Home Security With Some Automation - ST + Abode (or Scout or ?)

Thanks for the very detailed explanation - greatly appreciated I’m still working through all this but my reservations with the combo ADT-SmarThings system are around price (equipment cost and monitoring cost) and flexibiliy.

The starter kit is one of the most expensive I’ve looked at and has very few sensors ($399 w/ Memorial Day sale ATM). So if I think about the ADT SmartThing device as essentially two unique things in one - then the question is do the economies of scale work out between to have those two functions (security and home automation) combined or separated. With something like Abode or SimpliSafe - the starter system is less than $300 and the SmartThings hub I purchased was like $60 - so having them separate was less expensive and gives me more ultimate flexibility as I can replace either system independently.

I like the streamlined nature of the ADT-SmartThings hub but if I have to use ADT-specific sensors, and they’re “owned” by the ADT-side of the system and then can forward on triggers to the SmartThings side … how is that an different really than say Abode owning the sensors and passing sensor state info to SmartThings? With Adobe, I can also use less expensive (more generic) Z-wave sensors to reduce the equipment cost and monthly costs are less for monitoring if I go that route.

Is the ADT system fully integrated such that the ADT->SmartThings triggers don’t require any IFTTT/middle-ware code to fiddle with? In looking for a clean, easy to maintain system that definitely has merit…

Thanks again

correct. I’m surprised the sale isn’t better for Memorial Day. Its been as low as $250 before I think.


I am going to attempt to respond to each point in your last post. Hopefuly i don’t ramble to much.

I get the concerns around the price. When I was trying to figure out what system to get price was a big gateing factor for me as well. Ultimately I got the ADT Security Panel on sale for $299 and I also waited for sales to buy the sensors needed. I ended up getting all of my door/window sensors for 19.99. The ADT sensor prices are pretty reasonable tough. Prior to getting the ADT Smart thing panel I was looking at just getting sensor and using SHM with Smartthings. From when i was looking at Amazon pretty much all of the chearper sensors were about the same price as the ADT sensor, allot of sensors cost more though. So it is unlikely just to buy zwave or zigbee sensors and beat the price of the ADT sensors much at all. I looked at Simpli Safe and their door sensors appeard to be a bit cheaper at $15, I also looked at Abode and i think they were $25. I believe they all align.

If you use one of the other security systems they will use the cloud for integration with Smartthings for everything. The ADT Panel and it’s componets acctually function local. That doesnt mean that all of the stuff you want to automate will be independent of the Cloud though. Simply example is the ADT Tools component will run in samsungs cloud. Then the difference is do you have to go between clouds or just from your ADT panel to samsungs cloud. It would be nice if someone with Simpli Save or Abode could talk to how their sensors are presented to Smartthings. The adt sensors appear just like any other sensor and run locally so to smartthings there is no difference between them and any thing else.

The ADT Branded sensors really aren’t out of line with costs for not ADT sensors. The big differnce is that the some ADT Sensors use a different wireless frequency and use enhanced encryption. This is why you have to have a ADT Security hub for the Door/window sensors and the motion sensors. The claim is that this improves there reliability and range. Last thing you want to do is deal with allot of false alarms becuase a zigbee sensor drops off the network. There are also well documented security vulnerabilities that are potential with Zigbee and Zwaved

ADT has two official apps in the store. The first one is for doing notification when the alarm is armed and something happens. The second is for some smart actions with your AC when smoke or carbon mononxide alert is triggered.

To expand beyond that there is the ADT Tools smart app that allows you to manage many different actions. It has several things it integrates. to name a few
Custom notification with alarm mode changes
Perform certain actions when alarm is triggered.
Change mode with virtual momentary buttons.

Because the Chage mode part integrates with Virtual Momentary buttons this allow other automations to do actions based on those button pushes.

There is a ton of potential automation that comes from ADT Tools. The best part is that if you do find a gap in what it can do let me know and there is a decent chance I can get the function added in short order.

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deleting this post to respond directly below


I’m in the same position as the OP. Thanks for all of the nformation you have provided here. I am leaning towards going the ADT Panel per your suggestion. I have some Smart Things door sensors, but not enough to worry about them becoming unusable with the ADT.

I have arlo and arlo pro cameras. Is it possible for ADT/Smart Things to trigger my Arlo cameras to start recording when the system detects an alarm? That would be a HUGE benefit.

Thanks again. Looking forward to using your app!

Can you clarify if you mean you want them turned off and then activate them so they can record with motion, or you just want to record a clip for so long up to 5 min when an alarm event happens? If you want to trigger a 5 min clip it may take a bit. I haven’t done anything with the arlo api’s and it would need some research.

I created a fork of arlo pilot that works with the ADT systems. It was actually the very first thing I did as part of my ADT tools integrations. Basically it just enables arlopilots SHM integration to work with the ADT Alarm states.

This project expanded a bit for me in that now you can even use non ADT sensors if you dont mind the system being self monitored. It is still better to use the dual branded sensors but it will lessen. The pain is less if you dont immediately.

I will look into what is involved with triggering the arlo to record from smartthings. This may take a bit.

Thanks for the quick response! I currently have 3/4 of my Arlo Cameras set up so they are just on and I can log into the Arlo app and press play to see what is going on in the house. I do this because we have a dog in the house when we are not home. I didn’t want the cameras constantly getting motion activated and recording whatever the dog is doing. The camera I have outside is set to motion activate and record so I can see who/what comes to the front door.

I would like the 3 cameras I have inside the house to begin recording when an alarm event happens. A 5 minute clip would be great.

I just ordered the ADT hub and sensors due to your recommendations and hard work on the tools app. Looking forward to getting it set up! Thanks again.


I have yet to find a way submit a command to the arlo cameras to record video. I suspect there is a way through the Arlo Connect integration, but haven’t found it. Even if i do find it i think the best case scenario would be a 2 min recording not five as I previously mentioned. That is just a guess though as they seem to limit it 120 through the Arlo app for set duration recordings. I have found a IFTTT recipe that will do it though based on a contact change state to open.

What I can do and i have already tested, is add the ability to update a virtual contact sensor to open and then closed. That would be enough to trigger the Arlo cameras to record with the IFTTT recipe.

The way you would need to set this up would involve 1. Setup the virtual Contact sensor( i am pondering tryign to have the app do it.) 2. Setup IFTTT with a applet for each camera. IFTTT Arlo Applet for triggered recordings based on contact switch Once that is done it would just be a matter of how to get ADT Tools to update that contact sensor. I am pondering adding it to the Alert child apps that are already out there or creating a child app for it to occur. I will let you know once i get close to finializing the code.

One limitation of this would be that IFTT only allows up to 60 seconds(really 57) for a recording triggered this way. I am looking at possibly creating a loop that would schedule another trip of the contact sensor if the alarm is still going off. Does that sound like something that would work well.

I just thought of one possible option that may be much easier to set up. Can the ADT/Smart things be set up to automatically change the profile on the Arlo system if an alarm is triggered? If it could do that, you could make an Arlo profile that is Armed with motion detection on for all cameras. This profile could then be configured to “record video until activity is stopped” giving you the five minutes of video recording. You could also enable the Arlo Alarm to go off with motion being detected so you have another alarm going off.

Your solution would definitely work as well. I was just thinking the scenario above may be much less work!

Thanks again!

Actually that took me down a road to take a look at Arlopilot again because I knew it had Mode syncronization processes in it.

In Arlopilot there is a way to trigger arlo modes based on a few devices. With that functionality you should be able to simply create a virtual switch that the ADT Alert child apps turns on and then that would change your mode in Arlo to armed or a custom armed state. No changes needed for anything in the ADT Tools. You can even use the ADT Simulated button if you want and that would eanble the feature from the new Smartthings App.

The only problem I see is that this put it all motion to based recording though so if you would just want to trigger a set recording on all of your cameras the ADT tools with IFTTT would still probably be your best optoin.

The fact all of the other child apps do similar fuctions to devices so it isn’t hard to add the ability to trigger a contact switch or button. I already have it mostly written so I will release it soon so you can choose from either option.

The only thing i am not really keen on is the depenedency on another cloud service. Basically it would involved Smartthings telling IFTT which tells Arlo to record. just one more layer of complexity to fail. Arlopilot keeps it all between smarthings and Arlo, but then again it is all motion based which some may not like

I have the child app written that will trigger the ARLO IFTTT integration, and just doing some testing before publishing it to github. I will let you know when I do that.

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I got the new child app working to create multiple recordings using the IFTTT integration. So that is good. Just a bit more testing before I publish it.

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A fellow community member came through in a big way. @evanbeek not only figured out how to trigger the recording and shared what parms he passed to do so, but also provided the code for his app. After reviewing his app and deploying it myself it should not take anytime at all to integrate the function into ADT tools. Similar to before I will let you know when it is completed.

Have you gotten the hub yet and set anything up.

We have hijacked this thread to much already so let’s continue this at ADT release Thread