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High Tech Security: Getting Started With Smart Homes

Hands of man locking house with smarthome security application on digital table

Not too many years ago, the concept of the smart home existed mainly in the realm of science fiction. Computerization was initially too big and bulky for a home setting, but also too expensive for the average homeowner to afford. Of course, that’s all changed. Technological innovations in Artificial Intelligence, or AI, where devices can learn, and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT, which refers to products interconnected through digital networks) have paved the way for adapting smart technology for the home.

Plus, smart home technology is now affordable. Not surprisingly, more and more homeowners are taking the plunge. 

The benefits are many. You can control the temperature of your home from near or far, maximizing energy efficiency with your HVAC system, or turn lights and the coffee pot on with the flick of a switch from your bedroom without getting up. But even more significant to most homeowners, beyond comfort and ease, is the benefit of a smart home security system.

Why A Smart Security System?

Homeowners have varying degrees of concern with home security, depending on their neighborhood and perceptions about how “safe” they are. Some may view an alarm, monitors, and lighting as a hassle, while others will see this technology as essential for the family’s well-being. Indeed, many homeowners realize a smart security system can be an important weapon in preventing home invasion, burglary, vandalism, and package theft. 

Smart home systems ramp up security a notch by reporting real-time issues, rather than alerting the homeowner after a situation occurs — such as a break-in at the front door. Leave a door open? A smart home system can apprise you of such and can even lock the door for you.

The cameras installed with smart systems help you monitor your doors and windows, as well as inside your home, and all around your property. Cameras help you check on pets and domestic help while you’re away.

What’s more, a security system boosts the value of your home. Real estate firms nationwide are noting that homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home with a smart security system. Plus, many new home buyers have grown up with computer technology and are quite comfortable with smart home security.

Building a Smart Home Security System

For homeowners considering smart security systems, there are several ways to go. The easiest — and most expensive option — is to hire a company, such as top-rated but expensive Vivint, ADT (highly recommended for their quality monitoring), or Ring, that will make recommendations for your home, and build the system, including sensors, lights, monitors, and alarms, based on your preferences. Or, you can build the system yourself, acquiring the various components and putting them in place, linking them to a hub so they can communicate with each other, while you control them from your smartphone. Frontpoint is one company that works well for DIY installers.

Maybe you want something simpler and less expensive. Fortunately, many smart home products don’t need a hub to operate; you can build a satisfactory system with a wireless router at the center — a much more affordable solution.

It’s relatively easy to find the right components to add to your DIY smart home security system. Just be sure the components you install interact properly with each other. That includes smart bulbs, smart plugs, light switches, dimmers, sensors, door locks, glass break detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, motion and water detectors, smoke/CO alarms, thermostats, and video doorbells.

A smart security system allows you to work, travel, or sleep soundly with fewer concerns about defending your home.

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