There's much more to the potential of your security system than just protecting your home or business. Most modern alarm panels offer the necessary built-in hardware to establish a complete smart automation network that you can control from virtually anywhere in the world using your phone.
In the world of smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT), an automation refers to an action that occurs automatically. The trigger for an automation to occur could be something like a sensor faulting on your security system, your system going into alarm, or even the time of day. Automations can also be triggered manually either at the panel or through a mobile app on your smartphone. Most Alarm Grid customers use the Total Connect 2.0 App or the Alarm.com App depending on which system they have. Remember, remote automation control is only included with the Silver Level Plans and higher for Alarm Grid.
There are all sorts of automation devices you can pair with your system and control remotely. Smart lights are a great place to start. It's very easy to replace an existing in-wall switch or dimmer module. There are also plug-in lamp modules that can be set up with needing to use any special tools or equipment. Just plug in the unit, enroll it with your automation hub, plug in a lamp to the designated socket, and enjoy. Setting up automations for your smart lights is perfect for those absentminded moments where you forget to turn off the lights before leaving. You can even have light turn on designated times while you are on vacation to make it look like you are home!
Smart door locks also represent a population automation option. These allow you to lock or unlock your door even while you are away from home. This can be very useful if you forgot to lock up before heading out for the day, and you can also use it to let trusted people inside, such a scheduled maintenance worker, a house maid, or your friend who arrived just a little too early. Many users also set up locks to respond automatically. For example, you might have your back door set to automatically lock whenever you set your security system to Arm Away.
Last and certainly not least, smart thermostats offer some really cool functionality, and they can provide you with tremendous savings in your energy expenses. You are most likely already familiar with programmable thermostats that you can use to have the temperature adjusted automatically at set time intervals. But smart thermostats take things to the next level. You can have your thermostat automatically switch to a more energy efficient level as soon as you arm for the system and leave. And if your automation platform allows for geofencing, then you can have the thermostat activate automatically once you back within a certain distance from your home. It's also really nice to be able to adjust the temperature remotely if needed, in case you have some invited guests arrive while you are away. You can easily monitor your energy usage.
Getting started with home automation for security systems is super easy. You should start by finding out if your panel already has a Z-Wave controller built-in. Most new wireless panels have this functionality. If your panel doesn't support Z-Wave, then there may be an add-on to provide the capability. Then you can start building the perfect smart home! If you have any questions about home automation, or if you would like to learn more about or monitoring plans, please email us at email@example.com. We check emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!