Welcome to part two of our smart home building series. In part one we covered how smart homes work, how to decide on a hub, and a few useful devices available on the market to get you started. In part two we will be homing in on a popular facet of smart homes – security. A range of systems compatible with your hub are available, and many can help improve the security of your home. In this article, we will explore how to set up smart locks, CCTV cameras and smart alarms.
A smart lock can make unlocking your door easier – you no longer need to rely on a key to open the door. Smart locks can be operated through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, voice command, or pin code. A benefit of using a smart lock is the ability to set unique pin codes. With multiple codes on one lock, you can track who is coming in and out of the house and when. Most of the best-selling smart locks in the industry are compatible with the major players in smart home hubs, i.e. Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple Home. A few notable smart locks that are definitely compatible with those hub systems include the Schlage Sense Smart™ lock and the August Smart Lock.
Although setup may vary depending on the smart lock you buy, the process commonly goes as follows: Download the required app for your device and follow the instructions after selecting “add lock, or “setup device” (wording varies depending on the app you have downloaded). The setup process takes around 30 minutes on average. To connect voice commands, you might need to spend a little longer syncing the device with your smart home hub.
To further transform your home you can install cameras with all sorts of handy functions. Live stream your security footage from your phone. If you’re at work, you can still see when people arrive at your door (provided you have access to data of course). Voice commands allow you to access footage from particular cameras or rooms in your home. Take pictures or save footage when your camera senses unusual activity. A few popular models of security camera include the Netgear Arlo pro, Amazon Cloud Camera, and the Ring Spotlight Cam. If you have voice operated locks set up, you can see who is at your door with your device and unlock the door without needing to move.
Setup for security cameras varies depending on the device. Most commonly the setup process involves a quick charge of the device, downloading the necessary app for the device you purchased (following the “new device” set up process), and then mounting the device wherever you want, in or outside your house.
Smart home alarms have put the power of security into the hands of the everyday homeowner. There are plenty of alarm systems on the market that are completely DIY. Once you’ve bought the box, most devices are good to go from there. For anyone who prefers to rely on the external companies that have been in the business for years, don’t fret. Many major players in the private security industry have included smart home technology into their products and operations.
As with the devices mentioned above, setup for smart alarm systems will vary, but several of the industry top sellers (including, Yale Smart Home Alarm Kit, Somfy Home Alarm, and SimpliSafe™) follow a similar DIY process: unbox the purchased product and connect the heart of the system with your Wi-Fi, smartphone/tablet, or your hub. Using the necessary app for the device (if it requires one), set your pin. Finally, set up sensors around the house in the area that you wish to monitor. The sensors, which come with the alarm systems, often have adhesive pads ready for installation (like Simplisafe™). In other cases, when adhesives aren’t provided, the device’s instruction kit will inform you of the best setup procedure.