Everyone is buzzing about the “smart home” these days aren’t they? Maybe that’s why we’ve been as busy as bees making it a reality. It’s more than just building a nice panel though. Its an entire network of connected devices, and the ability to continue to add support for new devices as they are released into the market. To make your home smarter, you’ll need to add more and more of these intelligent devices, or as we call it, “IQ.” As you work to make your dream smart home setup, here’s a few things you should know.
1- Home interface. You need to pick a home interface that allows you and others to control your home from inside the walls. This is where you can not only send and receive commands but will act as a “hub” for all your devices. Some companies out there are looking to the cloud the be your in-home hub, but you need something that works locally as well as in the cloud. This hub also needs the ability to send and receive commands. You might have an app on your smartphone that gives you this control, but what about children, guests, even maintenance or service workers? When you’re going on vacation you can’t tell your neighbor “feed the dog, and I’ll leave my iPhone here in case you need to deactivate my security system or turn on lights.” Your home has to have an interface. We recommend the IQ Panel, the first 7″ all-in-one touchscreen that can control all your security, life safety, and home control devices in a single platform.
2- Interactive Control. You’re not always at home. Whether you go to the store a block away or halfway around the world on business, you need the ability to see what’s going on in your home and make changes to it. The Alarm.com app with the Qolsys IQ Panel does just that. You can arm or disarm your security system, view your cameras, lock or unlock your doors, turn your lights on and off, even adjust your home’s temperature with the intuitive Alarm.com Mobile app, available on all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, etc).
3- Sensors and Devices. The smartest in-home panel and interactive service in the world is useless without sensor and devices to control. The more devices you have, the more control and data you’ll receive. Traditional security systems often stop at sensors on the front and back doors and a motion sensor for when the system is armed in “Away” mode. Today’s IoT (Internet of thing) smart home technology requires smart devices that create a network of control and information about your home, and they work together to provide even more control. A door sensor tells you that a door is closed and then you can use a Z-Wave lock to secure it. A motion sensor tells you when someone enters a room and a Smart Socket can turn the light on when you do. All of these require not just the right devices in the right places, but to configure your smart home to create rules that control things for you. Maybe you create a series of rules that say “When my smartphone leaves my home, turn off my lights, lock my doors and turn my thermostat down.” or “When I arm my system in “Stay” mode, turn on my front porch light and lock all my doors” or “When someone rings my doorbell, start recording with my camera and send me that video clip.