No discussion on how to design a home security system would be complete without including the topic of home automation. Home security system technology has evolved significantly in the past few years and most systems are able to incorporate the latest remote access and home automation features.
There’s an App for That!
It seems like we can do almost everything over the internet- including monitoring and controlling our home security systems. Upgrading your system to enable either broadband or cellular communication will allow you to connect to your system over the internet, anywhere in the world with web access-through your phone, tablet or computer. This will enable you to:
- Arm, disarm and check the status of your system
- Event notification- receive e-mail alerts:
- When system is armed or disarmed
- In the event the system is activated
- When your child arrives home from school or if they don’t arrive home at a specific time
- When doors to restricted areas are opened (i.e. gun or liquor closet)
- When a flood or extreme temperature is detected
- View live video and remotely control Z-Wave enabled thermostats, lighting, locks and more!
Video cameras can be enabled to interface with your alarm system, allowing you to monitor and control them directly through the same application you use to control the system. While the cameras do require power from a 110V source, they no longer require cabling and can communicate signals wirelessly. Just a few years ago, these wireless cameras required technicians to handle fairly complex set up and programming. Today, however, installation is a snap- as the process has been streamlined to the point where it is pretty much “plug and play”. In today’s fast paced, mobile society you can check in on your home from anywhere. The possibilities are endless.
-Receive video alerts and pictures via e-mail when event occurs
-Keep an eye on your kids
-Check in on elderly relatives
Z-Wave – Wave of the future
Recently, a new technology called Z-Wave has emerged. Basically, it is a low power wireless communications technology designed to facilitate home automation. This technology enables devices embedded with RF radios to work through your security system. The technology can be either built into a device or appliance or anything that is plugged into a Z-Wave appliance module. Now you can control your entire home from virtually anywhere!
- Control your thermostat and SAVE money. Z-wave energy management systems allow you to turn up the heat on your way home from work so things are nice and toasty when you arrive home. You can even set up schedules to optimize energy savings and receive e-mails if someone changes the temperature.
- Control Lighting and Appliances. You can turn on the coffee from your phone or tablet in the bedroom in the morning… or turn off the lights at night. You can even set your blinds up to open automatically in the morning and close them at the press of a button at night.
- Control Door Locks. Never worry about losing or forgetting your keys again. You can lock or unlock the doors remotely, right from the app on your phone. No more keys under the doormat. Need to let in the babysitter or plumber-no problem with Z-Wave equipped locks , controlled right through your home security system.
This Z-wave technology is being employed by most of our top rated home security companies like Protect America, ADT, Livewatch and Link Interactive while most of the Telecom security companies such as Time Warner Cable IntelligentHome, Cox Security, AT&T Digital Life Security Systems and Xfinity Home Security all employee the Zigbee home automation protocol.
While some DIY Security Companies like SimpliSafe have yet to adopt some of the latest home automation functions, many of the major regional and national professionally installation companies such as Ackerman Home Security Systems, Bay Alarm Home Security Systems,ADS Home Security and Monitronics Security as well as DIY Alarm companies like Alarm Grid Security…all feature strong home automation capabilities.
As you can see the modern home security system has become something of a technological tour-de-force. Home security systems can be so much more than just a “burglar alarm”. A comprehensive security system will not only protect your home and family from break-ins, home invasions and fires, but it can enhance your lifestyle and enable your family to enjoy a safer, more comfortable and convenient lifestyle. It can monitor your home for floods and frozen pipes, provide emergency medical help for the elderly or infirmed and enable you to automate and control appliances and home systems while you are on the go….from your phone, tablet or computer.
But don’t be overwhelmed. If a more comprehensive system is not in your current budget, I would urge you to prioritize your needs and go ahead and take action to get basic protection for your home and family. Most systems are fully expandable and can grow with you and be adapted as your needs, desires and budgets change.
A good plan…
In my experience, the vast majority of my time was spent with people who had already experienced some sort of loss….kind of like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. Maybe you are already in that position, but if not, there has never been a better time to take steps to protect your home and family-BEFORE you have a problem.. The industry has evolved to the point where basic protection is affordable to almost everyone. Perhaps NOW is the best time to check out our top alarm companies for more specifics on customizing your home security system.
As George Patton once said… “A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow!”
Please feel free to offer your comments, feedback, experiences or ideas on home automation below.