FAQ: Armed/Disarmed states vs Away/Home modes confusion


I’m brand new to SmartThings, and I’m trying to configure Smart Home Monitor to alert not just on door open/close sensors and motion sensors, but also on certain vibration sensors when it is in the Armed state. I can’t find a way to do that.

I can use Custom to make a vibration alert based on Away/Home/Night “modes”, but these appear to be totally separate from the Armed/Disarmed states. Am I missing something?

1 Like

Nope, you got it. Location.Modes are completely separate from SHM or STHM armed states. Some of the early documentation on SHM, which is still available on the support site, called the armed states “mode” even though there already existed a system feature called mode so that was just a mistake that has led to considerable confusion.

AS OF 2019, the ones associated with security are now called “security.mode” and the more general ones are now called “location.mode”

You can set both location modes and security modes in a routine in the Classic app or a scene in the new V3 app, if that helps any.

Did you need more information on what a Location.mode is?

Also, the following post is a good example of how one member uses both location.modes and SHM armed states. It might help clear up some of the confusion. He is using five routines throughout the day to change both the location.mode and the SHM armed state. :sunglasses:

Again, if you are using the 2018 or 2021 app, you would put the mode change in a scene and then control the activation of that scene with an automation.

1 Like

Those examples helped a lot. I think the piece I was missing was that I can have a Routine that ties both the SHM state and mode to a single event (for example, if everyone leaves, then we switch to Armed state and Away mode).

Thank you!


Thank you, that solved my issue, I was confused with SHM and ST modes.

1 Like

if you don’t have the ADT/SmartThings security panel, ignore the rest of this post, or you’re going to get completely confused. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

for those who have the ADT/smartthings devices

SmartThings introduced a new device in the fall of 2017, the ADT/smartthings security panel.

Unfortunately, they chose to use the word “mode” for the armed states of the panel, even though the word mode is already used differently on the home automation side. So everything we just carefully explained in this thread to remove confusion doesn’t apply to the ADT system.

If you have the new ADT/SmartThings security panel, The arm/disarm concept for the ADT sensors works completely differently than smarthome monitor does with the original smartthings hub. So that can make things even more confusing.

Assuming you have signed up for the ADT monitoring service, then…

The ADT panel has three armed states:

Disarm ( no alerts will be sent to ADT)

Arm Away ( events recognized by any of the ADT motion sensors or ADT open/close sensors will be sent to ADT)

Arm Stay ( events recognized by the ADT motion sensors will be ignored, but events recognized by any of the ADT open/close sensors will be sent to ADT)

There is no custom notification option like there is with smart home monitor. And there are no zones.

Here’s the official support article, which is really hard to find. At present, if you just search for ADT you will get information about the hardware, but then you will get links to the SmartThings app which will give you information about smart home monitor instead of about the new ADT options. So I guess it just hasn’t been updated yet. But here’s the one and only page I saw which actually talks about the app for the ADT system.

You will not be able to change the armed states for the ADT system at the present time using a routine. So the “Mode” field that you will see in the routine set up or smart lighting set up only applies to the home automation modes. Not the ADT arm state modes.

Anyway, all of this is why it’s important for us to know which hub model you have and which sensors we are talking about in order to be able to help answer your questions.

1 Like

I think it’s impossible for anyone to ignore the rest of any of your posts, even if it doesn’t apply to them :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


March 2018 FAQ Update for new “SmartThings (Samsung Connect)” App

March 2018, Samsung renamed the original smartthings app to “smartthings classic” and released a new app, “smartthings (Samsung connect)."

If you are already using the classic app do not switch to the new app until you get an individual message from Samsung that your account has been migrated.

Eventually, however, everyone will end up using a new app. And the new app uses completely new terminology for modes and armed states.

In the new app, what used to be called “mode” is called “location.mode”.

What used to be called “SHM Armed State” is called “security.mode” in the new app.

These are still two separate variables controlling different aspects of your automations but with similar value names. So it’s likely there will still be some confusion. But it will be confusion about two new variable names each including the word “mode.”

Thanks to @WB70 for posting this information in a different thread. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Can a Location Mode automatically trigger a Security Mode?

I have a rule called: No One Home

  • my phone or
  •  my wife's phone are not present 


  •  Enable indoor Arlo's
  • Set Location Mode to Away
  • ----I'd like to set Security mode to Away---

Sure. Except that the security.mode for STHM is not available to webcore. :disappointed_relieved: But you can definitely create an automation in the new V3 app which triggers based on location.mode and have it activate a scene which changes the security.mode.

1 Like

Update for the 2021 App

SmartThings has two different kinds of modes.

Security.modes are used with smartthings Home Monitor. The values are now Arm (away), Arm (Stay) and Disarmed.

Location.modes are used in automations as a “behavioral filter.“ When you first set up a smartthings account, the values are Home, Away, and Night. But you can add more location.modes if you want. For example, many people add Guest mode or Vacation mode or even Party mode. Your choice.

Location.modes don’t do anything by themselves. You have to create automations to set them and then act on those settings. :sunglasses:

Location.mode is not shown under the LIFE tab, but Security.mode is.

You have to drill down a couple of levels from the main menu to find location.mode, I’m not sure why, it’s useful information.