New to SmartThings and looking for a security solution

My family is in the process of building a new home with Lennar. Lennar includes a home automation package in their homes, and I would like to leverage the knowledge here to find a good monitored security solution. I priced the ADT hub and sensors for the starter pack, two sets of alarms and enough window and door sensors we would be less than $500. My concern is having the home automation and home security on the same panel. It would seem like a user would separate those functions. Also is there a reason why the ADT/ST products have taken a pricing nose dive in the recent months?

Any suggestions on alarms that are monitored that are recommended outside the ADT option that would integrate with a ST hub?

I’m drawn to Abode due to the entry point cost, flexibility with Z-Wave and Zigbee, and how it would be seperate from the ADT hub, but I have concerns about being able to use IFTTT to cue arm/disarm if the front door is locked/unlocked by code.

The included home automation devices are below, they cannot be changed as Lennar

Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex R510
Ruckus ICX 12 - port Ethernet Switch
Cat 6A wiring in select locations
Legrand On-Q 42" RF Structured Media Enclosure
Levitron Surge Protection Receptacles
Lutron Caseta Occupancy Sensor
Echo Dot
Echo Show
Baldwin Evolved Smart Lock
Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat
Levitron Smart Plug In
Levitron Z-Wave Plug in module
Lutron Caseta Wireless In Wall Dimmer Switchers
Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge Pro, Wireless Lamp module and Pico remote with double stand
Ring Video Door Bell
Samsung Smart Things Hub
Sonos One Wireless Speaker

Does anyone have experience using these devices or similar creating a home automation/security bridge.
I am going to speak with out sales rep/builder to see if I can get Cat6 ran to the porch, outside our rear door, and above the garage door, so we could run a PoE cameras in addition to support the home security platform.

Any information that can be shared would be great. Recommendations for cameras, devices, suggestions to improve the home automation/security platform, and any suggestions on how to store the video locally rather on the cloud.

I am looking forward everyone’s insights and comments

Congratulations on the new house! It looks like an interesting package.

As far as whether or not home automation and home security should all be combined in the same panel/app that’s just one of those things where different people have different preferences. I personally don’t mind having multiple UIs as long as everything works well, but it drives some people crazy. So it’s just a matter of individual taste.

I myself run a separate security system and don’t require that integrate in any way with SmartThings.

(I am quadriparetic and would likely need help to evacuate in the event of even a small fire, so I need a system which provides professional monitoring for smoke detection.

I pay a monthly fee, which like many people I feel it’s a little too expensive, but on the other hand the system has been very reliable for 10 years with almost no false alarms and does what it does very well. So maybe the extra cost is what I need to pay to get the reliability I require.)

The only things I’ve added in The security device classes in addition to the professionally installed system are video doorbells which are used more as intercoms and smartlocks to let people in as needed. But I didn’t need those to integrate with the professionally installed and monitored system, so again, it all comes down to what your particular household needs. :sunglasses:

To be clear, I have lots and lots of home automation devices, I just don’t try to integrate them with the security system.

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What security system are you running.

We are willing to pay the monitoring fee, I’ve considered Abode, but I’m worried about it clashing with the Samsung hub.

I’ve also looked at Ring and Nest so it’s two separate platforms. The spousal unit really likes the ADT touch panel, but I think we could recreate the look with an Action Tile and tablet​:joy::joy:

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The ADT Smartthings panel certainly has it’s pro’s and con’s. I have had it for a little over a year now and so far it has worked well. I didn’t mind integrating the functionality together. Keep in mind that if you do any security solution other then the ADT Smartthings Panel they will be dependent on the cloud to work within smartthigs. That could create problems especially if it is something like SHM that resides completely in the Smartthing cloud environment. When you use external alarms like adobe, then you will potentially limit your integration options with Smartthings.

I have also created the ADT Tools 2 smartapp to help improve integration with the ADT Smartthings Panel and other Smart Home tasks.

Doing it over I might consider Ring because they are great from a price perspective when you add in cameras. If you are going POE Cameras then that will likely not be a issue though. You will likely end up with something like Blue Iris integrating with Smartthings.

Can you share information on the app you referenced?

We keep running into the cautionary tale of if you use an external alarm there will be integration concerns. We really want to run something that will be very functional and bring value and not be a clunky mess

You can get details about ADT Tools in a few ways…

  1. You can go to ADT Tools Release thread
  2. At ADT Tools 2 @ Things that are

Or just ask me. If there is something that it can’t do i can see about adding the function if possible.

The real problem is that I suspect very few fully understand the nuances for each option you may have. I honestly don’t know how well the Adobe solution integrates, but the concern about cloud involvement is real for anything other then the official ADT functions. Even the ADT Tools smartapp i have runs from the cloud. The importatnt thing from my perspective is that no matter what route you take it doesn’t depend on the cloud to do the basic security functions. Even if ADT Tools is down because the cloud has issues the ADT Smartthings panel will still alarm and notify ADT of a intrusion, fire, or water event. Since Adobe is external to Smartthings for its alarm functions it will work as well. Some solutions actually lean on Smartthings completely like Smart Home Monitor, board, or Noonlight. Those will all be impacted if the Smartthings cloud is having issues.

Think about this. I added functionality to ADT Tools 2 a while back for repeat recordings. The idea being for folks like me that use ARLO that is motion triggered to ensure it records as frequently as possible once the alarm is triggered instead of waiting for for motion detection. I was testing another app with a similar routine to what is used and ADT Tools 2 and found that it would somewhat randomly quit recording when it wasn’t suppose to. What i found was that on occasion the repeat action would take between 30-60 seconds to process. That is beyond the time smartthings allows for methods to run and so the whole app would fail. Most of the time this runs in under a second. Could you imagine if this happened for security and it didn’t kick off. The ADT Smartthings panel takes the cloud out it though so even though my Arlo may be slow to trigger, the alarm will be instant. Arlo actually wouldn’t be slow either since it is really a sepreate system. It just wouldn’t be triggered by Smartthigs.

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I really appreciate that. I’ve got lots to read tonight

I’ve been really considering buying the panel and smoke/co detectors and setting them up in the current house just to see how we like it esp now that the entire kit has huge price reductions.

The price cuts make a huge difference. It is a much better deal now. I still wish the ADT monitoring was a little cheaper though.

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If you’re considering security, the only smart things option which I would consider a candidate is the ADT/smartthings panel. There’s tons of discussion on this in the forum, but essentially the other models are just missing some basic elements that you would expect from a security system.

That’s why if you click on security on the SmartThings website all the links will take you to the ADT model.

The biggest gaps come because smartthings is an essence a cloud-based system. Yes, a few things can run locally, but not many, and not many of the ones you would expect.

For example, there is literally no way to arm or disarm the security features of any model except the ADT panel If The SmartThings cloud is not available. That status is kept in the cloud and if you can’t reach the cloud, you can’t change it. (More than one thread in the forum about flying sirens when there was no way to turn them off. :scream: )

And the phone app requires the cloud to talk to the hub even if they are both on the same LAN.

And again, except for the ADT model, all notifications are cloud-based. No cloud, no warning messages. (The ADT model is the only one which has its own cellular communications option.)

Also, smartthings can and does push out hub updates, historically once or twice a month, without notification. And there is no way to delay or reject these. They will take your hub off-line for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and some individual devices like sensors may need to be rebooted after the update. Usually we get notification a couple of days before, but not always, and it’s just for the day, not a specific scheduled time.

Those factors alone would be enough to eliminate it as a security system for many people.

There are quite a few good low-cost DIY security systems out there now if that’s what you’re looking for. And there are always the standard professionally installed ones. There are entire websites dedicated to comparing and contrasting these, so it’s pretty easy to do the research for the features that you care about.

Just be aware that many DIY systems do not offer fire monitoring. There are a lot of complicated reasons for that, but it’s just a fact. So if they say “professional monitoring,” look deeper to see if that means they can call the fire department or only police. If that matters to you.

For example, many people are surprised to find that the nest system will not initiate a call to its own professional monitoring service for its own smoke detectors. They have very good smoke detectors, but The communications piece is is not UL certified because it’s Wi-Fi-based rather than cellular. And I would guess Nest just doesn’t want the liability.

In contrast, the smartthings ADT panel can call the monitoring center for smoke detection. But the scout service cannot. And for some systems, it varies by the jurisdiction where you live.

So again, just something to research.


So I decided to pull the trigger tonight. We picked up the ADT panel from amazon, a window/door sensor for every window in our new house and 2 of the expansion packs (fire,co2 alarm, and moisture alarms). BestBuy has the contact sensors and expansion kits heavily discounted right now. I jus hope they aren’t rolling a new version or killing the platform.

The panel will be the hub and we will start with some basic home automation.


I think this is a valid concern. I would hold on the the SmartThings uub they include with the house. SmartThings has been working on expanding the local execution side of the hub, so that may help the security side in the future.

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Well we jumped in last night
With technology, it’s always a dice roll i suppose. Hopefully they continue to support the product.

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@Jason46123 how has the experience been the last month. In a similar situation that you were trying to figure out what the best option is.

So far I’ve been pleased. We are now primarily an Amazon environment using Sengled smart lights, Amazon smart plugs, an Ecobee thermostat, and a Samsung Power9350. I will be adding Arlo Pro cameras for exterior monitoring when we move in a few months.

We have not used the paid ADT monitoring, but the local monitoring has done exactly what I wanted; let me know when doors/windows are open.

If you have additional questions let me know.

That’s good to hear!

What do you think of the ADT sensors vs the regular SmartThings sensors?

How does the local monitoring let you know that a sensor is triggered? Is there an ST/ADT app or did you write a custom script?

There is a ADT notifications smartapp that tells you when the alarm is triggered.

There is also ADT Tools that will enhance notifications beyond what the standard app does