Status LEDs at Front Door



Hi, I would like put a little box with status LEDs next to my front door. I need at least one LED, which is turned on when SmartThings is in “Armed (Away)” mode. Other LEDs could indicate whether certain windows are open or closed. This box would be useful both when I leave (are all windows like they should be?) or enter my apartment (did the presence sensing work?). It is cumbersome to pull out the smartphone and launch the ST app for that. The box would be mounted outside of my apartment, but inside a stairwell, so weather protection is no issue here.

My idea is to use a Fiabro RGBW z-wave module for that an connect the R, G, B and W outputs each to a different single small LED, so I would have four status lights in total.

My problem is the software part. I have no experience in writing device handlers or smartapps (but I have programming skills in languages like PHP and JavaScript). Is it even possible with SmartThings, that - for example - when my apartment switches to away mode the LED connected to the R output of the Fiabro module lights up and so on? Has anyone some experiences with the module?

Are there any other methods to implement such a status light with devices and parts available in Europe (at least for the away mode)? It is not possible to mount a Hue bulb outside of my apartment. All electrical power needs to come via a small wire from the inside.

Any help or hint is appreciated.

(Andy - United Kingdom) #2

I’ve been thinking about something similar, with LEDs inside for windows open etc and outside for ‘away mode’ or similar.
Have just ordered a Fiabro RGBW from to try.

There are a couple of different ways that you could use an existing DTH with ‘WebCore’ or a smartapp to show the correct led in response to a SmartThings action. (including using virtual switches)

I’ll probably look at creating an app over the next few days and will be happy to share it (if it works :slight_smile: )

Edit: I was thinking that with the addition of a couple of SPDT relays you could actually use two leds for each output…
e.g. ‘away mode’ red for on and green for off - I might look at that too :slight_smile:


Hi Cobra, sounds great! Can’t wait to see your results.

(Robin) #4

The Fibaro RGBW DTH by @zcapr17 already allows for individual control of the 4 channels so that part is good to go:

You can then toggle each channel as desired using webCoRE.

Personally I wouldn’t want want such a panel at the front door, as short of remembering what each lamp means, you’ll need to label them and that will give an intruder too much info.

I would use a single red led, and setup a webCoRE piston to turn it on if an window or door is open, or if SHM is disarmed.

I would then setup a routine accessible from an iOS / android widget which when pressed sends me an SMS / push listing the issues.

I’ll knock you up an example piston.

(Kevin) #5

Just couple things to think about…

-when you leave apartment, are you relying on smartphone presence to enable armed-away? If so, when you close the door, your LED would still indicate home until you leave the “geofence” presence area around your home

-You can add door/window sensors to Smart Home Monitor , so if a window is open when you arm-away, the app will notify you. If your phone doesn’t beep in your pocket when you leave the geofence presence area, everything is okay.

-You could use Echo(or GoogleHome I assume) and a virtual switch to arm-away, then if a window is open… flash a light or send notification to phone. I do something like this with WebCore as I head upstairs to bed since Echo will not run a routine if it has any security related actions. I say “Alexa, turn on bedtime”, WebCore sees virtual switch named “bedtime” turn on, then WebCore runs my GoodNight routine (turns off lights, arm-home) and then WebCore flashes a lamp if any doors are left open. Actually my WebCore piston isn’t working reliably at the moment but it worked well with CoRE (maybe an async is needed due to the flashing lights).

(Robin) #6

Here you go… this piston will turn a light on if any doors or windows are open or is SHM is disarmed, else it will turn off the light.

It will also send you a status update if you run the ‘Status Check’ routine.

If you wanted multiple lights, you could have multiple instances of this piston linked to different things.

Example message:

The Front door and Back Gate have been left open! All windows are closed. SHM is disarmed.

I have a similar setup but it is triggered by arrival sensor departure. It only sends me the message if there is a problem and otherwise it arms SHM.

(Andy - United Kingdom) #7

Robin, that was the dth I was thinking to use.
Most of my leds will be inside to show open windows etc before I turn on my stand alone alarm
The only possible one outside would be the ‘away mode’ type status

(Robin) #8

I see… I’ll knock something up… give me a sec.

(Andy - United Kingdom) #9

Thanks Robin but I don’t use core or wecore
I’m working on learning the language so will try and write something :slight_smile:

(Derek Scritchfield) #10

I use this at my door for indicator lights

(Robin) #11

WebCoRE is a game changer… you don’t need to know the language, you can just import a piston using the backup code at the top of the screenshot. And anyway, you don’t type the code, the syntax is all done automatically via the user interface pop-ups.

This will turn on channel 1 if any doors are open, and channel 2 if any windows are open.

I left to status message in there as well.

(Andy - United Kingdom) #12

I have seen how good webcore is but I’ve had a bit of fun creating the smartapps as I need them so haven’t needed to go to webcore yet :slight_smile:
I’m sure that at one point I will get stuck so will have to use webcore for some things


thanks for mentioning the device handler. I don’t think that I will have problems to remember what each LED stands for, so I will not label them. Sometimes I even want a window to be open (tilted), so a dedicated LED makes sense for me.

I rely on the smartphone presence, but the problem is not leaving home, I just want to be absolutely sure, that SmartThings is disarmed, when I enter the apartment again.

Many thanks for your help so far. I am pretty optimistic now that my plan might work, so I just ordered most of the necessary parts ;-).


There have been several project reports on similar projects. You can find them on the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki in the project report section on the list for alerts and notifications. :sunglasses:

And the Following thread goes through some of the most popular choices if you just want to jump to that one:

( I hate Mondays) #15

Just one thought - what happens if a thief-wanna-be figures out what the LEDs mean? You’re basically putting it out there “nobody home, come in”. Or maybe I’m overly cautious… :smiley:

(jkp) #16

Don’t worry…SHM will protect them LOL :wink:


It’s often the other way around, thieves who realize that the light means that the home security system is armed actually be deterred. This is the reason why some of the fake security cameras do have an LED that comes on. :rotating_light: :flushed:


Just a short update: Received my Fibaro RGBW controller, the LED lights and a 12V DC adapter and connected everything provisorily. I used the device handler mentioned in this discussion together with webCoRE and it works perfect, exactly like I hoped. Now I am waiting for the enclosure to arrive, can’t wait to get this finished…

Thanks again for your help!


Final update: project has been completed, the four LEDs and the RGBW controller are in their enclosure now, which is mounted at my front door

(Robin) #20

Take it you can’t drill the wood?

Would look neat to recess the LED’s into the architrave and hide the ‘brains’ on the inside…