I’m finally getting started with SmartThings. I have some ideas of things I want to do but also know that the folks in this community have put so much time, effort, and thought into systems that I’d love to hear your thoughts. Someone already suggested I post questions for feedback and ideas so I’m taking them up on it.
A few basics. We live in an apartment. It has indoor hallways and a balcony. I’m disabled at a fairly young due to a rare genetic disorder. I have the SmartThings kit on the way. In addition, we have a Nest Thermostat on the way (hopefully it should work, the only one that will), an Okidokeys smart lock (although I may change to a different brand), Amazon Echo, and Philips Hue lighting. I recently upgraded the router to improve coverage and stability.
One of the things that I need to integrate is some video monitoring. Because of our apartment layout, it’s a little less straightforward. I’m looking at 2-3 cameras inside our place. I’m thinking I want to add a camera outside on the balcony (we’re only on the second floor and it’s fairly easily climbable. In addition, I need video outside of the front door. This becomes more challenging as I don’t have access to power outside the front door. I’ve seen a couple of options for this including Arlo and Homeboy. While I doubt either of these will integrate well with the other cameras, both have ifttt channels and we’ll just have to figure it out. The other thing I was considering was a video doorbell of sorts but I’m not sure if the lack of power will be an issue. If you have any thoughts or ideas along this line, please let me know.
As far as the other cameras go, I have two goals the primary one being video monitoring, the second increasing safety and security. Due to my disorder, I have a severe respiratory issues which could cause me to be unable to breathe. My husband wants to be able to check in on me, even if I’m sleeping, to make sure that I’m OK. It also means he can check on me even when he’s not at home. We had this for awhile with some non-integrated WiFi cameras, and in principle it worked just as expected. However, after purchasing the cameras, Samsung changed significant features (removing them) and the cameras lost a lot of functionality and we returned them. I only mentioned this because we at least know that the video is helpful and my medical team is encouraging me to do this as well.
My question for now comes down to this - is what I’m wanting to do best done by:
a) using one of the limited models of d-link or Samsung cameras that work directly with ST
b) using a camera that can interface with the ST hub radios but not directly compatible (like the Nest, Dropcam or similar device)
c) using a more video/security monitoring system that can somehow work with ST (such as Scout, Canary, etc). I got this idea from reading someone’s suggestion in the forums. No idea how to integrate but they specifically mentioned Scout with ST.
d) using cameras that interface via ifttt (I’ll likely have to rely on this at least somewhat to get the front door part sorted whether with Arlo, Homeboy, video doorbell, or whatever your ideas are).
I’m keeping my eyes opened for deals on cameras etc and there are some right now. But I don’t want to goof it up whichwould is why I need your help with this. If you can understand, I have no frame of reference for how any of the integrations/integrated devices actually work when it comes to interface, etc as I’ve never used ST or the app for real. So I don’t understand all the nuances of which camera will work best in my situation. I get the concepts just not what it actually means for use.
If you could please share your thoughts and any ideas about which cameras or security setup would work best for me, I would appreciate it so, so much. Please feel free to share anything else you feel would be helpful in my planning and getting started. I really appreciate this fantastic community. Thanks so much!