Published August 2020

6 Ways to turn any home into a smart home

Written by Level Home Staff

6 easy ways to turn any home into a safe and secure smart home

When it comes to home security systems, cost and complexity often present the biggest barriers. The cost of a professionally monitored system can be jaw-dropping, leaving you wondering if a safe and secure home is out of reach. And trying to install all those monitors and wires yourself sounds overwhelming. The good news is, with today's smart home technology, you can easily create a safe home that gives you peace of mind.

A smart home is one where everything is interconnected, from your smart speaker to the lights to the locks on your door. Installing these systems isn’t complicated, and many options are inexpensive. Read on to learn six key components you can install yourself to get your safe, smart home up and running.

Easily build your own smart home safety system

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for protecting your home from a fire or toxic fumes. Installing smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, speakers, and apps can alert you or call for help sooner rather than later. You can install and configure these smart devices to send alerts through light signals, speakers, and phone apps. Detectors can even communicate with home lights to turn on and light the path of escape.

There are many smart safety systems out there, it’s important to do your research and find the one that best suits your needs. What makes a smart system like this special is that it does not rely on your Wi-Fi network to communicate between devices. Components communicate reliably and securely with each other by their own wireless interconnect ability. That way, if your network goes offline, you can still rely on the system to do its job. Note, however, that the system does require your Wi-Fi network to provide alerts, notifications, show status, or update firmware or settings on your phone or tablet.

Installing a system can take just a few minutes. Usually, manufacturers provide videos or step-by-step instructions to help you through the installation and get you up and running quickly.

Easy DIY smart home security systems

Installing indoor and outdoor security cameras, a doorbell camera, entry and motion sensors, keypads, and sirens is not as time-consuming as it may seem. There is minimal wiring involved, making the process simple enough to do yourself in most cases. Except for the indoor and outdoor cameras, all other smart components in smart security systems take about 30 minutes to install. Cameras add a little more installation time and require power outlets nearby.

Most smart security systems operate by using their own wireless interconnect functions. However, these systems cannot receive firmware updates without your Wi-Fi network.

Easily install smart home locks

Installing smart home locks creates peace of mind by giving you confidence that your home is secure. You don't have to worry that doors were left unlocked or that keys were lost or stolen. Instead, you can easily open doors by touching the lock, setting up auto-unlock, entering a key code, using an app, tapping a key card - depending on what's most convenient for you.

Smart home locks operate using your Wi-Fi network and/or Bluetooth. Most smart home locking systems, such as Level locks, work with Apple HomeKit or Ring via Amazon Sidewalk. Installing these locks is simple and usually only requires a screwdriver.

Easily create a cost-effective safety and security smart home hub

Building your smart home safety and security system using smart home system components may be less expensive than relying on a professionally installed and monitored system. However, you may still be looking to save even more money.

In this case, a Raspberry Pi — a credit-card-sized computer with inputs and outputs — and an SD card will come in handy. You’ll be surprised at what smart home hubs you can devise using this method.

As part of your smart home safety and security system, maybe you need speakers to audibly alert you if your sensors or detectors identify something strange. Simply download specific operating systems, such as Prota OS and apps, into your Raspberry Pi. Then, connect any detectors, sensors, speakers, or microphones, and you have an inexpensive smart home hub.

Easily convert a webcam into a smart home security camera

You can also convert an old webcam into a smart home security camera with your Raspberry Pi, and it includes many of the same steps you use to connect other security and safety devices. You'll also need to download the “Webcam” application or similar, depending on which operating system you're using.

Once you have a working security camera, you can use it to send an alarm while recording and storing video of a burglary in progress. Your newly created security camera system can also work as a nanny cam or help you keep an eye on package deliveries.

Easily streamline your smart home safety and security devices

Do you have different brands of safety and security devices that you want to integrate? You may be able to do it by activating the devices with the If This Then That (IFTTT) tool.

IFTTT can streamline most of your different brands of safety and security devices into a single tool by connecting to cloud services. When you link to the cloud services, you can find and select the devices you use to link them together. If you cannot see and choose your particular devices, you can try to connect one to another by creating applets.

IFTTT is especially useful for home smart security systems that connect security devices to other home technology, such as smart locks. This can enhance your home protection and give you a fully connected home.

Protect your home with a DIY smart home

Now that you know six easy ways to build a safer, more secure smart home, it’s time to start. All you have to do is gather your safety equipment, such as smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smart security equipment, and smart locks. Then, easily install them to enhance the safety and security of your home.

The peace of mind you’ll get from a secure home will far outweigh the little bit of time and effort it takes to build your safe and secure smart home.


SimpliSafe Home Security System Review | PCMag

Solved! What Is a Smart Lock and How Does It Work? | Bob Vila

How to automate your smart home | IFTTT

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