Cameras and SmartThings and Google, Oh My

Apologies for the length, but trying to paint a full picture.

We very recently moved to a new house and are looking to install multiple doorbell cameras (or one doorbell camera and a couple of outdoor cameras without doorbell). We are heavily into SmartThings and Google Nest/Google Home with smart home integration (with Hue mixed in as well) and had a Nest Hello at our old house we loved. However, the new house does not have existing doorbell wiring for installation of a Nest Hello (I am aware we can buy a power adapter but my wife doesn’t want me drilling a hole through the wall). I have been researching other doorbell cams and know that there are a few that are battery powered, but they each seem to have different limitations that concern me. Eufy looks good but it appears the range to the Homebase is sketchy and that would be problematic in our planned setup. Others have no or limited integrations with our Google system, or there is not enough information online for me to determine integration with our setup. There is no chime at all in the new house, and I really would like our Google Speakers to act as the chime, and to a lesser level of importance would like to view the video on our Google Home Hub and Chromecast devices. So my first question is, given the above, what doorbell cameras would others here recommend?

And related to that, we have also considered ADT cameras and doorbell cams but that brings up a list of other questions. The new house does have an ADT system installed, with what appears to be older push button control panels (not touchscreen) and no cameras. We are requesting an ADT rep to come out and go over what is currently installed, see if/how they can upgrade the system potentially to the SmartThings version, and to ask about their cameras and doorbell cams. I can’t seem to find the information I’m looking for on their website, and before we talk to them, I was hoping that the folks here could give me a little information on their experiences so I can be certain what I’m being told is accurate, or that I can interpret what they say correctly. I have searched these forums and found some very informative posts, but in much older threads that could be no longer accurate. Some questions/concerns I have are:

Does ADT still integrate with SmartThings? I believe I read where the support was being reduced or eliminated, but both the ADT and SmartThings websites say they do. I don’t want to go this route only to have them drop support 6 months in.

Will I have to replace my current ST hub with their ST control panel/hub, or is there an ADT system that just works with my existing hub? Is the integration worth replacing my hub, or would we be better off not upgrading the ADT system and keeping the home automation separate from the security (I still have not set up quite a bit in the new house yet, so replacing wouldn’t be awful)?

If we go this route, and later decide to no longer have the monitoring, does the ADT ST hub still fully function (just without monitoring)?

Will all of my existing sensors, buttons, plugs, Osram lights, Hue lights, etc. work with the ADT ST hub or does it require a different version of all of those?

The ADT website says the system (well certain versions of it) works with Google Assistant, but I cannot find any information on what type of or how much integration there is. Can anyone provide some insight to this?

The ADT doorbell cameras look to be hard wired and would have the same installation concerns as a Nest Hello. Anyone know how they are powered if no existing doorbell wiring is available?

Does the ADT doorbell camera integrate with Google Nest/Home at all?

ADT’s website says a Ring video doorbell can be paired with certain ADT systems, and Ring has a battery version. But as far as I can tell, Ring’s integration with Google is very limited and I need our Google speakers to be the chime. Anyone know if the Ring integration with Google has expanded enough for that?

We definitely want a good camera/doorbell camera setup. The ADT system upgrade and monitoring is something that we are considering, but isn’t a definite want yet.

One thing about this move that has really stood out to me is that some companies do a very good job of providing good, complete information on what they or their products do and how they work. But there are more than I anticipated that provide very little (or no) information on the websites. Even when you call with questions, I am surprised at how unhelpful some of them are.

You read correctly: Is SmartThings ADT dead? (July 2019) (Lifeshield/Blue by ADT Acquisition and Support comments on EOL)

Don’t go there.

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When you say “new house” do you mean literally new, or did someone live there before? If the latter, you could go on using whatever they used and add a normal battery camera with two way audio just above the door. Then if the knocker sounds, you can interview the caller via camera. IMHO don’t bother with Ring - by the time it tells you someone was at the door they’ve given up and gone. For the chime, before getting my Hello I was very pleased with a cheap RF set of battery bellpush and plug-in chimers that you could get as many as you like of. I had three, one on each floor, and it was all instant. Never had to change the battery as it only was used when someone pushed it. However if you want it seamlessly integrated with Google Home I think it probably has to be Nest. They will display my Reolinks but it’s very slow to load. In fact I tend to carry my phone around the house with me and generally that is my interface to all the stuff I need to do instantly

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The dual logo SmartThings/ADT System was intended to be a do it yourself option, most professional ADT installers won’t know anything about it and will tend to steer you away from it. So don’t expect to get much information in that regard from the local ADT installer.

Besides, as @nathancu Mentioned, it’s clearly end of life at this point. It’s very hard to get either support or the devices for it. And it hasn’t had updates for a long time. ADT bought A different company last year and has renamed that ADT Blue, and that is now their DIY option.


It is super easy to use an Amazon echo as a doorbell chime and integrate that with ring or a number of other third party doorbell options. Unfortunately, Google has not yet caught up with this feature and just doesn’t offer an easy way to trigger a chime sound on the Google devices for a third-party doorbell event. We were all hoping they were going to announce that at their recent conference, but instead they promised very little in terms of new Google home features and the ones that they had announced are all just “coming soon.“ So for right now, Amazon routines are much better than Google assistant routines As far as integrating with Home Automation devices, including Eufy and Ring and smartthings.

Nest has some integration with Alexa, although probably has more with Google. But even so, when it comes to making the voice assistant device itself to something, right now Echo is just ahead of Google home.

I would expect Google to catch up eventually, but I was surprised they didn’t announce more at the conference, so no idea what the timeline is. COVID-19 might be affecting their development process. :disappointed_relieved:

BTW, if you really liked the nest hello and are comfortable with it, it might be worth paying a professional installer to come out and put it in, which I assume would alleviate your wife’s concerns. It won’t integrate well with smartthings, but I assume you already know that.

And while Google assistant routines aren’t great for working with third-party devices, they do have an option to play Nest Hello chimes on other google home devices. So you couldn’t set it up that way for a eufy or a ring, but if you stick with an all Google system you can:

It’s still more limited than the echo option, because it will only chime if someone actually pushes the nest Hello button. You can’t trigger it just from a motion alert. Again, we are all hoping that Google will add more features in the future. :sunglasses:

That’s all pretty much all as I expected, thank you all.

New to us, it was built in 1938. The interior has been fairly recently updated, including lighting and wiring. However, there are no hardwired doorbells outside or chimes inside. There are currently wireless doorbell buttons with a receiver in the closet by the front door.

We did really like the Nest Hello and fully anticipated getting that here, until I realized there wasn’t wiring. The front door does have a faceplate thing that resembles what may have been a wired doorbell, but it is actually in the door frame, perpendicular to where I would want the doorbell camera to point and I am guessing based on the age of the house, has the wrong transformer to run the Nest Hello (not to mention I cannot find chimes anywhere so I am not even positive that’s what it is). But there are also two other entrances in the back that I would want doorbell cameras, or at least cameras, with no wiring at all. The hole drilled for the power adapter at the front door would go into a closet that has an outlet quite close, so I don’t know why she won’t let me do that one at least. I mean, she said she might let a professional installer do it, but unless they find wiring that I can’t, they’d do the same thing I would, pull out a drill…

The Nest Hello worked quite well with our Google speakers as a chime, even telling us who it was if it recognized their face.

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Oh sure, I end up buying a Ring Doorbell 3 (and a Ring Chime to go with it) this past Friday (pretty much the only thing in the house that does not work well with Google Home/Assistant), and now they come out with this announcement. I shouldn’t be upset, who knows how or when all of that will truly be ready and available.

The Ring and Chime have only been in place for one weekend, so these thoughts may change over time. I think I still prefer the Nest Hello doorbell overall for a few reasons: continuous recording, integration with our existing stuff, facial recognition, response time for notifications and loading live video. But I do like some of the features the Ring has that the Hello does not (neighborhood info and motion verification to name a couple) and the no wiring needed is a big plus for our situation. Installation was a breeze, and I did it at night by porch light with no issues at all. I did have a little trouble connecting the Chime to my wifi network and for a good part of Saturday morning, the doorbell was struggling with wifi strength even though it’s quite close to the router. I rebooted my router and it’s purred along quite nicely since. The picture coverage is just about perfect (I had a bit of a blind spot up close to the door with the Nest Hello). I bought a second battery so when the charge is low, I can simply replace and there’s no down time while recharging.

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Not that anyone asked for it, but since it’s been almost a month and I’ve since added a Ring wireless Spotlight Camera (and solar panel), I thought I’d do a followup post on what I am liking and not liking about them, in case anyone is thinking about them. Since this is a SmartThings forum, I’ll start there. Connecting the cameras with SmartThings was quite easy, and I have had no issues with viewing a live feed in the ST app (new one). The picture is clear and the video feed appears to be solid. The ST app is not showing the history of either camera (motion detected, person detected, doorbell ring). I don’t know if that is an omission, glitch, or I’m just not seeing it properly (though there is a “history” part of the screen, just none of the history is showing up).

I have ventured into Smart apps and automation setups with the cameras to see what all they can do (though only actually fully set up and tested one Smart Lighting app). In Smart apps, the doorbell shows up as a motion sensor and a button, and the camera shows up as a motion sensor and a “switch” like other lights in the ST echosystem. In automations, for the “if” the doorbell shows up as a motion sensor and has a “pressed” option. The Spotlight Cam under “if” has on or off, motion sensor, and battery. So it looks like there are some interesting options that can be utilized. The app I did set up is part of a series of somewhat related apps for the porch light. I have the light come on at 20% at sunset, if the Ring doorbell detects a person, the porch light turns up to 50% (and then back to 20% some time later), and if the door is opened (with a multi-sensor), the light turns up to 100% (and then back to 20% sometime later). It’s been working great.

One thing I would like to do that I have not figured out is to use other motion sensors in my ST echosystem to trigger the cameras to start recording. That would be really helpful as the Spotlight camera has a very nice view down our driveway about 100 feet long, with a good picture. But the motion sensor on the cam only reaches about 30 feet. So by the time the recording starts, the person is already up to the house.

Batteries…they are both wireless, and Ring says the doorbell battery should last 6 months depending on the settings. The Spotlight Cam actually has a slot for a second battery, which I am using, and you can purchase a small solar panel to help keep those batteries charged, which I did. The bad first, the battery in the doorbell is not going to last me anywhere near 6 months. I put a fresh one in on the 14th, and it is sitting at 52% right now, not quite two weeks later. Having said that, I do have all of the settings that the Ring app warns you will affect battery life turned on and up, so I expected a short battery life, but not quite that short. Having said that, I do have a spare battery, so when it does get low I can simply change it out for the fresh fully charged one. This is quite easy and takes just a minute or two, so I’m willing to lose the battery life to have those options active.

The Spotlight Cam batteries have been great. I am going to be honest in saying I did not have high expectations about the solar panel for the Spotlight Cam. It’s fairly small and the cord is not as long as I would have liked, meaning that with the ideal location for the camera did not allow me to place the solar panel in an ideal location for it (not a lot of direct sunlight). I was just hoping it would do enough to reduce how often I had to change out the batteries. However, after two weeks (installed on the 14th), the main battery sits very consistently at 99% and on occasion at 98% early in the day. I am guessing that it’s dropping lower than that at night, but is actually getting recharged during the day.
The second battery has never been less than 100%.

All in all, I still think I would prefer the Nest Hello and cameras that can be set to record continuously, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the Ring doorbell and camera.

Hello @mrgneissguy,

Thanks for sharing your solution. I’m in a very similar situation. I have bought a new house and I would like to mount a new ecosystem based on ST and Google. I have selected motion, open/close and thermostat but I haven’t found any outdoor camera compatible with both system. Ideally, I would like free cloud storage and wired feed.

Your post is very interesting. Could you update you impressions with your ring cameras? Thanks in advance

PD: Do you know any ST alarm?

I think I have this figured out. I started digging around in Webcore and found that there are commands called StartStream and StopStream for the cameras, but my Hue outdoor motion sensor that is located further down the driveway (which would be about perfect for what I’m trying to do) does not show up in ST or Webcore. In the Hue app, I have the Hue sensor set to turn on certain outdoor lights when it detects motion at night, and I simply added the same (though for a shorter period of time) for the day. Then I created a Webcore piston setting the trigger for the camera to “StartStream” be one of those lights turning on, then wait 30 seconds and “StopStream”. While there hasn’t been any motion out there, I have turned the light on with the ST app three different times to test the piston and when I go to the Ring app and look at the history, I have three 30 second recordings. It’s been perfect. I think I might go back in and add a notification to it as well.