SmartThings/Arlo integration capabilities

Before I take the plunge and invest in some Arlo cameras, I wanted to double check that my intended use case is indeed possible.
I plan on buying the two or three camera kit and putting two at the front of my house and one at the rear. I then want to integrate this with SmartThings to try and maximise the battery life and also minimise unnecessary notifications.

For example, I want to configure the following rules:

  • If my both presence sensors (mine and my wifes) are present, do not raise any alerts/notifications and don’t record
  • If motion is detected after 10PM (for example) in the garden, record and notify irrespective of presence sensors
  • If both presence sensors are away and motion is detected, notify and record from the respective cameras

I’m not sure how good the SmartThings/Arlo integration is and whether this is possible? Can you set up arbitrary rules like this? I know the official integration is imminent but don’t want to invest unless I can set these up to work the way I want to.

Would be interested to hear feedback on the above and general opinion of the Arlo cameras from those that own them.


1 Like

I haven’t used the community integration, but the 3 cases you’ve listed can be accomplished with IFTTT now. That’s what I use. Arlo scheduling is great to arm at night and IFTTT to disam on presence and at sunrise has been working well.

I use this smartApp to accomplish the 1st and last config you require:

I have 2 instances of the smartapp. the first sets my Arlo to “Armed” when my mode is Away. The second sets my Arlo to Disarmed when mode is set to Home. I use these in conjunction with SHM which Arms/Disarms my ST sensors and set my modes according to my presence sensors. It has worked like a charm for over 3 months now.

The “motion after 10pm” option you can do in the Arlo app itself pretty easily using the scheduling feature. I’m sure you could do this in ST as well but it would probably be a lot easier to manage in the Arlo app.

1 Like

Thanks both. I was hoping they could be done natively or with IFTTT. Perfect.
How do you find the Arlos? They seem to get quite mixed reviews - either people love them or hate them it seems…

I have a mixed review myself. The biggest issue I have is the delay to start recording. It takes between 2 and 3 seconds at my front door. For me that means that in most cases I see the top of peoples heads or their back as they leave. Other than that they work perfectly. I will probably start using the 2 that I have to monitor the perimeter of my house and get something different for the front door.

The good:

  • More than sufficient video quality(night vision as well)
  • easy install and config
  • outdoor ready
  • Had mine for 3-4 months and batteries still above 90 percent on both cameras (your mileage may vary)
  • only one entry point to my network (the hub). I have over 30 wifi connected devices and don’t want a new one for every camera.
  • free online clip storage

The bad:

  • essentially another wifi router in your house creating potential interference (has not been an issue for me)
  • Previously mentioned delay in recording start
  • replacing batteries (not an issue for me - great battery life thus far).
  • time it takes to get live feed on mobile device is a little on the long side - could be an issue with my ISP and sub optimal upload bandwith :frowning:

My only complaint is how long it takes to get to live feed. If you want them for security purposes for things like ‘catch and review later’, they are great. But if you hope to see who is at the door, look elsewhere. Hoping that ST integration will do magic and maybe will allow to take real time pictures. Will see…

Oh…and BTW. Integration should be coming soon. See the bottom of this thread:

1 Like

Looks like my thought that it was my upload speed may be invalid :slight_smile:

I’ve worked with Arlo support extensively and tried everything to speed it up and is just not possible. Though the my personal record is 18 seconds. Usually exceeds 30 seconds.

So i’ve got the cameras now and started playing with the IFTTT integration while we patiently await the official ST integration. However, I dont see how this can be done.

I have a trigger set up that when all presence sensors are out, the mode is set to away.

I want to set up that when my ST mode is away, motion detection on the arlo cams should be armed. But I can’t seem to trigger based on mode. So I thought I’d do it based on presence sensors, but I can only select a single presence sensor, not both, so its arming when someone is home (and thus capturing the children in the garden etc).

Am I missing something simple here?

You need to make a virtual switch. Go to your ST routines and make sure that the switch is turned ‘On’, when the ‘Goodbye’ routine runs (which is most likely when you ‘Arm’ you SHM).
Then make an IFTTT recipe that says: “If virtual switch switched on, then arm Arlo.”

Vice versa, make sure the switch is turned ‘Off’, when the ‘I’m Back!’ routine is run (which is most likely when you come home and want you SHM to disarm itself).
Then make an IFTTT recipe that says: “If virtual switch switched off, then disarm Arlo.”


NB: Notice, that when Arlo is armed, it arms the base station, i.e. all Arlo cams connected to that base station.

1 Like

Thanks for the information. Really useful. Believe it or not i’ve never even looked at virtual switches but can see they solve a definite problem.

So I’ve created a virtual switch, what is the preferred way of getting the presence sensors to toggle that? At the moment I’ve set the ‘Someones home’ routine which fires when either presence sensor is detected to toggle the switch on. I’ve also set my ‘Away’ mode which fires when both sensors are set to not present to toggle the switch off. Therefore the state of the switch effectively tells me if someone is home.
Then in IFTTT I’ve created a new recipe based on the switch status as you describe above and voila. It seems to be working as best I can tell from here in the office.

Thanks for the info @Allan_Skipper, much appreciated.

You did it right :slight_smile:
Use presence sensors to toggle routines, which then toggle the virtual switch either on or off.

If you are concerned Arlo won’t arm/disarm when the virtual switch is toggled, you can enable ‘receive notification’ on both your IFTTT recipes.

Yes, the delay is pretty bad. And, making matters worse, the range on the motion detector is poor. I set it up to start recording based on another motion detector, but this caused a problem. You can’t trigger the camera to record while it’s recording, else it will simply stop. I didn’t want to disable the trigger to turn on recording when Arlo detects motion. Hence, my zooz 4n1 detector would trigger a recording and then the Arlo camera would do the same before it had finished the clip. As a result no recordings were saved.

When this happens, ST just says that the clip is generating. But it’s not. Nothing was added to the Arlo library. I tested this a few times. I turned of one of the triggers and it worked again.

The biggest problem I’m experiencing is image quality. Stills taken from the Arlo app look great, but there is lots and lots of stutter in the video. I’ve even it set it to Best Quality. My camera is reading only 75% connectivity tomorrow. Perhaps that’s the problem. I’m going to move the Arlo hub closer to the camera and test again. If the image looks just as bad, I’m sending it back.

Oh, and it doesn’t support imageCapture capability. I’d like to simply take some stills when there is motion during the day rather than drain the batteries taking video. Oh well. I might set it to record a very short clip, but the delay will still be a problem.

I have a hikvision bullet coming in this weekend. I’m going to test out the ST integration with my Synology Diskstation. . . . I’ve only had it for a few days, but Arlo feels like an expensive toy. Which it is, I guess.

1 Like

I moved my Arlo hub up from the basement. I now get a 100% connectivity rating from the camera. The stutter is much improved. The recording delay, as expected, is still awful.

I started playing around with an Hikvision bullet (2cd2042wd) that arrived today. I put it in the garage. I used a Netgear powerline adapter to get internet out there. I set it up with Synology’s Surveillance Station and configured ST to connect to it using Swanny’s code. Auto take works nicely. I have Sur. Stat. setup to record on motion and ST to auto take. I’m not sure where the auto takes store locally, but they show up in ST . . . I configured Synology’s Cloud Sync to copy the videos over to AMZ S3 cloud drive. Works nicely. The images are clear, even in the dark. This is a completely different animal from Arlo. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep the Arlo. It’s pretty much defective, but a fun toy.

Has anyone had issues w/ SmartThings overriding the sensitivity of Arlo? I have 4 cameras that were working great on 94% sensitivity, but for the 2 months or so SmartThings has been overriding it to 80% which is essentially useless in my recent experience. SmartThings support has been utterly useless with providing any kind of fix or timeline, they just keep saying developers are working on it.

Arlo cameras can be turned on and off in Smartthings according to the Smartthings SHM mode using CoRE. Set the cameras to armed in the Arlo mode, and then set up CoRE Pistons to turn them on or off in Smartthings as desired when the SHM mode changes. For Smartthings overriding the Arlo motion sensitivity setting, try setting the sensitivity in both the Arlo mode and Smartthings device to the same value.