Build Your Own Home Security System — It’s Easier Than You Think


One of the major advantages of the Internet of Things trend is it makes it relatively easy to build your own Home Security system. A variety of third-party vendors now offer devices that allow you to enjoy Home Automation functionality and security features. You are also able to use your home’s wireless network to keep an eye on things from your office or while you are on vacation.

Does this sound interesting to you?

Build Your Own Home Security System

What follows is a look at what you need to build your own security system for you digital smart home. We’ll take a look at both all-in-one bundles as well as expanding a system in an “a la carte” fashion.

Home Security Bundles Make it Easy

If you are new to home security, choosing a bundle makes perfect sense, as it gives you everything you need to set up a simple security system at a relatively low price. With many vendors in this space offering their own home security bundles, all you need is to do a little research and choose a vendor and a package level. SmartThings, Netgear, SimpliSafe and Scout all offer bundles, and industry veteran, Honeywell, is also getting in the game later this year.

SmartThings is a great example of a company in the Home Automation and Home Security space that has garnered much praise for their easy to use product line. The company, now owned by Samsung, offers three home security bundles, imaginatively titled Smart Home Security Kit, Smarter Home Security Kit, and Smartest Home Security Kit. The three kits retail for $389, $579, and $759, respectively, so you can protect your house or apartment for less than a thousand dollars, without having to pay the monthly monitoring fees typical of older Home Security systems.

Assuming you are going for the biggest bang for your home security buck, let’s take a closer look at the Smartest Home Security Kit.

The SmartThings Smartest Home Security Kit

This most expensive SmartThings Home Security bundle includes a wide array of devices for basic security functionality at your residence. Three motion sensors and three presence sensors are suitable for detecting someone in your home that shouldn’t be there or even that your dog (or your child) hasn’t broken out of the house. Four “Open/Close” sensors detect when a window or door opens unexpectedly, while the two moisture sensors detect if something more catastrophic happened, like a burst water pipe or busted sump pump.

Most SmartThings sensors are able to notify you via a text message to your smartphone that a certain event happened. The system can also trigger a warning siren and flashing light using the included Siren Strobe Alarm if you want. Two switchable power outlets and a light dimmer outlet enhance how you can program the system to react to certain events — like turning on more lights in addition to the strobe if someone gains access to your house or apartment.

The SmartThings hub ties everything together — it can handle an unlimited number of devices –and connects directly to your router or cable modem to facilitate sending remote notifications. The range of the unit can be limited depending on the design of your home or apartment as well as other environmental factors, so keep that in mind when designing your system. SmartThings’s architecture is also open, meaning it works with many other third-party products; in fact, the light dimmer outlet and siren strobe alarm in the Smartest Home Security Kit are made by other manufacturers.

Adding to your Home Security System “A La Carte” Style

The SmartThings Home Security kits are expandable with devices from other vendors or SmartThings themselves. This gives you the added flexibility to expand your system as your lifestyle changes. Other vendors’ systems vary in their ease of expansion so look closely at this before ultimately deciding on a vendor.

Bundles are the way to go when you decide to build your own Home Security system. Make sure that your vendor of choice leverages an open architecture which allows the most flexibility in choosing the devices to expand your system. Remember as well, that most vendors also produce devices for Home Automation, so it will be easy to build one system to handle both for your digital smart home.

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