There are many smart home products you might consider adding to your alarm system. These devices can really make your life easier and more convenient. Many can also help you cut down on energy costs and save huge amounts of money in the long-run. If you are looking to bring your home into the future, then you will definitely want to get some smart home devices. The best way to get started is to first choose which protocol you want to build around. If you have a security system from Alarm Grid, then it is likely that your panel already supports Z-Wave devices. Alternatively, you might also consider building around the Apple HomeKit platform if you are a regular iOS user. There are other platforms we support as well, but Z-Wave and HomeKit are some of our favorites.
Once you have decided what platform you want to build around, then it's time for the fun part. You can start choosing individual devices to pair with your network. A good place to start is with some smart lights. There are many styles of smart lights that you can add to your smart home. There are smart in-wall switches and smart in-wall dimmer modules that take the place of your existing in-wall switches. If you have 3-way control for your lights, then you can add a smart 3-way switch to your set up as well. One three-way switch we really like is the GoControl WT00Z5-1, as it can be used without a traveler wire. You can also add plug-in lamp modules for smart control over a lamp. These devices make great Z-Wave repeaters due to their general ease of use.
Another smart home device you might want to use is a smart door lock. It can be very convenient to be able to lock or unlock your door from anywhere. If you are the absented-minded type, you can check to make sure you locked your door whenever you are away from home. And if you have friends come over, you can conveniently unlock the door for them from your phone, rather than having to get up and go to the door. This is also great for letting guests inside if you are running late, or if you are hosting other guests downstairs or in the backyard. You might even pair your door lock with a smart video doorbell so that you can see exactly who is at your door. If you have alarm monitoring, then you can pair all of these devices with an easy-to-use platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.
We are also huge fans of smart thermostats. These are amazing energy-saving devices that can help you greatly reduce your energy costs. The idea is to program your smart thermostat so that it keeps your house comfortable while you are at home, while not having your HVAC system work as hard while you are away. You can even create smart scenes to have your thermostat operate based on predetermined activities. For example, you might want to have your thermostat cool your house further when you run a scene called "Bedtime". This scene could also set your system to Arm Stay, turn off all the lights in your house, and lock your smart door lock so that nobody can get inside. This is great functionality that you can achieve whether you go with Z-Wave devices for TC2 and ADC or HomeKit devices for Apple iOS.