Setting up Smartthings to replace my Iris setup. Some items of concern

My apologies for such a long question, but I am tying to crash course on Smartthings so I can just dive in and make it work coming form Iris…

As everyone seems to be aware already that Lowes is closing down Iris, and buying out their customers. That is bad and good. Bad because the system I have been relying on, and building up piecemal over the last 3 years isn’t going to work anymore and needs to be replaced. Good in that they are offering me sufficient funds to replace what I have integrated already, almost… But I am NOT complaining…

My current system is a Second Generation Iris hub, keypad, 2 contact sensors, and one motion sensor. I have a third generation ZigBee smart plug that I am using as a range extender so my contact sensors in the garage don’t keep loosing connection. Of the 2nd and 3rd gen stuff, the hub is an absolute no go, and the keypad is iffy at best.

I also have 16 first generation contact sensors, 2 rigged on hinges as inexpensive tilt sensors for my garage doors. And I ha ve 5 first generation outdoor cameras (Iris OC821)

There is certain function I am losing with Iris that I am not happy about, that I have heard is possible to regain through an IDE, but I am not a developer. I can follow decently written directions really well though, and that is keypad integration. But assume we fail with keypad integration, the idea here is to be able to allow access to the house via a unique PIN to our pet sitter, and to my disabled brother in law. Now if there is a way to get access to the system to a secondary user via the app that is just a “user” and not an admin of any sorts, then my BIL is fine. However my pet sitter is a major ludditell, her cell phone is just a flip phone / dumb phone. No way of getting her to get the app… Which is why the keypad integration, or SOME other means of turning the alarm on / off is important…

Anyway the other part of my long question is thus. I can set up the hardware, I am aware I need a Smarthings hub, 16 contact sensors. Right now Best buy has the ADT version for $4.99, if those will work with the non ADT hub, I will go ahead and grab them before my card comes in from Lowes… I will also need cameras. I am considering the Ring doorbell camera, and 2 ring spotlight cameras. Unless someone decides to climb the fence between my house and the neighbors, they won’t be able to approach without being seen and responded to this way. Plus the ring works with Alexa, and has built in siren and strobe the get LOTS of attention if need be.

I have 2 Utilitech indoor sirens, Lowes listed them as 85db, the documentation in the package says 100db. Either way they are loud.

I am adding 4 of the First Alert smart smoke detectors, 1 for each bedroom, and then 2 smoke detector / Carbon Monoxide detectors, 1 for kitchen, 1 for living room. Possibly a third for the garage / workshop.

How do I set this all up in the app so that I can use it for home monitoring for unauthorized entry / approach, capture / review of security video, and monitoring of any smoke / fire / carbon monoxide events?

Are there other sensors avaialble that are compatible, and reliable, and not quite so bulky? My house is 1980s construction with builders grade windows still, the lip the sash rides on is quite slim and even the first gen Iris sensors were tricky to get installed…

First things first: the ADT/SmartThings dual logo sensors work only with the ADT/SmartThings hub model. They do not work with any other smartthings hub model as they use a special frequency which is not available on the other hubs.

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Have you thought about using a smart lock with pin pad with specific codes for your pet sitter and family?


Actiontiles is a very popular third-party app which allows you to create individualized dashboards so that you can limit the specific devices that anyone person has access to. It runs in pretty much any web browser, so as long as your brother-in-law has a smart phone with Internet access, he would be able to use it.

It does not give the person the ability to change anything on the account or to create new rules. So it’s quite commonly used for housemate situations, Airbnb areas, families with kids, etc.

You’ll find lots of discussion of it in the forums and the developers are also active here and can answer any questions. There’s a free trial so you can check it out and see what you think.

As far as the pet sitter goes, there are two big questions.

One) are you only going to use the new SmartThings app or are you willing to also use classic?

Two) do you have or are you willing to get a smart lock?

Either of those, or even better both together, will give you a lot more options as far as temporary access.

There are many places you can find step by step instructions on how to install custom DTH’s and SmartApps. Here are two page which provide the instructions:

  1. Installing custom SmartApps
  2. Installing custom Device Handlers

If you’re installing a SmartApp or Device Handler from GitHub, assuming it’s been appropriately setup in GitHub, you it’s a few less steps in that case, here are the instructions for that FAQ: Github Integration How to Add and Update from Repositories

You can check out this topic for integrating your v2 and v3 IRIS keypads with SmartThings (required access to RBoy Apps):
[RELEASE] Enhanced ZigBee Keypad Device Handler - Centralite, UEI, IRIS, Xfinity, Scout

And for then using that Keypad to control your locks, garage doors you can see this related SmartApp, it also allows you create advanced users like scheduled users, one time and various other types specific to SmartThings (like mode or presence based users) and also change their codes:
[RELEASE] Lock User Management (LUM) - #1739 by maddie

If you’re looking at simply creating a “permanent” users (note you can’t change codes, you’ll have to delete the user and create a new one), there’s a basic app called Smart Lock Guest Access which you can check out:

You can invite users to share your account from the SmartThings app, do you BIL can get access but he will have access to all apps and devices through his smarthings app. You can’t set restrictions on devices/apps, but it’s only the app and not the IDE (he won’t have access to the IDE).

You can the use the Lock User Management (LUM) I spoke of above to use your Sitters phone as a presence device and use that to active/deactivate codes OR even use a Routine to automatically unlock the door when she arrives. She will need to install Life 360 which can act as a presence sensor in ST. Alternatively you can give her a “presence” sensor which she can keep with her

Or just create a user code for her, if you’re using LUM it can disarm the SHM security system and even the ADT system if you’re using the SmartThings ADT hub. There are other tools like ADT Tools which can create more integrations for your SmartThings ADT hub as well.

Note that if you’ using the SmartThings ADT hub then you can’t use regular sensors/devices, it has many restrictions. You’re better off (IMHO) using the Smart Home Monitor (SHM) app that comes with SmartThings or a custom app like Intruder Alert and Actions for managing your security setup. The only difference being that you won’t have professional monitoring (SHM has an option through with a third party company)

Since you’re moving from IRIS and if you want to use your device I would recommend using the SmartThings v3 hub which will provide you the most flexibility to reuse your devices.

This is a start and there’s a whole community here to explore…:slight_smile:

There are many differences between the ADT model hub and the regular SHM on the other hubs. As I’ve mentioned in other topics over the years, the only model I personally would recommend for security is the ADT model, for multiple reasons.

Here are a few of the differences. Most of these are because the regular SHM is cloudbased with only a few bits that run locally, and the ADT model runs locally, but in any case these are very real differences.

  1. there is no way, none, to either arm or disarm the regular SHM unless you have access to the SmartThings cloud. None. If the System was armed when you left home and then you lost Internet and you come home you will not have any way of keeping your sirens and whatever else from going off. None. And it doesn’t have to be that you lost the Internet. It could just be that the SmartThings cloud is unavailable, which has happened occasionally in the past.

The ADT model can be disarmed from the panel or with the logo key fob whether you have Internet access or not.

The same thing is true with arming. Say that you are home and you don’t normally arm your system until you go to sleep. The power goes out and for whatever reason you are worried about potential looters. There is no way to arm the regular SHM system. Because the status is kept in the cloud and you can’t get to the cloud. But the ADT model can again be armed from either the panel or the key fob.

  1. all messages from the regular SHM system, including push messages to your own phone and notifications to whatever third-party monitoring center you might be using , require the SmartThings cloud to be available. Seriously, even if your phone is on the same Wi-Fi as your hub, they can’t communicate without going through the cloud first.

The ADT model offers a cellular option which allows it to communicate with the professional monitoring center even if both your power and your Internet are off.

  1. The V3 hub has no battery back up. The ADT model hub has its own battery back up.

  2. The other hub models rely on network protocols which are inherently less reliable than the ADT dual logo sensors. You will definitely get more false alarms with the non-ADT models. You may also get some missed alerts.

  3. The “professional monitoring service” offered with the non-ADT models is scout, and it is limited to “intrusion alerts” – – meaning contact and motion sensors. It cannot, or perhaps better to say will not, monitor smoke or CO2 detectors. The ADT model system can provide smoke and CO2 monitoring. In addition, the Scout integration is being discontinued June 1, 2019.

Choice is good, and different people have different reasons for choosing one system over another. But looked at objectively, the ADT/smartthings dual logo hub is a decent low-cost security system. The cloud-based SHM options for the other models just don’t meet the minimum standards for what most people looking for a security system want.

This is why for over a year if you follow any of the links on the SmartThings website to “security” they will only take you to the ADT model.

Submitted with respect.


Well put JD! Nothing like the ADT model for total security and professional monitoring.

All custom apps run in the cloud today so one need to guarantee internet access (I always recommend folks put their hub and internet modem on a small UPS with a 24 hr backup battery, it’s quite cheap and is hugely beneficial for its investment, especially for folks with remote home setups and spotty electricity). There could always be a platform outage worst case scenario and this where ADT shines. The downside is limitations on devices that can be used with that hub. I know why they did that but I wish they hadn’t because now you need to choose between features and professional grade security.

I was under the impression that SHM had now moved to local processing. Will do some more testing on that front with the upcoming 25.x firmware.

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NonCustom alerts created through SHM like notify with lights or turning on a siren if a sensor triggers are eligible for local processing if the devices are using device type handlers which run locally.

But you can’t change the SHM armed status, you can’t change the mode, you can’t receive notifications, and you can’t dismiss notifications unless the hub has access to the cloud.

I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think custom SHM alerts run locally either, although I could be wrong on that one.

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Keep in mind the only limitation with devices on the Smartthings hub is what can be used for security notification to ADT call center. Any device that can interface with smartthings works with the ADT Smartthings hub and can be used for home Automation.

The ADT/Smartthings dual branded sensors are also presented to smartthings so I can use them for HA as well.

You just have to make sure if you want to use alarm monitoring you have the dual branded sensors on what you want to monitor

There are also two flavors of SHM and from all the information I can find I would really be surprised if the new version installed from the new app was not 100% cloud based. It uses all of the new api and follows the paradigm being deployed for smartthings. It seems to be dependent on cloud 100% from what I can tell.

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Can the ADT hub be used for self monitoring until I as m ready to go with full pro monitoring?

Yes, but only with the proprietary sensors

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You can also use the ADT Tools 2 smart app to help with the migration as well. It has a method to allow you to use existing sensors for monitoring and provide it’s own notification. The functionality was intended to help users migrate from SHM to the ADT sensors over time.

What about cameras and sirens?

Cameras you have to use an outside system. Ring, Arlo, Wyze, etc. I love my Wyze cams and have them arm/disarm/record with Smart Home Monitor via IFTTT. I’m not sure which ones work with the adt hub. @Mavrrick58 can you use any z-wave or zigbee siren with the adt hub? Or does it have one built in to the panel?

I can only and speak for arlo, and they work pretty well from my perspective. I haven’t heard if the new Arlo Ultra works. I have the Arlo Q and Arlo Pro 2. I would suggest using Arlopilot to control integrations between Arlo and Smartthigs. ADT Tools also has video routines that where specifically setup and tested with the arlo cameras I have. If other cameras support the video capture command they may work as well.

The ADT Smarthings system does have a 90+ decibel siren built in

As far as additional sirens go I would expect any siren that works with Smartthings will work with the smartthigs side of the ADT Smartthings system. They won’t be triggered by the alarm as part of the local alarm operations though. You would need ADT Tools 2 to help trigger the action on the siren when the alarm is triggered. Basically ADT Tools would look for the adt alarm side to trigger and when it does ADT Tools will trigger a set of actions. One of those actions can be to turn on the siren. It isn’t perfect, but it does allow you to add additional sirens

I have this setup to trigger my Arlo Pro 2 Base station siren.

I have 2 of the utilitech sirens. The ADT hub lists one in the hub itself. I would like to use the ring spotlight cames which have sirens as well. The idea here is to make as much noise and produce as much light as possible once a security event or panic has been triggered. With at least 4 or 5 sirens What’s the lights and the flashing strobe from the ring spot light cameras should get lots of attention pointed right at my house the event of a break in which in theory should drive-in the intruders away as fast as possible. Failing that at the very least it’ll give me time to grab my shotgun and confront them

I would expect the Utilitech sirens to work fine with the Smartthings side. They should have the siren capbility, So then when you setup the alert action in ADT Tools 2 they would be an option to select to turn on and off as part of a alert action.

The Siren in the ring cameras is a different story. It is dependent on if they present that siren to Smartthings as a siren. If they do it is all set, if not then no.

The ADT Tools 2 smartapp also has the option to turn on and flash on and off lights as part of the alert action as well. I had one user that tried it with 18 lights at once. He said he got calls from some neighbors asking what was going on. It can also have lights flash as long as the alarm is active.

In another thread, where we were talking about the colors of the tiny LED indicator lights, you expressed an interest in Leviton fan controls and switches. But you had just previous to that been talking about zigbee. Were you looking for their zigbee models or their zwave models? I’m not sure if they have a fan control switch in the zigbee line.

Also, were you looking for dimmers or on/off switches?

After our prior discussion on this matter it seems that Z wave is really a better way for me to go as it is less prone to Wi-Fi interference. My wife and I are considerably past the years where we will be needing baby monitors so that is not an issue which I’ve heard Z wave can have issues with. I don’t see any possible way I could exceed 240 devices on a Z wave network.

So yeah it looks like Z wave is a better option for me

Having said all that we switches that I’m going to want for a living should be dimmers with the exception of the Kitchen and the outdoor lighting. There are 2 sets of 3 way switches that need to be replaced as well.

So I’m looking at dimmers for 4 bedrooms the living Room and the dining Room. 4 3 way switches For the main bathroom and main hallway. I am looking for simple on off switches for both Shower commode rooms as well as the small hallway in the kitchen. Likewise I will need simple on off switches for front door light garage front light, and the back door light.

The garage front light and the back door light may and up simply being ring floodlight cameras but I am concerned about these switch control that exists for those.

@Mavrrick58 - Regarding this statement. I have installed your source code from github and when I load it and go to the simulator and try to add it there is no optionto select the Utilitech siren.