What to use for home security?

I've been using hubitat with window, door, motion sensors etc but my biggest issue is batteries dying with no warning for example i have a door sensor that the reported battery level is 20% but it's actually dead.

I don't want monthly fees.

Battery reporting is notoriously unreliable. You can use a built-in app like Notifier or even Hubitat Safety Monitor (custom rule) to get notifications for battery level, but I wouldn't recommend that for most devices, especially ones where you don't know it's reliable. Monitoring device activity is a fairly reliable method for devices that normally report in on a regular basis (common for motion, contact, etc. sensors that also report temperature or at least check in with battery level or whatnot once in a while and thus generate "activity"), though it does require a bit of knowledge to know what interval without activity is potentially concerning for each device.

There are a few options for this. I wrote one if you are interested:

But keep in mind that Hubitat or HSM is not intended to be used as a security system. There are options for integrating some into Hubitat (e.g., Konnected and similar), but I'm not familiar with any specific options as I do not use it for this purpose. Others may have more ideas.


I know Hubitat is not meant for a security system but what do you guys use that does not have a monthly cost?

I always suggest using a dedicated purpose built security system (UL approved if in US for insurance purposes) that can integrate with Hubitat but can also operate as a stand alone system. I personally use a DSC system which is integrated with Hubitat (for reporting purposes) with Envisalink.

All but a few of my sensors are hardwired (I have 64 zones in my system), so I cannot speak to your particular sensors and battery life. The few battery powered sensors that I use that are used with my DSC system are DSC EV-EW4975 Wireless Vanishing Door/Window sensors which use CR2032 “coin type” lithium ion batteries. According to DSC, they are good for 5-8 years use (my current batteries are on 5 years now and are still going strong…but those are the ones I have indoors) depending I suppose on number of open/close cycles. The same sensor that is in my mailbox outdoors has a useful battery life of about 2-3 years but is subjected to cycling high and low temps.

Battery reporting is terrible for most sensors especially given the API’s on many report only in 25% increments. If you are using sensors such as Zigbee or Zwave contact sensors, then reported battery levels will not be very reliable (especially given the discharge voltage characteristics of lithium ion batteries…alkaline tend to be more linear but then are more affected by heat and cold and do not have the overall lifetime as lithiums). So I would use a device monitoring app (I use Device Watchdog but there are a number of others) to periodically “check in” on my connected battery powered devices. I do not do this with my DSC sensors as low battery states and any loss of connection are reported via the DSC security panel.

My main point is that while battery life may vary substantially with the type and application of sensor you are using, the main point is to use a purpose made UL (or ETL) approved/certified dedicated security system and only use your Hubitat to report states and to do various automations based on your integrated sensors. DO NOT rely on the Hubitat hub to perform the actual security mission critical functions (security, smoke, CO etc).

There are a number of threads in these forums that discuss in quite a bit of detail some of the pros and cons of various dedicated security systems and their integration with Hubitat. Examples include DSC and Envisalink vs. Konnected, etc. Other than some services that are also cloud based like Ring etc., many dedicated systems do not require any monthly fee (so they will have to be self monitored). I do not have commercially based monitoring for my home system and so have not paid monthly fees for 25 years. I use Hubitat and Envisalink to self monitor via notifications through my phone and iPad when I am away from home. Envisalink (as does Hubitat) also allows me to control my system remotely as well (arm, disarm, bypass certain sensor, etc. ). Hope this helps!

Edit: I should also disclose that I do not use HSM to integrate my security system with Hubitat. I suppose this is because early on a couple of years ago, there appeared to be many problems discussed in this forum arising from the HSM app (this may no longer be the case but I have a basically rock solid setup now so why fix what is not broken, lol). Rather, I use a simple Hubitat dashboard to arm and disarm my system, and mainly to report alarms (which zone have been triggered etc). I can also get this information via Envisalink remotely as previously stated. I just wanted to keep my security system functions (programming etc) as separated from Hubitat as possible.


+1 for Device Activity check. I turned off the battery “alerting” in HSM, as it was not helpful for me, and Device Activity Check lets me know if a Zigbee device has fallen off on my C8 :grinning: (too soon?).

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Is your house hard wired for security sensors?

Konnected. Amazing.

For me I mostly rely on my smart locks, motion sensors, contact sensors and security cameras. FOR ME that is enough, though I am not overly concerned if it all failed.

I also hate monthly fees, but in my opinion you can't beat a monitored security system. I previously used, in two different homes, an Elk M1G (installed myself) monitored by Alarm Relay and was very happy with that. But that tech now seems dated (haven't looked into them in a couple of years, at least.). In our home, we now have an Ademco system installed by a local company and it is far less impressive than the old Elk, but as I get older I wanted something that my wife could more easily have maintained if I should croak. I'm not at all convinced that was a good idea as it has been far more trouble than my self-installed system, and costs twice as much to monitor.

What has really impressed me, even though it doesn't really integrate with home automation all that well, is Simplisafe. We bought a basic system a few years back to monitor a rented summer house, and then installed it into a small shop my wife purchased. It has been trouble free for two years or so now, and I would definitely consider putting it into our next home. Dramatically more reliable than anything Zigbee or Z-wave, that's for sure!


I feel like that is the point.... While I haven't delved into this space really, no smart-locks or even smart garage opener, I would only ever see HE as providing a monitoring solution that is a convenience, with no obligation for it to be an "always-on" solution with the same reliance we may place on traditional security systems. Growing up we had a "back-to-base" security system which, looking back, I still see as the model. For all the smarts we "play around with", i.e. lighting, turning things on and off, telling up when X happens, etc, if those things don't happen some will suffer the glare of a loved one and the inconvenience of sorting out the issue, but nothing more. To know someone is being paid to respond to even something as small as a lack of comm's from a wired security system at my home, that's what the safety of those we care about deserves, certainly not my sometimes less-attentive approach to rule configuration.

Just my 2c...

I also installed a DSC system a number of years ago.

I have about half hardwired and half wireless.
Even with only the downstairs covered, it was heck to install the hardwired.
I'd go all wireless if I did it again.
The sensors seem to last forever, and I replace the batteries when I get a message on the controller.
It tells you which one is going bad.

I also have it monitored by Alarm Relay, who seems to be reasonably priced and reliable.

I think about doing a cell network based monitoring, but haven't gotten around to it, although I understand the price isn't outrageous.

I also use Envisalink. I just kinda forget about it, but it sends me emails and texts whenever it goes off, and can also be used with a monitoring service, I believe. So as long as their server is still operational...

I have a smoke alarm and glass break sensor also tied in. The glass break sensor is pretty sensitive, the smoke, not so much. It hasn't gone off in years. Maybe I should actually test it, lol. They do seem better built than the normal BRK residential ones I have everywhere else in the house.

We tried a couple of motion detectors, but the cat set them off. We had one in the enclosed breezeway, but a suction cup holding a wreath gave way (my theory), which prompted a visit from the State Troopers when we were gone. That was the last of the motions for us. You don't want false alarms if you can help it.

I put sirens on the outside and inside of the house. They sure are loud.

The DSC system installation manual was pretty difficult for me to understand when I put it in. It's geared to the pros who do this every day, not to the layman.

I have not tried integrating with Hubitat, yet.

I’ve been extremely happy with Ring as a monitored alarm system. There is a yearly fee in the $100 range with I find to be very reasonable. I use to be with a provider that wasn’t as good and cost me over $30 per month - that was not a good value proposition for me, so I get it!

I think it might help if you could clarify what your needs are that your current setup isn’t meeting.

You want zigbee or z-wave sensors that connect directly to Hubitat, but have better battery life than your current sensors?

A better process for detecting when the batteries in your current sensors have died?

A purpose-built/self-contained security system, i.e. with sensors that communicate back to a panel, which can then integrate with Hubitat?

Wireless sensors only, or would you consider installing wired sensors in your door and window frames?

It’s clear enough you don’t want to pay for central station monitoring of your system, but that’s about all I can infer from what you’ve posted so far.

Additional details could help us to make more useful suggestions for you.


Perhaps slightly off topic (depending of course on what exactly the OP’s use case is and what the original question was specifically asking) but since the OP stated that battery life reporting was an issue, I am assuming that they are utilizing at least some wireless sensors. AFAIK, one of the limitations with the Konnected system is that it only allows you to interface with hard-wired sensors.

In contrast to @djh_wolf , I ordered the Konnected system when it first came out about three years ago in order to interface it with my existing DSC system and after learning of all of its disadvantages (in my use case) compared with the Envisalink system, I returned it in favor of the Envisalink module.

Envisalink was much much less expensive, more simple to wire to the DSC with far, far fewer wires to interface with my system (Envisalink only required one module with 4 bus wires total to cover all my 64 zones as opposed to having to buy a Konnected module for each 8 zones wired to each and every individual zone) AND Konnected specifically stated it did not interface with wireless sensors). Just FYI FWIW. I don’t know if Konnected has a newer module or panel that works with wireless sensors but this is a HUGE disadvantage IMHO.

That having been said, I agree with @marktheknife . . .

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I use nodemcu's flashed with konnected with a variety of wired sensors, sirens, relays etc.

All fairly custom. I wouldn't trade my setup for, well, anything.

So just for clarification (I just want to make sure I did not make any false statements), no ability to use any wireless sensors with Konnected (with Konnected in a “stock” or as designed configuration)?

Oh, and also to be clear to @djh_wolf , I am not criticizing your choice to use Konnected as “each to his/her own”. Just wanted to verify if Konnected is still not able to utilize wireless sensors for those that wish to (like the OP I am assuming).

I agree with the sentiment regarding the need for a 24/7 monitored system fees or not. I've had FrontPoint for a number of years and the fact that my home is covered by a completely reliable system that is monitored by someone outside the home who can notify (and has) the appropriate first responders when needed, is priceless. Having a good home automation system like HE can be a money-saving, a safety addition, and a rewarding convenience. However, to me, the two are not (currently) the same thing. If I'm under duress and my HE system flashes the lights and sends me a notification that my door sensor has sensed an intruder, does nothing to get me the help I need.

Everyone is gotta be right for their own needs, priorities and budgets. I'm not here to say anyone's choices are wrong. I'm just stating mine.

Not sure to be honest. I'd guess stock = wired only.

And no worries about the "criticising of opinions" etc.

Mine's utterly DIY / CUSTOM. I'm sure a dedicated paid service is way more convenient. In my use case, should I rely on that sort of service only, I'd lose features.

A perfect combination I guess would be to run both in tandem. Just not something I'm willing to pay for.

@djh_wolf ,
Thanks for the clarification. Although I am using Envisalink with my DSC panel enabling me to incorporate all my sensors as sensors for my home automation, like you, I have also done everything DIY. I self installed and programmed my DSC panel 20 years ago and its still going strong (I just updated with Envisalink 3 years ago for internet and Hubitat connectivity).

I have designed, printed and built several DIY relay circuit boards to perform some custom tasks that were not easy to achieve with stuff readily available in the general marketplace. So I can fully appreciate your preference to design and built a system truly customized specifically for your needs. That’s a large part of what is satisfying to me as a hobby (the build it yourself part of it). All the main mission critical stuff is still handled by a UL certified system, such as the option to have a 24/7 monitoring service etc. Its just the ancillary convenience and wow factor stuff that I play around with.

Like me and many others here in the Hubitat community, you have probably found that by designing and customizing your system, you really get to know the ins and outs of your system, which is a great thing for being able to troubleshoot it without having to rely on (and being at the mercy of) some third party commercial entity. An unfortunate consequence of this is that I have also become the sole person that can troubleshoot my system, sometimes to the chagrin on my wife, LOL.

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I didn't know, or maybe forgot, there was an integration for that. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

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