Sikkherhet og alarm/Security & alarm

Løsninger for ulike former for overvåkning av hjemmet og dets omgivelser/Ssolutions for different types of monitoring of the home and its surroundings

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This is another category with many manufacturers and products, but also one that is quite fragmented. There are partly actors in the market with their own proprietary standards/protocols (which in some cases also can be integrated into a more generic system) and partly so many different types of products that could be deemed belonging to this category that it is difficult to get an overview.

The main purpose of including this as an important category in smart homes is that it offers many useful opportunities for integration with other categories. The main sub-systems in this category and their role in a smart home are:

  • Surveillance cameras, where there is a wide selection of products from a large number of suppliers. What you choose will depend on a number of factors, e.g.; indoor or outdoor use, storage of pictures/videos locally in the camera or in a cloud, powered by battery or wired, more advanced features like face recognition, two-way communication, night vision, various sensors, floodlight, etc. Even more importantly is probably which ecosystem/platform your smart home is built around. Some examples of products are Logitech Circle 2, D-Link Omna 180, and Netatmo Presence (all of these are coincidentally compatible with HomeKit).

  • Security lights, i.e., separate lights to illuminate parts of a garden/property, either permanently turned on or based on sensors, typically motion sensors. As far as I have been able to ascertain, there are very few products in this category that are “smart”, in the form of being possible to program or automate in integration with other devices, but Netgear has a whole range of security products that also includes an Arlo stand-alone security light. If security light is an important feature to you, you might be better off buying a security camera with integrated floodlight functionality, e.g., (the already mentioned) Netatmo Presence and Ring Floodlight.

  • Door/window sensors, different versions of sensors that detect whether a door or window is open or closed. There are many choices in the market, but also differences in functionality. The least advanced sensors only detect a change in status but cannot distinguish between the door being opened or closed. Most do separate between open or closed, though, and more advanced ones also measure temperature and light levels and can even detect shocks/blows to the door/window. From my own experience, I know that there are differences among the products in terms of how far from a base station/other devices they can be placed (without losing connection). Some frequently used sensors are supplied by Eve, Fibaro, Aqara, Panasonic and many others. In addition, many home security companies offer their own components (often building on proprietary protocols).

  • Smoke/fire detectors, which are of course key components in an alarm/security system. Also, here you are spoiled for choice, but also here with different feature sets. Widely used examples are sold by nest, FireAngel, and Eve, but also here security companies offer their own products. In our case, we use Verisure’s detectors.

  • Other sensors, where there is a rich selection of different sensors that can monitor various aspects of a home and its surroundings. Especially useful are motion sensors, which have many uses in a smart home, including protection against intruders. The market offers many versions, from for example Philips Hue (offering one for indoor and one for outdoor use), Eve, Fibaro, Aqara, and IKEA Trådfri. As for other types of sensors, there are different types of functionality offered, typically by measuring other factors than motion, and again integration with other components/platforms is an issue. Another often used type of sensor detects water leaks, supplied by, e.g., Fibaro, Popp, Panasonic and Aqara. There are other more specialized sensors, e.g., broken window, property access, weight in driveway, etc., even one type we have installed in the attic; a mouse detector.

  • Alarm systems, i.e., not separate sensors of the different types mentioned above, but integrated systems where sensors, sirens, etc. work together, possibly also linked to a security company’s alarm central. In the latter case, you typically get the benefit of direct alerts to fire services in case of fire or police in case of break-ins, but for suitable suppliers you would have to check companies operating in your local area. For systems not linked to a security company, both Panasonic and Samsung provide more comprehensive systems, and in Norway a company called Futurehome deliver a system based on components from Fibaro.

  • Smart door locks, also an important component in a security system. Smart locks are online and can partly be remotely operated and partly integrated with other components, like an alarm system, lighting, etc. Gradually, many products have been launched in this category, see the component page for more details.
  • Smart doorbells, which is perhaps an odd product type in this category but do serve a function in home security. There are a few different products to choose among here as well, with some different features. The most advances ones offer audio and video, automatic response in case you are not able to answer the call, motion sensor, additional chime units, etc. Perhaps best known are Ring’s products, but there are alternatives from, e.g., nest and Doorbird, and early 2019, more HomeKit-compatible alternatives were announced for launch later in the year. Like for many other product types, the choice will typically depend on the functionality you require and how well the doorbell integrates with other components/ecosystems.

Irrespective of how extensive system you aim for and which components you include, a security and alarm system can offer many benefits and opportunities. Some examples of such are:

  • Be notified of various types of unwanted incidents you otherwise would have little opportunity for detecting, e.g., a water leak in an inaccessible place in the house, a door or window is opened when you are not home, etc.

  • Lights/sound turns on if someone approaches the house when you are not home

  • Lights in the house flash red when an alarm is triggered

  • Answering calls on your doorbell even when the house is empty

  • And many more