Why the DIY Security “Revolution” May Not Last

Selling products and services that purport to let the average consumer secure their residences themselves, referred to as “Do It Yourself” (DIY), has always been a part of the home security industry, but it existed pretty much separate and apart from the professional side. DIY picked up traction in the ‘00s, when reliable, fast Internet access became ubiquitous, and ever since then a segment of homeowners looking for security solutions have been entranced by the DIY mindset.


In recent years, there has been a big push for DIY “Smart Home” installation and DIY home security setups that utilize WiFi connections, webcams and smartphones, among other things. While some DIY brands have seen commercial success, many respected industry observers (The Next Web – “Why the DIY smart home revolution won’t work”) don’t believe that a secure “smart home” can be attained through DIY strategies. (Forbes – “Are Retailers Eyeing The Market For Smart Home Installation Services?”) In this blog, we’ll analyze their findings and examine why many are not buying into the DIY home security movement.

“DIY is the smart home industry’s big lie,” writes Michael Wolf for Forbes. Wolf argues that DIY isn’t as easy as it’s marketed to be, and that many consumers end up needing help installing the products after purchasing.

According to Wolf, some of the biggest retail stores in the country, Like Lowe’s and Home Depot, are investing in their own networks of “professional installers” to help customers equip their homes with the devices they purchase. For example, according to Forbes, Lowe’s invested $65 million in Porch.com, which is a network of nationwide installers. Home Depot acquired “Red Beacon” in 2012 and turned it into “Pro Referral Powered by The Home Depot” to help their customers find someone to install their purchases. Best Buy has also been utilizing this plan for years with their “Geek Squad.”

Wolf brings this up because in reality many (if not most) DIY security setups are simply too complex and complicated for the average homeowner to install correctly.

“Just because products are becoming “smarter” doesn’t mean they are becoming easier to install or configure,” writes Martin Plaehn for The Next Web. “Unfortunately for most homeowners, the 100 percent self-installed smart is not, nor will it likely ever be, the reality.”

And that essentially sums up the problem with a DIY smart home. All of the products seem great thanks to marketing, but when it comes down to actual deployment, they are typically hard to install. It’s even harder to get DIY smart home products from different companies to work together.

“With each individual “smart” device that you add to your home, the more unintended complexity you may be introducing,” Plaehn writes. “Most devices – even though they are connected to the Internet, they don’t talk or listen to one another. That’s because each device comes with its own app, communication protocol and software, causing all your devices to act independently of one another.”
Plaehn’s words are basically an argument for investing in a smart home powered by a professional security provider. Professionally installed home automation systems can put comfort and energy savings at the touch of your smartphone or other mobile device with intelligent climate control.

With a professionally installed home automation system, you can program, monitor and adjust your heating and cooling system levels from anywhere in the world for ideal settings as the temperature changes outside. You can even adjust the lighting and check in on live feeds of your house

While all of this is possible with DIY products, the peace of mind that comes along with being able to rely on one company to install these systems in your home is unmatched. If you rely on many different products to create a “smart home,” as Plaehn points out, they will almost assuredly interfere with each other as they are unable to coexist efficiently.

If you’re a homeowner thinking about adding smart home elements to your residence, consider consulting with a well-trained professional before opting for a DIY system. It will likely make your life easier, and home more efficient.

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