Home automation is a continual CES trend, but during CES 2013 we saw one of the most exciting advances in home automation since the Nest.
Lowes’ Iris home automation system is a DIY-er’s dream, delivering home automation and controls to homes and apartments for users who want to start with the basics and expand to link their entire home to the iPhone or Android.
Unlike many home automation systems, Lowe’s Iris system starts at $179 and allows users to add on other options as their budget allows, without trying to piece together complicated home automation systems aimed at contractors.
Lowes claims the average user can be set up and running in under an hour without the need for an expert to arrive and install pieces of the system. The Iris system connects to your home network and communicates with the many devices using WiFi, Zigbee and Z-Wave. Consumers looking to expand the system can buy at Lowes under the Iris name to ensure compatibility, but the devices will come from a wide-range of vendors.
Once the Iris Hub is installed users can connect many accessories to monitor and control their home.
- Window Alarms
- Smart Key Fobs
- Wireless Video Cameras
- Smart plug
- Dimmer switch
- Smart thermostats
- Door locks
- Outdoor modules
- and more.
The iris system works with iPhone and Android devices. The free app allows for control of the system with no monthly fees, but Lowes offers a premium service for $9.99 a month that lets users set up rules, automatically record video based on events, advanced door lock control and notifications, create if/then notifications for the system and set up default settings.
Homeowners can also subscribe to Care services, an elderly alert system that lets family members check in on older relatives. This system makes it easy to see if there is activity at the house and to trigger alerts if the there is activity at an odd hour or if a door is left open. The Elder Care option is an extra $5 on top of the premium plan.
Users can also spring for backup cellular connectivity for the Iris system for $5 a month or full-time connectivity for $9.99.
Lowes is already selling the Iris home automation system in stores and online, with many optional accessories including a smart pet door, security options and more.