Recommend a home security system and cctv cameras

Hi guys complete newb over here, in the process of a whole house refurbishment and I am wanting some smart products that work well with Hubitat. Firstly I'm looking for a home security system with wired or wireless motion sensors. Secondly I would like some cctv cameras. Could you please recommend some products which are known to work well with HE.



For cameras, get 4 MP or greater POE cameras connected by Cat 6 or greater ethernet cable. I have >10 Amcrest 4 MP POE outdoor cameras with absolutely no problems in 3 years of uptime. However, Amcrest's PTZ indoor cameras tend to have failed IR LEDS after a couple years so avoid those. If you are into VLANs, try Cisco SG350 series POE switches for power/data from Amazon which are under half retail price but these are from Europe so Cisco will not embrace the lifetime hardware warranty but that is of no concern to me for home use. If you are not into VLANs, get TP-Link non-smart POE switches such as the TL-SG1005P for power/data. Set up Blue Iris to control the cameras and get an i7 laptop (e.g. a Thinkpad T520 from Ebay for $250) with at least 8 GB RAM to dedicate to Blue Iris.

Of course networked cameras as such are not technically 'CCTV' cameras as you described, but I'm not sure if you made this distinction deliberately.

I believe Blue Iris motion detection can be tied into Hubitat, but I haven't tried it. Blue Iris has a great smartphone app and I don't feel it needs Hubitat for any of its functionality.

For security sensors with Hubitat, I tend to prefer Zigbee over Z-wave, and am slowly eliminating Z-wave from my HA setups for several reasons including 1) better battery life with Zigbee; 2) much more reliable pairing/unpairing with Zigbee, etc.


I selected leaving my DSC security panel in place and writing integration for it to Hubitat.
If I weren't doing that, I'd probably go with Konnected.

For CCTV, I'd research your cameras carefully, ensuring they have RTSP/ONVIF local streams available (I have a sweet spot for Hikvision), and leverage a software like Blue Iris. I'm able to see my cams on my dashboard using the Blue Iris web service and an image tile.


Second vote for Amcrest POE cameras. I have 14 around my house (in and out) and absolutely love them.

There's a couple of integrations available. @bptworld wrote an app that changes BI's profile when HE mode changes (and I think HSM modes as well). For my uses, I created a virtual motion sensor for each camera and in BI, I send active/inactive commands via the Maker API to hook into HE.


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I suggest to start reading over here:

Here is a cliff notes to get you STARTED

I also highly suggest Blue Iris

Also highly suggest this brand camera:

There are other good brands also. I have about 16 (not this exact one) of these cams around my house. You will find them a bit more expensive than your Amcrest cameras but you will also get a much better night time image.

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Thanks for this he_bp i will have a look at the Armcrest cameras. CCTV is the wrong term i used, network cameras are more what i'm after. I learnt something new there :slight_smile:

I was going to base my whole system on z-wave products, do you recommend i re-think?

I don't have an existing alarm, i have just purchased the property and starting fresh.

I have heard good things about Hikvision so will definitely bare them in mind.

Thanks for this, looks like it will be a interesting read.

For motion and contact sensors yes. I'd go with Zigbee. However remember you will need a lines powered (plug into the wall) zigbee items around the house to repeat the signal. Battery powered will not repeat signal. (That's the same for zwave too)

Also a good brand, look at their darkfighter line

I take it having wifi boosters around the property will not have any affect on this issue as the zigbee devices use their own frequency? Can you recommend some commonly used line powered zigbee devices that i could potentially use?

I use the Blue Iris integration from @bptworld to manage my BI profiles based on my Hubitat Modes and it works great. I'd suggest looking at 2mp Dahua Starlight cameras from EmpireTech on Amazon as he is a known good reseller and stands behind his cameras. The starlights are great for low light and just as good as any other 1080p camera for normal light. The downside is starlight are currently mostly limited to 2mp right now, but the low light performance is worth the difference to me.

If you will have all the walls open and can run some 20 or 22 gauge solid core wire I'd go that route for the contact sensors the sensors themselves will cost much less and there will be no batteries to change however you will need to purchase a Konnected Alarm Panel Conversion kit to tie them to Hubitat, they are releasing a 12 zone POE board in December which will be $230. Most people type all the windows per room to the same zone and each door to its own zone to keep the zone count manageable. There are addon borads for more zones if you want. Two wires for contact or water sensors two wires at 16 or 18 gauge for most wired sirens if you wanted to go that route as well you can get the siren cheaper too, 4 wires to any wired motion detectors although you may want to go with Zigbee motion detectors as it seems most of the wired ones are fairly large.

:arrow_up: Everything exactly he said. In addition... not sure what whole house refurbishment means to you but in addition to the wires suggested above..I'd also run wires (same 22 gauge) to any location you think you want a motion sensor. Be really easy to tie into an AC/DC converter somewhere and never have to deal with batteries...

@lhsplumbing10 No the wifi repeaters do not help zigbee. Do know that zigbee runs in the same spectrum as 2.4g WiFi though and you need to pay attention to what channels both zigbee and wifi are on. With the Hubitat you can change the channel and you should be able to change the channel with most routers/Access points. Simply google "wifi and zigbee channels" and you'll get all the info you need.

I would not even consider HIKVision. Sure the price point is good, but they have ties to China and use their products to get in to networks.

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I should've paid attention to that. Thanks

Agreed about Hikvision. It is a good practice to keep cameras on an isolated VLAN. I have seen my Amcrest cameras sending packets to an Amcrest cloud management IP address in China, and rather than analyzing what was being sent, I made triple-sure they are isolated appropriately.

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Thanks, I need to replace approx. 5 of 10 of my Amcrest indoor POE PTZ cameras since the IR LEDs have failed in less than a year. I sent a few back for warranty, but any more effort will just go into replacing them.

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This 100%. Yet another reason to also use a 3rd party app to manage your CCTV system if at all possible. One of the main reasons I use BlueIris (and also Shinobi) in front of my Amcrest NVR is because I block all my Amcrest cameras and NVR from hitting the internet at all and use BlueIris hosted here as my app for when I'm not in the house. I don't use any of the cloud features of the NVR or IP cameras EVER.

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Shinobi appears to be an open source CCTV program similar to Zoneminder per their website. Iā€™m curious, how do you use that in conjunction with (edit)your nvr(end edit) I had never heard of it before but appreciate open source solutions.

For my setup I use OpenVpn via pfsense to access my camera vlan which includes the Blue Iris host with tight ACLs on any traffic associated with that vlan subnet.

Shinobi is AWESOME simply because it's 1) open source and 2) completely javascript which means that it is completely open to API calls and extensible for any of the fringe cases where I can't make it bend to my will. I use it by consuming the RTSP streams from my Amcrest NVR and then use MotionEye for image processing.

BlueIris is the real workhorse as it is the one that does all my recording and it's what my wife and I use when we aren't at home for viewing. While I love Shinobi more, BlueIris is more polished in terms of having an actual app and features.

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Thanks for all the replies guys, i'm learning a lot!

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