Question in general and open to opinion. So I have (2) ZWave Schlage Door Locks on my home. Front and Garage Door. Eventually I want one on the back door too…I have both locks setup on Smartthings and of course integrated to Alexa for monitoring and “light” routines just to make sure they are locked when I leave, etc. My question is this. Smartthings or Security System “Benefit Analysis”…As users, do you see more benefit having them on one or the other? Do you even see a benefit of siding with one or the other? I am considering moving them to my Security System (Alarm.com) but is there really any added benefit in doing that? Do I gain anything that I can’t already get by being in Smartthings? Opinions welcomed…Thanks!!
Smartthings, with the exception of the now EOl ADT model, simply isn’t a security system. it’s not UL listed as a security system and couldn’t be, as it lacks some of the basics. There’s no battery backup, there’s no means of contacting either you or a monitoring center except via the Internet, you can’t even change the mode to arm or disarm unless the smartthings cloud is available.
Let’s take a very simple situation. The power has gone out in your neighborhood. You arrive home.
If you are relying on SmartThings as your security system and you left the system armed, you will have no way of disarming it. None. so if you have a local siren that goes off when your door is opened, that siren is going to go off. And continue going off all night as long as the power is out until you take the siren off power as well.
or take a variation. The power has gone out in your neighborhood. You are not home. Someone else breaks into your home. The local siren may go off, but you will not receive any notifications at all because smartthings requires an active Internet connection to send out any notifications, even to your own phone.
Now let’s say instead that you had a real security system, perhaps abode. You could use the same door locks with it. Let’s imagine the same situation.
The power is out in your neighborhood you arrive home. You can disarm your system as usual with a key fob. So the siren doesn’t go off when you don’t want it to.
Conversely, in the alternative scenario, you are away from home and someone breaks into your house. Even though there is no power, the abode system has its own battery back up that last for 24 hours and it has its own cellular communication system, so it can notify the monitoring center (or I think just you as well, but you should confirm that).
Better outcome in both cases.
By the way, let’s add a third scenario. The power is out in your neighborhood. You are home but you do not have the security system armed. You are ready to go to bed. With a SmartThings system there is no way to arm the security system. None. Again, it’s primarily a cloud-based system. So you either go to sleep without security or you stay up all night.
With abode, again you can arm your system with the key fob locally. So when you’re ready to go to sleep, you arm, and everything works much as it would even if the power were on.
It’s not just abode: any UL listed security system will work the same way. It’s smartthings which is the odd one out here.
I forgot one more issue.
The first thing a security system should provide is reliability. Even if smartthings never had glitches (but it does have glitches), The company can and does send out hub firmware updates about once a month which can neither be deferred nor denied. Those take your hub off-line. Sometimes only for a few minutes, but sometimes for hours, and in one case for more than a day. And every time it happens, a few customers find their hubs will not come back, at least temporarily.
It’s true that they usually try to give us a few days notice on these outages, but not always.
A system that goes off-line without the owner having any control over it just isn’t a security system.
Thank You for your response. My Security System is on a cell connection, and it has a battery backup in the closet which, for all intensive purposes, provides a reasonable amount of backup in the event of a power outtage. That said, I wouldn’t say I use Smartthings at all for any element of security other than to make sure the Schlage ZWave Locks are in fact locked…You can’t really do much more than that honestly…OR lock them by virtue of a routine in Alexa based on a sepcific event that I crafted and requires an audible command to initiate the sequence to “Lock X Door”…Keep in mind, I have both locks to automatically lock after you close the door (5 and 30 secs respectively)…Beyond that, they are on localized battery power and you can still get into the house without a key as they are on their own power source to operate. My idea here is that by adding the schlage locks to the security system, if I need someone to take care of my dogs, they don’t have to both have a code for the Schlage Locks and the Security System internally…Once could impact the other…So if they open the front door lock, you can automatically disarm the system, and then rearm it after a determined amount of time provided they don’t extend that “stay time”…Does this make sense?
@JDRoberts has given a great reply so nothing I can add.
With regards to connecting your locks to your security system and automating both together isn’t a great idea.
Arm intruder alarm when door is locked, what if someone is in the house when you leave and lock the door? You also wouldn’t want your alarm always armed when the door is locked.
Disarm alarm when door is unlocked, the problem with this is that if someone bypasses your door lock they have also now disarmed your intruder alarm.
Think of your security system as a castle, the more barriers there are between the thieves and your possessions the better. It might be a bit more time consuming but its more secure and thats the key.
Other ideas, does your alarm panel accept a ‘guest code’? If so set this the same as a ‘guest code’ on your lock and then you have the same code for both.
Thank you!! That’s the kind of answer I was looking for really. To have me see this from a security vs. convenience perspective. One of my neighbors set his up that way as I take care of his pets for him from time to time, and while I have a door entry code, I don’t have to disarm his panel. I will assume it’s about a 30 minute window, and then the panel will rearm after I leave. It works well for my application, but not so much for someone who will be remaining in the house longer than that. The other consideration I was looking towards is the ability to “unlock” the door remotely for a “pop-up guest” when they don’t have a code already programmed. It would seem you can do this through Smartthings, and not Alexa which makes total sense from a security perspective. I wouldn’t want an unlock ability via “voice” as that was never my aim. I was just looking to find a way to leverage the Security System in order to do this for any “pop-up guests” that don’t have an entry code and the situation was unique. Anyways. It would seem to me the most prudent thing to do would be just leave things the way they are, and not migrate the two for methods of automation and/or convenience as it’s not a frequent occurence anyway. More like “once in a blue moon”.
And now I just found out the Alexa app WILL allow you to enable the settings to unlock the a door remotely both via voice and app. Those features just need to be enabled in the settings for the lock. Learn something new every day!!