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LG Smart Security review: Your DIY smart home now works with ADT

LG's all-in-one security system has one main thing going for it -- ADT professional monitoring.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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4 min read

The once intense division between professional security firms like ADT and standalone DIY products is gone, and LG's Smart Security Wireless Camera is proof. LG's Smart Security is a $200 all-in-one security system with 1080p live streaming, an Alexa Skill, its own Z-Wave hub and optional ADT services.

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6.4

LG Smart Security

The Good

LG's $200 Smart Security Wireless Camera offers optional professional monitoring courtesy of ADT's month-to-month Canopy service. Control it with your voice using the related Alexa Skill.

The Bad

It's ADT or nothing with this camera -- there's no free cloud storage option. You have to build the alerts you want to receive in the app manually, including motion.

The Bottom Line

The LG Smart Security suits a niche market -- renters interested in professional monitoring. Everyone else should keep looking.

If you're a renter who wants ADT's professional monitoring without being locked in to a contract, LG's Smart Security Wireless Camera is a reasonable choice. If access to ADT isn't a priority for you, Piper's $280 all-in-one NV system is a better bet. The NV has a wider field of view, a simpler app interface and, best of all, free video clip storage.

LG's DIY security device isn't a total novice

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The changing security market

In the past, you had to pick between a professional firm or a DIY security setup for your home. There was absolutely no overlap between the two sides, and it fostered a lot of industry competition and innovation. Slowly, we began to see professional firms began to work with and offer accessoriesfrom other manufacturers, like when ADT integrated with Nest or Vivint partnered with Yale locks and Amazon Alexa. Select DIY systems like Scout and SimpliSafe began to offer their own professional monitoring services, too. You could install the systems yourself (if you wanted to), but you could also opt into advanced services for an added fee on a contract-free subscription plan.

But ADT's Canopy service is an entirely new service. Canopy is an app, an API and a contract-free subscription service that bridges the gap between security firms and DIY products like never before. LG's Smart Security Wireless Camera is the first all-in-one security system to offer such an integration and it marks an important shift in the market. That doesn't mean it's right for everyone, though.

Take a look at the LG Smart Security devices versus its competition:

Comparing all-in-one security systems


LG Smart SecurityPiper NVCanary
Price $200$280$199
Color finish BlackBlack, whiteBlack, white
Type Indoor onlyIndoor onlyIndoor only
Power source AdapterAdapterAdapter
Resolution 1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Field of view 130-degree field of view180-degree field of view147-degree field of view
Live streaming YesYesYes
Siren Yes, 93-decibelYes, 105-decibelYes, 90-decibel
Continuous recording YesNoNo
Cloud storage No free option. 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage for $10/$30 per month; professional monitoring for $20 per month; 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage and professional monitoring for $25/$40 per month Free event-based video history up to 100 clipsFree 12-hour event-based video history up to five clips (Optional 14- or 31-day event-based video history for $4 or $10 per month)
Local storage NoNoNo
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhone
Web app NoNoNo
Night vision YesYesYes
Alerts Motion, tamperMotion, audioMotion
Activity zones NoNoNo
Two-way audio YesYesYes
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa, Built-in Z-Wave hubIFTTT, Built-in Z-Wave hubWink

The ADT integration really is the main thing that sets LG's Smart Security apart from either the Piper NV or Canary. Otherwise, it has a smaller field of view, no free cloud storage option, a unique but somewhat odd-looking design, and a comparatively clunkier app interface.

Cozying up to ADT Canopy

On the app front, the initial configuration is about whatyou'd expect: Create an account, verify your email address, plug in the device (the app recognizes it over Bluetooth), enter your Wi-Fi details and wait a few moments for it to connect. It should take less than 10 minutes.

Like the Piper NV, the LG Smart Security has temperature and humidity sensors in addition to a standard motion sensor.

The live feed looks comparable to Piper and Canary's 1080p HD, and the app's activity log updates every time the motion sensor detects activity (it knows the difference between general motion activity and someone picking up or "tampering" with the camera). It also updates if the temperature or humidity changes. Motion and tamper detection were all extremely responsive, too.

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You have to create your own motion alert in the app.

Screenshots by CNET

There's one thing that's kind of wonky about this app, though. You have to manually create the alerts you want to receive. This happens in the app's "Activities" tab. Click the plus sign in the top right corner to name your new activity and create a custom rule. This is great when you've added Z-Wave devices to the system and you want your camera to record a video clip.

For example, I paired the Aeon Labs Aeotec Water Sensor using the Z-Wave "Pair Device" section in the app and created an Activity that would send me an alert if the Aeotec detects water. I also created an Activity so I could say, "Alexa, record a video clip" any time I wanted a video clip on demand. It successfully recorded a clip and sent me an alert every time I ran the sensor under water.

But manually creating alerts doesn't make sense for motion. Motion detection and motion-related notifications are standard issue for pretty much every DIY camera I've ever tested. Having to build that alert yourself is counterintuitive to the extent that I thought the app was malfunctioning. ADT Canopy will send you motion alerts; you just have to build the rule first.

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Add Z-Wave devices to the ADT Canopy app and control them with Alexa voice commands.

Screenshots by CNET

There's also a "Devices" tab in the app that's a little clunky. Here's where Z-Wave devices you've paired with the app show up, such as the Aeotec flood sensor. It lets you assign products to specific rooms, so the flood sensor is connected to the Kitchen, whereas lights could be added to the Basement, Kid's Bedroom, or anywhere you want.

But this page also automatically lists the LG Smart Security's camera, motion, temperature and humidity sensors as individual devices. Since the camera and all of the sensors are part of a single device, it feels a little odd/unnecessary to list them as devices here, especially since they can't exist in separate rooms.

All of the indoor home security cameras we've tested

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The verdict

Since LG's $200 Smart Security Wireless Camera doesn't offer free cloud storage, you'll have to pay at least $10 per month for ADT's 7-day event-based Canopy video clip storage. The monthly fee increases from there if you want 30-day clip storage and/or professional monitoring. If that's what you want, LG's Smart Security is a fine choice.

But Piper and Canary offer free event-based cloud storage, comparable specs and better mobile apps. The $280 Piper NV also performs extremely well, has a wider 180-degree field of view and, like LG's Smart Security, comes with its own Z-Wave hub. Strongly consider the NV if you aren't sold on LG's Smart Security Wireless Camera.

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6.4

LG Smart Security

Score Breakdown

Features 6Usability 6Design 6Performance 8
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