Setup Arlo to record on motion


I have 6 Arlo cameras that I have successfully added to SmartThings.

I’m having a problem setting it up the way I like though. When I’m away (or the system is armed), I want all 6 cameras to record on motion, but when I’m home I only want 2 out of the 6 cameras to record on motion during daytime, and 4 cameras to record during nighttime. Fun huh?

Any suggestions on how to do this?



@ handags
Hi, Helen,
I will tell you how I integrated my Arlo cameras with Smartthings, but there is a downside to my method -I use routines to select which cameras to turn on/off and when to turn them on/off. The downside is that you can no longer arm/disarm your system from the main Dashboard but must arm/disarm it using routines.
In the Arlo app turn all the cameras off with Night Vision turned on. Now you need ST to turn them on for you. For the Goodbye Routine set if to turn on all the cameras and set the Mode to Away. For the Good Night Routine you can select to turn on the 4 cameras and set the mode to Home and select the time you want the cameras to activate. You might need to create a new routine for Daytime and select the other 2 cameras and the time you want them to operate. I am not differentiating between day and night so you might have to do a little experimenting here so you might be able to use the Good Morning Routine and set its mode to Home. Use the I’m Home Routine if you want to turn off all the cameras.
In the Arlo Mode section, edit the Smartthings mode and be sure to look at every area you can edit, (the pencil icons). Under the Devices for each of your cameras you must edit the rules to record video - be aware for each device if you click the down arrow you are able to trigger all of your cameras to record at once. You do not want this. For that camera and that camera only set it to record video. The other cameras set to Do Nothing. Go to the next camera in the devices and do the same for it until you have set them all that way.
In ST you shouldn’t have to set any notifications as Arlo Will notivy you by SMS, Message or email.
Hope this helps - you might have to experiment a little.

I have a similar setup and desire. I use the Smart Lighting app to “Turn On” recording when motion is detected. I setup new Smart Lighting rules for each motion detector and camera. Each camera has a different rule for different modes (Day Mode vs Away Mode vs Night Mode). It takes awhile to setup, initially, but I have been getting the desired results.

Finally, I use the “Notify Me” app to inform me of a recording only during specific modes.

Hope this helps!

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@dawz2 Very Clever, I did not know Smart Lighting Did that. I will do some experimenting. Thanks.

Thank you, @hbr, the cameras are Switches and Motion Sensors. Using this method leaves the cameras on and waiting for an event. Just don’t the option to “Turn off after motion stops”. This will turn the camera off and will have to be manually turned back on or triggered to come back on.

dawz2 Question. Are you arming/disarming your system from the dashboard or through routines? My initial test did not work when arming from the Dashboard.

@dawz2 Sorry about the previous post. being a newbie I forgot to sent the post to you directly. Questions:

the cameras are Switches and Motion Sensors – I am not sure I understand the switches part.

Using this method leaves the cameras on – I integrated the Arlo cameras with ST for two reasons: firstly, to have one less thing to arm or turn on when I leave home and secondly, to try to save battery life as my cameras are n high traffic areas. Doesn’t leaving the cameras on decrease the battery life? By using routines to turn specified cameras on and off, I can have the cameras off most of the time. That being said - I am reading in other posts that since ST cannot automatically control the Night Vision modes of the cameras, the batteries will drain rapidly due to the IR LEDs always turning on whenever there is motion whether the cameras are on or off in ST.

Finally, Are you arming/disarming your system from the dashboard or through routines?

I should have said, “SmartThings recognizes each camera as a Switch and Motion Sensor”. The cameras are given the “Switch” and “Motion Sensor” capabilities when Arlo is integrated into SmartThings.

This one is a bit more complex. Turning the cameras completely off will help conserve battery life.
Point of clarification: Camera Off vs Camera Inactive.

Camera Off - The camera is Off and does not recognize any motion. The only command the camera will recognize is On. This saves the most battery life since activity in this region is not registering. This command could be considered a Privacy mode.
Camera Inactive - The camera is ON and recognizes motion. BUT, does not do anything with the information unless it fits within the parameters you previously set.

Using the Switch capability leaves the camera inactive until it is triggered to record.

I hope I have not muddied the water too much!

Another difficult question to answer! I don’t use the dashboard or Smart Home Monitor for anything accept monitoring for Smoke or Leaks. I do, however, use a Routine to theoretically “Arm” my home. The routine is designed to place my home is a more aware state. This routine only affects my cameras by the change of Modes.

Here’s a general idea of how my cameras are set:
Camera 1 begin recording when motion is recognized on Camera 1, but only if the Mode is set to X Mode.
And so on…

@dawz2 Yes I think we are basically doing the same thing. In the routines the cameras are listed as switches which can turn the cameras on and off. So, for example, If I have the system completely disabled (through the Good Morning Routine the cameras are completely off. If it is nighttime and I set the Routine to Goodnight I can turn on the outside cameras, (switches), to record any outside activity or in the daytime if I am waiting for the mailman or UPS driver. This turns on the outside cameras and sets the cameras to inactive.I had written custom apps for notifications so that I would not get intrusion alerts when motion is detected on any of the outside cameras. I think using the Smart Lights app accomplishes the same thin but is slightly mor elegant than the custom apps. I’ll do some more experimenting.
Right now the Dashboard is a total waste for me
Thanks again Jam for your timely replies.

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Thanks everyone for your answers. I’m starting to get a hang of it, but of course I do have a follow up questions;

I understand from @hbr and @dawz2 that the cameras are considered both Switches and Motion Sensors. As a Switch the camera can be turned OFF or ON (to potentially save batteries). I can also turn ON/OFF the motion sensor part of the camera. My understanding is that if the camera is turned ON, it will automatically also turn the Motion Sensor on and record.

Knowing this, I should be able to leave a camera ON always (for remote viewing) but only have the Motion Sensor go off /on based on certain criteria?

So, when I’m at home, the Motion Sensor could be set to OFF, but when I leave it could be turned ON. Again, the camera itself is always ON.

Well, this is where I get stuck. It seems I can’t set the Smart Light App Motion Sensor to turn on the Motion when I leave the house, nor can I get it to turn it OFF when I’m back. So, I need help to rethink this. And maybe I’m misunderstanding how things work.

Again, the problem is, I have a camera that should always be ON (for remote viewing), however it should only record (react to motion) when I’m not home, or at night (when sleeping).


@handags, in the Smart Lighting rule, add the option to run “Only when mode is”. Set it to run only when your mode is set to your Away and Overnight mode.

@handags - Helen I believe that your understanding of the Arlo cameras is incorrect. Firstly, the motion detection is always on, by turning the cameras on/off controls the video recording. So, if you do not connect the cameras to ST then every time there is motion detected and you are in the Arlo Armed Mode a video will be recorded. Once connected to ST you can control when the camera captures video.
I am not sure what you mean for remote viewing, but if it is what I think you are saying these cameras only can record up to 2 minutes of video at a time. They don’t work like a Nanny Cam. If I am wrong in your thinking then do as dawz2 is saying.
Please clarify what your intended purpose is.

@hbr - And the confusion continues. :slight_smile: Are you saying that if I use the Arlo app to view a camera, I can only view this camera for 2 minute at the time? I thought pressing LIVE meant just that.

My intended purpose is to have a camera that’s ON all the time. This camera will be accessed by a non ST user via the Arlo app and pressing LIVE. However, I want ST to control if this camera is recording or not, depending on if I’m home or not.

Using Modes might be the answer. @dawz2 I can’t find a way in the app to edit / add modes. Do I have to do it using the api site somehow?


@handags - I can also turn ON/OFF the motion sensor part of the camera,

This is incorrect - the motion detection is always on. to prove this go to the Arlo App and change the mode to Armed. Be sure Night Vision is on for all the cameras. When it is fairly dark walk past the cameras and you will see the red infrared LEDs come on. They will always come on when motion is detected. I do not know if they fire when the ambient light is bright and we can’t see them or if they don’t come on in bright light.

Knowing this, I should be able to leave a camera ON always (for remote viewing)

I believe that you can leave a camera on in the Things section of ST and click on the image to record a live clip…

Now it gets a little bit more complicated. You haven’t stated which cameras are outside and which ones are inside. Also Do you want an intrusion alert every time motion is detected when you are away or at Home? If you want an intrusion alert every time motion is detected while you are away, that is easy - just use the Notify Me When app and add the cameras to the Armed (Away) and Armed (Stay) pages. What I am doing is adding the indoor cameras to the Notify Me When App, but since I do not want an intrusion alert for the outdoor cameras, I set up the cameras in routines and custom apps to notify me of motion. The problem with my method is that if I arm/disarm the system from the Dashboard, the routines don’t run and the cameras don’t record unless I am in the Armed (Away) Mode, therefore now I must arm/disarm the system from the Routines page.

You used to be able to go to the Location settings from the top right menu. Looks like they’ve broken that feature in the app. The only other way to add/edit the modes is to use the API site.

@handags - Yes, if you turn the camera on in the Things section of ST you can watch the camera live either in ST or Arlo. But, please be advised that this will run the batteries down very quickly and replacement batteries are expensive. In the Live View the Motion Detection is turned off.
On the Routines page above each Routine there is a tiny “gear” on the top left. Click on that to set up your Routine parameters.

Thanks for all suggestions.

I ended up solving my camera issue by using the Geofencing mode in Arlo, rather than connecting the cameras to ST. Although the Geofencing feature is still in Beta it’s been working better than what I could get ST to do for me.

Moving right along.


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I have been reading up on this Arlo ST integration and relationship quite a bit and I might have stumbled upon some helpful settings…so here it goes:

Using the settings below, renders these desired results:

1 - The motion sensors on my three Arlo cameras seem to stay inactive and not use battery.

Confirmed from a refreshed current state panel in the developers panel. In fact when they do go active for SHM or a custom rule, the red lights for night vision mode come on and stay on for the duration selected (30 sec, 1 min, or 2 min) but the motion sensor returns to inactive within seconds, confirmed with a repeatedly, quickly refreshed browser.

2 - The cameras remain active and available to be turned on via SHM or custom rules with no lag.

3 - The cameras send the same duration clip to ST mobile app (visible in intrusion alert and in history) AND to Arlo (even though “do nothing” rather than “record video” is selected in ST mode within Arlo settings) In fact, the duration of the clip saved to Arlo matches the duration selected in ST, 30 sec, 1 min or 2 min, huh.

Settings: (I got lucky, wouldn’t have tripped over it w/o all the feedback above and on other posts, thanks!)

Within Arlo:

1 - Click on SmartThings Custom Mode
2 - click edit next to first camera
3 - Make sure to select the same camera under “then do the following” as is selected under "if the following"
4 - Select do nothing
5 - Select push notification
6 - Click Save
7 - repeat steps 2-6 above for each camera

Now the motion sensors are not active and do not cause any recording to happen via arlo until ST tells it to do so, via either SHM or a custom rule.

So now use SMH or custom rules to setup when to use each camera for recording.

I currently have mine set to record when glass break sensors or door open/close sensors trigger when “Armed (Home)” and set to record whenever any sensor goes off when “Armed (Away)”.

This is only my third day with the ST system, and I have yet to set a custom rule except for testing. I hope to set up the cameras to record only when their own motion sensors trigger (or adjacent glass break), rather than all three cameras recording when any door or glass triggers when home, or when any sensor triggers when away.

Turn off notifications for the Arlo App on your mobile device, or simply do not install it. For me, the clips on the ST mobile app, and the backup copy on Arlo is sufficient. Since I do not use the Arlo app, just STs mobile app, I never see or hear the notifications from Arlo. So the notification remains out of sight and outta mind:) Weird thing is that Arlo would not let me save my settings unless either the notifications or the email alert box was selected. I def don’t need any more email, ha, and in this case an invisible notification is perfect!

I do like having the double copy on Arlo, it is easy to see all the clips at once and navigate through bases on timeline; and can view on a larger screen if needed.

More weird things are that the duration settings within arlo will always default back to 10s no matter what you do or how many times you try to save them. Don’t worry about this, use the duration settings within SHM or custom rules and Arlo will follow suit. Another weird thing is that the “motion is detected” box in the “if the following” settings is clicked on by default and cannot be deselected. This does not affect this scenario, but is any additional observation.

Any feedback is appreciated, I just hope this helps someone with their scenario.

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Does anyone know if it is possible for the arlo camera to record only while there is motion? so if I set recording time to 120 seconds. if there is no motion after 15 seconds the recording will stop?

I am currently just using arlo app but want to start integrating with ST.

Also … I can see the arlo live view when looking at the camera in ST but I am not seeing any recordings. Where would I find them?


Thanks for these instructions. I had my Arlo cameras running for a number of months prior to getting my ST hub, so am now in the process of replacing the functionality of the Arlo hub with various ST functions. I’m set up fairly closely to how you describe: What I used to accomplish with the schedule mode on Arlo (Arm at this time, disarm at that time) I now accomplish with a set of timer routines in ST. For the routines I’ve created, I use the switch function to turn the cameras on and off at different times. The biggest difference between the Arlo schedule and the ST routines is that Arlo leaves the cameras turned on, but disarmed, where the ST routines switch the cameras off.

The biggest challenge I’m having is with video capture. I have SHM set up to capture video when the motion sensors are tripped when the system is in the two Armed states, but I’m lucky if I can get one video out of 10 to actually record. Otherwise I get one of three conditions when viewing an intrusion: 1) There’s a “failed to record clip” message above the clip viewer, 2) the video clip appears to have recorded and is ready for playback, but the clip is empty (0 length) or 3) the clip viewer says “Generating clip” inside a gray background, but it never does generate.

After dismissing the intrusion and viewing history I see messages for various motion events like: Back Door began recording followed by Back Door already recording, both of which have the gray “Generating Clip” box, but no viewable clip. Occasionally, I’ll also see the empty 0 length clips in history, but rarely a successful clip.

On the Arlo side, I have the ST mode set up on the base station cameras (I have a couple of Arlo Qs also, but since ST doesn’t manage them, I continue to use the Arlo app to control them) and I also have the rules configured as you suggest in your post. Even though I have “Do nothing” specified for “then do the following” for each of the camera rules, Arlo still captures video, but what I’m finding is that there’s a fairly significant delay introduced so that I don’t see the person/event that caused the motion sensor to be triggered. Just 30 seconds of nothing.

So would like to know why ST video capture isn’t capturing reliably, if at all, and also why I now have so much delay ion the video capture originated by Arlo. I’m wide open to changing how I have things set up if there’s a better way!

UPDATE: I just noticed that at 8:02 this morning, something triggered one of the motion detectors, probably my wife leaving the house, and that event triggered all four cameras to record simultaneously,which I definitely don’t want to have happen. One motion sensor should only trigger that one camera. And, none of them actually captured my wife walking out the door. Back when I had Arlo manage the cameras, I would also see the trigger object in the clip.

Thank you!