Why we need more solar-powered home security systems

BY Allconnect Inc | Tue Feb 26, 2013

solar-power-securityWith the country’s burglary and property crimes on the rise, more and more people aren’t just relying on dogs and dead bolts anymore. They’re also imploring the aid of home security technologies like alarm systems. But while alarm systems are relatively reliable, some people are worried over their energy usage. A TV regularly on standby for a few hours can already add in a lot in a household’s electric bill, what more a 24/7 alarm system?

This concern has a basis since older models of home security systems use more energy but newer models are design to be more energy efficient. Home security manufacturers will tell you that there’s no real worry since alarm systems don’t consume much electricity. A typical alarm system is around 50 watts, as opposed to an LCD TV which is around 250 watts. Sensors, which are parts of the system that runs almost every second, use only a little amount of energy.

With that being said, you may think that only the households using older models should be the only ones making the switch. Right?

Not exactly.

Alternative energy nowadays has started a trend. But if you may think that this is just some ploy commercialized by the government and environmentalists alike, then you’re mistaken. Alternative or renewable energy is important, not only because it’s a cleaner source of power but also because it can save you a lot more money in the long run.

The Basics of Solar Power
Solar energy is one of the most common forms of renewable energy. When people think of solar power, they think of one thing and that’s its hefty price tag. But, recently, prices for solar modules have been declining and it’s expected to continue towards its downward slide. And while that looks promising, it gets better. Solar energy harnesses energy from the sun, which is readily available and absolutely free. So while the cost upfront is a bit vexing, solar makes up for it in the long run.

Solar for Home Security
Home security doesn’t only mean alarm systems and motion sensors. Surveillance cameras and a few technical deterrents come with the full package of total home security. Technical deterrents are those clever tricks that are aimed to deter a would-be burglar. These include timed lighting inside or outside a house to show that someone is inside the house or to make the perimeters of the house visible and it impossible for others to lurk around. While it’s a good idea, the problem comes after you get your electricity bill.

But there’s an affordable alternative. Solar powered lighting is available in home depots for as low as $10 and is effective in keeping a place well-lighted. LED floodlights are also good options for those with a bigger budget as they produce a glare that will scare would-be burglars away. And while you’re on it, why not also consider solar powered cameras? And even hooking up solar panels to your current alarm systems and other appliances?

In setting up solar installations, it would be better to get the whole package. DIY solar installations are easier than you might think and they are cheaper. There are a lot of informative how-to articles available on the Internet that can help you in doing so if you don’t know how to set it up. Although it requires a lot of effort and a bit more money upfront, it will all be worth it in due course. It also presents you with an alternative source of power so in the event of a power outage, you’ll have a backup.

The Drawbacks
Solar power, while promising, is not for everyone and may present a few drawbacks. Besides the initial cost, incorporating solar power is challenging for households in areas where there’s not much sunshine. Solar energy is beneficial for those living in Arizona, which gets the most hours of sunlight in the United States, but not for those living in Alaska.

Also, although there are a few companies offering solar powered-home security systems, the technology is difficult to commercialize on a wider scale. Technical Security Specialist Ann Davids from Alarm System Store says while they receive a number of inquiries about systems running on solar power, manufacturers aren’t too keen on commercializing them as the market, as a whole, is still risky. The fact that not all states can benefit from this also adds into the equation. As solar power does indeed have a potential, Ms. Davids suggests that DIY solar is the next best thing as most of the systems can be rewired for solar panels anyway.

While all this is promising, keep in mind that one technology may be beneficial to some but may not be for others. So if you are considering solar power, which is a really good option, check first if it fits your household or your area. If not, you shouldn’t lose hope. After all, solar energy is not the only clean energy available.

You will not only secure your home and save money, but you will also be helping the environment.

Guest Author Bio: Emily Harper is a busy housewife, and is also an active member of the neighborhood watch. She is passionate about empowering families on ensuring safety by investing in home security technology. She worked in marketing but is now keeping her readers up-to-date with the latest security technology through writing. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her two sons, and a cat named Theodore. To contact Emily, please email emilyharper80[at]gmail[dot]com or go to www.securityocean.com.

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