Configuring Arm(Away) and Arm(Stay) to be different?

I have a Smart things Hub 2.0 and 3 open/close sensors. I have had it set up to just trigger the push notifications when set to either Arm(Away) or Arm(stay). there was no difference between modes.

I just bought the Aeon Siren and my plan was to set it up so that when the system was set to Arm(Away) it would trigger the Siren and the Push notifications and Arm(stay) would be just the push notifications.

The problem I am having is I cant figure out how to have the Siren to only trigger for Arm(Away). It seems like its an all or nothing for both modes. I don’t really understand the point of both Arm modes if I cant make them different from each other.

Any ideas? Thanks.

I believe that the distinction you can make between arm/stay and arm/away is in which sensors will trigger alarm events. So you can have a different set of sensors for the two armed states in that arm/away monitors all the sensors you have selected and arm/stay can monitor a subset of those.

The idea is that in arm/stay you would still have your intruder alert sensors monitoring the outer perimeter and maybe the basement but you could walk around the house without setting off the alarm.

@slagle could say more


The way I look at it this, if you only have contact sensors, they are the same. If you have motion sensors as well, then JDRoberts is spot on

Arm/Away, everything is being monitored, including motion, in case they get in somehow, through a skylight…
Arm/Stay, only contact sensors are monitored, allowing you to walk around w/o tripping the motion sensors, like at night for sleep and a midnight fridge run is necessary

Hope this helps


@JDRoberts is right, as usual. It’s all about what’s monitored. The only way I can think contact sensors might be different would be like an inner door (which it doesn’t sound like you have). For example, I don’t monitor the door going into my garage in Armed(Stay), just the actual garage door and the other exterior doors/windows. I use that inner door to transition to a “Leaving” mode, that temporarily disarms the system for one minute (long enough to open the garage if I’m leaving). In Armed(Away) all doors and motion sensors are monitored.

Just thought a slightly different use case might help…


Sounds like another feature request to add to the long list for SHM


Thanks for the Feedback everyone.
I was mostly able to solve my need by leaving my Arm(Away) or Arm(stay) as they were and not associating them with the Siren. I then created a Routine that would set the system to Arm(Away) and use a custom mode I created that triggers the Siren.

Now if I am leaving and want the Siren to be armed I just have to launch that routine and it will do it all.

*One small issue that I can seem to get around, Once the Alarm is tripped resetting the alerts wont turn it off. I have to go into my list of things and select “Off”. Thats not a big deal but it would be nice to be able to create a Routine that will clear all alerts and turn off the alarm and arm again. Oh well…

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Have you thought about strapping a presence sensor to the dog so it will automatically trip the right routine based on dog presence?

I was wanting something similar. After i setup the armed home and away sensors, it takes me to a page asking to configure intrusion alarm notifications… i set some lights to turn on, and the siren(doorbell) to go off. These alarms only work if it is set to armed away, but not armed home and there is no setting to choose! :frowning: … why?

I really want the lights to come on, and for the siren to beep for both away and home, that way if someone gets in, in the middle of the night while we are sleeping, it will scare/deter them away. ya know? not just notify our phones… i want them to know they tripped something and run away… not continue on.


It seems just a triggered motion sensor then alarm siren / strobe would scare the burglar back out.

Only problem, anyone getting up at night triggering all this noise etc.

SmartThings is great, but really needs some work even for the simplist things a typical traditional home security system does with no sweat.

I.e the typical Ademco systems with wired keypad, siren, sensors.

Does SmartThings allow time to get out of house after putting in AWAY mode and enabling all sensors and alarms? Does it allow time to deactivate alarm when coming back in the house and unlocking door and trigger door sensor? Or does it give u a heart attack Everytime coming in? I hope this has been thought out. I chose ST instead of Abode, Scout, Ismartalarm and SimplySafe… so I hope I made a good choice.

The official smart home monitor does not have a delay feature, either going in or going out.

It has been discussed many times, including with the CEO of the company, but they just haven’t added one. But then they haven’t added a lot of things that would be required of a UL listed security system. For example, 12 hour battery back up and cellular communications. In fact, if the Internet is down you can’t even use the mobile app to arm or disarm the system, as that requires the cloud account.

If you expected SmartThings to provide the same features as a purpose-built security system, then you may want to look at the other alternatives again. It’s a cloud-based home automation system with some very nice notification features, but it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for most purpose built security. Indeed, The company themselves say that it should not be relied on for anything that might affect health or to protect valuable items in their product usage guidelines:

You can search the forums for many discussions on security options.

Thanks JD.

Quite disappointing as figured… as usual. I may bundle it all back up and ship the mess back to them. They probably shouldn’t sell door sensors, motion sensors, alarm siren/strobe etc then. Yes we can argue all day, they don’t refer to it as a “security” system…but a “monitoring” system etc. Sure try to sell it as one. Pretty annoying, considering the simplest things to make this system work effectively could easily be integrated. I am not asking for it to be “certified” or UL listed as a old school security system with 12 hours battery backup and Cell communication etc, but they probably should offer it being such an “expandable” system gaining in popularity compared to other systems. If they would just keep up with integrating such simple things (simple keypad, remote key dongle to alarm/disarm, time to leave/enter when arming/disarming), they could really put a hurting on companies like ADT etc. For the most part it’s great system, but the small necessary things needed to make it work (or jerry rigging), probably will just NEVER happen. Seems to be the case as reading it’s taking many gripes over 4 years or so and still nothing.

Contact sensors and motion sensors are both very useful for home automation, without any security aspects… Just controlling when lights turn on is a popular sensor application. So I don’t think it’s the device classes so much that matter. But there’s no question that many people think they are getting something like simplisafe or frontpoint or abode when it’s really not designed for the same set of use cases.

The real challenge that they have, I think, is that it’s a cloud-based system. That just limits a lot of the typical security system features, like being able to disarm even if the Internet is out. :disappointed_relieved:

Different people have different needs and interests. There are certainly a lot of people who like the power and flexibility that SmartThings has while understanding A cloud-based architecture introduces a different set of challenges.

At this point, I just suggest that people evaluate each system for what it is today, not for what it might be or for what they’ve suggested they might want to add later. If it’s not a good fit for you, there are a lot of other systems to look at. But I know it’s very frustrating.

Is there any news regarding this ?
Do we have any good workarounds ?

From what I’m reading, it doesn’t sound like I can add Motion Sensors to Arm(Stay) list. Is that right?