If you are new to having a smart home, you definitely want to know how to to get the most out of home automation. Home automation is one of the most exciting advances in home technologies ever, and also the most useful. A well designed and integrated smart home system offers so much more than mere convenience; it also offers improved home security, increased energy savings, and allows you to manage safety as well as provides greater insights on daily activities at home. But, you need to know how.

1: Have a System Designed to Meet Your Needs

The first and most important step in getting the most out of home automation is to have the system professionally designed to meet your needs. A professionally installed system will cover all of your needs and concerns and gear them to the specifications of your home. This will ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion sensors, security cameras and locks are all exactly where they are most needed. It will also ensure that all your expectations are met, whether it is being able to access security footage remotely, or having 24/7 monitoring. Professionally installed systems also ensure compatibility among products in a constantly evolving industry.

2: Invest in the Right Products

There are a ton of home automation options on the market, and all of them are compelling. That doesn’t mean they will all serve your unique needs. Look for smart devices and services that truly benefit you. For example, smart thermostats and smart lighting are convenient and provide energy and money savings and that is a high priority. For another, being able to access as many systems as possible remotely may not be a convenience, but a matter of necessity. Opt in to what meets your needs.

3: Program it Properly

Ok, so early versions of smart home technologies were complex and difficult to program. But that is not true today. In fact, smart home technologies are so smart that you can easily program your preferences into the system and have the system itself learn your usage patterns and adjust accordingly.

4: Think of Each Element as a Tool

When you think of each individual element of home automation as a tool, you start to think of all of the ways it can be used. Smart lighting goes from just turning on lights in the morning and off at light to being used as a crime deterrent, and safety feature. Motion sensors go from detecting intruders to monitoring the movements of the sick or infirmed.

5: Choose the Right Company

To get the most out of home automation, you need a company with great service and support. The industry is always evolving and offering new options and a reputable company with experienced technicians will help you stay ahead of the trends.

Your life is individual, and your home automation and security system should be, too. Security Instrument Corp. Offers a full line of electronic security, life safety, and home automation products and services and unparalleled support.
With Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, Security Instrument owns and operates it’s own state of the art, UL listed, Factory Mutual Approved Central Station delivering personalized, comprehensive, monitoring, information, and support services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

In previous eras, homeowners could only dream about knowing what was happening at home when they weren’t there. But today, knowing what’s going on at home is easy to do – that is, provided there are smart video cameras integrated in the home security system. When smart home cameras are installed, all homeowners need to do is take out the phone, open the home security app, and get an instant view of the activity being captured on camera.

Here are some other details for smart home camera newbies.

 

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Homeowners have a wide range of choices when it comes to smart home cameras. With guidance from the right security company, they can decide what model will work best for their home security needs based on home size, family size, and household budget. As a private company since 1960 that has serviced countless homeowners, Security Instrument can provide that guidance.

They come with high quality monitoring service.

The smartphone app is a homeowner’s portal to the numerous features in a smart home system. One of those is the notifications feature, which allow the homeowner to customize which events they want alerts for; when people come home and when someone is at the door are two prime examples.

But what if one of those events is a true emergency, and the homeowner misses the notification? Security monitoring service is there to fill in the gap. At the central station monitoring center, trained security operators are standing by ready to respond to alarm activations – and with smart home cameras, there is footage to verify the nature of the emergency. This is how smart home systems make alarms and video work together.

They aren’t just for security.

Smart home technology is excellent for security, but it does more than offer an extra layer of protection for the household. It can also help simplify the essential processes after a disaster. For instance: After a house fire, the video can be submitted to the insurance company as critical evidence documenting how the fire occurred. Real homeowners have benefited from this service, filing more successful insurance claims when a fire originates from circumstances out of their control.

To learn more about smart home cameras for home security newbies, contact Security Instrument. We will be happy to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Early summer is the most popular time of year for weddings, and that means many young professionals will be making plans for their new lives together. Since this demographic is buying homes at a younger age than they have in decades, it makes sense that more young professionals starting out are looking at home security systems. They want to start life out the safe way, and they know that electronic security is the best way to do it.

Better still, young professionals are attracted to the idea of automating their homes with smart home technology. When they find out that home security equipment can do “double duty” by providing automation and protection, they’re hooked.

What Smart Home Security Offers Young Professionals

With smart home security, young professionals can:  

  • Be aware of home intrusion threats controlling their alarms and cameras from a smartphone app
  • Benefit from motion detection, glass break detection and responsive video monitoring – all of it interconnected
  • Pay lower utility bills and feel good about energy consumption because of smart thermostat connection
  • Entertain with class by giving invited guests a temporary security code they can come and go with, and deactivate it when the visit is over
  • Lock and unlock doors and windows from work, vacation or the road, just by pulling out their phones and tapping on the app

This isn’t their parents’ home security.

For couples who are ready to take another giant leap toward adulthood, a smart home security system just makes sense. To learn more, contact Security Instrument. We are happy to provide young professionals with a free home security evaluation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options. We are a Delaware home security company that serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Between Father’s Day, graduations and the summer gatherings that come after them, June is the perfect month to upgrade the man cave room of the home. There’s good news for men who want to do this: It can all be done with one simple upgrade to your home’s security system.

How can a security system upgrade benefit your man cave? Here are some great possibilities.

Improved Security for Your Valuables

What’s an upscale man cave without a few heirlooms? Maybe it’s that liquor bottle passed down through the generations, or a framed baseball card collection. Whatever it is, placing an extra sensor on them can give them the protection you want. When you have a smart home component to your security system, you’ll receive a text alert to your phone when someone gets too close.

Smart Locks for Easier Entertaining

When everyone comes over for the big grad party or Father’s Day gathering, how great would it be to let everyone in without having to go to do the door? That’s another convenience a smart home upgrade offers. Guests will still ring the bell, but hosts can see who it is using their phones, and speak to them through the doorbell’s camera speaker. With a tap of the app, the guests will be let in when you unlock the smart lock. You can do it all without having to leave your spot, whether it’s the BBQ station or the couch.

What’s an upscale man cave without a few heirlooms? Maybe it’s that liquor bottle passed down through the generations, or a framed baseball card collection. Whatever it is, placing an extra sensor on them can give them the protection you want.

Total Automation with Doorbell Camera Systems

Automation is the hottest home upgrade, and your man cave can benefit from it too. Imagine being able to set the scene for a party – turning down the lights, turning up the air conditioning, and disarming the security system for guests – all with one tap on your phone. That’s one more thing that makes smart home automation the ultimate upgrade for the man cave. Your guests will be seriously impressed when you show them how the “scene” function on your system works – and when it comes to throwing a party, isn’t impressing people one of the most important goals?

To learn more about this ultimate upgrade for man caves in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

It’s no secret that the costs of homeownership can add up. But because some costs can be managed better than others, homeowners may be able to control how much they pay for some essential services. Take utilities, for example. Unlike your mortgage payment and property taxes, you can exercise some control over how much you pay for heating, cooling and lighting in the home. It all comes down to saving energy.

Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. Using your home security system and your smartphone, you may be able to save enough energy every month to pay less for the services that heat and cool your home. Best of all, you can start saving on utilities in Delaware Valley this very summer.

Saving on Utilities Doesn’t Have to Be Hard 

What’s the technology?

It’s a smart home system that integrates with the home security system. Homeowners who upgrade their traditional alarm systems to smart home security technology can also have smart thermostats integrated; these intelligent thermostat devices help them reduce the energy they use, which can save them money in the very first month.

A smart thermostat uses contact sensors that instinctively respond to movement in the home. Because it learns your household patterns, it knows when to adjust to a comfortable temperature – and, when to keep the temperature as it is. It also features location-based automation that knows what to do based on where you are. If you’re on your way home, the air conditioning can come on minutes before your arrival so you arrive to a comfortable home. If you have just left, it knows it’s time to shut the air off so you keep your utility bills manageable. And if you want to change anything, it’s easy to do with a tap of your smartphone.

Other Ways to Save 

With a smart home security system, saving on utilities in Delaware Valley happens throughout the year. This summer, you can experiment with a programming option that turns the air conditioning on when temperatures hit 95 degrees or higher. Another easy way to save is to program the thermostat to stay inactive when the security system is armed. You also have the ability to produce a “scene” in the system that performs all money-saving functions at the same time: adjusting the thermostat, turning off the lights and even drawing down the window shades. If all these essential household functions are connected to your system, it’s easy to stay in control.

To learn more about saving on utilities this summer with your security system, Security Instrument invites you to request a free home security assessment.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is one of the Delaware Valley’s largest full-service independently-owned security companues, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

That’s a question some homeowners ask when they’re looking for home security on a tight budget. It’s admirable to explore a DIY option for many kinds of home improvement projects, of course – and for renters, or those with severe credit challenges, installing your own security system may be one of those projects. But for the average homeowner, it isn’t. Here’s why.

Reason 1: The Risk of User Error

When a home security system is installed by the homeowner rather than a professional installation expert, there is not only an increased risk of improper installation; there’s also an increased risk of the system malfunctioning because of those errors. Anyone who is thinking of installing their own home security system must consider whether those risks are worth the relatively small amount of money that was saved.

Reason 2: Monitoring Not Included  

Another reason installing your own security system is less desirable is there are very few options for having a self-installed system monitored. In most cases, the system is only designed to activate an internal siren to scare off an intruder. That’s better than no security system at all, of course – but it’s still not the same as having the system connected to a central station monitoring center that dispatches the authorities when it’s triggered.

When a home security system is installed by the homeowner rather than a professional installation expert, there is not only an increased risk of improper installation; there’s also an increased risk of the system malfunctioning because of those errors.

 

Reason 3: No Home Control

If remote access is important to you, then installing your own security system is not likely to be a good choice. Most self-installation kits are not designed to connect to your mobile phone, which means no:

  • Arming and disarming your system from your phone
  • Checking home security cameras while you’re away
  • Notifications when the alarm is triggered

If these are features you want in a home security system, then professional installation is highly recommended. And if you installed your own security system in the past? It may be time for an upgrade to a professionally installed and monitored system that offers you total control with remote smartphone access.

To discuss your own options for professional home security installation and monitoring, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The Superbowl only happens once a year, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to take a day off from home security. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your home securely monitored when you have a home control system.

If you have an outdated alarm system at home, there’s only so much it can do on a big day like the Superbowl. Having friends over? Don’t forget to disarm the system before they come in, using your “last generation” alarm keypad. With a home control system, you can disarm the alarm with a tap on your phone – and you don’t even need to be home to do it! Arm your system when you run out for game day snacks or go to church in the morning, and then disarm it as you pull back into the driveway. When company’s coming over and the pressure is on to get everything “just right,” that’s the kind of convenience a home control security system offers.

PREVENT AN OPEN HOUSE CATASTROPHE

And the convenience doesn’t stop once everyone arrives. The Superbowl tends to be an occasion that lends itself to “open house” style parties, whether or not the host says it is.

Before you know it, your friends have brought their friends – and you don’t know half the people on your property. That’s when your home control security system can be a life saver.

Without ever getting off the couch, you can check on that couple who wandered out into the backyard or the kids who are spending a little too much time near the baby’s room. You can find out what they’re doing discreetly and proceed as you see fit, thanks to your convenient home control app.

WATCH AWAY FROM HOME IN COMFORT

But what if you’re watching the Superbowl from the local sports bar? Arm your system with your phone before you leave, and rest assured that anyone who’s been staking out the house is going to get a noisy reality check if they try to break in. You can even check on your live video from the comfort of your bar stool. For this year’s Superbowl, you’ll have the safest fun you’ve had in years thanks to your home control security system. To learn more, contact Security Instrument for a home security consultation.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

We all know that smart home technologies are widely available, affordable and effective, but can they also save you money?  Yes, and in ways you may not have guessed. Here are 4 reasons to opt into smart home and automation technologies.

Smart Thermostats

Investing in a smart thermostat is a smart, cost-saving decision for a number of reasons. Heating and cooling account for nearly half of a home’s energy costs, so getting that under control can provide substantial savings. Smart thermostats can do this by learning your usage and preferences and adjust accordingly so you are never heating and cooling unnecessarily. You can also use it to turn on your heating or cooling from afar, so you can adjust the temperature just before you get home, rather than leaving it on all day so that you can come home to a comfortable home.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting lets you upgrade your space with features such as motion sensors, dimmers, and app access, but even better -these features save money on your utility bill.

  • Using LED lighting, dimmers save money on a 1:1 ratio so dimming 50%  reduces energy usage by 50%.
  • Motion sensors ensure that lights go off when not in use and on when you need them.
  • App Control provides a way to turn off and on lights from anywhere, so you can still return home to a well-lit home without having to leave them on while away.

Remote Power Management

We’d probably be quite surprised if we could add up all of the wasted energy we use and measure it against our actual needful usage. Leaving lights, fans, electronics, appliances, and things like curling irons is a huge and costly waste. Energy consumption by televisions and other electronics that are in the “always on” mode (but look off) is also a big contributor of wasted energy. With smart home technology, you can control all of these things from an app on your smartphone or tablet, and precisely manage your energy use.

Pro Tip: Energy consumption by televisions and other electronics that are in the “always on” mode (but look off) is also a big contributor of wasted energy.

 

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

It may seem like a small thing, but when all of the peripheral things are working efficiently, automatically, and smartly then you can, too. By using these things as a tool you can keep yourself on track, on time, and motivated. For example, using lighting and temperature controls can help you wake up on time, while enabled appliances are already at work so that you can get to work more quickly. You can also eliminate distractions with smart technologies like video doorbells so that you can accomplish your tasks without interruptions. All of these things ultimately make and save you money.

Adopting smart technologies for a truly connected home not only puts a lot of cool features and conveniences in your hand, it keeps money in your pocket.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently owned security firm, serving Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland with safety, security, and smart home technologies.

Now that home security customers have access to interactive systems that can control lights inside the home, there is a greater opportunity for them to use lights as a security tool. How is that done? Here are some ideas for making the lights in your home a security advantage, using the Virtual Keypad app on your mobile device.

  • When you arrive home at night, manually turn on your front door lights from the driveway before exiting the car – or better yet, turn them on before you leave work.
  • Alternatively, program your lights to automatically come on at the same time the alarm is disarmed every night.
  • If you live alone or are concerned about night time break-ins, program a downstairs lamp to come on during peak vulnerability hours. For example, a light can be on from midnight-4 a.m. Ask us about the optional lamp module service that does this!
  • Program indoor lights to come on if there is an alarm activation.
  • Before going on vacation or away overnight, program your lights to come on at dusk and remain on until sunrise.

Of course, you can customize your Home Automation system to turn lights on and off as needed; after all, no one knows your schedule better than you.

Remember, though: This is also a remote energy management system. With the economy being what it is, we can all use a viable way to cut corners; what better place to start than your utility usage? It may not be practical to stop running your dishwasher at night or to cut down on the family’s laundry. But what is practical is making sure lights are only on when they need to be, and that is what Security Instrument offers.

About Security Instrument

To learn more about a remote access solution that leverages your lights to the fullest for the sake of security, contact Security Instrumenttoday. We will be glad to answer your questions about your lighting control and smart home security options.

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffee pot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smart phone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Security Instrument a call today.