Home security and alarm systems have been available for a long time. However, standard solutions usually focus on a simple alarm system that sounds an alarm when a motion detector or other sensor is triggered. Unfortunately these alarms are mostly ignored unless it really annoys your neighbours!
An alternative is to have the alarm system monitored by a company who then respond to any alarm by visiting the house and alerting you. This is a good, but very expensive solution, costing at least £250/€320 per year!
Using Home Automation for Security
Home automation technologies offer a very affordable and easy to install solution that will cover all your security needs. They can sound alarms when sensors are triggered, and even send you text/email alerts if connected to the Internet via a suitable Gateway.
Home Automation enables you to protect your home inside and outside.
The leading technology offering advanced capabilities that make it the most flexible solution for all home automation systems:
- Two-way wireless communication - all messages acknowledged, if one gets lost it is automatically repeated
- Mesh networking - automatically covers dead-spots, great for large installations
- Easy connection to the Internet - sends texts, emails or even streaming video that can be recorded
- Huge range of products - 27 vendors offering nearly 700 devices s for lighting, heating, security and energy management
- Good selection of security devices and cameras available
A new technology which offers a reasonable performance for most home automation applications at a very low cost.
- Simple wireless technology - does not include two-way communication or mesh networking
- Small number of products - only offered by one vendor and limited to UK style plugs
- Can be connected to the internet to send texts or emails
- Very limited number of security products
Z-Wave - currently Z-Wave has the most extensive range of security products available - for this reason it's our recommended solution.
However, if you have a small installation where your main focus is on lighting and power control, then LightwaveRF is worth a look.
Choosing your Components
We've compiled a list of products that we feel represent good value for money and provide the features you need to start your home automation security system. You don’t need to buy the whole system at once, you can buy what you need and then expand it.
Controllers and remotes are the starting point of your smart home system, allowing you to configure and control the whole network.
By adding a Gateway Controller, you can also access the network from anywhere in the world using your Smartphone or PC.
The VERA Lite Internet Gateway is designed for users that already have a Wi-Fi router and want to add Z-Wave home control at the most affordable price. If you need a gateway controller with integrated Wi-Fi router, take a look at the VERA3 controller.
The LightwaveRF Connect Wifi-Link allows you to use a PC or Smartphone to remotely control any of your LightwaveRF devices.
The Everspring motion detectors can be triggered by movement or changes in light level, allowing them to be used as a security and home automation sensor. When triggered they can turn lights On or send an alert to the Z-Wave network.
This PIR motion detector will send an alert to an unlimited number of LightwaveRF devices, enabling it to automatically trigger and alarm or switch lights and other appliances.
Door and Window Sensors
Incredibly versatile 3-in-1 Sensor detects movement as a door or window is opened/closed, measures temperature and can take input from any ‘Binary Sensor’. Probably the best sensor for any Z-Wave network and at a fantastic price.
Detects when a door or window has been opened or closed and sends a message to the Z-Wave network. This can trigger a simple light to turn on or raise an alarm.
Simple magnetic device sends an alert to other LightwaveRF devices when the window or door is opened or closed. Includes a timer to automatically turn other devices Off after a pre-set period - great for triggering lights when people enter a room and then
automatically turn them off when no one is there.
Very loud, 100dB siren can be can be triggered by any Z-Wave motion detector or sensor. The siren can be positioned anywhere
indoors and is mains or battery-powered so easy to fit wherever you like indoors.
Socket adapters plug into outlet sockets and enable the system to control appliances (On/Off) based on set times or by other network sensors such as motion detectors. For example a sensor can automatically switch a light On when you walk into a room and then turn it Off when there is no activity. Some sockets can also track energy consumption of the connected appliances.
Possibly the ultimate Z-Wave wall plug enables you to control any appliance wirelessly as well as showing you how much power is being used, allowing you to measure power consumption and to test the wireless coverage of your Z-Wave network.
Simple, cheap and reliable solution, Z-Wave controlled sockets are a great addition to any security system as they can be used to wirelessly control lights or other appliances. For example motion sensor can be positioned outside you home and trigger lights inside before intrusion occurs.
On/Off sockets control any appliance or lamp by simply plugging into the mains socket. Used to turn on a lamp or appliance when an alarm is triggered or making it look like you’re home by switching lamps on or off.
Great value - kit includes three sockets and a remote control.
By choosing the right components for your set-up, you’ll be able to easily create a very capable security system using the latest home automation technology.
A system that doesn't cost the earth, is easy to configure and has no ongoing maintenance costs.