Tag Archives: home automation

Evolve Through Z-Wave

Everyone is a potential victim of breaking and entering, unfortunately. It’s a frightening thought: A creeper, prowling around, sniffing through your stuff, wanting to steal pieces of your life for their own personal gain. How do you stop it from happening?

Your first goal when it comes to home security should be this: Scare the living daylights out of thieves and stop them in their tracks- before they even consider targeting your home or business. The best way to do this is what I like to call preliminary warnings. Yard signs, window stickers and driveway security lights let burglars know that they are being watched and are stationed outside to scare them from coming inside. Basically: Stop them at your sidewalk.

Let’s think about the psychology of a petty thief for a moment. What do they want? Cash or high-valued goods- like jewelry. How do they want it? Fast. Did you know that over 50% of burglars live within 2 miles of the home they burglarize? To see a great visual of the characteristics of a burglar, click here: Characteristics of a Burglar.

What does this mean? Petty burglars don’t want to be seen or heard when they break in to your home, they don’t want anybody inside when they enter and they want to grab and go as fast as humanly possible. Did you know that most burglaries are non-violent, are usually committed by white men under the age of 25 and are over in less than 12 minutes?

Which again brings us back to: Stop them at your sidewalk. If it’s dark outside, the yard signs and warning stickers may not work. What if your driveway light malfunctions? What is your fail safe plan? Home automation. Make sure the lights are always on inside and keep the burglars outside.

Many new-aged alarm systems come with Z-Wave capability. This allows you to control lights and other appliances straight through your alarm system including- setting them on a timer.

Home Security Store recently started carrying Evolve Z-Wave products that really simplify and expand what you can do with home automation. Instead of buying a Z-Wave compatible lamp or other appliance, these products make electrical plugs Z-Wave compatible meaning all appliances plugged into that plug become Z-Wave compatible.

The LOM-15 Wall Mount Outlet Module  is actually a replacement wall outlet with two plugs for appliances. So if you install one of these, you can technically now schedule on/off times for 2 living room lamps through your home alarm system! Keep them on through the wee hours of the night and even though your electrical bill might slightly go up- you’ll be keeping those criminals outside.

The LDM-15 Plug In Lamp Module is similar to the LOM-15, but features an entirely different purpose. This module plugs directly into a wall outlet (and has a 3 prong plug of its own built in) and dims your lamps. Remember how I mentioned electricity bills going up? The LDM-15 works against that. It still keeps your home lit at night with less of a toll on your pocket book.

Thermostats, garage doors, and coffee machines other great appliances to set timers on through Z-Wave alarm systems. If you have a strong daily routine, you might honestly get to a point where you never have to flick a switch in your home ever again!

These new Evolve Z-Wave products have tremendous capability. They work to turn your humble abode into a fully functional smart home at an affordable price. Most importantly, they work to keep the bad guys out and the good guys safe.

2013 Home Security Resolutions

While your New Year’s Resolutions are fresh and at the forefront of your mind, we thought it would be a good idea to also suggest a few home security resolutions to you. This year, we hope that your home’s safety and security will be among your most pressing priorities. For most of the following resolutions, we have an affordable, do-it-yourself solution and our tech support team is always available to help answer your questions or to troubleshoot any installation snags you may encounter.

Cut All Shrubbery Near Doors, Windows, Walkways and Porches

An intruder’s profession requires him to be as sneaky as possible. Therefore, you can make his job a lot more difficult simply by trimming any overgrown hedges where a criminal may be tempted to lie in wait. I learned this lesson years ago when a team of burglars ran into the cul-de-sac where we used to live looking for a place to hide from the police. Two of the suspects were caught immediately, while another was found hiding near a neighbor’s front porch behind a large bush.

Change Your Routine

We’ve warned before about burglars who will sometimes clock your daily routine in order to plan the best time to rob you. It is easy enough to thwart this sort of criminal simply by doing things a little differently in 2013. For example, if you live close to your job, come home a few times each week for lunch. Or, if you only turn the lights on when you enter your home in the evening, consider placing your lights on a timer so that they can be scheduled to come on automatically at different times even when you’re not at home.

Layer Your Home Security

Experts recommend viewing home security in terms of layers. This means that no single security measure should be solely relied upon for home protection. Homeowners can intelligently plan their security in such a way that small measures, such as using yard signs and window decals, can be just as effective in deterring criminals as a state-of-the-art home security system.

Install Security Deterrents

When it comes to home security, deterrents are everything. Such are items that tend to shake a burglar’s confidence because they send a message that a homeowner has made plans for his arrival and, thus, increases the likelihood of him being caught. While a number of home security gadgets can be used as deterrents, some of the most popular and inexpensive deterrents are lawn posts and bright lighting strategically placed near windows and doors. Fake surveillance cameras are also rather inexpensive deterrents.

Never Assume That Your Home is Exempt From Burglary

The latest FBI report on burglary crimes indicates a rise in break-ins with more than two-million homeowners being victimized each year. Gone are the days of assuming that a neighborhood is safe or that a family dog or even an expensive alarm system is enough to keep criminals at bay. Instead, homeowners must become educated on crime prevention and take special effort to secure a home against burglary.

Install or Update Your Security Alarm System

Whether you prefer a wireless alarm system or one that is hardwired, every home should be equipped with a security alarm. If you have one already, consider expanding it to include more window and door sensors or even to include a surveillance system. If you don’t already have a security alarm installed, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you to do so early in the year instead of putting it off any longer. All of the systems that we offer can be self-installed and are affordable for most budgets. Our alarm systems can also be installed in temporary residences, such as dorm rooms and apartments. See our main store for more information.

Invest in Monitored Protection

The days of expensive monitoring contracts are nearing extinction. While third-party alarm companies still overcharge for this important security service, we do not. In addition to our quality DIY alarm systems and accessories, we can also help provide you with alarm monitoring for just $8.95 per month. This means that, for all of 2013, your home’s alarm system can be professionally monitored for $107.40. For less than .30 per day a team of live expert monitors can be employed to monitor your security system and contact help should you ever find yourself in a situation where you are unable to call for help on your own.

Should you need more ideas on securing your home, we encourage you to take a look at our essential home security checklist.

What Are Your 2013 Home Security Resolutions?

Have you thought about what you will do to beef up your home’s security this year? What special security projects have you been putting off? We enjoy reading your thoughts and we look forward to you sharing them in the comments section below.

How to Create a Smart Home

Creating a smart home increases a home’s intrinsic value, as well as creates an environment of comfort, convenience and security. Also known as home automation systems, there are plenty of do-it-yourself projects and devices that can be used to customize your own smart home. Most devices in this category are affordable, as well as relatively easy to install and use.

What Is a Smart Home?

By now, most people have heard of smart phones, but not everyone is familiar with smart homes or how they work. A smart home is one where just about everything that operates on electricity inside of the home is on an automated system. For example, a typical smart home features lighting that is on a timer, as well as can be activated remotely; a home alarm system; a keyless entry system; indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras; and automatic temperature controls. A homeowner’s favorite music can even be queued so that it automatically begins playing when a room is entered. Appliances, such as coffee makers and televisions can also be programmed to turn on and off at specific times. Overall, the purpose of a smart home is to create an environment of absolute comfort and security.

Who Can Afford a Smart Home?

My curiosity about smart homes began with an article I’d read several years ago about billionaire Bill Gates automating just about every single electrical item in his home. Like most people, I assumed that such a home was reserved for the obscenely wealthy and, while it made for interesting reading, I sort of filed the information away in my “one day when I hit the lottery” file. In recent years, however, smart homes have become more commonplace. In fact, recently constructed homes often come equipped with this type of technology, but older homes can also enjoy the comfort and practicality of a smart home on a do-it-yourself budget no less.

Alarms, Surveillance and Beyond

Obviously, we feature several different DIY alarm and surveillance systems, which can be installed in a smart home environment. In addition to these systems, however, we also offer a number of home automation devices to help you create your own smart home. Whether you are building a new home and wish to integrate the majority of your automated devices now or whether you would like to transform your existing home into a smart one by slowly adding one device at a time, we can help you get started.

A Brief Introduction to X10

In learning how to create a smart home, it helps to familiarize yourself with the technology that makes it all possible: X10. Devices that are able to send or receive X10 signals are able to wirelessly communicate with other X10 devices. This technology is literally the heart and soul of home automation. When shopping for smart home devices, therefore, it is important to always look for its presence before making a purchase.

Home Automation Devices to Consider

Assuming that you have already installed your own alarm and surveillance system (and if you have not, that you are planning to do so soon), let’s discuss some of the other home automation products that you can self-install with the goal of creating a smart home. One of the most practical devices you may want to start with is one that controls your home’s lighting. The Chamberlain Remote Light Control is an excellent choice to begin with as it offers you the power to control your home’s lighting with a remote control unit. A device like this one means never having to enter a dark home again. It can even be programmed to work with other electrical appliances, such as a television or a home stereo system.

Another popular home automation device is an intercom system. Practical, easy to install and affordable, a home intercom system allows family members to communicate with one another from multiple rooms within a household. Such really comes in handy for active families living in a large or a split-level home.

Wireless intercom systems can also be used to monitor rooms or areas of a home, as well as provide musical entertainment for family members. For example, the DMC1 Music/Communication System Master features an AM and FM radio tuner that can be used in 15 separate rooms in addition to its intercom function. This smart home device also allows homeowners to monitor live audio in certain rooms within the home, which comes in handy for families with young children or aging adults. When privacy is desired, however, certain rooms can also be muted.

Beyond the Fad

Creating a smart home is not only a fun and convenient way to enjoy your house, but it is also a very practical DIY project for anyone hoping to make life easier and safer for single people living alone, aging adults and busy families. These homes are not merely a passing fad, but are the future of modern households with a focus on security. We encourage you to visit our Home Automation section for more information on devices that you can install yourself in order to create your own smart home.

Which home automation devices do you regularly use and which ones do you plan to install soon?

Home Automation featured at Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas

Home AutomatiomThe International CES (Consumer Electronic Show) is the world’s largest annual trade show for consumer technology and America’s largest annual trade show of any kind.  It takes place every year in fabulous Las Vegas.  A record number of new exhibitors – more than 330 companies – will join more than 2,500 exhibitors in unveiling their latest technological innovations.  There are dozens of categories in which more than 20,000 new technology products are featured in.  One of those categories is Home Security & Automation and one of those products is the Schlage LiNK Remote Home-Management System.

The Schlage LiNK Remote Home-Management System enables a consumer to take advantage of wireless technology and can lock as well unlock doors via a remote control.  The technology behind this one of a kind system is called Z-Wave, which has been designed by Schlage specifically for wireless home automation.  To make use of this technology, household devices and systems are embedded with a RF (radio frequency) transmitter that sends commands and information to these systems wirelessly.

Users can not only operate doors, but also have the ability to monitor live camera feeds and control the lighting ambiance of a room, among many other features.  Plus, users do not exactly need a dedicated control for this security system, as the Schlage LiNK Remote Home-Management System can also be remotely monitored and operated from a computer or even from an iPhone or Blackberry.