With any Smart Home system, Control4, Savant, or Crestron, you have a lot of integrated parts.
There is video distribution, audio distribution, automated shades, lighting control, and more.
You have this fantastic system in your home, and now you want to finish it off with the perfect Home Security System.
Which Security System is right for your Smart Home?
Before we dive into this, here’s a little background on Tym you’ll probably find helpful.
Over the years, I’ve noticed Clients are often surprised to learn a Smart Home and Home Theater company has any burglar alarm experience at all.
My business partners and I have been in the Home Security business for over a decade. I started out selling and managing a team for a large national Security company.
And here at Tym, we’ve sold and installed thousands of Home Security Systems across the nation.
So, you can feel confident about the information here.
There Are Two Types Of Security Systems
Broadly speaking, there are two types of Alarm Systems.
- Standalone Security Systems that do not integrate, and…
- Integrated Security Systems
Standalone Security Systems
Standalone security systems are what most Clients have experienced. The System has its own standalone app; it’s like Alarm.com, ADT’s Pulse, or SimpliSafe.
These standalone security apps give you the ability to arm and disarm your system from your mobile device and receive notifications from your Security System.
Today, most of these standalone systems have basic Smart Home features enabled. They can control z-wave enabled light switches, smart thermostats, and door locks.
However, they do not integrate with the larger Smart Home Platforms. Which is why we call them standalone systems.
Integrated Security Systems
As you probably guessed, integrated Security Systems integrate with the major Smart Home platforms on the market today.
Likely the biggest advantage here is the ability for your Security System to drive and be included in scenes.
For example, you may have a scene programmed that triggers lights and music to come on when you walk through the Garage Door.
The security sensor on the garage door will trigger the Smart Home system to turn on the lights and start the music.
Or, if you want to tell Alexa or Josh.ai ‘Goodnight,’ have the Security System arm, and doors lock as part of that scene, you’ll need an integrated Security System.
I’m generalizing now, but typically the mainstream Security Systems you get for free as part of a 3-year service agreement, or you self-install from a company like SimpliSafe, will not integrate.
As for the specific Security System, each Security Dealer and Integrator will have their own favorites, but by and large, all the major brands have a solution that integrates.
DSC, Honeywell, GE, HAI, etc. they all have models that can integrate with your Smart Home.
Some Integrators will install the Security for you, but often times your Integrator will refer a reputable Home Security Dealer in your area.
The Challenge Integrating Home Security and Smart Homes
For whatever reason, Smart Home Platforms like Control4 and Savant don’t have an enjoyable user experience for Home Security.
The app works, it’s functional, but we’ve found most Clients prefer the user experience of standalone security Apps like Alarm.com.
However, those same Clients love the ability to integrate their Home Security System with their Smart Home for scenes and voice control.
So… we try and use Security Systems that can give you both options. Today, we use a DSC Touchscreen Keypad, with an Alarm.com cell unit.
The DSC Security System fully integrates with your Smart Home for scenes and voice control.
And… when you’re on the go, you can use the more popular Alarm.com app to control your system and receive notifications.
As technology improves, I’m certain this will change, but it’s where we are today. We believe this approach gives you the best overall experience for both Security and Smart Home.
What’s The Cost Difference Between Standalone and Integrated Home Security
Clients usually assume there’s a major difference between standalone and integrated security systems, but any more prices are very similar.
It’s certainly possible to spend a lot on an integrated Home Security System, especially if it’s a highly sophisticated setup with partitions, maid houses or casitas.
But for the most part, you’re going to find similar prices for hardware and monitoring either way you choose.
Which System Should You Choose
Like most tech in your home, I think it’s about your personal preferences.
We recently won Home Theater of The Year from the Consumer Technology Association at CES 2019.
The Home was also a finalist for Home of The Year and had a very sophisticated Smart Home System driven by Savant.
Most dealers would have integrated the Security System, but the Client a Stand-Alone Security System he was already familiar with.
He and his family were already familiar with an Alarm.com solution, so we stayed with that.
It doesn’t matter how big or sophisticated the Smart Home is, or for that matter how simple it is.
If you want your Home Security System to integrate with your Smart Home, then choose a system accordingly.
If you have a system like SimpliSafe you’re already fond of, nothing wrong keeping it stand alone.
For my part, I prefer the ability to integrate. So when Clients leave it to me, that’s what I encourage them to do.
If you’re trying to decide on a Home Security System for your home, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you find the right solution.
We carry both professionally installed and DIY solutions. We can provide Security bundled with Service Agreements, and we have no contract options as well.
Co-Founder of Tym
Named one of Technology Integrator’s Top Talent Under 40, Matt has designed systems for 12 national award-winning projects, including "Home Theater of the Year", and "Custom Smart Home of the Year" from CTA™ (Consumer Technology Association). His ebook “How To Wire Your Smart Home” is a best seller among professionals and DIY-ers alike. You can watch Matt share the secrets of his craft on YouTube!
Matt is a Golden State fan.