Customizable Home Security With SAGE

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (more).

What's This?When I contemplate what matters most to me, my family is the first thing that comes to mind. I would do anything to protect them. Peace of mind begins with a safe and secure home. Meet SAGE by Hughes, a self-monitoring home security and automation solution that literally puts the control at your fingertips. Whether you’re relaxing on the couch or away on family vacation, your home is never more than a touch away! They provided some equipment for me to evaluate; Let’s see what it’s all about.

Editor’s Note

It has come to our attention that the SAGE service is no longer offered. We received the following notice:
“EchoStar has made the difficult decision to discontinue the SAGE by Hughes product and service offering. SAGE will be shut down at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 30th [2016]. This means that the mobile apps on your smartphone, as well as controlling the system through the TV interface, will cease to function—including access to your cloud-stored videos and the MyLocal911 feature.”

Every parent knows the power of touch; It can heal, soothe, comfort, reassure. Your parental power just got upgraded to superhero status! Using your television or mobile device as the control center, you can monitor your baby in the other room, see who’s at the front door, lock and unlock the deadbolt, control lights, adjust the thermostat and more. What if you’re on the go? No worries; the SAGE secure mobile app provides you the same level of control, no matter where you are.

Getting Started

Safe and sound
Everything arrived in great condition.

At first glance, home security and automation may feel like an overwhelming prospect. SAGE makes it easy to set up and use your own system and take full control of how it enhances your life.

The Security Kit
This is what comes with the “Security Kit”. You can add as many other SAGE compatible devices as you’d like.

It all begins with the SAGE Hub, the source of your new-found powers. The Hub communicates with all compatible cameras, sensors, and automation devices. You can add whatever SAGE devices you choose but – to get you up and running with ease – there are three different kits to choose from: the Starter Kit, the Security Kit and the Automation Kit. In my case, I started with the Security Kit then expanded upon it by adding other SAGE devices.

Easy hookup
Hub hookup is as simple as it gets: two cables and a power cord.

Hub setup is pretty straightforward and simple. With all SAGE components, reading the literature and watching the videos will go a long way towards demystifying the process. Perhaps one of SAGE’s handiest attributes is its wireless connectivity, making installation a breeze and relocating devices (if you move or remodel, for example) just as easy. Maybe even easier.

Control Center

Control Center
Control Center home screen

You interact with the SAGE Control Center on your TV screen using the included remote. SAGE’s PIP lets you monitor your cameras while watching your favorite shows and allows you to continue watching TV while engaging the Control Center. You also get Control Center access with the SAGE app for iOS and Android compatible mobile devices. No matter where you are, you have the ability to control and monitor your system and camera feeds.

One’s Own Devices

There is a variety of security and automation devices available. And each can be used in various ways to meet your specific needs. It’s worth noting that the system is protected by multiple levels of security, keeping your information safe from hackers. SAGE is the application of over 30 years of communications encryption technology developed by the experts at EchoStar. So no one is going to override your system or steal your personal data.

Let’s take a look at some of the devices and how they can help you realize your home’s full potential.

Sensory Perception

Easy to install sensors.
Motion sensor
The motion sensor offers “pet mode”, which blocks out the lower IR window to help eliminate false triggers caused by cats and dogs.

As with any great security system, various sensors can be used to trigger events and notifications. There are magnetic sensors that alert the system when a door or window is opened or closed and motion sensors to detect someone’s presence. There’s even a sensor that triggers when someone rings the doorbell.

Peek-a-Boo! I See You!

Outdoor cam
Outdoor camera and a SAGE light bulb at about 30% brightness.
Outdoor cam view
Outdoor cam view.

SAGE has two different HD camera offerings: indoor and outdoor. Both have built-in motion sensors, microphones, automatic low light mode and microSD slots. Cameras, sensors and automation devices can all be monitored and controlled from your TV or mobile device.

Not real time
Camera thumbnails not updated in real time, but whichever camera you’re currently “viewing” is.

As cool as SAGE is, I should mention that the Camera video thumbnails do not update in real time, as demonstrated in the picture above. However, the larger PIP camera feed does. And any time you monitor a specific camera (PIP or full screen) you DO get a live feed, with a second or two delay. It’s an issue to be aware of, but not a deal breaker.

Night vision
Both cameras have automatic IR night vision mode.

Dead Bolt

Automated deadbolt.

If you’ve ever driven somewhere or laid down in bed only to suddenly realize you forgot to lock the front door, you’ll greatly appreciate this feature. Just pull out your mobile device and make it happen. This is a high quality deadbolt lock made by Yale. The deadbolt comes in three different finishes. Yale even offers matching handle sets for a polished, classy look. The deadbolt lock is programmable with up to 25 (250 with network module) 4-8 digit PIN codes. You can lock and unlock the deadbolt using the built-in number pad, SAGE Control Center or – if you’re more of an old fashioned type – a key.

A Touch Of Brilliance

Light bulb
LED light bulb has built-in dimmer. And Wi-Fi! (Photo:
Flood Lamps
All three SAGE bulbs are very similar to their incandescent counterparts in brightness and color temp.

There’s a lot to love about SAGE. The energy efficient LED light bulbs are no exception. When you first screw one of the LED light bulbs into a socket it will blink on and off to indicate that it’s in pairing mode. Once it’s paired up, it can be powered on, off or dimmed via the control center or as a user-determined “rule” in response to a sensor trigger. Since the LED bulbs have Wi-Fi (and dimmers) built right in, they will work in any standard 120V lamp socket that’s not already on a dimmer. All three SAGE bulbs – standard, indoor flood and outdoor flood – are rated for 25,000 hours of operation. So they’re sure to do their job for a long time to come.

SAGE Does What You Tell It To

Sensor notification management.

Each device must be “paired” to the SAGE Hub. Pairing is easier than matching socks out of the dryer. Devices pair in different ways. For example: to pair a light, you simply screw it into a lamp socket and use the SAGE remote to initiate pairing in the Control Center. The cameras can be paired easily by entering the code number found on the device then starting the automatic pairing process.

Once your devices are paired you get to decide when (home and/or not home) and how you are notified (on your TV screen and/or via the mobile app.) of sensor trigger events. But you can also set custom “rules”. Rules are how you tell the system what else you want to happen when a sensor is triggered. For instance, you may want your porch light to turn on when the outdoor camera detects motion. Or maybe you’d like the thermostat to kick on when you walk into the living room in the morning. SAGE can make it happen.

SAGE Service

Activity log
SAGE Hub also maintains an activity log.

“Essential Service” is included with any SAGE kit you purchase and never costs you a dime. The Essential Service contains all the functionality you need to get started, including the TV and mobile app Control Centers, control over all of your SAGE compatible devices, alerts, video surveillance and online and telephone tech support.

For a very modest fee, you can upgrade to “Premium Service”, which gives you a couple valuable extras. For one, you get cloud storage for your video (up to 4 cameras). Even if your cameras are vandalized or stolen, video is stored for 10 days, giving you plenty of time to view or download whatever you want. You’ll finally have the proof you need to nail that punk who keeps stealing your mail. Or perhaps you realized too late that you should have been recording that adorable dance your daughter just performed for you in the living room. It’s a good thing SAGE was there to capture the moment!

Then there’s MyLocal911™ , “The coolest feature you never knew you needed“! Let’s say you’re several states away and you get an alert on your phone that motion has been detected in your home. You check your camera feed and discover an intruder. With a single touch, your phone will dial the 911 dispatch nearest your home, not wherever in the world you might happen to be at the time. This premium feature saves valuable moments when it’s most needed.

It’s SAGE Advice

Whether you’re a stay-at-home soccer mom or a small business owner, SAGE has the security and home automation solutions to suit your needs and put you in control. Best of all, there are no long term commitments. You pay only for what you want; nothing more.

Visit our review sponsor for more details and to purchase your own SAGE home security and automation solution:

Buy Now - via SAGE by Hughes

Or, if you’re reading this before April 30th, 2016, check out the SAGE sweepstakes where you can enter for a chance to win one of five SAGE prize packages!

Photo of author

About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get access to free prizes, product sneak-peeks, reviews, how-to's and much more!

More Info | Email Privacy

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.