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The Best Smart Home Security Devices for Beginners

Even as businesses and schools open back up, many people across the U.S. have transitioned to full-time remote work. Security and comfort are more important than ever as people spend more time at home. 

Today, close to 70% of security system owners have an interactive smart home setup. Smart door locks and smart lights, for example, can make a home more secure and comfortable to live in. Install a few of these interconnected smart devices together, and you can create a seamless, secure smart home experience managed from the convenience of your phone.

There are thousands of smart devices out there. So, where do you start? How do you know what devices to pick? Below we discuss why you should hop aboard the smart home train and what devices you should consider first. 

30% of U.S. broadband households own a smart home device.

Home automation has been explored in various media, including stories by Ray Bradbury and the movie Back to the Future Part II. The idea of home automation has really captivated us for decades. Now, we actually have access to many smart devices that can automate our everyday lives.

It started—and continues to be possible—with the invention of Z-Wave, a smart home platform. Z-Wave devices can all connect together and be operated by a single smartphone. You can operate smart lights, for example, in the basement, first floor, and the upstairs bedroom all at the same time. Nearly all Z-Wave smart devices work in this way. 

The ability to connect and control devices throughout a home is why so many consumers adopt smart home technology. Tens of millions of people in the U.S. now own at least one smart device. That’s not entirely surprising, especially given the events of the past couple of years. In response to the pandemic, roughly 1 in 4 Americans now work from home full-time. Millions of people are spending 40 additional hours per week inside their homes compared to before the pandemic. 

Smart home tech was popular before, and it’s even more popular now. Smart home devices allow people to increase the security and comfort of their homes while also introducing new experiences to everyday living. 

The 5 best smart home security devices for beginners. 

If you want to build a smart home, you have to start somewhere. Here are the 5 best smart devices for beginners, with an emphasis on products that improve home security. 

1. Smart door locks

Smart door locks are an essential part of any smart home. Installation is easy: all you need is a screwdriver or drill to remove the existing lock and install the smart lock. You can add a smart lock to almost any door.

Smart door locks are controlled by a keypad, biometric sensor, or smartphone. The one you go with depends on personal preference. For the truest automation experience, go with a smart lock that you can operate from an app. This way, you can lock and unlock a door remotely and even check the status of a lock when you are not home. 

2. Smart video doorbell

A smart video doorbell allows you to keep tabs on who is at your door at all times. The most recently released doorbells offer HD video recording, and some even come with audio input and output so you can hear and talk to guests at the door. Another built-in feature to look for is motion detection. Some video doorbell cameras will only record when motion is detected, which can save battery life. You may need to adjust the motion detection sensitivity to avoid unnecessary notifications. 

Speaking of battery life, you can find either wired or wireless smart doorbells. Wireless doorbells run on batteries, which can drain rather quickly if the camera is always on. Motion detection can help, as the camera will enter sleep mode when no one is around. A wired device makes sense if you have close access to an outlet or want the camera to run 24/7.

3. Smart sensors

We have talked a lot about motion sensors and contact sensors. They are two of the most important parts of a well-rounded home security system. Motion sensors detect motion in a given area, like a hallway or living room. Contact sensors installed on doors and windows alert you when a door or window is opened. 

Smart sensors are versatile and can perform different functions. A smart sensor can do one or all of the following: 

  • Send an alert to your phone
  • Trigger an alarm
  • Turn lights on and off

It just depends on your home and security system. Say you want the lights to come on when you enter the kitchen: a smart motion detector can do this automatically. Or, if you want the alarm to trigger when a window is opened, a smart contact sensor can do that for you. 

4. Smart garage door opener

Did you close the garage when you left home today?  A smart garage door opener can get rid of the guesswork because you can actually check if the garage door is open or closed from virtually anywhere. If it is open and you are not home, you can close it with the tap of a button. Pair it with smart door locks, and you can be sure your home is completely locked down while you are away. 

One other advantage of a smart garage door opener is that you no longer have to carry around a physical opener in your car or on your keyring. The button to open the garage door is on your phone. Some smart door openers come equipped with geofencing technology, which means the garage door will open automatically when you pull into the driveway.  

5. Smart lights

Smart lights help improve home security and are incredibly convenient. With one tap, you can operate lights inside and outside your home, and like most smart devices, you can turn them off or on from anywhere. 

Ensuring outdoor lights are on when you are not home is a great way to make it look as if you are home, which can deter would-be criminals. If you are home, well, there is no reason to pause your favorite show just to get up and turn off a light. You can do that from your phone, easy!

Smart lights are LEDs, which makes them energy efficient. They even come with different color options so you can match the lighting to your current mood. 

A smart home is secure and convenient. Start with a few essential devices and build out from there. 

Home automation devices make everyday life more secure and convenient, and even fun. If you are just getting started with a smart home build, start with the devices we discussed above. As you build up your system, you will learn what you absolutely need and what you can live without. 

If you have any questions about home automation, or if you want a security system quote, contact Bay Alarm today. We have secured homes just like yours for 75 years and now offer a suite of home automation tools and devices that can help you get the most out of your security system.