And, the best part? You can control all your devices from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, all through the handy dandy app. So, what are you waiting for? Get that hub today!
SmartThings vs. Alexa Reliability
Both offer outstanding reliability with their systems and compatibility. This depends on which ecosystem you belong to, though, since each has its own strengths/weaknesses.
For example, Amazon has excellent integration with other Amazon devices, and Google Home is outstanding with Google products. However, both ecosystems also have weaknesses (not all products are compatible with each system). The good thing about both ecosystems is that you can purchase products that work with either. That way, you can have the best of both worlds!
What Alexa Devices Will Work With This Setup?
All of the current Alexa devices will work with this setup, including:
- Echo Dot
- Echo Plus
- Echo Show
Connecting SmartThings To Alexa
If you are ready to get started with adding the Alexa Smartapp to SmartThings, you need to follow the steps below:
Open the Alexa app on your phone.
Go to the Samsung Skills section.
In the search field, search for SmartThings.
When you find the Smartthings Skill, tap it.
You will be prompted to log in to your SmartThings account.
Click “Done” at the top left of the screen.
Adding Devices SmartThings to Alexa
After you have performed the nine steps above to connect Alexa and SmartThings together, you need to run a scan to discover devices:
- In step 9 above, you tap “Done,” Right after that, you should see a pop-up asking you if you want to discover devices. Tap the button to start the process.
- Wait a few moments.
- After the scan is complete, the app will take you to the Smart Home section and show you a list of the devices and scenes it discovered.
Many different devices can be added to this type of configuration. Including:
- Motion sensors.
- Smart plugs.
- Water leak sensors.
- Automatic garage door openers like the MyQ.
- Door locks like the Schlage.
- Multiple smart bulbs, such as the Philips Hue bulbs.
- Temperature sensors.
- Window blinds.
- Security systems, like ADT.
- Virtual switches.
Turning Off An On Specific Devices
The three steps above add all our devices to Alexa, but there may be some SmartThings devices that you do not want Alexa to access. Inside the SmartThings app, you can set these:
- Open the SmartThings app.
- Tap “Automation” on the bottom of the screen.
- Tap “Amazon Alexa.”
- Turn off the toggle switch that allows Alexa access to all devices.
- When you toggle the switch off, a list of all the devices will appear.
- Each device can be set with the checkbox beside each device.
Now, I’ve taken you through all the basics of connecting the two and adding/configuring devices. If you are more of a visual learner, I would recommend watching this video that goes through all the same steps, but you can follow along visually:
Setting Up Alexa Guard With SmartThings
Alexa Guard is a feature you can set up with your Alexa device that will alert you when something happens, such as a door opening, a fire alarm going off, a broken window, etc.
You can automate this feature to turn itself off and on when you leave and come back into the home. It’s easy to do. Just follow the instructions in this video:
Triggering Alexa Routines With SmartThings
Inside the Alexa application, you will see a section called “Routines.” Routines are a way to group together a bunch of tasks that you routinely (see what I did there!) do together and put into one command.
A good example is a bedtime routine. You can set it up to say, “Alexa, good night,” and it will turn down the thermostat, turn off lights, turn on a nightlight, etc., with one voice command.
Controlling SmartThings Scenes With Alexa
SmartThings Scenes are similar to Alexa Routines, which allow you to control multiple devices with one touch of a button.
However, you have voice control functionality when you control the Scene with Alexa.
When troubleshooting any issue, I always start with the following steps first because doing this usually resolves most issues:
- Reboot your hub.
- Reboot your wifi modem.
Alexa Does Not Discover SmartThings Devices
If Alexa is not finding your SmartThings devices and the above steps do not resolve the issue, check the following:
- Look at your location settings – sometimes, if you have multiple locations, you need to delete the location and add it again.
- Look at your SmartThing Skills – if the Skills appear to be set up, you may want to try deleting and adding them back in.
- Turn off the device and turn it back on.
Alexa SmartThings Server Is Unresponsive
If your server is not responding, the first thing that I would try is all the recommendations above.
Next, if it is still not working, try disabling the device and reenabling it.
Alexa SmartThings Skill Not Available or Not Working
If the skill is not working, try disabling and reenabling the skill. This usually resolves the issue.
Integrating Alexa and SmartThings can be a potent combination. The possibilities are almost endless with this integration. Control your SmartThings devices with voice commands is very powerful and makes controlling your home a breeze!