My Year with Iris, the DIY Smart Home {& Security} System

by Amanda Hearn · 1 comment

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My Year with Iris, the DIY Smart Home {& Security} SystemNo matter how hard we try to green our houses, when it comes to raising children it’s just as important to consider home security. And, thanks to technological advancements, it’s getting easier and, at times, cheaper to do just that.

The Perks of Today’s Security Systems

After trying out some products from the Iris by Lowe’s line, I can vouch for the ease of installing and using a simple DIY security system. I always considered trying out a security company but was turned off by the high cost and annoyance of a monthly subscription plan. While there is an option with Iris to purchase a plan that works for your family, the idea that I could simply make a one-time purchase and have control over a level of security that meets our needs appealed to me most. In this case, yes, cheaper can be better.

When people hear that a system is DIY, they sometimes go running in the opposite direction, even thinking that the product will have less effectiveness. This is another area that I was pretty impressed, though. Every time someone opens a door or window with a sensor it is logged and I can see right away on the app on my smartphone, whether the alarm is engaged or not. Let’s just say that parents with teenagers may just find some additional peace of mind with Iris. Regardless, alerts are super fast, so no issues there, whatever the issue and with the paid subscription you can even extend those alerts to other family members.

Another perk of this system is that common false alarms don’t have to result in officers making a needless trip to your property. If you have pets or little kids who like to trip alarms, for example. Sometimes, even if you know the cause a tripped alarm on other systems can result in unwelcome visits. I’ve never personally had this type of system but I have been at the home of others when these types of situations have happened.

When It Might Be Good to Purchase the Added Subscription

While I do wish there were more flexibility in the free level of the app, there is a whole host of options available to you with the added subscription – particularly when it comes to the automation of your home. If that aspect of the Iris system interests you, the upgrade is a must, and doesn’t mean you have to be locked into a contract (it’s totally month to month!).

On the security and peace of mind side, if you have elderly or disabled family members living on their own, the upgraded subscription would help tremendously. The Pro allows for other individuals to be immediately notified if the service is tripped, whether by the individual in the house during an emergency (panic buttons and pendants are both available) or by an intruder. I like the fact that it allows for independence while still maintaining safety. We just had a close elderly relative endure an accident in which her hip was injured and this feature’s panic button could have been a huge asset if she had had it. The value here is not even a question.

Another important thing to note is that if you do choose to opt for the paid plans, you can cancel at any time — you are never locked into a minimum monthly plan. This is just one more way that this system is truly customizable for your needs.

Connected Home, Connected Life

Iris by Lowes App HistoryIt’s hard to find a balance in the 21st century between too much technology and keeping that all-important connection to nature and oneself. Some of us may strive to go off the grid and make a homestead while others are happy to live by their smartphones and social media. Truly, there’s no right or wrong way.

I prefer to find the resources that work best for me and my family, to weed out the useless, wasteful technology and just use what I deem to be a good fit for us. Having a foundation of security with this simple system allows me the freedom to turn my attention to our priorities of finding eco-friendly, sustainable ways to live. I do feel those two things can coexist. It’s about balance and finding what works with your flow.

Final Thoughts

I love that this system was easy to install and to integrate into our home. After using the system for about seven months now, I am certainly happy with how the items have held up. Only recently did our first battery die – and that was on our most used entrance. If I could change one thing, it would be more features on the free version of the app. While the system is already affordable, I feel that it would be a better value with more features to try out before deciding to upgrade. It would also appeal more to me as a DIYer who doesn’t like to be tied to monthly subscriptions, and I think others would feel the same.

Overall, my original skepticism over security systems has melted away after using Iris by Lowe’s. I had hoped for a DIY system that would meet my needs and I found it. Thanks to its flexibility in service choices, I don’t feel weighed down by a monthly subscription and I can feel confident that my family is in a more secure environment. To think that there are additional add-ons in the future that might work as our family goes through new transitions is an added bonus.



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Amanda Hearn

Amanda Hearn

Founder of The Eco-Friendly Family, design geek, serial tanktopist, content creator, mother, coffee addict, & lover of fun. I am also a partner at Green Child Magazine & Put A Cup In It!
Amanda Hearn
May Bee July 31, 2016 at 10:41 pm

Wow, this is quite impressive. This might be something my family invests in (though we did just get an old school system up and running not too long ago). Aside from the monthly upgrade, there don’t seem to be any downfalls with the Iris system. Though I wonder, have you experienced any tripped alarms with this? You mention the older systems, as I recall. However, I am curious what the protocol is for an actual emergency as well as a mistaken one?

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