How to Integrate Alarm.com with SmartThings

 

Introduction

 

There’s a lot of things that you can easily do with SmartThings , but some things take a little bit of effort to make work. Our home security system is through Alarm.com, which is sort of a competitor to SmartThings. We had an Alarm.com tech come to our home to talk about the feasibility of integrating our SmartThings system with Alarm.com. His solution was to move all of our Z-wave devices to the Alarm.com system, and then charge us for each individual device. Paying a higher price for access to devices that I already operate for free wasn’t really an option. After a little bit of searching, I found a forum post on SmartThings’ website that ended up being the answer.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind what you’re actually doing here. This tutorial shows you how to connect your Alarm.com home security system to the internet. It’s a small risk, but it is a risk, especially if you choose to add a Disarm switch. If you are ok with the risk in exchange for the convenience of operating your Alarm.com home security system through SmartThings, then continue reading.

 

 

The Solution

 

First, you’ll need to download the SmartThings app from GitHub here . It’s a compressed folder so you’ll need to extract it. Next you’ll head to the SmartThings website to create a new app and device handler. Don’t worry, all you’ll be doing is copying and pasting to create an Alarm.com app and a few switches to operate your home security alarm. Follow the slideshow below to accomplish this in a few simple steps:


Slideshow- Tap or click to view

Go ahead and log into SmartThings.

Click on My SmartApps.

Click the link or the green + New SmartApp button.

Click on the From Code tab.

Open the folder you extracted earlier. Open the smartapp folder.

Open the AlarmCom.groovy file.

The .groovy file extension isn’t common so you’ll probably see this. Click More apps.

Scroll down to Notepad then click OK.

Copy the contents from file…

…and paste it into the online editor. Scroll to the bottom and click Create.

You’ll see a confirmation. Next click Publish, then For Me.

You’ll get another confirmation.

Next go to My Device Handlers and click the Add one link or the green button.

Click on From Code again.

Go back to the extracted folder. This time open up the devices folder.

Next open the AlarmComSwitch.groovy file.

Same as last time, copy and paste the contents into the online editor. Then scroll to the bottom and click the Create button again.

You’ll see a confirmation. Click Publish then For Me. Now you can go to the app to finish the process.



Once you’re done, switch over to the SmartThings app on your mobile device. You’ll need to add the SmartApp you just created. Once you provide your login credentials in the SmartApp, after a few minutes, you’ll see the switches appear in your list of Things that will allow you to control your alarm system. It’s that easy! Follow along in the slideshow:


Slideshow- Tap or click to view

Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap My Apps.

You will see the app you created on the SmartThings website. Tap on it.

Enter your Alarm.com username and password in the appropriate fields. You have the option to add a disarm switch as well (be careful with this, as someone with access to your app could disable your home security alarm). Tap Done when you’re finished.

You’ll now see Alarm.com in your list of SmartApps.

Go to your Things page. It may take several minutes for the switches to show up, so be patient (it took about 5 minutes when I did this). Notice you now have at least Arm Away and Arm Stay switches! If you chose to enable disarm, you’ll see a switch for that too.

If your switches don’t match the state of your alarm, simply tap on each one and hit the Refresh button.



Conclusion

 

SmartThings is a robust platform that gives you the ability to dig deep to control your home the way you want (even if means integrating two systems that were never meant to be controlled together). Adding your own SmartApps and device handlers is just one way to do that. This gives you a level of customization that is unparalleled in home automation.

The SmartThings community is large and is almost always willing to help. Many SmartApps (such as the Alarm.com SmartApp in this post) are developed and shared freely through the SmartThings forum. This helps to explain part of SmartThings’ popularity!

Related topics:


 

About Adam Bollmeyer

I'm a home technology enthusiast with a penchant for home automation, networking, and computers. My goal is to help others improve their knowledge of how available technology can be used at home.

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