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Smartthing hub and Echo
SMART HOME DEVICES TIPS

How to Build a Moneysaving Smart Home with Samsung 2019

 With all smart home products on web-display, it’s difficult to know which ones best work together  to save you money after all your investment on smart products! We will show you how to build a Samsung money saving smart home in 5 easy steps using the latest technology.

Luckily Samsung smart home devices work well with many other branded smart home products. It’s one of the chief reasons we are starting with  the Samsung  SmartThings Hub although we will discuss Apple, Amazon Alexa, Wink, Google and many more smart home devices.  But let’s start building your moneysaving smart home first.

You could save around £400 / US$517 or more a year!

It’s easy, especially if you start with the base SmartThings Hub  and add on little by little.

We have outlined your foundation plan here to help you piece together a money saving  smart home masterpiece.

Items You will Need

1. A Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit 

We start with a Samsung SmartThings hub as the base for all the Smart home setup. You don’t have to buy the whole starter kit but it will make your life easier as the sensors that it comes it  are preset towork with the hub. You can buy other  brand sensors which will be cheaper  but it will require a bit more work. 

(We explain how that works here if you want the detail!). 

The purpose of the Hub:


The SmartThings Hub connects all of your smart devices with one another, the SmartThings cloud, and the SmartThings mobile app. The newest generation of SmartThings Hub (2018) is also smarter than ever, by giving you the convenience of connecting your Hub using Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

(We explain how that works here if you want the detail!). 

Once you have the SmartThings starter kit, you need to sign up for an account online or via your phone.

Note of caution: If you are not in the UK or USA, the HUB may not work so please double check. You may have to use a VPN connected to the Smartthings hub which adds a layer of stress and additional cost. People have created a samsung account with a UK or American address and it has worked but using the Smartthings hub will be the fastest, simplest easiest way to map out the foundation for your home automation.

We suggest:  

   Purchase the flexible Samsung Smartthings Starter Kit to build your moneysaving smart home as stage one.

2.   Build the Brains and Add the Devices

Icons for multiple connected devices to smartThings app
The SmartThings App

Next up is to connect the devices you wish to add. Remember you can add more and more over time to build your moneysaving smart home. The SmartThings Hub is the brains which  directs how the devices link together and speak to each other.  You can connect to most bluetooth and/ or smart devices and anything that also run on IFTTT.

With the Smartthings Hub and phone app, you can download or connect  to one of several apps to control your home as well…Google , Alexa, Android and Apple..all of which have voice activation.

Have a look at what you can connect.

For this article we are looking at money saving components. Security locks are discussed in another blog.

We suggest:    

   Downloading the SmartThings App.


3. Money Saving Smart Home Heating 

 Heating your home is a big cost, so it ‘s natural we will look at savings here first. Connecting your heating systems to Samsung SmartThings….is a smart thing. 

By connecting your a smart thermostat and preset thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to your Samsung SmartThings hub and app, you are able to control the radiator temperature and use and even trigger the boiler from your phone!

Scientists from Science Direct carried out an actual study of savings and found that using all TRVs saved between 7% and 23%  of energy savings and paid for itself in 2.5 seasons. Here are three brands of thermostats we liked.

NEST

 On average, the Nest Thermostats saved 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, we’ve estimated average  SmartThings, savings of $130 to $145 a year.  Nest thermostats are also a bit more expensive but considered one of the best on the market. 

However, sadly Samsung SmartThings Hubs and Nest do not formally link…yet,  unless you connect with IFTTT.

We explain IFTTT here.

Netatmo

Netatmo Thermostats sync fully with Samsung hubs and are a great choice for energy saving,money saving smart homes. Netatmo Thermostats state they save 37% on your energy bill and come with the Which? endorsement. (As you may know Which? has full lab testing on everything they endorse.)

Netatmo Features (Full Breakdown here)

  • 37% LESS ENERGY used on average 
  • TAILORED programmes
  • CONTROL YOUR HEATING REMOTELY 
  •  VOICE CONTROL
  • SMART HEATING AUTO ADAPT 

Wiser

Another  brand which is lesser known and lesser cost and keeping customers happy is the  Drayton WISER thermostats and valves a fully wifi enabled system  with its own app but comes with IFTTT technology.

  • Control of from your phone
  • Works with combination boilers
  • Easy install
  • Wiser is not suitable for gravity-fed systems
  • Voice activated 
  • Compatible with IFTTT for greater flexibility and convenience


Let’s do the math:

The average UK home uses gas for central heating and spends about £550 each year on space heating alone. Providing the same amount of usable heat with an oil boiler costs about £700 each year and with an electric heater the cost rises to £900 a year. (I have an old boiler and my cost is over £1200 a year!)

(In the USA the average oil heating cost per annum is around $2400 but this varys by state.)

To buy a 2 zone Wiser system is £219. I will add 8 more radiator thermostats totalling £320. Overall cost is £540.

Annual heating  is £850 per year. (inclusive of seasonal variations….). 

Savings with a smart thermostat is approximately 35%. (£255.) 

We assume you would make back your costs in 2  annual heating cycles. Year 3 would give you the £60 – £255 in your pocket.

We suggest:    

  Save 30% on your heating costs by adding smart thermostats.

4. Save with Samsung Smart Home Energy Efficiency

The average annual cost of a 3 bed UK home electric for is around £590.

In the USA it is around $1380 per year but varies widely from state to state. Lighting adds up to approximately 30%  of your lighting bill.  If you switch to smart lighting systems controlled by a smart hub and using LED bulbs, you can substantially reduce your lighting costs – up to 90% of your costs.

A money saving smart home with the Samsung SmartThings hub can connect all your lighting and fittings  and allow you to control them from anywhere.Your lights, lamps, appliances can be controlled by you on your phone, once they are compatible.

With wifi bulbs you can now set up room scenes with SmartThings and schedule time them to come on. With the Samsung motion sensors you can program lights to come on when you enter or turn off as you leave. Even some appliances can also be monitored to  remotely. Samsung can control washing machines, driers, refridgerators…if need be. But even better you can save  money after investing on your smart lighting.

 Let’s Do The Math

We will have a look at whether the investment is worth it. We have just used a basic layout….you might wish to increase or reduce this estimate.

Your electric  bill per annum is £590. This is set to increase this year, 2019.

You invest in basic  LED bulbs and  Samsung motion sensors in busiest areas :-

3 motion sensors -£ 75

11 led wifi bulbs –  £ 110

3 wifi plugs –         £    44

Total investment:  £  229. 

By installing the smart lighting with a Samsung Hub, you can save around  £160 – £190 in lighting cost per year.  Lighting is 1/3rd of your entire power bill  or about £200.

So installing in the first year would save  about £20 – £30 pounds. The year after, the same  system can save you £160 or more and the bulbs last longer because you don’t use them as much.

We suggest:  

 Installing smart lighting a little at a time to save money using your SmartThings hub.

5.  Money saving Water with Samsung Smart Home

The average water bill in the UK is £415 per year …in the USA it is much higher at $840 (£649) per year. On average, a household of just one uses 149 liters of water day. A family of five uses 523 litres of water per day.

According to the EPA, the average household wastes almost 10,000 gallons of water every year due to easy to fix leaks. This is $150 or more worth of water that is literally sent right down the drain. 

Read here to get all the facts.

USA EPA Water wastage
Facts on Leaks from EPA

The leak detector sensor by Samsung will save you money by picking up a leakand sending an alert. Big leaks aren’t the only problem for wastage. Small internal toilet leak or a faucet washer has died so it drips, wasting litres of water!

Monitor water leaks and floods.

  • Monitor temperature.
  • Requires a SmartThings Hub or a compatible device with SmartThings Hub functionality.

 Benefits with   SmartThings

  • Monitor your Water Leak Sensor and other connected devices with the SmartThings app for iPhone or Android.
  • Receive alerts from SmartThings if your Water Leak Sensor detects water, or if the temperature changes.
  • Automate connected devices with SmartThings and set them to turn on or off if your Water Leak Sensor detects water, or if the temperature changes.
Samsung Water Sensor – click here

We suggest:

But a watersensor tosave on water…any type!


Let’s Do the Math

Let’s assume a minmum leak in your £400 bill. The average family will waste at least 10% of the water cost = £40.

A sensor alone is expensive initially but can save hundreds over the long term. It definitely would be a loss in the forst year unless you have a large leak. However, there are lesser expensive sensors which are not smart sensors and can alertto leaks.


We suggest: Installing a water sensor is one of the best things you can do. The leaks like faucets  or internal  leaks can waste hundreds in cash starting with a minimum of around £40 ($52).

 


Reviews of SmartThings Hub

5.0 out of 5 starsThe best Smart Hub available3 February 2019

My Smarthings setup works really well, it is reliable and controls devices around my home quicky and consistently. For example, lights come on within about 1 second of opening a door or walking in front of a motion sensor. The only issue I have experienced was with the Smartthings app where on one ocassion (for about a day) I could not edit existing automations or create new ones (however the existing automations continued working fine during this time). I did contact the Smarthings Technical Support via their live chat as I thought I had done something to break it. They were great and went away to investigate it. Within a couple of hours they emailed me back to confirm it should be working ok and it certainly was working again. This was due to some issue on their side but regardless, I was very pleased with their support.

This is a great system and anyone looking for a smart home hub need look no further. Recommended!


Steven Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars

Nicer than the older model, simple to set up11 October 2018

I literally plugged it in, connected to the router and then downloaded the APP (new Smartthings) and logged in. A minute or two later all up and running, everything was recognised. Only problem I had was with my Yale Smart lock as it was tied to the old hub. Spoke with SmartThings support and we sorted it.

So all good, it is slightly smaller than than the older model and looks nicer.

Pros and Cons of a Moneysaving Smart Home

if you could save £ 450 a year off your bills, would you do so and invest in smart homes devices? We would love to know!

Pros:

  1. Easily installed remotely via phone apps
  2. Works with many devices and/or IFTTT
  3. Can reduce running costs

Cons

1. Cloud based so it is open to cyberattack

2. Is not yet international – have to have accounts in the UK,USA, Canada and some parts of Europe ro access

3. Poor instructions to creat the HUB and two the two phone apps (Smartthings and Smartthings Classic) which have different capabilities.

 

Are You Convinced?

Energy saving, and a moneysaving smart home is , to me a no brainer, so bit by bit mine will grow. Personally I just want cruddy chores automated…not everything!

Samsung’s SmartThings hub and other smart home products are easy and flexible these days so it’s an obvious place to start! Have loads of fun and save!

Start with baby steps and build from base up with the Samsung SmartThings hub.

I’d be interested to know if you have used SmartThings. Do you have better options/ hub choices? Drop us a comment on how your system works…if you have one or if you are planning to have one.

The next question is how to protect your security settings….

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for the information,  I have dabbled with smart devices, but only with a couple of Amazon echos and some smart plugs.  

    Have been reluctant to invest in other devices due to the cost, but now seeing the savings included in your article – I think the initial investment is worth it.

    thanks for sharing

    John

    1. John… it does depend on HOW MUCH you spend at home  on utilities so have a look at your bills. We monitor a three  locations and it varies a lot. One location is Belfast… no more than £50 a month on heating as it’s gas. One location is Ireland…oil heating….200 euro a month! And one location is air conditioned cooling in the Caribbean where electrical costs are through the roof. 

      So the install for heating may be pointless in the  Belfast  locationbut very valuable in the Caribbean and Ireland!

      I would be interested to know how it goes for you…

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