Many of you requested a blog post on this topic and I was happy to oblige, but I wanted to live with our security system for a few months before discussing it in detail (and making recommendations). For those of you who don’t know… over the summer we had a break-in. This prompted Emmett & I to consider security, in an effort to feel safe and comfortable at home after that experience. We also were interested in making some smart home updates to create a more efficient house. In this post, I’m diving into detail on the system we selected, how it works, and some of the smart home features we’ve been loving these past few months. If you’re in the market for smart home products or security, I also have a promo codes for some free gadgets as well! Click through to read about our experience, how we made our home smarter, and my honest opinion on feeling peace-of-mind at home.
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Vivint. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
It has been a tough year for everyone. In times of uncertainty, home is always the only place I want to be. Finding comfort, safety, and a sense of security at home has never been an issue for us. Emmett and I grew up in a rural community where everyone left their doors unlocked. I think that’s why the break-in we experienced over the summer shook me. I never expected to be the victim of a break-in. I didn’t think our privacy could be violated in that way. It wasn’t something Emmett or I had ever experienced and while we were lucky (the only thing that was taken was Emmett’s wallet), it honestly took an emotional toll. In the weeks following, I felt uneasy at home. I work from home and I’m here all the time. I was constantly checking the doors in our house and vehicles to make sure everything was locked up and secure. It’s such a terrible feeling knowing your safe place has been violated by a complete stranger. After chatting with Emmett about my feelings, we decided it was probably time to get security.
We did lots of research, shopped around, and ultimately landed on Vivint– who is actually headquartered here in Utah. We had a call with their customer service department, discussed our needs and wants, and decided to commit and schedule installation. A couple weeks later, I was approached by them for a partnership. Without being opportunistic, I wanted to be totally transparent with you… we had already committed to installing their products, but you’ll notice affiliate links throughout this post, as I signed onto their partnership (because we truly LOVE our smart home & security system). As I mentioned in the intro, I wanted to live with our new system for a few months before sharing my honest feedback with you. I have to say- I’m very impressed and am feeling safer than ever in our home. We’re already beginning to see savings from creating a more efficient, smart home as well. I’m excited to show you how it’s working for us!
First I’ll share what we landed on and why. All Vivint systems and products are customized for your home and specific needs. When Emmett & I initially called customer service, we created a plan that addressed “problem areas” in our home. We liked that we could customize as needed and I liked the look of their products in comparison to other providers. All of their cameras, detectors, monitors, and smart home gadgets are very sleek and simple looking. As a designer, you know I have high standards when it comes to aesthetics. The last thing I want to add to our newly renovated spaces are bulky products that are eyesores. When we moved into our home, it actually had an existing security system of another brand. It wasn’t functional and looked like it popped straight out of 1995. The control panel was yellowed, and we immediately removed the bulky, yellow motion detectors that accompanied it, upon moving in. I remember thinking, “I’m never installing security if it looks like this.” Luckily, there are better options in 2020. Haha! Check out the before and after below… our new Smart Hub control panel is very sleek looking.
Before & After
We specifically wanted outdoor cameras- especially on our driveway, because Emmett’s truck was broken into while sitting in our drive. Many of our neighbors have experienced vehicle break-ins this year and keeping an eye on our exterior was a top priority for us. Our new shed is filled with tools and equipment, and is next to the driveway in the side yard, so that was another area we had concerns about.
We landed on Vivint’s Outdoor Camera Pro, because it can tell the difference between humans and animals. We have so many deer that wander our yard and sleep behind the shed, I worried it would be annoying to get notifications every time a deer passed through our yard. Luckily, that hasn’t been the case. The cameras are very intelligent and you can adjust the settings to avoid animal notifications. We purchased a few of those outdoor cameras to keep an eye on our backyard & patio, our driveway, and side yard.
At the front of our home, we opted for the Smart Doorbell. It’s very sleek and minimal. It covers our porch and the front yard. This camera probably sees the most use… we get a lot of packages and deliveries, so it’s really practical! It even has the optics and intelligence to protect package deliveries. It can tell when something is delivered and you can choose to “protect the package” with the deter feature.
It also has two-way talk, HD video, night vision, and a doorbell. I use the two-way talk function often… I like being able to thank our delivery people without having to be in physical contact with them (another helpful feature- this year, especially). I asked Emmett to ring the doorbell, so I could grab a photo for you…
In addition to cameras, we also installed traditional security gear inside- motion detectors, sensors on our windows & doors, glass-break sensors, etc. Those have come in very handy this fall! I’ve been leaving the windows open for fresh air and I would forget to close them if it weren’t for the app reminding me. The sensors are pretty small and easily blend with our doors and millwork. They can also be painted to match your wall, casing, or door color! I doubled checked on that one for you. Do you spy the sensor on our french doors in the formal living room, below?
In our garage, we opted for a Smart Lock on the entry door into our home (it is located in the hall next to the laundry room). This is awesome for friends and family who have access to our house. You can create unique codes for each person, and you’ll be notified who is coming into your home. For example, we set up a code for our neighbors (the ones we did the deck makeover for), because they often bring in our packages, water plants, and keep an eye on things while we’re away. Our dog sitter also has a separate code, so we know when she is coming and going. It’s pretty handy! Guests punch in their unique code to open our large garage door, then again to enter our house through this door. You can also unlock the door with your phone, if you’re away and someone needs inside. Of course I opted for brass, and again- the design is much better than others on the market… believe me when I say, I shopped around!
Also in the garage… both of our garage doors are linked to our Vivint smart home, so I can control them with my phone or the Smart Hub in our entry hallway. I’m notorious for leaving the house and thinking, “Did I close the garage door?!” … it’s nice to quickly open the app, double check, and open & close the doors as I please.
Aside from security, we also decided to update & integrate some smart home products. We replaced both of our dated thermostats for smart thermostats. They look so much better! Our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors also got an update. They’re all hardwired and synced to our Smart Hub (and app). No more annoying chirping sounds because of dead batteries! I like knowing our bases are covered, should anything happen.
I’ve kind of been a big ball of nerves this year. Like the rest of the world, my anxiety has been higher than usual, and I was a bit concerned about the security installation during the pandemic- especially when Utah’s numbers were climbing. My nerves were calmed when I was assured Vivint performs daily employee health checks, and all installers show up wearing proper PPE. Our installer, Marion, was incredibly respectful, professional, and went above & behind to teach me how to use our system (I’m truly a tech dummy). It’s also an easy system to navigate with a pretty interface. I find it really intuitive!
If you’re interested in security or Vivint smart home products, you can either call or click to get a free estimate. I’ll leave you with my personal customer service team phone number (844) 654-5206 … you’ll hear my voice first, then they’ll connect you. I’ve also got a special link you can click, if you prefer to do things online. Be sure to use my code ROOMFORTUESDAY for a free Doorbell Camera Pro, with the purchase of a system. You can find pricing, terms, and conditions here.
Please let me know if you have any questions at all! I’d be happy to chat and answer any you may have in the comment section below. Security is kind of a personal thing, but I wanted to share how it helped ease my worries these past few months. It really has been a game changer for us, and I hope this info is helpful for some of you who have been considering it! I’m honestly loving it more than I thought I would. It’s hard to believe we went without for so long. Having the smart home features is an added bonus! Our home is very efficient now and I find comfort knowing we’re protected against many elements (fire, carbon monoxide, break-ins, etc). I’ll hop on IG stories in a bit and share how it works “in person” so you can see some video footage of our smart home in action!