Tech Tips: Entering the Home Automation Arena

June 3, 2019
Locksmiths are well-positioned to offer home automation products, particularly those involving door locks, video surveillance and home security

In most cases, lucrative markets are highly competitive ones, meaning there are many products and vendors competing for the business. Limiting factors are the number of prospective customers, and the range of products available.

I immediately think of pizza, gasoline and NYC locksmiths. They all are highly competitive markets representing different aspects of issue.

Pizza. There is a limit to the kinds of pizza but there are new pizza places opening all the time, faster than the population is growing. Besides the recipes used by individual pizza places, the other differentiator is marketing. You want a particular pizza brand although you never ate one from the place.

Maybe the logo, maybe the sport team they are affiliated with, maybe a famous person who claims to eat their pizza or maybe because you live within their home delivery area prompt your decision. Whatever works.

Gasoline: We all use it, and prices are very closely controlled by the “free market.” The price per gallon does not go down, the more you use. Maybe there is a variety store with decent coffee and a cute cashier at the station.

Probably the stations you go to most frequently are along your usual route, have a clean rest room or have the most pumps and the shortest lines. Or maybe you stop at the one you see first when you need gas, like needing a locksmith after you’ve been robbed.

Locksmiths: I spent a lot of time in New York City, and it never ceased to amaze me how many locksmiths are there. Seems like one on every block.

And then there are the franchised locksmiths and mobile locksmiths. Many may not have a brick and mortar location, or may not actually exist except in the cloud and Yellow Pages, but they can still take away your customers. At first glance, they appear convenient (they’re on wheels and come to the customer) and inexpensive, though that may not be the case when the bill is presented.  

Home automation is a market that challenges the locksmith industry to take up the challenge and build up the home automation market while making money.

Since I entered the security industry, some significant changes have occurred. While competition has increased and the DIY market has grown, locksmiths also benefitted from new opportunities with great technologies, lower price points, and a public who finds themselves living in an increasingly dangerous world.

Home Automation is an umbrella term which covers many product groups, some of which are legacy locksmith wares, and most of which complement one another and play well together -- door locks, video surveillance and home security to name three.

Some of hurdles which encumbered the growth of home automation have been conquered:

The technology is wireless, runs forever on batteries and in most cases can be set up and managed on a smartphone.

The technology is something most people need, or they think they need, thanks to marketing campaigns and peer group pressure from social media.

The Home Automation business model includes the magical RMR (recurring monthy revenue ) which was a driving force behind the revolutionary growth of the home security market. RMR is not only alive and well now, but has taken on a new lease on life thanks to the widened array of services now offered and demanded by the public (IoT, SaaS, remote site video and EAC management).

Napco iSecure

For me, NAPCO changed residential security from crawling in attics, drilling, pulling wires, and dealing with relays and dry cells, to programming PROMS, wireless door sensors, and rapidly building up accounts and RMR.

That was several decades ago, and now NAPCO is repeating history by opening up the security and home automation market to locksmiths with their cutting edge iSecure Cellular Alarm.

Since 1969, NAPCO has held a proven record in the professional security community for reliably delivering both advanced technology and high quality security solutions, building many of the industry's best-known brands, such as NAPCO Security Systems, Alarm Lock, Continental Access and Marks USA.

Introduced at ISC West, the iSecure Cellular Alarm System took the MVP Award in Home Controls Category.

The iSecure Cellular Alarm System is designed with the new breed of professional installers and savvy consumers in mind. Quick installation times and rich feature sets that the market demands today are the keys to this new innovation.

The systems feature up to 80 zones for intrusion and fire, smartphone app for security, automation and alerts and uses a professional 4Ah battery for the longest power outage protection.

Programming the system is completed via a smartphone app, removing the need for a PC or laptop and software to learn.

The iSecure Go-Anywhere smart-hub has the ability to be placed anywhere in a residence or small business for best cellular signal reception and also to eliminate burglars from smashing it to disable the alarm system upon entering the premises.

 The iSecure will be sold in three different kits with either a wireless LCD keypad, a wireless color 4.3" touch screen or a connected home-video- security 7" touchscreen as options.

Contact Napco for professional-only pricing, email [email protected] or call your Napco Rep 1.800.645.9445. Free consumer marketing materials (Put your name, logo & mark on them, or just add a business card) are also available.


  • Up to 80 zones, intrusion & fire from iSecure Wireless Transmitters
  • App for security, automation & SMS text notification alerts/reminders
  • 1-hour installation - programs from your phone/tablet in minutes
  • Built-in dual path LTE cellular/IP reporting (included inside) / StarLink-Incentive-eligible
  • Go-Anywhere Smart Hub™- position for best signal reception & smash prevention, includes 85db UL-rated siren
  • Pro 4Ah battery for longest power outage protection-  for 24hr. Standby time, avg.
  • Choice of 3 All-Inclusive Kits with either wireless LCD keypad, security touchscreen or IoT 7” security/Video/Connected Home touchscreen
  • All Kits include 2 Window/Door Transmitters, Wireless PIR
  • Z-Wave control built-in in both Touchscreen Kits 

A full line of optional iSecure Accessories are also available, including Wireless siren, keyfob, panic and wireless smoke, glassbreak  or carbon monoxide detectors

The following threee iSecure System Kits are offered.

Kit 1 with Wireless LCD Keypad

Go-Anywhere Smart Hub w/ up to 80 zones/points, UL Siren and Dual Path Cell/IP LTE Reporting built-in, Wireless LCD Keypad (lithium battery-powered), Security & Notifications from Consumer App, 50' Wireless PIR & 2 wireless window/door contact transmitters. Uses Pro 4Ah Battery for longest power outage protection (24 hrs, standby time, avg), 1 Hour Install, Dealer programming via Cellphone or Tablet.

Kit 2 with Color 4.3" Security Touchscreen

Go-Anywhere Smart Hub w/ up to 80 zones/points, UL Siren and Dual Path Cell/IP LTE Reporting built-in, Wireless Security Touchscreen, Built-in Z-Wave Control from Consumer App, along with virtual keypad & SMS text notifications, 50' Wireless PIR & 2 wireless window/door contacts. Uses Pro 4Ah Battery for longest power outage protection  (24 hrs, standby time, avg). 1 Hour Install, Dealer programming via Cell /Tablet.

Kit 3 with Connected Home/Video/Security 7" Touchscreen

Go-Anywhere Smart Hub w/ up to 80 zones/points, UL Siren and Dual Path Cell/IP LTE Reporting built-in; Built-in Z-Wave Control from touchscreen or App. Wireless Multifunction 7" TFT Security Touchscreen controls smart automation, live video-viewing, notification alerts/alarms and home security functions. One 50' Wireless PIR & 2 wireless window/door contact transmitters. Uses Pro 4Ah Battery for longest power outage protection  (24 hrs, standby time, avg). 1 Hour Install, Dealer programming via Cell or Tablet.

For more information, visit

ASSA ABLOY August Access

August Home, a leading provider of smart locks for smart home access products and services, is now an ASSA ABLOY company.

August offers smart locks, which now feature DoorSense™, the first intelligent integrated sensor that tells users if their door is open or closed, and doorbell cameras.

The product lineup includes:

August Smart Lock Pro + Connect: Lock and unlock your door, control keyless access, and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your phone.

August’s Wi-Fi enabled door lock installs inside of the door, so the exterior hardware does not change. Use your existing keys any time.

It works with all voice devices like Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant. Z-Wave,

WiFi and Bluetooth on board make August Smart Lock Pro + Connect the company’s most advanced smart lock.

August Doorbell Cam Pro: August Doorbell Cam Pro lets your customers be home, even when they are away. Real-time alerts, HD video camera and two-way

Free 24 Hour Doorbell Camera Video Storage is included. Never miss a moment with August Doorbell Cam Pro. The free Basic Video Recording subscription lets you replay any video from the last 24 hours.

Assure Lever Smart Keypad Lever Lock: Upgrade an existing knob or lever with the Assure Lever and enjoy the convenience of unlocking and locking your door using the backlit touchscreen keypad. Create unique entry codes for friends and family and remove codes whenever you need to.

The lock is Grade 2 Commercial certified and backed by Yale. Get a Yale Smart Module or Connected by August Kit for your Assure Lever to add it to your smart home. It  installs in minutes with just a screwdriver on standard doors (1-3/8" to 1-3/4" thick) and is compatible with doors with no deadbolt (i.e. side entry, garage entry, basement, home office, etc.) The free BILT app walks you through installation.


  • Enable Auto Relock to ensure your door always locks behind you - Disable it at any time from the lock menu.
  • Never hide a key again, create unique entry codes for the people you trust. Delete codes anytime you need to.
  • Enter your code on the backlit keypad to unlock and press any button on the keypad to lock the door behind you
  • 100% key free means it can't be picked or bumped and there's no keys to lose.
  • Upgrade with a Yale Smart Module or Connected by August Kit to be able to add the lock to a smart home or alarm system.
  • BHMA Grade 2 Commercial certified lever and latch.
  • Touchscreen keypad features numbers that are backlit so they won't wear off after time. Wake the keypad by simply touching the Yale logo
  • Lifetime limited warranty on Finish and Mechanical. One year on Electronics

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