Smartthings+home security integration

(Hemanshu Patel) #1

I know there are few topics already exists, but I’m a little confused and hence decided to ask to the community. I have recently started taking interest in Home automation. I want suggestions as to which device/systems (home security) will integrate seamlessly with Smarththings.

What I require is a Home security/automation system with cellular back up support. It doesn’t have to be centrally monitored, but cellular backup is a must so that even when some one disrupts home internet service by cutting fiber and power cable, System still works.

I have few questions about smartthings.

  1. What happens if someone cuts internet and power cable? Hub has battery support and all sensors have battery with it, but since there’s no internet, in the case of intrusion will my siren go on? All internal device should communicate with either Zigbee or Z-Wave, but I’m not sure if without internet smartthings hub will ask Siren to start scaring the thief?

  2. if Siren won’t work without internet, then which home security product will work the best with smart things? Scout?? Will I be able to arm/disarm home from within Smartthings app?
    If there’s any other security products works the best with Smartthings, I’m open to all suggestions. I would loved to not pay any monthly charge, but whatever it requires.


(Marc) #2


I have done a ton of research on this area. Personally, I am a SimpliSafe and Smartthings customer and these two systems run independently of one another, but there is community supported integration there. SimpliSafe will meet your security requirements (cellular backup, siren), however it is a monthly cost as it’s professional monitored ($24.99). I have some of my home automation actions enable and disable my SimpliSafe alarm modes such as leaving the house, going to sleep, coming home, etc. and it’s been working great for me.

You will find in these forums, that Smartthings is not a reliable security option. They do have integration with Scout’s professional monitoring so you can leverage your Smartthings hardware and you can buy one of those routers with the backup cellular capabilities if the Internet connection is down. It’s all about how important reliability is to your security monitoring. Also, check out Abode which is a little more monthly ($29.99) but is getting good early reviews, but doesn’t have nearly the market and or presence yet.

(Kavvy) #3

My understanding is that Scout cannot use the same contact sensors as Smartthings, meaning you’ll need 2 contact sensors on all doors you want alarmed.

Scout also doesnt use a keypad as the control center. They rely on you using an RFID type device to arm/disarm, which is less than ideal if you’re away and want someone to have access to your house, etc.

My suggestion is to keep automation and security separate. I was looking at integrating the 2, but have decided against it, for safety reasons, and the systems are very “young”. Getting a dedicated “mature” security system is better suited for my families safety, which takes precedence to my geeky wants.

(Marc) #4

There is 2 ways you can use Scout. Once, as a completely separate system that has nothing to do with Smartthings. You are correct, it lacks a keypad and reading reviews of the system, they have had challenges with siren decibel and motion detectors with Pets.

The other way is rely on Smartthings’s Smart Home Monitor (SHM) that can trigger a Scout Professional Services alarm for. With this method, you are relying on Smartthings hardware and infrastructure.

I agree, 2 separate systems right now is more reliable and it’s nice I am able to integrate the two.

(Hemanshu Patel) #5

Thank you very much for your replies…
Have anyone of you tried the siren thing when network is down?

I mean after turning off Wi-Fi router, if there’s any activity which is configured to trigger siren, does that works?
Internally all components(sensors/smartthing hub/siren) should talk using Zigbee/Z-Wave. So it should trigger right? but does it?

Two separate systems demands either I lock myself in for 2 to 3 years or I pay upfront the device costs for home security.

The problem with relying on Smartthing’s home monitor is the lack of internet interruption support. Had there be a cellular backup with Smarththing, I would not even think about Scout.
Is there any other security companies besides Scout and Simplisafe.


(Ben) #6

Of the options recommended here, I would strongly recommend against using Scout or Smartthings as your base for a home security system. I had Scout for 6 months and switched to SimpliSafe the beginning of last month due to the many issues with their system.

  • Scout Monitoring on Smartthings - besides the reasons already mentioned here, Smartthings doesn’t really have the reliability you should be after in a home security system. A Security system really needs to have 99.9999% uptime or better, and Smartthings is optimistically only topping out around 97% or so. Given that, and the lack of any cellular backup, you are honestly better off looking elsewhere. I like my Smartthings system alot, but I don’t trust it for home security.

  • Scout Monitoring with Scout hardware - Please don’t take my word for it, go check out their community forums yourself, their hardware is plagued with issues. I had this system for 6 months and ultimately pulled the plug because it didn’t have the reliability a reputable security system needs to have. Long story short, I had a false alarm the first day I was on vacation with my family out of the country. Not a fun thing to deal with when you have spotty cell phone coverage! It turned out it was due to a dead battery in the motion sensor. The crummy thing was, the monitoring company sent the local sheriff out to my house to check on things, all due to a dead battery that was just changed 2 months prior. Just in case you didn’t catch that, I changed a battery in the same sensor twice in 6 months. Oh, and by the way, there was no low battery notification either time. Add to that, their siren is nothing more than an obnoxious beep. The siren was acknowledged by Scout as a problem well over a year ago and they have yet to offer any realistic solution!

I’m using SimpliSafe now and so far so good, plus there are nowhere near the negative complaints about poor system performance (innovation may be another story…). From what I’ve been able to dig up, it may not be the slickest, most modern system out there, but it is reliable. If I’m not mistaken, this is also the only professional monitored alarm system that can be easily integrated to SmartThings without a good bit of effort - just install the device type and a smartapp and it works (Disclaimer: The API used by the SmartThings/SimpliSafe integration is not officially supported by SimpliSafe. This means it could break at any time with no warning whatsoever!). The other alarm options I’ve seen required a bit of effort to get working - some, however, have very good payoff once completed with an even tighter integration that what is currently available with SimpliSafe.

Abode, also looks very promising but is a larger investment up front and is still very new to the game. They do have a lot going for them, so it will definitely be a good one to watch!

Hopefully this is helpful to you, but as I mentioned, I would stay away from both of the Scout options for the time being. You can’t put a price on peace of mind!!!

(Hemanshu Patel) #7

thank you very much foxxyben.

Simplisafe it is…
I believe I’ll need to buy 25$ monitoring plan, as 15$ wont allow me to set arm/disarm mode using smartthings…


(Marc) #8

You are correct, you need the $24.99 plan. @foxxyben explained it very well above the pro’s and con’s. I would like nothing more to have a single Home Automation and Security system without the dual pieces of hardware, but there is not a single company out there that can offer both the reliability of a security system(SimpliSafe) and flexibility of a home automation platform (Smartthings) YET. There are some alarm companies that offer home automation such as ADT Pulse, but they can be very expensive monthly and only do basic HA such as lights on and off, etc.


Don’t mean to hijack the thread, but the house I bought came with an older ADT system, with all the wired sensors. Is there any controller than can be wired to the sensors and interface with ST? I am thinking that since they are there already I might as well use them, and even if not up 99.9999% of the time, some security is better than none.

(Michael) #10

Yes search the forum as there are several options including this one I gave setup:


Thanks. That project may be above my skill/time level. However, it did point me to find out that my panel (BHS-4000A) is proprietary stuff of Brinks (now ADT), and it can’t be reprogrammed. I will need new panel and keypads. At least now I know I should choose something that is compatible with AD2PI, like the Honeywell Vista series.

(Bob Jase) #12

When you use Simplisafe’s $25/mo plan, do you need 2 sets of sensors? Or can simplisafe work fine with SmartThings sensors?

(Ben) #13

The sensors are completely separate between SimpliSafe and smartthings, so you may need to duplicate sensors. In my case, it’s not bad as I only have a smartthings open/close sensor on one door and only two duplicated motion sensors. If you are strategic about it, it’s really not bad, but it is something to consider.


As it turns out, SimpliSafe is insecure against replay attacks and the security issue apparently cannot be patched - the devices will need to be replaced as they included no mechanism for firmware updates.