Does Blink Work with SmartThings? (and Alternatives)
Given the wide variety of smart home options available to the average consumer, integration among devices is becoming an essential feature. Many people opt for Alexa-enabled devices like Blink security cameras to provide automation with their setup. As a Blink user myself, I wanted to find out if Blink works with SmartThings.
Blink security cameras work with SmartThings with notable limitations. A web-based IFTTT configuration is usually required to sync the devices, further adding to the process’s complexity. There are some alternatives, however, should you decide to use SmartThings with your existing Blink system.
Though the process is more involved, it is still possible to use certain features on your Blink camera using SmartThings; this article will offer an in-depth look into how you can get started integrating your Blink devices with the hub.
SmartThings: A Quick Look
SmartThings is Samsung’s answer to the growing need for smart home automation. The interface can connect with a range of smart home devices (lighting, sensors, cameras, etc.). Once your devices are connected, you can use voice assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. You can also configure and adjust your setting right from the SmartThings app (iOS and Android).
In addition to controlling your devices, you can also use SmartThings to schedule and automate your existing smart devices. Say you want your lights to come on in the evening at a specific time, or you want your bedroom lights to turn off automatically when you leave the room; SmartThings has you covered. You can even get notifications when a specific event occurs.
Managing Blink with SmartThings
There are a few requirements before you get set up with SmartThings and your Blink camera:
- A SmartThings Smart Home Hub: The Smart Home Hub will act as the “control center” for your system and allow the devices to connect and communicate.
- A SmartThings Supported Device: In this case, a Blink camera. However, it is worth noting that SmartThings works with various smart devices, like locks, thermostats, speakers, and more). Your smart devices will be able to communicate with SmartThings via the Smart Home hub, providing additional customizability.
- Smart Home Assistant or SmartThings app: SmartThings supports voice commands with smart home assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. You can download the associated SmartThings app to control your system right from your mobile device.
Now that we have a better idea of what SmartThings can do, as well as some tips to get started controlling your devices, let’s take a closer look at how to use your Blink system with SmartThings and IFTTT.
Setting Up IFTTT with SmartThings
Though the process of setting up your Blink camera using IFTTT doesn’t require any coding, you’ll still need some technical know-how. With IFTTT integration, SmartThings can be used to arm and disarm your Blink security system. However, because of how the devices communicate, you’re only limited to those two functions.
Here’s a guide to get you started using Blink cameras with SmartThings via IFTTT web-services (Note: You will also need to create a virtual “switch” for the Blink Camera via the SmartThings app):
- Use IFTTT to connect Blink services with SmartThings (Ensure you have authorized your Blink Cameras).
- Create an Applet (Blink offers a helpful guide to creating applets for your devices on their support site here).
- Next, you’ll want to select “Switched On” (armed) or “Switched Off” (disarmed) within the IFTTT interface.
- Locate your Blink Camera’s virtual switch and create a new trigger.
- Once the trigger is created, select “+ that” and navigate to the Blink Camera you want to arm or disarm.
- Finally, add the Blink Camera switch to your list of “routines” in the SmartThings app.
The steps required may seem daunting at first, but Blink’s support forums offer plenty of helpful resources to get you started and help troubleshoot potential issues you may run into along the way.
Similar Devices with SmartThings Integration
If you’re feeling intimidated by the process of integrating your Blink cameras using IFTTT, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are comparable devices that can access SmartThings automation right out of the box.
Here’s a side by side comparison featuring similar security cameras that support SmartThings integration:
|Feature(s)||Blink Indoor||SmartThings Cam||Arlo Pro|
|Video Quality||720p HD||1080p HDR||2K HDR|
|Power Source||2 Lithium Batteries||Plug-in||2 Lithium Batteries|
|Smart Home Compatibility||Alexa||Google Home and Alexa||Google Home and Alexa|
|Native SmartThings Integration||No||Yes||Yes|
Regardless of the model you choose, all these security cameras are reliable and versatile. However, the ability to seamlessly integrate with SmartThings may be a selling point for many.
Being able to control our smart devices and automate systems is at the forefront of many homeowners’ minds. Though Blink cameras can work with Samsung’s SmartThings, the process is involved, and once enabled, the features are limited.
If you’re already using Blink devices, this may be an acceptable trade-off. However, if you’re in the market for a security camera with native SmartThings support and integration, you may want to invest in a different product.
For a comprehensive list of devices that are compatible with SmartThings, click here.