Home Automation Systems

Home AutomationHome automation technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, and Dynamark Security is pleased to help our customers stay on the cutting edge by offering them the latest in smart home tech.

Whether it’s controlling energy usage, lighting, locks, or other systems in your home, this technology integrates seamlessly with your security system, giving you an all-in-one platform for home control.

Think of it as having a state-of-the-art system control room for your house—one that fits in your pocket, since you can control it all from your smart phone.

Here are just some of the ways that home automation technology can make your life easier and/or save you money.

Smart Locks

Are you one of those people that hides a spare key under a fake rock in your garden in case you lock yourself out of your home?

Do you ever have the need to give repairmen access to your house while you’re at work, but don’t want to simply leave your house unlocked all day?

Are you a parent who wants to keep track of when your children come and go from home, even when you’re away?

If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, then you would probably benefit from installing smart locks.

Smart locks have programmable keypads that unlock the door, either in place of or in addition to a traditional key.  You can program them with multiple codes for different people, but you can also unlock them with a remote control similar to the one you probably use to unlock your car—or, if you integrate your smart locks with a wireless home security system, you can even unlock them from miles away using your cell phone.

These locks fit standard doors and are easy to install.  They are just as strong as traditional locks and come in different styles, including deadbolts and levers.  And if you have a friend or family member who just wants to use a traditional key, they still have a keyhole as well.

Smart locks are a great gateway to other home automation technology, they will make your home more secure, and can even increase its resale value.

Smart Thermostats

Given that for most homes one of the largest uses of energy is for heating and cooling the home, installing a smart or wifi thermostat is a great way to reduce your energy bill.

These thermostats can be programmed to slightly increase or reduce the temperature of the home when you’re at work during the day, thus saving a few dollars a day—which will add up quickly.

If your schedule changes, no problem—you can control the thermostat from your smart phone, so no worries if you get home from work early.

Energy Monitoring

Installing a smart thermostat is a great first step towards reducing energy usage in your home, but why stop with the thermostat?  With home energy monitoring, you can keep track of all of your home’s energy use throughout the month.

You can not only see your current energy use, you can also monitor your energy usage over time to see if it is going up or down.  After all, you can’t reduce your energy use if you aren’t sure what factors are driving the cost.

Home energy monitoring gives you the data you need to make smart decisions about things like lighting, temperature control, appliances, and more.

Smart Lighting

Smart home lighting controls have two benefits—they help you reduce energy costs and improve security.  Having your lights on a timer can give the appearance that someone is home, even when you’re on vacation.

You can program the lights with different schedules for different days of the week and control them wirelessly.  You can even install dimmer switches so that you can adjust the intensity of the lights based on natural lighting conditions, thus saving electricity.

Smart Garage Door Controller

Open and close your garage door remotely using a smart garage door controller.  The garage door is often a weak point in a home’s security, so incorporating it into a home automation system that is integrated with a security system makes a lot of sense.

Home Automation FAQs

Here are some of the answers to questions we frequently get asked about home automation technology.

What is home automation?

Can I integrate a digital assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant with my home automation system?

While it is possible to integrate digital assistants with some home automation systems, it isn’t necessarily something we recommend.  There are serious privacy concerns with some of those systems, which have in some cases been found to turn on and start recording people without their knowledge.  They are also vulnerable to hacking, and connecting them to your home security system just creates an unnecessary vulnerability that could be exploited by criminals.

Are Home Automation systems vulnerable to hacking?

The short answer is that like anything that is connected to the internet, home automation systems or specific internet-connected pieces of equipment (like security cameras) can be hacked.

However, all systems are not created equal in this regard.  Some systems and equipment have inherent vulnerabilities that make them inherently insecure—essentially, design flaws that need to be fixed by the manufacturer.  Other systems are very secure and are only vulnerable if people neglect to take basic precautions, such as changing the default user name and password set by the manufacturer.

One of the advantages to working with a company like Dynamark Security is that we are familiar with what systems are the least vulnerable to hacking, and what you must do when using those systems to protect yourself.  People who use “DIY” systems are often the ones who overlook some of the flaws or vulnerabilities in the systems and end up getting hacked.

However, the bottom line is that if you want to be positively certain that your system won’t ever be hacked, the only 100% foolproof method for doing that is to not connect it to the internet.  Home alarm systems can be monitored without being connected to the internet, so while having a home automation system that you can control online can be very convenient, it is not necessary as far as your home’s security is concerned.

Can I lock & unlock my door, control my security cameras, and control my lighting all from one app?

Yes, that is the heart of what home automation systems are designed to do, especially those that have the primary purpose of making your home secure (like the ones installed by Dynamark Security).  This is a very convenient way of managing your security system and is one of the main reasons people use home automation technology.

Can I control my water valves using home automation systems?

Although there is more work required during the installation process, it is possible to turn on and off the water valves to your home (as in the main water valves, not individual faucets).  This is a handy feature for people who have properties they don’t usually live in, and want to be able to turn off the water remotely when it gets cold so that the pipes don’t freeze.

Do home automation systems increase the value of a home?

It depends.  Some people will be willing to pay more for these features, and others don’t want those features in their home (for example, people who are very concerned about data privacy or hacking).  The bottom line is that it really boils down to the individual buyer’s preference and the exact home automation features that you have installed.

However, as a rule of thumb, the general trend is that homes with home automation technology will tend to sell for a higher price than a similar home in the same area without home automation technology.  So in that sense, it does increase the value of a home.

Does home automation increase your level of security?

Home automation technology does not directly make a home more secure, but it indirectly makes a home more secure by making it easier to manage your security system.

Here’s an example of what we mean by that.  Let’s say you have an alarm system installed with sensors on your garage door, and that after leaving your home you realize that you may have left your garage door open.

If you aren’t using home automation technology, you won’t be able to do anything about it at that point (other than perhaps calling your neighbor and asking them to check for you).  However, if you have the ability to control your security system and garage door remotely, you’ll be able to check and see if the door is open on your phone, and close it if it is in fact open.

So, in this example, the home automation system made the home more secure because it allowed the homeowner to correct a vulnerability (leaving the garage door open).  However, once the vulnerability is corrected, the home is no more or less secure than one without a home automation system.  That’s what we mean when we say that the system indirectly  makes your home more secure.