Lowe's Selling Alarms Direct

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on May 23, 2012

Should RMR junkies start worrying? Home improvement giant Lowe's is entering the home automation and security market, selling equipment directly to users in-store, with low-cost or free monitoring services. In this note, we overview the offering and the potential impact it may have on dealers and the overall industry.

Product Overview

Lowe's has entered into an agreement to resell products from British automation manufacturer AlertMe in the US market, directly to end users, beginning in Q2 2012. The AlertMe platform uses a central controller, called the SmartHub, which connects to the internet via broadband, with wireless connectivity to devices in the home, seen here:

A variety of automation and security devices are available, including door/window contacts, motion sensors, IP cameras, and "SmartPlugs", used to monitor and control appliances.

All functions of the system are controllable via the internet, through a cloud-based service, or via free iOS mobile apps. Users may view security status information, electricity usage, and live camera feeds via these interfaces.

Prices for the US release are currently unknown, but will likely be similar to current AlertMe products. A starter kit with the hub, motion sensor, magnetic contact, two keyfobs, and a pushbutton is available for £149 GBP, about $230 USD. Additional security devices (contacts, motion sensors) are £25, about $39.

Monitoring Service

AlertMe's current monitoring service is self-monitored only, with alarms reported only to the user, not a central station. Some users may not mind this configuration, as mobile devices are common and users may be available to receive and respond alarms in most cases. However, many users prefer the peace of mind of professional central station monitoring, or may not be readily available during vacations or sleeping and working hours, making other options more attractive.

Monthly monitoring service currently sells for £4.99 per month, about $8. Pricing for the Lowe's Iris service is not yet available, but according to one interview with a Lowe's VP/GM, the service is expected to be free.

US Market Impact

Free or reduced-cost service provided by Lowe's could have massive impact on the residential alarm market. Most residential systems subsidize the costs of equipment, partly or fully, with recurring monthly revenue from monitoring contracts, often with 2-3 year terms. If Lowe's should sell this equipment directly to end users, with free or even low-cost monitoring service, many DIY-prone homeowners may decide to go this route, disrupting revenue streams of incumbent vendors.

False alarms have historically been one of the biggest issues in the alarm industry, and this move may exacerbate the problem. When false alarms plague even professionally installed systems, placing equipment and installation directly into the hands of end users with little experience or guidance will likely only make things worse. Lowe's may offer installation through their services division, just as they do for electrical, plumbing, and other needs, but this is so far unknown.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
VMS Live Monitoring Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix on Dec 05, 2018
Viewing live video is the first interaction and most common task most users have with a VMS. Who does it best and worst? Who offers the most...
ADT Wins Fire Death Suit But Faces Appeal on Dec 05, 2018
ADT/Protection 1 has won a wrongful death court case in which it was sued by the estate of a deceased customer. However, the attorney for the...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Directory of Access Control and Intrusion Startups on Oct 30, 2018
This directory catalogs access control and intrusion detection startups IPVM has found noteworthy. The directory is provided for your review to...
ADT Acquires Red Hawk, Becomes Billion Dollar Commercial Business on Oct 25, 2018
With its ~7th commercial acquisition in the past year, ADT is transforming itself from a residential provider to a commercial player with now more...
ADT and Brinks Home Security Struggles Impact On Industry Examined on Oct 23, 2018
ADT and Brinks Home Security have both been struggling over the last year. ADT valuation is 50%+ less than their IPO target. Brinks Home Security,...
Security System Health Monitoring Usage Statistics 2018 on Oct 09, 2018
How well and quickly do integrators know if devices are offline or broken? New IPVM statistics show that typically no health monitoring is...
Fall 2018 New Products Directory on Oct 03, 2018
Fall 2018 New Products Directory We have compiled a directory of new products released fall 2018, or at least since our Spring 2018 Directory. The...
ASIS GSX 2018 Mixed Manufacturer Reviews With Declining Overall Attendance on Oct 02, 2018
ASIS GSX 2018 show drew 9% fewer total registrants, however, it gained 15% more paid registrations, according to ASIS. In this note, we look...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
Foolish Strategy: OEMing Facial Recognition on Dec 13, 2018
Almost as 'hot' as face recognition marketing right now is OEMing facial recognition. Last year, they were a who's who of company's with...
DVR Examiner - Video Recovery from Recorder Hard Drives on Dec 13, 2018
Bypassing passwords and long download times on-site, DVR Examiner collects and organizes video evidence directly from a hard drive extracted from...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Huawei Hisilicon Quietly Powering Tens of Millions of Western IoT Devices on Dec 12, 2018
Huawei Hisilicon chips are powering, at least, tens of millions of Western IoT devices, such as IP cameras and surveillance recorders, a fact that...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact