Consumer versus Professional Grade

The proliferation of smart locks, DIY, alarms, Wi-Fi Cameras, and DIY home automation kits have had a huge impact on the industry. Many people think that The DIY market is cripplingly traditional manufacturers and installation companies. It has impacted some but it’s actually been a help for most. Many customers see items like smartlocks or cameras and want them. They might do a little research and find out it’s harder to install than they thought or the products don’t have the features they want it need.

Product selection fatigue is real. There are more products every day that have different models, price points, features, and limitations. Researching the perfect product can be extremely time consuming. Online retail reviews can be fake, positive because they meet their needs, negative because they didn’t meet their needs, or negative because the person installed the product incorrectly. Online reviews are helpful but real world experience with the same product in different applications is something you aren’t likely to find online.

Manufacturers are smart and have huge advertising budgets. Professional video editing and sped up installation can set consumer expectations high. Anyone who’s watched online tutorial videos knows installing things is never a easy as it seems. “Simple” repairs can become frustrating and time consuming if one it two things are different.

If a consumer product is $100 and a commercial product is $500, do you really think they are the same in durability, function, and reliability? Are companies really just that dumb? Nope. Not everyone needs commercial grade equipment but believing they are comparable isn’t wise.

Here’s some example. A consumer grade smart lock is $50-200. The door must be prepped appropriately for the lock to work. Most of the times, especially in newer homes, there aren’t major issues. A standalone trilogy alarm lock unit retails for about $300-400 and requires fairly extensive installation which includes drilling additional holes in the door. Holding a consumer smartlock and a trilogy lock you’ll notice a huge difference. First off, the trilogy weights a lot more, everything is metal, and the quality and finish are noticable even to a novice.

Another example would be a ring doorbell versus a skybell or even a Hikvision smart doorbell. There’s only a $50 price difference or so but they’re do much better. Why aren’t the skybell and other professional doorbells more popular then? A lot of that is marketing. Nest and Ring have huge advertising budgets. Many people still call us to n install them. Especially if they have an usual door set up. Knowing exactly how and where to set up a doorbell is also something that comes with practice.

Here’s yet another example. Arlo security cameras. Battery powered sand WiFi. Sounds great until you realize you need to go in a ladder 3 times a year to grab the battery to charge it for 6 hours. Also, many home networks aren’t set up to provide a good WiFi signal to the exterior of the home. NEST cameras have the same WiFi issues. However, they do have AC power adapters. Getting an AC power adapter in an attic and our of the house to a security camera while maintaining water proofing is not something most home owners are interested in. Upgradable, rugged, quality, reliable, and brand agnostic IP cameras seem more appealing even considering the higher initial cost.

We here at Lock Alchemy always believe in people’s ability to complete work. We’re not saying it’s impossible for the average home by owner to make a passable installation and save money. We are saying we know what to purchase, where to get it, how to install it, maintain it, and service it – correctly.

DIY systems have done a lot of advertising for us. They’ve also done a lot of consumer mis-education. Many people think that they can buy off the shelf camera systems and everything is going to work out with an easy installation – so why would I pay that much money for someone else to do it. Call, email, or text us and we’d be more than happy to give you a run down if options for smart locks, electronic access control, security cameras, and home security systems.