Thinking about installing a home security system? That’s great. Vivint SmartHome says that a good system can help protect you against criminals as well as monitoring for fire, carbon monoxide and flood. When coupled with smart home equipment, a good system can even help you save energy by managing your lights, thermostat, and electronic devices more effectively.
The thing you have to ask yourself is how you are going to go about buying and installing a system. You could go the DIY route. You could hire a company to do everything for you. A third option is to combine both DIY and professional services to create the perfect system.
DIY home security systems weren’t all that popular until about five or six years ago. Before the era of wireless, it was just too complicated to install and maintain a home security system yourself. How things have changed. Today’s DIY systems are easier than ever before to install.
Your typical DIY system is a wireless system. It can be installed without cutting into the walls or having to access an electrical panel. Anyone who can set up a wireless router should have no trouble setting up a DIY security system. A good system comes with a central hub, a few door and window sensors, and at least one wireless video camera.
The primary benefit of a DIY system is cost. Because you install it yourself, you are not paying for professional installation. You can also monitor the system yourself. That means avoiding monthly monitoring fees.
Professional installation obviously costs more because of the labor involved. Depending on the contractor you choose, you might also find that the hardware is a bit more expensive because it is on the upper end of the quality spectrum. Still, it might be worth paying if you want top-of-the-line everything with a guarantee that it just works.
You can go either wired or wireless with professional installation. Wired systems are a breeze to install in new construction. They are a bit more difficult in existing homes. Wireless systems are easy regardless.
Your biggest benefit of professional installation is flawless set up with multiple components. The pros know how to install all of your security and smart home equipment so that everything interacts seamlessly and without issue. Installers can even handle initial programming for lighting, thermostats, etc.
You might choose to combine both DIY and professional services to create that perfect package. How would it work? You would purchase and install a DIY system from a major manufacturer. However, you would pay the professionals to monitor your system 24/7. This really is the best of both worlds.
DIY systems are simple enough to install, so it’s really unnecessary to pay for installation unless you absolutely don’t know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you should be fine. Yet it is still a particularly good idea to pay for professional monitoring. Professional monitoring keeps an eye on your home whether you are there or not. It acts as a second set of ears and eyes as well as someone else to notify authorities in the event of an emergency.
Choosing Your Equipment
Regardless of the direction you decide to take, one of your first tasks will be choosing your equipment. A good security system begins with window and door sensors and at least one video surveillance camera. Two cameras would be better. From there, you can add a video doorbell, extra window and door sensors, and sensors for carbon monoxide, smoke, and water.
Making your home security system double as a smart home system is not a bad idea. Basic smart home components include smart thermostats and lighting systems. Both lights and thermostats can be controlled remotely using a smartphone. Of course, you can also add smart door locks, sensors for controlling motorized window shades, and more.
The most important thing to remember here is that you have plenty of choices. Unlike the market some 30 years ago, today’s market offers hundreds of different home security and home automation devices that can be connected in a smart system that keeps you safe and makes your home more efficient.