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Yale Smart Home Alarm Review

Yale Smart Alarm Review Blog

*This is a Sponsored Post with products that I've been sent to review.

We've gone security mad here at Kezzabeth HQ! First, we bought a security camera, then we replaced a window which had major security faults (details coming soon!) and now I'm umming and ahh-ing about adding more security features too - like a video doorbell, which is seriously on the cards! So when Yale got in touch asking if I'd like to review one of their security products - I knew the exact thing in which we've been missing - a home alarm system!

I'll be honest with you - I always used to think home alarms were pointless. I remember being a kid and house alarms always going off on our estate (usually set off by a fly or something silly) and nobody gave the house a second glance. So I always said that as an adult, I wouldn't buy one unless it did more than just send out an annoying siren that nobody even looks at.

Thankfully, those days have come and you can now buy SMART home alarm systems. The difference? It can be controlled by your phone and it also alerts you directly if the alarm has been set off. It doesn't matter if nobody else is giving a second glance to your house, you yourself will know when the alarm has been triggered, regardless of wherever you are in the world. And to go with that - a smart alarm will tell you exactly where the trigger was activated.

The alarm kit I've been sent to review is the Yale Smart Living Family Starter Kit. It comes with two PIR motion detectors, the smart hub, a siren you fit externally on your house, a door/window sensor and also a keypad. Everything is wireless (apart from the hub) and costs around £279, depending on where you buy from.

Yale Smart Alarm Unboxing


Setting Up The Yale Smart Alarm System

This was probably the easiest set-up I've ever had for a smart device. You connect the smart hub to your router by simply plugging it in, download the app and unlike other smart-home devices, you don't need to input a million codes or connect each device manually, you simply turn each one on, enter one simple code on the start-up of the app and it already knew what devices were included as they're pre-connected. Brilliant. It's so simple, even the technophobes could set this up!

Yale Smart Alarm Siren

As I mentioned already, everything in the box aside from the hub is wireless, which means no electricians required! All you need is a router with decent WiFi. Before you install your devices in place, you can do a WiFi test on each device to check the location and ensure they'll each have a strong enough signal. Mine were all absolutely fine - and as a side-note to this, the wireless range on the Yale kit is meant to be up to 200m which means you should be able to use each device (motion detectors, keypad etc) in outbuildings and garages too! Love that!

To install the motion detectors, you simply remove the back panel of the device and pierce two holes shown within the cover. You can then drill your holes in the wall, attach the back and then replace the front. Pretty simple really!

How to Attach Yale Motion Detectorsyale PIR motion detector battery

The recommended height for the PIR motion detectors is between 1.8-2.1m, which I actually thought was quite low, having expected them to go just below the ceiling. With really high ceilings in this house, it did feel quite a bit out of place being randomly halfway up the wall. But I have to say, after a few weeks now, I've adjusted to them easily enough and since they're white, they blend in, being almost unnoticeable.

how to install yale PIR motion detectors

The final part of the set-up included a "walk through" which seemed to basically train each PIR motion detector individually, for it to recognise the area in which somebody would be walking. You start the test and then walk around the room, covering the whole floor area. I was a bit dubious at first, but it actually seemed to calibrate perfectly!

The other components also need to be secured in position - we've used the window sensor on our new downstairs window and attached the siren externally, as this also acts as a visible deterrent to burglars, showing your house has an alarm system in place. The keypad can also be attached to a wall if you wish, although we've left ours just as a table remote. As long as you're fairly confident with a drill, there's really nothing difficult about installing this system yourself.

Installing Yale Smart Alarm Siren


How Does The Yale Smart Alarm System Work?

So it's all pretty simple, to be honest! All the devices connect up to the hub, which connects to your phone through the app. This app allows you to see when the alarm is on, off, or when it's part-alarmed (ie downstairs only). You can set the alarm through this app, even when you're away from the house and you can also deactivate it from the app too. Perfect if you've forgotten to set it when leaving the house in a hurry!

You can also activate and deactivate the alarm with the separate keypad if you prefer. You'll know when the alarm has been set as it will start beeping in a countdown for you to leave the house. It will then do the same when you re-enter the house, counting down the amount of time you have to deactivate the alarm before the siren goes off. If you don't like the beeping - you can also turn this feature off, although I personally find it quite handy!

Yale Smart Alarm App Review
Yale Smart Alarm App

Should any movement happen within the house when the alarm is set, not only will the alarm siren out, but you'll be directly alerted through the app. I've also set mine to receive a text message as well (love this feature!!) just in case I'm ever out of data and not connected to the internet. The app will tell you which room or sensor has been triggered with the motion and you'll also be notified if any of the devices have been tampered with too - I'll explain more on this in a bit! The app keeps a 'log of events' too, which is useful for seeing when the house has been entered and alarm deactivated.

The app is really simple to use and doesn't have too many settings or features for you to play around with - which I quite like. It's pretty basic and the settings you can change are really simple - like, how long of a countdown you want between motion being detected and the siren going off. Or how loud this countdown is. It's basically fool-proof!


Features I Really Liked:

1. Yale Tamper Sensor

On the back of each device, whether that's the PIR motion detectors or the siren, there's a spring. When the device is attached to a window, wall or door - this spring is pushed in. Should someone try to remove or tamper with one of the devices, the spring would release and the siren would alarm out. You'll also be notified through the app too. I think this is a really simple but clever feature! It means the alarm system can't be fooled by burglars simply trying to remove or bypass it.

Yale Smart Alarm Tamper Trigger


2. Text Message Notifications

I mentioned this earlier, but I love it so much - I'm mentioning it again! Let's say you're out of data, or somewhere with a poor 4G signal. In circumstances like this, there may be a significant delay with a notification reaching you in the app. Well, that's not a problem with this alarm kit - because you can also opt for a text message to be sent as well! It's completely free and just gives you a secondary option for times you're not connected to the internet. I think this is a real bonus that makes a small but huge difference!

Yale Smart Alarm Text Message Notifications

3. Being Able To Add Extras Such As a Smoke Alarm and Dog-Friendly Sensors

Whilst this kit only comes with two PIR motion detectors and one window/door sensor, you can, in fact, buy more devices to add if you wish. This might be more door sensors, or it might be something totally different like a smoke alarm. You might think - why would you need a smoke alarm connected? But think about it - if you're a deep sleeper, or you have a large house (or maybe even noisy kids), is there a better way to ensure you'll hear it, than connecting it to a home alarm siren - which I can assure you, is MUCH louder than a standard smoke alarm.

Since the siren is external as well, it means it will notify your neighbours and in fact the whole street. If a fire was actually in action, you've got a much greater chance of alerting those around to raise the signal with the fire services. I'm actually planning on getting this as an extra myself!

Another extra which I think is pretty decent is that Yale also sells pet-friendly motion detectors too. These are purchased separately but mean they won't be triggered if you have roaming pets. How it works, I'm not quite sure - but it sounds pretty clever to me! The non-pet-friendly ones we've been using haven't been an issue for us as we tend to not let the dogs roam freely around the house anyway - but I think this would be really useful for so many houses.


4. The Option to Part-Alarm Your House

I'm sure most alarm systems allow you to do this - but I still think it's great. Being able to part-alarm your house means you can set the alarm downstairs and have the upstairs unalarmed. This is great for night-time when you're in the house sleeping because as we all know, burglaries can happen when you're at home too! That's a pretty scary thought, right?


5. No Wires - No Electrician Costs!

I honestly wouldn't have accepted this kit to review if it wasn't wireless. You guys know we've fully renovated a fair amount of our downstairs now, so the idea of chopping holes into the wall after months of hard work, is not something I'm keen to start doing now. To go with that, I'm a bit of a tight-ass and anything involving wires generally involves an electrician, which can seriously ramp up the cost of something like a home alarm system.

This Yale Wireless Home Alarm kit is completely wireless and DIY friendly. The only part that plugs-in is the control hub at the router. The rest can be DIY-installed with just a drill to secure the individual devices in place. It's incredibly easy, keeps costs down and I think this is probably one of the features I love most! Wireless - what a time to be alive eh?!

How to Install Yale Smart Alarm Family Kit


6. Easy to Use App and the Option to Add Multiple Users

The app is incredibly to use - there aren't too many settings to play around with and the dashboard is very to-the-point (ie, alarmed or dis-armed). Although there a few extra options if you want, like reminders to set the alarm when you leave the house, or scheduling the alarm. You can also add other Yale smart devices within the app  (such as locks or cameras) so it's all in one place.

I also really like the fact you can add multiple users. If you have a dog walker or someone who waters your plants when you're away, you can add them to the system so they can gain control too, without giving out your secret combination code.

Yale Smart Living AppYale Smart Living App Review

7. Window / Door Sensor

This is a really clever little feature which you can use either on a door or window. The PIR motion detectors are great - but let's face it, someone has to actually enter the building for them to be triggered. What if you could stop someone before they entered the building? The window/door sensor basically does just that. When the alarm is set, if someone manages to pry open your window or door, the alarm will go off instantly.

It's a little device that comes in two parts - one part should be connected to the window or door and the other to the frame. A magnet can tell when these two parts are connected together (ie the door or window is closed) and when they've been pulled apart.

You can of course still open and close doors/windows when the alarm is deactivated and it won't sound out the siren. And you can also set the device to "chime" on opening/closing of the door or window if you wish too. I also really liked that the app alerts you when you're setting an alarm and a window or door with the sensor has been left open. Again, it's such a small feature - but really could make a huge impact!

Yale Window Sensor in UseHow to use yale window sensor

8. Great Connectivity and the System Actually WORKS

If you read any review of smart home devices, usually one of the biggest negatives is that people struggled with connectivity. We've had this ourselves with other smart devices, however, we've had absolutely no issues with the Yale Smart Alarm. Full signal, every time!

Bearing in mind the siren is attached externally too, I think this is pretty impressive. We've also fully tested the alarm and siren by simulating an intruder accessing the house whilst the alarm was set - and each motion detector or window sensor triggered perfectly each time.

The siren is also incredibly loud, and I really do think this kit does the exact job it claims to do.

Yale siren at back of house

3 Weeks In: What I Think to the Yale Smart Home Alarm System

Genuinely, I really really like it. It's so simple to use, there's no maintenance involved and the app even periodically checks the alarm to make sure everything is connected and working properly.

As someone who travels now and then (sometimes for 3-weeks at a time), I think this is going to give us such a peace of mind when the house is left for a long period. But it's also more than just an occasionally useful device, we've been setting it at night whilst we're in bed and also when working night-shifts too. I think it really does give you a peace of mind knowing that it's hopefully deterring intruders and should the worst happen, you'll know.

So far we haven't had any "false alarm" incidences, which is good - and hopefully, technology has come a long way since my childhood days of alarms being triggered by flies ;)

periodic test on yale smart alarm system

Any Negatives or Improvements?

Wellllll, you guys know me - I am a bit of a critic, so yes there's a couple of things I think are worth noting about the system before you buy it - and also one little thing I think could be improved - albeit a bit picky!

1. The Buttons on the Keypad

This sounds so picky, but I'm going to say it anyway. The buttons on the keypad. They don't beep or have a click to them, so you don't quite know if you've actually pressed the button. The first couple of times we tried to set/unset the alarm with it, we seemed to keep missing buttons. It's those kinda buttons where you gotta give it a good push - if you know what I mean? I mean, accidentally setting off your own alarm because you're not giving it the good-push was a small learning curve. Again - this is something we've gotten used to.. but I'd definitely prefer a clicky button or something that made a sound.

yale keypad in house


2. Battery Powered Means Eventually You'll have to Replace Those Batteries

Now I don't think this is a negative per-say but it is something worth noting. All the devices, including the siren, are battery powered, so at some point, they will need replacing. This isn't a huge deal so much for the motion detectors which are in easy reach, but it may be a little annoying if your external siren is particularly difficult to reach. I have no idea how long the batteries are meant to last - I'm hoping years - but as I say, just something to bear in mind.

yale wireless siren batteries


3. Works 'Best' with a Camera to go with it

The only other thing I would say about the alarm system is that I think it works best if you have a camera to go with it. Let's say the siren activated when you were away from the house, sure you could deactivate it, but unless you have a concerned neighbour (or someone to call) - all you're left with is a worry. The alarm system does not automatically contact the police for you.

If you had a camera, you would be able to get yourself a real-time view of the house and see exactly if anything had gone on. A side note to this - Yale doe have both indoor and outdoor security cameras which you can buy to add on as well. I personally think to get the maximum from this kit and that peace of mind, you really want both!

Yale siren at back of house


I would also finally mention that there are several different Yale Smart Alarm kits, so if you do buy any extra devices, make sure they're compatible with the one you have. To my understanding, they're slightly different and recognisable by codes. Not every device will work with each kit.





So I hope this was useful for anyone thinking about buying the Yale Smart Alarm system. If you have any questions, do let me know! Otherwise, I'd love to know if you have an alarm system and whether it gives you the same peace of mind too.

If you'd like to buy this home alarm kit, you can find a direct link on Amazon Here.


*This is a Sponsored Post and I was sent the Yale Smart Alarm system to write an honest review for the blog. I only recommend products I genuinely would buy myself. All words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting this blog! :)

4 comments

  1. This was a really interesting read as I'm looking to 'alarm' our house and until now didn't know where to start looking! I have bookmarked for The Boss aka the man of the house to read!

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