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IFTTT smart home

Connect your smart devices — even when they're not directly compatible.

Updated

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT, or If This Then That, is a simple automation platform that lets you link apps and smart devices through instruction sets known as Applets.

Applets consist of a group of actions that link two different devices or services. For example, there’s an Applet that will automatically turn on your Philips Hue smart lights when the weather forecast service Weather Underground reports that the sun is about to set. All Applets follow this framework of one action triggering another — hence the “If This Then That” moniker.

Applets are especially useful in the realm of home automation, as they allow different smart devices and services to work together even if they don’t support it out of the box. From posting to Facebook by dictating a status update to Google Home to turning off your house lights, locking your doors and silencing your phone with a single voice command, Applets give you an extra layer of control over your smart home.

How does IFTTT work?

IFTTT acts as a middleman that translates commands from one system to another, saving service providers and device manufacturers the hassle of building in compatibility for each and every service or device out there.

Individual IFTTT Applets combine a “trigger” and an “action.” Anyone can create Applets, whether they’re official from companies like Samsung SmartThings and Belkin WeMo, ones from experienced IFTTT “Makers” or custom Applets you create yourself using the IFTTT creation tool.

How do I use IFTTT to control my smart home?

If you own smart-home devices that support it, the simplest way to make use of IFTTT for home automation is by searching for existing Applets on the IFTTT website. You’ll need to create a free IFTTT account first, then browse the IFTTT repository for an Applet that suits your needs.

Once you’ve found one, turn it on by linking the Applet to the relevant services or devices. If you need help connecting your smart devices, IFTTT’s helpful video walks you through the steps involved.

There are hundreds of official Applets available through IFTTT, but you might find the specific trigger/action combo you’re after just doesn’t exist. In this case, you can use the IFTTT creation tool to build your own Applet from any combination of trigger and action you desire. The process is straightforward:

  1. Select the service or device to trigger the Applet (e.g. Z-Wave smart devices).
  2. Log into the relevant account and grant IFTTT the necessary permissions.
  3. Select a trigger (e.g. motion detected by a Z-Wave motion sensor).
  4. Select the service or device to perform an action (e.g. Philips Hue smart lights).
  5. Log into the relevant account and grant IFTTT the necessary permissions.
  6. Select an action (e.g. turn on all house lights).

Your Applet will now be active! Any time the trigger conditions are met, the connected action will be executed.

What devices and services support IFTTT?

IFTTT is compatible with basic systems like email, date and time scheduling and location tracking as well as popular platforms like Skype, Dropbox and eBay. For smart-home owners, these are some of the most relevant IFTTT-compatible services and devices:

Services

  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud
  • Deezer
  • Weather Underground

Devices

  • Google Home
  • Amazon Echo
  • Samsung robot vacuums
  • Home Connect appliances
  • ecobee thermostats
  • Nest Protect
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Honeywell thermostats
  • Rachio water sprinklers
  • Fitbit fitness trackers
  • Philips Hue lighting
  • LIFX lighting
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Logitech Harmony
  • Z-Wave smart devices
  • Android devices
  • iOS devices
  • WeMo smart plugs

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