Which camera and siren to add to ST starter kit? (UK)

Hi guys,

I am thinking of getting ST starter kit primarily as home security system for my flat but also for its great possibilities in the long run.

As I would like to use it as security system as soon as I get it, I was thinking of adding at least a camera and a siren to the starter kit purchase.

I would like the camera to have:

  • live monitoring through the app
  • free cloud storage for recorded videos
  • possibly pan and tilt
  • night vision
  • 2 way audio
  • motion detection
  • battery backup
  • pan & tilt (preferable)

And the siren to be:

  • loud,
  • not easy to disable by an intruder but possibly easy to be disabled by myself in case of false alarms/app not working
  • battery backup
  • able to work locally and still be triggered in case of power outage by the motion sensors

I would really appreciate your your point of views and what is best in terms of price/value as I am already spending £200 for the starter kit.

Many thanks for your help!

SmartThings is a poor excuse for a security system. There are several reasons, search around on this forum and you can see plenty of discussion about why.

As I’m writing this post, I got a notification that my ST hub isn’t connected to the internet (there’s nothing wrong with my internet connection). That means that my “security system” is dead in the water until whatever cloud issue is making my hub unreachable gets resolved.

If you want a cheap home automation system and aren’t that serious about security, consider ST. If your primary goal is to setup a home security system, my suggestion is to look elsewhere.

I use SHM as my home security system and find it works quite well. It does have it’s issues but after pricing up for an alarm engineer to install a new wireless alarm system in my home (I didn’t want wires everywhere) and it came to nearly £900 I decided to opt for SmartThings SHM.

I bought the starter kit that included the Samsung HD Smartcam. This has night vision and is HD. You can access the recordings over the internet and download them to your device if you are away from home and an alarm has activated. I don’t believe that they are actually stored in the cloud though - the camera has a micro SD card slot.
No pan and tilt. Video is HD quality with audio and you can also log in from within the app to watch the stream if you are so inclined.

I struggled for an external alarm siren to be honest as there doesn’t appear to be much out there.
I have seen people report building their own or adapting a standard alarm siren box to work with SmartThings but for now this is beyond my skills.

I opted for the Popp Wireless Solar Powered Siren / strobe. It is a Z Wave product and isn’t cheap. Especially as it was dropping off my network and I have now had to purchase a Z Wave outlet for a bedroom lamp to try to extend the Z Wave network.
The siren works ok. No better than ok though. It isn’t loud enough. I set it off by accident the other morning and it wouldn’t respond to my requests to turn off. It eventually reset itself after 5 minutes or so. Went I was setting off for work a few moments later my neighbour next door came out and I apologised for the alarm sounding for so long… he hadn’t heard it.
My daughter set the alarm off last week though and another neighbour did hear it and came to check the house. It could do with being a bit louder.

It definitely looks the part though. The one that was coming with the professionally installed kit looked poor in comparison.

Currently SHM doesn’t have the ability to delay activation upon entry so you must disarm your alarm prior to opening you door. This is generally done a couple of ways - manually within the app or with an automation routine which can arm and disarm (ie. if all mobile phones / presence sensors leave the geofenced area, arm the alarm. If one of the mobile phones / presence sensors returns through the geofence area, disarm the alarm) This works fine most of the time.
I think we are all hoping that a delay on activation will be introduced with the next version of SHM.

It may not match up to a professional alarm installation, but for me, as I was interested in both home automation and a smart / wireless alarm system it was a good choice.

I can only see it getting better over time.

Hi @clairvoyant,

I am currently using the Netgear Arlo Pro cameras both inside and outside my home and they work very well for me. The only one of your specs that it doesn’t have is pan and tilt. It works very well with Smartthings. The base station has a very loud alarm that can be programmed to shut of after a certain number of minutes or can be shut off manually through either the Arlo app or the Smartthings app. The system also has two way communication, both sound and motion detection and night vision. Through Smartthings one can turn on lights to enhance the night settings and perform other functions. There is a couple of seconds delay from the time motion or sound is detected, but I am able to strategically place motion sensors in locations that the intruder must pass through to be seen by the camera to start the video recording sooner. If the motion or sound detection is only used during the Away And Night modes, the batteries can last for months. Indoors, the camera can be plugged into a wall outlet or if not there is a battery charger and one can purchase spare batteries. Outdoors the camera’s battery can be kept charged using one of Arlo’s solar panels.

I am very happy with my Arlo cameras, (I have five), and plan on purchasing more. I googled the Arlo cameras and they are available in the UK.

Hope this helps,