Smartthings home security help needed: just getting started (UK)


(Isaac Wilson) #1

Hey, new user here,

I’m sure this has been asked countless times but I was Loki g to purchase smartthings not just for home automation but also security, I was wondering if anyone had any personal preferences on what I would need to start this? Like cameras, door sensors and motion sensors. Just doing research everywhere else hasn’t helped up to now,

Thank you everyone


(Bob) #2

Without going into specifics, if you are looking for home security be aware that this system is mainly cloud based.
You can have locally running devices but not 100%.
No Internet could mean no home security depending on what you are using.
Just thought I would make you aware.


#3

We do need to know which region you are in, as the device selection does vary somewhat.

If you are in the US, personally the only smartthings model line that I would recommend for security is the ADT/SmartThings security panel. And indeed if you follow any of the links on the SmartThings site to “security” it will take you to that model line.

That’s because it’s the only model which does not require both Internet and the smartthings cloud in order to operate the security functions. You still get all the same home automation options. But the ADT/Smartthings Model is the only one with cellular connectivity (rather than using the Internet for all of its notifications) and is also the only model which can be armed or disarmed if the smartthings cloud is not available.

When considering security options, and in particular when comparing it against competitors like Abode, it’s very important to understand that SmartThings is still primarily a cloud-based system. So even things like Camera integration only work when the smartthings cloud is available.

And there has been an outage of some kind at least once a month for each of the last 20 months except, I think, January 2017. Plus they push out hub updates pretty often, usually at least once a month and sometimes more frequently, and while the hub is updating your system is not available. Usually that’s only a few minutes, but sometimes it’s several hours. And these updates can be neither delayed nor denied. That’s very different than most purpose-built security systems.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Bug:_First_Reports

There are no official Camera integrations except for Arlo and the Ring Video Doorbell, even for the ADT model. And it’s not really a camera oriented system: it’s not like live feeds pop up when there’s an alert or anything like that. You’ll still probably have to use the cameras own app for that stuff.

I think the ADT model is a decent low-cost DIY security system, and certainly worth considering. But most of us with other smartthings hubs use a different system for security. Smartthings was built as a cloud-based home automation system so that they could continually add new devices. Which is very cool, and it certainly excels at that. Things are changing all the time, and there are frequent updates. But that’s not necessarily what you want for a security system. :wink:

Which Devices?

As far as whether you need door sensors, motion sensors, how many of each, etc. it depends very much on the layout of your home, how many people live there, and how serious you are trying to get.

If you live in a high crime neighborhood, are concerned about home invasion, and have a four bedroom home, then none of the low-cost systems are likely to meet your needs.

If you live in a studio apartment in a low crime neighborhood, are the only one who lives there, don’t have pets, and are concerned about daytime petty theft break-ins (or even landlord intrusions when no one is home), then any of the low-cost DIY security systems will probably work for you with just a doorbell camera, maybe a living room camera, and a motion sensor for each room with an exit to the Outside.

But there are just a lot of different factors that go into deciding what you will need, as I know you have discovered.

(BTW, i’ve moved this to “projects” so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs, preferences, and budget. Different people will need very different things.)


(Isaac Wilson) #4

Thank you for the in depth replies!

I live in the UK, 3 bedroom house, was thinking about 4 door/window monitors for downstairs, plus cameras/motion detectors in the hallway, lounge and landing.

Relatively low crime area but I do nights and wife is uneasy on her own, just looking for general security that way, got a bit of a budget and am willing to stretch if something is worth it.

Home automation wise I was thinking of starting off with just lights and gradually building up from there, I have a long way to go as relatively new to this whole concept but I want too learn a bit more.

If smartthings isn’t something you recommend for me then please point me in the right direction,

Thank you for taking the time to message me


#5

That sounds like a sensible approach as far as devices. :sunglasses: I’m not familiar with the security options in the UK, but hopefully some of the UK members will chime in.

Does your wife use an iPhone or an android mobile phone?


(Isaac Wilson) #6

Yeah I hope so but thank you for your help! :slight_smile: very much appreciated! We both use android phones


(Andy) #7

Hi Isaac,

There is a great thread about using Visonic alarms (now owned by ADT) here that may well fit your bill if an additional security system that will work with Smartthings is what may suffice;

Visonic Alarm integration with Smartthings

The work by CJCharles has been fantastic and I’ve had the integration in use for over a year without a hitch and as JDRoberts points out, a platform outage doesn’t interfere with your home security system. In addition, you can use the sensors as devices within Smartthings so it’s a winning solution.

I also have a GPRS cellular module in my system so that I can have alerts sent directly to pre-defined numbers for that extra peace of mind.

You can purchase Visonic products from MAP Security

I am sure that they can answer any Visonic related questions, if this route becomes a choice for you.

Btw I am not affiliated with Visonic in any way, I’ve had my system for over 7 years without any problems arising along the way. Totally reliable and no false alarms!!

Cheers,

Andy.


(cjcharles) #8

Thanks for the thanks! Given that ST notified me of this post, I thought I would add that I am also I the process of finishing the developments to integrate the Visonic Powermax system with Hubitat (and it already supports mqtt which works with plenty of other platforms). Hence that provides multiple options for smart home integration, without changing alarm, in case ST change something in the future which makes it expensive or privacy invasive.