Rob Gabriele https://www.safehome.org/author/rob-gabriele/

Over the years, ADT has worked to offer a number of home automation solutions for folks who want something more than just home security. The company, which is known for its high-quality security systems with reliable monitoring, now provides a variety of ways to connect and manage a complete smart home.

Today, ADT sells a handful of home automation products — everything from smart thermostats and smart lighting, to smart smoke detectors, cameras, and more. These smart devices are all managed using either the ADT touchscreen control panel or mobile app (for us, we prefer controlling our system with our smartphone). You’ll be able to control your lights or close your garage door remotely, from pretty much anywhere in the world.

ADT also integrates with Google Home and Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice assistance. Don’t worry, we’ll get into all of ADT’s home automation capabilities in this guide.

Did You Know: ADT has been around since the 1800’s, making it the most long-standing home security company and one of the most trusted names in the industry.

Z-Wave Protocol

Say it in your best nerd voice: Z-Wave Protocol. Since ADT runs on the Z-Wave platform, this means their systems are compatible with hundreds of different smart products. If you’re just dabbling with smart home technology, this might not seem like a big deal. But if you ever foresee building out a complete smart home ecosystem, having the Z-Wave protocol could make all the difference when it comes to really geeking out. And ADT has it in spades.

This wireless protocol enables all Z-Wave smart devices to seamlessly communicate with one another. And it will allow you to add new smart gizmos and gadgets to your system over time, as your budget allows (and as your spouse allows!). So we were quite happy to learn that ADT is built on Z-Wave.

The ADT Pulse App Dashboard

Like all the best smart home security systems, ADT offers an app that conveniently houses all of your commands. This means you can access and control each of your devices with a simple flick of a thumb. Now, is ADT’s app the best we’ve seen? No, that accolade goes to Vivint’s smart home system (check out our full review of Vivint). But you’ll still be able to customize modes, set automations, check on sensors, stream live security camera footage, dim lights, dial-in the thermostat, and on and on — all from the ADT app.

Of course, the app is where you’ll arm and disarm your system as well. So if you’re anything like us, you’ll spend a good amount of time fiddling with features and watching video footage in the app. See below for an image we snapped of the app’s dashboard.

ADT App Options Menu

ADT App Options Menu

Professional Installation

Before we dive into all the different smart products and integrations that ADT offers, it’s important that you know it’s all installed by the pros. This means you won’t have to roll up your sleeves or break a sweat. But… it does mean you’ll need to pay a pesky installation fee (between $99 and $199) and wait around for an installation tech to set you up.

Not the end of the world, and honestly, we prefer professional installation for smart home products. Your ADT install technician will get your smart smoke detector, smart locks, and other intelligent gadgetry up-and-running. And they’ll do it right the first time. Finally, before they leave, they’ll even show you the ropes on how to use your new home automation system. Worth it.

Did You Know: Although professional installation usually costs between $100-$200, we think it’s worth it for folks who aren’t confident with DIY projects. ADT’s professional installation takes the guesswork out of getting up and running. And if pro install interests you, check out our roundup of the best professionally installed security systems. And if you want to see how ADT stacks up to DIY systems, see our ADT vs DIY home security comparison.

ADT’s Smart Products

Keep in mind that while ADT sells a lineup of neat products, their Z-Wave system can support a seemingly endless array of third-party devices. With that said, ADT currently offers the following smart home automation devices:

  • Smart Light Bulbs
  • Smart Thermostats
  • Smart Locks
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Smart Switches
  • Live Video (doorbell, indoor, and outdoor cams)
  • Touchscreen Control Panels

ADT Smart Home Integrations

ADT Works with Alexa

ADT home security systems work with Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, tell ADT to arm my home” to arm your system. Just note that you can’t disarm your system using Alexa. (And good thing! If you were able to disarm using voice control, a burglar could potentially yell through the front door “Alexa, disarm my system” to gain easy entry.) You can also access other connected, smart home features using ADT’s Alexa integration.

To get going with this, you’ll need to add the ADT smart home skill to your Alexa app or through your Amazon account. Once you do, you can ask Alexa to provide a wide range of services for you, including helping you to connect to your system from any area of your home. Keep in mind that ADT Pulse systems work with Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Input devices. We’re big fans of ADT’s Alexa integration; but honestly, we’re seeing this pairing offered more and more by smart home security systems.

FYI: Love your Alexa? We know that some people are inseparable with Amazon’s voice assistant. If that’s you, we recommend heading over to our guide on the best home security systems that work with Alexa.

ADT Plays Well with Google Home

If you’re considering purchasing an ADT security system and monitoring plan, and you already have Google Home products, you may be happy to know you can connect the two with seamless ease. ADT works great with Google Assistant, allowing you to use your voice to control a variety of functions with your ADT Pulse system.

Using nothing but your voice, you can ask Google Assistant products, including your Google Home, to arm your home security system. And similar to the Alexa integration, you can control your home’s ambiance (lighting, temperature, etc.) by flexing those vocal cords. Just remember, while this is a neat convenience to have, it’ll cost you for the Google smart products.

The entire setup process is quick and easy, taking about 5 minutes in the ADT Pulse app. And once in place, you can use it for most ADT functions. Here are other highly-rated security systems that work with Google Home.

ADT & Apple HomeKit

If you are using the Apple HomeKit line of products, you may run into concerns connecting it to your ADT system. Currently, there is no way to link ADT with Apple HomeKit. However, this doesn’t mean this integration will not be available in the future. Apple continues to make its products more competitive and compatible and, at some point, we think it’ll provide access to ADT systems.
That said, you can use your ADT Pulse App on your Apple smartphone and Apple Watch. Yes, that means you can arm your home and turn on the lights with your watch (pretty slick, right?).

Pro Tip: If you’re a big Apple HomeKit user, we suggest looking into Blue by ADT (formerly LifeShield). They offer indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras that work like a charm with Apple HomeKit.

ADT Works with SmartThings

You can link your ADT home security system with Samsung SmartThings. There is a SmartThings ADT Home Security Starter Kit available to make this integration ultra-easy. That is, you can purchase this product directly from ADT to set up your system within a matter of minutes.

When you have this setup in place, you will hear a voice alert when your system's alarm is triggered. This is done in real-time, but it can be done using mobile notifications as well as texts for convenience sake. You can also use the system to alert of things like doors or window sensor detections, security breach notifications, and testing your system from a distance.

ADT & IFTTT Integration

IF This Then That, or IFTTT for short, is another great option for customizing your home automation features with ADT. You can enable this integration in the ADT Pulse app.

With IFTTT, a type of internet-based service, you can create various connections to your smart home features, including your ADT Pulse products. There are more than 100 IFTTT channels available, giving you plenty of intelligent actions and automations to choose from. For instance, you can ask your system what the temperature is outside, and you can even set your system to automatically disarm at sunrise… but only if the garage door is closed. We like the flexibility here, as you can get pretty granular with IFTTT. If you’re a die-hard IFTTT user, we recommend looking into our review of the best IFTTT home security systems.

ADT Now Supports Sonos Smart Speakers

Sonos smart speakers now integrate with the ADT Control app. You can play your favorite tracks, crank up the volume, and put your favorite playlist on shuffle straight from the app. We’ve seen this pairing listed on ADT’s website, so the two companies are definitely collaborating to bring you a smarter home (and we like it!).

Did You Know: We tested these systems in-home and wrote an in-depth review of ADT. It’s worth a read if you’re looking to learn more about what it’s like living with ADT day-to-day.

ADT Home Automation Cost & Fees

So… how much is ADT home automation going to cost you? Great question. And although ADT is one of the more expensive security systems with 24/7 monitoring we’ve used, they have reasonable monthly prices for security and smart home automation. And… unlike many DIY brands, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to get started with ADT. Just pay by the month, and you’re in business. Here’s our latest shakedown of ADT’s prices, packages, and plans.

And see below for a highlight-reel list of ADT’s subscriptions and monthly fees.

ADT Home Security and Automation Plans

ADT Packages Price
ADT Secure $27.99 per month
ADT Smart $36.99 per month
ADT Complete $52.99 per month
ADT Custom Package Variable

FYI: To get smart home automation support, you will have to choose either the ADT Smart or ADT Complete plan. While the ADT Secure plan offers intrusion protection, environmental protection, and basic voice control integrations, it does not offer the suite of smart home integrations we list in this guide. You’ll have to get ‘Smart’ or ‘Complete’ for that.

Also, there are a few other costs to consider before pulling out your pocketbook. For instance, you’ll have to factor in installation and activation fees. And if you want to purchase smart devices — like thermostats, lights, smart locks, etc. — then you’ll need to purchase those items upfront. It can add up, but then again, you are here because you’re interested in transforming your house into a smart home, right?

Here are the additional costs and fees associated with ADT home automation:

Extra Costs and Fees

Other ADT Expenses Cost
Introductry Costs $125
Installation Fees $99 to $199
Add-On Equipment Variable

ADT Contracts

One last thing that’s worth mentioning is that ADT requires a contract. Now, this really shouldn’t scare you away, as this allows your costs to be spread out over months and years. Some companies require you to purchase your smart home equipment up-front, which can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. No thanks.

ADT’s contracts are 36 months minimum, unless you live in California. If you’re in the Golden State, you’ll only be on the hook for 24 months. We understand that contracts aren’t always fun, so if you’d rather a home security system with more flexibility, check out our roundup of the top security systems with no monthly fees and no contracts.

Did You Know: ADT offers a 6-month money-back guarantee. So if you find that their system isn’t a great fit for you and your budget, you can always cancel and get your money back. Just be sure to read the fine print or speak with an ADT representative to get all the details.

Final Words: Is ADT Home Automation Worth It?

We think ADT is worth it, but only for certain people. Since the company requires professional installation and long-term contracts, we typically only recommend ADT to established homeowners. If you’re a renter, you’d be better off with a DIY system like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint. (You can read our in-depth SimpliSafe review to learn more about the growing trend of DIY security.)

But if you care about reliable monitoring, and you have the money to spend on smart products, you’ll have a field day with ADT’s home automation capabilities. Since it works on the Z-Wave platform, you can integrate literally hundreds of smart products into your home.

It also works with Alexa and Google Home for voice controls, and it even connects with IFTTT, Sonos smart speakers, and Samsung SmartThings for good measure. So yes, we definitely think ADT is worth your consideration for home automation. But if you want security + automation, you might want to read our guide to the best home automation security systems available.