Home Automation – The Ultimate System for Improving your Home

Until recently, automated central controls were only found in expensive homes and large commercial buildings. These controls typically involved heating, lighting, and cooling systems. Home automation is an advanced system commonly referred to as the “internet of things” whereby everything is assigned an IP address, and can be accessed and monitored remotely. It is the way that all appliances and devices in a home are networked together to provide a seamless control over all areas of a home.

This technology allows you to have full control of your home from anywhere in the world. Many tasks that required human intervention are now automated. With this automation, you can dictate when, how, and why a device should react. A person is only required to set a schedule based on personal preferences and the rest is automated. The system can also alert you in the case of an emergency such as an unexpected access to your home, water leaks, etc. One can grab the Android device, iPhone, or any other remote control and adjust the settings in the house as desired. Homes using this technology are sometimes referred to as smart homes.

Home automation can either be decentralized with separate controls and sensors or centralized and programmable. The systems range from sophisticated electronic programmable controls for heating, cooling, lighting, as well as entertainment devices using special wireless or wiring, to few, simple and isolated systems such as motion sensors to regulate lights. The two key features of home automation are:

  • Automation – This is the ability to schedule and program events for the devices. The programming includes time-related commands such as turning off the lights at a specific time of the day. It also includes non-programmed events such as turning on the lights when the security alarm goes off.
  • Remote Control – Tablets and smartphones have enabled people to connect to the home networks remotely. You can use any Internet-connected appliance to control or view any attached devices. You can check the security system’s status whether the doors and windows are locked, the current temperature in the house, etc.

Advantages of Home Automation

1. Home security and safety

The system provides security hence safeguarding your home. Homes are most vulnerable when it appears that no one is around. You can adjust lights in your home in a specific pattern making it seem like it is occupied. Video and blinds entertainment can also be activated to make the house appear like there is someone.

For surveillance, outdoor and indoor cameras can be viewed remotely from the control device. Some devices can also receive alerts when movement is detected at home.

Automated door locks allow you to unlock the doors remotely if you need to grant access for deliveries and lock it up immediately. In addition, automated door locks enable you to set limited entry codes for visitors coming to your house when you are not there. Surveillance cameras on the water sensors can alert you in the case of a costly leak. Smoke detectors can alert you immediately they detect smoke from your home.

2. Saves time and money

Lighting control is a great way of saving money. This is achieved through the use of motion sensors which turn out the lights in unoccupied rooms or light presets that don’t switch on lights at more than 75% brightness, thus using less energy and prolonging bulb life. You can also reap significant monetary benefits by using automated thermostats instead of operating from a standard temperature timer.

Today’s world is busier than ever, and you may be having an endless to-do list during the day. With home automation, issues about going to open the door for the kids or adjusting any household item are taken care of since you can do it from anywhere by just tapping your smartphone or control device.

3. Convenience

You can control every appliance and device in your house from any room or even when you are away. For example, Temperature and the volume of audio systems can be adjusted remotely. You can even set the heater in the bathroom to start heating automatically five minutes before you wake up such that by the time you are getting to the shower it is already hot. Everyone can agree that this is an excellent convenience.

4. It is fun

The system gets you involved. You simply set your personal preferences, then sit back and enjoy using technology. The operation is user-friendly and flexible, ensuring the users have a fun experience.

Home automation is an ideal technology in the fast-paced life most people live today. Investing in home automation will make things easier for you as a busy person as well as saving energy and keeping your home secure.

Opting for the Best Home Security Systems

Unlike in the past, more people are taking their security seriously and they are going out of their way to ensure that their homes and offices are secure. Since their introduction into the market, home security systems have played a pivotal role in ensuring that people sleep peacefully knowing that their homes are secured. If you are not yet a convert, the reasons below should change your mind.

They Create a Deterrent

Burglars normally choose their targets based on factors such as ease of entry and so on. Whenever they realize that a particular house has a home security system, they will go on to find another easy target to avoid unnecessary risks.

Save on insurance.

Most major insurance companies give clients with security systems a discount on the premium for a homeowner’s policy. You are likely to save 10 to 20% range and will help you to pay for a system and/or monthly service fees.

Quick response to Emergencies

Whenever there is any incident in your home such as break-in, fire and so on, the home security system will alert the relevant authorities in time. If the plumber, fire department or police arrive in time they might be able to minimize the loss. Most of the security systems can alert the authorities on their own while others rely on a monitoring service to carry out their work.

Increases Re-sale Value

Homes with a home security system have increased value as it is included in its listing and therefore have an edge over similar houses. Removable systems can also help you bargain for a home or maintain a particular price point. Additionally, would-be buyers care if their families will be secure in their new home.

It is not Just about Thieves

When most people talk about security they only think of thieves but security systems also include carbon monoxide, smoke, fire and water detection into their features.

Watch your Home

Most of the escort systems for the home also offer video surveillance and you can use it to watch any part of your home. With the feature, you can monitor the baby, nanny in addition to the overall security of your home.

Types of Residential Security Systems

Interior Home Security System

Interior home alarm system is the most commonly used system and is for watching the doors and windows. Among its features is an alarm that goes off when there is an invader. It works via the control panel and you will need a passcode to turn it on. If you do not turn it off it will not detect an invasion.

The Supervised Security System

The supervised home security systems signal your monitoring service as soon as the alarm system is activated. This will make a representative call your house ask you to get the password of the account and if you fail to get it they will call law enforcement.

Outdoor Home Alarm System

The exterior security alarm is another kind and works by watching motions on the pool, yard or driveways. The home alarm system opens up lights on the motions that have been detected. This system is ideal for people with pets and kids.

Video Surveillance Home Alarm System

The Video surveillance control systems work with close-circuit tv (CCTV) and / or with wifi video monitoring (VSS). You can connect them to a TV or a VCR.

Smoke Security Home Alarm

This kind will ring when they detect cigarettes smoke or any other kind of smoke.

How to Choose the Correct Home Security System

There are many types of security systems that you can choose for your home. To avoid getting what you do not need, you should be sure about your needs and compare them against the different systems. That way you will get exactly what you want. You should also consider cost and there are companies that offer great discounts to entice you to buy from them. When considering cost, you should have in mind things like buying the required equipment, monthly monitoring costs, and the cost of installation.

You should always have your ears on the ground so as to get the best deal. It is also advisable to consider whether it is a rented property or your home. This will guide in determining a semi permanent or permanent home security systems solutions for your property. It is also important to check if the equipment has any warranty to cover you in case it does not work as expected.






Home Security Cameras

Thanks to the ever-expanding options for home security cameras, protecting your home, personal possessions and business has never been easier. More and more home owners have opted to install surveillance camera systems to daunt thieves, keep up with what’s going on in their premises and even keep an eye on employees. These systems are gradually growing to become the simplest yet very effective home security options and have over the years shifted from being a thing of the rich to every home owner’s must have.

It may be the very first time you’re on amazon looking for a surveillance camera system for your home, or maybe you’re trying to replace your vintage system with a newer one but the vast range of options on the display is leaving you flat out overwhelmed and confused. You probably know what you want for your home, though, and you may want to use this to ensure the camera system you purchase perfectly addresses your security needs and nothing more or less.

Before you approach the sales representative who will most likely dress up their product and smooth-talk you into a potentially wrong decision, here are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

Which one between bright light and low light?

If your home security cameras are going to be installed in fairly well-lit areas, you need to be a little more specific because not just any camera can offer that. Dim lighting, on the other hand, can accommodate just about any surveillance camera but it’s always good to avoid those built for bright environments as they are likely to be less effective.

For flexibility and efficiency, day/night video cameras can take clear footage even with fluctuating light levels.

Indoor or Outdoor?

While there are very few factors to consider when choosing an indoor camera, such as humidity, air conditioning and heating, outdoor cameras happen to be also affected by weather. For this reason, you need a tough weatherproof camera for outdoor surveillance.

Weatherproof cameras are significantly more expensive, so it’s wise, if you’re on a tight budget, to overlook these unnecessary extra features when looking for an indoor camera.

Wired or Wireless?

Another crucial factor in your decision is whether the home security camera you want is wired or not because this will have a major impact on cost and signal quality. Wired cameras tend to produce more solid and clear images but may be costlier money- and time-wise when it comes to installation as you could need an expert and a good blueprint of how the cables are going to run.

Wireless home security cameras, on the other hand, can be installed anywhere and with ease as there are no cable worries whatsoever. Also, the signal security issue is not that much of a worry these days thanks to refined encryption protocols such as Temporary Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).

Fixed or PTZ?

How would you like your camera working? Fixated on a single specific view or with the ability to rotate around? If you’re only looking to film a specific section of an entrance, room or parking space, then a fixed camera will do just fine. But if you want your camera to secure a wider area and be able to follow movements, Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras are built for that purpose. They are able to move their lenses horizontally, vertically and back and forth (tilt) and adjust focus (zoom) at your command. Some are however designed to perform the “pan tilt and zoom” functionality automatically with the detection of motion.

On-Premises vs. Remote Viewing Access

So how do you plan to view the footage from your home security cameras?

For most individuals, a video feed saved directly to a video digital recorder or CCTV monitor in the office or at home for later viewing is needed. But what about if you’d like to have some real time viewing of your property straight from the road?

That’s where remote access surveillance cameras also known as network cameras or internet cameras come into play. With this technology, your camera system is synced with your laptop, tablet or smartphone from where you can log in and keep an eye on your property from time to time.

This would work best if you’re always on the move and having limited time to view accumulated video footages later on or just if you want to keep an eye on your employees while you are away on the real time.

These are basically the main factors to consider when choosing home security cameras for your premises but you must always do your homework to ensure you avoid frauds and go for tested and tried options. Pore over a few relevant pages and customer reviews on the web for a better understanding of how these systems work and what you should expect of them.

Alarm Monitoring

It is a fact that you cannot be in all places at one time and it is very important to have somebody else help protect your family or home. It is also a fact that real emergencies happen and that is when seconds count. Whether you are home or away alarm monitoring can send help when you cannot.

So what exactly is alarm monitoring?

Alarm monitoring is a term used to refer to a firm that provides security services to monitor fire, medical and intruder alarm systems. The alarm monitoring frim may also provide supervisory or watchman services. These companies use special alarm receivers, telephone lines, specially trained staff and state of the art software to monitor their client’s security system and then alert respective stakeholders in the event a signal is received. Basically, there is a small fee for services that these companies render. Because experience and quality can vary significantly among different alarm monitoring companies, potential clients are advised to do their own digging before making a final decision. Also note that not all alarm monitoring firms monitor the systems that they install, some outsource these services to another firm.

How does it work?

The technical aspects may be a bit different for each alarm company, but the basics of alarm monitoring are similar in any home/commercial alarm system. Basically your alarm control panel acts as the center of a network of sensors, this may include door or window sensors, tamper sensors on your telephone box, motion detectors or specialized smoke, flood or temperature detectors. When your alarm system notices something fishy and any of these sensors is triggered, a signal is sent to a monitoring station (alarm monitoring company) via your telephone line, even though some monitoring firms also offer back up or alternate transmission options.

The initial signal sent by your alarm control panel will notify monitoring personnel at the monitoring station who will call you to confirm whether it is a false trigger or a real emergency. If you do not respond, the personnel will contact the relevant agency to dispatch emergency personnel to your home.

Why be Monitored?

It is a documented fact that security alarm systems that are monitored by a reputable central station minimize crime significantly. Research shows that homes with monitored alarm systems are 3 times less likely to burglarized than homes without a monitored alarm system. Businesses or commercial buildings with a monitored alarm system are 5 times less to be victimized. Furthermore, FBI statistics say that home invasions happen every 30 seconds in the U.S and having a monitored alarm system minimizes your chances of being a victim by over 400 percent. Keep in mind that this does not account of attempted burglaries. The central station acts as you guardian angel, keeping an eye on your business, home or those you care about 365 days a year,24 hours a day.

There are also other scenarios where a monitored security system can help save you. If you have a life safety system that is customized for your house, your monitored alarm can protect what is important in various ways. For instance if your home’s flood or smoke detectors are armed and triggered, the fire department will be dispatched much sooner saving time and your valuables. Without alarm monitoring by the time the flames and smoke are seen by your neighbors, it will be probably too late. In a fire, every second counts.

Having a home security alarm system without monitoring is just like having a vehicle alarm. Although this may be enough to scare way burglars or intruders, there are times that noise alone is not enough to keep you or your loved one’s safe.

Other of benefits of being monitored include:

  • Added peace of mind for home owners especially when they are not at home
  • Receive a fast and timely response to a triggered alarm, reducing the chances of damage or loss
  • Fire Brigade and Police call outs when necessary, giving further protection

When looking for a home security company, make sure you are comparing the different services available. Having a reputable and professional security firm that has a well-equipped central station is key. A home alarm that does not have monitoring may help you in some situations, but a professionally monitored alarm can help you in all situations.

Home Video Surveillance

Home video surveillance is not just for the rich anymore. Anybody who wants to protect their home and loved ones should consider purchasing home surveillance equipment. Investing in a quality home security system is a wise move as you’ve many assets which you need to protect including you and your loved ones. The equipment will ensure your family and property is well protected 24/7, giving the much needed peace of mind.

Well, before purchasing home surveillance equipment, you need to consider a number of factors. You need to choose between indoor and outdoor home security system, decide on the type and number of surveillance cameras, pick out the desired features, choose the location, the storage system, and more.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Home Video Surveillance

Location – Do you need video cameras for the interior or/and the exterior of the home? Well, it’s quite important to have surveillance coverage on your home’s entrances. You can consider having the security cameras installed on the front door, the back door, the side windows, the side gate and even the basement stairs. Once you have decided on the cameras’ locations, you need to determine whether you will install the cameras where people can see them, or you will install them out of reach and hidden from burgling eyes.

Type of Cameras – Another major factor to consider when it comes to home video surveillance, is choosing the type of cameras which will best your home’s security needs. Most first time buyers may feel overwhelmed when choosing the best type of home surveillance equipment. To make it easier for you, i will share with you a few tips. You first need to narrow down to the type of home security system you require. If your main goal is to protect your home by keeping tabs on what is going on outside or inside your home, there are various types of camera you need to put into consideration. For instance, you can choose between an outdoor or indoor home surveillance system. The indoor video security systems are useful for numerous reasons. The cameras can be utilized to help keep a close eye on babysitters, house help, and anybody else who might be inside your home while you’re away. As for outdoor home surveillance system, it is meant to help deter intruders. Outdoor cameras can be hidden or obvious.

Number of Cameras – The number of cameras you choose will be determined by your home’s layout and size. If you want to keep an eye on various different rooms or a large exterior space, you’ll need a number of cameras to get the job done. Typically, most homes can be effectively monitored with 4 cameras.

Features  – Once you’ve picked the location and determined the type of surveillance equipment you desire, it is time now to decide on the various different features. The features basically affect the camera’s quality, price and effectiveness. Before you purchase your home surveillance system, you need to decide between wireless and wired, coverage, colored or black and white and resolution. When choosing between wireless and wired cameras, you should know that wired cameras offer a much larger selection of surveillance cameras and offer higher quality than their wireless counterparts.

Storage – You need to choose a device for recording and storing the footage. Thanks to modern advancement in technology, you can digitally record countless hours of quality video footage, and store in a hard drive, a memory card or even the cloud.

Buying home surveillance equipment is a brilliant way of keeping your family and your property, safe and well protected. The video surveillance system will help prevent intruders from invading or entering your home, and the indoor cameras will keep a close eye on the people inside your house when you are not around.

Tips for Home Video Surveillance

  • If you are a first time buyer you should take your time, and do lots of research before making a purchase.
  • For superior image quality, always go for the high resolution cameras. Cameras which have 480 lines and more, are high resolution. Well, today, there are even super high resolution cameras which have more than over 500 lines of resolution.
  • Choose you home surveillance system according to your particular needs and application. For instance, infrared, weatherproof bullet cameras are best suited for outdoor use, while dome cameras are best suited for indoor use.