LG Smart Security Review

LG Smart Security: A Camera With Optional Professional Monitoring

A couple of years ago, ADT announced ADT Canopy in an attempt to play catch up with the rapidly growing DIY security market. Canopy is a professional monitoring service designed to work with third-party security products. Unfortunately, over time, only one compatible security device has materialized, and that is the LG Smart Security Wireless Camera. The good news is that it's multi-purpose. It's a camera, a smart home hub, and it has a temperature and humidity sensor. But is this one device enough to protect your home?

Hardware & Installation

LG Smart Security is an indoor-only device. Unlike most cameras that you can mount on walls, it's designed to sit on flat surfaces, like on a table or a shelf. It also needs to be plugged in to work, but you can connect it to your router wirelessly using Wi-Fi.

Setting up the device is fairly easy. Simply download the ADT Canopy-LG Smart Security app on your Android or iOS device, pair the camera with your smartphone via Bluetooth, and enter your Wi-Fi password using the app. The camera will then connect to your router and start streaming videos to your phone.

  • Dimensions: 5" (diameter) x 3.4" (height)
  • Operating Temperature: 0°F to 40°F
  • Color: Black
  • Requires Power (5V adapter and MicroUSB cord included)
  • Requires Wi-Fi

Image & Video Quality

Although it's packed with several features, LG Smart Security is primarily a camera… a pretty good one. It streams and records in FHD 1080p at 30fps with the help of a 5MP CMOS sensor. It has night vision, and it's equipped with a 152° wide-angle lens, although when streaming and recording, the actual field of view is only 130°.

When live streaming to your smartphone, not only does it stream videos but it also streams audio thanks to its built-in microphone. At the same time, you can also talk back and be heard through the camera's built-in speaker.

Finally, LG Smart Security uses h.264 compression on videos and AAC compression on audio.

LG Smart Security To Enhance Home Security

LG Smart Security uses security features typical to cameras in order to protect you, your family, and your home. Some of these features are available out-of-the-box, while others require an ADT Canopy subscription.

Features You Can Enjoy Without ADT Canopy

The camera's primary security feature is motion detection. It doesn't let you create motion detection zones, which is one of the most effective ways to reduce false alarms; however, it lets you customize rules that determine under which conditions you should or should not receive notifications. First, you choose a trigger. Your trigger can be your camera's motion sensor (detects movement that occurs within its view) or its tampering sensor (detects device tampering). Next, you get to choose the time and day it should monitor for those same triggers. Third, choose what you'd like to happen if the rule is triggered. There are two available fields for this third step. The first field lets you choose what happens to the camera (e.g. trigger the built-in 93dB siren) or a third-party device connected to LG Smart Security (e.g. trigger lights). The second field lets you choose what type of notification you want to receive. Out-of-the-box, the camera can send email or push alerts that will both lead you to your camera's live video stream. Finally, you get to select which mode will activate your rule. You can set the rule to activate at all times (All Modes) or only when in Sleep, Away, Home, or Vacation Mode.

LG Smart Security can also function as a hub for your Z-Wave devices. For now, however, the camera can only connect to door/window sensors, motion sensors, smart door locks, and smart lights. In addition, the door/window sensors and motion sensors can't trigger LG Smart Security's siren. You can set them up to trigger lights, recordings, or to send you notifications, but that's it. This is no different for Canopy subscribers. On the other hand, LG Smart Security connects with smart lights to create automation rules and scenes. For example, you can setup a Z-Wave motion sensor in your hallway and have it turn on the lights if triggered. This way, when you get home, your lights will turn on automatically. You can also create scenes that trigger multiple devices at once. For example, a Leaving Home scene that turns off all lights and locks the door may come in handy.

Finally, the camera comes equipped with a temperature and humidity sensor. These two sensors log the changes in temperature and humidity around the camera so you can monitor your surrounding environment using the app. Unfortunately, it will not notify you of temperature swings.

Features You Can Enjoy With ADT Canopy

If you subscribe to ADT Canopy, your camera will be monitored by trained professionals. What does professional monitoring mean? If your camera detects motion or tampering, an alert will be sent to ADT's central station. They will try to contact and check on you first. If you fail to respond or if you confirm that there's an emergency in progress, they will dispatch the police to your home. In addition, if you sign up for cloud storage, they can use video verification to speed up the dispatch process.

Speaking of cloud storage, ADT Canopy plans with cloud storage can further enhance your home's security. Without a cloud service subscription, your camera will only be able to stream live videos. If you fail to check on your home right away, you'll miss the event and the chance to capture an image of the intruder. With a cloud service subscription, LG Smart Security will be able to record event clips up to 5 minutes in length and store them to the cloud.

But the million dollar question is, How much does an ADT Canopy subscription cost? All LG Smart Security Wireless Cameras are eligible to receive 2 months of professional monitoring for free. After two months, professional monitoring will cost you $19.99/month. There are also professional monitoring + cloud storage bundles. For $24.99/month, you will get 7 days of cloud storage and professional monitoring. For $39.99/month, you'll get 30 days of cloud storage and professional monitoring. All of these subscription plans are contract-free. You can opt in or out anytime you want without having to worry about early cancellation penalties. Take note, however, that before you sign up for professional monitoring, you'll need to get an alarm permit if required by your city.

Video Storage

As the professional monitoring service is optional, it is possible to get a subscription for cloud storage only. Their 7-day cloud storage plan costs $9.99/month. If you want more, a 30-day cloud storage plan is also available for $29.99. One problem I've noticed from customer reviews is that the cloud service won't let you download video clips. You can watch them over and over again, but if the cops ask for a copy, there's currently no way to share your videos or save them to a local storage device.

Working With Others

Finally, LG Smart Security works with Amazon Alexa. You can use voice control to activate automation scenes or Activities created using the ADT app. Simply say, "Alexa, tell Smart Security to run/start [Activity Name]", and LG Smart Security will respond.

The Bottom Line

Do I recommend using LG Smart Security Wireless Camera? Yes and no. Yes if you're a renter. It's easy to install, offers optional professional monitoring, and has the ability to connect with Z-Wave sensors which make it an ideal security system for apartments and rental homes. However, if you're a homeowner, you're probably better off with a traditional security system that supports security cameras and home automation devices. Besides, the ADT Canopy-LG Smart Security app is still young. It's improving, but it still has its quirks. For example, some users claim that it only supports one user account. Others complain that the app often fails to load videos. That said, the app still needs work… a lot of work.

LG Smart Security is available for purchase for $199.99.

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