Up until seven or eight years ago, home security existed in a technology vacuum. Homeowners installed window and door sensors, surveillance cameras, and loud alarms designed to scare away burglars. We have come a long way since then. Today, home security exists side-by-side with home automation. It is enough to make you wonder if you should invest in one over the other.
There is another possibility: investing in both. Simply put, you do not have to limit yourself. You can integrate both home security and smart home automation in a single package. Vivint Smart Home does it all the time.
Entry-Level Home Security
An entry-level home security package is a basic package intended to deter burglary and other property crimes. On average, an entry-level system offers sensors for first-floor windows and doors. One or two video cameras are included, as is the necessary software for controlling everything from a central hub or your smartphone.
You can add to an entry-level system to gain greater functionality:
- More video cameras
- Broken glass sensors
- Smoke and CO detectors
- Flood sensors
- Medical alerts.
Each one of these additional components has a way of making you safer and more secure. And if that is all you are looking for, you can stop there. But if you want more, home automation is also available.
Entry-Level Home Automation
Most consumers are first introduced to home automation by way of the smart speaker. A smart speaker is a small device placed on the kitchen counter or the coffee table. You talk to it to get the latest headlines, the weather report, or general information. However, a smart speaker can also be integrated with other smart devices.
Entry-level home automation generally includes a smart thermostat and at least a few smart lighting devices. Smart technology can be built directly into light bulbs or fixtures. It can also come as a piece that screws in between the two.
Other home automation devices include:
- smart window blinds
- video doorbells
- smart locks
- automated irrigation systems.
Pretty much anything that runs on electricity can be connected to a smart home system for at least one-off functionality. But thankfully, a lot of today’s devices and home appliances come with smart functions built in. For example, you have heard of the smart refrigerator capable of sending you an alert to remind you buy milk on the way home. It is a real thing.
Integrating the Two
Home security and smart home automation are now advanced enough that it is easy to integrate the two quite seamlessly. A home with just a security system might have one interior and one exterior video camera. Meanwhile, a smart home might have a video doorbell. All three cameras can be seamlessly integrated in a complete package.
An interior camera can keep an eye on the entryway and staircase. An exterior camera provides a great view of the back door. Meanwhile, you get full coverage of the front of the house with a video doorbell. Your smart system even offers a remotely accessible lock on the door and lighting that can be triggered to automatically shut off when you leave home and turn back on when you arrive at the end of the day.
The two main considerations when integrating the security and automation paradigms are cost and equipment provider. In terms of cost, you can spend an awful lot of money without trying. Where equipment providers are concerned, integration requires compatible equipment. Purchasing from a single provider solves that problem.
Home security, home automation, or both? These days, both are possible in a seamlessly integrated system.