Home automation, lighting, PC, SmartThings, Nests and HTD MC

I’m just finishing remodeling my house and I’m totally new to home automation, Roomie and all of this and I’m looking for some pointers as to how to build my system. I want to:

  • Control LED dimmable lights, some of which would be linked to motion sensors and IFTT-type triggers e.g. if the upstairs hallway motion sensor detects motion at night then turn on the hall lights

  • Control a security system - I’m looking at the SmartThings security system as I like the way it’s modular and easily expandable

  • Control my Nest thermostats

  • Control my Windows 8 media center and distribute audio to 6 zones in the house, being able to adjust volume independently

I want to be able to control all this through my iPad and iPhones. I have a few questions:

  • Do I need a Mac to control the SmartThings hub through Roomie? From what I’ve read here the ST hub is controlled through Roomie Agent which is a Mac program - is this correct? Are there any other ways I can control the ST hub through the Roomie app on my iPad/iPhones?

  • I think some RF lighting systems will connect directly to Roomie without the need for a separate lighting system hub. Is that correct? If so, can you also integrate motion and other sensors with IFTT-style triggers via Roomie like I described above? If I can’t connect the SmartThings hub to Roomie then I might have to use Roomie as the brain to control my triggers and outputs.

  • I’ve run speaker cable to each of my 6 audio zones in the house so I’m looking at the HTD MCA-66 multi-zone controller/amp to distribute audio from my Windows 8 media center PC and the TV around the house. The MCA-66 is listed in the Roomie compatibility list, but how does it talk to the Roomie app? I’m guessing I connect the amp to my Windows 8 media center via RS232 and somehow connect my cable box/TV to the amp to get TV audio, but how does the Roomie app talk to the amp?

  • Will my Nest thermostats connect to Roomie and I’ll be able to do everything I can currently do on the Nest app through Roomie?

I’m sure there are a ton more questions but this’ll point me in the right direction.



Currently, you do need Roomie Agent on OS X to be controlled by SmartThings events. We do plan to release additional platforms and form factors for Roomie Agent throughout the year – some of which we announced at the end of 2014 in podcasts/interviews as part of the 3.0 release.

Hub-less lighting would include things like Belkin WeMo. You will be better off getting any of the lighting hubs and treating SmartThings as a separate solution mainly for alarms/alerts. While we do not yet list it, we do hope to add the Insteon Hub 2 that was just released, so you could consider that in addition to what we list on the website, but that is at least 1-2 months out. Another inexpensive new option is the Vera Edge – that will work right now even though we haven’t officially added it to the list yet, it works fine. Either would be good options. Some of their features are definitely overlapping with SmartThings, but you can just ignore all that and use them for lighting. (Which is not at all a bad or ill-advised thing to do.)

HTD will connect via a Roomie Blaster with a Roomie Serial Cable.


We don’t try to replace the Nest app. There are various superfluous things they don’t put in their API that are rarely useful such as switching modes from Fahrenheit to Celsius – things best left to their app. But certainly changing set points, viewing status, turning on the fan, away mode, are all available in Roomie as part of the official Works with Nest program.

Thank you.

Follow-up question on this topic. I have a great roomie system already implemented with Roomie Agent running. I have yet to use any integration with home automation yet, but ready to pull trigger. Sounds like update coming out supports integration of several new Home Automation Hubs. I’m debating between Smart Things or doing Indigo as the controller. I already have several IP cameras hooked-up but not integrated into Roomie. They are LTS CMIP 8232 cameras and I just haven’t seen how to get these into Roomie so run a separate software program (Blue Iris) to manage cameras and sent alerts, etc. If I want Roomie to be the interface of controlling all AV and Home Automation (including my cameras) with whatever Home Automation controller I use running in background, how do I choose the right Home Automation Controller? Are there pro/cons specific to Roomie on Indigo vs. Smart Things? I know a ton out on internet comparing the two, but I want to know specific to Roomie which would be easiest to integrate and expand with?