Calling all do-it-yourself fans! DIY home alarm systems have responded to your demands and are growing increasingly customizable and friendly toward homeowners who want more control over their burglar alarms and home automation systems.
Decide among several choices, and pick the one that matches your skill level in the security process.
DIY Home Alarm Systems For All
These popular options should serve you well, depending on how much help you actually need.
1. FrontPoint Security Packages
FrontPoint is a professional security company, but one that specializes in creating packages designed for do-it-yourself people who want to set up their own systems the way they live. This approach has several benefits. First, because FrontPoint is professional, you still get valuable additionals, like monitoring services (at around $35 per month) to keep your house safer. Second, because FrontPoint makes all of its own equipment, it creates compatible wireless sensors in all of them that work in a unified, easy-to-understand system.
The equipment includes keychain remotes, mobile apps, and control touchscreens. You can choose between door, window, motion, smoke and broken glass sensors, and easily stick them whereever you want. The small wireless cameras are also easy to install in key corners. You also have the ability to install more complex features like automatic locks, lights, and heating.
2. LifeShield’s Alternative Package
At first glance, LifeShield looks a lot like FrontPoint, but there is less focus on the DIY part of process. You can still customize packages and buy easy-to-install devices, but the attention is on customer service and related benefits. Choose this option if you enjoy a little more help from the professionals and a little less dependence on your own skills. LifeShield also likes to place emphasis on its wide array of sensor offerings, which cover everything from fire and local crime data to security backups in case of power failures.
3. The Iris Smart Kit
Iris is the DIY home alarm systems project by Lowe’s. The system has grown from a basic WiFi sens to a more complex system. For around $300 you can buy a full starter kit that incluces a control panael, motion and contact sensors, a new thermostat, and a smart switch for a plug-in appliance like a fan. The system is completely designed for casual, DIY users who want to manage their own systems through the Web or the free Iris app.
The problem with Iris is also one of its attractive features: It is simple. You will probably want to pay extra for more devices beyond the basic starter kit, but even with a full complement of Iris devices the system cannot match the full offering of FrontPoint or LifeShield. There are some very basic monitoring services for around $10 per month, but this system is made for homeowners who do want to save money by sticking with the necessities.
DropCam is even more basic than Iris, but it is a great, affordable option for a single security solution that you can place where you want. The system is a simple security camer, selling for around $150. You buy it, connect it with your WiFi system, and install it whereever you want in your house. Fortunately, DropCam is a little more than just a security camera. When you view the footage on your computer or phone, you can connect to the built-in mic and speak directly into the room from wherever you are, perfect for talking to pets or scaring burgars away.
The camera acts like a sensor, activating whenever it detects motion or noise in the room and sending you a quick email about the activity, so you can check to see if anything is wrong. This limits the camera to a single-room, indoor use, but it offers night vision and even video capture, if you are willing to pay a little extra.
If you like your software and enjoy tinkering on projects you have built from the ground up, the PrivateEyePi project may be for you. On the pricing front this option wins with its basic parts and retooled components. On the skill front, you need some experiencing in programming, electrical engineering, and home wiring to start working on such rugged DIY home alarm systems. But the result is a true DIY system that you can build exactly how you want, without worrying about any proprietary difficulties or limitations.
The system primarily supports motion detectors and door switches, but includes a control panel interface you can port to your desktop or smartphone. Knowledge of Raspberry Pi and Linux is highly recommended before you start, but with the right know-how you can set up alarm schedules, create activity logs, and arm or disarm any particular alarm in your house.
Those are just some of the better DIY Home alarm systems available for you, so check them out, do some shopping and let us know how it goes for you.
Photo Credit: TheyCallMeBrant