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And once I finally had the quote, he explained the purpose behind each device I was receiving and what the installation might entail. He took extra time to help me weigh whether I needed home automation or not — and I’m almost positive it wasn’t scripted. ”Abode provides one of the most robust displays of third party integrations in this lineup. The company offers a decent amount of its own proprietary devices, but you’re certainly not limited to Abode specific products alone. An Abode system can communicate with a slew of Z Wave and Zigbee compatible smart lights and locks, light switches and dimmers, Nest products, IFTTT commands, and, of course, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Put simply: If you want the freedom to lock/unlock your door or turn on/off the lights all in one place from the Abode app, this system is definitely worth a look.

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A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security setup, but you don't have to invest in a full blown system to use one. If you're using a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a Z Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the system without much effort. Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app. Smart locks use standard pre drilled holes and are fairly easy to install. Some models use your existing keyed cylinder and deadbolt hardware and attach to the inside of your door, while others require that you remove your existing interior and exterior escutcheons and replace the deadbolt and strike hardware. Smart locks can be opened and closed using a mobile app and will send a notification when someone locks or unlocks a door, and most allow you to create permanent and temporary access schedules for family members and friends based on specific hours of the day and days of the week.