Our front porches are unique spaces, both secluded and social. In summer, they’re a cool place to sit with a lemonade and watch the world go by. In fall, they’re where we welcome kids from the neighborhood with Halloween treats. They’re a place for greetings and welcomes, evenings shared, and goodbyes until next time.

But the traditional American front porch isn’t just a timeless scene. It’s also a functional part of your home, where safety, security and convenience are paramount. A few subtle 21st century additions can really enhance your porch, making it an even more enjoyable area to use.

Knowing who’s at the door before you answer

Whether you’re home alone or enjoying time with your family, you don’t want to open your front door to everyone who calls. A connected video camera, discreetly installed in your porch as part of a smart home security system, shows you exactly who’s there.

When you hear the doorbell, simply open your smartphone (or Amazon Fire TV) app to know instantly whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, the pizza man, or an unsolicited salesperson.

That same camera can capture some great family moments as well: your kids leaving for their first day of school, a family reunion on the front porch, and of course, your family on their way out for trick-or-treating.

A brighter welcome on dark evenings

Motion-triggered smart lighting makes your porch a safer place when the nights grow longer. It ensures that the way into and out of the house is always well-lit – meaning that you and your visitors are far less likely to trip on a package or slip on wet leaves.

Bright lighting also deters potential intruders. As well as reacting to someone’s presence on your porch, smart porch lights can be scheduled to make your home look occupied when you’re away. You can have them turn on at a set time of day, at sunset, or even at slightly randomized times for maximum realism.

Easier entry when you come home

Adding a smart lock to your security system lets you replace door keys with remote smartphone control or a four-digit keycode. Everyone in your home (plus trusted visitors) can have their own keycode, eliminating spare keys under the mat and enabling you to know who’s coming and going.

The ability to unlock your door from your driveway makes it easier to get your groceries or heavy gym bag through the front door. You’ll also appreciate it when leaving home, especially if you ever struggle to get your kids out of the house on time.

Want to smarten up your front porch? A smart home security system gives you all of these features and more.