How to Add Additional Sensors and Devices to Your SmartThings Setup

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The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit comes with a small handful of sensors and an outlet switch, but if you need more than what comes in the starter kit, you can easily add additional sensors and devices to your SmartThings setup.

The starter kit alone can actually be a complete setup for some small apartments, as the two open/close sensors can be put on the front door and the patio door, and the motion sensor can likely cover most of the apartment if you have an open floor plan. However, if you have larger place with more exterior doors and more rooms in general, you may need to get more SmartThings sensors.

The Different SmartThings Products Available

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If you’re looking to expand your SmartThings setup, here are the official sensors and devices that Samsung offers.

Multipurpose Sensor

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The SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor is mainly an open/close sensor for doors and windows, but the name comes from the fact that it can also act as a temperature sensor and detect vibration, orientation, and angle.

Motion Sensor

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The SmartThings Motion Sensor is a small device that you can place anywhere that you want to monitor for motion, like an off-limits room in the house, or near the entry way if you want to see if anyone came and went if you don’t have an open/close sensor.

The nice thing about the Motion Sensor is that it can stand freely on its own without needing to be mounted on a wall, so you can easily move it from room to room whenever you want.

Arrival Sensor

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While you can use your own phone as an Arrival Sensor, the SmartThings Arrival Sensor itself prevents you from having to keep GPS enabled on your phone in order to free up battery life. It’s basically a small dongle that you can attach to your keys and it will send you notifications whenever it enters or exits the range of the SmartThings hub.

Water Leak Sensor

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Perhaps the most undervalued sensor that SmartThings offers is the Water Leak Sensor, which is necessarily a sensor that you’ll use constantly, but will save you a lot of headache in the long run when it’s used that one time.

Place it on the floor near your dishwasher, clothes washer, or in your bathroom and you’ll get notified whenever there might be a leak.

Outlet

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The only SmartThings device not powered by battery, the SmartThings Outlet allows you plug anything into it and control it remotely. It can essentially turn your dumb appliances into smart appliances in an instant. You can also use it to automate lamps and turn them on automatically when you open a door or enter a room using other SmartThings sensors.

SmartCam

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While the SmartCam isn’t technically an official product in the SmartThings lineup, it’s an in-house Samsung device that is fully compatible with SmartThings. You can connect it to your current setup and do things like automatically start recording whenever motion is detected.

And, remember, you can add third-party devices, too, like Philips Hue bulbs or Belkin WeMo devices.

How to Add Additional SmartThings Devices

Luckily, it’s really easy to add new sensors to your already-configured SmartThings setup. Here’s how to do it.

Start by opening up the SmartThings app on your phone and tapping on the “My Home” tab at the bottom of the screen.

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Next, tap on the “+” icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

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Select “Add a Thing” when the pop-up at the bottom appears.

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If it’s a third-party sensor or device that you’re adding (i.e. something that isn’t SmartThings-branded), then follow our guide on how to add third-party devices to SmartThings. Otherwise, tap on “Connect Now” if you’re adding a SmartThings sensor or device.

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The SmartThings app will begin to look for sensors and devices to add.

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The next thing you’ll want to do is prepare your new sensors or devices for pairing and get them set up. Take off the back plate from the sensor and remove the mounting template and the battery tab on the side. Once you do this, the sensor will automatically start pairing to the hub. If it’s a smart outlet, you’ll simply press the small button on the front to begin pairing it (it will need to be plugged in).

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When it pairs, the app will confirm that it found the device. Hit “Next”.

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On the next screen, you can give the sensor a custom name and add it to a room.

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Rooms are helpful for when you have multiple sensors and devices in one room, making it easier to monitor and set up automation for specific rooms.

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Hit “Done” and then “Next” to complete the setup process for that sensor. Then go ahead and mount the sensor using screws or the included 3M sticky pads.

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At that point, you’re all set! Your additional sensors and devices are ready to go and will begin monitoring your home. You can use the SmartThing app’s Smart Home Monitor to check on your setup at any time.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.