When considering a home security system, you might be tempted to order
one of the low-cost wired systems advertised on television (usually offered
with free or $100 installation). A do-it-yourself (DIY) system will cost
more than that, but you'll be amazed at the sophistication of the system
for a very reasonable cost. You also won't have to poke holes in your
walls, you'll have greater control over the components, the system will
be portable (i.e., you can take it with you if you move), and you won't
have monthly monitoring fees.
The heart of a decent DIY security system is the same popular X10 technology
used for networking home computers, household appliances and other domestic
gadgets. By plugging window and door sensors, motion detectors,
inside and outside lighting and video cameras into the X10 network, you
can control the operation of all these components from your home computer
(or via a stand-alone control console). Installation couldn't be simpler:
plug the X10 control modules into available electrical outlets (X10 uses
your home's wiring as its "network"), plug the security components into
the modules and then use the security software on your PC (or the console)
to program when the components will turn on and off.
There are basically three levels of security system to consider:
- A starter system might consist of inside lights and outside flood
lighting programmed to turn on and off at predetermined times, at dusk,
or when you're on vacation.
- A standard security set-up consists of sensors for all vulnerable
windows and doors, indoor/outdoor light controllers and an emergency
number phone dialer.
- A deluxe system would include the above, plus sensors on every man-size
opening, one or more security cameras, a siren and motion detectors
around the perimeter of your property.
Typical X10 Control Module
X10 Control Console
Wireless Security Camera
The beauty of X10 security is that you can pick and choose the components
you want. You might want a starter system, but with an added front door
cam, or one that has sensors on every man-size opening and nothing else.
You decide based on your needs and budget. Parts for these systems run
from a few hundred dollars for a basic set-up to several thousand if you
want to turn your castle into an impenetrable fortress.
Here are a few sites with more information on X10 security and online
stores where you can order components:
This online X10 store has everything you need to build a system, from
the most basic to the most complex.
X10 Ideas :
A super-site with tips, installation ideas, a product catalog, and a dealer
directory covering all aspects of X10 home automation.
A directory of over five hundred Web sites dedicated to home automation
and X10 technology.