lowe's iris

Hands-On Review – Lowe’s Iris DIY home automation/security system

I use a Lowe’s Iris home automation and security system to protect my shack and home.

I used to live in a home with an old-fashioned Brinks Home Security system. It was all hard wired — and difficult and expensive to make additions. But since I moved to the northern Arizona mountains, I have been looking for a better approach. We now live in an age where some of the DIY vendors market good quality wireless systems. But the cost of some of these systems and required long-term contracts have been a turn-off for me.

For the last two years I have been using a Lowe’s Iris DIY home automation system to effective control lights, switches and cameras throughout my home and shack. While the Iris system is on par with its competitors when it comes to home automation, I do like its UI and the ease of setting up scenes, rules and schedules for certain household appliances and other devices. All of this can be done for free. No monthly fee. Just buy a Lowe’s Iris hub package and pick the accessories you need.

Recently Lowe’s Iris began offering professional monitoring services as well as an option for $14.95 per month. NO annual contract. This was the final piece to add to my DIY system.

I am tickled pink with my DIY creation. I was careful to locate wireless devices within range of the central hub and have no connection problems whatsoever.

Next week I will be adding an outdoor siren to the system and a cellular backup device to send alerts to the monitoring company should my Internet connection fail. Iris also supports Amazon’s Alexa devices. I find it really convenient to issue Iris commands by voice from my Amazon Dot. As I understand it, Iris now supports the Google Assistant too. Iris offers a wide range of products so you can perfectly tailor your system to your specific needs. And many third-party vendors are now bringing Iris-compatible devices to market. For example, the siren I have on order is an Iris-branded third-party device.

All Lowe’s purchases come with a money-back guarantee which means your risk is low to give Iris a try. Works perfectly for me. And for what it’s worth, I am in no way connected to Lowe’s other than being a happy Iris customer.  — Just my 2 cents…

P.S. Sometimes you can save money by buying Iris devices from Amazon or on eBay rather than from Lowe’s. I also use cheap D-Link webcams tied into my Iris system via Iris smart plugs. D-Link offers a free MyDLink service to remotely monitor the cameras via a smartphone or a desktop computer. If Iris pushes an applicable alert to me, I can quickly fire up the MyDlink app to view all my cameras. I live on some sprawling acreage and monitor outbuildings as well as my shack and other rooms in the main house. Quite comforting when I’m away from home…

P.P.S. When I first started researching DIY home security systems online, I quickly noticed that many of the “review” sites are phony — simply marketing on behalf of certain DIY security vendors. I also saw too many old reviews which need to be updated — and some articles which are downright wacko. Be careful as you research.