Home Automation Controllers Posts

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If you are a Honeywell VISTA System user, then you have likely heard about the Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad. The Tuxedo serves as a touchscreen keypad controller, and also as a Z-Wave Plus hub. But one limitation for the unit is that it cannot be configured as a secondary Z-Wave controller.


Setting up a hub as a secondary Z-Wave controller involves pairing it with a separate Z-Wave hub, which will serve as the primary. When you do this, all Z-Wave devices paired with the primary controller will be automatically pushed over to the secondary, as long as they are compatible. These devices will also remain on the primary controller, meaning that you can operate them from both hubs.

If you decide to use this type of setup, it is advised that you clear all Z-Wave devices enrolled with the secondary controller, and instead enroll them with the primary controller beforehand. Then perform the process of setting up the secondary controller to the primary. This will ensure that all of the Z-Wave devices you want to use are available on both controllers.

Remember, Z-Wave devices paired with the secondary controller will not be pushed over to the primary. When you get a new Z-Wave device, you must enroll it at the primary Z-Wave controller, not the secondary. In most cases, Honeywell Z-Wave Hubs are used as secondary controllers, and Z-Wave devices paired directly with the primary controller are then shared with the Honeywell Z-Wave Controller. One of the most common primary Z-Wave hubs to use for this type of setup is Samsung SmartThings. Other popular third party Z-Wave hubs should work just as well.

Being able to set up a Z-Wave hub as a secondary controller, is technically one of the more advanced Z-Wave functions that you would ever try to perform on a smart home automation network. But while it is quite advanced, it is also very standard. It is somewhat unusual to encounter a Z-Wave automation controller with no primary and secondary configuration options. But that's exactly the case with the Honeywell Home Tuxedo. You can't set it as a secondary Z-Wave controller, which is a big letdown for anyone who wants to use the device in conjunction with a different Z-Wave hub, such as Samsung SmartThings.

According to Resideo, the ability to set the Tuxedo as a secondary Z-Wave controller will come from a future firmware update. At this time, we do not have any estimate for when such a firmware update would be made available. If you want to learn more about firmware updates for a Tuxedo Keypad, please refer to this FAQ.

However, we can speculate that once the feature is available, you will be able to configure Tuxedo primary/secondary options by starting from the main keypad screen, and choosing the Devices option, followed by the Z-Wave Setup button at the bottom of the screen, and then selecting More in the lower-right corner. If you do that now, you will notice that the "Learn Mode" option currently does not exist.


Remember to stay tuned to our blog for future updates on the Honeywell Home Tuxedo. We will be sure to let you know about any new features made available for the keypad. If you have any questions about the Tuxedo or Z-Wave home automation, please feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that Qolsys has uncovered some issues with their current Z-Wave firmware (6.81.03) for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. They are currently working on a new patch tag update to replace 6.81.03. However, the new update patch has not yet been made available.

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Qolsys released Z-Wave Firmware Update 6.81.03 to provide the IQ Panel 2 with the Smart Start feature and to upgrade the system's Z-Wave security protocol to S2. Alarm Grid previously covered the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware Version in this prior blog post. Our post specifically focused on the Smart Start feature, but it did provide information on the required Z-Wave firmware version.

Unfortunately, there have been compatibility issues between Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03 and various Z-Wave devices. The only device that we know for sure has experienced issues with the system is the August Smart Lock Pro. But it is certainly possible that other Z-Wave devices may be affected. We have also confirmed that the August Smart Lock Pro will work fine on IQ2 Systems that have not yet had the 6.81.03 Patch applied.

With the issue in mind, we recommend NOT upgrading to Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. In fact, Qolsys has removed the 6.81.03 Patch Tag from their servers, making it virtually impossible to apply this update. But if you were planning to apply the update using a different method, such as an SD card, please do not proceed with that action. Just hang tight on the current Z-Wave firmware until the new patch is available.

We also understand that many people have already applied the 6.81.03 Patch. We are disappointed to say that there is no way to "roll-back" or "downgrade" the Z-Wave Firmware to an older version. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. But it is our understanding that most Z-Wave devices should not experience any problems on 6.81.03. If your Z-Wave network is still working as normal, then you should have nothing to worry about.

Alarm Grid does not currently have an ETA on when the new Z-Wave patch tag will be made available. However, we expect that it will be fairly soon. Qolsys is usually very quick and diligent about rolling these things out, and we're sure it is a top priority for the. We will post an update blog after the update has been made available. We then recommend upgrading your system's Z-Wave firmware to the new version as soon as you can.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or its Z-Wave firmware versions, you can reach us for support@alarmgrid.com. That email is also great if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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One feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that we have never discussed before is the Smart Start feature. This feature is used for conveniently enrolling compatible smart home automation devices by scanning a QR code. It is a nice alternative to the traditional inclusion process.

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The Smart Start feature was quietly included back in Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.4.0. As it is a relatively minor feature, it was largely overlooked, and we never covered it in great detail. If your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus had System Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher installed when it was brand-new, then it already has the Smart Start feature. If the system was running a lower firmware version when brand-new, then you need to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for the system to unlock the feature. Upgrading the system firmware will not automatically update the Z-Wave firmware and provide access to the Smart Start feature. We wrote a comprehensive FAQ on upgrading the Z-Wave firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which you can view here.

The required Z-Wave firmware version for using the Smart Start feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. In addition to providing access to the Smart Start feature, upgrading to this Z-Wave firmware version will also upgrade the Z-Wave security protocol for the system to S2. This protocol is more advanced and offers better security than the Z-Wave security protocol previously used with the system. You won't notice any real changes with the S2 protocol, but it is still a nice addition.

UPDATE: Qolsys has identified issues affecting IQ Panel 2 Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. They are currently working on a new Z-Wave firmware version to fix these issues. But as of July 2020, the new Z-Wave firmware version is not yet available.

Before we continue any further, we do want to stress that updating the Z-Wave firmware for an IQ Panel 2 System is completely, 100%, optional. This isn't nearly as important as updating the system firmware to the latest version. We mention this fact because updating the system's Z-Wave firmware often requires clearing all of the Z-Wave devices from the network and then re-adding them once the update is complete. This can be extremely inconvenient if you have a large Z-Wave network. And since all you're really doing here is gaining access to the Smart Start feature and making a slight improvement to the security for your automation network, we totally understand if you just decide to skip this process. Also note that you can attempt the updating process without clearing your Z-Wave network first. It's just that this may result in errors that can only be solved by ultimately clearing the network and then re-adding the devices. You should only clear the network and re-add the devices if devices that were working fine previously are later giving you issues after the update.

Note: We have noticed issues when using the August Smart Lock Pro with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System running a Z-Wave Firmware Version of 6.81.03. If you intend on using the August Smart Lock Pro with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2, then do NOT upgrade the panel Z-Wave firmware! This is expected to be fixed in a future Z-Wave firmware release.

If we haven't scared you away yet, let's take a look at the feature! Once your IQ Panel 2 is running a high enough Z-Wave firmware version, you will find the SMART START icon within the Z-Wave Devices Menu of Installer Programming. This menu is accessed by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the main screen and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > Devices > Z-Wave Devices > SMART START.

Choosing SMART START will cause the panel to pull up the front camera for the IQ Panel 2. There will be a red square inside which you will position the QR code for the device. The QR code can be found either on the device itself or on its packaging. Simply position the QR code inside the red box, and the system will begin scanning.

Once the scan is successful, powering up the Z-Wave device will complete the setup process automatically. And just like that, you have saved yourself the trouble of performing the traditional exclusion/inclusion process for adding a new Z-Wave device. Petty cool!

At this time, the list of devices that can be added in this way is still very small. Here is the current list of devices that we know work with the feature:

For even more information regarding the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Smart Start feature, we strongly recommend checking out this comprehensive FAQ we wrote on the feature. It will tell you pretty much everything you would want to know about using Smart Start on the IQ Panel 2.

If you have any additional questions about the Smart Start feature or the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, including the system's Z-Wave firmware version, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. This email is also great if you want to contact us about starting monitoring service. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Did you know that your Alarm Grid Security System most likely has smart home automation capabilities? While keeping your home or business safe with trusted monitoring service is the main function of an alarm system, the world of home automation is easily accessible and very exciting.

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As a quick recap for anyone who may not be familiar with automation or the concept of a "smart home", it refers mostly to two (2) somewhat related ideas.

1) Being able to control devices remotely (aka, while you are away from the premises).

2) Being able to have devices activate automatically based on a schedule and/or predetermined events, with no action required on your part.

These devices that we speak of are collectively referred to as "smart devices". There are all sorts of smart devices that you can integrate into your automation network. Some examples include:

  • Smart Lights - Illumination devices that you can control remotely and turn ON or OFF automatically. These come in many forms, including light bulbs, in-wall switches, plug-in modules, and even wall outlets. Smart lights are perfect for making it appear as though someone is present while away or on vacation.
  • Smart Door Locks - Access control devices that you can operate remotely and LOCK or UNLOCK a door automatically. These are typically deadbolt devices that prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your home or business. In addition to remote operation, these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or the condition of other devices in your home.
  • Smart Thermostats - Temperature control devices that you can be adjusted locally or remotely and INCREASE or DECREASE the temperature. The operation of these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or event. These wire in directly with the HVAC system in your home or business. The setup is surprisingly simple, and it can be easily completed by a DIY user.
  • Smart Water Valves - Water shut-off switches that you can trigger locally or remotely. If you CLOSE the valve, then the flow of water will be stopped. If you OPEN the valve, then the flow of water will proceed when a faucet is activated. Smart water valves can be very important if the building is prone to flooding or water damage. These devices can be automated based on the activation of a flood sensor.

Now that you know a little more about smart devices, you're probably wondering how to get started. The first thing that we advise doing is selecting a smart protocol to build around. This refers to the type of wireless communication that the individual smart devices will use to speak with the centralized hub.

The smart hub, also known as the controller, is the single most important piece of equipment in any smart home. All of your individual smart devices will communicate their status with this centralized hub. And when you go to control your devices remotely, all incoming commands will pass through the hub before ultimately being forwarded to the individual device. Without the smart hub, home automation is impossible.

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When you select a smart hub, you are also selecting the wireless protocol for your network. All of the individual smart devices in your network must use that same wireless protocol to communicate successfully with the main hub. As a result, your smart hub determines which devices can (and cannot) join the network.

A great aspect of most security systems sold by Alarm Grid is that they can double as smart hubs for your automation devices. The panels that we sell support the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol. Virtually any Z-Wave device can be enrolled with an alarm system that supports Z-Wave communication.

Once you have a Z-Wave device enrolled with your system, a few things become possible:

1) Operate your programmed Z-Wave devices on the main system display. This is the same place where you arm and disarm your system.

2) Control your programmed Z-Wave devices remotely using the same platform you use for controlling your system, namely, Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. This requires monitoring service.

3) Build complete smart scenes, in which multiple Z-Wave devices are controlled simultaneously. This is done through either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. Again, alarm monitoring service is required.

While all of this certainly sounds exciting, we understand that it may seem a little daunting at first. If you are already an Alarm Grid monitored customer, then there's a good chance that your system is already capable of serving as a central hub for your Z-Wave network.

The following systems readily support Z-Wave communication, with no add-ons being required:

Additionally, the following panels can be upgraded to support Z-Wave communication:

Of course, there are other options besides Z-Wave for home automation. If you are an iOS user, then you might consider getting a security panel that can support the robust and powerful Apple HomeKit automation platform. The Honeywell Lyric is a great option for this. You can learn more about HomeKit in this prior post.

Another option for lighting control is the Lutron devices that use their own communications protocol. Lutron is known for their tight integration with Alarm.com, and they certainly make for a great starting point if you are looking to establish a smart lighting setup. More info on using Lutron with Alarm.com can be found here.


Alarm Grid is about more than just security. We can help you establish the perfect automation network for your home or business. Getting started with smart home automation is easy, and it's a fantastic way to get the most out of your security system. Whether you go with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, Lutron, or use a combo setup, we will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you aren't already monitored by Alarm Grid, now is a great time to get started. Smart home automation is included with all of our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Level Plans. This post will tell you all about our monitoring plans so that you can make an informed decision. Alarm Grid monitored customers are provided with free technical support online and over the phone. This includes helping you create the perfect smart home.

The best way for an Alarm Grid monitored customer to get help with all of their smart home questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728. Our support technicians will be happy to help you in building your smart home network. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so make sure to plan accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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When it comes to Z-Wave home automation devices, it is usually understood that they are universally compatible with all Z-Wave controllers and hubs. While this is generally true, some Z-Wave devices may appear as different device types than for what they were originally intended.


If you aren't familiar with Z-Wave, it is an automation protocol that is used with a variety of smart home devices. Some popular Z-Wave accessories include smart lights, door locks, thermostats, smart water valves, and more. In most cases, you can use any Z-Wave device with any Z-Wave controller. However, there are sometimes restrictions on how Z-Wave devices can be used. This depends on the Z-Wave hub that they are enrolled with

A few weeks ago, we wrote an interesting FAQ. It discussed whether not not mixing Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices on the same network is likely to cause issue. Normally, mixing the two protocols will not result in any problems. Z-Wave devices are known for being backwards compatible. You can typically bring a Z-Wave Plus device to a standard Z-Wave controller. And the opposite also applies, as you should have no trouble using a standard Z-Wave device with a Z-Wave Plus controller. The main thing to understand is that by mixing Z-Wave Plus with standard Z-Wave, the devices in which any signal passes (hops) through a standard Z-Wave device will result in the communications functioning as standard Z-Wave.

But there is another issue that we haven't talked about very often. This issue occurs when you pair a Z-Wave Plus device with a standard Z-Wave controller or hub. It's possible that the standard Z-Wave controller might not recognize the Z-Wave Plus device as its proper device type. Instead, the Z-Wave Plus device will still appear in the hub, but it will show up as different device type, usually as a Z-Wave switch.

Some examples of this issue that we've seen are if you try to pair a Qolsys IQ Siren (Z-Wave Plus) with a system that utilizes standard Z-Wave functionality, such as a Honeywell Lyric Controller or a 2GIG GC2. We actually created specific FAQs for using this siren with a Lyric and with a GC2. Another example we recently saw was when someone tried to us an Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Z-Wave Plus Water Valve with an L7000 System that had an L5100-ZWAVE module. Instead of the system seeing the ADC-SWV100 as a Z-Wave water valve, it saw it as a Z-Wave Switch.

The problem with this issue is that a system only knows how to turn a switch ON or OFF. When a Z-Wave controller sees a device as a "switch", it can only perform the binary function of ON or OFF. And it's won't necessarily know when to automatically activate the device. For example, if a hub sees a Z-Wave siren as a "switch", then it won't know to automatically activate the siren during alarms and to automatically stop it when alarms are cleared.

Fortunately, these situations can often be addressed by creating specific rules and smart scenes that have these devices activate automatically when desired events occurred. This usually requires some very specific instructions, with one scene & rule designed to automatically start the device, and another scene & rule to automatically stop the device. It can be a little tricky to get up, but there is usually some type of work-around other there. Depending on your setup, this may be done locally at the panel, or it may be done through an interactive platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer needing help setting up your automation devices in the way that you want, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will be happy to help. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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In today's real estate market, many homeowners are looking for ways to increase the value of their homes. One way to do this is to install a home security system. This is an easy and effective way to make your home more appealing. And getting alarm monitoring service is completely optional.

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Many people mistakenly believe that signing up for monitoring service is a requirement when buying an alarm system. Technically, this is not the case. An alarm panel, security sensors, and even home automation accessories are all items that you can purchase without signing up for anything. You can install this equipment in your home without any alarm monitoring plan. Then you can list a security system as feature in your home when you go to sell. This can help seal the deal for a buyer, as many people are looking for smart homes with state-of-the art security systems.

What makes this even better is that you can likely install this equipment by yourself. The biggest challenge is mounting the panel to the wall. This will require drilling some holes and maybe fishing some wire. But it's really nothing you can't do as a quick weekend project. If the idea still makes you uncomfortable, then you can get a desk or table stand for the system instead. Nearly every system has one available. Meanwhile, the sensors can be mounted without drilling any holes by using double-sided foam tape. And basic programming is a cinch with a wireless all-in-one panel.

An aspect of residential alarm systems that is sometimes overlooked is that these devices do more than just keep a home secure. Today, most home security systems double as complete smart home automation hubs. In other words, you can set up a security panel to serve as a one-stop controller for various smart devices in your home. This includes peripherals such as smart lights, smart door locks, smart thermostats, water shut-off valves, and more. Many alarm panels allow you to control these devices from one location, even if the system isn't monitored. And if you add a key fob, then you can control some of these devices from anywhere in your home with the press of a button!

The most important thing when choosing a home security system without professional monitoring is to make sure the system is non-proprietary and can be taken to any alarm monitoring company that will support it. For example, all of the security systems sold on the Alarm Grid website can be used with monitoring service from nearly any alarm company. This will give you or a new owner greater flexibility if you decide to sign-up for alarm monitoring later on. The last thing you want to do is tie yourself to a single monitoring company. A non-proprietary security system offers greater freedom!

Once you have the security system, you just need to install it. This includes mounting the panel and sensors, powering the system, and enrolling any accessories. Like we said earlier, this can all be easily done yourself as a quick weekend project. And just like that, you will have immediately raised the value of your home! Whether or not you use the system from there is up to you. An unmonitored system can still be armed and disarmed to serve as a local noisemaker. And you can still use it as an automation controller for your smart home devices. All while improving your home's sell value!

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Of course, we always recommend monitoring any alarm system. This is the only way to receive text and/or email alerts for any system activity that occurs. It is also the only way to receive service from a central monitoring station for automatic emergency dispatch in the event of a burglary or a fire. You can even control your smart home automation devices remotely from nearly anywhere in the world using a user-friendly platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.

Also keep in mind that signing up for central station monitoring service can help you save money on your homeowner's insurance. The savings might even cover the full cost of your monitoring service! Remember, just because you don't sign-up for monitoring service right away doesn't mean you can't later on. As long as you have a non-proprietary system and a compatible alarm monitoring communicator, you will have a ton of options at your disposal. We recommend checking out our alarm monitoring page if you want to learn more about our monitoring services.

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And if you are in the market for alarm monitoring service, why not consider Alarm Grid? All of our monitoring plans are no-contract, and they feature no added fees. This means that you will not pay any extra cost when activating your monitoring service. If you ever decide to cancel your service, you can do at the end of your monthly cycle, without incurring any fees or penalties. And since your system is non-proprietary, you can always take it to a new alarm monitoring company. This gives us motivation to work hard each and every month to continue to earn your trust and your business.

If you need help choosing a home security system for use without professional monitoring, or if you have any questions about our products or monitoring services, you are always welcome to reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You are also invited to call us at (888) 818-7728. Just remember that our regular business hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect security 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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Honeywell VAM

The VISTA Automation Module (VAM) may be Honeywell's most anticipated wired system accessory in years. Previously, those who owned wired systems were stuck paying the hefty price of a Tuxedo Touch WIFI if they wanted to take advantage of Z-Wave capabilities available to Honeywell security system users. The nearly $500 price tag has been a point of criticism for years, as users have flocked to wireless systems such as the L5200 where they can gain access to the convenience of Z-wave home automation with a simple $25 Z-wave ready circuit board that can be installed in seconds. But Honeywell's commitment to making systems more affordable and more DIY friendly seems to have given way to VAM which acts as a simple Z-Wave controller for their VISTA series panels.

If you are one of the numerous customers who have always wanted to take advantage of the home automation advantages of a Z-Wave system, but aren't ready to pay the huge expense of a Tuxedo Touch? Then today is your lucky day! The VAM, which is basically just the guts of the Tuxedo Touch without a screen, will get you where you need to go for a much more affordable price. Get yours today, to unlock the power of your VISTA when enhanced with Z-Wave automation products!

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Now that Honeywell has finally made Total Connect home automation control available for Tuxedo Touch keypads, people with existing VISTA Series alarm systems can finally take full advantage of all of the great features Total Connect has to offer. In the past, only the LYNX Touch wireless security system supported remote home automation control through Total Connect. If you had a VISTA system, you could add a Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI if you wanted to use Z-Wave home automation devices in your home, but if you wanted to remotely control those devices, you had to setup complicated port forwarding. Unless you were knowledgeable about networks and router setup, you were left controlling your home's Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave thermostats just from your Tuxedo screens.

Thankfully, Honeywell has finally released the long-awaited software update for all existing Tuxedo Touch WIFI units. If you go to the Tuxedo Touch Toolkit website, you will find the software update and steps on how to run the update for your Tuxedo Touch WIFI controller. With the new software downloaded and installed on your Tuxedo Touch WIFI, your Tuxedo Touch WIFI will work better locally even if you don't choose to sign up for the Remote Home Automation monitoring service.

You can now have Z-Wave scenes activated by a security system alarm, a security system event or even a specific zone status change. You can also setup Z-Wave lights to activate and then run for a programmed length of time. You can even program your lights to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise.

Of course, the real advantage of the new software update is the ability to control your Tuxedo Touch WIFI using your Total Connect interactive account. Once you setup your remote home automation control on your Total Connect account, you will have full access to your smart home for remote system control and notifications.

Unfortunately, as non-WIFI Tuxedo Touch keypads use a different operating system and circuit board, the software update will not work on those devices. If you have one of the non-WIFI Tuxedos and you want to get Total Connect home automation control, you will need to purchase a new Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI.

Please call us if you are interested in adding the remote home automation feature to your Alarm Grid monitoring service.

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Honeywell's award winning Tuxedo Touch keypads are not only beautiful touchscreen controllers for most Honeywell VISTA Series alarm control panels, they are also powerful Z-Wave home automation controllers. Adding a Tuxedo Touch keypad to your VISTA security system allows you protect your home and fully control your home's Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave thermostats.


One feature that the Tuxedo Touch keypads has been lacking is the ability to control your home's Z-Wave devices using Honeywell's interactive Total Connect service. While you could turn on your Z-Wave lights from the actual touchscreen keypad, you could not use your Total Connect account to remotely control those same lights.

The original Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI both had internal web servers so that they could be connected to your IP network. If you connected your Tuxedo Touch to your network, you could access a virtual version of the Tuxedo screen to do home automation control. However, you had to setup complicated port forwarding if you wanted to access the virtual Tuxedo keypad while you were not home and connected to the same IP network.

We have all been patiently waiting for Honeywell to release new versions of the Tuxedo Touch keypads and we are happy to say our patience has finally been rewarded! The new Total Connect ready Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI keypads are available and shipping now!

With a new Tuxedo Touch and a monitoring plan that includes Remote Home Automation, you will have full control over your Honeywell VISTA Series security system. Not only will you be able to arm and disarm your system from your phone, but you will now be able to turn your home's lights on and off whenever you'd like. You will be able to set your thermostat to a specific temperature while you drive home from work. You can even unlock your door and disarm your system from anywhere in the world!

Even if you had an existing Tuxedo Touch and you have it setup to be controlled remotely, there are extra features that Total Connect remote home automation provides that a regular Tuxedo Touch will not.

The chart above highlights the advantages of upgrading your Total Connect service to include AlarmNet's remote home automation option. With extra available scenes on Total Connect and manual remote scene activation, connecting your Tuxedo Touch to Total Connect will bring total system control to the palm of your hand. You can even have Total Connect send you instant emails or text messages whenever a Z-Wave device or scene is activated so that you are kept aware of all things happening at your home.

If you already have a Tuxedo Touch WIFI installed, there is an available firmware update that will make Total Connect home automation control an option for you. Unfortunately, non-WIFI Tuxedo Touch units are built with a different circuit board and operate on an operating system that does not support this update. Therefore, if you have an existing Tuxedo Touch and want Total Connect home automation control, you will need to purchase a new Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI.

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