I’ve always been interested in home automation and IoT devices, and I’ve finally decided to get into the still growing world of smart devices. I got my hands on a SmartThings hub and have been brainstorming all the wonderful things I want to do with it. To start, I bought two GE Link Soft White bulbs, these bulbs were $14.97 from Home Depot, they linked to the SmartThings app with great ease and reacted swiftly to the smartphone app. I was able to create some routines that controlled these lights when I leave the house, and return. Overall I am very impressed with everything that the SmartThings system can do.
However, the overwhelming cost of smart devices has chilled my passion somewhat. At the time of this writing, just about every smart device on the market starts at $35 (except bulbs). At $35 a piece, even a small collection of devices becomes incredibly expensive. Those who are familiar with smart devices would likely be scolding me at this point, telling me that I should have done my research. In all fairness, I did know what I was getting into before I started and I still find it a good idea.
Knowing what I got myself into, I’ve begun collecting my resources and planning. I plan to create some WiFi enabled devices based on the ESP8266 chips that interface with IFTTT. For those who don’t know about IFTTT (If This Than That), IFTTT is a simple way to allow an event to perform an action. As an example, you could create a “recipe” that when the forecast predicts an overnight freeze, it will send you an email (see here). There is a way to send simple HTTP messages to IFTTT and have IFTTT trigger your SmartThings apps with the Maker Channel. The combination of IFTTT and the ESP8266 will create a simple solution for interfacing with my current and future SmartThings devices.
Stay tuned for my ESP+IFTTT project.