Best equipment for security in ST environment?

I’ve now been with ST for a year. I’ve tried to use SHM in the past, but it was a miserable failure. I tried smart alarm, but just really care for it, but that could have been from the bad taste that SHM left.

For security I’m really looking more at just the perimeter. I do not want to use motion sensors as part of this… Too many pets and people in the house. So, I’m thinking of just contact sensors for now. I want to do this in phases.

So, I’m looking for the absolute most reliable equipment to install.

I currently use the zwave ecolink contact sensors. I have two of these installed. I also use a bunch of the zigbee iris contact sensors.

What I’ve seen over the last year:

  • the zwave ecolink sensors have never glitched, never hung, or anything. They have just always worked.
  • the zigbee sensors are another story. Not a month goes by that one of them isn’t stuck and has to be reset.

I’m seeing the ecolink as very reliable.

What I’m asking for is your opinions about the equipment you use. What are they? What problems? How long have you been using ST and the security functions? What problems have you seen arising from the contact sensors?

I really want to know about the ones you never have to think about.

Once I have a stable perimeter setup and proven, I’ll move on to sirens and strobes.

Thank you in advance.

I’m especially looking for your insight on this.

Does your house have a wired security system? If so many have had success integrating those with ST. You don’t have to pay for monitoring to use it either.

No, that was one of the things I regret not doing when I built it a couple of years ago.

I like my zwave ecolink contact sensors also. If you need wireless, those are good options. Pretty good battery life too.

My first floor was wired for hardwired alarms, so I integrated my alarm panel. Those are the most reliable, obviously.

Don’t forget about a glass break sensor. Monoprice makes a zwave once now. We crate our dog, so I don’t have pets to worry about. If I had to do it all over again I would have skipped contact sensors on the doors & windows, and just used motion and glass break sensors. But if motion doesn’t work for you, I’d do glass break and contact.

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Great advice! I will put those into phase two.

SmartThings simply isn’t reliable enough for security at the present time. It’s not the devices, it’s the platform.

Even if everything is working perfectly, the fact that they push out updates that you cannot delay or refuse, and that those updates take the hub off-line for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours makes it unsuitable for security in my opinion.

As a notification system for non-life-and-death emergencies it has a lot of pluses. I use it for things like a notification that the guestroom window has been left open when rain is expected. But there’s no security use case I could think of that I would use it for.

There’s also the whole issue of the fact that if the Internet or the SmartThings cloud is down your phone can’t talk to the hub. Lots of stories posted in the forum of people who had sirens going off and no way to disarm the system.

I use an entirely separate security system.


As usual, excellent advice.

I want to give it a shot, but I want you ensure that any problems I have are NOT with my hardware.

There are other uses I’m planning as well.

this still happens for your Iris sensors? I have not had this happen in long time actually, the only issue I get is that periodically when I reset a Iris sensor sometimes the temperature will not update at all unless I refresh it. It’s very odd but other than that, the only times I really lose them off the network is during a platform update or hub update. However this has not happened during the last platform and hub update.

Hmmmmm, thinking more about this i would have to revise my statement. It occurs when I’ve taken down the hub for a mesh repair. There is always one or two that didn’t come back online. It is the same with the hub update, I always lose a zigbee sensor, motion or contact… Most of the time it’s three motion sensors.

But when compared to the zwave sensors, not a single glitch in a year to multiple glitches from the zigbee.

I really do not feel the zigbee iris sensors are reliable enough yet. It may not be the sensor, but it is most likely the extremely fragile zigbee mesh that ST has.


My remote setup has a Z-Wave Ecolink contact sensor on the main entry since last December with absolutely no issues. Battery still reporting 100%.

More about this setup here…

A few months ago, I scored a couple of the GoControl security packs on close-out at the Home Depot. Added two of their Z-Wave contact sensors on a couple of sliders in July: will see how they hold up over time…

Like @JDRoberts says, ST just isn’t ready for use as a security system. I agree with his reasoning.

In spite of that, LOL, I’m building an interface to our smoke alarms at the primary home so I can be notified if they alarm while we are away. But I wouldn’t dare have it automatically call the fire department :yum:

Also have a couple of sirens. They sit in the box they came in…


I’m thinking I want to go with the ecolink sensors… I’m going to need a few more lol.

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Assuming you’re in the US, you can use either the Leeo or the kidde remotelync for remote monitoring.

In the US, smoke alarms for residential homes all have the same sound pattern. And acoustic sensor can recognize this pattern from any alarm that it can hear, and then notify you. These work very well.

Kiddie makes the RemoteLync.

Leeo is from a newer company but has more features, including an IFTTT channel which gives you smartthings integration that way. In addition to the acoustic alarm, you can also get IFTTT alerts based on temperature or humidity.

The Leeo has come down in price since it was first introduced and you can now usually find it for just under $50. I have one and like it. :sunglasses:


If you don’t mind paying a service fee, you can get AT&T Digital life and then use HomeCloudHub to integrate with smartThings. AT&T Digital Life contact sensors are some of the smallest I’ve seen and work VERY well. You can use the AT&T sensors and smartThings together. This way your alarm is always monitored.

Just my two cents. I am currently using HomeCloudHub and it’s been flawless. SmartThings has failed me more.

The Leeo device is pretty cool, @JDRoberts – hadn’t seen that one yet!

My solution is the Kidde 408-SM120X interconnect relay which, in turn, drives a contact sensor. Used a modified device handler to make ST think it is a smoke alarm. Our house has a gaggle of interconnected Kidde alarms on three floors already.

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Ecolink contact sensors here too. I have over twenty used in two places and not a problem with them. I think it’s probably because I have enough GE in-wall switches installed as repeaters for a good reliable Z-Wave network.

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Been using Ecolink door/windows and motion sensors for over 2 years. No problems whatsoever. Motion sensors are kinda slow, but for security it does not matter. I also use Aeon Labs door/window sensors (they’re okay too) and Iris (First Alert) smoke/CO alarm.

True, I do not connect my Z-Wave siren to SHM because of the chance of false alarms and inability to turn it off during internet/cloud outages. But as a “silent” alarm SmartThings makes a good supplementary security system. Push notifications and SMS are free. Plus you can initiate phone calls via IFTTT.


Hey toying with lights for a hobby is ok, but if you bring in the word security, that is not a toy. If you are serious about really securing your premises look elsewhere. In my opinion home automation is for fun, security should be left to professionals. Those companies that are sure they can call the police for you if your alarm goes off.

hahaha, we don’t all want the police when the alarm goes off.

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Have you decided on a security solution? Im in the same boat as you. I want to utilize what I already have in place, but cant get past the issues SHM has had in the past. Scout would be the no brainer for perimeter security in my case (use existing sensors), but that relies on SHM for changing modes and detecting presence.

Abode is really nice, but I would have to spend 800+ on their equipment.

Curious to hear what you decided.