ST and Professional Monitoring

Hey team! So, I recently moved and have taken the dive into the HA scene. In my previous home, I had Vivint for monitoring and automation just for a single Kwikset 910 deadbolt.

For the new home, I started off by trying Iris and bought a bunch of hardware on sale (contact sensors were $10/each and motion sensors were $15/each). I have pro monitoring though them as well, but the options are poor and I’m finding the hub is unreliable. I’ve had rules hit and miss, created scenes that sometimes only halfway run, and Google Assistant integration is abysmal at best.

I bought a ST v2 hub which will arrive today. I had no interest in having the hub on WiFi and would rather have the faster CPU and extra RAM.

This brings me to my question(s). I’m looking to have home monitoring but can’t find a one-stop shop solution. The biggest issue being that I can’t find a pro monitoring service that will allow me to use my existing contact and motion sensors. The other issue is finding a way to integrate my existing hardwired/connected smoke detectors. I’d rather not eat the expense of replacing all of them. My full current setup:

15 contact sensors
3 motion sensors
5 GE Zigbee switches
2 Kwikset 910 deadbolts

Whole house is setup for internet failover via an LTE modem and my “comms closet” is on an UPS which includes the ST hub.

I plan to expand on this quite a bit, but can curtail future additions based on the way-ahead from the security aspects.

The standard smartthings models just aren’t suitable for primary security, for a whole bunch of reasons. Just search the forum for “reliability“ and “security“ and you’ll find everything you want to now in that regard.

Instead, if you follow any of the links on the SmartThings site about security, they will take you to the ADT/smartthings model. That’s the one that has the features you want in a low-cost DIY security system, with the option of professional monitoring without contracts from ADT.

You can do anything that the other smartthings models can do as far as home automation. But it also adds a separate set of security devices and options, which include cellular communication to the ADT monitoring center, a proprietary communications protocol with devices which should be both more reliable and fewer false alarms, An entrance delay, Battery back up, and some other stuff that made ADT willing to put their name on it.

The most important thing to know about any security system cobbled together based on any other smartthings model Is that it is cloud-based, and it’s not even a particular robust cloud. So just as a couple of examples:

One) if the smartthings cloud is not available, You cannot get any notifications, not even to your own phone if you are in your own house connected to your own Wi-Fi

Two) if the smartthings cloud is not available, you cannot either arm or disarmed the system

  1. if the smartthings cloud is not available, you can’t do anything with the mobile app because the mobile app talks to the cloud and then the cloud talks to the hub. Your phone does not talk to the hub directly. It could, but that’s not the way they designed it.

Manual, on-demand control of a device or SmartApp through the SmartThings mobile app always requires an internet connection to the cloud and cannot be performed locally.

All of these deficiencies are corrected in the ADT model. The hub can send its alerts to the monitoring center via cellular. You can arm and disarm locally. And while I’m not sure if you can use the app ( maybe not), you can use the control panel in the house.

But like I said, there’s already dozens of discussion thread in the forum on all these topics. :sunglasses:

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If you think you’re OK living with all of those various cloud-based deficiencies , and you still want to look into putting something together, take a look at Konnected plus Noon Light monitoring.

KONNECTED will let you reuse your wired sensors with SmartThings, and Noon Light is an add on professional monitoring service.

It could never be as good as the ADT model, but it’s good enough for some people. :sunglasses:

Noon Light Details

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And how often is the cloud unavailable? Historically at least once a month, usually more.

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Thanks for the replies. Let me add some information to my original post. The existing contact and motion sensors are Zigbee-based. From what I’ve read, Konnected is geared towards integrating wired perimeter sensors, not wired smoke detectors. My ask here is if anyone is aware of a wired ‘smart’ smoke detector that will handle pass-through notification from the non-‘smart’ detectors.

The problem with ADT is that they will not allow me to bring my existing sensors on-board.

I’m not set on using the ST hub as the ‘security’ hub. My desire is a monitoring system that will integrate with the ST hub. This takes out the concern of ST cloud availability.

Low-cost is relative. With 26 windows, the ADT sensors alone would run me $650. Not including what I’ve already got sunk into the existing sensors that would be getting replaced.

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Sorry, I missed that it was specifically smoke sensors. My bad.

Most security systems that do use zigbee use their own proprietary encoding over zigbee so their sensors don’t work with other systems. It’s just a typical industry practice.

And most monitoring services (Noon Light is an exception) are really picky about which devices you use because of reliability concerns.

Maybe someone else will know of something.

No worries on the miss and thanks for chiming in.

Safemonit seems to be the only solution I’ve found that will allow me to bring my existing sensors on-board as they appear to just leverage ST as the ‘security’ hub. But, that adds the issue of the ST cloud unavailability.

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Actually, going back and reading more on Konnected, that does appear to be the solution for my smoke detectors. Looks like I’ll need a relay, but can tie them in to ST with the Konnected device.

And! I just noticed that the ADT sensors are on sale through BestBuy. $10 for contact and $20 for motion…just need to see if Lowe’s will take the Iris sensors back without the boxes. Unless someone else has a solution.

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If not, you can always try selling the Iris sensors on here. There are always plenty of folks looking (myself included).

You don’t need Konnected to tie in your wired smoke alarm, you can use the appropriate Kidde / First Alert relay and connect it to any contact sensor with screw terminals (like the one from Linear), and just set it up with a device handler that makes it show up as smoke.

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Looks like I’m bailing just in time.

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Yeah, I actually thought that was why you were here. :sunglasses:

You have a bunch of options. First would be to use a Z-Wave or Zigbee sensor that has external contacts that you can wire in the relay from a smoke or CO alarm. I did just that here: Integrating Kidde Smoke / CO Sensors into SmartThings Properly . This would be good if you already have a bunch of wired sensors and they have a relay option board you can add.

Second option is the same relay but plugged into a Konnected board. There is a little setup but the Konnected product is a nice “packaged” solution to get wired stuff into the hub.

Third option is the same relay but plugged into a ESP8266 or ESP32 using ST_Anything (more DIY then Konnected but cheaper and more options of what to bring in): [RELEASE] ST_Anything v2.9.2 - Arduino/ESP8266/ESP32 to ST via ThingShield, Ethernet, or WiFi

Last option would be just putting in a additional Z-Wave smoke sensor and connecting it directly. Like this one from FirstAlert is a combo Smoke/CO for $36: https://www.amazon.com/First-Alert-Detector-Carbon-Monoxide/dp/B00KMHXFAI/ .

For monitoring you can use the “preferred” SmartThings Scout monitoring or NoonLight. Or switch to the ADT hub and sell your v2 hub if you can get everything at a decent price. I think yesterday the ADT hub was $100.

So cheapest/easiest I would think would be a extra Z-Wave smoke/CO, your existing sensors, and NoonLight but at least you have lots of options.

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Last time I checked, scout doesn’t do any smoke detector monitoring, whether smartthings is in the picture or not. They only do “intrusion” monitoring. ( fire detection is very important to me because as a wheelchair user I need assistance to evacuate the house if I’m already in bed, so I always check the details)

Noon will notify you, but I don’t believe they are authorized to call the fire department. That’s a separate licensing process in most jurisdictions. I could be wrong on them, though, I haven’t ever looked really deep into their services.

ADT , in contrast, is Authorized to call the fire department in most jurisdictions, but they will only do so based on their own specific sensors. Not on anything else you hook up, no matter how you hook it up.

OK, I just checked: Scout will not dispatch for fire.

https://www.scoutalarm.com/knowledge-base/article/smartthings-professional-monitoring-faq

Noon Light will in jurisdictions that allow them to, but that varies a lot. They may be able to just call in like somebody walking by your house who hears an alarm going off. But it’s not the kind of authorized dispatch that ADT or Abode offer.

Thanks for the additional input. I did a good bit more digging last night and have a way-ahead.

  1. Lowe’s agreed to take back everything I’ve bought for a refund, including the items I no longer have boxes for.
  2. I cancelled the order for the v2 hub and placed another for the ADT version through Amazon with the $100 deal.
  3. BestBuy has the ADT/Smartthings branded sensors for cheap ($10 for contact, $20 for motion). They also have a deal on the “life” kit that includes one each smoke detector, CO, and flooding. $80 for the kit versus $100 buying individual. I picked up 15 contact (in addition to the two that come with the ADT kit), an extra motion, and two of the life monitoring kits.

Lowe’s also had the GE Z-Wave light switches on sale, so I went and bought them out last night.

I’ll worry about integrating my existing smoke detectors at a later date.

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Matt from Noonlight here. First, thanks for kicking the tires on us. Appreciate the community wanting to clearly understand the pros/cons of what is in the market.

Just to clarify for everyone, Noonlight central monitoring centers are TMA 5-Diamond certified, UL listed, and fully compliant/licensed for monitoring for smoke, fire, co2, etc. We handle emergencies that require police, medical, and/or fire response across the country every day. And, of course, we handle our share of alarms that turn out to be accidental or false alarms as well. We never mind a false alarm though. It means you’re safe.

I won’t try to say we’re better than your options because I’m clearly biased :slightly_smiling_face:, but hopefully that clears up any confusion we created for you all on the dispatch front.

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But If we are talking about the automated smartthings integration, you still depend on smartthings to notify you, which means Internet to the smartthings cloud to you, right? I understand someone could use their own phones to notify you manually, but I’m talking about something like a smoke sensor going off when no one was home. If the Internet was out, or the ST cloud was unavailable, there would be no notification to noonlight.

Yes, we do need to receive the signal (fire/ smoke detector or otherwise). So if your primary Internet was out and you didn’t have a backup cellular/LTE modem in the system, that signal wouldn’t get out.

ADT and others provide a service people value of course. No knock against them.

We think Noonlight offers unique benefits, but whatever monitoring option someone selects, they will need some level of working connection in order for a smoke or other signal to get out if that makes sense.

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What JD is getting at is the fallacy in the cloud model being used. Moonlights notification is received via the Smartthings cloud service. So, if that cloud service is unavailable, then Moonlight isn’t notified. Right?

Sorry, this is a minor point but it’s just a pet peeve of mine. Most people have carbon monoxide detectors in their home, which is abbreviated CO. Carbon dioxide, CO2, is also life threatening in high concentrations but is much less likely to accumulate in most residential settings than CO.

I try not to make a big deal about that when i see it, but you guys are a commercial entity that expects people to pay for your services.

So basically, I’m holding you to a higher standard. You should know what you’re talking about to engender trust in your current and potential new customers.

Not trying to be a d!ck about it, just offering some honest feedback as a potential customer.

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