Who Needs a Video Doorbell?

Our house is basically all front doors. Besides all the living room french doors there are two entry doors. One door is to the airlock entry which we use most, the other is the old covered entry. We extended the master bedroom to encompass this door. So now we only use it to go out to the hot tub.

Two front doors
Two front doors

Eventually I’ll think of a way to disguise the door to the bedroom so it is not confused with the house entry. I currently have the garden gate in front of it. But that has not done the trick. We decided a doorbell at the airlock entry door would help strangers and delivery persons to know it is the working front door. But when I installed my son’s monitoring camera system I decided it would be fun to have a camera. I didn’t want to spend top dollar so I bought a cheap knock off of the real thing for $50 at Christmastime.

Yeoman video doorbell
Yeoman video doorbell

I noticed this model is no longer available on Amazon. It offers free lifetime video storage for 7 days with automatic recording over the old video. I hope that lasts past its life on Amazon. (Several very similar video doorbells are still available.)

The doorbell was relatively easy to set up. Right out of the box I plugged it in to charge the batteries and it started a voice prompt that it was ready to pair. Of course I was not ready. I downloaded the Xbell app to connect to the doorbell and the steps were easy to follow and pairing worked the first time. The most difficult part was pairing the indoor bell which is a plug in device that starts to blink as soon as it is plugged in. It was not clear to me that the doorbell had to be pressed to pair the blinking receiver to it. Finally after several tries we had the device paired and working with the outside doorbell.

The settings allowed me to turn on the cloud recording and motion detection but even though it was on the lowest setting, and I turned off sound notifications for the bell, I was getting a doorbell ring on my phone every time the wind blew or shadows changed on the front of the house. So I had to turn motion detection off.

Device settings
Device settings

I may be losing video of motion detection just to keep from false notifications. I can look at the camera’s view at any time and take a still shot or video that goes to my photos. The night vision on the camera is quite good.

Night vision video doorbell
Night vision video doorbell

And the day vision is adjustable for various light conditions. I have it set on dynamic. I’ll experiment with the settings for lighting the scene.

Daytime camera view
Daytime camera view

Although I am not monitoring energy use, this is a type of monitoring. Especially for noticing that there are folks viewing our front door sign that says we are a LEED project under construction.

Front door with LEED project sign
Front door with LEED project sign
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