Smart Home Security with Konnected
After we began our journey to automate our home, we wondered if there was some way to take advantage of all the pre-wired window and door sensors that came with our house. We never installed a home security system, but we thought there must be some way to get access to all these sensors through a home hub. We have already installed some wireless window and door sensors – and while they are great and easy to use – the batteries only last for so long and once they die, security goes out the window.
Enter the Konnected Alarm Panel, a clever Kickstarter project to allow you to connect up all these pre-wired sensors and send their status to SmartThings. We normally don’t go for these early projects in our home, preferring to stick to DIY smart home gear that has already been released, but when we heard about Konnected from their team we were really excited to try it and get our windows and doors connected.
We received a kit with a single unit that allowed us to connect up to 6 sensors (or zones of sensors) and an optional alarm siren. The unit is very small, about 2”x3” and runs either on a micro-USB or 12 volt power from the supplied adapter. We didn’t need the siren so we just plugged in the USB, connected 6 of our windows and labeled them and now SmartThings lets us know if we left one or more of them open.
Installation and Setup
The kit arrived with the sensor module, the WiFi module, a power adapter and the link to the documentation to get started. In addition the kit, we needed to buy a new SmartThings home hub to be able to monitor and control the sensors.
We followed Konnected’s recommendation and connected and tested the device first on the kitchen table before we tackled the window wiring. The online directions are very clear and walked us through the steps of connecting the assembled device to our home Wi-Fi and linking it to the SmartThings app.
There is no Konnected app, so there is no need to have another account and app since SmartThings will control everything. The Wi-Fi connection works like most devices: first you connect to the device Wi-Fi and then, using your browser, supply your home SSID and password.
After the device is connected to WiFi, the next step is to install the Smart App and Device Handler code that is needed for SmartThings. For this step, you will need either a GitHub account or the ability to cut and paste the needed code in yourself. While this is a bit more complex to install than the other devices we use at home, the online directions break it down into simple and straightforward steps, including how to sign up for a GitHub account if you don’t have one already.
For our home, we had never installed a security system, so finding the pre-installed wires was a bit of a challenge. We called our builder and located the company who had done the wiring. After we got their advice, with some trial and error, we were able to manually identify the wires for all of our windows. If you already have a system installed, even systems 20 years old or more, installation should be a lot easier as you are just moving the wires from your old system to the new Konnected device.
Monitoring the sensors
Once we connected the device to WiFi and SmartThings, we connected the wires for our window sensors, powered up the device, and now we can see and control our windows from the SmartThings app. We can use the security features within SmartThings to notify us if a window is open or closed, and Arm/Disarm the notification just like turning on or off an installed security system. Beyond the security features, we feel more secure knowing that we can find out if we left a window open after we’ve left home – even if we have to go back home to close it.
While Konnected is definitely more complicated to install than most of the devices we have in in our home, we are really happy with it so far and have already ordered more units to take advantage of all the other pre-wired sensors we have. If you are interested in getting a system for yourself, we recommend backing their Kickstarter program before it ends at Midnight (Pacific Standard Time) on December 17. Each unit controls six sensors, so figure out how many you need and buy enough to connect your house.