As a new user to smartthings (ST) I am in search - as probably so many new user - to a fitting configuration. I haven’t found a topic yet discussing some great possibilities which will work out of the box with ST and set itself apart from all the other. Since ST support z wave and zigbee there is a tremendous choice for each particular use. Having a lot of choice is a superb feature but this doesn’t make it easy for new users to get the tools they need so they can start setting up the basics for a good system which they can then build on.
Since there is a difference between US and EU market, I would like to ask if possible to differentiate in your answer for which market the suggestions you are about to provide hold true.
Any home alarm system needs any of the following features to my opinion to be worthy of a good system. Please complete which device / utility would be best fitting:
- Motion sensors? Wide angle motion sensors with at least 10m coverage seem reasonable. I guess there will be still older homes which have wired 12v cables ready for traditional PIR sensors. So it would be great to address the possibility of hooking up a z-wave motion sensor to a 12v battery supply in order to avoid system failure due to loss in power. I am aware of fibaru don’t consider this as an out of the box tool which will thus not serve most new users (= an non answer).
- Door/window contact? I guess vibration is a nice feature since it prevents hampering with the sensor.
- Smoke detectors? Since smoke (and fire) can spread across a room in less than 1 minute a detector will serve not only as means to warn the fire department when you are not home, but also to save lives. A detector should make noise, always on and connect to ST.
- Outdoor siren? I have seen a lot about indoor sirens and to a lesser extend outdoor sirens. To me only an outdoor siren makes sense since it will frighten burglars and attract attention from the surrounding. Nevertheless a siren needs to be proof of hampering by burglars (so go off if opened or breached and the sound shouldn’t be blocked if foam is poured into the speakers). Weather resistance and additional cable power supply are a bare minimum since these devices are often installed many meters from the ground and you do not which to climb the ladder every month or so.
- Indoor cameras? As privacy is important a camera which can be tilted seem logical, additionally the camera should be surveying the room (pointed to a blank wall) when the system is disarmed, but should automatically turn on and point to the right direction when the system is armed. This way burglars/ hackers can’t peek around in your house if they find access to the camera recording/streaming functionality. This protects privacy as well as your house. As with all cameras, recording after motion detection, locally and on the cloud are required. Local storage can play a major role if the LAN network has been interrupted.
- Outdoor cameras. Same rules as indoor, except night vision is must. Tilting doesn’t seem to be important since you expect fix corners to be inspected and of course power through cord is a requirement.
Furthermore some generic questions.
a) Since the beauty of z wave is the signal can hop from one sensor to the next. Which delay is present in such a system? And what can be expected from the maximum coverage without timeouts in a normal brick home?
b) Can ST be setup that when a sensor trips (fails) the system is triggered (alarm goes off)?
c) Since the second generation a battery supply is available, but how does this hold up if the router is down? Can alternative solutions be used to send the signal to the web instead of through general LAN connection which can be hampered from outside of the building.
d) Since Z wave isn’t unbreakable as well as the communication send onto the web, how can one best protect its propriety information. If the information collected by the system isn’t safe, it may well act as a source for burglars or online hackers as well (reminder wannacrypt, burglars do not always need to be physically present). Is protecting the router enough or can users do more?
This seems a lot, but this is just the basic any good system needs. From this point on I guess everybody can design its own whishes but rest assure their home is safe.
Thanks everybody for reading and hope to get a good discussion and more concrete to the point suggestions which are well accepted. As price is for most users an important issue I guess it shouldn’t dominate the right choice if it doesn’t meet all the requirements as mentioned above.