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Using Alarm.com Scenes for Extra Security and Convenience

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At Northeast Security Solutions, we strive to keep customers up to date with the latest security technology. We encourage customers to use the best security equipment available to monitor their homes. That’s why we monitor many of our accounts with a cellular dialer powered by Alarm.com. Doing so adds the security of cellular monitoring, which allows alarms to communicate with our central station even when traditional phone lines fail. Since burglars often cut phone lines before attempting a break-in, we consider this a basic precaution.

Furthermore, our cellular dialer also doubles as a Z-Wave smart home hub. This allows customers to add smart home devices that operate on the Z-Wave platform. Doing so also allows customers to create “scenes” that set multiple smart home commands in motion. Adding Alarm.com scenes can add both security and convenience to your home. In this post, we examine how you can use this feature to your advantage. We’ll begin with an overview of Alarm.com scenes and how you can use them. From there, we’ll get into specific alarm and smart home commands you can use with your scenes. Finally, we’ll give examples of how these scenes work in a real-life scenario. Let’s begin by explaining just what this feature entails.

An Alarm.com app open on a phone with a house in the background.

The Alarm.com app comes equipped with pre-loaded “Home,” Away,” “Sleep,” and “Wake Up” scene activation buttons.

Defining Alarm.com Scenes

So what do we mean when we refer to “scenes” controlled through Alarm.com? Simply put, an Alarm.com scene allows you to sync up multiple smart home functions at the same time. These include alarm functions, such as arming or disarming your security system. They also include smart home functions involving any number of smart home devices. Homeowners give scenes specific names that relate to the actions they take while activating the scene. For example, the Alarm.com app comes with buttons to activate  “Home,” “Away,” “Sleep” and “Wake Up” scenes by default. Pressing one of these buttons sets in motion a chain of alarm and smart home device activity related to arriving or leaving your home, going to bed, and waking up, respectively. Later on, we’ll also look at how homeowners can create customized scenes as well.

Homeowners often take advantage of their alarm’s smart home capabilities with smart light bulbs, thermostats, garage door openers, locks, and more. Our 7 Important Security System Add-Ons for Your Smart Home details some of the more intriguing smart home possibilities. While creating or modifying a scene, you can choose how different smart devices will react to your command. Let’s look at some of the device functions that homeowners use while creating Alarm.com scenes.

Specific Devices for Use with Alarm.com Scenes

At this point, you should have at least an idea of what Alarm.com scenes do. In this section, we’ll focus on the actual devices you can control with your scenes. Your alarm system acts as the hub for all of this activity. It also arguably creates the most important function of any Alarm.com scene. Therefore, we’ll start with the different alarm settings that you can use in your scenes. From there, we’ll discuss different smart home devices and their potential uses within your scenes. Some of these devices and scenes will create a layer of home security. Others will add convenience first and foremost. Let’s begin with a look at your security system’s role in your Alarm.com scene creation.

Smart Security Functions

Modern alarm systems generally allow for a couple different arming options. We pointed out in our Security System Use Tips that we recommend arming your security system even while home. In order to do so, users must arm their perimeter alarms without arming any motion detectors. Security systems often dub this type of arming as “stay” mode. Stay mode allows residents to enjoy the benefits of having their doors and windows armed, while still walking around the house.

Likewise, we generally term arming your entire security system as activating “away” mode. Since motion detectors will create an alarm in this mode, homeowners use this type of arming while away from the house. While setting scenes, alarm users can elect to arm their security system to either “stay” or “away” modes based on the purpose of the scene. Additionally, homeowners can create scenes that disarm their security system as well. Activating the “Home” scene mentioned earlier, for example, may disarm the security system as customers arrive home at the end of the day. Now that we’ve looked at how alarm functions work with Alarm.com scenes, let’s look at some smart home devices that homeowners can use during scene creation.

Smart Home Appliances

An Alarm.com app being used to control the lighting in a home.

Deciding how your smart lights will react to a scene’s activation is just one of many customizations you have at your fingertips while creating an Alarm.com scene.

The specific smart home commands that users can tie to scenes largely depends on the smart home device itself. For example, users may choose to either lock or unlock a smart lock as part of a scene command. Likewise, certain scenes can command lights to turn on or off — or even dim. Homeowners can use their phone to activate a scene that opens or closes their garage doors. Customers with smart thermostats can even set their thermostats to different temperatures for different scenes. The variety of potential smart home commands included in scenes mirrors the variety within the smart home appliance market itself. At this point, we’ve given several examples of both security system-related and smart appliance-related commands that can be activated using Alarm.com scenes. Now, let’s take a look at how these scenes play out in day-to-day household living.

Common Scenes Settings and Functions

As we mentioned earlier, Alarm.com users can choose smart commands that go along with their default scene selections. Some users feel content creating scenes for entering and leaving the home, as well waking up and going to bed. However, other users go the whole nine yards with unique scenes that relate to their lives. These could include scene settings for watching movies, or naptime for kids. In this section, we’ll give some examples of how these scenes work in real life. We’ll start with ideas for creating commands that correspond to the most basic scenes. From there, we’ll examine how homeowners can create and customize scenes that work uniquely with their lives.

Everyday Alarm.com Scenes

The four default scenes that show up on users’ Alarm.com apps provide two sets of opposite commands. The “Home” and “Away” scenes create one of the two sets. Activating the “Home” scene generally disarms the security system and unlocks the door used for entry. Additionally, certain lights may turn on, the garage door could open, and the thermostat might even revert to a comfortable living temperature. Likewise, the “Away” setting generally arms the security system to “away” mode and turns lights off. If needed, the doors will lock and thermostats can lower the temperature a few degrees as well.

The “Wake Up” and “Sleep” settings make up the second set of opposing default scenes. Activating the “Wake Up” scene can turn on lights, raise the temperature, and disarm the security system. Alternately, activating your “Sleep” scene can turn off lights, lower your home temperature, and arm your security system to “stay” mode. As you can see, users can take care of many of their day-to-day appliance functions using Alarm.com scenes. Additionally, using scenes adds security by ensuring that the alarm gets armed when needed. As long as you remember to activate the proper scene, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you locked the door, armed the security system, or closed the garage. Now, let’s look at some of the more unique scenes that Alarm.com users create.

Alarm.com app showing the "movie" scene button with a couple on a couch in the background.

Alarm.com scenes allow you to set the scene for move night with the push of a button.

Scenes for Unique Occasions

Many of our new smart home customers find features such as their new scenes addicting. After creating alarm and smart home commands for their basic scenes, homeowners often go on to find others ways to use this feature. Creating a “Movie” scene, for example, can take care of many tasks associated with movie night. Activating a “Movie” scene can dim some lights and turn others off completely, arm your security system to “stay,” lock your doors, and lower the temperature if you plan on watching the movie under a blanket.

Likewise, adding a “Naptime” scene for households with children can shut off lights in the kids’ rooms and create a comfortable sleeping temperature around the bedrooms. Customers with workout equipment in their basement might create a “Workout” scene that turns on basement lights, lowers the basement temperature, and arms the security system to “stay” mode to secure the house during the workout. Adding scenes that fit your lifestyle can add tremendous ease of use and value to your home security system.

Adding Alarm.com Scenes to Your Security Plan

We hope that this post has helped you understand how to use Alarm.com scenes for your own security and convenience. Many people think of home security and smart home technology as completely unrelated. However, all of your home’s devices can work together to create the additional security and ease of use described in this post. If you have any questions about the information here, we encourage you to contact us. We provide free site surveys for customers looking for security equipment, smart home devices, or both. We can address any concerns you may have, and make suggestions of our own as well. Together, we can use the latest security and smart home technology to make living in your home as secure and convenient as possible.