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Connected Living: A Guide to the Top 5 Essential Smart Home Technologies

In the era of digital connectivity, the concept of home has evolved to embrace smart technologies that enhance our daily lives. From climate control to security surveillance, integrating smart home technologies not only adds convenience but also contributes to energy efficiency and heightened security. In this guide, we explore the top five essential smart home technologies that can transform your living space into a connected haven.

Smart home heating system, thermostat

1. Smart Home Thermostats:

Effortless Climate Control:

In the realm of connected living, the smart thermostat takes center stage, revolutionizing how we manage our home’s climate. Beyond being a convenient gadget, it’s a key player in optimizing energy consumption and creating a comfortable living environment.

Learning and Adapting:

One of the standout features of smart thermostats is their ability to learn from your behavior and adapt to your preferences. As you manually adjust the temperature over time, the thermostat observes and creates a schedule based on your habits. This learning capability ensures that your home is at the ideal temperature when you need it, without unnecessary energy expenditure when you don’t.

Remote Accessibility:

Imagine being able to control your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world. Smart thermostats provide remote accessibility through dedicated mobile apps. Whether you’re on your way home from work or returning from a vacation, you can adjust the thermostat to your preferred setting, ensuring a welcoming environment upon arrival.

Energy Efficiency:

Smart thermostats contribute significantly to energy efficiency by optimizing heating and cooling patterns. They can automatically adjust the temperature when you’re away, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. Some models even provide insights into your energy usage, empowering you to make informed decisions about your home’s efficiency.

 

2. Intelligent Lighting Systems:

Customized Ambiance:

Step into a world of personalized illumination with intelligent lighting systems, a transformative addition to modern homes. These systems go beyond the simple act of turning lights on and off; they allow you to tailor the ambiance of your space to suit different moods and occasions.

Adjustable Brightness and Color:

One of the defining features of intelligent lighting is the ability to adjust brightness and color. Whether you prefer a soft warm glow for a cozy evening or a bright, cool light for a focused work environment, these systems provide a spectrum of options. This flexibility empowers you to create the perfect atmosphere for any activity.

Programmable Lighting Scenes:

Intelligent lighting systems introduce the concept of programmable scenes. Imagine setting a “Movie Night” scene that dims the lights to a comfortable level or a “Morning Boost” scene that gradually increases brightness to simulate natural sunlight. These scenes can be pre-programmed or activated with a simple command, enhancing both convenience and ambiance.

Remote Control and Scheduling:

Take control of your home’s lighting from anywhere with remote accessibility. Whether you’re away on vacation or simply in another room, smart lighting apps enable you to adjust, dim, or turn off lights with a few taps on your smartphone. Additionally, scheduling features allow you to automate lighting based on your daily routines, improving energy efficiency and enhancing security.

3. Smart Home Security Cameras:

24/7 Surveillance:

Enter the realm of enhanced security and peace of mind with smart home security cameras. These sophisticated devices bring 24/7 surveillance capabilities, combining advanced features to keep your home safe and secure.

Motion Detection and Two-Way Audio:

Modern security cameras are equipped with motion detection technology, alerting you to any unusual activity around your home. Pair this with two-way audio functionality, allowing you not only to see but also to communicate with individuals near the camera. This feature adds an extra layer of security, enabling you to deter potential intruders or communicate with visitors at your doorstep.

Real-Time Monitoring Through Mobile Apps:

The convenience of real-time monitoring cannot be overstated. Smart security cameras provide live feeds that you can access through dedicated mobile apps. Whether you’re at work, on vacation, or simply in another room, you can keep a vigilant eye on your property. This instant access to footage contributes to a heightened sense of security and control.

Cloud Storage and Playback:

Many security cameras offer cloud storage options, allowing you to store footage securely and access it at any time. This is particularly useful in the event of an incident, as you can review recorded footage to understand the sequence of events. Some systems also offer features like time-lapse playback for a quick overview of daily activities.

Night Vision Technology:

Security doesn’t take a break when the sun goes down. Advanced security cameras come equipped with night vision technology, providing clear and detailed footage even in low-light or complete darkness. This feature ensures that your home remains protected around the clock.

Smart Home Devices

4. Smart Home Locks:

Keyless Convenience:

Upgrade your home security with the convenience and sophistication of smart locks. These innovative devices provide keyless entry and remote access control, revolutionizing how you secure and manage access to your home.

Remote Access and Control:

Smart locks empower you to control and monitor your door locks from anywhere with an internet connection. Whether you need to let in a guest while you’re away or confirm whether you locked the door after leaving, smart locks offer unparalleled convenience. With a dedicated mobile app, you can remotely grant access, receive notifications, and ensure the security of your home at all times.

Secure and Keyless Entry:

Say goodbye to traditional keys. Smart locks offer keyless entry, allowing you to unlock your door using a variety of methods such as a PIN code, fingerprint recognition, or even your smartphone’s Bluetooth connection. This not only eliminates the need for physical keys but also enhances security by reducing the risk of unauthorized key duplication.

 

5. Voice-Activated Assistants:

Hands-Free Living:

Integrate the power of voice-activated assistants into your smart home setup for a truly hands-free living experience. Popular options include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, each offering a range of functionalities that can enhance the convenience and efficiency of your daily life.

Control Various Smart Devices:

One of the primary advantages of voice-activated assistants is their ability to control a wide array of smart devices using simple voice commands. From adjusting the thermostat and turning on lights to playing music or locking the doors, these assistants serve as the central hub for managing your smart home ecosystem.

Seamless Integration:

Voice-activated assistants seamlessly integrate with a variety of smart devices, including thermostats, lighting systems, security cameras, and smart locks. This integration allows you to create customized routines and automate tasks, streamlining your daily activities. For instance, you can set up a “Good Morning” routine that adjusts the thermostat, turns on lights, and provides a weather update—all with a single vocal command.

Accessibility and Inclusivity:

The hands-free nature of voice-activated assistants makes them particularly accessible for individuals with mobility issues or disabilities. Tasks that might be challenging for some become effortless through simple voice prompts. This inclusivity aspect contributes to creating a home environment that caters to diverse needs.

Smartphone with security application indoors

Choosing the Right Devices:

When selecting smart home technologies, consider compatibility and integration. Ensure that devices can communicate seamlessly, creating a unified and efficient smart home ecosystem.

Installation and Setup:

While many devices are designed for easy installation, it’s essential to follow setup instructions carefully. Some may require a centralized hub, while others connect directly to your Wi-Fi network.

Privacy and Security:

Protect your smart home from potential vulnerabilities. Change default passwords, update firmware regularly, and be mindful of the data these devices collect.

Future-Proofing Your Home:

Smart home technologies evolve rapidly. Choose devices with future updates in mind to ensure long-term compatibility and functionality.

Connected living through smart home technologies brings convenience, energy efficiency, and enhanced security. By integrating these essential devices, you create a home that responds to your needs and preferences, making daily life more enjoyable and efficient.

About Chicago Security Expert:

Chicago Security Expert is a leading provider of comprehensive security solutions, specializing in smart home technologies. With a commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, Chicago Security Expert offers a range of services, including the installation and integration of smart security systems. Transform your home into a secure and connected living space with the expertise of Chicago Security Expert.

Contact us today!

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How to Choose the Best Home Security System?

Nowadays, an alarm system is one of the most effective methods of securing a facility against burglary, fire or acts of vandalism. Buildings particularly exposed to all these events are, above all, our houses, business, apartments, warehouses, and all other places that hold a wide variety of expensive belongings and important information that should be treated with care.

Effective protection of your house in addition to a monitoring system also consists of a reliable alarm system. Tough locks, roller shutters and anti-burglary doors, although they are an obstacle for the criminal, in practice only delay their entry into the building. Choosing the right alarm system is not easy, and it is best to consult an experienced specialist. At Chicago Security Expert we will help you choose the security system that’s right for you and your home.

How to choose an alarm system?

When it comes to security systems, it is always necessary to look at the property as a whole. If you want to provide your property with maximum protection, it is worth installing a more extensive alarm system, which will be based on both motion sensors and magnetic field sensors (reed switches), which protect all balcony doors and windows. Prior to camera installation and alarm system installation it’s advised to invest in appropriate external doors and windows, which will improve the overall level of protection of the building against burglary and theft.

The next step is to select solutions that will meet your needs and expectations. If your priority is to increase the safety of the household in the most economical way, it is worth supporting the alarm installation with a system of passive motion sensors (in terms of reliability, wired sensors are more effective). If it is a question of securing a large number of doors and windows, it will certainly be a better choice to base the installation on reed switches, i.e. magnetic sensors. Reed switches are also recommended in those buildings where pets are present, due to the fact that they help to eliminate false alarms that occur despite the advanced technology in the case of motion sensors.

Intrusion Detection SystemThe Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

The IDS, or the Intrusion Detection System, is a set of devices that protect your property against various threats: burglary, flooding, fire, escaping gas or accumulating carbon monoxide. When an unauthorized entry to the building is attempted, or the system detects suspicious persons in a protected area, it will generate an alarm that can be forwarded via radio or telephone. The basic goal of each IDS is to provide comprehensive security in the protected building, not only against crime, but also against an accident.

Basic elements of the alarm system

The Intrusion Detection System consists of a number of components that are designed to: recognize a threat, process the signal and initiate an alarm. The most elements important are:

  • alarm control panel which is responsible for receiving and processing signals. When the sensors detect a threat, they send an impulse, which triggers the alarm. The control panel must be located in a room that is difficult to access so that the criminal won’t have easy access to it. When choosing this element of the system, it is worth choosing a device with a large number of inputs and outputs, which will allow, in the future, to connect new sensors and expand the installation,
  • sensors & cctv cameras (or “eyes and ears” of the alarm system). There are many types of sensors on the market, each specialized in detecting a different type of threat. There are sensors that detect movement, smoke, gas, temperature, twilight, etc. Windows and balcony doors are protected by sensors that react to sound (e.g. broken glass), reed sensors (magnetic – composed of two elements, one is mounted on the window sash, the second one on the frame – their distance from each other triggers an alarm), shocking. CCTV cameras on the other hand provide constant monitoring and real peace of mind.
  • the keypad is nothing but a touch screen or keyboard that enables the programming of the alarm system. It allows the user to manage the installation, arm and disarm the alarm, and monitor its operation,
  • the alarm siren is a device that generates a sound and light signal in order to alert householders, neighbors or the police. Contemporary IDSs can transmit a burglary signal using the GSM cellular network in order to alert the owner who is away from home. In a similar way, they can inform the security agency that will direct the emergency services to the home at risk,
  • power supply is an important element of any alarm system. Without power, the system will not work, so it is worth equipping it with an additional power source, i.e. a battery.

Wireless or Wired Alarm System?

Installing a wired system requires forging walls and wiring. Wired systems will be easier to install in homes that are at the design stage. Otherwise you can choose a wireless alarm system. It is worth noting that both the wired and wireless alarm systems are equally effective. Modern wireless systems cannot be easily disrupted. Each sensor has its own power supply and communicates bidirectionally with the control panel. Any break in communication between the sensor and the control panel will trigger an alarm immediately. The radio signal is additionally authenticated to exclude the possibility of external interference. In practice, the only drawback of the wireless system is the need to periodically replace the batteries powering the sensors.

How do you choose a home alarm system?

When planning to install an alarm system at home, you should answer a few questions:

  • Where is your house located? Have there been any break-ins in the neighborhood?
  • Is it possible to wire your home?
  • What is the shape of the house? What is the number of rooms in the building that you want to protect? What is the number of windows and balcony doors?
  • Should the security also cover the area around the building?
  • How big is the area around the building? What is the fence made of? Is the property densely overgrown with vegetation?
  • Is the system only supposed to warn against burglary and theft or is it supposed to comprehensively protect the house against flooding, fire, etc.?
  • How is the system supposed to inform about a security breach? Will it send information only to the owner or should it also inform the security agency?

If you can answer any of these questions, call Chicago Security Expert today and one of our specialists will be able to prepare a design and give you a price quote. We will advise you on what sensors to choose and where to install them. We will also suggest where to place the control panel and how to connect the power supply. Each house is different, therefore the alarm system must be tailored specifically to your property to be effective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Access Control Is Safer For Your Chicago Business Than a Traditional Key

Modern access control systems are an important element of security systems in companies, public institutions or multi-family residential buildings. They ensure supervision over the access of people to the premises and allow you to analyze user/employee movement in a given area. The card access system allows you to control and manage who has access to your property and to secured zones (e.g. server rooms, warehouses). It makes it possible for you to supervise the flow of people between individual facilities and monitor traffic in a given zone.

How Does a Card Access System Work?

/Users/tlasota/Documents/WizerunekWSieci/Lukasz ADT installer/AccessCards/Access Control Set Up .pngAccess to entire buildings, areas in these buildings, or specific rooms is traditionally controlled with locks and keys. However, this type of access control has several drawbacks:

  • if many people use one entrance, it becomes more complicated to control access to the keys,
  • if one of the users loses a key, most often the cylinder of the entry knob or the entire door lock should be replaced, along with all issued keys (after all, you don’t know if the key has been stolen or found by an unauthorized person),
  • if one of your employees is fired or chooses to move on to another job, you should basically proceed as above – even if the employee returns the key, it’s very easy to have an extra key made,
  • if a certain person has access to many rooms, he/she will most often have to carry a heavy keychain, which is simply not a comfortable solution.

And although the existence of “master key” systems should be mentioned here, the access control system with all of its functionalities far exceeds these systems. The software enables the system administrator to quickly and easily assign individual people to access protected zones and define the access schedules.

Access control systems are more and more often used in various types of companies and enterprises to control access and monitor potential violations. In hospitals, offices and public buildings, the access control system enables the separation of public and business zones. In schools, it helps to keep students safe.

We installing Access cards for Residential, Education, Bank, Retail, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Transportation

Chicago’s Experts provides access cards solution for residential, education, bank, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation

It’s also important to emphasize the fact that modern access control systems are integrated with security alarm systems or CCTV systems, which significantly increases the functionality, usability and security of your property. In the case of integrating an access control system with fire alarm systems, it’s possible to force open all doors in case of fire detection.

The access control system is designed to restrict access of unauthorized users to specific zones and to provide access to protected zones for authorized users. Each system consists of at least two types of devices. First of all, these are input devices that decide on the access to protected zones (encoders, card readers, scanners) and output devices that implement this access (electromagnetic bolts, electric locks, gates). Using the system’s software, the operator can quickly assign and change authorizations to individual users.

Identifying users in an access control system can be done in many ways. In the simplest case, it can be a numeric or alphanumeric encoder, where access to the specified zone is obtained after entering a given code. More complex systems use badges in the form of cards with printed bar codes, magnetic stripe cards, proximity cards or key fobs. The data from these identifiers are read by the appropriate card readers. In systems with a high level of security, biometric readers (scanners) are used. These can be, for example, fingerprint readers, and retinal and iris readers. The basic function of all these readers is to read the identifier (PIN, card, fingerprint, etc.) and send the data to the master device, which compares the received information with the data stored in the database and makes a decision about the system’s reaction.

Access Control System Functions For Your Business

Card-Access-Reader-Union-AlarmSUPERVISION OVER ACCESS TO SELECTED ROOMS

Restrict entry to secured areas to certain people and grant temporary permission to authorized persons. Personalize access for your employees and control all entry points. Eliminate key management.

CONVENIENCE IN ACCESS MANAGEMENT

Thanks to the access control system, there is no need to manage keys, re-enter or register keys, or to change locks when you need to limit or grant access to a given zone to your employees.

USER / EMPLOYEE MOVEMENT ANALYSIS

Get access to reports that will provide information on the flow of people throughout the property. You will always know who enters and leaves the protected facilities.

PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION

Are you afraid that the card access system installation may be too much for you? Trust our experience. We will professionally and properly install both the access control system and its management software for you.

ACCESS MANAGEMENT FOR VISITORS

Manage non-employee traffic in your facility through your access control system by granting periodic access to visitors while restricting them from entering sensitive areas within your company.

DECIDE ON THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE SYSTEM

Choose the features that suit you and pay only for them! You will receive an economical and affordable security system tailored to your specific needs.

What Are The Advantages of the Card Access System?

The main advantage, and at the same time the main function of the access control system, is the effective protection of entire facilities or selected rooms against the entrance of unwanted persons. It gives you the opportunity to automatically secure and monitor your entire property from a central location. Access control is also a convenience – it facilitates the entrance to rooms, for example for authorized employees. It does not require looking for an appropriate key, but only applying an RFID tag in the form of, for example, a card, or key fob, or applying a finger.

The system is convenient to use, fast and largely automated, so that the verification of user permissions takes place almost immediately.

Moreover, you can combine the access control system with other systems to increase its possibilities of use and range of operation. The most common option is to connect to the CCTV and security system.

At Chicago Security Expert we offer a comprehensive range of services. We provide a professional security system, card access control system and fire alarm system installation so you can rest easy knowing that your property is in the best hands possible. Call us today for a free quote and to and learn more about the benefits of having an access control system at your business.

 

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Pros and Cons For IP Surveillance System

People who are considering security cameras installation in their home or business are probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available and the confusing technical vocabulary that comes with them. Security camera systems are widely used nowadays and are extremely effective in detecting and responding to threats at Chicago home and business owners’ properties. After all, each of us wants to feel safe in our own home or place of work.

Many CCTV cameras on the market support various video technologies and standards. However, the most popular and competitive are the analog technology – CCTV and technology based on the network protocol – IP. Choosing one of them is not an easy task. Both do their job equally well, but each of these technologies performs better in a different environment. This means that when wiring is not possible, an IP technology, where devices can be connected wirelessly, is more suitable. On the other hand, an unexpected failure of the network or router may result in an important moment not being recorded. Therefore, the choice of the appropriate technology largely depends on your specific needs and requirements for the monitoring system.

In this article, we’ll try to explain why IP cameras are better than other options that are currently available on the market.

IP Cameras

IP security cameras installation chicagoIP cameras are commonly referred to as network cameras or megapixel cameras and are equipped with network modules, thanks to which they are able to transmit a digital signal using a network infrastructure. This enables image transmission in a much higher resolution and quality.

IP cameras are connected to the local network via a single Ethernet cable or, depending on the model, via a built-in WiFi module. They have a unique IP address, which allows remote access and flexibility of storing records. You need to know this address in order to access the recorded images.

Some of the main advantages of IP cameras are: real-time view, high resolution and image quality – thanks to these features you can capture even the smallest details, and the digital optical zoom allows you to record without losing brightness, which in turn results in more in-depth identification and greater accuracy, making the camera capable of automatic analysis and automatic transmission of alarms and alerts.

The most common operating range of IP cameras is from 1.3 MP (1280 x 1024) to 5.0 MP (2592 x 1944), but some manufacturers offer up to 20 megapixels. It’s important to know that the higher the resolution, the more memory and bandwidth will be required. Together with the parameters of the camera, the price also increases significantly.

What Are The Advantages of IP Technology?

Contrary to what it may seem, IP monitoring appeared on the market much earlier than CCTV and was one of the pioneers in the field of security camera systems, enabling the processing of high-resolution images. The main difference between High Resolution CCTV and IP monitoring is that IP cameras are equipped with network modules that enable the transmission of a digital signal through the network infrastructure. This means that the image directly from the camera is sent in the form of a data packet to a router or switch device via a standard twisted pair cable. An important element when choosing this type of security system, however, is the need to have a network infrastructure with high capacity, which will be able to handle the transmission of such a large amount of data and thus ensure the best quality image.

Discover The Possibilities of the IP Camera

Excellent image quality, the possibility of remote viewing and advanced image processing functions are the main advantages of IP cameras. They allow you to get an extremely sharp and precise image, thanks to the fact that some of them can boast of image generation even in 4K resolution. In addition, they also have image processing functions, including counting people visible in the image or recognizing faces. The recording can be accessed via a web browser or mobile applications, which allows constant access at any time from anywhere. At the same time, it is possible to remotely control the rotating heads and set the optimal work schedule for each user.

IP Business Cameras Installation/Home Cameras Installation

OFFICE PROPERTY SECURITY CAMERA INSTALLATIONAn important advantage of IP monitoring is also a simple installation, which only requires access to a power source. This is important especially for buildings where forging and running additional wiring is not possible or if you only want to monitor a small area. Thanks to this, IP cameras can be installed virtually anywhere, without the need for additional installation work. Due to the fact that IP cameras are widely available, more and more Chicago business and home owners decide to buy them.

Benefits:

  • Higher image resolution than traditional analog solutions
  • Transmission of power source, video and data over a single Ethernet cable
  • Real-time view
  • Ability to function independently
  • A network device that does not require a DVR

Disadvantages:

  • Configuration problems
  • Signal transmission delay
  • Requires significant network bandwidth
  • More expensive compared to traditional analog solutions

If you’re looking to create a professional security system on your property, it is worth considering the purchase of IP cameras, which have recently broken popularity records and replaced the analog systems popular a few years ago.

When buying a new IP camera, the first thing you should pay attention to is the sensor. Nowadays, both IP cameras and analog cameras can be equipped with identical sensors, but it should be remembered that more and more often IP cameras are equipped with CMOS sensors, which will guarantee much better image parameters. This is extremely important, especially for people who want to create a truly reliable monitoring system.

The image that we get with an IP camera is characterized by a much better resolution than the previously mentioned analog (CCTV) cameras. Higher resolution can guarantee much greater detail of the image, thanks to which you will be able to zoom in and out without losing image quality. Thanks to the higher resolution of IP cameras, you will be able to cover much larger areas of the area with monitoring. Statistically, one IP camera (2 Megapixel) is able to cover the same area as 3 traditional CCTV cameras.

ChicagoSecurityLogoBest High Definition Security Cameras in Chicago

If you’re not sure which home or office security camera system to choose – call Chicago Security Experts today. We’ll answer all of your questions and stop by for a no-obligation free consultation on effective security for your property.

 

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Does An Alarm System Increase The Value Of Your House?

If you are considering putting your house on the market, you are most likely exploring the different possibilities and ways for increasing its value in order to get the best possible deal. This is what you can see in all the TV shows about buying and selling homes. However, in these shows, people mainly focus on aesthetics and invest in remodeling projects that make the house more attractive to potential buyers. As a future seller, it is, therefore, necessary to ask yourself if installing an alarm system in the house you are going to sell will greatly improve its resale value. Read on to learn in what ways you can boost your house value with a security home cameras installation.

A Security System Will Increase the Perceived Value of Your Property

An alarm system greatly improves the perceived value because of its functional benefits. Home security systems are installed to provide maximum protection for your property and your family. Sometimes buyers will consider the monetary value of the security system installed and see if the dollar value it adds is enough to rationalize the monetary value of your property. Another aspect a new potential owner might be considering is the functional advantages that come with a home security alarm system.

Perhaps other buyers will consider the benefits of a residential security camera system. They will focus in particular on the increased security and peace of mind that comes with it. This will improve the perceived value of the house and prospect owners won’t question whether or not to buy a home that doesn’t have an alarm system installed.

Increase the Actual Value of Your House With a Security Camera Installation

installation security cameras Chicago contractorHome security systems are exploding in popularity and many buyers are looking for homes where alarm systems are already installed. So, just like renovating a roof, building a patio or remodeling a bathroom can improve the value of your property when selling, installing a professional security system can greatly increase your quality of life and home value. In fact, buyers are more willing to spend a bit more for a safe and secure home.

Paying for the equipment and for the labor to install the alarm means less expenses and less work for the future buyer. However, it also means that during the official sale of the house, it will be necessary to give access to the alarm system to the new owner. This means providing all the alarm codes, installer codes, and the contact phone number of the surveillance camera company. In other words, the buyer must be able to change the access codes for the alarm. You should therefore no longer be able to have any access anymore.

So to sum up, for a home with an alarm installed, you save time and money for the future buyer. You therefore allow potential buyers to have a security system that can be adapted to their needs.

Homeowner Insurance Discounts

Home security systems can detect numerous hazards depending on their equipment. Modern installations can perform functions like access control, controlling lighting and heating, entertainment systems, and appliances, and many more. Therefore installing a system often results in a reduction in your insurance premiums. These modernized systems less property damage or theft, so insurance companies are ready to charge you less. The amount discounted is completely dependent on the insurance company and the policy, but can be up to 20%. This doesn’t directly increase the monetary value of your home, but if potential buyers are aware of this reduced insurance cost, they might want to invest more.

Security Systems Add Value to Your Life- Smart Home Technologies

Low Voltage Pre-Wiring for Your New HomeInstallation of an alarm system is a significant investment in the security of your premises. But a home security system can do much more than just boost the property value. With useful home automation features like heating and AC control, light control, CCTV systems and more, these professional systems can give you invaluable peace-of-mind and security for your property and make your home smarter and safer.

When deciding to install an alarm system in your home, you should consider a few issues that will be key in choosing the right equipment and installation:

 

  • How big is the house?
  • How many entrance doors and windows are there?
  • Is there a balcony? (A balcony door is an element that must be secured)
  • How many floors are there?
  • Do you have solid security doors and reinforced windows?
  • Will any neighbors react and call for help when the alarm siren goes off?
  • What is the strength of the walls and the ceiling?
  • How often do you leave the house for a longer period of time?
  • What is the estimated value of the equipment on your property?
  • Is your house located in a dangerous neighborhood?
  • Have there been any thefts and break-ins in your neighborhood?

Depending on the answers provided, a specialist will be able to choose an appropriate alarm system that will effectively protect your property.

A home security system is a set of components that, appropriately selected and configured, will ensure your property stays secure at all times. The basic set includes: the control panel, which is the heart of the system, sensors (various types), a keypad, an alarm siren, and an emergency power supply. At this stage, it is worth considering whether the system that we want to install should manage all components of a smart house or only to protect against burglary. Modern systems can control window blinds, lighting, air conditioning, etc.

ChicagoSecurityExpertLogoHere at Chicago Security Expert, we create customized and unique solutions that will satisfy your family’s needs and requirements. No job is too big or too small and we can design something that will work just for you. If you are looking for an expert alarm company in Chicago, contact us today to get a FREE quote.

 

 

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Saving Money With Energy-Efficient Security Systems

An alarm system does not only provide protection against burglary. The installation of an intelligent security system will allow for even better use of the advantages of an energy-efficient house. It will also introduce a number of convenient solutions that will make it easier for you and your loved ones to perform everyday activities, thus increasing their comfort and at the same time reducing the money you spend on electricity bills. You’ll start saving without even realizing it! Which security system will work best in an energy-efficient home? Is it worth opting for wireless technologies or is it better to stick to traditional wired solutions? How can an alarm system help you save energy? In this article you will find answers to all of these questions!

A Security System Can Be Energy-Saving And Economic

The idea of ​​an energy-efficient house is based on a simple assumption – the building is to be designed in such a way as to consume as little energy as possible. To further increase its energy efficiency, you can reach for some modern technological solutions that are able to face up to the challenges of today and the future. When you decide to install an alarm system, you can choose a modern installation that will not only provide effective protection against burglary, but will also enable you to perform certain tasks in the field of home automation.

Home Automation Features Of Security Cameras

alarm-systemsAn example of small things that can help you save energy is, for example, avoiding opening your windows when the heating is on. Every day, not everyone is able to always remember about it – especially if there are children in the house who cannot always be fully supervised. An intelligent alarm system will help you prevent excessive heat loss. Thanks to it, each time, for example, when you want to ventilate a room where heating is turned on, and you open a window, the magnetic detectors will send the appropriate information to the alarm control panel, which will turn off the heating for the duration of ventilation. If you additionally install actuators in your windows, the system will be able to automatically close them, correlating this activity with, for example, the furnace or AC being turned on or off.

Another example of energy efficiency is the ability to control the lighting in such a way as to avoid, for example, situations in which you leave the light on when you leave the house. In this case, a motion detector that transmits information to the alarm control panel about the presence of household members in a given room will work its magic. Each time when it detects that no one is in the house, after a certain period of time it will transmit a signal to the control panel, which will automatically turn off the lights. It is also possible to program the system in such a way that it automatically turns off all lighting sources at a certain time, for example. In other situations where bright lights are not needed, it is worth considering setting the lighting to a certain level of intensity. The unnecessary power consumption can also be reduced at night, by using detectors equipped with LEDs in communication routes, which turn on automatically when motion is detected, allowing for sufficient lighting e.g. of a corridor, hall or stairs, without the need to turn on the overhead light.

The presented examples of using the alarm system for the practical reduction of energy consumption on a daily basis are just one of many possible applications. The possibilities are endless! What else should you know before you decide to install a surveillance system?

Wireless Or Wired Alarm System?

Low Voltage Pre-Wiring for Your New HomeRegardless of whether you want to secure an energy-efficient or a traditional building, the alarm system design always starts with the selection of the control panel, which is when you are faced with the first dilemma – is it supposed to be a wireless or a wired alarm system? It is worth knowing that each of these options will work differently in different circumstances. If you decide to install an alarm system at the construction stage, you can choose a traditional wired installation. Installing the devices before finishing construction works will allow you to avoid additional renovation in order to connect and mask the cables. If the decision about installing a surveillance system is made later, when all rooms are furnished, and you do not plan any further renovation and construction works – opt for a wireless installation.

When designing the security system together with the home alarm system installers, you should also pay attention to the fact that you should take into account both your current needs and possible functionalities that you may need in the future. By choosing a wireless or hybrid alarm installation from the very beginning, you can be sure that over time you will be able to expand your system non-invasively. Low Voltage Pre-Wiring for Your New Home.  At the beginning, you can choose only basic devices, such as an alarm control panel, keypad, siren and several motion detectors, and over time, new ones can be added to them gradually, thus increasing the protection area or functionalities offered by the system. This is a great opportunity because your needs for the alarm system will certainly develop or change over time, and not everything can be predicted at the stage of planning the installation.

Everyday Security- Smart Home Technologies

smart-homeThe main goal of an alarm system is, above all, to ensure that your home is effectively protected, and that the residents are safe at all times. Professional security camera systems protect not only of the house itself, but also the entire property. We provide perimeter protection by installing appropriate security measures on entrance and back doors as well as windows. In such situations, it is worth trying to imagine how the burglar could try to get inside. If he starts by forcing the locks, it will be detected by a vibration detector responding to characteristic vibrations. If he manages to open a window or door, the already mentioned magnetic detectors will trigger the alarm. The intruder can also try to break the glass – then the acoustic glass break detector will correctly identify the sound. The perimeter protection will be enhanced by a motion detector, which is also perfect for securing entry lines and windows.

If you’re looking for experienced home alarm system installers in Chicago who will help find the perfect security system for your house and will provide you the best customer service in your area – call Chicago Security Expert today. We can’t wait to hear about your needs and goals.

 

 

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The Most Popular Types Of Security Cameras

When it comes to security camera systems, you must first learn what each has to offer. Many security companies offer digital and analog systems, various types of device models, where cameras and recorders have many different functions, so it takes a lot of time to understand what each function is responsible for, what to pay attention to and what equipment will best suit your needs. Below we will try to explain all the functions and briefly describe what’s important to look at when you’re choosing the right security camera system for your home or business.

What are the types of video surveillance?

Video surveillance, or CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision), is a surveillance system that allows you to observe and record images from a distance, using cameras. Currently, there are three types of monitoring systems on the market – analog, hybrid and digital (commonly known as IP).

The analog system is the oldest representative of closed-circuit television. It allows you to preview only within the local network built on coaxial cables, individually connecting cameras with the recorder. The image is recorded in PAL/NTSC resolutions – with a maximum resolution of 768×576 pixels, so its quality is not too high.

Hybrid systems are based on hybrid recorders or IP video servers, which enable the connection of analog cameras with digital IP equipment while obtaining the functionality of the IP devices. Hybrid devices convert analog signals to digital and enable its digital recording or allow for remote viewing.

IP vs CCTV: What’s the Best surveillance camera Choice for your business or home

IP monitoring is the most modern type of video surveillance, which uses the Internet Protocol (IP), which allows to obtain high resolution video images (up to 4K).  IP monitoring offers advanced possibilities, such as image analytics, recording on a memory card (SD), or easy system expansion. In IP monitoring systems, it is possible to connect specialized IP cameras to the IP recorder via ethernet cable to a broadband modem or router or via a WiFi router. IP monitoring will find its application in single-family houses as well as commercial and industrial buildings.

There are many advantages of the IP system in comparison to the analog and hybrid CCTV systems. First of all, there is no need to connect each camera directly to the recorder, thanks to which IP monitoring is very flexible and enables the dispersion of devices operating within the network used – this solution enables simple and quick expansion of the system.

Secondly, the image quality recorded by megapixel cameras, which is limited only by the size of the matrix and sensor, is much higher. IP cameras with HD (1.0 Mpx – 1280×720) or Full HD (2.0 Mpx– 1920×1080) resolutions are already a standard. For more demanding customers, cameras with resolutions above 3.0 Mpx are available, enabling very high quality recording, which can be used, for example, for observing warehouse facilities.

What are the most popular types of CCTV cameras?

  1. Color and day/night CCTV cameras

IP-vs-CCTV-cameras-business-or-home-chicagoCurrently, only color CCTV cameras are available, which provide a much better distinction between people and objects than previously used monochrome cameras. A color image provides much more information that distinguishes individual objects from each other. However, color cameras require much better lighting conditions due to their lower sensitivity. The PAL system is most often used in color cameras to transmit the video signal. These cameras have two video outputs and require two cables to transmit signals. One wire transmits the luminance (black and white signal) and the other chrominance (color signal).

In recent years, day/night CCTV cameras have become very popular in video monitoring systems. Such cameras combine the advantages of monochrome and color cameras. With good lighting, they provide a color image with all its advantages. In low light, where the color cameras could no longer work properly, they switch to monochrome.

  1. DOME CCTV cameras

Dome cameras are named after their hemispherical shape. They are most often intended for indoor applications, e.g. office buildings, malls, supermarkets. Their shape and compact size give them w low-profile. The user can see the camera, but is not able to clearly determine the direction of image recording. Dome cameras are mounted under the ceiling, which makes them vandal-proof. Vandal-proof cameras are designed for places where vandalism is the main problem (prisons, warehouses, car parks). They can be equipped with an infrared illuminator for crisp black and white pictures in total darkness.

  1. installation security cameras Chicago contractorBULLET CCTV cameras

BULLET type CCTV cameras have a cylindrical shape and are most often intended for outdoor use and are highly weather-resistant. They can be also used indoors, e.g. in underground car parks. Bullet cameras are usually mounted on the walls, near the ceiling, and in the corners. They are often equipped with IR LED lighting, which can provide illumination when there is no other light source.

A bullet camera monitors one area and its monitoring field remains constant during operation.

  1. PTZ cameras (Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera)

PTZ cameras can rotate in horizontal (left-right, panning) and vertical (up-down, tilting) planes and zoom in and out. Thanks to this function, they are used in places where there is a need for high accuracy and precision, and in places with high traffic. They are also great for tracking objects, e.g. during sports events. One PTZ camera can replace several fixed cameras. The movement of the camera is controlled by software or can be controlled manually – the user can freely change the position of the camera and use the optical zoom to view a specific fragment of the monitored scene. The price of PTZ cameras is higher than the price of cameras without the rotation function.

Security Cameras Installation Chicago

Security camera systems are currently installed in almost all commercial spaces, such as city streets, public administration buildings, offices, industrial warehouses and shopping malls. CCTV cameras are also more and more often installed in private homes, especially on properties, where they allow you to observe what is happening around the house and who is approaching the front and back doors.

Modern monitoring systems are characterized by a high degree of technological advancement. You can find out more about security camera systems and the types of different cameras by calling Chicago Security Expert. We have the best CCTV installers in Chicago, who will be able to advise you on positioning and location of your cameras so all areas are covered and focused on.

The installation of CCTV cameras is a very important stage in the installation of the entire monitoring system, therefore it must be carried out by specialists. As one of the best security cameras installation in Chicago we provide equipment and offer a comprehensive camera installation service. Our team has the skills and experience in installing cameras in analog and IP systems, and we have the knowledge and experience to advise you on which system is best suited to you.

Call us today to schedule an appointment (773) 987-5994.

We will come out to your location, have a look and give you an initial price quote.

 

 

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7 Essential Home Security Tips You Need To Know

Over the years, security systems have improved a lot, and systems that are offered by present-day security companies are more sophisticated than ever. From digital security systems to smart home systems that can be remotely controlled via your smartphone, many modern security systems are now automated and can be controlled via an app or your phone. This gives you access to many features and essential information about your home’s security with just a click of a button. However, if you want to go a little further and learn about other steps that you can take to improve your home’s security in addition to having a professional home security system installed, or if you live in a rented house or cannot afford security camera systems, we have gathered a list of 7 practical home security tips that you can use today.

  1. Don’t leave valuable items visible

The most important advice we can give is: Do not make your house an available target. This simply means – try not to let potential burglars know that you have valuables in your home. So if own an expensive car, keep it in the garage. If you have valuable electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider keeping the windows closed at night. Don’t make yourself become the easiest target.

  1. Forget about “hiding a key”

Card-Access-Reader-Union-AlarmA hid-a-key may seem like a clever idea in theory, but not in practice. Hiding a spare key is the easiest way to let criminals into your house. The problem with this concept is that the spare key is usually hidden in an easy-access place that’s easy to remember. Instead, consider installing Card Access Systems or a smart door lock that you can unlock with a unique user code. You can share this code with your family members and closest friends to give them access to your home without risking a thief finding your replacement key.

 

  1. Don’t make it obvious that you’re not at home

If you are ever going for a long vacation, ask your neighbors to pick up your mail, mow your lawn, and do other things that keep your house from looking like nobody’s home. Burglars often observe a neighborhood for a longer period of time and they might even notice that your car is parked in the same spot. However, if you are not willing to ask your neighbors for help, consider leaving some lamps lit in the house to give the impression that someone is home and ask the post office to save your mail so you don’t have to worry about it accumulating in your mailbox.

  1. Invest in motion-activated lights

Happy homeowners certainly know how many accessories you need to buy to properly take care of your home and its safety. If we do not want to be surprised by burglars who like single-family houses, apart from the best LED lighting, invest in motion sensors that will work when an unauthorized person enters the property. They’re a great way to keep burglars and criminals out of your home and allow for easier identification if caught in the act.

  1. Secure your second floor

Although the doors and windows on your first floor may be protected and ready to withstand any security and safety threats, we often forget about the security of our second-floor entry points. Security cameras with motion-activated recording, balcony security gates, heavy window locks and security grills may also be essential to prevent burglars from entering your home through a balcony or a second-floor window. The most important thing is to remember to close all your windows when you go to sleep or leave a light on while you go away for a few days.

  1. Ask your local police to do a house inspection

If you’re not sure if you’re on top of things when it comes to your home’s safety, contact your local police department to schedule a simple home inspection. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes and the police officers will be happy to share their knowledge with you on personal protection and home safety.

  1. Window security

When securing windows, you should not focus only on installing a lock on the handle side, but also on the equally less resistant side – the hinges. Window locks that are currently available on the market are extremely effective in protecting against burglary. Another thing you might consider installing are anti-burglary blinds and rollers that will work perfectly on the basement and ground-floor windows and will provide an adequate security level to ensure effective protection against thieves and other criminals.

Security Cameras Installation Chicago

Alarm Systems Chicago

If you’re looking for professionals who will design a security system that fits your needs and requirements call Chicago Security Expert.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and give you a free, no-obligation visit and price quote.

We provide the best security camera systems in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

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IP Cameras: What They Are and How To Use Them

Chicago Security Expert is just that, premier security companies in Chicago, that offers all security and wiring solutions. All in one place. We are committed to providing comprehensive technological answers integrated to suit the unique requirements of our commercial and residential clients.

An IP camera, sometimes referred to as an Internet Protocol camera or Webcam, is very much like a computerized camcorder, which transmits and receives information over a network. It has its own IP address that only needs a connection to any WiFi network to transmit video footage, unlike a standard webcam found on a computer, that transmits data from the host computer’s IP address. However, an IP Camera’s main functionality is no different than any other digital camera or camcorder; it works by capturing video footage of whatever it’s pointed at and then transferring that footage to a hard drive or a live broadcast to a mobile device.

Setup

The IP camera is no different than a smartphone or PC when it comes to hooking it up to an internet connection. You can either use a wireless WiFi connection or a hardwired ethernet connection to get your camera(s) online and running. Once connected, the cameras can be properly configured to any kind of network you plan on connecting them to. Once configured and connected, you point the camera at whatever you wish to receive video footage from and feel secure knowing you’ve got a robotic eye watching your business or home around the clock. As a final security measure, be sure to set up passwords for your cameras in case of a hack or security breach, so that nobody has unauthorized access to your cameras and footage.

 

Benefits

As the security camera market expands, IP cameras are becoming a more affordable security option than ever. One major benefit of IP cameras is the ability for your security footage to be streamed to any smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC through an internet connection. With some brands, those same devices can even remotely control the camera to pan or zoom as desired. And as far as different brands go, there are many cameras that vary for indoor or outdoor use, and come in a variety of discrete and obvious shapes and sizes. With an IP Camera, bid farewell to the bulky computer terminals and low-quality video footage that comes with CCTV cameras.

Chicago Security Expert offers a full range of cameras installation in Chicago including RESIDENTIAL CCTV SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, COMMERCIAL CCTV SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, INDUSTRIAL SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS & OFFICE SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS.

Choose Chicago Security Expert for you security cameras installation

The best option for your business will depend on your company. The good news is that a unique and customized solution is available through the knowledgeable professionals at Chicago Security Expert, who are experts in business security systems and CCTV. Conveniently located in the Chicago area, we work closely with you to determine what your company’s security needs are and how best to meet them within your budget, and we offer a FREE consultation as well. To schedule your consultation, give us a call at (773) 987-5994 or contact us online.
Sources:
Hikvision Digital Technology Co
Dahua Technology US
LTS

 

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IP vs CCTV Surveillance Security Cameras Installation in Chicago

IP vs CCTV: What’s the Best surveillance cameras choice for your business or home?

When choosing the right security camera system for your business, your two options are either CCTV (Close-Circuit Television) or IP (Internet Protocol) cameras. In functional terms, both systems use a camera to transmit a video signal to another storage or viewing device in real-time. However, that is where the similarities end and it becomes a matter of choice. Hopefully this article will help you make sure that your choice is the right one.


What’s the Difference?

As mentioned before, both systems have a different way of transmitting a video feed. CCTV cameras transmit their footage by changing the video signal into a signal that can be picked up by a standard TV, hence the name Closed-Circuit Television. On the other hand, an IP camera acts like its own computer and wireless sends the video data to the storage or viewing device the same way you would watch a YouTube video.

Video Quality

Designation H x V
CIF 352 x 240
2CIF 704 x 240
4CIF 704 x 480
D1 720 x 480
720p HDTV 1280 x 720
1.3MP 1280 x 1024
2MP 1600 x 1200
1080p HDTV 1920 x 1080
3MP 2048 x 1536
5MP 2592 x 1944

General Overview

Both systems come with their benefits and shortcomings, and these few bullet points will do a quick rundown of both systems’ pros and cons before going into greater detail.

Let’s start with CCTV:

Pros:

  • More vendors and installers available
  • CCTV systems are rather simple to install
  • Cheaper than IP in many cases

Cons: 

  • Lower frame rate and image quality
  • Smaller field of view
  • More cables

Moving on to IP:

Pros:

  • Higher image quality and field of view
  • Remote viewing and controlling
  • Less wiring and no bulky terminals

Cons: 

  • Greater initial cost
  • HD video footage needs more storage space
  • Learning curve with interfaces and configuration

Costs

For the longest time, CCTV systems were the cheapest form of video surveillance and they still hold that title for the most part, especially in regards to initially purchasing your system. However, these costs don’t stay low when you account for all the necessary video and power cables for each camera you decide to purchase. IP cameras on the other hand, while some higher end model cameras are more expensive than CCTV, many IP cameras are reaching the price range that’s very similar (albeit a bit more pricey) than CCTV systems. And because each IP camera can transmit video data individually, there is no need for video cables, saving you money and time. And a final note, IP systems tend to last longer than CCTV systems if you’re willing to put in the extra money; you get what you pay for.

Features

When it comes to features, it seems as though IP cameras pack a greater punch than CCTV systems. To begin, an IP camera’s resolution is much greater than the average CCTV camera, being able to have a field of view that’s six times larger. A greater field of view means that fewer cameras are needed to cover the same area, further reducing setup costs. Because IP cameras are connected through WiFi, the owner is able to not only view a live playback of the footage, but also digitally zoom in to catch important details like facial features or license plates in case of an incident.

Storage

Finally, the most important aspect to video surveillance: storing the videos. CCTV systems store their footage on a DVR just like any home TV, which can limit the number of cameras you can own before needing to purchase another DVR. On the contrary, an IP system stores its footage as digital files, meaning that a more compact hard drive can hold more footage than a DVR. And if more storage is needed, hard drives are easy and cost-effective to expand, especially with the decreasing costs of hard drives and digital storage.

In Conclusion…

IP surveillance cameras systems are truly the best way to go. The versatility gained from them outweighs their greater setup costs and also outweighs the advantages of a CCTV system. In all honesty, an IP system should be purchased only if it is the very first surveillance system you are installing or if you want an upgrade. Otherwise, if the CCTV ain’t broke, no need to fix it.

 

Chicago Security Expert offers a full range of video surveillance systems including RESIDENTIAL CCTV SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, COMMERCIAL CCTV SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS, INDUSTRIAL SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS & OFFICE SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS.

Choose Chicago Security Expert for you security cameras installation

The best option for your business will depend on your company. The good news is that a unique and customized solution is available through the knowledgeable professionals at Chicago Security Expert, who are experts in business security systems and CCTV. Conveniently located in the Chicago area, we work closely with you to determine what your company’s security needs are and how best to meet them within your budget, and we offer a FREE consultation as well. To schedule your consultation, give us a call at (773) 987-5994 or contact us online.
Sources:
Hikvision Digital Technology Co
Dahua Technology US
LTS