It’s not just security cameras. Every component of my smart home contributes to a safer life.
Ever since I moved out of my apartment and into my first house last summer, I’ve accumulated a lot of smart home tech. There’s a Nest Learning Thermostat in my foyer, an August Smart Lock on my back door (we park out back), a Ring Video Doorbell 2 at each entrance, and smart lights from both Philips Hue and LIFX in almost every room.
It all feels superfluous at times, and just about every time I buy a new smart product I whisper to myself "this is a silly purchase." Smart home tech just seems to have that unnecessary, lazy connotation to it — glorified toys for adults with too much disposable income, and while there may be some truth to that, I’ve come to really appreciate a side of smart home tech that I didn’t see before: it makes me feel safer.
Even my lights have features to ward off would-be criminals.
Between press events for work, out-of-state concerts, and various other trips, I go out of town a lot, which means home security is a big deal to me. Outdoor security cameras are a big help, of course, but to my surprise, they’re far from the only smart home tech keeping would-be criminals away. My smart lights all have various methods of making it look like someone’s home by turning on and off at random times when I’m away.
I don’t even have to tell them when to start doing that — they integrate with my Nest thermostat to know when I leave the house. My smart lock also automatically locks behind me when I shut the door, which means I can’t forget to do it myself, something I’m guilty of doing more often than I’d care to admit in my last home. The lock also lets me add temporary digital "keys" for any friends or family I might have check up on the house while I’m gone, and keeps track of exactly who’s unlocking my door and when.
Smart home tech can feel superfluous at times, but I’m always glad to have it.
Sometimes I feel like all of this security-focused tech is a little unnecessary. Just being able to see my front and back yards from my phone and getting notified of any suspicious motion on either side is already plenty, and even then, there’s not much I can do if someone is actively trying to break into my home, aside from call the cops or tell the burglars that they’re on camera. Then again, maybe it’s just the control freak in me, but I feel at ease just being able to check in from time and time, even while I’m out, and make sure that everything’s looking okay.
It’s also been great for the holiday season, when porch package theft is at its highest point. My neighborhood has had a ton of problems with package theft lately, and it’s great to be able to see exactly when things are dropped off at my door so I can get home as quickly as possible and take them inside.
The point is, even the most basic smart home tech can go surprisingly far in making you feel safer and more comfortable, along with whatever other conveniences they afford you. Not everybody needs a fully decked out smart home, but I’m glad to have one.
January 10, 2019 at 03:05AM