Promising much, but delivering a run-of-the-mill experience, the DEFED Security Alarm kit has useful smart home integration but is let down by a complete lack of documentation and an overly complicated mobile app.
- 800m wireless distance between devices
- Supports CoSS Zigbee, Z-Wave, BLE, GSM
- LED indicator for system status
- 48V PoE power option
- 18650 cell power outage 18-hour backup battery option
- Tamper protection
- Includes door and window sensor, motion sensor, alarm, keyfob
- Professional Monitoring?: No
- What’s Included: Smart Station, alarm, door/window sensor, movement sensor
- Brand: LifeSmart
- Compatibility: Wi-Fi, Zigbee, CoSS, mobile app
- Straightforward to install
- Keyfob is useful
- Mobile app is a mixed bag
- No HomeKit, Alexa, or Google Home integration
- Difficult to complete set up
One of the great advantages of the smart home era is the strides made in home security. Affordable, and straightforward to install, sensors, alarms, and cameras can be integrated with existing smart home frameworks with little effort. This added security can be a huge reassurance.
LifeSmart’s DEFED Security Alarm Smart Kit might appear to be just another collection of smart home security gear, but it has a key feature: speed.
Why You Need a Home Security Alarm Kit
LifeSmart is determined that everyone should protect their property, and underline this with some worrying statistics: a burglary happens every 30 seconds; the average loss is $2665, 67% of victims develop a mental health problem, and 63% develop sleeping problems.
Just 25% install a security system.
Challenging existing security kits, reliance on single protocols, fixed, hard installation, and unprofessional set-ups, LifeSmart puts its DEFED Security Alarm Kit on a pedestal, calling its Smart Station a “gateway and a central device of DEFED security system, coordinating the connected devices.”
So, can the DEFED Security Alarm Kit live up to this hype?
What You Get With the DEFED Security Alarm Kit
In the box, you’ll find a DEFED Smart Station (this is the wall-mounted “heart” of the kit), a single DEFED motion sensor, a DEFED door and window sensor, a DEFED indoor siren, and a DEFED key fob. Each is boxed individually and includes the relevant fixings and instructions. You can of course purchase additional sensors for more coverage.
The four satellite devices are powered internally with pre-installed batteries. However, the DEFED Smart Station can be powered via the mains with dual 18650 cells providing up to 18 hours of backup.
But there is a problem: a frustratingly short 12V AC adaptor. For a device that ideally needs to be mounted over a meter off the floor, the 1m power adaptor cable is fantastically ill-judged. Fortunately, the system can also be powered by 48V PoE (Power over Ethernet)—although the included RJ45 cable is also just 1m long.
Key Features of the DEFED Security Alarm Kit
As a five-piece smart system, the DEFED Security Alarm Kit’s main components each have their own features.
For example, the DEFED Smart Station has dual power options, 18 hours of optional backup time, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi, tamper protection, multicolor LED indicator, and supports multiple protocols: CoSS, Z-wave, Zigbee, BLE, GSM, and Wi-Fi. It can be updated over-the-air (OTA) and has a maximum claimed wireless transmission range of 500 meters.
Tamper protection is also a feature of the door/window sensor, which has a maximum 10-year battery life and 500-meter signal distance. This can be used in multiple scenarios, from windows and doors to cabinets, safes, shutters, and features an LED indicator and a temperature detector.
The motion sensor works for up to 15 meters detection range, with three sensitivity settings, a maximum 7-year battery life, temperature and tamper detection, night mode, and an on-off switch. Its firmware can be remotely updated OTA via the DEFED Smart Station.
Key to the setup is the siren, an indoor-only device with a front-mounted LED indicator, built-in temperature sensor, tamper protection, a maximum 105dB siren, maximum of 5 years battery, and long-distance CoSS signal transmission.
Finally, the key fob has a maximum 10-year battery, customizable buttons, and LED indicators.
Installing the DEFED Security Alarm Kit
You don’t have to mount the Smart Station on the wall; it can sit on a desktop or other surface. It just makes more sense on a wall. So that’s where I put our test device, within 1m of the power outlet and close to a router.
To test the DEFED Security Alarm kit, I opted to configure the system to defend my office, a purpose-built outbuilding within earshot and view of my house. As such, I installed the door and window sensor on the window, and the motion sensor opposite the door. The siren module was positioned next to the door.
Physical installation of the DEFED Security Alarm kit is straightforward. The worst problem I had to contend with was worrying about wall anchors suitable for 9mm plasterboard, and checking each device was correctly activated. Thankfully, the instructions tell you how to do that.
Unfortunately, they don’t explain how to arm the system. We’ll come back to that.
Configuring the DEFED Security Alarm Kit on Your Phone
Each device is connected to the DEFED Smart Station in turn, via the mobile app (available for Android and iPhone). Again, this is a simple process, requiring you to browse a list of products, select the right one, then complete the connection by activating the sync process. There is also a QR code option, although this seemed less reliable.
Once you’ve done this for all items in the DEFED Security Alarm kit, it’s ready to use. Most interaction is via the key fob, but the app features a whole host of configurations for triggers and message alerts.
Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely clear how to arm the system. No over-arching instruction guide shipped with our kit, only the steps for installing the individual components. The key fob itself incredibly doesn’t arm the system, and there is no user guide in the app.
There is a help page, but this is simply a form into which a question can be posed, and a response eventually received.
Obviously, this isn’t ideal. After a brief exchange with LifeSmart, the setup was tweaked in the app and arming – via the key fob and the app – was enabled. I was also given a link to a useful set-up video, a QR code for which might have been useful in any of the manuals.
Defending the Office with the DEFED Security Alarm System
A little experimentation later and the security system was armed, ready for the night.
And then, at 11pm, the alarm sounded.
A quick check of the app revealed movement in the office. Switching to my existing security measure, a security camera, I saw that there was no actual threat. So, what had triggered the alarm? Probably a fly, or moth. Resetting the alarm and adjusting the sensitivity of the motion sensor using the app, the rest of the night was thankfully uneventful.
But this incident highlighted some shortcomings of the app. For example, the triggers are overcomplicated, and the alerts are poorly displayed in a very light font that lacks urgency.
The security devices can be grouped into rooms, but the default view is “Favorites,” which cannot be removed. And then there’s the Automation screen in the app, which like everything else is desperate for some instruction because it doesn’t quite make sense.
Fast-forward 22 hours and the alarm sounded again. This time I was sat in the office, having disarmed the alarm an hour earlier. I still have no idea what triggered the alarm, or why it went off while disarmed…
DEFED Security Alarm Kit and Smart Home Integrations
One of the main reasons for reviewing the DEFED Security Alarm was its smart home integration. Google, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit are all listed as “works with,” as is Huawei HiLink.
But it seems that I was misinformed. The kit sent for review does not have Google Home or Apple HomeKit integration. That isn’t a major drawback, as the app has at least a couple of decent screens and the key fob is useful enough. But you’ll need a different base station for those integrations.
I learned about this around 4pm in the afternoon. 12 hours later, I was woken by the app alarm, informing me of a network outage.
And it occurred to me: do I want a security system that wakes me up at 4am to complain about the internet? I get that during waking hours from my kids…
While it could be a useful feature, I was a little surprised as it wasn’t something I was aware I’d enabled. In fact, I almost certainly didn’t since the app has a hell of a lot of features and options to work through.
It as at this point when I decided that despite the missing smart home integration, the DEFED Security Alarm kit might be something worth persisting with. Given the range of compatible devices for enhancing security further, it’s possible to tailor this kit to pretty much any domestic purpose.
As for smart integration, the app handles pretty much everything you need, really. Apart from voice control and readable text.
Should You Choose the DEFED Security Alarm Kit?
Reliable but a pain to set up, the DEFED Security Alarm kit is usable as a day-to-day smart security solution with app integration, but it isn’t going to blow you away.
The key fob actually has quite a limited range, while the DEFED app is a real mixed bag. It has all the tools you need to create a potentially sophisticated alarm system, but with little guidance and no reference at all, it all ends up falling flat. This is a shame, as the system appears to have real potential as a security solution not just for outbuildings, but for homes and even businesses.
On balance, there are security solutions available with far more developed and user-friendly interfaces, from manufacturers who have taken the time to include detailed manuals—or least provided a link to a useful video in the packaging. I cannot emphasize enough how frustrating it is to be on the brink of arming your security system only to find the past few hours of installation and trigger configuration have been for nothing.
The DEFED Security Alarm system is usable, it will protect your property, but I can’t help feeling disappointed with it.
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