Yale's Real Living Look Door Viewer (MSRP $172.95)
A Hot Off the Press Product Review
Unless you install this unit very low on your door you will not be able to see someone who is short or someone who is crouching down by your door. My old door viewer had a fish eye lens which gave you a 360 view of what was going on outside your door. Young children, small dogs, tall people, and even someone trying to hide so you won’t see them when you first open the door were all easily seen when you looked through the peephole. This viewer has a standard camera lens and it gives you a landscape view that can’t see anything that is short. Since a picture is worth a thousand words look at how I showed up on the screen of the viewer and also on my cellphone in the app. A fish eye lens would have greatly improved the product and it would still be better than it is if they designed it to be installed in a portrait or landscape orientation.
Using the app I could perfectly hear the person talking outside my door. However, even though the volume was set to high in the app, the person outside could barely hear my response as I tried to talk to them using the app on my smartphone. Regardless of how I changed the brightness and other settings on the camera the images on the test phone were always extremely dark.
Yale is a company that has been producing locks for over 150 years. To further enhance their bottom line and peoples' protection they have brought to market a video door viewer. The camera (photos 1&2) on the Living Look Door viewer observes what is going on in front of your door. The viewer that is mounted on the inside of your door (photos 3&4) with a press of a button lets you see what the camera is seeing. The Yale Look app that you download from the Apple or Android store, for free, lets you program notifications that will go directly to your smartphone. The device even gives you the ability to converse with the person outside of your door using your smartphone from anywhere you have an internet connection.
If you already have a door viewer installed on your door that resembles this one, , installing the Yale Viewer is very simple and only requires a Philips screwdriver. If your door doesn’t already have a viewer you will need to drill a 9/16 hole through the center of your door 55 ½ inches from the floor. If the height of your door is different on the street side than inside your house I recommend you do your measuring from the side that will keep the door viewer as low as possible so the viewer will be better able to see short people. After you tighten the two screws through the metal plate (photo 6) you just need to pop off the plastic and paper protectors from the chip on the end of the connection wire and press it in place on the back of the video screen’s housing. See photo 7. The screen mounts to the door by hooking it on to the camera bracket (photo 8) and pressing it into the brackets holding clip so it won’t fall off of the door. The Yale Door Viewer comes with an 8GB micro SD card (photo 9) to store all the events, that will cause the camera to spring into action because of physical movement or a press of its door bell. The labeled diagram of the viewing screen shows where the SD card, and battery (photos 9&10) slide into the screen's housing. The unit is powered by a battery pack that is easily popped out of the unit for recharging. See photo 10 again.
The app will provide the step by step procedure to complete your installation. You use the app to set what notifications will go to your phone so you can monitor your door locally or anywhere in the world you have Wi-Fi or cellular service.
The door viewer communicated with my test smartphone every time there was motion detected or the bell on the viewer was pressed. Each time it gave me the opportunity to converse with the person at the door even when I was miles away from my home. I was also able to take snapshots using the app. If you have young children who come home from school on their own you can know what time they came into the house through an app notification. However unless they are very tall you won’t physically see them in your snapshots or videos.
Images from Smartphone
Day Storm Door Opened
Night Glass Storm Door Closed
Night Storm Door Opened