Smart home automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the way people live. This tech makes daily life easier, more convenient, and when integrated with a monitored security alarm system, safer. Pretty much everywhere you look, you’re going to bump into something labeled “smart”: smartphones, smart watches, smart toothbrushes, and of course — our personal favorite at Guardian Protection — all-inclusive smart homes.
So, what is smart home automation?
Smart home automation uses internet-connected devices to monitor and control various things throughout your house, like lights, cameras, locks, and more. The devices are connected to each other and are accessible through one main point, like a smartphone or a computer. A smart home offers you seamless control over everything in your home and how it works.
Guardian Protection offers, installs, and supports a range of smart home security devices. They look great in your house, but what can you do with them? Many customers only scratch the surface of what these products can actually do. But we want to help you dig into the really interesting stuff, the functionality that makes them truly smart. For example, smart home products have self-learning skills, allowing them to adapt to your routines and preferences. Better yet, a smart home can grow with you, allowing you to easily build upon it and expand as needed.
If you already have one or more automation devices, read on to get even more out of your Guardian system. If you’re completely new to smart home automation, we think you’ll be impressed by how intuitive and useful these products are.
A commonly overlooked component of a smart home is connected lighting. If you have a smart home and you haven’t integrated light modules into the mix, you’re missing out. Guardian Protection’s light control modules work in tandem with many of our other devices, including your security panel.
Integration with motion sensors — both standalone motion sensors and those embedded in the video doorbell — can trigger the lights to turn on. But there are many other ways to customize when and where your lights are activated. Here are a few examples:
Imagine you’re sleeping at 2:00 in the morning and your Guardian Protection alarm system goes off. You probably go into panic mode immediately. You hear a blaring siren, see a strobe light, your phone rings, and it’s pitch black. Assuming you don’t sleep with a flashlight under your pillow, you’re immediately groping for a light. If you have smart lights, you can set a rule that tells your system, any time an alarm goes off, the lights should automatically turn on.
Light controls are perfect for rooms where lights are needed and often left on accidentally, like a basement. Simply have Guardian install a motion detector at your basement door. Then set a rule for the connected light to automatically turn on whenever you open the door. The light will automatically switch off when there is no motion for a certain time. To set this up initially, you will need to log in to MyGuardianHome.com, but you can also turn lights on and off from your smartphone on the Guardian app.
To add smart lighting to your security system, you will need a Z-Wave compatible light control module or a hardwired compatible wall switch, based on your needs or preferences. Similar to WiFi, Z-Wave is a form of wireless technology that allows signals to travel from your light module to your security panel. If you’re not sure what the best lighting options are for your home, or need help setting rules for your home, just give us a call at 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328).
You’ve probably heard a lot about smart thermostats in recent years — they’re everywhere, and for good reason. When synced with a smart home security system, they can do even more than regulate the temperature. In the event of a fire, our monitored smoke detectors can send a signal to your thermostat, telling it to shut the air off so it doesn’t redistribute smoke throughout your home.
Why is this important? Because even if a smoke alarm is going off, your HVAC keeps running, cycling air around your house. So even if that fire was isolated to the basement, an active HVAC system will push that smoke and toxic gasses upstairs much faster, traveling through your vents. And keep in mind, the number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation. When programmed correctly, our thermostat will shut that down and potentially buy you enough time to get out of your house safely. Our CO detectors have the same option.
Whether you have an entry level Guardian system, a mid-level system, or everything, there’s so much you can do and so many ways to customize. Window sensors are a great example. Say you have a lower-level window that gets a lot of use. For example, a basement window that your kids frequently open or even climb in and out of. Placing a window sensor here will allow you to receive an alert on the Guardian app anytime the window is open. Even better, you can set your system to send you a reminder before bed if that basement window is still open.
All Together Now
Unlocking your door from your phone is smart – but it’s really smart when you don’t even have to think about it. In short, the system just acts on its own. For this to work, all of the devices need to be able to speak to each other, the way Guardian’s devices do – that’s a true smart home.
We’ve all had that anxious feeling from knowing an important package is getting dropped off while we’re not home. When you have an integrated smart home, you have options! Most people already know that you can open the front door for a package remotely with a smart lock, but not everyone is comfortable with that option. Your garage may feel a bit safer, and with smart garage door control, that avenue is open!
Here’s how this could work:
Once a week, Paul receives an expensive delivery from FedEx. Paul informs FedEx ahead of time that deliveries to his home go to the garage. The FedEx delivery person automatically drives to the back of the house and wheels the packages up to the garage door. Paul gets an alert on his smartphone while at work, because his security camera detects motion. Paul remotely opens the garage door for the FedEx employee, who then wheels the boxes inside. Because Paul also has a security camera inside his garage — he does, after all, get important deliveries often! — he sees the packages safely loaded into the garage, and then shuts the door behind the FedEx employee.
The entire delivery is captured on camera, and Paul has one less thing to worry about that day.
Get that smart home edge
Don’t have smart home automation yet? Not sure if you have these capabilities? Give us a call at 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328).