Hi all, I’m new here and need help on an Arlo camera integration with SmartThings. I’ve had the cameras for a while and they are great. I just bought the ST hub to start expanding smart home capabilities. I’ve been able to connect ST to my Arlo account and the 4 cameras show up on my dashboard, etc. However, I cannot figure out how to set up them up where, if motion is detected on the camera, then record. This worked perfectly in the Arlo native app but not ST!! (I’m using the new ST app, not the classic one) I’ve seen older posts here that this may not be possible, which is really surprising and frustrating. I’ve seen the ArloPilot app and tried that, but I believe that’s only for the older, classic app (correct me if I’m wrong) . I have tried setting this up using Automations and through the Smart Home Monitor but nothing works right! I can get the cameras to turn on (via automation or manually on the dashboard card) but that’s not useful as the IR’s would wear down the battery within hours. The camera should not have to be ON all the time. I’m not impressed by ST so far and I’m hoping someone can confirm whether “camera stand-by until motion is detected, then record” is possible just like in the Arlo app. Appreciate any help!
Is there any reason you want to record with ST instead of to the Arlo servers? I have Arlo integration but basically Arlo with ST is merely a motion/audio sensor. Routines use Arlo triggers to do things like turn on lights inside and outside the house after dark until dawn. But all my recording and mode/rules still run in the Arlo app. I delete the Smartthings mode that gets created in the Arlo app. ST natively cannot select custom modes and thus ArloPilot came to be but, while I have ArloPilot, I don’t use it
Same as above. I did try to use my indoor Arlo as a motion sensor only but the native rules in their system don’t allow that - you have to enable at least a notification or a record. Annoying, but not an ST issue or one that can be solved in ST as the motion event never arrives…
So lets first address arlo pilot working in the new app. It will work fine, but you have to load it from the classic app. This applies to any community developed app. Smartthings has yet to give us a way to install those Smartapps in the new Smartthings app.
As the others have kind of indicated the integration between Arlo and Smartthings leaves a bit to be desired. Simply put the integration leaves allot out. Your best option is to leave the managing Arlo recordings to the arlo cloud. There are two ways to do this. Some have found that simply setting the Arlo cloud to Armed and the adjusting the settings that are avaliable in Smartthings when they need to works fine for them. Others like myself have used Arlo pilot as you mentioned. The advantage of arlo pilot is that it will allow you the ability to setup a few things that are not present in the integraiton. A good example of one of the items is the notification options. Both options work and are pretty good, but they don’t put the video in the smartthings application. You will always need to lean on the Arlo app to gain access to the video content.
I can’t speak to problems with Arlo as a motion sensor. I used it for some time with my Arlo Q’s and it seemed to work well for me.
So with that said it isn’t impossible to trigger a recording from smartthings. It would require a smartapp to do so though. I am also not clear on the method to display the video to you though. I already have this integration built in a smartapp I am taking care of and the piece of code that would take care of simply triggering a recording on motion wouldn’t be hard to add. I think the big question is what would you want to do with it, and how would you want it presented to you. I don’t think Smartthings has a good way to maintain a library of video like the arlo applications do.
A couple of things here - please bear in mind that for the most part Smartthings simply controls the on/off switches for the cameras and this is done using routines. Smartthings expects the cameras to be in the off or disabled state until a routine is run that enables them. This does save battery life versus the Arlo way of doing things which is to leave the cameras on/active all the time and control them through modes and rules. In my opinion Arlo’s way shortens battery life. That is why I leave my cameras in the Armed state all the time and let Smartthings decide which cameras to turn on/off depending on the routine.
There is one huge advantage to using Smartthings versus Arlo and that is that Smartthings allows you to use all kinds of devices to trigger recordings which Arlo does not do. So, I can trigger a recording from a motion sensor, an open/closed sensor, Life 360, smoke/co2 sensors, etc. and even use the temperature readings from almost all devices to trigger a recording if the temperature gets too hot or cold.
Not with the new Smarthings app. Only On/Off.
Thanks! Good to know about installing Arlo Pilot through the classic app. I did not know that. Appreciate it!
Thanks everyone for the replies. I’m perfectly happy to keep recording/modes management in Arlo as most have suggested here. I’ll still try to use the camera motion triggers for other things if the need comes up. My only comment now is I wish Arlo and ST were clearer when they advertise “works with Smartthings”. I see how that statement is still true, but based on that advertising, I never imagined that recording/mode rules would not be integrated into ST just like you set it up in the Arlo app. Oh well, the lesson for this newbie is to do my research in the future before I buy other things that “works with SmartThings”. Thanks for the help!! Now…I gotta go set up my leak sensors.
The real sad part is i think there is some logic for it to be done. Just no one has taken the time to write a complete integration smartapp that uses it. It should have been Arlo obviously. It is very interesting what you find sometimes when you dive into what devices report to smartthings that they can do. On the surface atleast when looking at some of the commands and such that can be sent to the Arlo Cameras it appears there are some things that involve mode settings. Who knows how well it is supported though
Quite. The most obvious thing missing in the integration is location sync - I can’t set the Arlo mode from Smartthings and that’s a big shame as Arlo’s native geo mode is unreliable. Very very unreliable - to the extent of being broken.
True but arlo pilot can take care of that with home location mode sync or a switch trigger for mode change.
If by “home location mode sync” you mean “geo mode”, like I said it’s very unreliable. I often, when I decide to try again, find it in “disarmed” mode even though that is nether of the possible options I have set (which are a “custom home” and a “custom away” pair). I then wait for another app update and hope.
Even if my phone is power saving the app away and not letting it see location changes it should NEVER EVER EVER go to disarmed. I tried finding a way to raise a bug report with Netgear. I gave up - their patronising support achieves it’s aim of reducing contact with paying customers.
Actually it is about letting arlo pilot change modes based on the mode of smartthings. So in that case you would just worry about maintaining the mode in Smartthings.
Geo-fencing with phones is a problematic in general. The problem is that there are to many things going on that cause apps to get paused and closed on phones. I went through and basically set my phone to never put the smartthings or arlo apps to sleep, or close them. That has made a big difference, but isn’t perfect.