Why only three modes for STHM (Armed Stay, Armed Away, Disarmed)?

Why doesn’t STHM offer the option to add additional “modes” beyond “Armed Stay”, Armed Away" and “Disarmed”?
Does anyone have a good solution for additional subsets of sensors to be included/excluded for specific situations?
I have a shop behind the house where I often work. My situation is that there are door, window and motion sensors both in the main house and in the shop, and when I am in the shop, I’d like to have a mode where all of the main house sensors are active (Armed), but the shop excluded. I still need “Stay” and “Away” to be available for arming all of shop and house perimeter (Stay) and arming all (Away).

Any suggestions?

One possibility - two locations? Each location gets its own STHM? But that creates it’s own issues with automation across location boundaries… And an additional hub possibly - depending on devices?


Only thing I can think of is to not include Shop sensors in Stay and include them all in Away (Stay you’re in the Shop)…

What happens when he returns to his house and sets it to armed (stay) for the night?

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His shop won’t be covered in Stay, you are correct. He’ll have to use Away to cover both. I realize it’s not perfect, especially if he has motion sensors activated in Away and is home. Depending on how/when he uses the Away mode, it may not be an issue. Personally, I set Away when I go to bed so it would work for me, but I realize everyone’s situation/habits are different.

You all are confirming exactly what the issue is. Can’t have shop sensors active when working out there, can’t have indoor (house) motion sensors active when home at night, can’t leave shop un-monitored when in house and shop is locked up. Need all sensors active when away, etc.
All they need to do is have an option for “add mode” and let us set up an additional group of sensors for that mode.

Let’s turn this around for a minute: what are the events that you want to have occur when the sensors are triggered?

I ask this because in the low cost do it yourself security niche, most offer only three modes, and I believe that’s in the UL specification. There is a concern that having custom modes would cause customers to become confused and fail to arm the system when they thought they were.

Home automation systems, in contrast, can have as many modes as they want, and smartthings offers this through location mode.

Anyway, Way back when security modes were first introduced, Samsung was actively pursuing partnerships with security companies, first scout and then ADT. So it makes sense that they used the standard industry model for their security modes.

But again, back to the question: what would you want to have happen if the outbuilding sensors detected an event? Because as far as I know, there’s not much that is currently unique to STHM and in fact, it does not offer local processing while smartlighting does.

So other than easy dismissal of a group alert, I’m just wondering if you could accomplish the same thing outside of STHM using a custom location mode? But as always, it depends on the details.


Ideally, I’d like to be able to set up a mode where the shop in in “away” mode when I am in the house and the shop is locked up, and one where the house is in “away” mode when I am in the shop and the house is locked up, and both/all in away mode when I am actually “away” from home. I don’t want the shop monitored while I am in there working, as I am constantly passing motion sensors or opening and closing doors or windows.

I’d like to have stay mode (perimeter sensors monitored and inside motion sensors off for house) and away mode active for the shop (all monitoring on) when I am home in the house, or asleep at night.

I also want my system to announce “motion detected on front porch” when someone approaches, or a package is delivered while I am in the shop. I want all exterior sensors to have similar announcements play for events (when active) such as “The garage door has opened” or "The shop man door has opened, or “motion detected in shop”, so I know what happened where and don’t have to consult a notification on my phone to find out where an active issue is. I actually had this audible notification functionality working well with Echo Speaks, but that smart app has been eliminated and the new Alexa integration isn’t integrated at all and nothing in it works yet.

OK, that describes what you want on the “if” side of an automation. What do you want to have on the “that“ side? Other than the spoken announcements that you mentioned.

That is, once a motion sensor detects motion when that zone is in “away” mode, what specific smartthings events do you want to occur?

I might one day include a siren/alarm/flashing light for warning, as a nighttime adjunct to the triggered announcements (assuming announcements ever get fixed in the new Alexa ST “skill”).

I currently have text messages sent to me by ST for any breach/motion event, with a unique text tone set up on my iPhone for messages that come from the Smartthings system. I set this up because the ST app isn’t smart enough to allow selection of a specific notification tone on the iPhone to differentiate them from system notifications. This works well as an interim alert method, but I still miss my Alexa audio alerts.

Then again, maybe I could also have my system call the coroner to come pick up the poor fool that broke into the wrong house :woozy_face:

I was just hoping to use STHM as a tool to enable/disable specific groups of sensors for the various occupied/unoccupied/stay/away scenarios. Any other method of activating/de-activating multiple sensors becomes very cumbersome.

Also, I am not familiar with what can be done with “locations” as has been mentioned above. Any pointers to threads that would help me better understand that would be appreciated.

This Can be done with a method which has a somewhat cumbersome setup, but then is quick and easy to use. Essentially you create a virtual sensor to act as the proxy for the group and then have all the other selected sensors contribute to the triggering of that one. You can either require that they all be going off, a majority be going off, or any one be going off, And you can make the rule different for different groups as desired.

Then you write your automations off of the proxy device rather than each individual sensor.

There used to be an app which did this a couple of years ago before smart home manager was introduced and it was used to reduce the number of false alerts by grouping motion sensors together.

Anyway, you could do this now with Webcore. The main issue besides the difficulty of the setup is that it’s totally cloud-based. You can’t run it locally. But then, the security features in the new V3 app don’t run locally either, so maybe that’s not as big a deal as it was six months ago. :thinking: