Back in 2013, a small company appeared on Shark Tank: a company called DoorBot, who later rebranded as “Ring”. In their appearance, Ring outlined their smart doorbell – one of the first smart doorbells on the market. Since then, Ring have released smart cameras, an alarm system, a range of smart lights – along with support for many smart devices including water leak sensors and garage door monitors.
This therefore leads people to ask whether Ring sell a smart thermostat, or at least whether they offer support for other company’s thermostats?
Whilst smart thermostat support would be beneficial for some Ring owners, Ring don’t sell their own thermostat – plus there is no official support within the Ring app for other thermostats. But thankfully some level of support is possible via Alexa routines.
What is Ring?
As I mentioned at the start of this article, Ring started out as DoorBot, selling a Wi-Fi enabled smart doorbell. Since then they have launched over a dozen new smart cameras and doorbells, and also moved into other smart home areas including a Ring Alarm system, the Ring Smart Lighting range and more:
They also support a range of other third party devices via their Works With Ring system that allows you to control other company’s smart devices from within the Ring app: such as locking and unlocking your door lock, and even get notified if you have a water leak.
This rapid expansion of product lineups and support has meant that people often ask a fairly simple question:
Does Ring sell an official Ring Smart Thermostat?
No, Ring don’t sell a Smart Thermostat and their announcement page has never shown any future plans to do so either. This is probably because Ring are mainly aiming for home protection devices – via cameras, alarm systems and smart lighting. However smart thermostats are more of a convenience than a security device, which make them somewhat different to Ring’s core business aim of providing smart security.
Thankfully there are some alternative options to waiting for an official Ring Smart Thermostat (which may never happen) – but first, why this would even be useful in the first place.
Why smart thermostat support would be useful
At first glance, the idea of Ring and smart thermostat integration seems like an odd one. Why should a Ring camera (which records video) have any control over a smart thermostat (which changes your house’s heat)?!
But this isn’t the full story – depending on what Ring devices you own, support for a smart thermostat could actually be really useful:
- Support for Z-Wave thermostats via the Z-Wave alarm system. The Ring Alarm base station actually operates over Z-Wave, as do the various Ring Alarm sensors. This therefore raises an interesting idea: if you already have a Z-Wave based smart thermostat, can you pair this with your base station as a form of smart home hub?
The answer unfortunately appears to be no. Ring support have said that they don’t offer third-party thermostat support within the Ring app or ecosystem. One user did say that they managed to pair their Vivint Element thermostat to the base station, but it didn’t work as expected and drained the thermostat’s battery “at an extremely fast pace”.
This is probably because such support is not officially available, and so even if you did manage to pair a Z-Wave thermostat with your Ring Base Station, there’s no guarantees that any useful integration will be possible. It probably won’t be worth the hassle right now.
- Convenience – when your alarm system is armed, the heating goes off. A nice benefit of the Ring Alarm system is how it integrates with Ring cameras: when you go out, Ring Indoor Cameras start recording. When you come home, they stop recording. This is known as Ring Modes and it’s a nice feature. But this same feature could also be used to control your heating system – allowing you to (for example) turn the heating up when you’re home, and turn it down when you head out.
If, of course, such integration was possible. This is a bit of a tricky point – it’s not possible from within the Ring app, but it is possible from within the Alexa app. More on this point later. Hurrah for Amazon buying Ring in 2018!
- Turning the temperature up/down when the doorbell is pressed, or motion is detected. Following on from the above point, it would be nice to control the heating when someone presses your Ring Doorbell or a Ring Camera detects motion. Of course, this might not always be useful (such as a Ring camera detects motion 20 times a day!), but if you live in a remote area, most motion could be you coming home and so turning your heating up could then be a beneficial feature.
Do Ring cameras & doorbells integrate with thermostats?
There is no specific support within the Ring app to control a smart thermostat when a Ring doorbell is pressed, or when motion is detected from the camera.
Having said that, though, Amazon own Ring and this means that if you have an Echo device, you can use this as a sort of ‘hub’ to enhance your smart home. In other words, you could setup an Alexa routine within the Alexa app that will control your smart thermostat when your Ring camera/doorbell has an event.
To do this, launch the Alexa app, go to the settings menu and then click “Routines”. From here, click the “+” icon to add a new routine.
Enter a memorable name, and then you want to choose your trigger. This is the event that will kick off your routine when it occurs. So in this case, you will want to choose a “Smart Home” trigger and choose your Ring camera, and then say “When it detects motion” (or you can also choose “When the doorbell is pressed” for your Ring Doorbell):
Then you can choose the action to occur. The action will again be a “Smart Home” type – in other words, you want to control another smart home device.
So choose “Add action”, then “Smart Home” and here you want to select your smart thermostat – ensuring that it supports Alexa, of course! You will then be able to turn the heating on/off as you require.
In other words, whilst you can’t directly control smart thermostats from the Ring app, as long as you have the Alexa app you can just use Alexa routines. This is the power of the Alexa platform – a few years ago, you would have had to use a dedicated smart hub. Now, you can just use Alexa.
Does Ring Alarm integrate with smart thermostats?
I mentioned earlier on that it’d be really nice if the Ring Alarm system could integrate with smart thermostats. After all, the Base Station supports Z-Wave and Wi-Fi – meaning that many smart thermostats could in theory be added to it, and then Ring Modes could be used so that the thermostat comes on and off when you leave and come home.
Unfortunately there is currently no support for this. Ring doesn’t allow you to properly add and manage any smart thermostats from within the Ring app, meaning that there’s no native support for linking your Ring Alarm with your smart thermostat system.
Fortunately, though, Alexa routines can also be used here. You can use the following Ring Alarm states as a smart home trigger within Alexa routines:
- Armed home
- Armed away
In other words, you can choose to automate various parts of your smart home when you arm your alarm system when leaving the house. This could be used to turn your heating off, turn all your smart lights off, and more.
This support was added back in December 2019, and so it should have been rolled out to all users by now. Another bonus of using a mix of Ring and Amazon Echo/Alexa devices.