SmartThings Community

Security Monitoring: Noonlight vs Scout?

project_security
konnected

(Nick Marques) #1

Can anyone provide insight into choosing either of these services? I just picked up a Konnected.io panel and know they partnered with them…

However, I also realize SHM works with Scout.

Which is better integrated with Smartthings?

Thanks!


#2

It depends how you define “better.“ :sunglasses:

The scout integration is official, which means support will help you with that if you have any problems. It also has access to some local processing components, although not many.

The noonlight integration is available as a third-party product which and I don’t believe counts as an official integration. So it all counts as custom code, it means smartthings support won’t help you with it and it can’t run locally.

Beyond that, the two are quite different products with different features, so you would have to look into that. I know you can get a monitoring certificate to give to your insurance company for intrusion alerts with scout, which might get you a small discount on your insurance policy (or might not, it varies a lot by company and location). I don’t know if noonlight does or not.

@heythisisnate is the developer for Konnected, and may be able to say more. :sunglasses:


#3

BTW, If you are brand new to SmartThings, the best integrated security option is to get the ADT/SmartThings Security panel as your hub. If you follow any of the “security” links on the SmartThings site, they’ll take you to that model line now. The security monitoring features of that model are able to run locally and communicate with the monitoring center via cellular rather than relying on Internet. Also, it can do smoke and CO2 monitoring as well as intrusion alerts.


(Nick Marques) #4

ADT was never on my radar. I looked into it, but they are the company I am getting rid of. My non-connected system monitoring costs me $50/month, and every quote I get from them said it would cost more. I don’t want to spend a bunch on new wireless sensors when I already have wired.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

@heythisisnate arranged the coding of the (unofficial) integration between SmartThings and Noonlight.

He can perhaps speak to its particular advantages. Certainly it was built to help accommodate Konnected.io Customers who were not satisfied with only having one SmartThings alert monitoring option…


(Nate Clark) #6

Yes, I built the Noonlight integration and it’s “unofficial” whereas the Scout integration is built-in to SHM and maintained(?) by ST. Other key differences include:

  1. Noonlight can dispatch both police and fire department. Scout can only do police.
  2. Scout is $20/mo; Noonlight is half that price at $9.99/mo.
  3. Scout’s main business is selling their alarm system hardware product and they offer this monitoring integration as thing on the side, not much work or innovation has gone into it since it launched years ago. Noonlight’s main business is emergency and personal safety monitoring – so this is literally all they do and will continue to innovate in that space.
  4. The Scout integration only works with SHM. The Noonlight integration is implemented as a virtual switch, so you can use it with any automation that SmartThings can do, including via 3rd-party apps like WebCoRE or ActionTiles.
  5. Scout doesn’t work with the new SmartThings app. Noonlight works with both the Classic and the new app.

Thanks again for the ping @JDRoberts and @tgauchat


(Nick Marques) #7

@heythisisnate - Thanks for the detailed review. I’ve added the Noonlight integration and am definitely willing to try it out first over Scout, first so based on cost but equally based on your involvement. I’ve added it already, though it isn’t clear when and how I go about paying for the service… payment information was never collected.

How does it handle multiple “admins” on the account? I would want things setup such that both my wife and I can get notifications, texts, calls when an alarm event is triggered, and either of us can call off help.

Honestly, in our 5 years with ADT, every alarm event was a false alarm. If my wife opens a door forgetting to disarm, we were called… Generally, she was called first and then I was called and if neither responded, then police were notified.

It would be nice if the Noonlight or SmartThings app could present a pin code entry to cancel an alarm before a phone call or before help is dispatched.


(Allan) #8

I’m pretty sure anyone can use noonight, don’t need any devices brought in with Konnected panels. From what I understand its simply a virtual switch that contacts them when activated.


(Bobby Boucher) #9

Theoretically they will help you, but they don’t.

I still have a problem with SmartThings doors being closed (not opened) after the alarm is set triggering calls from Scout. Note, this was NOT a problem before. On the SmartThings side no alarm goes off, but Scout gets a notification that the alarm has been triggered.

SmartThings response was “don’t close windows or doors for now while the alarm is set”.


(Mavrrick) #10

It may not matter at this point but the ADT monitoring on the ADT Smartthings Hub is 34.95. Discounted a little if you pay 6 months in advance. Thay is for all of there monitoring options. You can just do security monitoring for 24.95 a month I believe. So both are a decent bit below the 50 you are saying. New sensors could be a pain though


(Andrew Langley) #11

Will Noonlight ever have it so that can see which ST device set off the alarm. Their support told me currently their dispatch only knows it is a ST alarm but not which actual sensor. Is this planned for the future. Seems kind of important to be able to tell if it’s fire or police if the homeowner doesn’t pick up


(Nate Clark) #12

This is the ultimate goal. The integration is already sending them the detailed device information from every device that you authorize, but I’m not sure how much detail is presented to the dispatcher agents at this time. Maybe @MJ_Noonlight can chime in.


#13

So that indicates that they are not actually contacting fire dispatch directly. They’re making a general 911 call.

That’s important because it can literally be a life and death difference.

Some professional monitoring services, such as ADT in most jurisdictions, are authorized to call fire dispatch immediately in the case of smoke detection.

Many others, including Scout, are not authorized to contact fire dispatch. They have to go in through the regular 911 system. In those cases, most jurisdictions send out a police car first to see what’s going on, and then they can call fire if needed. This is done to reduce the number of false alarms for which the fire equipment is called out.

If you recall, I had previously asked the Noonlight representative if they were authorized to call in fire detection. They said they were, but apparently that person was not aware of the UL requirements for fire detection reporting or the fact that there is a distinction between making a 911 call and being authorized to call fire dispatch directly.

I understand if they are not authorized to do that, but I am disappointed that they don’t appear to know the distinction and don’t answer correctly when asked.


#14

Nate, you posted above:

  1. Noonlight can dispatch both police and fire department. Scout can only do police.

That’s not true if they don’t know that it’s a smoke alarm. They are not contacting fire dispatch directly. They are making a general 911 call, which is the same thing that Scout does. It’s just that scout tells you upfront that they are not going to call the fire department. With the general 911 called, the jurisdiction sends out a police cruiser first to see what’s going on. Then if the police determine that the fire department is needed, they send for them.

The distinction here is really critical, particularly for people like myself who are not able to evacuate on their own in the event of a fire.

UL listings make a distinction between those monitoring centers able to call fire dispatch directly and those who make general 911 calls. In most cities you have to have a special license to be able to call fire dispatch directly. ADT generally has those licenses. It does not appear that Noonlight does.

I found this today on the Noonlight site:

Once you’ve synced your Noonlight account with your selected Nest Protect devices, we’ll immediately notify you when your Nest Protect detects heavy smoke or carbon monoxide. Our certified dispatchers will also text and call to check on your safety.
.
If there is a real emergency, or if you can’t respond, we contact your local 911 center and send help.

I know it’s a subtle difference in the wording, but that’s not the same thing as calling the fire department.

ADT in contrast says:

When every second counts, monitored smoke and heat sensors can detect the first signs of fire. Then our monitoring centers can quickly alert your local fire department and send you a text or alert as soon as fire is detected in your home.

That actually requires a different license. A lot of people won’t care about the difference. People like me will care a lot.


(Matt) #15

@heythisisnate - thanks for chiming in on Noonlight. Let me try to clarify we can or can’t do.

Noonlight’s central monitoring stations are UL listed and can handle fire/medical “signals.” Some jurisdictions make discrete published contact points available for police, fire, EMS. Others use a consolidated single-intake point approach regardless of call type. Then route and dispatch from there.

In the Nest Protect example above, we would contact the fire department if that discrete access point was available in that jurisdiction. Our web copy is just trying to keep the concept simple.


#16

Thanks for the clarification.

In the current smartthings integration, if as described above you don’t know whether it was a window sensor or smoke sensor that triggered the alert, then you would have to contact the general 911 intake, correct?


(Matt) #17

@JDRoberts - thanks for the question.

Yes, in the current iteration of the SmartThings integration, that’s right. We are actively working on driving SmartThings sensor context further “downstream,” but not quite there yet. In the meantime, we would contact the main PSAP/911 intake unless context from another IoT device that was part of the alarm - or user provided input - indicated otherwise.

That all make sense?


(Nate Clark) #18

Thanks for the clarification, @MJ_Noonlight.

Given that the context-awareness that we were counting on originally isn’t there yet, I think I’ve come up with a reasonable interim solution. The Noonlight API allows for setting police, fire, or medical when creating the alarm. I’ve updated the SmartApp integration to set the alarm type to fire if any of the user’s smoke or CO detectors are alarming. We don’t actually get the type of alarm from Smart Home Monitor, so I technically don’t know what device triggered the alarm – but I think it’s pretty safe to say that if a smoke/CO alarm is triggered at the time Noonlight is notified, then the fire department is appropriate.

The updated version of the smartapp is 1.1.1 and available here:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

Let’s be sure to talk about adding “Panic Button Tiles” to ActionTiles. Since Noonlight attempts to verify alarms, it sounds like there is a sufficient layer to avoid false alarms.

This would help ActionTiles Panels mimic the panic functions of traditional/legacy control pads.

A kitchen grease fire, for example, may take a while before the smoke detector sets off (if ever). The resident could run over to their ActionTiles Panel on the way out the door to tap the “Fire” Tile…

Of course, it might be more efficient for the AT Panic Tiles to directly contact Noonlight API - you can help us make that decision together.


(Andrew Langley) #21

Any way to make this work I had thought of that (the AT panic buttons)

but all I have are buttons rn that do nothing (even though they look really cool— see the attached picture). Also @MJ_Noonlight just curious what monitoring service does Noonlight use? Is it an internal department or outside company?! @MJ_Noonlight also is there a predicted timeline of when that information about sensors and what activated the alarm will be provided to the dispatch team and if not can smart things users be notified when it does happen? Don’t get me wrong I love Noonlight for mobile security and have shown and demoed it for many of my friends and family, many of whom downloaded it and are now Noonlight customers but without that basic function of an alarm it makes it hard for public safety responders to have any context which could endanget their safety (the only reason I worry about that is I grew up with a dad that worked in public safety). I do appreciate the work you and @heythisisnate are doing for the interim such as the fire alarm type but just curious if you knew when that would go live to customers