Your Holiday Travel Home Security Checklist

November 17, 2021

‘Tis the season for lots of holiday travel plans! If you and your family are planning to leave town to visit family, skip the cold, or just keep a tradition going, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe and secure while you’re gone. While the holidays are a time to enjoy family and fun, there is also high risk for potential thieves and intruders. Here are five quick tips that will keep your house safe and give you the gift of peace of mind to enjoy your vacation without worries.

1. Schedule Your Smart Lights

Leaving your home dark for days can be all too inviting for potential intruders. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to come back from your holiday trip to burnt out lightbulbs and a high energy bill. With smart lighting, you can give the impression that your home is occupied by setting your lights up to run on an automated schedule. Porch lights can come on when the sun sets and then off in the morning, and you can even run your inside lights to look like you’re home!

2. Share Access With Trusted Neighbors and Family

Depending on how long you’ll be on your holiday vacation, it may be helpful to have a trusted friend, neighbor or family member check in on your home. You may even have a pet sitter coming in and out, or a friend stopping by to water your plants. Rather than making extra copies of keys, which can easily be lost, set up special access codes for your smart lock that they can use temporarily. 

Setting up these unique user codes will not only allow them access to your home, but you will be able to check to make sure that they paid your home and visit, and when.

BONUS SAFETY TIP: Avoid publicizing your holiday travel plans on social media and keep it on a need-to-know basis (with only your trusted friends and family). You can always share photos and memories when you’re back home!

3. Set Up Your Video Doorbell

If you’re expecting sensitive packages to be delivered while you’re traveling for the holidays, and your neighbors and family are only stopping by periodically, a video doorbell can help you be notified once they reach your doorstep. Plus, you can even direct the delivery person to the safest location, including inside your garage by remotely opening it! 

Video doorbells are also a smart way to get notified if someone is at your door. By remotely responding via a two-way audio system, you can let visitors, delivery people, and potential intruders know that you’ve got eyes on your home.

4. Save Energy With a Smart Thermostat

There’s no need to keep the air conditioning or heater running on full blast when nobody’s home. Save on energy usage and costs while you’re away by setting it to a more eco-friendly “away mode”. Don’t worry, it can still keep your home from reaching unsafe temperature levels. Then, when you’re heading back home, simply adjust the settings remotely so your home is cozy enough to welcome you back from your vacation!

5. Lock Up with Confidence on Your Way Out

Have you ever set off on a road trip only to have to turn around 10 minutes later because you couldn’t remember if you locked the garage or front door? With smart locks powered by, you won’t have to doubt yourself. You can easily check all your doors at a glance from your smart phone, and remotely lock up if there were any left open. 

Next time you’re ready to leave home for your holiday travel plans, do a quick check in the app, tap the button for your automated “Away” scene, and you’ll be ready to go with absolute peace of mind. Your system can even check smart sensors on your windows and other openings to the house to ensure that your home is totally secure. Once you’re out, the doors can lock and the alarm system will arm and you can leave your worries behind.

Ready to Upgrade Your Home?

Our Smart Home Pros are ready to help you and discuss your options. Reach out to your local Phoenix Systems today!

Lighting is an essential and powerful element of any home’s design. When designed with intention, lighting can not only make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, but it can increase productivity, highlight your favorite areas of your house, and add character. Plus, choosing the right bulbs and fixtures from your home can impact energy efficiency. 

There are four main types of lighting you should keep in mind when designing or revamping your home. Each serves its own purpose and comes in a variety of options.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination and sets the mood for a room. Typically, it floods the room with lighting from above, from ceiling-mounted lights and ceiling fans. Wall sconces can also provide enough lighting to brighten a room.

Of course, ambient lighting can come in a variety of styles which can work well in larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms. Ceiling lights can be dome-shaped flushed fixtures, or recessed lights for a sleeker and more minimal look. They can be a part of a ceiling fan or stand alone for a bold statement-making chandelier. Or, tall floor lamps can provide excellent ambient lighting, especially in rooms with high ceilings.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is more dedicated to style than function. With the use of directional track lights or spotlights, you can guide the eyes toward artwork or architectural elements within your home that deserve special attention.

This type of lighting can add character to your home, setting the stage for your favorite spaces and pieces to shine. Options like cove lighting can be installed near your tray ceiling or crown molding to bring those features to life.

Task Lighting

There are a lot of tasks and activities we perform in our homes on a daily basic. From cooking and preparing your morning coffee to reading, writing, and working at home. Task lighting can illuminate the necessary areas for you to do your best work. 

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the counter tops when you’re prepping meals, while also highlighting your beautiful backsplashes, countertop décor, coffee bar, and more. Then, when it’s time to settle in for the night, task lighting by your bedside can help you crack open a good book to wind down.

Natural Lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting within your home. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can instantly make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable. Of course, while we have no power over the sun outside, we can manage the ways we incorporate it into our lighting design through smart shading.

With a variety of fabric options, you can let just enough light in to brighten your home, while also controlling unnecessary glares, or even keeping your bedroom dark and cozy.

Source: Control4

Get Smarter About Lighting

The lighting in your home should feel intuitive and comforting, not cumbersome and overwhelming. With so many lights in your house, it can help to integrate them all into your smart home system. This way, you can manage them all from a single app, or even automate them based on your routines and energy-management needs. Smart lighting systems can even make your home safer, so you never come home to a dark house, and you can deter intruders while you’re on vacation.

 Phoenix Systems offers free consultations with our smart home pros to help design and install lighting solutions that work for you.