ADT and LG are teaming up to break the mold for what we should expect from home security, and the results are impressive. This is due to two innovations: the LG Smart Security smart home hub and the new ADT Canopy service.

Taken on its own, the LG Smart Security isn't particularly special when compared to other DIY home security and smart home products. In fact, it's very similar to the Piper nv we tested in our June 2016 review of DIY home security systems – it's an all-in-one smart home hub with a built-in HD security camera. It can connect to Z-Wave smart home peripherals and is a good choice for a first smart home device.

The other half of the equation is ADT Canopy, which pairs ADT's professional home security monitoring with a number of DIY home security and smart home devices. This service is unique among ADT's offerings, since it doesn't require a contract. While the LG Smart Security is the exclusive launch device for ADT Canopy, ADT plans to integrate with more services in the future such as Samsung and Netgear Arlo.

Our First Impressions

The LG Smart Security is a small black device, about the size of grapefruit, resembling an upside-down cone. While this is an unusual shape, it's effective at not calling attention to itself. The best security cameras blend into their surroundings, and we found that the LG Smart Security does a good job at this as well.

It didn’t take us too long to set up the LG Smart Security. First, we downloaded the ADT Canopy app on our Android device, though it also works on iPhones, and used this to set up an account before connecting the LG Smart Security to our Wi-Fi network. After setup, you can immediately view the live camera feed on your phone.

The camera's video quality is 1080p, which provides crisp images that make it easy to see details such as facial features and what clothing someone's wearing. At night, the camera can see in complete darkness, though the video quality in this mode isn't quite as good, which is common among security cameras that record daytime and nighttime video. You can also talk with people near the LG Smart Security, since it has a built-in speaker and microphone.

To record video, you need to subscribe to an ADT Canopy plan. There are five plans that work with the LG Smart Security: one security monitoring plan that watches your sensors for activity, two that store video for seven and 30 days respectively, and two that combine the video storage plans with security monitoring.

If you choose a home security monitoring plan, you should check to see if you need an alarm permit from your city, since ADT sends the police to your home in emergencies as part of your subscription. After you sign up for monitoring, the system stays in test mode for seven days while you figure out the right settings and get used to the device. After the initial test mode ends, you can reactivate it whenever you need to perform maintenance or add new devices to your system.

Once the system records a video, you can look at it in the mobile app, but there isn't a website you can log into to access your account. The video storage is simple to use but lacks a few things that are common in other security cameras. For example, when you select a video to watch, you can't quickly navigate to footage toward the end of the video – you can only fast forward or rewind 30 seconds at a time. If your phone has a poor internet connection, it may take longer to fast forward through the video.

The LG Smart Security also has a few other built-in sensors that track motion, humidity and temperature. These features are a nice touch and help make it a good starter device for a DIY smart home. The motion sensor is especially helpful since you can get alerts or record video whenever motion occurs in front of the device.

One of the best features of the LG Smart Security is that you can connect it to other smart home devices that support Z-Wave. This includes thermostats, door sensors, motion sensors, water leak sensors, light bulbs and smart locks. You can look in the ADT Canopy app to see a list of devices that work with the LG Smart Security.

Who Should Get the LG Smart Security & ADT Canopy?

If you rent and your landlord doesn't mind, the LG Smart Security is an excellent way to get ADT security monitoring. ADT's traditional monitoring services don't serve apartments, so the DIY aspect and month-to-month payments of ADT Canopy are good way to get monitoring where it wasn't available before.

Even if you don't rent, ADT Canopy is a great way to see if you want home security monitoring for your home. Perhaps you always wanted ADT security but couldn't afford it or didn't want to sign a long-term contract.

Lastly, LG Smart Security is a good starter device if you want to turn your home into a smart home. While it doesn’t support as many devices as some other DIY home automation competitors, it offers a solid base on which you can build your smart home.