Smart home security: Homey as security system

Smart home security: Homey as security system

Smart home security is the next step in home security systems. So what is it, and how does it work? What does a smart home security system based on Homey look like? Let’s dive in.

Smart home security at a glance

  1. Combine home security with smart home functionality
  2. Make optimal use of your devices: motion sensors can be used for both lighting and security
  3. Use sensors, cameras, sirens and warnings, just like a normal alarm system
  4. Pretend you’re home with automation Flows controlling devices while you’re away
  5. Receive push notifications when something’s off
  6. Manage your entire home in one app: security, entertainment, lighting, heating, etc.
  7. Monitor your home from anywhere in the world
  8. Higher initial purchase is offset by no monthly costs
  9. Can be installed, changed and expanded at any time by yourself
Smart home security with Homey

Combining smart home and security

Smart home security is a combination of a security system and smart home functionality: Just as with a standard security system you use sensors, cameras and sirens to detect and scare away intruders. Thanks to the smart home functionalities, these same sensors can also be used to light up your hallway when you’re walking through it. And you can use your speakers like Sonos to sound sirens or warnings. You can monitor your home from anywhere in the world on your smartphone, get push notifications if you want, and enjoy an integrated experience for all your devices in home – those related to home security, and those that don’t.

A smart home security system is often a bit more expensive upfront than a regular security system. Of course for that, you get a lot more functionality and flexibility. What’s more, is that a smart home security system based on Homey Pro has no monthly fees attached. So while it might be a bit more expensive upfront, it’s a lot cheaper in the long run, while providing a lot more functionality. You can use our special Homey Smart Home Security Kit to get started. The set contains Homey Pro, two motion sensors, a door/window contact and a smart colored bulb, with a €50 set-discount. Check out the kit.

How smart home security works: Homey as home security system

To build a smart home security system, the first thing you’ll need is a smart home hub, like Homey. This hub acts as the heart of your system, and connects to all your devices – from sensors to lights, speakers, thermostats and more. By having all your devices in one system, you can already manage and control them on your smartphone via the Homey app – from anywhere in the world.

For real security though, we want to create Flows that react on our sensors. Let’s start with a motion sensor. This could be a motion sensor from Fibaro, Xiaomi Aqara, Aeotec, Philips Hue or another brand – there are many options that work with Homey. Now when someone from my family at home, I would like the motion sensor in the hallway to turn on the two lights in the hallway to always see where I’m going. This is a smart home Flow.

Motion sensor - smart home Flows

Of course, I also want the lights to turn off when there’s no movement anymore. These sensors already have a cooldown period built in of 30 seconds, so I can use that information to make this Flow:

When no-one from my family is at home, the motion sensor shouldn’t detect any movements. If it does, there’s clearly someone in my home that I didn’t anticipate. I want to scare them away, and also know what’s happening. That’s why I can create the following Flow for security.

Motion sensor - security Flow

In this Flow, I do a couple of things that make optimal use of my smart home security set-up:

  1. I send a push notification to my phone with a snapshot from my camera, which I can do because the system is always connected to the internet.
  2. I flash my lightbulbs throughout the house to trouble and scare the intruders, and alert possible neighbors about the situation. My colored bulbs, I flash in red.
  3. I sound an alarm on all my Sonos speakers throughout the house, wailing a siren, even without needing an additional siren.

All of these Flows are based on the same, single motion sensor. That is why smart home security is so great: you can use all of your devices for both smart home comfort, as well as security! This provides lots of options, for instance by including Sonos speakers in the Flow.

To help you get started with smart home security, we have created the Homey Smart Home Security Kit. It contains a Homey Pro as well as several sensors and a smart light bulb, including a €50 combo-discount! As Homey works with over 50,000 devices from 1000+ brands, you can easily extend the kit with whatever devices you want to add in your specific situation. Check out the Homey Smart Home Security Kit here.

Intruder prevention

Scaring intruders is silver, but preventing intruders getting in is gold. With a smart home security system, you have plenty of options for this:

  1. A smart lock could help you always lock your door double with the night lock, making sure burglars can’t easily pop open your door.
  2. Lights, curtains and even your TV can be included in automation Flows. Mimic human presence and prevent your home from becoming a target.

Presence simulation

Let’s dive in this second possibility, called ‘presence simulation’. The easiest way of doing presence simulation is by having automation Flows that are always activated, regardless of presence. This could be motorized curtains in the morning on a set time, or dependent on your morning alarm on your phone with Siri shortcuts. Or lights that turn on at sunset and turn off at 12. As these Flows are time-based, and do not take into account your presence, an outsider will see them happening even when you’re not actually at home.

Taking things one step further is having dedicated presence simulation Flows that control devices only when you’re not there. Maybe you don’t want to turn on the TV every day between 7.30 and 8, but you want it happening when you’re away to simulate presence. With its integrated infrared LEDs, Homey can control your TV to do this:

By setting a delay of 0-30 minutes, Homey picks a random delay between these two figures every time the Flow runs, making the automation seem more natural thanks to its randomness. I apply the same to turn the TV off, so it's both random and at a reasonable time. Of course, we can do the same for lighting. In this example, I take all the lights in the living room and the Kitchen:

Since Homey can already control your TV over infrared and there’s a lightbulb included in the kit, both of these Flows can already be made with just the Homey Smart Home Security Kit, which also contains sensors. From there on, you can easily expand with whatever smart home device you can think of.

Conclusion

Smart home security, especially when made with Homey, brings you the best of two worlds. At the one hand, you have the overview, comfort, and flexibility of a premium smart home system. At the same time, you can make security Flows that are more extensive than traditional security systems can get, including lighting control, sirens-over-speakers and presence simulation.

The price might be a bit higher upfront, but the lack of monthly costs offsets that quickly. And because you use your smart sensors and devices for both comfort and security, you can save a lot on unnecessary hardware too, while getting a better experience.

Smart home security is the next step in home security, and helps you get the most out of your devices while optimizing comfort, security and general overview. Get started easily with the Homey Smart Home Security Kit, and expand with any of the 50,000+ devices Homey works with.

The Homey Pro Smart Home Security Kit contains Homey Pro, two motion sensors, a door/window contact and a coloured smart bulb. With €50 set discount from €499 to €449.

Extra – get Fort Knox

A good security system can be set up with the Flows and devices above, but maybe you want to take it more extreme. Thanks to Homey’s open platform, there’s tons of Homey Apps and services you can use to go die-hard on home security. Take Heimdall for example, which lets you set a whole host of security measures. Or SMS notifications, so it gets through even if you have no internet on your cell phone. With over 600 apps published in the Homey App store, the smart home security possibilities are endless, if you want.

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