AUTOMATING MY HOME PART 6: Wireless Security cameras revisited, wireless segmentation, and flood lights

Previously I talked about looking a the Lorex security camera system using wired Power over Ethernet, PoE.  From a physical security perspective, and a not being restricted by the location of power outlets it made sense.

As usual though the “Wife Acceptance Factor” was the real test.  I have learned she, as my primary user, gives me the best feedback on what is a good idea.  I started asking her what she wanted out of a camera system.  It turn out, it is less about security, and more about her checking in on the kids when they got home from school, and looking in on the dog, and making sure the front door was closed.  This lead us to look at wireless cameras, due to the challenges of running wires between floors of the house.

We settled on the Samsung Smartcam HD for the simple reason it supports local recording to an SD card.  While this was not critical, it was helpful for some short term replays to keep an eye on the house, but more importantly to capture hilarious incidents like nerf gun wars with the kids, or she and I trying to get our Christmas tree out of the house.  The quality is very solid, and we have had no major complaints after 6 weeks now.

With the cameras and the ecobee3 thermostat, we started to see a number of devices that simply need internet access, but do not need to access the local lan.  When I put in the Ubiquity WAP I initially gave us 3 SSID’s all on separate VLAN’s, the main wireless for media and work, the kids, and the guest network.  This weekend I added the fourth for our home automation devices.  While this is not strictly necessary, it is nice to keep them separated from the rest of our devices, and limits our exposure if there is a problem.

Recently we had some weird sounds in our backyard well after dark.  It sounded like a bobcat or a coyote had gotten ahold of a house cat or small dog.  We checked in the morning and didn’t see signs of anything, but to be honest it was a bit disconcerting.  My newest project is to put up floodlights in the back yard, enough to scare off anything that comes in to visit.  The main challenge has been how to make it look professional, and how to involve some type of automation.  I looked at pure motion sensors, but that didn’t seem to be what we wanted.  I am considering some type of smart lighting system, but ultimately it may come down to a simple remote switch connected to the light.

The backyard lighting gets more important as we move into spring and summer where we will get more time outdoors.  We are also building a fire pit soon, not automation related, but I am working on how to include something electronic, probably a bluetooth speaker or something similar.  Always fun, and always one more project.

AUTOMATING MY HOME PART 6: Wireless Security cameras revisited, wireless segmentation, and flood lights

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