What would I need to create a home alarm system

I would like to create a home alarm system with a actual panel with security code. The reason is my wife refuses to use a smartphone. I also would like to be able to have the alarm on when home, but if I am looking at this correctly motion sensors are the cheap way as they cover large areas but can’t be on when people are home. Window and door contacts are expensive and will require 18 window and three door contacts. I also need to have a delay on two of the doors to allow time for my wife to enter the house and put in the code. Any ideas would be welcome.

actiON dashboard and a cheap android tablet, presence sensor fob and motion sensors or window/door contacts, smart alarm and magic home. and a siren.

First you have to decide what’s important to you in an alarm system, and whether you’re going to address potentially life-threatening situations like fire and home break-ins, or whether it’s just for convenience like the kids left the windows open and rain is expected.

For me personally, I have three minimum requirements for an alarm system for potentially life-threatening conditions:

  1. it works when the power is out
  2. it uses cellular (not WiFi/internet)
  3. it has professional 24 hour a day monitoring

I have all this at my house, but none of it is SmartThings, because although it’s potentially possible to hook up SmartThings to a professional monitoring service, it doesn’t work at all when the power is out and it doesn’t use cellular. (It can send text messages, but that’s not the same thing, as it has to be connected via the Internet to give the instruction to send the text message.)

Instead, I use SmartThings for convenience cases. But I’m quadriparetic, use a wheelchair, and need my emergency alerts to work with near 100% reliability even if the power’s out.
There are many people in these forums who do use various alarm features with SmartThings and are OK with the fact that reliability will be around 90% when power and internet are on, and 0% when power or internet are down.

So again, the first question is what are your expectations of a home alarm system.


There’re many fairly inexpensive (less than $200) DIY alarm panels on the market. The question is whether you want a stand-alone alarm or if you want it integrated with SmartThings (and to what extent). The other question is whether you want your alarm monitored by a security company or self-monitored.

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I would like it integrated with SmartThings, I can self monitor, but having the intergration I can have an alarm go off and turn on certain lights etc. But it might be less expensive to have an alarm company do the install.

If you want it integrated with SmartThings, @geko 's Smart Alarm custom app is popular. If you read through that topic you’ll see some of the different device set-ups people are using with it.

I am with @JDRoberts requirements, but adding one more: Smoke/CO monitoring. ScoutAlarm.com looks promising as they have IFTTT integration and promise to have ST integration soon (although limited). They also said they are working on smoke/CO sensors by years end. Search the boards as there are few posts by me on this topic also. For now, I am using SimpliSafe as a completely independent alarm system, but I am eager to get ST and any alarm system to at least “talking to each other”, and the bonus would be using single sensors, but that might be awhile. I am not referring to some of the other hacks out there now with Rasberry Pi, etc.

I was looking at the scout system, but it is so expensive to monitor all my windows that it is actually less expensive to have a alarm installed by a pro. I do like the way that system works with the door panel and fobs. The major problem is the door that we enter from the garage is set in the frame and the magnet will not fit. I could possibly imbed the magnet. But I added the cost up and it is much more expensive than like you have simply safe or ADT

Z-Wave door/window and motion sensors cost around $30 each. You can even find deals for $25 - $27. This is comparable to Honeywell & DSC wireless sensors. No one installs wired sensors anymore, AFAIK. I don’t think it will cost you less with ADT or any other reseller.

It may look like it costs less because of the way they do their pricing. Very similar to cable companies where you pay “$59 a month!” for the first six months on a two year contract that jumps to $149/month after the intro discount. A lot of security companies give you “free” devices when you sign up, but the cost is really bundled into the per month cost over the life of the contract.

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I have 18 windows and two entrance doors plus a patio door so it comes out to be big bucks. I didn’t want a wired system so I will have to look around. It would be nice if the Lyric system would be compatible with ST.As I could build on that platform. Also if one window sensor could be modified to use three reed window switches I could save a bunch. My windows are either three together two together or single.

Many Z-Wave door/window sensors have wire terminals exactly for this purpose.


Would you know which ones? Nothing is mentioned in any literature I have found.

Ecolink, for sure.

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Which, as it happens, is on the official “works with SmartThings” list. :smile:

Hi, I would like to get a security system installed in my home in the next few days. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for some time now, and since there’s a lot of sketchy things happening in my neighborhood now, it seems like the perfect time to have it done. I just need to figure out what type of system would be best for my house. Searching online, I found protection plus security solutions ( http://protectionplus.ca/residential/ ). Can I go on with this or any other suggestions?

The decision of which security system to get is very personal, and depends on many different factors, including budget, technical requirements, maintenance requirements, type of events you want to track, whether you want professional monitoring, etc. There’s no one right answer.

At this time, there’s no easy way to integrate SmartThings with any security system. It’s not impossible, but it requires considerable technical expertise. So that’s probably not going to be a consideration in what you select.

There are many topics in the forums discussing how different members have approach security issues, so you might just search the Project Reports section of the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki for security and see what you find.


Probably the easiest is the cloud to cloud integration with Simplisafe. This is a solid inexpensive security system. Integration with SmartThings only requires installing one custom smart app, and you will be able to see information from your simplisafe devices and use that information to trigger Smart
Things events. It won’t be the right answer for everyone, but as a simple answer for use with SmartThings, it’s probably the most developed right now.

If you’re using a DIY system that has IFTTT integration, you can tunnel into ST pretty easily that way. Having done a fair amount of research, but having absolutely zero personal experience, I can say that My Fox and iSmartAlarm look pretty promising. :wink:

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Good Day ST experts !

The beginning of this thread was a question about choosing a DIY alarm panel that works with the Smartthings hub. This is precisely what I am seeking. I do not want alarm monitoring, and cell backup is not required. When someone suggested the Smart Alarm app, I got confused ! is this an Android app ? The original posting did not want to use a smartphone or tablet for the alarm panel. So isnt that what Smart Alarm is ?

I would appreciate a few suggestions for a SmartHub-compatible Alarm panel and thermostat for a simple ST Zwave system. I havent found a suitable thermostat either (Amazon posts say that smartthings won’t do temperature programming and the 2Gig CT100 has no stand-along features. The honeywell requires alarm monitoring for smart phone control. Thanks much !

You can use Smartthings with an iris keypad +SmartHome Monitor