This post is sponsored by Home Depot. All thoughts and ideas are my own
I’m back with another Smart Home post talking about some of my favorite smart home devices for home security with Home Depot. With the wealth of smart home devices catered to home security, there are a lot of great options.
I like having the ability to check in on my house from 10 or 1000 miles away, and the devices I’m talking about today let me do that.
Older security devices let you know if someone broke into your house – and that’s it. That’s only a small part of what these can do.
I’m currently on vacation in Florida, and from here I’m able to see our packages get delivered, notifications when our friends stop by to bring them inside, and even see that a fence that blew over a day before we left on our trip still hasn’t been fixed by the guy we hired to do it.
I enjoy the piece of mind that comes from being able to check on my house with the click of a button, and these devices are what I use to make it happen.
I really enjoy this device. It’s easy to set up, and because it’s next to our front door, it has a lot of extra uses. Let’s jump into the features.
The doorbell has a 1080p camera with a 160 degree field of view that’s constantly recording. The picture great in the day, and the night-vision camera is still clear at night.
The app lets your stream the video live to your computer or Apple/Android phone. If you want to view the past footage you can pay $3 a month per device (or $10 for every Ring device at your home) to have the footage stored in the cloud for 60 days.
I have my Ring Doorbell send me notifications anytime it detects motion outside my door. This is great, because it lets me know if anyone is at the door, even if they don’t ring the doorbell. In addition to the added security, it lets me know when any packages have been delivered.
You can always change what types of motion you’d like to be notified of and you can even set specific areas. This works great if your front door faces the street. By setting a motion zone that only includes what’s immediately in front of your door, you won’t be notified every time a car passes by.
The Ring Doorbell has both a microphone and speaker in it, so you can have a conversation with whoever’s at your door. I like this more than some other smart doorbells that only let you play a prerecorded message.
When someone rings my doorbell and I don’t know who they are, I’ll start chatting with them to see what they want, even if I’m home. If they’re looking to sell me something, I’ll let them know I’m busy and can go about my day. If it’s a neighbor I haven’t met yet or someone raising for a charity, I can come to the door.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro comes with 4 different faceplates to complement almost any color house. The light tan works perfectly with our stone exterior to blend right in.
The installation is pretty straightforward. If you’re using the hard-wired version, you just turn off the power to your doorbell, then disconnect and reconnect the existing two wires. Depending on the amount of power your old doorbell used, you may need to attach an included little transformer in your current doorbell chime. We needed to, and it was easy.
They also have a version that is battery powered for people who don’t have an existing doorbell or live in a condo or apartment. It has a lot of the same features. It just requires you to change out or recharge the battery every so often.
There are 4 features I want from any smart lock, and this one has all of them.
1. Unlock & Lock From my Phone
My phone very rarely leaves my side, so of course I want it to be able to lock or unlock my door. This could be when I’m standing outside of it, or when I’m away and someone else needs to get in.
Some locks require you to be within 20 ft to work, but the Schlage Encode Smart lock works via Wifi, so I can be operate it from another state.
2. Unlock & Lock via Code
I have different codes set up for anyone that needs to use the door and another to give out in emergencies.
The codes are more convenient than giving someone a spare key, because they can be set up to be temporary, only work on certain days/times, or permanently, and they can be changed at a moments notice.
3. Notifications – Who/When
You add a name to every code added to the lock, and every time that code is used, a notification is sent to your phone with their name for additional piece of mind.
4. Physical Key
I like the option to be able to unlock any smart lock with a physical key. You’d be surprised how many of them don’t have that option.
Why? ANY electronic can fail, and if that ever happens, I don’t want to be locked out of my house.
I’ve had brand new computers, ovens, headphones, etc. fail for one reason or another just after purchasing them. All were inconvenient, but none locked me out of my house.
I like the piece of mind that I can hide a physical key somewhere on our property that can be used if something ever goes wrong. Some other locks have backup options like the ability to hold a 9v battery up to them in case the power dies, but I’d still rather just use a physical key.
The Schlage Lock also works with Google Hub, so you can say “Hey Google, lock the front door” to lock it or if you’re like me and only realize you’re not sure if you’ve locked your door when your already lying in bed, “Hey Google, is my front door locked” works too.
The floodlight cam has all the same features as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro I talked about above, and some more that make it a great outdoor security option.
Same as Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Floodlight Cam has the same recording camera that works great in day or night; customizable motions zones, so you’re only notified of motion that matters; two-way audio, so you can hear what the camera hears and talk over a speaker; and notifications sent to your phone when motion is detected.
The two LED lights put out 1,800 lumens of light, which is on the brighter side of others I’ve seen. More than enough to see what’s going on.
Motion Sensor Lights
Light most floodlights, these come on when they detect motion at night. Where these differ is that they have a huge 270 degree motion detecting area that can trigger the lights to come on, they have custom zones you can enable or disable to trigger light, and you can schedule them to turn on and off at certain times each day.
Once they’re triggered, you can adjust the time they stay on from 30 seconds all the way up to 15 minutes.
Something my wife likes is that the Floodlight Cam also includes a 110 decibel alarm you can set off from your phone if you ever see something you don’t like.
The installation for the Ring Floodlight Cam is pretty easy. If you have an external light, it’s likely installed in a four-inch round waterproof junction box. After you turn off the power at the breaker box, you just replace the existing light with the new Ring Floodlight. It took me ~20 minutes to put everything together and was fairly simple.
That’s it for today. Check back next week when I’ll be talking about the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator.