ADT Model Hub “alert with Lights”?

A friend of mine has been considering getting the SmartThings/ADT model hub but it’s taking her about six weeks to find the answer to the following problem, including multiple conversations with support, so I thought I would just put this here. If anyone who actually has this model has a different answer to the following, please let us know.

Her husband is hard of hearing so she wanted to be able to change hue lights To a different color when the ADT panel was alarmed. This is a pretty common security use case, and is usually called “alert with lights“ or something similar.

Here’s what she found out.

If the alert will be caused by One of the dual logo sensors, then you can set up a separate automation to have that same sensor also trigger the change to the hue lights using the official smart lighting feature. That might even run locally, the support person wasn’t sure.

However, if you use the ADT panic button remote or use the panel itself to start the alarm, that information is not available to the home automation side and so there is no way to automatically turn on the lights at that point.

I’ll be honest, I was really surprised by that, but it seems to be true. :disappointed_relieved:

Since they also have iOS devices, they could use a Homekit sound sensor To trigger the lighting change based on the sound of the siren on the panel. That would also run locally. You could get backwards integration back into smartthings by recognizing when the lights came on, Especially if you reserved one bulb or light strip just for this purpose.

There are other sound sensors you might be able to use, Although the question is how much delay there would be. IFTTT would be an option with the Leeo sensor, for example, But I think the potential lag would be too much.

So the only solution we could come up with was dual logo panic button or panel to set off the siren, HomeKit audio sensor to recognize the siren and trigger the Hue lights to change, SmartThings To recognize that the hue light had come on and do whatever else you wanted.

I think it would work, but it’s pretty clunky.

Does anybody else who actually has an ADT model have a better “alerts with lights“ method if you use the key Fob or the panel to start the chain?

I don’t have ADT hub, but think adt tools may help with this. @Mavrrick58

First. I really don’t think the support person is right about triggering anything on the smart things side with an alarm event. If that was possible, ADT Tools would be much less complicated for me to support. If that is possible without ADT Tools please let me know how. Based on a question I posted recently to support they are fully aware of ADT Tools though so that may be what they are thinking.

I dont have panic button integration currently in place. That doesn’t mean it can’t be added though. Generally speaking when a alarm device triggers an even its device ID shows up on the alarm capability for the panel. So it should be possible to look for that. What I am not sure of is the panel itself. I will glance at the code today to see what I can come up with.

I also dont have color changing as part of the light actions in ADT Tools. Currently it is either to turn on lights or flash them. This would need to be added or possibly a virtual switch used as a intermediary to trigger the color change.

With that said this would all depend on the cloud and would currently be on the Groovy platform. Does that sound ok. I am looking at moving it to the new api platform at some point just have not worked out the details about how I am going to provide it.

Here are the desired use cases:

A) Panic button on the ADT key fob remote is pressed, message is sent to the ADT monitoring center, specific hue bulb turns red and Ideally start blinking, but the blinking is optional. The color change is not optional and they should be able to specify the hue color.

B) Emergency button is pressed on the ADT panel. This will then present the screen with three buttons: in fire, panic, and emergency. And the ADT monitoring center will be notified.

Ideally, they would like that and all the Z wave light switches to turn on bright and specified hue bulbs to turn red for fire, turn yellow for panic, and turn blue for emergency.

But they would settle for having specified hue bulbs turn red for any of the three conditions.

If there is a way to do this, whether it is with ADT tools or something else, please be very specific about how it can be done.


@JDRoberts I will start with the panic alerts in ADT Tools from the fob and the Panel and let you know what comes of it. I think it was brought up once before and I started to look into it. I think RL got in the way. I can think of a few ways to deal with the color lights right now.

Do you have anything that would make a solution an immediate no go like multiple smart apps helping or use of new vs old app.

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Right now I’d just like to know if it can be done even if it requires the classic app. I think there are going to be many many features affected when they drop the classic app, but since the new cloud platform isn’t done yet, it’s really hard to say where that’s all going to end up.

So I understand that that’s a risk, and my friend understands that as well, and as the recent scout announcement shows, Samsung doesn’t have an issue with dropping features with a pretty short timeframe.

I just have an expectation, although maybe I’m being naïve, that ADT will want to protect its brand in that area and would at least provide some alternative options for the security features. But I understand, no guarantees.

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So I just went through and tested each action. It does appear that it should be possible. I could see each event in the IDE. I have taken some screen shots so i have the info i will need to code it in. I will start to think about where to put these events in the app. It may be a new child app that will allow for the monitoring.

One thing I found interesting is that the keyfob shows it’s alarm event in two ways. The door/window sensors are only visible from the hub itself and are completely unhelpful in knowing a security event had occurred.

I will post here again when I have another update.

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So i just finished the code. It is basically a derivative of the Home/Life alert child app. Once I get some testing in I will post it to github so it can be tested by others. I suspect that will be the hard part. I am looking into to the Light color change now, and will likely have to port over a routine for keeping the flights flashing until the alarm is cleared.

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I have posted updates to the main ADT Tools parent app, and a new child app called ADT Panic Alert Action. This was specifically written to fill the need you are asking for here. I hope that it work and meets the needs you have here. I unfortunately don’t have a chance to test it at the moment, (weird sleep schedules at my home) but since most of the functionality is just a pull from the Home/Life alert app I would expect it to work pretty well. Let me know if you see any issues before I do.

The new child app will do these things.

  1. You can setup all or individual panic alerts for each install of the app. This includes keyfobs
  2. Once that is setup you can specify on each install what alarm action you want to take. This means you can set a siren to sound, strobe, or both. You can have some lights just turn on and at the time of the event set the color. You can have some lights flash and at the same time set the color. Flashing lights you can set the flash rotation frequency for on off and how many cycles and you can set it to flash continuously based on the alarm state
  3. Each install of the app will have it’s own options for camera control if you use Arlo cameras, or cameras that support the video capture capability. These record in a default of 2 min clips, but can be set to trigger recordings again after the interval is ended to try to record as near to continuous as possible
  4. Each install with have seperate notification parameters. These parameters will allow you to set a custom message. You can set the notifications to go out via SMS or Push notification. If you use SMS you can have multiple recipients by seperating the phone numbers with a “;”. You also have the option to specify a repeat where the message will be resent every so often if the alarm is not cleared.

Just to be clear this is in it’s very first interation, so it may have some ruff edges since i haven’t really been able to validate it all yet.


Awesome, thank you! :sunglasses:

Tagging @BigHoss , because I know he has been helping some of the after Iris folks with ADT use cases, and this is one that they had available in Iris.

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Do you need step by step directions for your use case or do you think you got it?

I have enough for now to point somebody in the right direction. Thanks. :sunglasses:

Once this bakes in i will likely be migrating the Color bulb functionality to the other alert apps as well. I just don’t want to mess with them right now since they are pretty stable.

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Understood. Color as a signifier is particularly helpful for two groups of use cases: those for people with hearing challenges, and those which are being used as medical alerts. Because then the lights can notify other people in the home at the same time that the ADT monitoring center is being notified. :sunglasses:

I can be here as I am request now getting into automating Lighting. My iris system only had the one smart plug…

I believe that I could be incorrect that ADT tools 2 would support that, but I dont know if it can be ADT monitored at that point.

I do not have the key fob button for a panic button however if I trigger the alarm from the panel it does go through the light routine.


So first I have managed to do some testing. Found some bugs as expected and already fixed them. At this point everything should be good except for one thing. The color changing on the bulbs. Right now that just isn’t working. I am close, but it appears i have something wrong with how i am submitting the command. So it is still a work in progress, but almost there.

Can you clarify what you mean by not ADT Monitored. ADT Tools is just telling smartthings to react to what the alarm is doing so ADT Monitoring would be notified reguardless of ADT Tools or not.

So i don’t have to keep triggering the panic alarm to test i am going to create another test program that i can work with until i get this setcolor command figured out.

The interesting thing now is that no errors are created, it just doesn’t work.

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@Mavrrick58 I was referred to the ADT professional monitoring. I wasn’t sure if ADT tools 2 was before or after the command sent for the professional monitoring since I don’t use it.

For self monitoring functions it has been fantastic for me however I am not using any color changing bulbs yet. I’m not sure that is a direction I’m going to go other than what I have stated in other threads for mood lighting. I can definitely see the need with the intent of the original post though.

ADT Tools functions completely independent of all ADT functions. So it won’t affect anything ADT is going to do. ADT Tools really just responds to events that occur on the ADT side of the system.

Think of it like this. When a alarm is triggered lets say a panic alert. One of the many things the Alarm panel side does is send word to the ADT Monitoring service. It also updates the Smartthing side by updating the Alarm status for the Panel device to hdisid-wjfhs-2752-247-284983. That is gibberish, but in a real event it relates to the device that triggers the event. ADT Tools tells smartthings to let it know when a event on the Alarm status for the panel occurs. So on a event ADT Tools gets that event and then compares it with the list of devices the user setup in adt tools. If there is a match it then continues to trigger it’s actions. The result is that they function completely independent. That is good to as the Alarm panel functions are all local and provide the most reliability. ADT Tools is going to be as good as the Smartthings cloud and subject to it’s limitations and hiccups.

I believe i have the color change functions working now. I was right in that it was a problem with my command. Apparently unlike other commands I have used the setcolor command uses a mapping to include multiple parms in one command argument. What I have probably isn’t the most elegant solution but it does seem work. I also tweaked the return to color option to use color temperature instead of trying to find the right values from the color wheel. Hopefully that means the colors will be pretty standard for that condition.

Once i am confident in this code what other ways can you think of that this color bulb functionality could be used in other aspects of security. I am already thinking about porting it over to the other alert apps. That will honestly just be allot of cut and paste hopefully. I was also thinking of adding a new method to the main app to assign color to the given alarm states. ie disarmed, Armed stay, and Armed away.

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Popular “Notify with Color” Devices

First thing to note is that there are several different methods of color mapping, and different devices use different ones. This can make things a little complicated. A number of the specialty device type handers exist just to get better color mapping than would be available with the stock DTH.

Some of the most popular color changing devices are:

Hue bulbs connected to hue bridge

IKEA Tradfri bulbs connected directly to the ST hub

Osram/Sylvania bulbs connected directly to the ST hub

The Homeseer plug-in nightlight ( A combination motion sensor and nightlight with seven colors, popular for various notifications)

The Homeseer switch with indicator LEDs. This is a regular wall switch with a vertical line of tiny indicator LEDs which can each be set individually to different colors.


I don’t know whether the differences in color mapping for those devices affect your code at all or not, but I thought you would want to be aware of them since you may start to get questions from people using ADT tools once you add color features. :sunglasses:

Use Cases

  1. Households with young children or adults with cognitive issues may want to go with only a few color options, at least for the main devices. The most common are probably blinking red for fire or CO alerts (The ones where you need to get everybody out of the house), and blue or blinking blue for medical emergencies (the ones where you need to go to another Household member).

Quite a few security systems, including the ADT panel, have three panel types of alert calls to the monitoring center: fire, intrusion, and medical. I have seen people use red/yellow/blue for those.

  1. Lots of people do use color to indicate the security.mode as well, quite often light turned off to mean disarmed, light turned white to mean armed. I think that’s most common for people who are also using a red light for fire since kids or cognitively challenged adults might get confused if there were two different red light systems.

But there are lots of other variations for this. Some people use Off/Red, or white/red, or off/yellow/red if they want to distinguish between armed stay and armed away… i’m sure there are also some people who use green/red, I just haven’t seen that used as often.

  1. Then there are some people, particularly those using the Homeseer wall switch, who create very complex signaling systems because that device let you see seven different lights all at once. So if the third light down is red, it means there’s a motion in the garage. If the fifth light down is green, it means the pool pump is running. If the bottom most light is yellow, it means the side door is closed but unlocked. Etc.


Typically the only person who can remember what all of those mean is the person who set it up, but there are people who really like this option. So it’s good to know that the device exists and works well with smartthings. If anyone asks you “is there a way to see multiple status lights all at the same time, like a different light for each door?“ Then the homeseer wall switch is usually the answer.

  1. People with hearing challenges may also use multiple different kinds of light notifications, in many different highly individualized ways.


So, yes, I do you think there will be many people who would like a colored light notification for the security.mode.

There will also be many people who want The “alert with lights” setup Where specified colored lights come on to match one of the three types of emergencies: fire, intrusion, or medical. Some people also want a fourth one to distinguish between fire and carbon monoxide.

Finally, a small percentage of users want notifications which are specific to specific sensors. The “movement in the garage“ example. I think most people find those too complicated to keep track of, but there are people who really like to do that and there are definitely devices that can display the information.

Those are the main ones I can think of that would apply to the ADT model hub. Of course there are all kinds of other color notifications that people want for other purposes. :sunglasses:

I tested it with a Sylvania lightify bulb. I hope that is fairly standard. Sounds we will have the basics covered as far as the ADT Smartthings system once I port out the functionality to the alert apps and the main app for mode change components.

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