New SmartThings Users Needs Community Input


#1

Hi, I am considering purchasing a SmartThings hub, primarily for home security. Looking for community input on several topics:

What motion sensor do folks prefer? Is the Samsung sensor generally adequate? I would get several of them to cover a large area on the first floor. No pets. Just looking to have the motion detectors on when we are away.

How are people feeling about the Aeotec Micro SmartSwitch, to be able to trigger/automate existing hard wired lights? I like it better than the GE in-wall toggle switch because the Aeotec device is hidden behind the switch plate. I have several banks of 3-4 switches where I cannot get a larger device like the paddle switches (would have to replace all 3-4 switches, which I don’t want to do at this time).

Has anyone ever ordered from HomeSeer? Are they reliable? The Aeotech micro smartswitch is cheapest there at only $38. Which is also another advantage over the GE switch.
http://store.homeseer.com/store/Aeon-Labs-Aeotec-DSC26103-ZWUS-Z-Wave-Micro-Switch-P1356.aspx

Is anyone using the Aeotec siren yet (http://aeotec.com/z-wave-siren)? Saw lots of earlier posts that it had not shipped yet. The FortrezZ siren is so tacky looking. Other options?

Finally, I am assuming that similar to a traditional security system, I would be able to set up the siren and alerts on a delay from the time motion (or doors opened) was triggered, so that when coming into the house, I would have time to get out my phone and disarm the system??? Kind of clueless as to how that aspect works. Everyone describes trigger the alerts/sirens. No one describes turning them off :slightly_smiling:

If folks have sensors on their garage doors and/or motion detectors in their garage, do you find it easiest to pause in your driveway when returning home, to disarm the system? Or do you wait until you pull in, or what? Just wondering what works best logistically.

Whew, sorry for the novel, but I really appreciate all of your expert help!!!


#2

(Threads in the Devices category are generally meant for one device class at a time, so I’ve moved this discussion to Projects so you can get all your questions answered together. :sunglasses:)

Now to specifics…

Aeon micros are good devices, very popular in the community.

Much detailed. Discussion of various sensors in the following thread (this is a clickable link)

Homeseer is a longstanding and well known retail site with a good reputation. There are quite a few others as well–the Deals thread recently had a list. They didn’t cover everything (for example www.zwaveproducts.com is one of the biggest zwave retailers, and www.vesternet.com has a lot of devices from European manufacturers that are hard to find elsewhere), but it’s a good starting point.

You might check the dates on the Aeon siren posts you saw. It’s quite popular in the community, a lot of people have it.

Finally, I am assuming that similar to a traditional security system, I would be able to set up the siren and alerts on a delay from the time motion (or doors opened) was triggered, so that when coming into the house, I would have time to get out my phone and disarm the system??? Kind of clueless as to how that aspect works. Everyone describes trigger the alerts/sirens. No one describes turning them off :slightly_smiling:

Never assume anything about home automation systems, including SmartThings. :wink: In this particular case, the built-in security function, smart home monitor, does not have any delay, either when entering or exiting. It is a much requested feature. There are, however, community-written security smart apps that do have a delay feature. But their alerts won’t show up on the dashboard in the official mobile app. So it depends on your specific use case.


#3

@khi2015 I’ve been documenting my home security switch to SmartThings Smart Home Monitor + Scout on the forums here ST to replace current security system. Overall I’m happy with my decision to move to Smartthings. Hopefully some of the items I added in there will help you. Many of the requirements I had are similar to yours and are easily accomplished thanks to the community.

As far as the arm / disarm situation goes with SmartThings Smart Home Monitor. This is still an area that I am not so pleased with. By default as @JDRoberts stated there is no arm / disarm delay which is kind of frustrating. I was able to create the arm delays with minimal effort, however the disarm delay is still a something that could use some improvement. There are ways to accomplish this with using Rule Machine to handle your warning / siren, but it would be nice if Smart Home Monitor could do this.

How my family disarms the system:

  1. Mobile presence: When SmartThings detects someone is home it can disarm the system. This works most of the time rarely do we preform the other 2 below.
  2. Pull out the phone and disarm before entering.
  3. Disarm from the SmartTiles control panel (Tablet running SmartTiles). Once disarmed the siren will get silenced.

So the take away I guess is that the Smart Home Monitor is good, but is great when you use it with some of the community created apps / devices such as Rule Machine and SmartTiles. At least this is true for me… everyone is different.

I just wanted to add my 2 cents on the switches. I recently added a bunch of the GE Dimmers and Switches. The toggle style (not paddle). My first thought was to go with the Aeotec’s as well, however there is limited space in my gang boxes (3-gang). The GE’s are nice, however they are still a tight fit. I picked them up for about $35 @ Lowes.

In any case good luck!


(David) #4

I’m a relatively new user myself with basic security as my primary motivation (so far). we have the Aeotec z-Wave siren and it works well. Although, be warned, you get to choose one tone, and one volume level for all events that trigger it. I did figure out how to change tones and volume (for your one choice) through the web set-up but it doesn’t seem possible from any of the mobile apps.

With regard to any sort of automated disarming, our presence sensor always seems to lag by about 60 seconds. I found the only way to make it work was to expand the location to much larger radius than I might have otherwise considered as indicative of being at home. Basically, the system counts a phone as arriving when it is about 1km away. in any direction.


#5

Thank you all so much! @eveezy you are not “talking to yourself.” Many of us reading your posts with interest, and thank you so much for keeping them up to date. You have given me LOTS to think about, especially whether this is going to be bigger undertaking than I am wanting to do!

Logistics question: What do ya’ll find is the best way to let non-residents access the house when you are not home (e.g., housekeeper, repair person)? I do not have electronic locks, and not planning on installing them. Do you have the person text you when they arrive and then you in some way disarm the system remotely from your cell?

Note that I have read about the presence sensor fob and also thought of having an extra phone or tablet available as a keypad. Both seem clunky and unreliable. And a time based solution is likewise unreliable as they are apt to change days and times based on workload. My preferred solution is that they would text me. I turn off the system from my cell and they enter the old fashioned way.

Thank you!!!