Home Automation: Security


A burglary is committed every 10 seconds in the United States. That equals roughly 3 million homes a year being burglarized. Decades ago homeowners saw the need for a defense against this rising crime and home security systems were born.

Early home security systems were analog and depended on phone lines. A modem would send a signal to a monitoring service over the phone lines notifying them an intrusion had occurred.

Home automation has spawned home security systems that are a far cry from the modem dependent systems of the past. Security systems that were once only available to the wealthy are now available to just about any homeowner. Cheaper components and systems that do more and require less power are available from the web, do it yourself stores or from service providers that can do a complete installation.

Another major factor in home automation and home security is wireless technology. This technology has replaced the complex wiring requirements of past systems and makes many features possible today that were only imagined in the past.

Home security systems can be included as part of a complete home automation system. These systems give control over climate, lighting, irrigation, appliances and security. When a security system is combined with home automation possibilities for the homeowner are endless only restricted by their budget or imagination.

What's Possible?

Lighting is a basic component of just about any automated system. Lighting can be controlled from within the home or outside the home with any internet connected device such as an iPad. Lights can be turned on or off in any part of the house. This can be done on a set schedule, randomly or manually controlled. Controlling lights give the appearance of someone being at home even though they may be half way around the world enjoying a vacation.

Motion detectors can be combined with lighting so that when an intrusion occurs lights come on and a signal can be sent to a monitoring service or the owner of the home. Sensors are also used and normally placed on windows and doors. These devices work on a closed circuit principal. When a door or window is opened and the circuit is broken an alarm is sent.

One of the most advanced forms of home security is surveillance. Today's systems have the capability of monitoring any area within or from the outside of the home. Miniature cameras are inexpensive and can capture video day or night through the use of infrared technology.

The video captured is in real time and can be viewed on in home monitors or from just about anywhere with an internet connected device. Some cameras are equipped with motion detector s which allows them to start recording during an intrusion and send a notification to a specific recipient. The combination of video and detection cuts down on dispatches because of false alarms or movements of the family pet.

Considering a System

The main consideration for an automated security system is determining whether a wired or wireless system is right for your intended application. Both these systems can be installed professionally or by the do it yourself approach.

Wired systems have their advantages and disadvantages. These systems can offer more zones of protection thus increasing flexibility. They tend to be more reliable not being susceptible to radio interference.

Some disadvantages of a wired system are difficulty of installation in an existing home. These installations are usually permanent and can't be taken by the homeowner when they move. They also require power from the wiring in the house although backup battery systems can be installed.

Wireless systems also have advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage of a wireless system is that it's easier to implement in an existing or older home. The devices normally have their own power supplies so they can be put in locations where there is no electricity. Expansion is much easier when adding additional components. Another advantage is that these systems are easier to connect to a home computer or network for remote monitoring.

Some of the disadvantages of a wireless system are that many of the components operate on batteries and there is a chance of failure if the battery condition is not monitored. There may also be issues with RF interference depending on location or structures in the home.

The choice of systems should be based on your particular needs, ease of installation and budget constraints. If you choose the do it yourself route there are tons of tutorials available on the internet. There are also systems and components available from local home improvement stores.

Professional installation may be your choice. In this case investigate thoroughly to find a reputable company. Security systems are well within the reach of most homeowners and one of the wisest investments you can make.

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