I have pretty much decided to buy an Arlo system but have one question. Can I trigger a video clip by SmartThings (motion sensor, for example), and not by the Arlo itself sensing motion? Thanks.
Yes, you can use a different sensor to enable an Arlo camera. I did this with two Arlo cameras before I decided that they were not the cameras I wanted to use with ST. I had two cameras setup to cover the basement of my house. Due to their poor range of motion detection (one in particular had very bad detection), I had them setup to trigger each other.
What cameras did you decide to go with?
I ended up going with Blink cameras. The night vision IR vs. LED was not a concern for us at the time. I do really like the Blink cameras (once I opened them up and covered the blue recording LED), but in a few locations in our house the LED light used to see at night is an issue. The wife does not want people knowing the cameras are there when they visit, so I’ve had to camouflage the cameras and hide them in fake plants. At night when the bright LED comes on, there is a lot of glare reflected back into the camera from some of the “leaves” that are a little in front of the camera (but not blocking the view). This makes the video almost useless.
I know that is a issue with my use case, but it’s still an issue.
If I was going to do it all over again, I would go with POE IP cameras. You get a lot more features for the price and with all the user built integrations/smart apps here on the site and the Blue Iris software (which can integrate with ST as I just found out the other day).
Initially the need to run network cables kept me from looking at the POE camera systems, but in the long run they do the job better
Do you mind if I ask what about the Arlo’s you didn’t like? I am the exact opposite of you, I started with the blink cameras and absolutely hated them. The were just unreliable and slow. Their app was terrible and would take upwards of 30s to load a stream if at all. That was my experience anyway.
I have since switched to the Arlo Pro cameras and other than their price I’m very happy with them. Video quality is good, battery life is great thus far, the ST integration had worked well so far, and the live stream loads quickly.
Again this was just my perspective and things change. I totally agree about the PoE cameras but just didn’t want to deal with all that. Was looking for something simple. Just curious what your issue with Arlo was. Thanks.
My two biggest issues with the Arlo (not Pro) cameras were the recording delay when linked with ST. In certain situations in our setup, a person could walk right past one of the cameras and be out of view before it started recording. Couple that with the very poor motion detection and some cameras were pretty much useless where we needed them. I ordered the Blink a few days later and tested them side by side. Other than the LED night vision (not a concern for us) and the blue recording light (which can be fixed with a screw driver and a bit of electrical tape), the Blink were much better.
The picture quality was good on both, but another nod went to the Blink since you could plug it in for power if you wanted too.
The Blink app for android is slow and somewhat painful. The Arlo app was much better if I recall.
Thanks for the response. I think the difference lies in the fact that I am using the Pro cameras. I find the motion detection to be pretty good and reliable. I will say there there is still probably a 1-2s recording delay that is a little bit frustrating still but not a deal breaker on my end. Also the pro’s can be plugged into power if you want to just like the Blink’s can.
The biggest thing is the app though. Both the Android (me) and iOS (my wife) Blink apps were so slow they were useless. My wife just couldn’t take it so the Blink’s got sent back.
Again thanks for the info. Always good to hear other points of view.
Im with Keith for the slowness on response. I use an ST motion sensor outside to trigger the recording and i think its the ‘round trip’ to arlo which causes the issue not the cameras themselves. The delay is about 3-5 seconds from motion detect to when the recording starts. So UPS can bring a box up, and set it down, turn around, and then the camera will catch them either scanning or walking out of frame. Motion triggers about 10-15 feet out, but still its like 2-3 ‘man’ steps away.
My other complaint is that I had to replace the batteries in both my cameras in 3 months, almost exactly 3 months and both cameras within 1-2 weeks of each other. Factory batteries, bought over Thanksgiving weekend sales. So we will see how this next batch goes. If they die in 3 months, I probably will go to a POE camera of some sort.
I just invested in the Arlo Pro cameras about three weeks ago. I love them (other than the price) The cameras work great, quality video and audio and good integration with ST. I have four cameras that are triggered with the ST geosensing to turn the cameras on and off.
You are referring to the Arlo non pro as well I presume? Just want to make sure I am understanding. 3-5s is a really long time for a delay for sure. I don’t have a regular one to compare it to, but the Pro’s seem to have mostly fixed those issues. The motion detection is adjustable and really good and the delay is only 1-2s. Still annoying but not bad. Also, the batteries are rechargeable packs so don’t have to buy replacements which is awesome.
All that said, I have not attempted to use a ST motion detector to trigger an Arlo camera. I need to figure out how to set that up. Good conversation!
It really sounds like the Pro’s are a massive improvement over the older ones. I am very happy as well. I love using CoRE to activate various cameras for various times or modes. It has been really good for me. I am hoping that the Arlo Q integration is completed soon as I would love to add a couple of those inside.
Just curious why you would want to trigger the camera with a ST motion sensor when the cameras have built in motion detectors? I just use ST to turn the cameras on and off with the I’m home and Goodby routines. Works perfectly.
The idea would be to detect motion and start recording somewhere else in anticipation. This would alleviate even that 1-2s delay. It certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me but I can see how it could be useful. Not necessarily just motion either. Maybe start recording when a door opens etc. I totally agree though that just turning cameras on and off with home/away etc works great and I am quite happy.
I use my arlo in a few flows. Nate, I have a flow setup up that any my door contacts open it’s takes 10s video as I have cameras covering my doors. Works perfectly. And tbh I have not seen more than a second delay. I think the key is not to use the arlo app for nothing else than to look at your videos. I disarm them in the app and use my triggers to arm and record
Awesome thanks for that info. That’s what I wanted to hear. Just out of curiosity how do you do that? I haven’t played with using ST to record yet only turn on off. Is it pretty simple?
ST and arlo is kinda slow. I use an app called Stringify that connect with all your ST devices and you can setup flows like CoRE pistonsbut simpler. And you can set flows to do so many things. I use them in tandem with SHM also
Oh you’re using that app. What’s it called stringify or something? I need to check that out.
Yeah Stringify. Been using it for months and works great
I agree the normal Arlo recording delay seems to be from connecting them to ST. On their own, recording started much faster… but I wanted them integrated with ST. The Pros might solve most of my issues, but at $190 for a single camera, there are much better and cheaper options out there.
I also totally agree that the Blink app is almost pointless. It takes 5 or 6 seconds to load a video clip and sometimes it does not load at all and you have to back up to the camera list screen and then go back in. It also gets hosed up sometimes switching to and from landscape view. I do have a free Blink XT camera coming next month when they are released, so I’ll test it out and see how it does. It has true IR nightvision and you can turn the blue recording light off in the app.
I’m still going to have to go to at least one POE IP camera for the front porch area. None of the battery/WiFi cameras out there will let you record and live view at the same time unless you also pay a month subscription. The one request the wife had for the cameras was to be able to live view and record the front porch… so for now the cameras are a fail in her eyes.