Wireless home security alarms can be quite expensive, with starter kits often costing $200 or more. But if all you’re looking for is a simple alarm that will scare off a burglar, you can combine parts from a few different places and save yourself a lot of money. Put one of these five wireless home security alarms together with the recommend components, or use them as inspiration to come up with your own alarm system!
Iris + Utilitech: $100
Lowe’s has entered the smart home game with its own hub and sensors under the name of Iris. You can get most of the same types of sensors as you can get from bigger names like Smartthings and WeMo, but the Iris brand is significantly cheaper. Combining an Iris sensor and hub with a Utilitech alarm will give you a solid wireless alarm system for a very reasonable price.
You’ll need the Iris hub, which costs $50, significantly less than most smart home hubs. Adding an Iris motion sensor adds another $20 to the total (these sensors are known to be very sensitive; if you have animals around or you live in a busy neighborhood, you might opt for a different sensor). And a Utilitech 85-decibel alarm with flashing red LED is just $30. Not bad for $100. Plus you now have the Iris hub so you can add more home automation devices.
Iris and Utilitech offer a number of other sensors that could be integrated into your wireless home security alarm, like a contact sensor for opening doors and windows, a glass break sensor, and even a water leak detector. Iris will also email, text, or call you when your alarm goes off.
WeMo + Honeywell: $85
For a very simple alarm, all you really need is a motion sensor and an alarm. Because the WeMo system doesn’t require a central hub, you can construct a simple alarm system on the cheap. You’ll need to do a bit of light hacking to get it all to work, but it’s been done before, and it can be done again.
In addition to the WeMo Swicth and Motion Sensor ($69), you’ll need the Honeywell Wave-2 siren ($9) and a JACKYLED DC power supply switching adapter ($7). In short, you’ll plug the switching adapter into the WeMo Switch and connect it to the alarm. Now, when the motion sensor turns on the switch, the adapter will deliver the 12 volts necessary to fire up the siren.
This siren can put out over 100 dB, so be careful when you’re setting it up, as it’s easy to set it off!
SmartThings + Fortrezz: $180
If you’d like to start making your home smarter, the SmartThings hub is a great place to start. For $100, you’ll be ready to communicate with a variety of different smart home devices, using both Z-Wave and Zigbee formats. Combining the $100 hub with a $30 arrival sensor will give you a number of options for your wireless home security alarm.
The arrival sensor will detect when someone has entered a certain area. Put it on your front door and set your SmartThings hub to trigger the Fortrezz siren strobe ($50) if someone is detected when you’re away from home, and you have yourself a home security alarm.
The siren strobe combines a 100 dB alarm with bright red flashing LEDs—there will be no mistaking that an intruder has been caught!
D-Link + Scout: $170
D-Link’s DCS-930L camera is one of the most affordable web cams you buy at $40. Even at that price, it offers both motion and sound detection, and will send emails to your phone if it detects someone in your home while you’re away. And by combining those emails with IFTTT, you can create a recipe that will get your attention (via text message or call) and set off an alarm in your home.
The Scout system is a great home security package, but if you don’t want to buy the whole thing right away, you can just start with the $130 base station and add sensors later. Scout’s integration with IFTTT means that you can sound the alarm whenever you want; just set up a tweet or an email that will trigger Scout’s 106 dB siren.
This combination requires a bit more work than the others, but it also nets you a Scout base station, which can be used to further automate your home in the future. If you’re looking to buy an entire system, just not quite yet, this could be a great way to go.
Arduino + Components: $60
This is a real DIY project, requiring you to rig up a sensor, alarm buzzer, and a set of lights to your Arduino and breadboard. The process is quite simple, and we covered it in this DIY post on how to create an Arduino alarm system.
To get started, you’ll need an Arduino board ($21), an ultrasonic sensor ($9), an alarm buzzer ($3), an LED light strip ($17), and a breadboard with jumper wires ($7). If you buy a simple Arduino starter kit, you’ll get most of these things, plus a bunch of other cool stuff for beginner Arduino projects.
Follow the instructions in our DIY post, place the whole setup where you’d like to monitor for intruders, and you’ll be set to go!
No matter which of these projects you decide to take on for your wireless home security alarm, you can be confident that any intruder in your house will be caught and warned—and you can feel better about leaving your house alone. Or you can rig up a security alarm for your bedroom so your little brother doesn’t go snooping. Either way, you win.
Have you pieced together any part of your home security alarm? What did you use? Did it work well? Share your thoughts below!
Image Credits:Burglar breaking into by Brian A Jackson via Shutterstock