Smart Home / Security

About a year ago I decided to smarten up my home, and wanted to be able to access and control a lot of things from my smartphone. I installed a Nest thermometer, 3 Nest cameras, 5 Nest smoke/carbon detectors, as well as a Ring doorbell and Kevo locks. It’s been a great experience and I highly recommend all of them!

I no longer use a key to get into my house … I just touch my deadbolt and it recognizes my phone and it unlocks. Same thing when I leave the house … I just touch the deadbolt and it locks itself. I can also send eKeys to guests, maids, a neighbor, etc. so that others can enter my house (this is easily and immediately revokable). And I can unlock either of my doors remotely … so I could be in London and let someone in my house! Kevo is an offshoot of Kwikset and has never been hacked.

I can control my thermostat from my phone … which means if I crank up the A/C in the morning when I’m getting ready … but accidentally leave the house with the thermostat set to 70*, I can easily adjust it to 78 (or any other preferred temp) from afar. Nest has a “learning” function, where it learns your habits, but it doesn’t work for my schedule, so I have that functionality turned off.

I no long get awakened in the middle of the night because the battery in one of my smoke detectors is weak – this pays for everything as far as I’m concerned!! Nest notifies me on my iPhone when a battery needs to be changed, and it does so with plenty of warning to avoid “middle of the night” beeps. It also performs monthly automated checks, to ensure all smoke alarms are functioning properly.

My Ring doorbell detects motion and sends me a notice if something is detected. I can ignore it or choose to “go live” and see a picture of my front entry. I can even speak to someone who might be standing in my entry. It works the same way if someone rings my doorbell.

Finally, my Nest cameras allow me to see all areas of my house, night or day, and zoom in on a picture and even speak thru the camera … all from my iPhone. Recently, Nest enhanced their service to provide motion detection alerts, and that allows you to see a quick snapshot (up to 3 hours later) of what triggered the motion. You can always “go live” to any camera in your house, and you can pay for a subscription, which will store a 24x7 feed for 30 days. But now you can “go back” 3 hours to see what may have triggered the alert – for free. Some people put these in children’s rooms, and have also been know to scold their pets to “get off of the couch” … all thru the camera via your smartphone 🙂

Nest also has outdoor cameras, which I haven’t investigated yet, but will do in the near future.

All of the above give me the freedom to travel and know that my home is safe and I can “peek in” at any time. All of these products can be purchased off of Amazon, but if you’re thinking of doing all or many of them, I would contact a Nest installer, buy thru them, and have them come out and hook everything up. You definitely need someone experienced to install Kevo locks and Ring doorbell, and would recommend the same for the Nest thermometer and smoke alarms. If you’re just going to do the Nest cameras, that’s easy and you can do them yourself!

One final note, the high resolution photos that come out of all of the Nest cameras ($200) are incredible, and would help to aid police in solving crimes. And the peace of mind I get … priceless!