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Smart Home

4 ways a smart home can deter break-ins

Fret no more when you leave the house. Use these four tricks to deter break-ins with your smart home.

Leaving for a vacation can be stressful. Who's going to watch over your home while you're gone? How can you ward off people looking to capitalize on an empty house?

Fortunately, one of the best things to come of the rise of smart home gadgets is the DIY smart security system. You can pick and choose the gadgets that fit your needs best. This means your system can be completely customized to your needs and desires and is unlike anyone else's. And it doesn't have to break the bank. You can even use old phones as security cameras.

With that comes the ability to set up some clever deterrents for would-be burglars. Here are four ways to deter break-ins with your smart home while you're away, enjoying a margarita on the beach.

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Cycle lights when you're not home

The classic security tip is to cycle your lights when you're away from home -- maybe with a couple lamps set on a timer. The problem with that is that the lights are obviously on a static schedule.

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With a house full of smart lights, you can schedule the lights to appear more random. You can have a schedule set for each day and make it actually seem like someone is home.

Turn on the TV or stream music on a schedule

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Josh Miller

In a smart home, you can take that step even further by creating a schedule for your TV. You don't want to just turn the TV on and off, though. You'll want to actually play something on the TV.

This can be done with virtually any newer television and Harmony Hub. Set the TV to come on with the lights at different times each day and play live television.

Video doorbell

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A newer addition to smart security is a smart doorbell, like from August -- which as it turns out, is more than just a doorbell. It's also a video camera with two-way audio.

Not only can you get a notification when motion is detected at your front door, you can talk to whoever is knocking on your door or snooping where they shouldn't, no matter where you are in the world.

And if they've got a reason to be there or you want to let them in, you can.

Motion-activated flood lights

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Taylor Martin/CNET

It's great to see who's snooping around your front door, but what about the backyard? Consider a motion-activated flood light. Even better is one that lets you see and talk to whatever may be there when you're away.

Ring actually makes motion-activated flood lights that come equipped with a camera, two-way audio and a siren. When motion is detected, the lights kick on and you can see and talk to anyone at any corner of your home. And if talking to them doesn't work, sound the alarm.