Thought I would take another attempt at explaining the ADT system and be a bit more through.
First as already said the ADT part of the system is silo’d from the SmartThings side. So Integration can be limited if they wanted to. That isn’t a bad thing as you want the security system to be as reliable as possible. With that being said all of the sensors from the ADT side are presented to SmartThings for automation. So the sensors do pull double duty and allow automation. The SmartThings side has all of the functionality of the original hubs minus some smart apps. Samsung claims that is to prevent compatibility issues. I haven’t had any problems adding apps back though the IDE though.
The ADT SmartThings system has Door/Window Sensor, Water Leak Sensor, Motion Sensors, Carbon Monoxide Sensors, and Fire sensors that are available. There is also a keyfob but that is simply used to change alarm modes or trigger a panic alert. These create a pretty complete setup. The main panel houses battery backup, cellular radio backup, and a full blow alarm system with all of base functionality you would expect. There is also some TTS functionality built into the panel for the sensors as well. Simply put you can have it chime or say the location name when the contact is opened. ie Front door opened.
One of the biggest complaints people have is that the ADT Side requires the sensors to be the dual branded ADT/Smartthings sensors. If they are not they will never trigger alerts to ADT. This means you can’t just buy any Zwave/Zigbee sensor and expect it to send alerts to ADT. If you were heavily invested in SmartThings already and used Smart Home Monitor this could be a dealbreaker. Since you are not then it is just a matter of making sure you get the right sensors for what you want to do. Generally speaking the sensors are fairly well priced. I purchased all of the Door/windows sensors on sale for $19.99 and at most they seem to be around $25.
Don’t forget of the cost of the sensors. The starter kit is just that a start. You need to look at the size of the space you have to secure, and then how you want to secure it. Motion detectors can help reduce the number of sensors you need by covery a large space, but that also means someone has to be inside to trigger them. If you have pets motion sensors also can be problematic I prefer the perimeter based protection method. Simply put any entry point has a contact sensor. It adds up fast when you consider you have to account for each door and window, but it is a good method to lock things down and potentially stop access before it even starts. I had 18 sensors I needed to get to fully secure my house so the sensors along were about the cost of the starter kit.
Though the system is from ADT there is no contract. You can use it completely unmonitored if you like. There are also 3 plans you can choose from if you want to subscribe for monitoring.
14.95 for essentially Water leak and fire monitoring
24.95 for Intrusion monitoring
34.95 for all of it.
There are also 6 month prepaid plans that allow you to lower the cost a bit. ie if you prepaid for option 2 for 6 months it ends up being around $21 a month.
The ADT setup and management is integrated into the Smartthings Classic App. You add the Sensors from the SmartThings App. Once they are added you go through and configure them with the ADT Dashboard which leans on the ADT’s Canopy system. This isn’t new and technically you can access it from a website. As I was told they don’t really want that, but my point is that this isn’t something that is strictly Smartthings. With that system you setup each sensors type and TTS/Chime information, the location in ADT’s system for monitoring and contact information, and billing. It is very straight forward.
Once that is configured you can now change alarm states from your phone or the panel itself. From your phone you can change the system from Disarm, to Arm/Stay, to Armed/Away at any time without any additional code input. You can do this at any time from anywhere. On the panel you can configure multiple users if you like, and probably should configure a password for each person that will use the alarm. It also has a interface to go through and do a walkthrough test of all of your sensors.
Now that the system is setup what does that mean will happen when alarm is triggered. Well depending on how you setup each sensor they will either give youa entry delay of 1 min or they will trigger immediately. Once the alarm is triggered the ADT Notification app will send you a message with the sensor that has triggered the alarm, and the internal siren will go off. You still get a short period of time to disarm the alarm and not have it trigger a call to ADT. I have seen that happen to me a few times when I was testing the ADT Tools app. The ADT alarm functions are all local services. So if internet goes out it will still be completely functional. Monitoring should work as expected whereas if it keeps going off they simply call you to check. ADT only monitors the sensors they provided though so monitoring a camera is out with them.
This is where many people get frustrated with the ADT SmartThings panel. They realize that all they do is get notifications from the Alarm side when an alarm is triggered. Though they can use the sensors to trigger automations, nothing else was there to extend the ADT integration. The ADT Tools smart app changes that by enhancing notification for mode changes, custom actions based on triggered alarm within SmartThings, and then enabling Alarm state changes from Smart apps. It really extends the functionality allot and I frequently see powerful things the tool can do I didn’t originally think about when creating it.
As far as cameras go as I mentioned earlier the only one I have familiarity with is the Arlo Q. The Arlo line have a wide range of abilities. The Arlo Q is simply a wifi enabled 1080p camera that has 2 way audio, motion and audio detection capability and night vision. Though it doesn’t integrate with the ADT side of the system Arlo Pilot can be used with the system to change modes of the cameras when the alarm changes modes, You an also include the Arlo Camera’s in the apps from ADT Tools to change there state between on and off. The Arlo Camera’s function not only as cameras in SmartThings, but Motion Detectors, and Sound detectors. They aren’t cheap cameras but they are good at what they do, and the video is pretty good quality. with a 120 degree viewing angle you an cover a large area.
You can take a closer look at ADT Tools on “Things that are Smart” to get more details about that app.