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The Alarm Grid holiday buying guide for the 2020 season continues, this time focusing on smart home automation. We will be covering our top picks for lights, door locks, and thermostats. As usual, our selections are compatible with our top security system picks for the 2020 shopping season.

If you haven't seen our earlier 2020 holiday buying guide releases, make sure to review them at some point. They will provide you with a good introduction before checking out our smart home automation offerings.

An automation device is a piece of equipment that you can have activate automatically based on a set schedule. These devices can also be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere in the world using a platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com and a simple app on your smartphone. When we talk about automation devices for alarm systems, we are mainly discussing lights that can be turned ON or OFF, dimmer modules that can adjust the brightness of lights, door locks that can be LOCKED or UNLOCKED, and thermostats that can increase or decrease the set temperature in the building when connected with an HVAC system. There are also some miscellaneous automation devices, including smart water valves, that we will also explore. Depending on the platform, you can also integrate these devices with smart home voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. We won't be exploring that too much in this buying guide, but it is something to keep in mind if you already have a smart home assistant set up in your house, or if you were considering setting one up in the near future.

To keep our automation section as simple as possible, we will be primarily looking at Z-WAVE PLUS automation devices. This refers mostly to 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices, though you may occasionally see some newer 700-Series Z-Wave Plus devices thrown in as well. Using certified Z-Wave Plus devices with a Z-Wave Plus controller will ensure the furthest possible wireless range, as well as the longest possible battery life, when applicable. Using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices on a Z-Wave Plus controller is also the best way to ensure the strongest possible mesh network. Another advantage to going with Z-Wave Plus is that your automation devices will pair directly with your alarm system, which will thereby serve as your central automation controller. This keeps things as simple and as organized as possible, and it will ultimately allow you to keep everything in the same app on your phone.


However, we will also be including a few Apple HomeKit products along the way. We understand that we have many customers who use iOS and are building around the HomeKit platform for automation. When looking at our top security system picks, only the Honeywell Lyric is compatible with Apple HomeKit. This is out recommended system if you are building around the HomeKit platform. If you are starting from scratch and you are not a dedicated iOS user, then you will likely prefer Z-Wave Plus, as you can keep all your system control and automation control in the same app, with virtually no crossover. But, if you have taken advantage of what Apple HomeKit has to offer, and you want to continue building around the platform, then we have you covered. Remember, of our top system picks, only the Lyric can support HomeKit, and even then, your HomeKit devices will not pair directly with the Lyric.


Of our top security system picks for the 2020 holiday buying season, both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e support Z-Wave Plus technology. Both of those systems have their own integrated Z-Wave Plus controller, and they will allow you to take full advantage of what Z-Wave Plus has to offer. However, our other top pick, the Honeywell Lyric only has a classic Z-Wave controller built-in. You can still enroll Z-Wave Plus devices with the Lyric, but they won't offer the same range, battery life, and security provisions as Z-Wave Plus. This makes the Lyric the weak link of the three if automation outside of Apple HomeKit is particularly important to you. But rest assured that every product listed here should work with any of our recommended systems. Its just that you will get the best possible results by using a Z-Wave Plus compatible system, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or 2GIG GC3e.

With all of that out of the way, let's begin exploring our favorite smart home automation devices of the 2020 holiday season.


Smart Lights

Smart lights can be split into a few different categories. They are usually either in-wall modules that replace your existing, standard light switches, or they are plug-in module that you simply plug into a regular wall outlet. Lights can also be split into groups of ON/OFF switches that merely turn the lights ON and OFF, and groups of dimmer modules that can actually adjust the brightness of the lights. As such, you will see four (4) groups of lights listed below. There are in-wall switches, in-wall dimmers, plug-in switches, and plug-in dimmers. We know that may seem a bit confusing, but it should make more sense once you see all of the categories properly laid out and organized. Spoiler, if you're looking for Apple HomeKit Lights, then skip to the very end of this section.

We will start with Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches. These devices replace existing in-wall switches, and they are able to turn the lights ON and OFF. When installing one, make sure to cut power at the circuit breaker first. Then simply remove the existing in-wall switch, and install your new Z-Wave Plus in-wall switch in its place. Keep in mind that most of these units will require the use of a neutral wire. Most homes built in the 1980s onward will have this readily available, though older homes may be lacking this wire. It's also important to mention that all of the in-wall switches listed here should readily fit into single gang brackets. We will also be listing coordinating 3-way switches in the notes section when applicable.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches.

Model Notes
GoControl WS15Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 600W for incandescent bulbs. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 14318 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46201 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46562 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5SWITCH From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Next up are Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers. These units also replace your existing in-wall switches. The difference here is that these devices have the ability to adjust the brightness of your lights, in addition to simply turning them ON and OFF. You will want to make sure you are using these devices with dimmable light bulbs. Again, you will want to cut power at the circuit breaker when installing. Most of these units will require a neutral wire, though there is an exception here. You should be able to fit these units into a single-gang electrical bracket.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 14299 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent. For dimmable bulbs only. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch. No neutral wire required.
GE 14294 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 300W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GoControl WD500Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 500W of lighting load. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5DIMMER From Resideo. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 150W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Now we will look at some more DIY-friendly options, starting with Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches. Unlike in-wall switches that you have to install using a screwdriver, these devices simply plug into your standard wall outlet. Just plug one in, connect a lamp, and you now have smart lighting control. These units couldn't be more straightforward and simple to use, and if you're intimidated by having to install your own in-wall light switch, then these are a fantastic alternative. Again, these units are only capable of turning the lights ON and OFF. You can also technically use some of these units with other plug-in devices, provided that the connected device does not exceed the maximum load limit.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches.

Models
Notes
GE 28172 From GE. Designed for lighting devices only. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Linear PS15EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5SWPID From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor.
Resideo Z5SWPIO From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor. Suitable for outdoor use.
Qolsys IQ Smart Plug From Qolsys. Supports up to 13A of power. Not just for lighting devices. Also sold as Qolsys QZ2101-840.

Our penultimate category of smart lights focuses on Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers. As you can probably guess, these are plug-in modules, but instead of just turning the lamp ON and OFF, you can also adjust its brightness. The use of dimmable bulbs is recommended. Again, this is an excellent DIY alternative if you don't feel comfortable installing your own in-wall dimmer switch. Just plug it in, connect a dimmable lamp, and enjoy your new smart lights!

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 28170 From GE. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.
GoControl PD300EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 300W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5DIMPID From Resideo. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.

Lastly, we want to give special recognition to Apple HomeKit compatible smart lights. We're keeping things simple by only listing products from Lutron. These lights work by building around a centralized base station and then pairing lighting modules with that main unit. Our team at Alarm Grid is wholly impressed by what Lutron has to offer, and we can definitely recommend these lights for anyone building around the HomeKit platform. One other major benefit of Lutron Smart Lights is that no neutral wire is required as part of the setup. This can be very beneficial if you do not have a neutral wire in your home's existing electrical wiring. Please note that Alarm Grid only offers the Caseta lineup from Lutron, so that is what we will be focusing on in this buying guide.

The Lutron section of this guide will be split into four (4) categories. First we will look at the smart bridges, or central hubs, that we offer for Lutron. Then we will explore some bundled deals we offer as starter kits. From there, we will check out individual Lutron lighting devices. Lastly, we will examine some accessories for Lutron devices.


First up, we have the Lutron Smart Bridges. There are only two (2) here. You need one of these devices to start building a network of Lutron Smart Lights. You will notice a standard "non-Pro" model, as well as "Pro 2" model. The main difference here is that the "Pro 2" model can integrate with Alarm.com, while the "non-Pro" model cannot. This is completely irrelevant if you are building a HomeKit network around the Honeywell Lyric, as you will be using Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive smart platform instead of Alarm.com. But if you are using HomeKit separately with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, a 2GIG GC3e, or pretty much any other Alarm.com Security System, then this can really come in handy, as you can then integrate your smart lights in with the same network as your alarm system.

Here are our Lutron Smart Bridges.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta L-BDG2 "Non-Pro" smart bridge for Lutron. Does not support an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.
Lutron Caseta L-BDGPRO2-WH "Pro 2" smart bridge for Lutron. Supports an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.

But before you rush out and buy one of the aforementioned Lutron Smart Bridges, you may instead consider getting one of our Lutron Starter Kits, which all include a Lutron Smart Bridge and some compatible devices to get you started. This can save you a bit of money if you are just getting started with Lutron. Unfortunately, we only have starter kits based around the "Non-Pro" smart bridge. If you are wanting the "Pro 2" model for Alarm.com use, then you will need to buy that model ala carte, along with all the devices you want to pair.

Let's check out our Lutron Starter Kits.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, In-Wall Dimmer, Pico Remote, and Wall Plate.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2P Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) Plug-In Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) In-Wall Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, Two (2) Wall Plates, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.

Now we'll look at the actual Lutron Lighting Components. These are the individual, ala carte lighting devices that you pair with your Lutron Smart Bridge. The included notes should help you decide which devices are right for your Lutron network. Lutron keeps things relatively simple here, as the selection is short but sweet.

Here are individual Lutron Lighting Components.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta PD-3PCL-WH Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module. Supports up to 300W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 100W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-5NE In-Wall Smart Dimmer for Electronic Low Voltage (ELV+) Lights. Supports up to 250W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs, 500W for incandescent, halogen, or ELV bulbs, or 400W for Magnet Low Voltage (MLV) bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-6ANS-WH In-Wall Neutral Smart Switch. Supports up to 720W for incandescent, halogen, ELV, or MLV lights, 6A for LED/CFL, or 3.6A for a ceiling fan.
Lutron Caseta PD-6WCL In-Wall Light Dimmer Switch. Supports 600W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 150W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.

Last but not least, we have some Lutron Accessories. These include the Pico Remote that you can use a remote control for your Lutron Lights, as well as various wall-plates and some bundles. There are quite a few accessories to cover, and they make the perfect stocking stuffer for the Lutron lover on your gift list.

Here are Lutron Accessories.

Model Notes
Lutron Caseta PJ2-3BRL-WH-L01R Lutron Caseta Pico Remote. Small handheld remote that you can use to control your Lutron Lights. Includes three (3) buttons for turning ON and OFF and adjusting brightness. Can also be used to facilitate a multi-pole setup for your Lutron Lights.
Lutron Caseta PICO-WBX-ADAPT Lutron Caseta Pico Remote Wallplate Adapter Bracket. Allows you to mount your Pico Remote to the wall. Wallplate not included.
Lutron Caseta PJ2-WALL-WH-L01 Lutron Caseta Pico Wall Plate Kit. Includes a Pico Remote, Wallplate Adapter Bracket, and Wallplate.
Lutron CW-1-WH Single Gang Wallplate for Lutron. Double, triple, and quadruple gang wallplates also available!

Door Locks

Door locks are fairly straight forward. They replace the existing deadbolt lock on your front door, back door, patio door, pool door, garage door, or really any door with a deadbolt lock. You will then have smart control over that door, meaning you can LOCK and UNLOCK it remotely using a compatible interactive service platform. This also includes the ability to have the door LOCK or UNLOCK automatically with smart scenes. Most of the locks listed here will allow you to use a traditional key if you want, but you can also manually enter a code into the lock using push-buttons or a touchscreen. This can be very convenient for getting in if you forget your key or don't wish to carry one around.

Virtually any door lock will accomplish the same goal, so what you should base your buying decision on is how reliable the brand is, how you control the door lock locally (e.g. a push-button touchpad or a LED touchscreen), and which design you like. You will also need to decide whether you need a Z-Wave Plus door lock or an Apple HomeKit door lock. Most of the models listed here are Z-Wave Plus variants, but we did include a couple of HomeKit versions for good measure. Many of the door locks listed here come in multiple finishing options to give you some added customization. You will notice that we do not list too many brands here. We really wanted to focus on the ones we feel the most confident in offering.

Here are our top picks for door locks.

Model
Notes
Yale YRD216 From Yale. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Yale YRD226 From Yale. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Kwikset 914 From Kwikset. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 30 codes. Available in Satin Nickel, Aged Bronze, or Polished Brass.
Kwikset Obsidian From Kwikset. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 16 codes. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickel.
August Smart Lock Pro w/ Connect From August. Includes August Smart Lock Pro and August Connect, which makes integrating w/ Apple HomeKit significantly easier and more reliable. Supports BOTH Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus connectivity. Also supports Bluetooth connectivity. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Dark Gray and Silver.
Yale YRD256 w/ iM1 Module From Yale. The integrated iM1 Module allows for use w/ Apple HomeKit. Lock itself can store 25 codes, pairing w/ HomeKit increases limit to 250. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel. There is also a Z-Wave Plus variant of the same lock that does not support Apple HomeKit.


Smart Thermostats

Now we're really getting into exciting territory, as smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from virtually anywhere! This is perfect whether you want to keep energy costs low, or you simply want to ensure you arrive home to a comfy house. We all know how stressful it can be if you forgot to adjust your thermostat before leaving home. Well, now you can worry no longer! All you need to do to get started is cut the power at the breaker for your HVAC system, remove your old thermostat, and install your new smart thermostat in its place. This is easier than you might think! For this category, we will mostly be covering Z-Wave Plus thermostats, but we did include an Apple HomeKit thermostat in the listings as well.

Here are our top picks for smart thermostats.

Model
Notes
Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave From Resideo. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology.
Alarm.com ADC-T3000 From Alarm.com. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology. Compatible temperature sensor also available.
2GIG STZ-1 Thermostat From Nortek. Uses state-of-the-art 700-Series Z-Wave Plus technology.
Honeywell T6 Pro WIFI From Resideo. Uses WIFI to connect w/ Apple HomeKit.


Other Smart Home Devices


Alright, we're finishing this up with some great smart home devices that we couldn't really fit into any other category. Our main focus here will be on smart garage door controllers and smart water valves. These are super convenient and useful devices that make a great addition to almost any home. A smart garage door controller connects with your existing garage door motor so that you can open and close your garage door from anywhere or have it open and close automatically with smart scenes. Smart water valves are an excellent emergency tool that you can use to shut-off your water supply in the event of a flood or leak. Many users will pair them with flood sensors for inclusion in smart scenes. Unfortunately for Apple HomeKit users, we don't have any HomeKit devices for this section, and we will only be covering Z-Wave variants in this section.

Check out these miscellaneous smart home devices!

Model
Notes
Honeywell GDCK Garage Door Controller Kit From Resideo. Garage door controller kit that includes Honeywell 5877 Relay Module, Honeywell 5822T Tilt Sensor, and a SSA-1 Siren/Strobe. For use w/ Lyric and LYNX Touch only. Cannot be used with LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door Motors
GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Garage Door Controller From Nortek. Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener. Includes tilt sensor for detecting current position of garage door. Cannot be used with Lyric or LYNX Touch.
Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve & Meter From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve w/ Meter. Water valve allows you to shut off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Meter tracks your water usage for energy savings and efficiency. Typically installed by a plumber.
Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Smart Water Valve From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve. Used to shut-off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Typically installed by a plumber.


Reach Out to Us!

Got any questions about which smart home devices are right for you, or are you not sure about compatibility? Reach out to us! Our team is happy to help you make your holiday shopping season as easy and as stress-free as possible. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And as always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted By

The Alarm Grid holiday buying guide for the 2020 season continues, this time focusing on smart home automation. We will be covering our top picks for lights, door locks, and thermostats. As usual, our selections are compatible with our top security system picks for the 2020 shopping season.

If you haven't seen our earlier 2020 holiday buying guide releases, make sure to review them at some point. They will provide you with a good introduction before checking out our smart home automation offerings.

An automation device is a piece of equipment that you can have activate automatically based on a set schedule. These devices can also be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere in the world using a platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com and a simple app on your smartphone. When we talk about automation devices for alarm systems, we are mainly discussing lights that can be turned ON or OFF, dimmer modules that can adjust the brightness of lights, door locks that can be LOCKED or UNLOCKED, and thermostats that can increase or decrease the set temperature in the building when connected with an HVAC system. There are also some miscellaneous automation devices, including smart water valves, that we will also explore. Depending on the platform, you can also integrate these devices with smart home voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. We won't be exploring that too much in this buying guide, but it is something to keep in mind if you already have a smart home assistant set up in your house, or if you were considering setting one up in the near future.

To keep our automation section as simple as possible, we will be primarily looking at Z-WAVE PLUS automation devices. This refers mostly to 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices, though you may occasionally see some newer 700-Series Z-Wave Plus devices thrown in as well. Using certified Z-Wave Plus devices with a Z-Wave Plus controller will ensure the furthest possible wireless range, as well as the longest possible battery life, when applicable. Using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices on a Z-Wave Plus controller is also the best way to ensure the strongest possible mesh network. Another advantage to going with Z-Wave Plus is that your automation devices will pair directly with your alarm system, which will thereby serve as your central automation controller. This keeps things as simple and as organized as possible, and it will ultimately allow you to keep everything in the same app on your phone.


However, we will also be including a few Apple HomeKit products along the way. We understand that we have many customers who use iOS and are building around the HomeKit platform for automation. When looking at our top security system picks, only the Honeywell Lyric is compatible with Apple HomeKit. This is out recommended system if you are building around the HomeKit platform. If you are starting from scratch and you are not a dedicated iOS user, then you will likely prefer Z-Wave Plus, as you can keep all your system control and automation control in the same app, with virtually no crossover. But, if you have taken advantage of what Apple HomeKit has to offer, and you want to continue building around the platform, then we have you covered. Remember, of our top system picks, only the Lyric can support HomeKit, and even then, your HomeKit devices will not pair directly with the Lyric.


Of our top security system picks for the 2020 holiday buying season, both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e support Z-Wave Plus technology. Both of those systems have their own integrated Z-Wave Plus controller, and they will allow you to take full advantage of what Z-Wave Plus has to offer. However, our other top pick, the Honeywell Lyric only has a classic Z-Wave controller built-in. You can still enroll Z-Wave Plus devices with the Lyric, but they won't offer the same range, battery life, and security provisions as Z-Wave Plus. This makes the Lyric the weak link of the three if automation outside of Apple HomeKit is particularly important to you. But rest assured that every product listed here should work with any of our recommended systems. Its just that you will get the best possible results by using a Z-Wave Plus compatible system, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or 2GIG GC3e.

With all of that out of the way, let's begin exploring our favorite smart home automation devices of the 2020 holiday season.


Smart Lights

Smart lights can be split into a few different categories. They are usually either in-wall modules that replace your existing, standard light switches, or they are plug-in module that you simply plug into a regular wall outlet. Lights can also be split into groups of ON/OFF switches that merely turn the lights ON and OFF, and groups of dimmer modules that can actually adjust the brightness of the lights. As such, you will see four (4) groups of lights listed below. There are in-wall switches, in-wall dimmers, plug-in switches, and plug-in dimmers. We know that may seem a bit confusing, but it should make more sense once you see all of the categories properly laid out and organized. Spoiler, if you're looking for Apple HomeKit Lights, then skip to the very end of this section.

We will start with Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches. These devices replace existing in-wall switches, and they are able to turn the lights ON and OFF. When installing one, make sure to cut power at the circuit breaker first. Then simply remove the existing in-wall switch, and install your new Z-Wave Plus in-wall switch in its place. Keep in mind that most of these units will require the use of a neutral wire. Most homes built in the 1980s onward will have this readily available, though older homes may be lacking this wire. It's also important to mention that all of the in-wall switches listed here should readily fit into single gang brackets. We will also be listing coordinating 3-way switches in the notes section when applicable.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches.

Model Notes
GoControl WS15Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 600W for incandescent bulbs. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 14318 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46201 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46562 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5SWITCH From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Next up are Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers. These units also replace your existing in-wall switches. The difference here is that these devices have the ability to adjust the brightness of your lights, in addition to simply turning them ON and OFF. You will want to make sure you are using these devices with dimmable light bulbs. Again, you will want to cut power at the circuit breaker when installing. Most of these units will require a neutral wire, though there is an exception here. You should be able to fit these units into a single-gang electrical bracket.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 14299 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent. For dimmable bulbs only. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch. No neutral wire required.
GE 14294 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 300W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GoControl WD500Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 500W of lighting load. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5DIMMER From Resideo. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 150W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Now we will look at some more DIY-friendly options, starting with Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches. Unlike in-wall switches that you have to install using a screwdriver, these devices simply plug into your standard wall outlet. Just plug one in, connect a lamp, and you now have smart lighting control. These units couldn't be more straightforward and simple to use, and if you're intimidated by having to install your own in-wall light switch, then these are a fantastic alternative. Again, these units are only capable of turning the lights ON and OFF. You can also technically use some of these units with other plug-in devices, provided that the connected device does not exceed the maximum load limit.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches.

Models
Notes
GE 28172 From GE. Designed for lighting devices only. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Linear PS15EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5SWPID From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor.
Resideo Z5SWPIO From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor. Suitable for outdoor use.
Qolsys IQ Smart Plug From Qolsys. Supports up to 13A of power. Not just for lighting devices. Also sold as Qolsys QZ2101-840.

Our penultimate category of smart lights focuses on Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers. As you can probably guess, these are plug-in modules, but instead of just turning the lamp ON and OFF, you can also adjust its brightness. The use of dimmable bulbs is recommended. Again, this is an excellent DIY alternative if you don't feel comfortable installing your own in-wall dimmer switch. Just plug it in, connect a dimmable lamp, and enjoy your new smart lights!

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 28170 From GE. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.
GoControl PD300EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 300W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5DIMPID From Resideo. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.

Lastly, we want to give special recognition to Apple HomeKit compatible smart lights. We're keeping things simple by only listing products from Lutron. These lights work by building around a centralized base station and then pairing lighting modules with that main unit. Our team at Alarm Grid is wholly impressed by what Lutron has to offer, and we can definitely recommend these lights for anyone building around the HomeKit platform. One other major benefit of Lutron Smart Lights is that no neutral wire is required as part of the setup. This can be very beneficial if you do not have a neutral wire in your home's existing electrical wiring. Please note that Alarm Grid only offers the Caseta lineup from Lutron, so that is what we will be focusing on in this buying guide.

The Lutron section of this guide will be split into four (4) categories. First we will look at the smart bridges, or central hubs, that we offer for Lutron. Then we will explore some bundled deals we offer as starter kits. From there, we will check out individual Lutron lighting devices. Lastly, we will examine some accessories for Lutron devices.


First up, we have the Lutron Smart Bridges. There are only two (2) here. You need one of these devices to start building a network of Lutron Smart Lights. You will notice a standard "non-Pro" model, as well as "Pro 2" model. The main difference here is that the "Pro 2" model can integrate with Alarm.com, while the "non-Pro" model cannot. This is completely irrelevant if you are building a HomeKit network around the Honeywell Lyric, as you will be using Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive smart platform instead of Alarm.com. But if you are using HomeKit separately with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, a 2GIG GC3e, or pretty much any other Alarm.com Security System, then this can really come in handy, as you can then integrate your smart lights in with the same network as your alarm system.

Here are our Lutron Smart Bridges.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta L-BDG2 "Non-Pro" smart bridge for Lutron. Does not support an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.
Lutron Caseta L-BDGPRO2-WH "Pro 2" smart bridge for Lutron. Supports an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.

But before you rush out and buy one of the aforementioned Lutron Smart Bridges, you may instead consider getting one of our Lutron Starter Kits, which all include a Lutron Smart Bridge and some compatible devices to get you started. This can save you a bit of money if you are just getting started with Lutron. Unfortunately, we only have starter kits based around the "Non-Pro" smart bridge. If you are wanting the "Pro 2" model for Alarm.com use, then you will need to buy that model ala carte, along with all the devices you want to pair.

Let's check out our Lutron Starter Kits.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, In-Wall Dimmer, Pico Remote, and Wall Plate.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2P Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) Plug-In Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) In-Wall Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, Two (2) Wall Plates, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.

Now we'll look at the actual Lutron Lighting Components. These are the individual, ala carte lighting devices that you pair with your Lutron Smart Bridge. The included notes should help you decide which devices are right for your Lutron network. Lutron keeps things relatively simple here, as the selection is short but sweet.

Here are individual Lutron Lighting Components.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta PD-3PCL-WH Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module. Supports up to 300W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 100W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-5NE In-Wall Smart Dimmer for Electronic Low Voltage (ELV+) Lights. Supports up to 250W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs, 500W for incandescent, halogen, or ELV bulbs, or 400W for Magnet Low Voltage (MLV) bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-6ANS-WH In-Wall Neutral Smart Switch. Supports up to 720W for incandescent, halogen, ELV, or MLV lights, 6A for LED/CFL, or 3.6A for a ceiling fan.
Lutron Caseta PD-6WCL In-Wall Light Dimmer Switch. Supports 600W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 150W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.

Last but not least, we have some Lutron Accessories. These include the Pico Remote that you can use a remote control for your Lutron Lights, as well as various wall-plates and some bundles. There are quite a few accessories to cover, and they make the perfect stocking stuffer for the Lutron lover on your gift list.

Here are Lutron Accessories.

Model Notes
Lutron Caseta PJ2-3BRL-WH-L01R Lutron Caseta Pico Remote. Small handheld remote that you can use to control your Lutron Lights. Includes three (3) buttons for turning ON and OFF and adjusting brightness. Can also be used to facilitate a multi-pole setup for your Lutron Lights.
Lutron Caseta PICO-WBX-ADAPT Lutron Caseta Pico Remote Wallplate Adapter Bracket. Allows you to mount your Pico Remote to the wall. Wallplate not included.
Lutron Caseta PJ2-WALL-WH-L01 Lutron Caseta Pico Wall Plate Kit. Includes a Pico Remote, Wallplate Adapter Bracket, and Wallplate.
Lutron CW-1-WH Single Gang Wallplate for Lutron. Double, triple, and quadruple gang wallplates also available!

Door Locks

Door locks are fairly straight forward. They replace the existing deadbolt lock on your front door, back door, patio door, pool door, garage door, or really any door with a deadbolt lock. You will then have smart control over that door, meaning you can LOCK and UNLOCK it remotely using a compatible interactive service platform. This also includes the ability to have the door LOCK or UNLOCK automatically with smart scenes. Most of the locks listed here will allow you to use a traditional key if you want, but you can also manually enter a code into the lock using push-buttons or a touchscreen. This can be very convenient for getting in if you forget your key or don't wish to carry one around.

Virtually any door lock will accomplish the same goal, so what you should base your buying decision on is how reliable the brand is, how you control the door lock locally (e.g. a push-button touchpad or a LED touchscreen), and which design you like. You will also need to decide whether you need a Z-Wave Plus door lock or an Apple HomeKit door lock. Most of the models listed here are Z-Wave Plus variants, but we did include a couple of HomeKit versions for good measure. Many of the door locks listed here come in multiple finishing options to give you some added customization. You will notice that we do not list too many brands here. We really wanted to focus on the ones we feel the most confident in offering.

Here are our top picks for door locks.

Model
Notes
Yale YRD216 From Yale. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Yale YRD226 From Yale. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Kwikset 914 From Kwikset. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 30 codes. Available in Satin Nickel, Aged Bronze, or Polished Brass.
Kwikset Obsidian From Kwikset. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 16 codes. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickel.
August Smart Lock Pro w/ Connect From August. Includes August Smart Lock Pro and August Connect, which makes integrating w/ Apple HomeKit significantly easier and more reliable. Supports BOTH Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus connectivity. Also supports Bluetooth connectivity. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Dark Gray and Silver.
Yale YRD256 w/ iM1 Module From Yale. The integrated iM1 Module allows for use w/ Apple HomeKit. Lock itself can store 25 codes, pairing w/ HomeKit increases limit to 250. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel. There is also a Z-Wave Plus variant of the same lock that does not support Apple HomeKit.


Smart Thermostats

Now we're really getting into exciting territory, as smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from virtually anywhere! This is perfect whether you want to keep energy costs low, or you simply want to ensure you arrive home to a comfy house. We all know how stressful it can be if you forgot to adjust your thermostat before leaving home. Well, now you can worry no longer! All you need to do to get started is cut the power at the breaker for your HVAC system, remove your old thermostat, and install your new smart thermostat in its place. This is easier than you might think! For this category, we will mostly be covering Z-Wave Plus thermostats, but we did include an Apple HomeKit thermostat in the listings as well.

Here are our top picks for smart thermostats.

Model
Notes
Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave From Resideo. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology.
Alarm.com ADC-T3000 From Alarm.com. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology. Compatible temperature sensor also available.
2GIG STZ-1 Thermostat From Nortek. Uses state-of-the-art 700-Series Z-Wave Plus technology.
Honeywell T6 Pro WIFI From Resideo. Uses WIFI to connect w/ Apple HomeKit.


Other Smart Home Devices


Alright, we're finishing this up with some great smart home devices that we couldn't really fit into any other category. Our main focus here will be on smart garage door controllers and smart water valves. These are super convenient and useful devices that make a great addition to almost any home. A smart garage door controller connects with your existing garage door motor so that you can open and close your garage door from anywhere or have it open and close automatically with smart scenes. Smart water valves are an excellent emergency tool that you can use to shut-off your water supply in the event of a flood or leak. Many users will pair them with flood sensors for inclusion in smart scenes. Unfortunately for Apple HomeKit users, we don't have any HomeKit devices for this section, and we will only be covering Z-Wave variants in this section.

Check out these miscellaneous smart home devices!

Model
Notes
Honeywell GDCK Garage Door Controller Kit From Resideo. Garage door controller kit that includes Honeywell 5877 Relay Module, Honeywell 5822T Tilt Sensor, and a SSA-1 Siren/Strobe. For use w/ Lyric and LYNX Touch only. Cannot be used with LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door Motors
GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Garage Door Controller From Nortek. Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener. Includes tilt sensor for detecting current position of garage door. Cannot be used with Lyric or LYNX Touch.
Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve & Meter From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve w/ Meter. Water valve allows you to shut off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Meter tracks your water usage for energy savings and efficiency. Typically installed by a plumber.
Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Smart Water Valve From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve. Used to shut-off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Typically installed by a plumber.


Reach Out to Us!

Got any questions about which smart home devices are right for you, or are you not sure about compatibility? Reach out to us! Our team is happy to help you make your holiday shopping season as easy and as stress-free as possible. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And as always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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One of the biggest benefits of alarm monitoring service is that most plans include access to an interactive monitoring and automation platform for controlling your system and smart home automation devices remotely. This is extremely convenient, and it can offer you great peace of mind!

2gig gc3e verizon lte 10 1 kit wireless encrypted alarm system 1

Most Alarm Grid monitoring plans will include access to either Total Connect 2.0 (TC2) or Alarm.com (ADC). TC2 is for Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Systems, while ADC is for systems from other manufacturers, such as Qolsys, 2GIG, and DSC. For TC2, your system can use an internet communicator, a cellular communicator, or dual-path communication with both internet and cellular. But a panel using ADC must have a cellular communicator that is activated and registered. IP (internet protocol) connectivity is optional for Alarm.com.

Before buying a system and/or communicator, you should consider which monitoring plan is right for you. In order to control your automation devices through an interactive platform, you must have monitoring plan of Silver or higher. Keep in mind that anyone using Alarm.com will have a Gold Plan or higher, as Gold is needed for cellular connectivity. You can choose between central station plans for automatic emergency dispatch, and self plans where it is up to the end user to request help. This guide will tell you all about our monitoring plans.

The real fun begins once you have the right system, communicator, and monitoring plan. By accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you can control your system remotely by using a convenient app on your phone, or by opening a web browser. It is also possible to check the status of your system or an automation device, which is great if you forgetful and forgot whether or not you took proper action before leaving home. Some of the situations where this may be convenient can include:

  • Making sure you armed your system before leaving.
  • Turning ON your front porch lights if you're arriving home late.
  • Checking to see that you locked your front door before heading out.
  • Turning OFF your thermostat to save money while you're away.
  • Making sure your garage door is closed if you forgot.

Alarm Grid offers many smart home automation devices that allow for easy integration with a security system. Most notable are Z-Wave devices. The great thing about Z-Wave is that the smart home protocol integrates very nicely with most of the security systems we support. It is super easy to build a robust and reliable Z-Wave network of interconnected devices. Most of the new wireless systems we sell will readily support Z-Wave devices right out of the box.

We understand that this can be a lot to wrap your head around all at once. That is why we're here to help! We invite you to contact us so that we can help you plan the ideal alarm system and automation network for your home. The best way to reach us is to either email our team at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our planning team will be happy to help you every step of the way in building your new state-of-the-art system. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

One of the biggest benefits of alarm monitoring service is that most plans include access to an interactive monitoring and automation platform for controlling your system and smart home automation devices remotely. This is extremely convenient, and it can offer you great peace of mind!

2gig gc3e verizon lte 10 1 kit wireless encrypted alarm system 1

Most Alarm Grid monitoring plans will include access to either Total Connect 2.0 (TC2) or Alarm.com (ADC). TC2 is for Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Systems, while ADC is for systems from other manufacturers, such as Qolsys, 2GIG, and DSC. For TC2, your system can use an internet communicator, a cellular communicator, or dual-path communication with both internet and cellular. But a panel using ADC must have a cellular communicator that is activated and registered. IP (internet protocol) connectivity is optional for Alarm.com.

Before buying a system and/or communicator, you should consider which monitoring plan is right for you. In order to control your automation devices through an interactive platform, you must have monitoring plan of Silver or higher. Keep in mind that anyone using Alarm.com will have a Gold Plan or higher, as Gold is needed for cellular connectivity. You can choose between central station plans for automatic emergency dispatch, and self plans where it is up to the end user to request help. This guide will tell you all about our monitoring plans.

The real fun begins once you have the right system, communicator, and monitoring plan. By accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you can control your system remotely by using a convenient app on your phone, or by opening a web browser. It is also possible to check the status of your system or an automation device, which is great if you forgetful and forgot whether or not you took proper action before leaving home. Some of the situations where this may be convenient can include:

  • Making sure you armed your system before leaving.
  • Turning ON your front porch lights if you're arriving home late.
  • Checking to see that you locked your front door before heading out.
  • Turning OFF your thermostat to save money while you're away.
  • Making sure your garage door is closed if you forgot.

Alarm Grid offers many smart home automation devices that allow for easy integration with a security system. Most notable are Z-Wave devices. The great thing about Z-Wave is that the smart home protocol integrates very nicely with most of the security systems we support. It is super easy to build a robust and reliable Z-Wave network of interconnected devices. Most of the new wireless systems we sell will readily support Z-Wave devices right out of the box.

We understand that this can be a lot to wrap your head around all at once. That is why we're here to help! We invite you to contact us so that we can help you plan the ideal alarm system and automation network for your home. The best way to reach us is to either email our team at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our planning team will be happy to help you every step of the way in building your new state-of-the-art system. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted By

According to a recent report, most Americans have yet to embrace smart home technology. Just 35% of US households have at least one smart home device. Needless to say, adding some automation devices to your home can really put you ahead of the game and make your life more convenient.

Gocontrol ws15z5 1 z wave smart light switch

The recent study included smart home devices such as security cameras, smart doorbell cameras, smart lighting devices, smart controllers, smart door locks, smart garage door controllers, smart thermostats, and more. The findings state that security cameras represent the most popular smart home item, as they are used by 15% of households. But doorbell cameras are showing the fastest growth, as their use has increased by 64% in the past year.

It should also come as no surprise that the study found high income homes more likely to feature smart home devices. Specifically, it was found that households with an annual income of $150,000 or higher are the most likely to own a broad portfolio of smart home devices. While it's true that smart home devices are generally seen as "luxury items", they are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible to more households than ever before.

While we suspected that the prevalence of smart home devices would be somewhat lacking, we did not expect the figures to be this low. It's clear that there is still much potential for the growth of the smart home industry. With about 65% of households reporting no smart home devices, we are sure that many people could really make their lives more convenient by adding just a few. Security-oriented devices like cameras can also provide major benefits.

What many people don't realize is that smart home devices are actually more accessible than ever. They aren't only restricted to the wealthy. Most middle class households can also get started with home automation. And it doesn't mean you need to deck out your entire house with smart home devices. Many users start small. Maybe you would just add some smart lights to an important room, or you could install a camera to monitor the entrance.

Alarm Grid offers many security systems that feature outstanding smart home integrations, such as the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And with the right monitoring plan, you can even control your smart devices remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Whether your smart home plans are big or small, we're here to help you get started. There are all sorts of possibilities when you explore the exciting world of smart home automation!

If you want to learn more about how you can create an affordable and effective smart home to make your life more convenient, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Also check out our monitoring page to learn more about the services we offer. If you decide to email us, then keep in mind that our hours for responding via email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you build a convenient smart home that you and your family will love!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

According to a recent report, most Americans have yet to embrace smart home technology. Just 35% of US households have at least one smart home device. Needless to say, adding some automation devices to your home can really put you ahead of the game and make your life more convenient.

Gocontrol ws15z5 1 z wave smart light switch

The recent study included smart home devices such as security cameras, smart doorbell cameras, smart lighting devices, smart controllers, smart door locks, smart garage door controllers, smart thermostats, and more. The findings state that security cameras represent the most popular smart home item, as they are used by 15% of households. But doorbell cameras are showing the fastest growth, as their use has increased by 64% in the past year.

It should also come as no surprise that the study found high income homes more likely to feature smart home devices. Specifically, it was found that households with an annual income of $150,000 or higher are the most likely to own a broad portfolio of smart home devices. While it's true that smart home devices are generally seen as "luxury items", they are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible to more households than ever before.

While we suspected that the prevalence of smart home devices would be somewhat lacking, we did not expect the figures to be this low. It's clear that there is still much potential for the growth of the smart home industry. With about 65% of households reporting no smart home devices, we are sure that many people could really make their lives more convenient by adding just a few. Security-oriented devices like cameras can also provide major benefits.

What many people don't realize is that smart home devices are actually more accessible than ever. They aren't only restricted to the wealthy. Most middle class households can also get started with home automation. And it doesn't mean you need to deck out your entire house with smart home devices. Many users start small. Maybe you would just add some smart lights to an important room, or you could install a camera to monitor the entrance.

Alarm Grid offers many security systems that feature outstanding smart home integrations, such as the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And with the right monitoring plan, you can even control your smart devices remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Whether your smart home plans are big or small, we're here to help you get started. There are all sorts of possibilities when you explore the exciting world of smart home automation!

If you want to learn more about how you can create an affordable and effective smart home to make your life more convenient, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Also check out our monitoring page to learn more about the services we offer. If you decide to email us, then keep in mind that our hours for responding via email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you build a convenient smart home that you and your family will love!

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With Father's Day right around the corner (Sunday, June 21st), we thought it'd be a good time to suggest some security and automation gifts to surprise the dad in your life. You don't need to get your dad another neck-tie this year. We've got some neat gifts that dad is sure to love!


The Gift of Security!

If dad doesn't have a security system yet, then he's really missing out. You can have peace of mind in knowing that his home is safe while he's out doing dad stuff like golfing, fishing, or going to a bbq. Maybe your dad thinks he doesn't need security? Well, you could remind him of a big fat insurance discount that he could get by getting his home monitored. That will excite him even more than a weekend trip to the hardware store.

We have lots of great panels available, though the most popular right now are the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. These are both wireless panels that are very easy to set up, even for the dad who doesn't know his way around a tool-kit. You won't hear any swear words coming out of the work shed when dad goes to set up his new system. And he'll probably want to show it off to all the neighbors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system


Shopping on a Budget?

Okay, totally understand if you're strapped for cash and can't drop a few hundred dollars on a brand-new security system. But just because you're looking to spend $30 rather than $300 doesn't mean you can't make dad smile. If your dad already has a system, then why not get him a new sensor or two? Door and window contacts are always affordable. Just get a model that works with dad's security system. The VERSA-2GIG and the VERSA-GE are both extremely popular, and they won't break the bank!

Maybe you've already surprised dad with a contact sensor before? You could always check out some motion sensors. These are great for knowing if someone is snooping around the basement or the garage. Again, you want to make sure you get a model compatible with dad's system. Popular options include the Honeywell SiXPIR, the 2GIG PIR1-345, and the DSC PG9914. And if you aren't sure which models will work with your dad's system, just reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help!

2gig pir1 345

Automation Excitement!

If dad already has a wireless system, then chances are that it doubles as an automation controller. You can surprise dad with some new Z-Wave automation devices for him to pair with his system. Lighting devices are always a great choice. Your dad will be able to turn the lights ON and OFF without getting up, and he can create smart scenes for automatic control. And a great thing about smart lights - they don't break the bank!

Your dad might like an in-wall switch as a nice weekend installation project. Some of our favorite in-wall switches include the GE 14318 and the Resideo Z5SWITCH. Or if your dad is not into wiring, you can get him a plug-in lamp module like the GE 28170 or the Resideo Z5DIMPID. And the great thing about these Z-Wave devices is that they are universally compatible and will work with any system that operates as a Z-Wave controller!

Maybe the smart lighting game has already been introduced to dad's house? In that case, you could make his day with a different automation device like a Z-Wave thermostat. Our favorites right now are the Honeywell T6 PRO and the Alarm.com ADC-T3000. Or if you really want to get your dad something a little more unique, then you could try a smart water valve like the Alarm.com ADC-SWV100. This can be very useful in preventing dad from experiencing the headache of a flooded basement or laundry room.

Ge 28170 side of z wave plug in smart dimmer

Help Dad Keep an Eye on the Neighbors

We all know that dads like to know what's going on outside. That is why we'd be foolish not to recommend some outdoor security cameras. These devices are actually easy to install, and they can give your dad a good look at the front lawn while he's tucked away in his man cave. You'll want to consider whether his system supports Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. For ADC, we like the Alarm.com ADC-V723. If dad has TC2, then go with the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1.

Maybe dad isn't ready to upgrade to video monitoring quite yet? Don't worry! He can still make sure the neighbor kids stay off the lawn with a different type of camera. One popular option is to use a SkyBell Video Doorbell. These can be used without needing to upgrade to a full-on video monitoring plan. There are models for Total Connect 2.0, and others for Alarm.com. Another possibility is to look into the Arlo Cameras that do not use monitoring service through ADC or TC2.

Honeywell lyric oc1 standalone wifi outdoor 1080p hd total conne

The Best Gift of All!

We've saved the best gift idea for last. It isn't something you can hold in your hand, but it's something that every dad will love, even if they have all the security gadgets under the sun. That is the gift of alarm monitoring service! Why not offer to cover dad's monitoring bill for the next year? That is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Talk it over with dad, and when you're ready, the two of you can contact us to make the arrangements. We'll charge your card every month, with no added fees or sudden surprises. Meanwhile, your dad will be able to spend his money on other important things like new golf clubs or something. Oh dads....

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. This will teach you about the different plans offered from Alarm Grid so that you can choose the perfect one for your dad's needs. Once you're ready, shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 to set things up. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team will be thrilled to help you give your dad the gift of home security! We look forward to hearing from you!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

With Father's Day right around the corner (Sunday, June 21st), we thought it'd be a good time to suggest some security and automation gifts to surprise the dad in your life. You don't need to get your dad another neck-tie this year. We've got some neat gifts that dad is sure to love!


The Gift of Security!

If dad doesn't have a security system yet, then he's really missing out. You can have peace of mind in knowing that his home is safe while he's out doing dad stuff like golfing, fishing, or going to a bbq. Maybe your dad thinks he doesn't need security? Well, you could remind him of a big fat insurance discount that he could get by getting his home monitored. That will excite him even more than a weekend trip to the hardware store.

We have lots of great panels available, though the most popular right now are the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. These are both wireless panels that are very easy to set up, even for the dad who doesn't know his way around a tool-kit. You won't hear any swear words coming out of the work shed when dad goes to set up his new system. And he'll probably want to show it off to all the neighbors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system


Shopping on a Budget?

Okay, totally understand if you're strapped for cash and can't drop a few hundred dollars on a brand-new security system. But just because you're looking to spend $30 rather than $300 doesn't mean you can't make dad smile. If your dad already has a system, then why not get him a new sensor or two? Door and window contacts are always affordable. Just get a model that works with dad's security system. The VERSA-2GIG and the VERSA-GE are both extremely popular, and they won't break the bank!

Maybe you've already surprised dad with a contact sensor before? You could always check out some motion sensors. These are great for knowing if someone is snooping around the basement or the garage. Again, you want to make sure you get a model compatible with dad's system. Popular options include the Honeywell SiXPIR, the 2GIG PIR1-345, and the DSC PG9914. And if you aren't sure which models will work with your dad's system, just reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help!

2gig pir1 345

Automation Excitement!

If dad already has a wireless system, then chances are that it doubles as an automation controller. You can surprise dad with some new Z-Wave automation devices for him to pair with his system. Lighting devices are always a great choice. Your dad will be able to turn the lights ON and OFF without getting up, and he can create smart scenes for automatic control. And a great thing about smart lights - they don't break the bank!

Your dad might like an in-wall switch as a nice weekend installation project. Some of our favorite in-wall switches include the GE 14318 and the Resideo Z5SWITCH. Or if your dad is not into wiring, you can get him a plug-in lamp module like the GE 28170 or the Resideo Z5DIMPID. And the great thing about these Z-Wave devices is that they are universally compatible and will work with any system that operates as a Z-Wave controller!

Maybe the smart lighting game has already been introduced to dad's house? In that case, you could make his day with a different automation device like a Z-Wave thermostat. Our favorites right now are the Honeywell T6 PRO and the Alarm.com ADC-T3000. Or if you really want to get your dad something a little more unique, then you could try a smart water valve like the Alarm.com ADC-SWV100. This can be very useful in preventing dad from experiencing the headache of a flooded basement or laundry room.

Ge 28170 side of z wave plug in smart dimmer

Help Dad Keep an Eye on the Neighbors

We all know that dads like to know what's going on outside. That is why we'd be foolish not to recommend some outdoor security cameras. These devices are actually easy to install, and they can give your dad a good look at the front lawn while he's tucked away in his man cave. You'll want to consider whether his system supports Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. For ADC, we like the Alarm.com ADC-V723. If dad has TC2, then go with the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1.

Maybe dad isn't ready to upgrade to video monitoring quite yet? Don't worry! He can still make sure the neighbor kids stay off the lawn with a different type of camera. One popular option is to use a SkyBell Video Doorbell. These can be used without needing to upgrade to a full-on video monitoring plan. There are models for Total Connect 2.0, and others for Alarm.com. Another possibility is to look into the Arlo Cameras that do not use monitoring service through ADC or TC2.

Honeywell lyric oc1 standalone wifi outdoor 1080p hd total conne

The Best Gift of All!

We've saved the best gift idea for last. It isn't something you can hold in your hand, but it's something that every dad will love, even if they have all the security gadgets under the sun. That is the gift of alarm monitoring service! Why not offer to cover dad's monitoring bill for the next year? That is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Talk it over with dad, and when you're ready, the two of you can contact us to make the arrangements. We'll charge your card every month, with no added fees or sudden surprises. Meanwhile, your dad will be able to spend his money on other important things like new golf clubs or something. Oh dads....

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. This will teach you about the different plans offered from Alarm Grid so that you can choose the perfect one for your dad's needs. Once you're ready, shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 to set things up. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team will be thrilled to help you give your dad the gift of home security! We look forward to hearing from you!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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A minor update was recently made on Alarm.com to allow end users to view the recent activity history for their smart lights. Any Z-Wave light programmed with your Alarm.com Security System will now appear on the Activity page when it is turned ON/OFF or has its brightness level adjusted.


If you are not familiar with the Activity page on Alarm.com, it is a useful tool that lets you see recent events involving both your security system and your Alarm.com account. You can check this page to see when your system was armed, disarmed, or went into alarm mode. And thanks to a new update from Alarm.com, users will now be able to see the activity history for their smart lights.

According to Alarm.com, their Activity page will now display events for lights being turned ON and OFF. Alarm.com will also display when a dimmable light has had its brightness level adjusted. Each documented lighting event will include the exact hour and minute of the day when it took place. If you ever need to prove that the lights were Turned ON or OFF at a specific time, Alarm.com can now serve as hard evidence.

While this new feature might not seem like big news, it can be quite useful for monitoring your home or business. A light being turned ON or OFF at an unexpected time could be something worth investigating. And having the exact timestamp for the lighting activity can serve as strong evidence in many situations.

Accessing the Activity page on your Alarm.com account is super easy. Simply login to your Alarm.com account through a web browser. Then click the Activity button on the left-hand side. This will take you to the Activity page so that you can review all recent system activity. Remember that other events like Arming, Disarming, Alarm Events, and logging into your Alarm.com account will also be displayed on this screen.

The picture below shows the activity page for our demo account. As you can see, it now shows light activity for a light named Office and another called Hallway.


You can also use the Activity page to search for specific events and download your Activity log in PDF or CSV format. This is a great place to quickly review all the activity on your alarm system. It can be really useful for determining a true timeline of the events that occurred in your home or business.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com Activity page, or if you are interested in signing up for monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

A minor update was recently made on Alarm.com to allow end users to view the recent activity history for their smart lights. Any Z-Wave light programmed with your Alarm.com Security System will now appear on the Activity page when it is turned ON/OFF or has its brightness level adjusted.


If you are not familiar with the Activity page on Alarm.com, it is a useful tool that lets you see recent events involving both your security system and your Alarm.com account. You can check this page to see when your system was armed, disarmed, or went into alarm mode. And thanks to a new update from Alarm.com, users will now be able to see the activity history for their smart lights.

According to Alarm.com, their Activity page will now display events for lights being turned ON and OFF. Alarm.com will also display when a dimmable light has had its brightness level adjusted. Each documented lighting event will include the exact hour and minute of the day when it took place. If you ever need to prove that the lights were Turned ON or OFF at a specific time, Alarm.com can now serve as hard evidence.

While this new feature might not seem like big news, it can be quite useful for monitoring your home or business. A light being turned ON or OFF at an unexpected time could be something worth investigating. And having the exact timestamp for the lighting activity can serve as strong evidence in many situations.

Accessing the Activity page on your Alarm.com account is super easy. Simply login to your Alarm.com account through a web browser. Then click the Activity button on the left-hand side. This will take you to the Activity page so that you can review all recent system activity. Remember that other events like Arming, Disarming, Alarm Events, and logging into your Alarm.com account will also be displayed on this screen.

The picture below shows the activity page for our demo account. As you can see, it now shows light activity for a light named Office and another called Hallway.


You can also use the Activity page to search for specific events and download your Activity log in PDF or CSV format. This is a great place to quickly review all the activity on your alarm system. It can be really useful for determining a true timeline of the events that occurred in your home or business.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com Activity page, or if you are interested in signing up for monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments