When looking for a home security system, there are other things to keep in mind that aren’t just about preventing burglaries. Many security systems offer home automation features which allow you to manage your home wherever you are in the world, beyond simple monitoring.

What is Home Automation?

Another way to describe home automation systems is “smart homes”, which refers to the ability to control various devices in your home using a single electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This includes turning lights on and off, making sure you turned off the coffee maker and TV, and more.

The possibilities are endless so long as your devices at home can connect to a network. This means that you can turn on the heating an hour before you get home so that your house is perfect when you arrive, or turn off all of the lights in the house without having to get out of bed.

You can even take advantage of light sensors to have lights turn on and off automatically depending on whether or not someone is in the room.

Home automation isn’t only for convenience, it also provides additional security for your family. Not only does it inform you when someone triggers a camera, door or motion sensor, but you can also be notified when your family members come home.

You can control what doors and cabinets (such as medicine cabinets) are locked when the children are there, what devices they can use when they get back from school (such as the TV and XBox), and more.

Home Automation Features

There are many different home automation features and capabilities, and each security system will have its own to offer you. We’d recommend that you read our in-depth reviews of the top five security systems and the features they offer before making a purchasing decision.

We’ll cover some of the more common features that you can look for when deciding on a security system for your home.

Remote Door Access

Combined with a doorbell camera or a camera somewhere around the door, remote door access can give you a lot of control and security when it comes to who you allow into your home.

With cameras and sensors installed, you can see who is at the door even if you’re not home, and get notified when someone attempts to break in or even uses a key. The remote door access features gives you full control of the door’s lock, allowing you to open or lock the door at any given time. This is especially useful if you have kids and want to make sure that no one ever gets locked out or in.

One of our top security system picks, Link Interactive offers Remote Door Access.

Smartphone App

Each security company will have a different app with different features. These apps are installed on your mobile phone and they allow you to control all of the home automation features and devices in your home.

Not everyone has the same experience or comfort level with apps and it is important to try out the app before deciding to make sure that everything is clear and you are getting enough support from the company when something needs clarifying or when there’s a bug.

Check out our Top Home Security pick, Vivint, for a well-integrated smartphone app experience.

Motion Sensors

These sensors aren’t only used to detect when someone is breaking in. You can also motion sensors to control your devices at home based on what they detect. They allow you to see who is home and where they are, and set automatic rules, such as turning lights on when someone enters a room. Or you can control devices manually – for example, turning on the air conditioner when you see that the kids are playing indoors.

Check out our recommended Home Security provider Protect America for smart motion sensors.

Smart Temperature Control

One of the add-ons you can find in leading home security systems is a smart thermostat. This device connects your heating or air-conditioning system to the security system and home automation system using a wireless connection, and allows you to control all of the thermostat settings from your mobile app. This not only provides additional convenience, but also allows you to save on your heating and electrical bills by using your devices more efficiently.

Smart thermostats can save you money. Check out this system offered by LiveWatch.

Completely Wireless System

Since home automation devices and sensors require wireless capabilities, this allows you to install a security system that is completely wireless. That means that you don’t have to drill holes in the walls where the sensors and cameras have to be installed. Your windows and doors can be sealed using magnetic technology that you control, and installation is a much easier and faster process.

For a top-rated 100% wireless system, we recommend SkyCover.

Remote Live Video

With wireless cameras installed in your home, you can use your app to check in at any time to see and hear what is going on in your house. When you get alerted that someone has entered or if the alarm goes off, the video feed lets you see what is really going on so that you can take appropriate action. Night vision capabilities are also available in some security cameras, allowing you to get a high-definition video feed even at night or in dark environments.

The best way to decide which automation features and capabilities are best for you, is to read reviews and learn about the top security systems and what they offer. Click here to read all about the top five security systems on the market today.

Roger Young
Roger has been contributing to Top 5 for the last 2 years, Roger has a vast knowledge of home security, and with 5 years’ experience as an electronic sales professional. Roger is known for providing consultative security solutions and a dedicated service to his clients.
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