– Ben Martens

SmartThings Plus Ecobee

Last December, I wrote about how I had done some programming on our new SmartThings hub to automate our home a bit. My favorite customization is that our thermostat automatically turns down when both Tyla and I are away from the house (based on the location of our phones) and then automatically turns back up when we return. It occurs to me that I should probably disable that when we hire a babysitter and both leave for the evening.

It all works smoothly, but using the default APIs available with the SmartThings, I can only tell the thermostat to go to a specific temperature when we return. I can’t say “resume your normal program” which is what I really want since the thermostat automatically turns down a bit at night. I suppose I could program all that in the SmartThings hub too but it seems like overkill when the thermostat already can do that on it’s own.

So to avoid that overkill… I spent a couple hours figuring out how to make my SmartThings application authenticate with the Ecobee API and call a “resume program” method there. Basically I wanted to see how hard it was to call into the detailed API for a specific device when I hit a limit in the generic API provided by SmartThings. Turns out, it wasn’t too bad.

I continue to be happy with this SmartThings hub and would recommend it, especially if you’re a programming nerd who likes to tinker. It’s a fun little sandbox and all this code is probably saving me some money on our heating bill.