SmartThings Community

Which battery powered security sensors / monitors, alarms / sirens, etc. should I add to Hub + Schlage Connect deadbolt locks?

#1

Hello,

I don’t currently have a monitored alarm because of the monthly cost. I ran across the Schlage Connect deadbolt locks, which I was able to get three at ~$150 a piece. Good deal, IMHO.

It seems that the SmartThings hub is the best way to turn this whole smarthome equipment into a real monitored solution.

The good thing about the Schlage Connect lock is that it’s battery powered, and its built-in alarm will go off even if the power to the house has been cut. If the power has been cut to the house, the modem, router, hub, and probably the Z-wave repeaters (lights, switches, etc.) will be off and leaving my whole “monitored” solution as an incredibly expensive paperweight.

Are there any door/window monitors/sirens that are battery powered * and * Z-wave compatible??

I need at least 9 Window monitors, potentially 3 more door monitors just to know if a door has been opened without enough “tampering” to set off the door alarm. Ideally, two alarms / sirens would be able to work on battery power, as well as be able to notify the Hub, and thereby notify ME of an intruder if there is power.

Battery powered is definitely essential, tho. What are the common options?

Thanks in advance!! And Merry Christmas… :wink:

#2

Bonus points if I’ll be able to make an IFTT command to disable all sirens as soon as any door is unlocked with keypad!

I’m loving all the possibilities of this technology. Hope I can get it all setup before someone breaks in. I’ve been very anxious to set something up lately for some reason. Perhaps it has to do with moving into a cheap home in a bad neighborhood. Hmm… maybe…

#3

Different things work for different people. And different people have different priorities.

The Schlage is a nice lock, many people use it. :sunglasses:

The SmartThings system is not UL listed as a security system because of some obvious deficiencies. The battery backup only works for about four hours ( the UL standard requires a minimum of 12), and it has no means of notification when it is on battery back up if its cloud connection is down. It will not send you texts, phone calls or push notifications. instead, these will all stack up, and will all be sent at once when your Internet connection is restored.

This is very different from most UL listed security systems like simplisafe, scout, and frontpoint which have cellular connections that are battery-operated and so can continue to send notifications even when the power is out.

While it is certainly technically possible for a system to maintain communications between its phone app and the hub even if the Internet is down as long as your local Wi-Fi is still operating, SmartThings does not do this. Instead, if the SmartThings cloud is unavailable, your phone will not be able to talk to your hub until it is restored.

There are a few things that can run locally in smartthings, but not many yet. They have said that they hope to add more in the future. Right now there are some lighting automations that run locally. I am not sure if there are any sirens that run locally or not.

Another thing to know about SmartThings is that they do push out updates without advance warning, and you cannot delay them. So your system may go off-line at any time for 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes even for a couple of hours. If you live in a truly bad neighborhood, that’s something to be aware of since most security systems do not shut themselves off in the middle of the night. But SmartThings may.

There are certainly still people using SmartThings for home monitoring who are happy with it because it is so cheap. Again, different things work for different people. It is important to understand what you’re getting, however, and the difference between this and a UL listed security system.

As far as specific devices, the first place to look is the official compatibility list. You will find many excellent battery operated contact sensors and motion sensors on the list, as well as a couple of sirens. With SmartThings, you can choose either zwave or Zigbee.

At present, there is no keypad on the official compatibility list. Some community members have been able to make the iris keypad work with smart things, so that might be an option. You can search the forums for more information about that one.

IFTTT is not typically managed at the individual device level, but rather at the hub level. SmartThings does have an IFTTT channel, which can certainly be useful. IFTTT itself, however, always requires an active Internet connection, so didn’t really seem to fit the rest of your use case.

#4

Thank you for your understanding of the system’s limitations as of now.

I did not really express my intent earlier, but I am willing to run two systems side-by-side if need be – a “localized” system of offline, battery powered devices, alongside the connected SmartThings system. I’m sure it could get expensive fast, so I was wondering if I could integrate any of these window sensors into the local siren, if even available for just 4 hours after power has been cut. Integration would be sweet… but two systems is fine.

Also, I’m more inclined to go with the Z-wave devices since any wired ones would act as repeaters. May be a bit more expensive, but I’m willing to play around with the $$$ to have a functional system for a few years, and then I’ll get three times the system in the future for less than half the price.

I don’t expect to have any problems with the neighborhood, but I would like to get the cheapest local + connected security system… or the cheapest integrated system. Preferably in Z-wave products as much as possible, but I’m willing to compromise. :slight_smile: But it looks like running redundant systems is the only way to go…

#5

I personally run a separate security system ( for which I do pay a monthly fee), so I’m happy with that approach. :sunglasses: But it’s just a matter of what fits my particular needs best.

There are quite a few community members using a cloud to cloud integration with Simplisafe which is probably worth looking at. The people using it might have more ideas as well.

#6

Thanks again! That link looks like it could come in useful. Will definitely look into HOW integrated that solution actually can be, but it appears that it still requires an active Simplisafe account, which I’m really trying to avoid. But I guess it’s not totally off the table since it’s half the price of ADT or similar monitoring solution.

I found these Ecolink Z-Wave Door/Window Sensors (DWZWAVE2-ECO) available for just $27 a piece, and they appear to last for a few years on one battery. Would just need a couple switches here and there to act as repeaters and I should be all good.

If only those sensors were capable of functioning with a wireless siren and NO HUB… as well as a connected siren and functioning hub. That would be just too easy, no?

Just my opinion… but siren beats connectedness, alerts, etc. But the connectedness and alerts just make break-ins so much more fun. :smiley: :wink:

#7

It’s actually pretty easy to make a connection between a siren and a contact sensor without using a hub, but then you also don’t have any conditional logic to say when you want it to happen. Just every time the contact sensor is opened the siren will go off. So we do see those sometimes in warehouses or safe rooms or similar situations.

But for a home where residents are coming in and out, you almost always want conditional logic so that you can “arm” or “disarm” the sensor. So that’s when you start to see a hub being required. Something has to sort out all the different logic for whether it really is time for the siren to go off or not. :wink:

#8

Understood.

But it’d be nice if the logic for the “default setting” for each device could be chosen if it cannot connect to the hub. For example… there are two doors and nine windows I wouldn’t mind the default setting to be ACTIVATE SIREN if there was no power and it couldn’t connect to the hub, as that’s primarily how I’ll have it setup for when I’m not home. And if I were home and the power went out, I would primarily be going in/out the front door… where a criminal likely wouldn’t be entering.

If you’re saying that it’s actually possible to have a default setting for each device in the absence of a hub… then I’m in heaven and don’t need a redundant setup. But I’m thinking you meant something more theoretical when you said it was “easy to make a connection”.

#9

I might just consider a battery backup for the hub, router, and possibly siren. I just worry about losing the repeaters in the event of a power outage at that point. Probably not too big a deal for my small home actually, tho. Pretty sure it can handle this 1200 sqare footage house.

#10

A “default setting” is still conditional logic and still requires a hub.

If you have a Z wave sensor that supports “association” and a zwave siren that supports association, then once the association is created, it is possible to have it operate even if the hub is unavailable so that every single time the sensor trips, the siren goes off. But there will never be any way to have it not go off when the sensor is tripped. It’s not a default setting. It’s the only setting.

As I said, that method does get used with sirens in some warehouse or security situations. But not a typical residential home. So not likely what you want.

#11

So… there is a way for the sensor and siren to communicate direcly thru “association” (say, when the power is off)??

But when the power comes back on, this “association” feature will prevent the hub from changing any conditional logic?? You’re saying: “there will never be any way to have it not go off… It’s not a default setting. It’s the only setting.”

This association feature sounds like exactly what I want… but I just want the hub to “override” that “ONLY SETTING” when it’s powered on. If that’s possible, then I’m all set.

#12

Never means never.

Direct association works by having the two devices talk directly to each other without going through the hub. The hub doesn’t get a chance to override the association. The sensor fires, the associated siren goes off. Every time.

So not possible.

#13

OK… I appreciate your help, JDRoberts!!

Looks like I’ll just be going with some type of UPS to provide power in the event of an outage. Cheaper and more functional than running a secondary, redundant system.

#14

Depends on your needs. The UPS will protect you from power going off in your house. It can’t protect you from the SmartThings cloud being unavailable (including when they push out updates) or any general SmartThings flakiness.

Most of us that are running a separate security system aren’t trying to address power outage alone, but the more general issues of reliability.

#15

Hopefully I could get at least Three Nines of reliability — 99.9% would mean just under 9 hours of downtime for a year. I think I could handle that.

Anyway… I just bought a cheap UPS from BestBuy for $20 --> http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apc-back-ups-125va-network-ups-white/5374005.p

My router supposedly uses less than 1 Watt of power, so this cheap UPS should be able to keep my router powered longer than any other component of this system. The modem already has built-in battery. Just realized that the v2 hub I ordered already has battery backup design built-in.

I’ll take my chance with SmartThings flakiness like I do with owning a home in hurricane alley without any type of insurance. I’ll clear some trees from around the house and hope for the best!

#16

The battery back up for the smartthings for the V2 hub is very limited. It will keep the hub itself running for about four hours. During that time, however, it will not send any notifications. Instead they will just stack up and then be sent all at once once you reestablish connection to your cloud account. There is no option for cellular notification directly from the hub. Although there are two USB ports on the back of the hub, they are not presently enabled so you can’t use them for anything. Maybe in the future.

And as we’ve mentioned, at present only a few things can run locally, although they’ve said more will be Available in the future.

As far as 99.9% uptime, it hasn’t happened yet in the year that I’ve had SmartThings. That would be one hour of downtime in 6 weeks. They’ve hit almost that much just in intentional platform maintenance, and more than that since the release of V2.

SmartThings is a very versatile system, but not a particularly reliable one at present. Many people still find it useful, but since you’ve presented your use case as primarily reliable security, it’s just not a particularly good match for that purpose given that there are many other security systems available.

#17

I’m beginning to wonder if I should just use one of these cheapo “GSM Sim” alarm kits that I’m seeing on eBay (without using a GSM Sim, however; supposedly the local siren will still alarm)…

~$100 gets 12 door/window sensors, 2 to 4 motion sensors, the gsm “hub”, a siren, and 4 remotes!

Pretty sweet if you ask me. Only downside is that the gsm hub only lasts for 5 hours after AC power is cut, but every system is probably identical in this scenario. So not a huge con.

Thoughts?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/433MHz-Voice-Wireless-GSM-Home-Security-Alarm-Burglar-System-Auto-Dialer-Exit-/271956095136?hash=item3f51d8b0a0:g:plMAAOSwHnFVx4qU

http://www.ebay.com/itm/J01-108-Zones-PSTN-Wireless-Wired-Voice-Home-Alarm-Security-System-Auto-Call-/111463702080?hash=item19f3c11e40:g:5A8AAOSwEK9UFq8x

(Travis) #18

Sounds to me like you want a full blown security system AND have a smarthome… without accepting the flakiness of ST you can’t have both at the present time. If you desire a security system with reliability at this point in time, go with something made for that…

worry about smarthome devices once your security is figured out.