Considering ADT Pulse vs. rolling my own security w/SmartThings - need help


#1

I’m currently an ADT customer, but I just have the basic service with them. I see stuff about their Pulse system all the time, but I’m also getting into home automation. I have 2 Nest Protects, a Nest Thermostat, and a Nest Cam monitoring my front door currently, but I just pre-ordered the v2 ST hub.

The only thing I haven’t tackled much is home security (outside of the Nest Cam). I’ve looked at all the different options like Scout, Piper, Canary, Simplisafe, Frontpoint, etc and I’m at an impasse. I don’t mind rolling my own security with sensors and sirens, which I can do with ST, but the one component that I need is the notifying of the local police/fire departments when something happens. I get that with ADT right now, and while I live in a safe neighborhood, I want the piece of mind.

SO…is there any kind of hybrid solution I can implement that gives both the DIY and police notification side consideration?


#2

The shortest answer is that as it stands, smartthings does not qualify for most UL listed monitoring centers, The ones that typically are allowed by local jurisdictions to make 911 calls. For example, there is a battery back up requirement that the V1 hub does not meet. It’s unclear yet whether the v2 hub will meet it.

At my house, we went to completely separate systems. The security system will work without power or Internet, is professionally monitored, and contacts that monitoring center via cellular, not Internet. The current V1 smartthings system does none of these. We use it for convenience case home automation. At present, I also do not find smartthings to be reliable enough for any life and death situation monitoring. Again that might change with the new version, who knows?

But there are other people who just can’t stand the thought of paying a monthly fee, and so their priorities are different.

Search the forums for security and you will find many discussions of how people have combined different types of equipment and different systems.

As far as roll your own hybrid solutions, there are some monitoring centers which will sell you monthly service for about $10 a month if you meet their equipment requirements. You just have to check with each one to see what equipment they require you to have. Some require cameras, some don’t. Most will require battery back up because that’s part of the UL requirement. Many require a keypad. Some are aimed at people who have particular equipment but want cheaper monitoring. Some require a one year contract. Just shop around and check features and make sure it’s a UL listed center authorized to make 911 calls in your state.


#3

JDRoberts, thank you so much for the detailed response. This really helps me gain a better understanding of what is available to me at present. I’m hoping the v2 hub will address some of these concerns, but it looks like I’m stuck with ADT for a while. I may hold off on doing any kind of upgrade to Pulse because of these factors. Thanks again for your help.