Alexa Skills do more than operate your lights, they can also help you control security systems in your home — particularly those you install yourself.
Certainly there are many Alexa skills you can use if you want to have a security system that is professionally monitored. For those who feel more comfortable tinkering themselves, and are interested in saving some money, a DIY security system is one to consider. Before launching into the Alexa Skills you can use, make sure you've done your homework with these few steps first.
Do your work, then relax
If a DIY install is something you can handle, the next question is whether you want to monitor it yourself, where alerts are sent to your phone, or if it makes more sense to have a professional firm manage your 24/7 monitoring. There are many advantages to letting the pros monitor your home for you. You can be relaxing on the beach, or in a business meeting, and the minute an alarm in your home goes off, the security company can alert the authorities. You don't have to be on the alert at all hours, so you can take care of the other things in your life.
Extend the Skills
As you install your security system, you will find that the Alexa Skills can offer a number of short cuts, but not necessarily everything you want them to do. If you are ambitious, you can find ways to extend these tasks through IFTTT's, or "If This, Then That" mini routines. Alexa already has a number of this pre-written IFTTT's and some may prove useful in expanding how you run your specific security system.
Be aware that Alexa has trouble recognizing some device names, so you may need to rename some of your gadgets. Alexa is also sensitive to exact wording, so make sure you say the exact phrase. For instance, you need to say, "Alexa, ask Frontpoint to record a clip with the living room camera." These phrases can be pretty long, but if you use them frequently, you'll get used to saying the statements aloud.
After you've addressed these details, you can now add an Alexa Skill specific to your smart home security system, like the ones below.
Protect America works with Alexa to arm your home.Protect America
One of the most popular and affordable systems, Protect America, has monitoring plans that start at $19.99 a month. You can install and integrate Alexa yourself, but you will probably need to call Protect America to get them to enable voice control through your Alexa. This skill lets you control the security system, lights, locks, thermostats and other connected devices from anywhere in the world.
Protect America's Amazon Alexa Skill launched in May 2017, and is highly rated by users. You can use this Skill to arm your locks, check in on the alarm status and even connect to other smart home devices like your smart thermostat, adjusting the temperature inside your home.
Frontpoint's Alexa skill lets you lock and unlock the doors in your home.Frontpoint
Another popular DIY installed and professionally monitored home security system is Frontpoint.
This Alexa Skill controls security, access (door locking and unlocking), video monitoring, thermostat and lights. You will need your Frontpoint user name and password to link with its Alexa Skill and it only works with systems powered through Alarm.com. You can also add functionality to your Frontpoint system by buying a smart doorbell, like one from Skybell. Then you can turn on the camera and you can talk to people at your front door through your Alexa.
Kuna's Alexa Skill can control the lights.
The Alexa Skill for the Kuna Security Camera, only controls lights on the security system at this time. You can't use it to check through the security camera, for example, not use Alexa as an intercom. It's worth noting if you decide to adopt this security system and you are an Alexa user.
You can run Abode through your Amazon Echo with Alexa skills.
Abode is a DIY installed system that you can monitor yourself or use its professional monitoring plans. Abode's Alexa Skill was released in May 2017 and has very high reviews. With the Alexa Skill, Abode users can control lights, switches, dimmers, and even lock your smart locks. This skill will also disarm the security system with an extra pin code. Self-monitoring is free, but optional cellular backup costs $7 a month, and security monitoring costs $17 a month, though you will pay less if you sign up for an annual plan.
Blue by ADT can work through two Alexa Skills
Blue by ADT
Blue by ADT is a DIY home security system, spun from Lifeshield. People can still use their Lifeshield systems — and also its Alexa Skill for security — to control Lifeshield products as well as those from Blue by ADT. You'll just use your Blue by ADT username and password to log in now. There's also a second Alexa Skill for Smart Home. With both enabled, you can turn on lights, and lock the front door.
Options for controlling your security system through the Amazon Echo, Echo Show and Echo Dot are coming on line all the time. Many of them are still working the bugs out, but when you add together all the other functions Alexa can do for you, it is really nice to integrate security as well.
Visit GearBrain's What Works with Amazon Alexa to see the connected devices that work with Amazon Echo and Alexa enabled devices.