Help - DIY Secure Smart Home System: need suggestions for video devices including cameras and video doorbell

(Owais K.) #1

If not in the right section, admin can you please move it to the right section or please let me know ill delete and recreate the post.

I am planning to make my house a smart secure house. I did lot of research, but it seems like I am still missing lot of information. I would like the community to share their experience and help me out in accomplishing this task. :slight_smile:

So far this is what I have come up with (listed below). However there are few more things that I am not sure what to get. If you can take a look at the requirement section and provide recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.

Note: I do not want to pay any sort of subscription so if you are recommending any products or any of my existing products charge subscription fee please let me know

1. Wall Pad Controller :(if none, ill end up using my old ipad)
a. Any compatible wall pad controller for my smart hub which will also have a functionality to see and communicate when someone rings the door bell.
b. Also should be able to view live videos on this controller.

2. Outside Camera:
a. Any compatible camera which can be connected to my smart hub allowing me to watch live videos.
b. It should have the functionality to save videos locally on my computer or dvr system (nothing on cloud please).
c. It should also have motion detection system which will send an alert notification.

3. Video Door Bell:
a. Any compatible video door bell for my smart hub which will also save videos locally on my computer or dvr system.
b. Should have motion detection which will alert me if someone comes within the motion detection range.

Devices: (Planning to connect the listed below devices)


1. Smart Hub - Samsung SmartThings Hub
2. Door Lock - Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm, Bright Chrome, BE469 CAM 625
3. Garage Door Opener - Linear GoControl Garage Door Opener
4. Window & Door Sensor - Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor
5. Motion Sensor - Samsun SmartThings Motion Sensor
6. Lighting - Philips Hue - Not getting any more instead of this will get Z-wave switches and regular LED bulbs. Thanks Rontalley.
7. Smart Plug/Outlet - Leviton Outlet
8. Thermostat - ecobee ecobee3 Thermostat

Not Decided:

1. Wall Pad Controller - Will use old ipad, thanks Eric Brown(etbrown) for the idea.
2. Outside Camera
3. Video Door Bell.

(Ron Talley) #2

Well if I can offer and advice, it would be to not use the SmartThings Sensors as many issues have been reported with them.

I would also offer the following advice. The Ecobee is Awesome! However, there are community apps that accomplishes the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

If I was to do it all over again I would get the Zooz Multi Sensors and Hardwire them. The offer motion, humidity, light and temperature. This can be used with community apps to control a regular Z-Wave therm like the Honeywell.

I would also reconsider the Hue setup and go with Z-Wave Switches and regular LED bulbs.

Ring Pro for the Door Bell

(Eric Brown) #3

I concur with avoiding the SmartThings Sensors. They all work on the Zigbee mesh network, but the Z-wave wall switches and outlets typically cost less.

I would also advise against the Zooz 4-in-1 sensors because they have terrible battery life. If I wanted always on multi sensors I would probably spring for the Aeon Labs Multisensor 6. They are pricey compared to a standard motion sensor, but power can be provided over USB instead of batteries to give continuous sampling. This is overkill to include in every room, so I would probably do a mix of Multisensors and Ecolink Z-wave Plus Motion sensors (opt for the Plus version for improved range and battery life) or Monoprice Z-wave Plus Motion and Temp sensors

For door and window sensors I would also recommend using the recessed door sensors from Aeon labs or Monoprice unless you have a metal door. Then the door sensors are out of sight and out of mind most of the time.

Ecobee also makes the Ecobee Lite which is just like the more expensive Ecobee 3, but doesn’t include the remote temperature sensors. As was already pointed out, this can be done in software.

Lighting can be a tricky area to replace. If fixtures are hardwired to a switch, then replace the switch with a Z-wave or Zigbee switch. If you have floor/table lamps then either get controlled wall outlets or controlled bulbs. With any lamps, turning off the switch on the fixture disables the ability to control the light from an app.

Create a wall pad controller using an old tablet and Action Tiles.

I don’t have any experience with exterior cameras yet, but the Skybell HD (free video recording) and Ring Pro (free streaming but subscription for recordings) are the typically recommended video doorbells. Ring has also created a floodlight camera, so no need to run new wires or replace batteries for an outdoor camera.

Last piece of advice: install a z-wave switch near your door lock. The range on all of the z-wave door locks is terrible, so put a wired device that will act as a repeater as close as you can to it.

(Ron Talley) #4

Notice I said hardwire the Zooz multi-sensor.

(Eric Brown) #5

I did notice that comment. I haven’t seen any examples of the Zooz being adapted for hardwired power. Would be nice if there were some PoE options since it’s easier and cleaner to run Ethernet than AC power to a AC/DC converter.

(Kevin) #6

I agree with the others, you should definitely avoid the SmartThings Sensors.

I have 5 of the SmartThings Motion Sensors and they frequently detect motion when there isn’t any, you can’t trust the battery level, and shortly after they went out of warranty, 2 of them stopped reporting motion and are now just temperature sensors.

I disagree about the Zooz 4-in-1 Sensor because the battery life really depends on which device handler you’re using and what you have the reporting interval and thresholds set to.

You also have to factor in that it uses 2 AAA batteries instead of 1 CR123A which is what a lot of the other zwave sensors use. The cost of 1 CR123A battery is almost as much as 4 AAA batteries so if you’re getting half the life of your other sensors it’s really not costing you any more.

As long as you’re not looking for an accurate light sensor or a motion sensor with a really fast response time then I recommend the Zooz 4-in-1 sensor.

I recently got one of the Ecolink Motion Sensors and I’m not happy with it because the retrigger wait time is set to 3 minutes and it can’t be changed in the configuration.

It has a test mode jumper setting that changes it to 5 seconds, but test mode drains the battery and disables the Pet Immune feature.

(Michael) #7

Eric, please see this post of mine that provides instructions on making a better powered device run on DC power adapter: