A few years ago we had an opportunity to test out the Iris smart home management system from Lowe’s. It offered home security and HVAC controls at an affordable price compared to most other systems with similar capabilities. This year Lowe’s has re-introduced a new and improved Iris by Lowe’s with even more capabilities and accessories, while maintaining an affordable price.
Since we were familiar with the previous system and love smart home products, Lowe’s asked us to check out the next generation Iris by Lowe’s. They sent over the new Smart Hub as well as a Motion Sensor, Smart Button, Contact Sensor, Keypad, Smart Plug, and Smart Fob. This is only a sampling of the new Iris products, other popular accessories include wireless cameras (indoor and outdoor), programmable thermostat and a garage door controller. Iris also works seamlessly with a variety of other manufacturers including GE, Genie, First Alert, Honeywell, Keen, Kwikset, Schlage, and more. Plus, first generation Iris products also work with the new hub so you can keep using your sensors and just connect them to the new hub. However, current Iris customers, have the option of getting a next generation Smart Hub by registering for one online.
Before setting up any smart home system, the key is to determine what your needs are, what your budget is, and how will you install it.
Home Automation Needs
Everyone has slightly different needs when it comes to selecting a home automation product and you want to make sure you choose a system that is capable of fulfilling your desires now, as well as in the future. Proper home security is covered by maintaining secure windows, doors, and garage doors, as well as setting timers on lights at night and when you are away. Being able to monitor these areas of your home is crucial for peace of mind and protection.
You can start with the Iris Security Pack for $99 that includes two window/door sensors, motion sensor, and keypad. You can also go with the Iris Automation Pack that includes two window/door sensors, motion sensor, smart plug, and panic button (for instant alerts).
Installing a programmable thermostat is a great step to an energy-efficient home, and being able to monitor a system via your mobile device gives you greater control and more information to make informed decisions about saving energy.
Setting up a smart home monitoring system is also ideal for family members who are elderly, disabled, or have some other type of physical or mental challenge. Door monitors keep you abreast of when someone is coming or going and senior care pendants can notify family members when someone leaves the home or needs immediate assistance.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are often the first line of defense against fires or gas leaks, and being notified while you are gone of an alarm sounding is a great way to take immediate action by calling neighbors or the fire department. The First Alert smoke alarms work with Iris and provide mobile alerts anytime an alarm is triggered.
Smart Home Budget
It’s easy to get carried away with the cost of tech, but the Iris system is a true bargain and having the backing of a national brand is a huge benefit compared to other systems from companies you’ve never heard of that could be gone in a month.
The brain of the system, the Smart Hub, is available for $59.99 and you can mix and match whatever accessories you need. You can save a bit by going with the DIY Starter Packs we mentioned earlier, or just add more smart home products as needed.
The upfront cost of installation is where you will save a ton of money by going with Iris by Lowe’s. Most other full home automation and security systems require professional installation and for a hefty fee. Having to call the security company every time you want to add a door sensor or camera can really add up. The Iris system is designed for DIYers and the ease of installation makes it a no-brainer for those on a budget and who want to get things done right by doing it themselves.
Part II of our series will show the installation and setup process of the Iris by Lowe’s smart home system, from installing sensors to linking to the hub. The next time you are in Lowe’s check out the Iris display and visit the website for more information about the system as well as how to order it.
Top photo courtesy of Design*Milk and Ohashi Design Studio.
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s, but all opinions and statements are independently made by Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson.