Security

Obviously for security reasons I am not going to talk a great deal about the security system we have.  Itís just not wise to tell the world how your security system works.  Suffice it to say that we have a security system and it is closely tied into the home automation system so that the system knows what is going on and can control the security system.  The trickiest part of the whole setup was programming the robotic killer dogs!

There are a few security features handled by the home automation controller that I will mention.

Checking In and Out

The controller knows when we are home and when we are not because we check-in and out as we arrive and leave.  We do this with portable IR devices.  I have a watch and Scott has a keychain remote.  (See the IR section.)  When we leave, the home controller will automatically set the security system.  There are a lot of aspects of the home automation that change depending on whether we are home or not.

Someone Home Simulation

If the home controller knows we are not home, at sunset it starts doing things to make it look as if we are home such as turning lights on and off.  It even follows the patterns we would normally follow if we were home.

Driveway Sensor

Our driveway is on a side of the house with no windows so we can't see when someone pulls in.  We have installed a car sensor in the driveway to alert us when someone pulls into the driveway.  This sensor has a relay that trips when a car is detected.   It is connected to one of the input ports of the home automation controller.  Right now when a car is detected the house announces, "Vehicle detected in the driveway."  This is as much for knowing when friends, family or deliveries arrive as for security.

Motion Sensors

We currently have only one motion sensor installed.  It is in our computer room.  This room has darkening shades because we like it rather dim when we work with the computers.  The motion sensor is connected to the home automation controller.  When motion is detected, the controller turns on the indirect lighting.  It keeps the lights on until fifteen minutes passes with no motion then it turns them off.  This motion sensor was basically a test to see if this particular model works well.