For those of us interested in home automation, this might be a familiar scenario: You’ve bought that new 4-in-1 sensor you’ve wanted for a while, and rush to unwrap the package like a kid on Christmas Day. Then you insert the batteries and make your way to your SmartThings hub to include it into your network. And then the disappoint descends: it’s a sensor that’s new on the market, and it’s more complicated to integrate it than a simple on/off device. It will probably take a while before SmartThings provides official support for it. So how do you include a Z-Wave device to your hub if it's not on the list?
This is where custom device handlers come in: community members will often develop their own code to be able to use new devices with SmartThings. They usually publish them on development platforms like GitHub and then post a link to the code on the SmartThings forum. But they don’t always include instructions on how to install the custom device handler and assign it to the device. The average user may think it’s a complicated process, when in fact it’s quite simple!
Here are some instructions that should help you get a custom device handler (i.e. that awesome new device of yours!) to work in SmartThings. I’ll be taking the Zooz 4-in-1 Sensor as an example, but this process will work for any device that needs a custom handler (you’ll just need to use a different link for the right code).
1. Log in here with the same username and password you use for your SmartThings app: https://graph.api.smartthings.com/login/auth
2. Click on My Device Handlers in the top menu
3. In the top right corner, click on Create new device handler and choose From code from the top tab menu. You'll be presented with a blank area where you can copy the code from this link and paste it in (it's always best to use the raw version of the code)
4. Next, scroll to the bottom and click Create. Now click Save, then click Publish > for me.
You should now see this device type in your list of Device Handlers
Simply exclude the device if you had included it prior to installing the new device handler. Then add the device to your SmartThings hub by clicking on Add thing > + Connect New Device in your app. Press and release the Z-Wave button on the sensor twice quickly.
Remember to keep the device within 3 feet away from your hub during inclusion — the device should be automatically discovered as the Zooz 4-in-1 sensor. Then, leave the sensor by the hub for a few hours so it can fully configure.
And that should be it! I hope this was helpful in simplifying the process behind custom device handlers. Feel free to share your questions and feedback in the comment section below!