You may have already heard of the company Honeywell, they are after all one of the largest thermostat manufacturers in the nation, but you may not have heard that they are now a security equipment manufacturer as well.
Largely because of the big boom in smart home technology and smart thermostats, Honeywell has been heavily involved in creating and integrating with other smart home technologies and features. Recently, Honeywell announced their new all-in-one smart home security starter kit, which comes packed with cutting edge features like facial recognition and intelligent monitoring technology.
Features at a glance:
- Built-in camera
- Motion detection
- Works as a Z-Wave hub
- Facial recognition
- Alexa compatibility
- Free 24 hour video storage
Drawbacks at a glance:
- Possibly overpriced
- Alexa missing music streaming & calling options
- No professional monitoring
One of the biggest drawbacks to the Honeywell Smart Home Security kit is that it’s a little more expensive than its competition. The obvious reason for this is that the actual base station has a fully featured HD camera inside of it, while other similar systems do not. You can buy the base station as a standalone security and Z-Wave hub or you could pay an addition $100 to get two door/window sensors and a key fob included.
The Honeywell base station is a fully functional 1080p streaming enabled indoor wireless camera. It has all of the features you would expect from an indoor security camera, such as motion detection, night vision, and mobile alerts. The camera also has more advanced security features like facial recognition, motion zones, and smart speaker integration (Alexa and Google Assistant).
How Honeywell Smart Security Works
All of the security features and settings of Honeywell’s security system can be accessed through their Honeywell Home mobile app. Like many other security applications, this is where you will view live video streams, check all of the different security notifications, or switch the security mode. There are two main security modes which are away mode and night mode. Away mode will trigger an alarm if any of the sensors are tripped, but in night mode only the door and window sensors will trip the alarm; omitting the motion sensors.
All of your different video feeds will display on the main page of the mobile application. You can also arm and disarm your system using the key fob that comes with the starter kit if you don’t have your phone near your or if it’s more convenient for you that way. Popping open their mobile app real quick is a great way to get a quick peek of what’s going on inside of you home.
Their facial recognition does have some issues and won’t always recognize your face. On the bright side Honeywell offers free facial recognition while other companies generally make you pay a monthly fee. They only give you a two hour window for this feature though, so you’ll have to get a little creative with how you choose to use this feature.
Arming the System
When the system is armed, the green LED at the bottom of the base station will slowly pulse, indicating that what mode it is in. If any of the sensors are tripped while it is armed the LED will change to white and start a one minute countdown. At the end of the countdown the system will sound an 85-decibel alarm, which is plenty load to scare any intruders inside of your home, it’s generally not loud enough to attract attention from your neighbors.
While the countdown is in progress, a video feed of your camera will pop up in a preview on your phone alongside some quick action buttons that will allow you to either cancel the alarm or alert the authorities.
Smart Home Features and Control
Honeywell has added their own spin to the voice activated security features by programming their own proprietary voice commands that you activate by saying “Okay, security.” It comes loaded with commands like “I’m leaving” and “bedtime” to activate different features like away and night mode. While these commands only work with the Honeywell security system, I like the natural feel of the commands and hope that other companies will implement them into their software as well.
The system does come with Amazon Alexa compatibility features, but they limit what features are available to you. You can’t for example stream music on your security system with Alexa or take advantage of their drop-in capabilities. They do have an Alexa skill that allows you to control specific smart lights.
Z-Wave Hub Options
As far as using the Honeywell Smart Security system as a home automation hub, it works pretty well. It can pair with any Z-Wave enabled devices and everything can be controlled through the Honeywell Home mobile app. You can also use Google Assistant commands to control any of the devices connected to the base station.
Is the Security System Worth it?
In our opinion there are a lot of other options that will give you most of the same functionality for a fraction of the price. If you really want a camera on your base station and you a completely against having your security system monitoring by professionals then the system is possibly worth it, but keep in mind that it will be up to you to inform emergency services of your situation, Honeywell Home will not and cannot do this automatically.
If you’re looking for a professionally monitored Z-Wave enabled security system with cameras, sensors, and fire protection you should talk to Protect America about getting one of their systems shipped to you. With Protect America you get no installation fees, locked-in rates and a price-match guarantee. Get a free quote online here or call at: 1-800-951-5190.