What’s included in a smart home system?
An effective smart home system can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. For instance, if you live in an apartment, your setup might just consist of a doorbell camera to monitor your front doorway and a smart thermostat to remotely control the temperature in your home.
However, a larger family home might consist of a network of connected security cameras, smart lighting, smart locks, security sensors, a smart garage door opener, and several other smart gadgets, depending on your preferences.
The next few sections will cover some devices that many homeowners choose to include in their smart home systems.
Smart control hub
A smart control hub is the central device in a smart home setup. It connects all the devices in your home and lets you control them, sometimes using touch-screen functionality.
Some smart control hubs, like the Vivint Smart Hub, have extra features like two-way talk. Two-way talk lets you see and speak to people on the other side of your security camera directly from your control hub.
Do you sometimes forget to turn off the lights in your home when you go to bed or leave the house? If so, smart lighting could be for you. With smart lights, you can turn all the lights in your home on or off with the tap of a finger.
Smart security lights come with motion sensors that detect movement around your home. Let’s say you use a smart floodlight to protect your front yard. The light will only turn on when it senses motion on your property. If it doesn’t sense any other movement for around half a minute, it turns off again. If the movement continues, the light stays on.
Sometimes, a smart security light can scare off intruders on its own, but many homeowners use security lighting in conjunction with other smart home products like security cameras and alarm systems.
Smart lighting helps you save power by limiting the time that your lights are actually on. Many smart lighting systems also come with energy-efficient light bulbs. For example, Vivint’s smart lighting systems use Philips Hue LED bulbs that can last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
The Vivint Smart Thermostat can be another effective tool for lowering your energy consumption. With a quality smart thermostat, you can control how hard your HVAC system works at various times during the day from wherever you happen to be.
Let’s say you like your home to be a cool 68 degrees when you get home from work. However, you don’t want to waste energy by leaving your air conditioner on all day. With a normal thermostat, you’d have to wait until you got home to adjust the temperature and wait for your home to cool down.
With a smart thermostat, you can program your HVAC system to start cooling your home 30 minutes before you get there. That way, you walk into a comfortable house that’s set at your ideal temperature, and your HVAC system stays off during the day.
Smart door locks
Have you ever had to leave a spare key for a relative or housesitter under your welcome mat — where a clever criminal could find it without too much effort? Smart door locks can solve this problem.
Smart door locks let you gain entrance into your home without the use of a physical key. Depending on the type of smart locks you have, you might be able to open them using your smartphone, a key code, or even your fingerprints. You can also access your smart locks remotely if you want to lock or unlock your doors while you’re on the go.
Kwikset Smart Locks from Vivint take security a step further. They let you assign unique access codes to housesitters, visitors, and anyone else who needs to enter your home. You’ll get a notification on your smartphone whenever someone uses one of your codes to enter your house. That way, you know exactly who’s coming into your home and when.
Smart security sensors
Security sensors are a great way to monitor and protect your home from potential intruders. Have you ever thought that you saw something outside of your window, but weren’t completely sure? Maybe you caught a shadow in your peripheral vision, but didn’t quite see what it was. This is where a smart sensor comes to the rescue.
With a smart security sensor, you can easily monitor doors and windows for an added layer of protection. When a window or door is breached with your alarm system in operation, you’ll be immediately alerted. If you’re away from home, any unexpected motion will communicate with with sensors to set off an alarm. When you are home, these sensors will communicate with your smart thermostat to keep the temperature comfortable inside.
With a smart security sensor from Vivint, you’ll be alerted to unexpected movement, you’ll know right away if a window is broken, you can rest easy with immediate burglar detection, and you can keep your family comfortable with interior smart thermostat communication functionality.
Smart garage door control
One of the easiest ways criminals can enter your home is through your garage door. A smart garage opener lets you open and close your garage door using a central control panel or remotely with your smartphone.
Here’s a situation where a smart garage door control can come in handy. Let’s say your family uses the garage as a primary entrance into your home. Your kids get home from school with their friends and come in through the garage. You get a notification that the garage has been opened.
You know your children have a penchant for leaving doors unlocked and you’re worried they left the garage door open. If you have a smart garage door opener, you can use your phone to see if the door is open and simply shut it remotely.
When you get a smart garage door control from Vivint, you’ll get to use Vivint Car Guard. Car Guard lets you program your door to automatically shut when your car pulls out of the garage, so you have peace of mind that your garage is always secure.
Smart security camera system
Security cameras are an essential part of a smart home security system. Typically, a security camera will be attached to a motion detector. When the detector senses movement, the camera records for a brief period (around 90 seconds). Smart cameras also send alerts when there’s movement on your property and let you view video clips on your smartphone.
Depending on your home security needs, there are a few kinds of security cameras to browse.
- Indoor cameras: Generally, indoor cameras have a wide field of view of 130 degrees or more that allows them to monitor a large space inside your home.
- Outdoor cameras: Outdoor cameras need to be weather-resistant to stand up to the elements. They’re usually designed to see farther away than indoor cameras.
- Video doorbells: Doorbell cameras are mounted outside your door. They let you see and speak to visitors, delivery people, and anyone else who comes to your door.
Some smart cameras have added security functions. For example, the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro can sense when someone is stealing a package. It then activates a powerful LED and loud alarm system to let the person know they’re on camera.