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Hi DIYers! We have another product highlight for you today. We're taking a look at the Obsidian Touchscreen Z-Wave Lock from Kwikset. There are many things to like about this convenient and easy to use door lock, and we can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to secure their home.

The first thing a user will notice about the Obsidian Lock is smooth and glossy black touchscreen. With its sleek and modern appearance, the lock will fit in with virtually any decor. Its simplistic design makes it very easy to use, and users will have no trouble operating the device on a daily basis. The lock uses no physical keys, and all tasks are completed using the touchscreen. Once the device has been enrolled, with the system, it can then be unlocked using any programmed panel codes.

A unique aspect of the Obsidian is its special SecureScreen technology to prevent unwanted entry. When the lock is activated after a long period of inactivity, two numbers will be displayed on the screen. The user must press both of these numbers in order to display the complete touchscreen. Only after the two numbers have been pressed will the complete keypad be displayed. The screen will display different numbers every time, meaning that every keypad button will be pressed after a few uses. By doing this, every button will have fingerprints on it. This means that a potential intruder won't be able to look at the glossy keypad with fingerprints on specific keys to easily determine the code.

Another feature of the Obsidian is its 128-bit AES encryption that will prevent any wireless hacking attempts that intruders may use to try and thwart the lock. The deadbolt lock itself is also extremely secure, as it meets the BHMA Grade 2 Deadbolt Operational and Security Standards. The user can also create new codes for the lock directly from its touchscreen keypad. This is done by setting up a lock master code for code management.

And the discussion of the Obsidian wouldn't be complete without mentioning that it's a Z-Wave Plus device! This means that it can use all of the technology of Z-Wave Plus when used with a certified Z-Wave Plus controller. Also referred to as the 5th generation of Z-Wave of the "500 Series", Z-Wave Plus has superior range and reliability over standard Z-Wave devices. And when another Z-Wave Plus device "hops" through the the Obsidian, the signal that is sent out will also use Z-Wave Plus connectivity. This makes the Obsidian great for expanding upon a Z-Wave Plus mesh network. Two alarm panels that serve as Z-Wave Plus controllers include the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus.

The Kwikset Obsidian Lock is available from Alarm Grid now. Protect your home with this versatile and useful Z-Wave lock!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the LTE cellular communicators for the Interlogix Simon XT, Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. These cellular communicators are used for getting a new or existing Simon Security System connected with the Alarm.com interactive service.

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When it comes to LTE cellular communicators for the Simon XT, XTi and XTi-5, users have three options to choose from. These are the following options:

The decision between AT&T, Verizon or Telus should depend on which cellular service tends to work best at the location of the system. This has nothing to do with a user's personal cellular service provider. For example, even if a user has a Verizon Phone, they can still get an AT&T communicator for their alarm system.

But regardless of which cellular network is used, there's no denying the benefits of connecting to an LTE network. LTE stands for "long-term evolution", and it represents some of the fastest and most reliable cellular networks that are being used today. Cellular service providers have promised that they will continue to support their LTE networks for many years into the distant future. So by choosing an LTE communicator, a user is essentially future-proofing their alarm system.

Adding a cellular communicator is perhaps the most important upgrade that a user can make for their Simon XT, XTi or XTi-5 System. Without a cellular communicator, these systems can only use telephone service for alarm monitoring. But this practice is almost always discouraged due to the slow communication speeds and unreliable service associated with phone line monitoring. For the Simon XT, XTi and XTi-5, cellular is almost always the way to go.


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Interlogix simon xti front view of wireless security system

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With cellular monitoring on a Simon XT, XTi or XTi-5, the user will enjoy fast and reliable communication. They will also be able to rest easy in knowing that their system will still remain monitored even when the power goes out. This can be very important for providing a user with proper peace of mind. And a cellular communicator will allow the system to connect with the Alarm.com interactive service.

A user can access the Alarm.com service at any time to arm and disarm their system, control Z-Wave smart home devices, check the current status of security sensors and more. The service can be accessed through a web browser or remotely using the Alarm.com Mobile App on iOS and Android devices. And since these cellular modules double as Z-Wave controllers, adding an LTE communicator will instantly make the Simon Systems Z-Wave ready for use with Alarm.com.

The LTE cellular communicators are compatible with all versions of the Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Systems. But the Simon XT System will need to be running firmware version 1.3 or higher. A user can check the current firmware version on their Simon XT by scrolling down on the main menu screen until the firmware version is displayed. It is important to keep this in mind when adding a cellular communicator to a Simon XT.

But not everyone who needs a cellular communicator necessarily has a brand-new Simon XT, XTi or XTi-5 System. A user will often purchase a cellular communicator to takeover their existing Simon Panel from a different alarm company. Many alarm companies use proprietary communicators, and they will not work with other companies. By removing the old communicator and replacing it with a new one that is unregistered, the system can be successfully taken over and used with a new monitoring company. We have already had many users do exactly this to receive alarm monitoring services from Alarm Grid, without having to replace their old Simon Panel.

The Interlogix Simon LTE Cellular Communicators are available from the Alarm Grid website right now. Get one so that you can receive top-quality cellular monitoring service for your Simon XT, XTi or XTi-5 System!

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Hi DIYers! If you have a smart home setup, then you know how exciting it is when you add a new smart device. Now you have brand-new equipment that you can integrate into smart scenes and control from anywhere! But what about the central hub that serves as the "brains" of the setup?

The smart home hub is the unsung hero of a smart home network. The way that it works is that all smart home devices will connect with the hub. Whenever a command is sent out for one or more smart home devices, it will pass through the hub first. In that sense, the hub is what connects all of the devices in the network together. So without a hub, a true smart home network will not be possible.

What makes a smart hub unique is that it communicates with multiple types of wireless protocols. This should not be confused with a bridge, which only communicates with one type of wireless protocol. An example is the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, as it will only send commands to devices running the Lutron protocol (Clear Connect). That's not to say that bridges can't represent a useful part of a smart home setup. There are many great protocols that are operated through some type of smart bridge. But having a dedicated central hub can make controlling your smart home devices as easy as possible.

Naturally, it makes sense that many users want to integrate their alarm systems into their smart home networks. This way, they can have certain smart home devices respond to predetermined security events. An example could be having smart lights turn on automatically when a user walks into a room and sets off a motion detecting sensor. This type of setup is has become a reality for many users in recent years, as smart home technology continues to grow and evolve.

Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as just taking any security system and any smart home hub and having them suddenly work together. There are many compatibility issues and rules that must be kept in mind when integrating an alarm system into an existing smart home network. Some smart home hubs are easier to work with than others. And as this type of technology is still fairly new, there are still some issues to be worked out. But the beauty of integrating a security system with a primary smart hub, or even using the security system itself as the smart hub, is that it will facilitate a true connection between smart home devices and security devices.

We have already seen many users experience great success in using the Honeywell Lyric Controller as a secondary Z-Wave controller with a Samsung SmartThings Hub or as an integrated device with Apple HomeKit. In these situations, SmartThings or HomeKit will serve as the primary home automation controller. However, the user will still be able to have their Z-Wave devices respond based on actions taken by the Lyric. This could involve adjusting the thermostat automatically when a sensor is triggered or having a door lock itself when the system is armed. But keep in mind that the system may not be able to interact with every wireless protocol that is supported by the primary hub.

Many users are fine with having the security system itself serve as the primary hub for their smart home devices. Depending upon the wireless protocols involved, this can work quite well. For example, both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and 2GIG GC3 Systems are Z-Wave Plus controllers that can be used as hubs for security devices and Z-Wave devices. When doing this, a user can control their Z-Wave devices directly through the panel or through the Alarm.com service. The Alarm.com Mobile App will even allow users to operate their Z-Wave devices from virtually anywhere in the world. The weakness here is that the user will be limited to using only wireless protocols that are supported by the alarm system. This might not be as many protocols as a dedicated home automation hub like Samsung SmartThings.

Alarm Grid will keep you up to date with new and advanced smart home automation technology and capabilities as it becomes available. We look forward to bringing you the latest news about this exciting technology and how it can help you get the very most out of your security system.

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Hi DIYers! We're here with the Alarm Grid video recap for September 10th thru 17th. Our support technicians Joe, Dylan and Jorge are all back and here to teach you how to use your alarm system. We have seven new videos this time, with most of them focusing on the Interlogix Systems.

Disabling Chime on an Interlogix Simon XT

Dylan demonstrates how to disable the chime for an Interlogix Simon XT System. By disabling the chime, the panel will not produce any sounds when sensors are faulted. There is an option accessible from the main screen that is used with toggling the chime On and Off. If the option is set to Off, the chime will be disabled for the entire system. Alternatively, muting the system will also stop the panel from producing chimes. However, this will stop all system sounds, except for sirens.

Self Monitoring a Simon XT

Dylan talks about using a Simon XT with a self-monitoring plan. A self-monitoring plan means that the system is not connected with a central monitoring station. As a result, a user will be unable to receive automatic emergency dispatch. But a user will still be able to receive system alerts and notifications through text and/or email from Alarm.com. A user can take these notifications and contact the authorities when needed to keep their home or business safe.


Adding a Wireless Motion Sensor on an Interlogix Simon XTi

Jorge shows users how to add a wireless motion sensor to an Interlogix Simon XTi System. This is the same process that is used for enrolling a wireless sensor to an Interlogix Simon XTi-5 System. A motion sensor will actively search for any motion that is present in an area. If the device detects motion while the system is armed, an alarm will occur on the system. This makes these devices great for keeping the inside of a building protected and secured. The Simon XTi supports 319.5 MHz motion sensors.


Resetting an Interlogix Simon XTi and XTi-5 to Factory Defaults

Jorge demonstrates how to reset an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5 System to factory default settings. Once the system has been defaulted, all programmed codes and sensors will be deleted. The Master, Installer and Dealer Codes will all be reset to the factory default values. All system settings will be restored to the default. A user will basically need to reprogram their entire panel after a factory default has been performed. Therefore, we usually only recommend a default if it is absolutely needed.


Adding Hardwired Zones to an Interlogix Simon XT

Dylan shows users how they can use hardwired sensors with the Simon XT System. There are a couple of ways that this can be done. The panel has two hardwired inputs for supporting two normally closed hardwired sensors. This is a great option if a user only needs to use a couple of sensors. The other option is to use a compatible wired to wireless converter. This is good for using several wired sensors. A good converter to use is the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 8 or 16.


Sensors Compatible with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System

Joe talks about which sensors can be used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. The standard IQ Panel 2 contains a wireless receiver for supporting 319.5 MHz sensors. This includes all Qolsys Sensors and Interlogix/GE Sensors. If Qolsys S-Line Sensors are used, then they will be encrypted. Additionally, the upgraded Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can support 915 MHz PowerG Sensors, plus one type of legacy sensors. This depends on which legacy daughtercard is installed. There are legacy options for 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz (Honeywell 5800 Series & 2GIG) and 433 MHz (legacy DSC).


Demonstrating Installer Code & Dealer Code on a Simon XTi and XTi-5

Joe explains the differences between the Installer Codes and Dealer Codes on the Simon XTi and XTi-5 Systems. Both of these codes are set to 4321 out of the box. However, they can be individually programmed if desired. The Dealer Code can do a few things that the Installer Code cannot. These mostly deal with the dialer for the system. Other than that, these codes serve exactly the same purpose. We generally recommend leaving these codes set to their default of 4321 so that the user does not get locked out of programming.

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Hi DIYers! We are excited to announce that Lutron Smart Lighting Devices are now available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website. Lutron is one of the leaders in smart lighting and home automation. Their products are perfect for users who want to achieve an automated home lighting setup.

Lutron uses its own smart wireless communications protocol that is different from WIFI and other home automation signals like Z-Wave and WIFI. The Lutron signal is specifically designed to not interfere with these communication signals. We have found that the Lutron wireless protocol is one of the most reliable and consistent signals for use with smart lighting and home automation. These devices can truly make a user's life easier, giving them complete and total control of their lights.

The centerpiece of a Lutron Smart Lighting System is the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge. This is what makes remote access and control possible for a Lutron device. All Lutron Lighting Devices will integrate with this central hub for access and control. Some of the smart home assistants and platforms that can be used with Lutron include Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Nest and Sonos. Whenever a command is sent out through one of these platforms, it will first pass through the Lutron Bridge before being forwarded to the specific device. Voice commands for Lutron Devices are possible when used with Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Some of the Lutron Devices that can connect with the Lutron Smart Bridge include the Lutron In-Wall Light Dimmer Switch for hardwired lights (no travel wire required) and the Lutron Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module for lamps and floor lights. These devices can all be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere using the Lutron App or Apple HomeKit. They can also be operated by on-site users by using a Lutron Pico Remote. There's also an audio Pico Remote specifically designed for use with Sonos Sound Systems. And with the Lutron App, a user can even have their lights activate based on the Geofencing location of their smartphone!

By using a Lutron System with a Honeywell Lyric Controller (MR7 firmware update required) and Apple HomeKit, a user can even have their Lutron Devices activate with certain security events. For example, a might have all of their Lutron Smart Lights set to turn on when they return home and disarm their Lyric Alarm System. This is the best way to integrate a Lutron Smart Lighting System with a home security system.

Please note that Lutron integration with Alarm.com is only possible with the L-BDGPRO2 Smart Bridge PRO. We do not sell the PRO Bridge at this time. However, if you purchase a Smart Bridge PRO from another retailer, we can go ahead and enable Alarm.com integration.

Lutron Products are available now on the Alarm Grid site. Obtain a robust and complete smart lighting setup for your home!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the 2GIG PANIC1-345 Panic Switch for use with the 2GIG GC2 and GC3 Alarm Systems. This device has many possible applications, but it is most commonly used as a medical alert device. It provides a quick and easy way to request emergency help.

2gig panic1 345It can be very concerning and scary to leave an elderly or disabled relative in their home alone. However, these people will often want to live as independently as possible and be able to take care of themselves. A panic switch like the 2GIG PANIC1-345 provides an ideal solution for these situations. If the user experiences a fall or medical emergency, they can quickly and conveniently get the help they need, even if nobody else is around.

The device can be conveniently activated by pressing and holding the large central button for 2 complete seconds. Having to press and hold the button prevents any false alarms from occurring due to accidental button prices. The red LED light on the device will activate after holding the button for 2 seconds, letting the user know that the signal has been successfully transmitted to the alarm system.

The PANIC1-345 is easy to set up with a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 or GC3 System as a medical alert device. This is usually a Sensor Type of (08) 24-Hour Auxiliary Alarm. With this setting, an alarm will be immediately sent out to the central station once the device has been activated. However, no siren or strobe will be set off during this time. The central station will then know to send out emergency medical dispatch to the residence immediately. Alternatively, the device can be programmed for police or fire dispatch if desired.

The device comes with a sensor clip and accessories for wearing the device as a wristband or lanyard. It is lightweight and water-resistant, allowing the user to keep it on their person at all times. This makes it perfect for users who might forget to put on the device after getting out of bed or bathing. However, the device should not be fully submerged underwater. But it is durable enough for reliable daily use. The battery inside the PANIC1-345 has a lifespan of about 2 years before requiring replacement.

The PANIC1-345 is available on the Alarm Grid website. Protect your loved one and help them live independently with this easy-to-use and convenient device.

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Hi DIYers! As you know, we love the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System. It is definitely one of the most robust and advanced security systems available on the market today. But a feature that is sometimes overlooked is the built-in glass break sensor that is integrated with the system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 internal glass break sensor functions in basically the same manner as any other standalone glass break sensor. It will actively listen for the sound of breaking glass and trigger an alarm if it detects this type of sound while the system is armed. This is great for monitoring a window in case an intruder tries to break-in. Both the standard Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems contain this sensor.

The sensor must be activated from within the Installer Settings menu in order for it to be used. The internal glass break sensor is essentially treated as a wireless zone by the system. Once activated, the internal sensor will count towards the system's 128 available wireless zones. A user may want to keep this in mind if they use an extremely large number of sensors with their IQ Panel 2 System.

For the best possible detection, there should be no obstacles between the system and the window. The recommended distance between the panel and the window is from 3 to 15 feet. The internal glass break sensor will only be active when the system is armed and receiving power from its plug-in DC transformer. Depending on the sensor's programming settings, a user can set the glass break sensor to be active when the system is set to Arm Away only or both Arm Away and Arm Stay. Both "Low" and "Normal" Sensitivity options are available.

Both the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems with an integrated glass break detector can be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Protect your home or business with one of the world's best alarm systems!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the 2GIG SP1 Wireless Touchscreen Keypad for use with the 2GIG GC3 Security System. This keypad provides a secondary point of access for a GC3 Panel, and it offers virtually all of the same operation functionality and controls as the GC3 itself.

The GC3 System is already known for its bright colors and responsive touchscreen controls. This makes the system a joy to use for end users. But what if a user wants to control their system from a second location. That is where the 2GIG SP1 comes in. Previously, the only touchscreen keypad option was the 2GIG SP2. This was fine, but the SP2 didn't provide all of the features and conveniences available with the actual GC3 System. But the SP1 made it possible for users to get nearly all of the same functionality and performance out of their secondary keypad that they get out of their GC3 Alarm Panel. In fact, the only thing that the SP1 can't do is make changes to system programming.

At first glance, the SP1 and SP2 keypads might seem very similar. Both devices feature a 7-inch full-color touchscreen display, can be mounted on a wall or a desk (with 2GIG CP-DESK), WIFI connectivity, basic security controls, the ability to check current system and sensor status, bypassing capabilities, and chime functionality. This makes both devices highly capable secondary keypads. And if a user only requires basic functionality for a secondary controller, they will usually do just fine with the SP2.

But the SP1 goes above and beyond by offering features not available with the SP2. The SP1 is capable of voice annunciation for verbally announcing any zone that has been faulted. It also offers smart home automation control so that a user can control their Z-Wave devices directly from the keypad, without having to go to the GC3 System itself or pull up the Alarm.com Mobile App. This includes the ability to execute any Z-Wave Smart Scenes that have been established. The SP1 also provides the current weather data so that the user can get a quick look at the local forecast.

The SP1 and SP2 can both be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Add a secondary keypad to your GC3 System and make your life more convenient!

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Alarm Grid has received news from Honeywell that the iOS version of the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App has recently been updated. This update brings a few new changes to the end user experience. Please note that these changes only apply to the iOS version of TC2, and not the Android version.

With the update, it is now possible to enable the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill for Amazon Alexa devices directly from the Total Connect 2.0 iOS Mobile App. Previously, this had to be done through the Alexa App. This will make it more convenient for users who are setting up an Alexa device to work with TC2.

Face identification and touch identification are now both available options for logging into the TC2 iOS Mobile App. The respective option must be enabled from within the settings menu of the app. Many users will prefer this login option over having to enter in their TC2 password.

The Locations Menu now displays the current security status for all of the locations associated with the user's Total Connect account. This will make it easier for a user to get quick information regarding the status of any particular system.

Honeywell also says that this update will offer various stability improvements and bug fixes. Overall, this update should provide a more pleasing experience for end users. If you have any questions about this update, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're highlighting another outstanding PowerG accessory, the DSC PG9911B. This is a wireless outdoor siren that offers impressive functionality and tremendous versatility, while still being remarkably easy to use and set up. it is one of the best sirens available today.

Dsc pg9911b powerg 915mhz outdoor siren blue led w slash batt

Traditionally, adding a siren to an alarm system wasn't necessarily an easy task. Most sirens had to be hardwired to the system and set up with a power supply and relay. Wireless sirens made the installation process much easier, as they only need to be mounted and programmed with the panel. But unfortunately, the initial wireless sirens didn't offer the same performance as hardwired sirens. And many of them couldn't be used outdoors.

But the DSC PG9911B proves that it is possible for a wireless siren to be both powerful and versatile. The PG9911B packs a serious punch with its 110 dB noise rating. This is about as loud as your average rock concert. Everyone will hear this siren activate, even in a large industrial complex. Bottomline, it is powerful. This makes the PG9911B excellent for increasing the volume of your current setup.

Also included with the DSC PG9911B is blue strobe light for providing visual indication of an alarm event. The strobe is extremely bright, and it grabs the user's attention to let them know that there is a serious problem that requires them to evacuate immediately. This is great for letting any hearing-challenged occupants know about the alarm occurrence. It makes the perfect complement to the 110 dB sounder.

And like any PowerG device, the versatility of the PG9911B second-to-none. It has a direct line-of-sight signal range of roughly 2 kilometers. That's more than 6,500 feet away from the alarm system! If that's not enough, the range can be effectively doubled with the DSC PG9920 Wireless Repeater. Since all PowerG devices are protected by 128-bit AES encryption the PG9911B is nearly impossible to hack or take over. It is indeed one of the most secure wireless devices available today. And its IP55 waterproof rating will allow it to stand up to whatever nature can dish out.

The DSC PG9911B Wireless Outdoor Siren can be used with any PowerG-compatible alarm system. This includes the all-new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. You can purchase the DSC PG9911B from Alarm Grid now. Get yours and boost the siren for your system!

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