Security companies, of course, for years, have provided remote monitoring of our homes to those willing to pay for it. Many companies like ADT, FrontPoint or AT&T Digital Life are expanding into at leastoffering some home automation gadgetry.
With the advent of affordable home automation, people are looking for more than just “security.” We want to be able to monitor and adjust their smart homes, themselves, even when remote. Want to look in to see how the puppy is doing, from work? Turn on the lights before you get home… You get the idea. That means that WE need the ability to do our own monitoring, even if we are paying a company for security monitoring. And we want to be able to make sure we locked the door when we left, or closed the garage. Or turned down the thermostat.
It’s logical, therefore, for the security based companies, to expand into home automation. After all, they already have the expertise for the monitoring side, they just need to also be able to share some of that monitoring and control with you.
But it’s not just the security aspects. One big issue for us all to think about, is that if we go with a company that offers both security and home automation, whether they can provide all the capabilities we ask for. In our series of looks at different subscription based solutions, that will be a key aspect that we will discuss.
I think you’ll find that since home automation gear is changing so rapidly, that there’s far more capabilities and a huge variety of types of gear out there that can be done by a DIY type person, and also, by anyone hiring a local home theater/home automation type company, than you will find offered by most of the big security company types.
Do you, therefore, want to consider having two separate systems? Maybe? At first thought, probably not. But then, you may already have a security system, so it’s not that far fetched, it’s even logical: Security experts for security, home automation experts for your smart home.
As you will read in our next published piece – one on AT&T’s Digital Life solution, they’ve got security monitoring, and the hardware to go with it: Locks and door sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, etc. Even wall light dimmers and outlets. But, so far, no support for smart light bulbs, motorized shades, etc.
Want to use some smart, color, RGB or RGBW bulbs in your house, and change colors, set times, etc? Sorry, AT&T at this point has no support for that. But you can put a lot of LED or CFL (or conventional) bulbs around the house, that are controlled by smart wall switches,allowing you to control them by schedule, and you can dim those that are dimmable. Color lighting, I truly believe, is coming to your home environment, so, personally, I consider support for smart bulbs, and especially smart color bulbs to be something many of us will want, even if we’re primarily hooked on white light. But not all are supporting that yet.