Video doorbell systems are gaining in popularity these days. Most are excellent low cost high tech ways to enhance your security and peace of mind. Specifications and features vary from device to device, but one thing that remains constant is that added bit of security and peace of mind they can give, especially to the elderly and parents. Skybell is one of the newest of these high tech doorbell systems to hit the market.
Introducing the Skybell Video Doorbell
Digital Landing is all about making sure you have the most recent information regarding products that can enhance your connected life, make it easier, or make it safer. Towards that endeavor we have done a few articles on what are becoming known as smart doorbells and entry systems. One example is the Kuna Smart Camera/Porch Light.
My newest foray into bringing you the latest and greatest is the Skybell doorbell. Unlike the Kuna mentioned above, Skybell is small and unobtrusive and simply replaces the existing doorbell at your front door, using the existing hardware.
No Batteries in This Video Doorbell System
Many of the high tech doorbells that I’ve taken a look at recently (and not necessarily written about) may have lower initial purchase costs, but, since they use batteries, they have a much higher cost of ownership. IF you’re tricky and good with electronics and electricity, you can replace the batteries in these devices with household power and a converter, but Skybell doesn’t need any modification to use house power.
The Skybell video doorbell system is a direct replacement for traditional doorbell buttons. It gets power from the same system that powers your existing doorbell. The unit itself is three inches in diameter and about an inch tall.
Skybell Sends Audio and Video to Your Smartphone
I don’t know about you, but after a hard day’s work, I’m tired. If the doorbell rings, I don’t mind getting up if it’s someone I know, but if it’s someone soliciting, I’d rather not. Since it has both a high quality low-light-capable camera and a good microphone in the device, Skybell lets me see who is at the door and interact with them by sending me audio and video from the doorbell mechanism. Salesperson at the door? “Sorry, we don’t want any. Go away.” If it’s someone I know pretty well, I can just tell them to come on in without having to get up.
Visitors Don’t Have to Ring the Bell to Be Announced
I can see this feature being extremely helpful to people waiting for an important piece of correspondence. This video doorbell system also has a motion sensor built in. That means that when the mailman comes and drops off my mail (Yes, my mailbox is still right by the door.) it will notify me that someone is there and I can bring up the video of who it is and what they are doing. Kids playing doorbell ditch (Remember that game?)? Surprise them as they approach the door: “I see you Johnny Brown!” This feature is great because not everyone rings the bell.
Set “Do Not Disturb” Parameters
There’s nothing worse than when the doorbell rings at the wrong moment. This can be when you’re just sitting down to dinner or have just put the baby down for a nap. The makers of Skybell realize this and have programmed the device and mobile app so you can set times during the day when the bell won’t ring, but just send a notification to your phone/tablet.
How cool is that? Now you don’t have to just ignore the doorbell when you sit down to a meal or hope it doesn’t wake the baby, you can just turn off the bell, even if you’ve got the Skybell hooked up to your existing doorbell. That alone can be a godsend for parents of sick babies.
More Useful Features
Some of the “smart doorbell” devices I’ve looked at require a good, clean connection, both between your Wi-Fi network and your phone to your carrier’s network in order to send clean and crisp audio and video. Skybell scales the video feed to adjust for poor connections so you get the whole picture. There’s also a ‘video on demand” feature that lets you see what’s going on outside even if nobody knocks. Plus, you can configure the system for multiple users.
My Thoughts on Skybell
I’m somewhat conflicted on this one. The Kuna Light I mentioned above has the light and I like that. However, the person at the door has to announce themselves for you to receive notification. Skybell’s motion sensor doesn’t wait for a knock at the door or a push of the doorbell button. I like that. I like even more that it’s designed and built in California, in the “Good Ole U.S. of A.” At about $200, it’s a bit on the steep side, but I think it’s worth it.