This post comes to us from Lisa Montgomery, Senior Editor at Electronic House and freelance home technology writer.
Today’s home security systems can do much more than sound alarms when there’s a burglary or fire. Equipped with basic automation smarts, they can also operate a home’s lights and thermostats. It’s a capability that makes a lot of sense: When you arm the system, the lights can turn off and the thermostats can set back; when you disarm the system the lights can turn on and the thermostats can adjust to your comfort setting. And should the system ever sense a break-in or fire, the lights can flash, illuminate a pathway to the front door and turn off the HVAC system to prevent the spread of smoke.
The link between security, lights and thermostats can become even stronger and more effective when a custom electronics professional integrates a security system with a standalone home automation system. Your house will be able to respond to your comings and goings in more advanced and creative ways. Music, motorized shades and even the hot tub can now also respond to a “Home” command so that when pressed, your favorite Pandora station can start up, certain shades can open and your hot tub can start to warm up. The same motion sensor that was on burglary patrol can now trigger lights as you enter the foyer. The security features will also allow you to easily monitor activities in your house from the convenience of an Apple iPad or some other mobile device. You’ll be able to view in real time the status of every security sensor, making sure that all the doors are locked before bedtime, for example. And imagine how much more convenient it will be to read a security system’s activity log on the screen of an iPad rather than on the digital LCD of the security keypad.
Working as one, a home security system and a home automation system can enhance the level of protection in your home, while making everything more convenient to monitor and manage. You’ll get more use out of your security sensors and be able to monitor activity in and around your house by using the same device that commands your home’s A/V systems, lights and more.
See how a family-focused automation system provides peace of mind and simplicity of lifestyle in this featured project spotlight: Whole Home Automation—All in the Family