A newbies starting with Smart Switches and Hub?


Novice Member
Firstly, not a great and apologies for that.

First things first. I've just built a new garden office and am just at the wiring it all up stage. I'd like to make it all as smart as possible, but keep the traditional functionality. As someone else put it in a different, you should barely be able to notice that it's smart. I'd like everything to be organised by the same system, I don't want to have to use a bazillion different apps, nor one of those stupid little (losable) remotes. That being said, If I want to whip out my phone and do everything via app, everything should be left in a consistent state (no light switches no longer working etc)

Its got several different lights. It's got an LED rgb Strip feature wall. It's got some task lighting and then main room lighting - a custom made light, with dimmable led strip.

1) All lighting should be controllable from standard looking light switches.
2) There should be a dimmer switch on the wall which allows control of the main lights.
3) A switch that looks something like this: LUSTREON Touch Panel Color Changing Light Switch Dimmer Controller for RGB LED Strip DC12-24V Lighting Accessories from Lights & Lighting on banggood.com should be able to control the RGB
4) A (new) switch in my house should be able to control either the task lighting, or ideally, the main lights.
bonus) Instead of a new single smart switch, it'd actually be a double in the house, and I'd install a suitable setup in my garage so I can turn on/off the garage light as well

I know there's a lot to ask there, and I've got a good idea of where and how I'd start, but I'm just concerned about compatibility. Can I just go on amazon and order any "smart" socket/ light switch. light controller and something like the Samsung SmartThings hub and just get it to stitch everything together? Or is it a much bigger web of compatibility that I'm going to fall into?

I've got a few different "smart" accessories - a few sockets and a led controller. These all require you to download "their" app, and register with them - not something I really want to depend on, someone elses service! Although I did find that all the sockets were accepted by either of the socket apps.

Also, as a stretch target, I'd love to include some security measures in here - Security alarm and/ or a fire alarm
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Distinguished Member
A pretty tall ask given that you have already purchased a whole load of stuff that probably isn’t compatible with any smart systems. Yes it’s all doable but you may have to bin or modify some of what you have. The cheapest way to do it is probably with Shelly WiFi modules but that would give you limited control. The elegant way to do it would be something like Fibaro HomeCentre and ZWave modules. Both assume you have internet available. Security wise, an Ajax HubPlus with a PIR, SmokeProtect, door contact and StreetSiren would fit the bill nicely.


Novice Member
I'd get a Echo Plus which can act as your smart home hub. Then you have your hub, voice control and a speaker.

I would check that the devices that you bought have alexa support. If they do, you add the skill to your echo and everything is available in the same place. You can set routines directly within echo once it's all set up.

Just because something has an app, unfortunately, does not mean that it has support for smart home hubs. Which if you have lots of different things because a bit of a nightmare so worth checking out support for a specific hub - I'd recommend the echo plus.

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