SmartThings Completely Unreliable

I’m sorry you had a break in - but I suggest in your case you might want to actually go with a monitored security system. SmartThings, and honestly all the self-monitored stuff on the market are home automation systems FIRST, and give you a side benefit of sorta kinda being self-monitoring security systems.

Unless you have a very understanding local police department they’re not going to be happy rolling out to your house to find a sensor fell off, or otherwise randomly tripped.

Everyone has different priorities for what give them peace of mind.

I personally have 3 minimum requirements for a security system:

  1. it works when power and/or Internet are down
  2. it’s professionally monitored 24/7 by a UL listed center that is authorized to place 911 calls in my area
  3. it communicates with the monitoring center via cellular, not Internet.

All 3 let out both Canary and SmartThings. I pay a monthly fee for a separate service.

But other people just hate the idea of paying any kind of monthly fee, and that changes their priority features list.

Regardless, though, I agree that reliability has to be the foundation for any security system. I don’t expect perfect, but I do expect it to be about the same level of reliability as the dishwasher. Breakdowns should be rare. SmartThings has a ways to go to achieve that.

Your police department probably already told you this, but it’s pretty common for burglars to wait a few weeks for you to replace all your stuff, then come back a second time. I would go for a monitored system for at least 6 months until your house’s reputation as a soft target is removed.

And add motion sensor lights (they don’t have to be networked, Mr. Beams are good) that come on as anyone approaches the house. Not an immediate siren, just lights. Nice for household members coming home, but also a clear indication to would be burglars that you’ve made some changes.

Sorry you had the first break in: that sucks. I feel your pain. I wish there was an easy, cheap, reliable security system, but they all have pros and cons, if only cost. So it’s never a simple choice. Good luck!

JD & John,

Thanks for your comments. I understand why you suggest a monitored security system, but I’m simply not willing to pay the costs for something that I don’t think really works. For many years, before I retired, I had an ADT system that never did anything for me except generate a monthly bill to ADT and a couple of bills to the local police for false alarms. I never had a breakin, but I have friends who have (who also had monitored systems) and about half of those cases by the time a cruiser could get there the bad guys had got what they were after and were gone.

Now I live in a small town with a small police force. The neighborhood where I live is 99% vacation homes which, like mine, are vacant most of the winter. The police make a sweep thru when they can, but, like I say, it’s a small town.

I believe that you’re not going to stop the professionals. They know what they’re doing, how long they have and what they are looking for. When we reported our break-in last December, the police told us that we were part of a string of cases where the crooks took only electronics, and mostly TV sets. In and out, fast.

JD, I agree with you, the best bet is to scare them off before they come thru the door. And I’m in the process of setting that up. using ST. Those lights that are coming on at 4 in the morning are being triggered by a fox or something that’s going thru my yard and tripping my outdoor MultiSensors. I have to figure out how to get the sensitivity set so that a fox doesn’t trip the sensor but a person does.

And yes, I’m betting that this Fall, shortly after we head back for FL, we’ll get another visit. But this time, they may get my TVs but I’m going to get their pictures. The big hole that ST has right now is in video. But I have a Synology NAS and it came with licenses for two cameras. When we leave here, there will be a camera trained on the front door and the back. I have a second NAS in FL and any video captured here will be sync’ed to FL in realtime.

The good news about the Piper is that it’s been running since we left FL the first week of April without any hiccups. Every couple of days I look in on the house just to be sure. And once a week a get a notice that there’s been a loud noise, but it didn’t take long to figure out that that is my lawn guy doing the mowing.

I would wager that most of your issues are presence related. What kind of presence detection are you using?

I use my iPhone and my wife has an ST fob. But the fob has only left the house one or two times in the 3 weeks we’ve had it. I just checked the Activity History on the fob and it shows no entries. I don’t know how far back the History goes but apparently not very.

On the other hand the History on my phone is pretty inaccurate. For today is shows me leaving at 8:38 and returning at 11:24. Then leaving again at 4:44 and returning at 4:45. In fact, I left about 1:30 and returned again at 4:30. Then I left at 4:35 and returned at 4:55. The errors on the last set of entries are the geofence boundaries. I was walking the dog and it took about 10 minutes to hit that 500 foot outer edge. But I should have shown being outside the boundary for more like 5 to 10 minutes.

Does it show you leaving and arriving at 4:00 am the morning your lights came on? We use life360 now because of the presence issues with the ST app. I don’t know what life360 does differently than ST as far as geolocation but it has always been very reliable for us. When using the ST built in presence it would have me leaving and arriving all night, every time triggering the I’m back hello home action, taking the house out of sleeping mode, turning on lights, and placing everyone in my house into hate Jody mode.

It doesn’t show any activity for that time period. In fact, for that whole day.

Ok, what’s Life360? That’s a new one for me.

life360 is an app that keeps up with family location among other things.

It has great integration with SmartThings. You can import each family member into ST as a presence sensor. Not only can you set a home location, but you can set a location for your child’s school or your spouse’s work. We have been using it as our presence sensors for months now. The integration is under the more tab, then click social. Or search for life360 in the ST app.

1 Like

Last night I got my lock paired and this morning I pulled the old one and installed and tested the new one. Turns out if you have a version 1.1 ST Hub (which I think is the most recent release on the market), you cannot pair any Scalage lock without the active help and participation of ST Support. They must download a new, unreleased version of the Hub firmware to your device, then you do the pairing, after which they restore your Hub to it’s original firmware. Wish I’d known that sooner. Turns out that the second lock appears to be really defective, ZWave wise. I can’t get my Hub to see it, even to exclude it.

I have three Schlage locks, I had no issues pairing them myself.

1 Like

As I said in my post, this is only a problem for users who have a Version 1.1 Hub. If your Hub is older, or newer (is something newer exists) you shouldn’t be affected by this.

I’m not 100% sure on this but my memory of the conversation with Tech Support was that the 1.1 Hub has a different chip or chipset than previous versions.