There have been huge leaps in the home security market over the last decade, and nothing has disrupted this product category quite as much as smart-home technology. From smart cameras to wireless sensors, an array of inexpensive technology has entered the market that gives homeowners and families dozens of innovative devices to creatively secure their homes, control their environment and make everyday life just a little bit easier.
As great as these products are, if you own a large property or a good-sized piece of land, you may have ignored these products altogether due to power requirements or the limited reach of your connection. The good news is that many gadgets are now available that can run entirely off of batteries, using far-reaching networking technology to communicate with the rest of your smart-home system. Here are some products to consider as you research your options for securing your own property.
Start with smart cameras outside of your house
Wireless smart cameras are effective for homes of any size. If your home is situated on a large property, you’ll find the outdoor models to be especially useful.
WiFi smart cameras are now available in both wired and battery-operated models, and almost every option is weather-rated to withstand severe temperature swings and any stormy weather that nature can throw your way. As long as you’re within range of your home’s WiFi, you’ll find that a few well-positioned smart cameras can be a valuable ally in keeping an eye on every corner of your home.
Thanks to their high definition imaging sensors (some products offer HD video feeds, and even resolutions as high as 4K), you might be surprised by the wide area that these cameras can cover. It’s a good idea to place them above garage doors and other entrances to your home or property, and don’t forget to configure their night vision settings to receive alerts even when motion is detected at night.
Another great perk of modern smart cameras is the ability of many to configure only certain parts of the image to trigger motion-activated notifications. If you’re positioning a camera over a large yard, you may not want to be alerted every time the dog plays near his doghouse or your kids are on the swing set. These cameras make it simple to receive notifications only when something seems out of the norm.
Look at cellular options to secure large pieces of land
If you want to keep a watchful eye on large pieces of land, or even a spot at the opposite end of your property, you may assume that you’re out of luck. However, many smart camera makers now offer 4G-cellular options that combine a battery-operated camera with a network connection provided by your favorite mobile provider. These cameras can be placed discreetly in several locations across your property, and they work similarly to their home WiFi-powered counterparts. Whenever motion is detected, the camera will automatically activate its cellular data connection to send your smartphone an instant notification.
If you don’t mind paying a small monthly fee to activate the cellular connection on these cameras, you may find that they’re the perfect solution to securing a large piece of property, or even just the entrance to your property if it’s a long way from your house.
Smart-home sensors are more flexible than you think
One final tool to consider for long-range smarts is actually one of the most inexpensive options on the market: battery-powered motion and open/closed sensors. Although these sensors are commonly used inside of homes, most operate on mesh-networking protocols like Z-Wave and Zigbee. That may sound like a bunch of technical jargon, but what it means is that as long as one of these devices is reasonably close to another smart device, it can send a signal all the way back to your home’s smart hub if motion is detected.
A good example is the use of an open/close sensor on a gate outside. Although that sensor is likely a hundred feet or more away from your smart-home hub or wireless router, it can send its signal to a smart sensor in your garage, which can then send an alert to your phone. From mailboxes to gates and sheds, these sensors can be great, easy-to-install allies in your battle to make your property a safer place.
Securing a large property with smart-home technology may require some creativity, but you may be surprised by the range of tools at your disposal. The next time you’re at the hardware store or looking into services offered by your local internet provider, ask to see some of the newest technology that’s available to help you easily keep an eye on your property.
About the Author: Eric Murrell is a software developer and technology contributor to Xfinity Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart-home automation and security in their homes on his blog, At Home in the Future.