Making our Smart Home Smarter – Home Assistant & MQTT SmartThings.


SmartThings & HomeAssistant With MQTT

Here it is! The Smart Home Smarter, part 2! I have been working on and researching this post for a little while and some of the screenshots have taken me longer than usual to compile so apologies to those who have been waiting for this!

So before I get started with this episode, if this is the first time your visiting us, you might want to check out Smart Home Smarter: Part 1 first, otherwise this post may not make a whole lot of sense.

Today, I want to show you how to make Samsung SmartThings talk to HomeAssistant or in my case Hass.io, running on a Raspberry Pi. Being honest, this process is pretty complicated and hit and miss to make work, once working, it seems to be pretty stable but because we are using two very different systems here and sort of mashing them together, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  1. Because SmartThings is designed to be a hub which talks to all the devices on your home automation network & that is effectively what home assistant sets out to do as well, this is not necessarily a recommended thing to do unless you know what your goals are.
  2. Once you have followed this guide, I would advise you to completely leave your SmartThings hub and focus on your shiny new HomeAssistant dashboard instead.
  3. This guide is based on my experience of setting up MQTT & SmartThings, its worked for me but I cannot guarantee it will work for you & if you break everything, you should refer to the HomeAssistant community, Here. The community is full of loads of useful things & people which has helped me develop a basic understanding of the platform & its programing language YAML.
  4. if you have got to this point and don’t completely understand what we are about to do, STOP. DO NOT DO IT. Keep what you currently have and be happy you have made it work.

Now, what we need to do is get our SmartThings Hub ready for pairing to HomeAssistant, I personally, went into the SmartThings app and did a bit of housekeeping, making sure everything had the names I wanted and everything that should be paired, was. This way you’re setting yourself up for success and sort of preventing confusion as we go through the pairing process.

Once your housekeeping is complete, let’s begin! 

by now, you will probably already know, from installing Hass.io that to get to your dashboard, all you have to do is point your web browser to http://hassio.local:8123/ if you’ve followed the basic setup guide and made no changes.

Now, this is the part where I am going to deviate from what many of the guides which I found when trying to work out how to do this told me, we are going to use some prebuilt plugins to help us make the connection and get HomeAssistant to talk nicely to SmartThings. So, first, we are going to set up a repository to download the app from within your Hass.io dashboard,  to get to the page where this information is stored, go here: http://hassio.local:8123/hassio/store.

When you get there, you should see a page which looks something like this:

Home Assistant DashBoard - Smart Home Setup

Your dashboard, currently, will not have anything listed in the Addon Repositories, we need to change that. You don’t need both of the ones I have listed though… Only this one:
https://github.com/vkorn/hassio-addons.git

This addon repository is made by VKron who is an active player in the HomeAssistant world & he has made this repository to help make life easier for people who are just getting started with or are getting confused or frustrated by HomeAssistant. Once you have pasted the URL into the box, all you need to do is hit SAVE.

Now, a new list of add-ons should have appeared called Vlad’s repository. Before we start using this repository though, we need to tell Home assistant that we want to use MQTT so head over to you configuration.yaml file and add it to your list, it should look like this:

Home Assistant Activate MQTT for Smart Home setups

as always, spacing is super important in your configuration.YAML file – more information on spacing can be found here.

Now that we have MQTT added to HomeAssistant, time for a quick reboot, the quickest way to reboot I have found is to go here: http://hassio.local:8123/hassio/dashboard & then click the three dots in the top right corner, followed by restart Home Assistant, it should look like this:

reboot Home Assistant - Smart Home Setup

Now, we need to go back to our addons page and install the SmartThings Bridge. Once you’ve done that, your basically ready to go! All you need to do is follow These Instructions (I’ve set the link to take you to where you need to start) and you will be up and running within minutes!

If you get stuck, I might be able to help you so feel free to leave me a comment below or Tweet me!

 

 

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Jay Gordon-Rolfe
#Blogger, #Proud #Gay, Fiancé to @StevieG26, #Awesome #Autistic & creator of #Random things on @Youtube. Occasionally Tweets about life & Writer of this blog.

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Making our Smart Home Smarter – Home Assistant & MQTT SmartThings.

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