With cellular and wireless capabilities built into the virtually all of the best home alarm systems, a home automation alarm system is the natural next step to upgrading. Home automation allows a fully integrated alarm system experience in your home, where your control panel, sensors and security cameras are in direct communication with your home’s other functions. For an easy upgrade that will make day-to-day tasks drastically more convenient, look no further than a home automation alarm system.
What is home automation?
The move towards home automation began mainly with expensive homes that controlled their lighting or temperature systems on timers that had to be programmed from a specific control panel within the building. As cellular technology became more accessible, alarm system companies started to implement home automation in their systems, making remote controlling and programming a feasible thing for any consumer. This means that home alarm systems can be installed and monitored wirelessly, and their corresponding sensors communicate with one another wirelessly as well.
From there, alarm system companies started developing “smart” devices, which can be controlled from a smartphone or computer instead of solely relying on a manual keypad to arm and disarm your system and a landline to communicate to your monitoring company. Like this development for devices, home automation alarm systems latched onto this technology and applied it to home functions such as lighting, heating, cooling and door locks.
What can be automated?
The main devices that integrate with home automation alarm systems are simple device that have only two controls: on/off, open/close, etc. This can apply to motorized blinds, lights, coffee machines, thermostats, video cameras, washing machines, etc. To automate them, consumers purchase a home automation outlet and plug each device into this wirelessly-enabled outlet in order for the device to connect to each other and to your monitoring app or website. Subsequently, some devices, such as thermostats or security cameras, may be entirely wireless and connect to your other devices through your cellular or WIFI network.
With home automation alarm systems, lights can be turned on and off directly from your smartphone, the coffee machine can be programmed to turn on or off at a certain time, and heating and cooling can be changed from your mobile device or set to turn off when you leave the house. The dog walker or babysitter can be let in remotely, and you can check to see that door was locked when they left the house. If not, you can lock it yourself from afar. This comes in handy, not only in day-to-day routines, but especially when you’re on vacation or will be away from your home for an extended period of time.
How is it monitored?
The major draw to home automation alarm systems is that they can be monitored remotely. Since automation works through cellular and wireless technology, many companies allow you to monitor your system through your smartphone or computer.
While most of the best alarm system companies integrate a number of home automation devices into their central alarm systems, it’s possible that some devices must be monitored through separate channels. This can mean that there are separate applications for different devices, or several different websites you need to visit in order to monitor and control each device. Home automation is moving in the direction of standardized devices and monitoring services that can be controlled from one location, but, until then, talk to your alarm system company to make sure that all of your devices can be integrated with one another.
Is it affordable?
Because home automation alarm systems can be monitored from your smartphone or personal device, they also give you the option to potentially forgo third-party alarm system monitoring services. You can set up customized alerts and notifications with your devices so that you are notified in real-time when a sensor has been triggered or an intruder has entered your home. This gives you the power to alert the authorities if necessary, or dismiss the notification as a false alarm. While this can save you a significant amount of money by eliminating the need for a lengthy, and sometimes expensive monitoring contract, there is also an added peace of mind that comes along with having a dedicated monitoring service that is keeping tabs on your system ‘round the clock. While you still may decide to have a monitoring service, home automation at least presents the option to decline a contract and save money.
In addition, home automation alarm systems are highly energy efficient. In traditional homes, lights, electronic devices, heating and cooling fall prey to human error of leaving the lights on all day even when you’re away or leaving the temperature turned up while you’re on vacation. Home automation eliminates this waste of energy by allowing you to program your lighting and thermostat systems to turn on and off at certain times, and to check from afar to see if you mistakenly left something on. If you did, you can turn it off right from your smartphone, saving you money on your electricity bill.
Overall, home automation alarm systems are a great option if you are looking to save money and energy, and make your everyday home routine more convenient for everyone in your family.