This week we announced the availability of our DIY home security bundle, consisting of an Almond 2015, 2 door sensors, a motion sensor and a peanut plug for just 199.99 USD through our website. The bundle is a big saving compared to buying the products individually and enables you to create a basic home security system to monitor your house.
Home security is something always on our minds, but then so is the cost. A home security system can set us back hundreds of dollars in initial hardware and then large recurring monthly fees. You may live in an area where you feel pretty safe or you may move often. Consequently, you feel you don’t need or want to pay for a system from a traditional security system. Up to now have had no choice, but now you do. You can use a smart home hub like Almond to create your own DIY home security system.
With Almond smart home hub you can monitor your house, get notifications to your smartphone, and create warnings to deter thieves.
First, set up your Almond then link it with your app. Next think about the priority areas of your home for the sensors. Door and motion sensors work in different ways. Door or windows sensors usually come in two parts triggering when pulled apart. Place motion sensors up high inside the house to scan a larger area.
For the door sensor choose a vulnerable area. It may be your door if you don’t have great faith in your lock or it might be a downstairs window in the back of the house. For the motion sensor look for a position that can cover the largest possible area. You can test by waving your hand at the sensor to see if the light flashes. Once you are happy that you know which parts of the room are covered, stick it to the wall.
The next step is to connect the sensors to your Almond by following through the quick setup guide. It is very simple and you can easily see if you have successfully done so on the touchscreen. Also, if you have set up your Almond account the sensors will appear under the Devices tab in your Almond app. The last step is to go to your sensors in the Devices tab and click the Settings menu on the right. Go to notifications and select, from the options: Off, Always and Away. If you click Away you will only get a notification if your Almond is in Away mode.
Now this is done give a try. Go jump up and down in front your motion sensor or open the window. If you have set up correctly and tapped the Always option then messages should come instantaneously to your phone. As long as you are on the Internet you will receive an instant notification wherever you are.
Building out Your DIY Home Security System
The above is just a basic set up. You might want to expand out your system in the following ways:
- More door and motion sensors for other key parts of your home.
- Siren or alarm to link up with your sensors.
- Other smart products and sensors to create your own personalized warnings and notifications.
Protecting with a Siren
Almond is compatible with hundreds of third party devices including sirens. You can get a list here. Once you have linked the siren to Almond you can use Almond’s Rules Engine to create sophisticated and powerful home security automations.
To do so is straightforward. Let’s say you want the siren to ring if any of the door or motion sensors are triggered, but only if you are out of the house.
Go to the Rules tab in your Almond app. On the IF tab select Away mode (Home and Away modes are similar to Arm and Disarm, we added them to Almond because you don’t want your siren going off if you are in the house). Then select one of your sensors and pick the icon for activated. Next go to the Then tab and select your siren and choose a sound. Once you have finished save the rule.
You have now created your own DIY home security and alarm system.
Making your DIY Home Security More Personal and Powerful with other Smart Devices
There are many ways you can strengthen and make your DIY home security solution more personal for you.
- Time – When you go to bed you want your alarm to sound, but you switched Almond to Home mode. No problem. Just create another rule that says if it is after 11pm, and the sensors are triggered, sound the alarm.
- Lighting – In the above example it may well be that you go to bed at different times so don’t want your alarm system tied to the time. If so you have smart lights or even an older light plugged into a smart plug, you can create an automation to activate the alarm. For example, when the light is switched off and the sensors are triggered, sound the alarm.
- Smart devices to create innovative warnings – Alarms can often be confusing as they may be cut or turned off by a determined thief. Your neighbours may not realize they should call the police. One solution is to also flash a light in an upstairs bedroom blue. If nobody turns it out your neighbour will be clear there is a problem. Other smart devices – Other smart devices can also help with warning and also personalization.
- Prevention and saving money – Perhaps you are going away for a couple of days or you are simply coming home later than expected, and you want it to appear someone is home. This is easy as you can turn on and off your lights with the Almond app. You can also create a rule so they are only on for certain times of the day, thus saving your lighting bill.
A Smart Home Hub is Limited only by your Imagination
Above are just a few examples of how you can use a smart home hub to create an innovative and personalized DIY home security system – Much of which wouldn’t be possible with a traditional system. You are only limited by your imagination. Plug your old tennis serve machine into a smart plug and fire balls at the thief. Turn on a blender and your smoke detector to create enough noise they high tail it without taking anything.
The benefits of using a smart home hub to create your own DIY home security system are numerous. For example, you get ease of installation and movement to a new location if you are a renter.
For more information on the benefits of smart home hubs for DIY home security, what features to look for when choosing a smart home hub, and also the kinds of equipment you may need, you can read this post.