Tips to improve an alarm system with Homey

Good morning everyone.
I was undecided whether to open this topic or write several posts on many topics. But many are a few years old and I also thought a general summary would be of benefit to the community
I’ve been a developer and have owned Homey for a couple of years and now want to implement an alarm system that is as reliable as possible.
Since I have learned that with Homey there are often reliability and performance problems (It is not a problem of Homey itself but of the chain that links the various devices of different brands with various technologies) it is important to know which are the best devices and the necessary precautions to guarantee a reasonably acceptable user experience as much as possible
Therefore, using homey as the brain of the system (probably using Heimdall) and aware of the problems that afflict it, I believe it is useful for the community to know the updated experiences of those who have already tried to take this path.
Which brand and models is better to use for each categorie?
door and window sensors
outdoor siren
indoor siren
control keyboard
I have read many posts about each of these devices for different brands but they are almost always posts that highlight problems that we don’t know if they have been resolved or not. Instead, I would like to know which ones do not cause problems with Homey based on the community’s experience
The brands that seem most interesting to me that produce specific devices for alarms are FRIENT (seems to be excellent value for money but an outdoor siren is missing and the control keyboard seems to have connection problems with Homey which have been unresolved for some time), DEVELCO (but I see that the app hasn’t been updated for two years…), RING (unofficial but thanks to Danee de Kruyff it is possible to use the devices with Heimdall) but here too I don’t see an outdoor siren.
Thank you

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Well spoken!
Imho that is exactly what many users seem to forget, when Homey does not what it’s expected to do, it often is the combination of technologies and brands, even specific models.

OT - Makes me think, I see that often, it seems to be a problem when an app isn’t updated for x [timeframe].
Why do you think that is a problem? Do devices stop working when an app is not updated every x [timeframe]? When there’s no real bugs, or issues, why should it be updated? What’s the advantage of the developer putting time in it, for no reason so to speak?
Just curious! :wink:

Just to speak of course…but not really off topic.
I’m perfectly agree with you. Good programming does not require constant corrections.
However, we live in a time in which technology runs ever faster. There are always new tools and devices that need updates to be used.
An application that hasn’t been updated for 2 years seems like too long to me. There are no new or updated devices to add? Are there no new features to implement?
For example, I see a siren among Develco products that is not supported by the app.
An also with the arrival of Homey Pro 2023 was no update necessary to exploit the new potential?
In any case, not seeing updates for two years nowadays I think is more synonymous with neglect than good programming.
I hope some one has some good concrete experience to report, maybe just with Develco products. That’s exactly what I’m trying to understand with this topic.

I’m also investigating how to setup an alarm system with homey (still in the early stages though). My thoughts so far:

  • For the door/window sensor I’m looking at the new Aqara p2 sensor. These work via Matter over Thread. From what I’ve read Matter devices do not need dedicated apps, as long as they follow the correct standard.
  • I’m probably going for a keyboardless setup. E.g. when the smart door lock is locked or all residents are set to away, set the alarm. Something along those lines.
  • You could use indoor/outdoor Sonos speakers for alarm sound

Edit: I’m also looking into “when all persons are asleep, set the alarm”. The asleep part I could check here when all smartphones are connected to the upstairs wifi. But there are other ways as well (via Aqara FP2 sensors, when all phones are charging at night, …)

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

That’s could be very interesting and should avoid a lot of problem. Did some one had already experience on this device or other based on Matter over Thread?

I also like this kind of solution but it is needed a very high reliability. What if your wife came home and for some reason the smartphone cannot connect the wifi? or it is simply out of charge. You always need an “emergency exit”, a disarmament alternative that does not depend on too many factors that may not work

I know and I’ve already tested. But a serious alarm system must be functional even in the absence of electricity. A self-powered siren is therefore needed.
From this perspective, an emergency internet connection is also necessary to always be notified. But this is a problem that does not involve Homey. I have relied on Ubiquity for some time with great satisfaction and I will rely on them also for a backup connection to complete the alarm system.

Thanks for you “2 cent” and I hope for many more contributions from people who have had experiences, advice and ideas on this topic

I also like this kind of solution but it is needed a very high reliability. What if your wife came home and for some reason the smartphone cannot connect the wifi? or it is simply out of charge. You always need an “emergency exit”, a disarmament alternative that does not depend on too many factors that may not work

You’re right, as a backup this could be of use when everything else fails. Something like the Ring or Eufy keypad should work nicely with Homey.

It seems there is a lack of proper outdoor sirens for Homey. The only one I could find is the POPP Outdoor siren 2, but it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere. There have been rumors for some time that Eufy will release an outdoor siren. Let’s hope this is true and will be released soon.

Not sure what things are like locally for you but these out door sirens are available in Australia and work well

I think under the hood they are neo cool cam

Considering that the Matter devices still need some time before working stably with Homey and that the offer of these devices is still very limited, we need to turn to the traditional Zigbee, Wifi and Z-wave ones. This means we depend on Homey apps.
Beyond rare apps that are free from errors and which must always be able to manage new devices, we must hope that there is always someone who carries out the development and corrects the errors.
To summarize, this is what I understood

OUT DOOR SIREN: Vision siren is not available in Italy. Among the supported siren only Popp solar siren seems to be “possible” to find…not on the most usual sales channels.
At the moment i think it is not possible to have a real outdoor siren for Homey user.

KEYPAD:Reading the forum and thanks to [DaneedeKruyff] seems only Ring Keypad could work with homey to complete a serious alarm system. For other brands i can find only problem not solved.

For MOTION SENSOR I don’t see any particular problems. There are many brands. Personally, I have Philips Hue and Aqara Sensor and Sensor P1 at home which, once I understood how they work, have never given me any problems. Sometimes they may react a few seconds late but they always work.

WINDOW/DOOR SENSOR, I do not yet have these kind of sensors but i think it is the same situation of motion sensor. I’m really interested in aqara FP2 as Homey v10.3 will be stable

INDOOR SIREN I found out that Aeotec or Frient are the best choice. I think I’m gonna try the Frient because i like more zigbee. Apps are officially developed and user supported on the forum.

I thought I would find more information and confirmation from users. I hope it’s not due to a lack of satisfied users

Maybe some more options:

  • Outdoor siren: Eufy just released its outdoor siren in EU. However just like the Ring one it does require their own basestation. Another option that doesn’t require any base station might be a Tuya cloud connected siren. There is no direct device support for it in Homey afaik, but as long as it’s registered in the Tuya cloud webpage you should be able to access and trigger it from within Homey (I did something similar for a Tuya connected dehumidifier)

  • Keypad: the Eufy one not an option? Again, like the siren, it does require the Homebase. Which is off course not ideal. And what about the Frient intelligent keypad ?

Let’s hope Matter over Thread devices pick up soon and will give us some new viable options in the near future!

I carefully checked the forum and security apps and did not find the solutions you propose.
EUFY, it is not clear if it is possible to control di siren throught the base. I do not see any card available for this command in the app page but maybe there are more available. We need someone already went on this solution to be sure. In any case the base affects too much the cost of a siren.
The Eufy keypad seems to see supported but by the app but look again at the cards, it seem you can only check the battery level and the temperature! Same as the siren for the costs.

FRIENT keypad was my first choice because I prefer Zigbee but seems there is a big problem controlling it by homey. In this post is reported a problem that i think it is fundamental. If it is not possible to disarm the alarm from the keypad why do i have to install a keypad?
Thanks for suggestions and let me know if I’m wrong.

When things aren’t clear, it’s best to ask in the Eufy app topic, the developer reads along:

You can find links to these special app topics at the store.

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Regarding the outdoor sirene: the Ring outdoor camera’s have a decent (110db) sirene integrated. And if I check the Homey app cards it should be possible to trigger from within Homey. So that might be an option if you are also looking for a camera at the same time. I’m guessing the Philips Hue Secure cams will be integrated soon, and they also have an integrated alarm (although I think only 80db)

For the keypad: let’s hope there will be an update to the Frient keypad soon as that seems to be the only viable solution for now

Have you looked at the Ring keypad?
I am using it and it works very well.

Ah good to know. It wasn’t listed in the Homey app so I presumed it wasn’t supported. Do you need to have the Ring base station?

But it is Ring Security App för Homey | Homey
No need for Ring basestation.

I use the mini rfid keyboard from Zipato and Everspring Siren SE812.
Aqara motion sensor and door/windows sensor connected to their original hub, imported to Home Assistant via homekit integration and then imported to homey via home assistant community app.
Everything works fine.