Need help figuring out where to start with security alert sequence (lights and multiple notifications in sequence)

Hi, new user here. I have had my smartthings hub for about a week, and I’d like it to be able to do the following:

  1. When the mode is set to night, away, or vacation, and when any of the 4 multipurpose sensors contact changes to open, or the acceleration becomes active, send a text message stating that the door or window is open, or that vibration is detected on the door or window.

  2. After that, I would like several lights to flash for 5 minutes(I have no speaker or siren) to alert an intruder that they have been detected.

  3. If a door or window remains open, I’d like texts to be sent every five minutes. Once the door or window is closed, a confirmation message is sent.

I figured out how to do most of this with the smart home monitor, except the flashing the lights and sending repeat texts while the door or window remains open. I did get webCoRE installed and working, and wrote a basic piston that would send the texts and flash the lights, but it would not just turn them on and off, instead it dimmed them up and down. Not really the effect I was looking for. And I did not get the repeat texts to happen every five minutes.

What’s the best and most efficient/reliable way to set this up? Do everything in webcore, or combine it with the smart home monitor? Should one piston be used to do everything?



In addition to what Robin mentioned above, you can play with the timings of the flashing to get closer to the results you desire.

  1. Play with the timings of the Flash
    On 0 seconds
    Off 2 seconds
    Flash x number of times.


  1. Flash on 1 second
    Flash off 2 seconds
    Flash x number times

See if having more off time with your bulbs gives it more of what you are looking for and play with the timing, or if that just doesn’t work, skip the flash and try:

Turn on
Set level 100%
Wait 1 second
Turn off
Wait 1 second
Turn on
Set level 100%
Wait 1 second
Turn off

Hopefully this will allow you to get closer to the results you are looking for.

There are definitely differences between different bulbs. For example.

I setup the same flash sequence for two bulbs:
LIFX BR30 color w/infrared
Hue A19 color

I setup my flash like this:
On Duration = 0 seconds
Off Duration = 2 Seconds
Number flashes = 20

Now the LIFX bulb comes on and powers off like you would want. Full power off and then back on throughout the whole cycle
(LIFX has a whole lot more power as well within webCoRE).

Now the Hue Bulb reacts a little differently - During the course of the 20 flashes, there were periods of time where it came on, fully powered off and then came on again, maybe 5 flashes, then it hits a point where it appears it is dimming down and up again for a few flashes. No rhyme or reason really.

As I was writing this, another thing you might try with your bulb is doing a flash color and transitioning between two colors (like red and white) so that the bulb is not powering (dimming) down and on again. It might make it a smoother flash if it stayed powered on the entire time but flashed between colors.

What type of bulbs are you working with?

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I’m using a leviton Zwave dimmer switch to control 10 LED cans, and two of the Cree LED dimmable bulbs(bulbs are not on the dimmer switch). I’ve noticed that if I ask Alexa to turn on the lights to 100%, she can do it without a fade up. It’s like an instant on. But the flash command always seems to fade in and out.

Alright, so instead of using the flash function, restore this Piston and see if the functionality gives more of what you want the bulbs to do visually (without the dimming effect) just as a test.

That would be the easy way out… I’m in the permitting phase of building a new house, and I want to incorporate some smart features into the house, like creating a monitoring system and light automation, and add a camera system as well. Right now I am adding some pieces to my current home to test and learn the technology, and figure out what I can do in the new house. The wife is very critical of spending money on this sort of thing and it going into the current house instead of the new one. She doesn’t realize that most of this stuff can be transferred to the new house.

I do plan on getting a siren or some sort of speaker for the new house, have not figured out what yet. But for now, my goal is that if someone enters my home while we are gone, that they get some sort of indication that their presence is known, so they will leave quickly. I was thinking an easy way to do this what I already have is just to flash the lights for a few minutes. Will also draw attention to the house, and aid authorities in finding the right house.

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I’m looking for a solution that is a little more mainstream. I worry about what happens if I invest alot of time and money into projects like this with hardware that could loose support soon. I know the same thing could happen with smartthings, but I think its alot less likely.

Hmmm, I’ve been thinking about this, and for the most part right now Smart Home Monitor meets my needs except for flashing the lights. Is it possible to write something that can detect when SHM has alarmed, and flash the lights for five minutes?

I don’t want to sound too needy, but how exactly do I set up SHM to trigger a virtual switch when it alarms? I tried to setup a custom rule in SHM, but did not see anything intuitive. Do I need to create a virtual switch first in ST somehow?



I created a simulated switch in the IDE, and it shows up there and the mobile app, but it does not show up as a device in SHM when I create a custom rule.

Figured it out, its not a custom rule in SHM, I just have to set it up like a light switch that gets tripped.

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