What are SmartThings Custom Device Handlers?
SmartThings is by far the World’s most popular smart home ecosystem – with over 130 million active users! A huge part of the success of the SmartThings platform is the sheer number of smart devices and services it supports. From Z-Wave to Zigbee and almost everything in-between… with 1000s of smart devices supported!
But what happens if a smart device isn’t supported, or not fully supported to include all of its features? This is where SmartThings Custom Device Handlers come into play. Some brilliant people and companies have written custom code (Groovy files) that allows for extended functionality or devices to be added to the SmartThings Hub – further expanding its compatibility and functionality. But it’s not easily apparent how we implement Custom Device Handlers… So we’ll make it easy and show you exactly how.
How to install SmartThings Custom Device Handlers
In this blog, I will show you how to install a SmartThings Custom Device Handler. The process is rather straightforward… we simply add a small piece of code (a Groovy file) to your SmartThings Hub via the SmartThings IDE web interface.
Get ready to get your geek on!
Z-Wave Tweaker Custom Device Handler
This is the “Swiss Army Knife” for tweaking parameters of Z-Wave devices. Why may we need this? Simple… Z-Wave devices often have a lot of “Parameters” that allow you to customise your Z-Wave device in minute detail. The SmartThings app usually has the basics included, allowing you to change some settings from directly within the app. There are often a lot more “exotic” parameters available to further customise your Z-Wave devices… this is where Z-Wave Tweaker saves the day. Let’s look at a practical example…
Aeotec MultiSensor 6
The Aeotec MultiSensor 6 is an exceptional Z-Wave device. It includes sensors for motion, lux (light level), temperature, humidity, UV and vibration – all built into one tiny, clever sensor! It also includes a LOT of Parameters allowing you to customise the functionality and performance exactly to your preferences. However, most of these cannot be changed in the SmartThings app.
For instance, Parameter 81 allows us to disable the built-in LED that would normally light up when motion is detected (which can be really annoying in a dark room at night). This setting is not available in the app, but we can easily change it with Z-Wave Tweaker. Watch the video below to see how we install Z-Wave Tweaker, and then change this setting…
Watch the video
In this blog, we have focused on the Z-Wave Tweaker Custom Device Handler because it is incredibly useful if you have invested in what is currently the best wireless smart home protocol… Z-Wave.
There are also 100s of other Custom Device Handlers for SmartThings. Making it possible to add otherwise unsupported smart devices or customise supported devices settings and functionality. This is part of what has made SmartThings so popular. You can apply the same technique shown in the video to load any SmartThings Custom Device Handler.
I hope you have found this blog useful. Remember, we are always here to help with your smart home journey. Reach out if you would like free, unbiased advice, we are always happy to help.
All the best,