Wireless Alarm Control Panels Posts

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We recently discussed the end of Interlogix and how the company will soon be ceasing business in North America. We know that many users will be looking for a replacement for Interlogix Panels. Today, we will discuss how you can easily replace an Interlogix Panel with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

Interlogix Systems have been widely used in the security industry for many years. We want to start by saying that existing Interlogix Panels will continue to be supported by Alarm.com. As long as your Interlogix System has a compatible LTE cellular communicator, you can continue using the system well into the very distant future. And that is a perfectly acceptable option if you are looking for a cheap and effective solution for alarm monitoring.

But if you want to take home or business security to the next level, then now is a great time to upgrade to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This state-of-the-art security system offers fantastic features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, live-streaming for compatible Alarm.com Cameras, built-in Z-Wave Plus functionality, support for up to 128 wireless zones, and so much more. And it is all controlled using a beautiful 7" touchscreen display.

Qolsys offers three (3) versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus. If you are replacing an Interlogix Panel, then you will want to get the 319.5 MHz version. This is the version with the gold and white box shown above. The 319.5 MHz will be able to support all of your existing Interlogix 319.5 MHz Sensors. This means that you can upgrade to a brand-new high-tech security system, while still being able to maintain your existing sensors that work perfectly well. How cool is that?

If you do want to upgrade to newer wireless sensors, then you can also use PowerG Sensors with the system. PowerG Sensors offer an incredible wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in an open air environment. They also utilize military-grade 128-bit AES encryption to prevent any wireless hacking or takeover attempts. This also protects the sensors from any RF jamming techniques that could disable legacy sensors.

Qolsys also offers their own 319.5 MHz sensors if you need to get some new wireless devices for the system. These sensors can be easily enrolled with the panel just any existing Interlogix Wireless Sensor. Qolsys even offers their own "S-Line" Encrypted Sensors for added wireless protection. These sensors use a rolling code encryption for added protection. These devices will make for a great addition to any 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus!

We also understand that some users may be upgrading from hardwired Interlogix Panels, such as an Interlogix Concord 4 or an Interlogix NetworX Series Panel. Qolsys considered this, and they have a solution. The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F is a wired to wireless converter that will allow you to use existing wired sensors with your new IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Just mount the IQ Hardwire 16-F in-place of the old panel, and enroll your existing sensors!

Whether you have a wireless Interlogix Panel like an Interlogix Simon XT, an Interlogix Simon XTi, or an Interlogix Simon XTi-5, or you have a hardwired Interlogix Panel like a Concord 4 or NetworX Series System, Qolsys has the solution for you. And if you choose to keep your existing Interlogix Panel, that's fine too. We have compatible communicators available on our website, and we can help you get the system running with our monitoring services.

If you would like to learn more about your options, or if you would like to discuss our monitoring plans, we invite you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Just tell us what you have (or what you would like to have!), and we will be happy to help you as soon as possible. Remember that our support hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind when you email us. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect security solution!

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Hi DIYers! We are thrilled to announce that the 2GIG GC3e is now available for purchase from Alarm Grid. Just a couple weeks ago we blogged about the new 2GIG GC2e System. Well now the other new wireless encrypted system from 2GIG is available as well. This is truly an exciting day!


The 2GIG GC3e Wireless Encrypted Security System is an upgrade over the existing 2GIG GC3 System in virtually every conceivable aspect. If you are already used to the original GC3, then you will have no problem transitioning to the GC3e. The system features a similar design, and it provides a familiar layout and user interface (UI) to help new users feel comfortable. But with its refreshed look, the GC3e fits in even better with most decor. End users are sure to love the sleeker design of this advanced new panel. Plus the 7" capacitive touchscreen looks absolutely beautiful. You can even set up a slideshow feature so that you and your guests can enjoy some pleasant pictures!

Of course, the GC3e is more than just a pretty face. It also provides support for the upcoming 2GIG Encrypted Sensors. Along with the GC2e, this panel will be the first-ever release from 2GIG with support for these devices. Wireless encryption is huge, as it makes these sensors virtually impossible for others to hack or takeover. This is crucial for anyone who wants to achieve the highest level of security possible for their home or business. Although the 2GIG Encrypted Sensor Lineup is still in development, you can currently use the existing 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and the Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors with the GC3e. That's right, the system is backwards compatible! Up to 100 wireless zones can be added to the 2GIG GC3e.

The 2GIG Smart Areas feature has also returned for the GC3e. This allows users to set up four (4) distinct partitions. If you aren't familiar with partitioning, it refers to the ability to section-off an alarm system into multiple sections. You can control each section individually, without having to bypass a large number of zones. For example, you might arm one partition, while leaving the rest of the system disabled so that people can continue to move throughout those areas. 2GIG refers to these partitions as "Smart Areas", and each one can have its own access codes and zones. This feature is perfect for use in offices, multi-family homes, guest homes, and rental properties. And don't worry, you can still bypass individual zones within each partition when needed.

Z-Wave Plus functionality comes built right into the 2GIG GC3e. Its 500-Series Chipset lets you take full advantage of all of the great features that come with Z-Wave Plus. This includes extended wireless range and enhanced battery life with Z-Wave Plus devices. You can still use classic Z-Wave devices with the system as well. Just keep in mind that you will need to use Z-Wave Plus peripherals if you want maximum battery life and range. And by getting the system connected with Alarm.com, you will be able to control your smart home devices remotely from your Android or iOS device. You can also create smart scenes to have your Z-Wave devices activate automatically based on a schedule or with certain system events.

In order to access Alarm.com and receive alarm monitoring service, you will need two things. The first is an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator. You can choose from an AT&T LTE Communicator (coming soon!) and a Verizon LTE Communicator (available now). These modules are super easy to install, and they will provide your GC3e with the most reliable monitoring service available. Making things even better is that the system already comes with a built-in WIFI card. Once you add a cellular communicator, the GC3e will become dual-path ready. All you will need then is a monitoring plan. You will need a Gold or Platinum Level Plan from Alarm Grid to unlock the system's full potential. More information can be found on our alarm monitoring page.

In addition to its 100 wireless zones, the 2GIG GC3e supports two (2) on-board wired zones, up to 32 keyfob devices, up to eight (8) keypads (choose from 2GIG SP1, 2GIG SP2, and 2GIG PAD1-345), and up to 100 unique user codes. The GC3e receives power from a 1.7A 14VDC transformer that comes included. However, you will still need to provide your own wiring. We recommend using a Honeywell LT-Cable. Firmware updates for the GC3e can be pushed down over-the-air (OTA) from Alarm.com or applied locally using a USB drive.

If you have any questions about the 2GIG GC3e, you can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect alarm system for your home or business!

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Hi DIYers! A few months ago, we blogged about the upcoming encrypted systems from 2GIG. Well the first one is here, as you can now buy the 2GIG GC2e Wireless Encrypted Security System from the Alarm Grid website! We are certainly very excited about this new panel, and we're sure you are too.


The 2GIG GC2e is essentially an upgraded version of the older 2GIG Go!Control GC2. The original GC2 has served as an effective and reliable alarm system for many years, and users who are just now getting into the market now have a great new option available to them. The GC2e offers a user interface (UI) and overall design that original GC2 users will be familiar and comfortable with. This makes it super easy to transition over to the new GC2e System for your home or business.

The main highlight of the GC2e is the ability to support the upcoming lineup for encrypted sensors from 2GIG. These will be the first-ever encrypted wireless sensors from 2GIG, and users will appreciate the added protection that these devices provide. Encrypted sensors are virtually impossible to defeat or takeover wirelessly. This is very important in a world where savvy intruders are able to use advanced technology to hack and take control of non-encrypted sensors.

With a GC2e System and encrypted sensors, you can put these concerns to rest. Please note that the 2GIG Encrypted Sensors are not yet available for purchase. However, we expect them to be available very soon. In the meantime, you can still use the GC2e System with the existing 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and the Honeywell 5800 Sensors. The GC2e is backwards compatible to support these devices. Just be aware that the system will only utilize encryption when it is paired with the upcoming encrypted 2GIG Sensors.

But the GC2e offers more upgrades than just support for encrypted sensors. It features an updated design that looks cleaner and more modern than the original GC2 System. Users will also appreciate the larger touchscreen, which now measures 5" across. By retaining the existing UI, existing GC2 users will know exactly what they start using the GC2e. If you ever owned the GC2 System in the past and are now looking to get back into the market, then the GC2e is a great choice.

The system also has some internal upgrades as well. The system now supports Z-Wave Plus technology with its 500-Series Chipset. This means that all Z-Wave Plus devices paired with the system will be able to utilize their maximum wireless range and battery life. You can also use classic Z-Wave devices with the system without issue. Just remember that you will only get the extended range and increased battery life with Z-Wave Plus devices.

Anyone who purchases the GC2e will want to make sure they get an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator for the system as well. This will provide the system with fast and reliable connectivity across a cellular network. The GC2e System actually supports the same existing cellular communicators used with the older GC2 System. We strongly recommend choosing an LTE cellular communicator for the system. Cellular service providers have stated that they plan to support their LTE networks well into the very distant future. With an LTE communicator, you can keep your GC2e monitored for many years to come.

We recommend using one of the following cellular communicators with the GC2e:

A cellular communicator is also necessary for getting the system connected with Alarm.com. This is an interactive monitoring and automation platform that you can access from a web browser or remotely using the Alarm.com Mobile App. The service will allow you to arm and disarm your system, check current system status, and control your Z-Wave smart home devices from virtually anywhere in the world. Please be aware that you will also need a Gold or Platinum Level Plan from Alarm Grid to access ADC. More information can be found here.

As far as some basic specifications go, the system offers support for up to 60 wireless zones, a single hardwired zone, eight (8) remote control keyfobs, a total of four (4) keypads (2GIG TS1 and/or 2GIG PAD1-345), a wired siren output, and up to 64 user codes. The system is powered using a 1.7A 14VDC transformer that comes included. No wiring is included to connect the transformer to the panel. But you can get a Honeywell LT-Cable for this task. The system receives firmware updates over-the-air (OTA) from Alarm.com, or you can apply updates locally using a compatible updater tool.

We also know that many customers are eagerly awaiting the release of the 2GIG GC3e as well. This will be the successor to the current 2GIG GC3, and it will also provide support for the upcoming encrypted sensor lineup. Unfortunately, the 2GIG GC3e is not yet available for purchase. But we believe that it will be arriving before the end of summer. So please keep checking out blog for further updates.

If you have any questions about the 2GIG GC2e, you can send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you and answering all your questions about this exciting new system!

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Hi DIYers! We recently made a post that compared wireless systems with hardwired ones. We ultimately concluded that most end users are better-suited with a wireless system. If you have decided that you need a wireless home security system, this buyer's guide can help you review the options.

Remember, no matter which system you buy, you will need an alarm monitoring plan to go along with with it. Please review our alarm monitoring page for more information. Below are some of the best wireless security systems on the market today and what makes them so great:

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is arguably the most robust alarm system on the market today. Each version provides support for PowerG 915 MHz Sensors and a choice of one legacy sensor type (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz). The PowerG Sensors are particularly renowned for their ability to be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ2+ System in open air. This is also one of the few wireless all-in-one panels with the ability to display the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras right from its screen. The panel also includes a built-in LTE cellular communicator (AT&T or Verizon) and a fully functional Z-Wave Plus Controller. In fact, this is one of the very few systems where virtually no add-ons are needed. However, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is one of the more expensive wireless panels available on the market. But users will certainly appreciate its sleek, modern design and superb functionality. The system uses Alarm.com as its interactive service platform, and it can readily connect with the service. All versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus can be seen here.

Choose the IQ Panel 2 Plus if:

  • You want the remarkable signal range that comes with PowerG Sensors.
  • You want the ability to easily bring over existing wireless sensors (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz) with your new security system.
  • You want the ability to view your security cameras right from your panel.
  • You don't mind paying top-dollar for an alarm system.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is still the flagship HomeKit security system from Honeywell, and the time-tested company has once-again produced an excellent panel. The Lyric is perhaps the best system on the market today for use with Apple HomeKit. It can pair natively with HomeKit in order to provide all of the functionality that a user would expect with the feature. The Lyric System also has its own lineup of encrypted sensors, called the Honeywell SiX Series. Additionally, it is backwards compatible with the Honeywell 5800 Series. Another factor that separates the Lyric from other systems is its ability to be used with Total Connect 2.0. This service is designed exclusively for Honeywell Alarm Systems, and it offers similar functionality to that of Alarm.com. The system's built-in WIFI card allows it to readily connect with the service. One downside to the Lyric is that it only includes a Z-Wave classic controller as opposed to a Z-Wave Plus controller. While it can support Z-Wave Plus devices, they will only have the capabilities of Z-Wave classic devices when used with this system. Please note, a separate Lyric Cellular Module is needed for cellular connectivity.

Choose the Lyric Controller if:

  • You plan to use your alarm system with Apple HomeKit.
  • You prefer using Total Connect 2.0 over Alarm.com.
  • You want to use encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors.
  • You don't require a Z-Wave Plus controller.

2GIG GC3

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenThe 2GIG GC3 just gave itself a major upgrade in the form of partitioning support. This makes the GC3 the first ever AIO wireless system to support partitioning. 2GIG refers to this feature as "smart areas", and the system on the latest firmware, and up to four of these areas can be supported. Beyond that, the GC3 is also highly regarded for its strong build quality. That's not to say the other panels are lacking in that department, but the GC3 is perhaps the sturdiest system we have ever worked with. Its touchscreen controls are extremely responsive, and its full-color 7-inch display is a joy to look at. The system can use 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. One weakness of the system is that it does not support any type of encrypted sensors at this time. But it does include a built-in Z-Wave Plus Controller for smart home devices. Like the IQ Panel 2 Plus, the system uses the Alarm.com service. But the user will need to buy a separate GC3 cellular communicator to use ADC.

Choose the GC3 if:

  • You need partitioning support.
  • You want a system with superb build-quality.
  • You want to use the Alarm.com platform.
  • You don't need encrypted wireless sensors.

2GIG GC2

2gig cp21 345 front

The 2GIG GC2 is our pick as a "budget" security system. We know that many people getting into home security will not need all of the advanced features that the state-of-the-art systems have to offer. That is where is the 2GIG GC2 comes into play. With the right support, it can still serve as an extremely viable option for many users. The panel features a 3.75" by 2.25" touchscreen with very responsive controls. This is considerably smaller than the 7-inch touchscreen displays of the other panels on this list, but it will work just fine for many users. The panel can support up to 60 wireless zones. Again, this is considerably less robust than the other systems, but it will be perfectly acceptable for most smaller and medium-sized homes. The system includes a Z-Wave classic controller for supporting smart home automation devices. In order to get the GC2 connected with Alarm.com, a separate GC2 cellular communicator is needed. Overall, if you're looking for a new security system at a reasonable price, you can't go wrong with the 2GIG GC2.

Choose the GC2 if:

  • You're shopping for a system on a budget.
  • You want a simple, yet capable alarm system.
  • You don't need support for as many wireless zones.
  • You don't need a larger touchscreen display.

If you still need help deciding on a wireless system, don't hesitate to reach out to us for support! You may email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're in the market for a new home security system, you are likely faced with the decision to go hardwired or wireless. Both options have their merits, but it really comes down to the needs of the user. But we will say that in most cases, a homeowner will want to go the wireless route.

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Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

That's not to say that hardwired home security systems aren't right in certain situations. It's just that they offer greater challenges than wireless systems. Most users will want the convenience and ease-of-use that hardwired systems simply cannot offer. Perhaps the most obvious factor is that wireless systems are much easier to install and get started with than hardwired systems. This can be very important for DIY users who don't want to hire a professional installer.

Many wireless alarm systems can be installed without even drilling any holes. Although they can certainly be mounted, most wireless systems support desk stands that allow them to be conveniently rested on any desk or table. Wireless systems can also be readily used with wireless sensors. These sensors can often be mounted using double-sided foam tape, thereby eliminating the need to drill holes.

On the other hand, a hardwired system will almost certainly need to be mounted. These systems provide ready support for hardwired sensors. Any hardwired sensor will need to have a wire that is connected directly with the system. This can mean running wires across the entire premises for a complete hardwired setup. Although most wired systems can be configured to use wireless sensors, they will usually require a separately purchased wireless receiver to make this possible.

Honeywell 5881enh unlimited zone wireless receiverThe next consideration that a user should make is the ease of use for the system. Most users find that wireless panels are much easier to use and program. These systems often feature built-in touchscreen controls and menus that are easy to navigate. With some minor instructions, an end user will be able to set up their wireless system in its entirety. Additionally, the touchscreen navigation will make it easier for the user to perform basic system functions like arming and disarming. This can be very important for users who aren't always the most tech-savvy.

Hardwired systems function differently. These panels typically use external hardwired keypads that are wired-in directly to the panel. Although there are some wired touchscreen keypads, most wired keypads are of the push-button variety. This means that a user will have to enter-in various codes to perform basic system functions. The menus will not be as easy to navigate, and deep-level programming will often require the use of an intricate and sophisticated programming guide. In fact, many users of hardwired systems do not even attempt programming, and they leave the task to a professional installer.


Another advantage that wireless systems offer is that they usually come more "ready" than hardwired systems. That is, wireless systems typically require fewer add-ons than hardwired systems. Many wireless systems come ready-to-go right out of the box. As mentioned earlier, these systems come with integrated touchscreen controls so that no external keypad is needed. Wireless panels also come with built-in wireless receivers so that they can support wireless sensors. If a user wants to use wireless sensors with a hardwired system, they will almost certainly need to add a wireless receiver. Modern wireless panels will also usually come with some type of communicator so that they can readily connect with a central monitoring station. But please note that many wireless systems will still need to have a cellular communicator added for cellular monitoring services.

Hardwired systems don't come nearly as ready. Virtually every system function for a hardwired panel will require some type of add-on. Even basic functionality will require an external keypad. And hardwired systems almost never come with a built-in communicator. Instead, a separate communicator will need to be added and installed if a user wants reliable connectivity with a central station or an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.

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One area where wired systems do reign supreme is adding value to the property. A hardwired system with wired sensors will essentially integrate in with the building itself. This is something you can actually list when selling the building, and it can certainly increase the property's resell value. But a wireless system is not necessarily considered a fixture in the home, and it will not add to the home's value.

However, the upside is that wireless systems can be taken to a new property much more easily than wired systems. The user will just need to unplug the panel, dismount their sensors, put them in a box, and bring them to their new house. But for hardwired systems that have wires running throughout the building, the process is much more challenging. Many wires and sensors may be inaccessible, and a professional might need to remove them. For that reason, it's not much of a surprise that a user will often leave their hardwired system behind when moving to a new property. As mentioned earlier, this can provide the added benefit of increasing the home's resell value.

One final consideration is that wired systems usually require less maintenance than wireless systems. Wired sensors use power provided from the panel, and they will almost never require any type of maintenance. In other words, once a hardwired system has been installed and programmed, a user will almost never need to make any adjustments. The only thing they will need to worry about is replacing the panel's backup battery every few years.

But the wireless sensors that are used with wireless systems cannot receive power directly from the panel. Instead, these sensors rely on internal batteries that must be replaced every few years. If a user has many wireless sensors, they can expect that they will need to replace many sensor batteries at some point in the years to come. Fortunately, the wireless panel will let the user know when the sensor batteries are low and in need of replacing. It's also important to remember that most wireless sensors offer fairly impressive battery lifespans, and batteries will not need to be replaced very often. But this is still more maintenance than what is required with wired systems.

Consideration
Winner
Ease of Installation Wireless Systems
Ease of Use
Wireless Systems
Readiness Wireless Systems
Adding Property Value Wired Systems
Bringing to New Location Wireless Systems
Required Maintenance Wired Systems

In conclusion, most users find that wireless alarm systems are the superior option for home security. They are easier to set up and use, require fewer add-ons and are easier to bring to a new location. But a user might prefer a wired system in situations where they want to add to the property's value or if they want a system that requires as little maintenance as possible.

If you still can't decide between a wired or wireless system, feel free to reach out to us for help! You may email us at any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Or if you prefer to call us, you can reach us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! There's an unfortunate misconception in the security industry that wireless systems aren't as reliable as hardwired systems. A person may look down on wireless systems due to the the potential for hacking, wireless signal ranges and the limited battery life of wireless sensors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemThe reality though is that wireless systems are just as reliable, if not more reliable, than their hardwired counterparts. Wireless systems also offer greater convenience and more flexibility both when setting up a system and when moving it to a new location. As a result, it's not much of a surprise that most new alarm systems are of the wireless variety. With a wireless system, a user will not need to run wires across the building, and installing equipment will be made much easier. Wireless systems also have the added benefit of requiring fewer add-ons than wired systems. But even with these positives, some people may still not be convinced that wireless systems are often the superior options. Today, we're going to break-down some of the biggest misconceptions against wireless systems and prove that they are truly a viable option for home and business security.

A major concern we often hear about with wireless systems is that they could be wirelessly hacked. The fear is that a potential intruder could use specialized equipment to takeover the sensors or the control panel that is used with the system. From there, the intruder could control or disable the system and enter the property uninterrupted. While this is extremely uncommon, it is a legitimate concern for those who require the highest level of security for their home or business. However, wireless hacking is really only possible with older, unencrypted sensors. Many newer alarm systems will support encrypted wireless sensors that are virtually impossible for outsiders to takeover or hack into, even with the most advanced equipment available. The way that encryption works is by having both the panel and the sensors know a unique encryption key. Any information that is sent out is encrypted for maximum security. Once the information is received, it is decrypted using the encryption key. This process is often referred to as a "digital handshake", and it allows for wireless sensors to be some of the most secure in the industry. Some wireless sensors that utilize encryption include the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz Sensors for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems, and the DSC PowerG Sensors.



The next misconception we hear with wireless systems is that the wireless signals are too weak to work reliably. Some users are afraid that even once the sensor has been paired with the system, its signal could weaken over time, and it might not work reliably. This could not be further from the truth. Once a sensor is paired with a system and permanently mounted within in range, it will always work with the system. The key is to not move the system or the sensors around, as it could disrupt the signals. But there's really no reason to do this.

Users should also remember that each sensor has a certain wireless signal range that should be kept in mind when planning the system. For example, Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors have a signal range of about 200 feet away from the system. On the other hand, a DSC 915 MHz PowerG Sensor will have a wireless range of roughly 2,000 feet in open air when used with an IQ Panel 2 Plus! Remember that walls and obstacles can reduce these ranges, as the wireless signal will have a more difficult time reaching the panel. Just make sure that the sensors work reliably from their final locations before you mount them permanently. If wireless range is an issue, then you may be able to overcome the problem by using a compatible wireless repeater. Some examples of wireless repeaters include the Honeywell 5800RP and the DSC PG9920.

A third concern we come across with wireless systems is that wireless sensors offer a limited battery life. Some users ask us what happens if the battery for a wireless sensor suddenly dies. They believe that their security system could randomly stop working all because a battery died. While it's true that not having to rely on batteries is an advantage of hardwired sensors, this does not make wireless systems any less reliable. A wireless sensor that uses batteries would not just suddenly stop working in most cases. Instead, there are multiple preventive measures put in place to keep the user safe.

Whenever a sensor battery is low, it will transmit a warning to the security system. The user will receive this alert on the panel and know to change the battery as soon as possible. In most cases, the user will have a week or longer before the sensor will die. This will give them plenty of time to replace the battery. And if a sensor does ever go offline entirely, the panel will alert the user to the loss of RF supervision. This way, they will know if a sensor is ever not being detected by the panel before it becomes any type of security concern.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and In addition to being more convenient and easier to install, there is one other major advantage that wireless systems offer over wired systems. That is, wireless systems cannot be as easily tampered with. A hardwired sensor can have its line to the panel cut by a potential intruder so that it no longer functions properly. Of course, when this happens, the hardwired system will recognize this and trigger an immediate trouble situation. This makes this a relatively minor security concern. But it would still be very inconvenient to have to rewire the sensor and make sure that its working order has been restored.

A user might even bypass the zone for the time being and leave the system vulnerable until they can properly address the issue. With wireless systems, there are no direct physical connections, and this is much less of an issue. In that sense, because there are no physical connections to cut, an encrypted wireless system might be considered more reliable than a wired system in many cases.

Modern wireless alarm systems offer excellent reliability for homes and businesses. Virtually all of the concerns or doubts regarding wireless setups are unwarranted and not of real concern. Therefore, wireless systems offer excellent reliability and protection for virtually any home or business. They make for a great option for anyone looking get into alarm monitoring. And once you have a wireless system, make sure to sign-up for an alarm monitoring plan from Alarm Grid. We offer varying plans based on the needs of the customer. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime through email at support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at 888-818-7728.

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

Qolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

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Hi DIYers! Today we are very excited to announce that Alarm Grid will now begin selling Interlogix Panels and sensors. Interlogix has offered excellent security products for decades, with their equipment previously being sold under the GE brand. By offering these tremendous panels and sensors, we are providing customers with yet another option in terms of security equipment that they can choose for their home or business.

Interlogix simon xti 5 80 632 3n xt5 front imageAlarm Grid has always taken great pride in providing monitoring support for as many alarm systems as possible. However, we have been strategically selective in terms of the equipment that we offer for sale. This has allowed us to provide comprehensive and detailed support for all of the equipment that we offer. Shortly after Alarm Grid was founded in 2012, we began offering Honeywell equipment because we believed that it was the most accessible for DIY consumers. We later expanded our offerings to include 2GIG equipment and Qolsys equipment as well. Now today, Interlogix represents the fourth major equipment manufacturer to receive full support from Alarm Grid. We can now officially say that we are an Interlogix Dealer.


Customers can browse our site and check out Interlogix panels, sensors and even entire system kits. We view Interlogix Systems as a viable budget and economical option for consumers. The equipment is relatively less expensive, and the panels arrive with fewer bells and whistles than their Honeywell, 2GIG and Qolsys counterparts. However, these systems can be fully upgraded to perform virtually any action or function that is possible with other modern alarm systems. Additionally, Interlogix sensors and peripherals tend to be more affordable than those from other manufacturers. All of this makes Interlogix a fantastic choice for any customer who is looking for a complete and total security setup at a reduced cost.

Interlogix simon xtOur Interlogix offerings will be based around three major alarm systems. These are the Simon XT, Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5. These are all self-contained wireless all-in-one alarm panels that provide support for up to 40 wireless zones. The Simon XT features an integrated push-button keypad and a dual-line ext-based LCD screen. The panel also features quick-access panic buttons in case of an emergency. The touchpad system is surprisingly easy to program, and it offers the full capabilities as the other Interlogix Simon Alarm Systems.


The Interlogix Simon XTi represents an upgraded version of the Simon XT. The Simon XTi provides the complete functionality of the Simon XT, but it includes an integrated 3.5 inch touchscreen controller. This makes navigating the system menus more user-friendly, and it offers a more engaging experience overall. The integrated touch screen also allows users to control any programmed Z-Wave home automation devices directly from the panel itself. Interlogix also products the Simon XTi-5. This system is exactly the same as the Simon XTi, but the Simon XTi-5 features a larger 5 inch touch screen, as opposed to the 3.5 inch touch screen found on the Simon XTi.

Interlogix 60 362n 10 319 dot 5 crystal wireless door slash wind

All of the Interlogix Simon Alarm Systems come with an integrated wireless receiver so that they can readily communicate with wireless sensors. The wireless sensors used with the Interlogix Systems communicate at a frequency of 319.5 MHz. This is the same wireless frequency used by Qolsys sensors. This means that any unencrypted Qolsys sensor (non S-Line) can interface with an Interlogix System. It is also possible to use Interlogix sensors with the Qolsys IQ Panel and IQ Panel 2 Systems. Qolsys owners can certainly turn to Interlogix sensors as a cost-effective option for upgrading their systems


Most customers who purchase an Interlogix System will want to obtain a cellular module upgrade as well. Cellular service for alarm systems is known for its lightning fast communication speeds and its exceptional performance and consistency overall. This type of communication almost never experiences any type of service disruption, and it is not affected by power outages. This outstanding performance and reliability makes cellular communication the gold standard for alarm systems. Installing a cellular module in an Interlogix System is a very quick and easy process that can be fully completed by most end users.

Interlogix 600 1048 xt zx at at and t 3g cellular communicator fInterlogix offers LTE cellular communicators for all of their alarm systems. LTE is currently the fastest and most consistent form of cellular communication available, and cellular service providers have committed to supporting LTE communication for many years to come. For those reasons, we strongly encourage users to choose LTE cellular communicators for their Interlogix Systems. These LTE communicators will provide the best possible performance, and they will ensure that the user's equipment can be fully supported for monitoring well into the very distant future. Customers can choose between LTE service from Verizon, AT&T and Telus (Canada only).


As part of our Interlogix product launch, Alarm Grid will offer full support and guidance for Interlogix Systems and equipment. Users can read dozens of FAQs to help them get started with a new Interlogix System. Our team is also planning on releasing helpful how-to videos for Interlogix Systems in the near future. Additionally, any monitored customer is invited to speak with one of our helpful support technicians online or over the phone for help with using or setting up their Interlogix System. Our team has recently spent time training and learning the intricacies of these systems so that we are fully prepared to help you with any issues that you might experience.

Alarm Grid is very pleased to welcome the Interlogix brand to our growing family. We are sure that Interlogix Systems monitored by Alarm Grid will quickly find their way into homes and businesses everywhere. As always, thank you for choosing Alarm Grid, and we look forward to providing you with industry-leading support in the future.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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I'm sure many people were disappointed to see the Lyric MR4 firmware get released last month and have the firmware update NOT include the Lyric / Apple Homekit integration that has been promised since the Lyric first debuted at ISC West back in 2015. We've been as frustrated as our users and potential customers have been that have been waiting anxiously for the Homekit integration to the Lyric system, and since Honeywell was at the mercy of Apple releasing the approval for the functionality to be made available, even Honeywell wasn't sure exactly when it was coming.

With all that said, we're excited to announce that as of this week, a Lyric running MR4 firmware can now integrate with Apple's Homekit!

We just found out about the release and we haven't been provided with all the details on the functionality the integration allows but once we get more information from Honeywell and do some testing ourselves, we'll be posting more about this awesome update to the Lyric system!

In the mean time, if you want to confirm your Lyric can do Homekit, just press Security > Tools > enter Master Code > Advanced and if you're on MR4, you should see a Homekit Reset button that wasn't there previously.


If you aren't seeing that button, you should check the System Information tab to see if you're on the MR4 firmware (01.04.07178.491) and if you aren't you can either ask your alarm monitoring company to remote upgrade you or if you have the right firmware version to allow a local firmware update request, you can go to Security > Tools > enter Installer Code to see an option for 'Update firmware' which will get you up to the latest version.

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Last month, Honeywell released a new critical firmware update for the Lyric Controller - 01.04.07178.491 for the American version (shown below) and 01.04.07181.491 for the Canadian LCP500-LC version:

You can request the update on your Lyric system, if you aren't upgraded already, by pressing Security > Tools > entering your Installer Code and then pressing Update Firmware. If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer, you can also have us send a firmware update to your system remotely. This MR4 firmware brings new functionality that our users have been asking for since the Lyric Controller was first released, new features that were not yet available and fixes to some known bugs.

Quick SiX Programming Mode

While this new feature won't help those that already have their Lyric system fully setup, the addition of a new SiX sensor enrollment mode allows new Lyric users to greatly reduce the time it takes to program SiX Series sensors to the system. Of course, the new SiX Programming option would certainly also be helpful for anyone that has an existing Lyric and is looking to add multiple new SiX devices to their system.

The Lyric has always offered a batch enrollment mode, available within the Zones programming screen, that allows you to learn in a group of SiX devices by simply powering on or activating each sensor. However, you would then need to go in and manually edit each zone by selecting the zone number and clicking Edit, tweaking each programming option and then saving the changes as you would if you were learning in one single sensor.

Now, with the new SiX Programming mode (found by pressing the down arrow once you enter programming mode on a Lyric with the MR4 firmware)


(SiX Programming option on second page of Lyric programming)

you can simply power on (either pull the battery tab or insert batteries) or activate each SiX sensor you want to learn in to the panel to have them all auto learn to the panel and show a screen with all the new learned in devices


(SiXCT and SiXPIR activated in SiX Programming mode)

and you can highlight and click Edit right from that screen to bring up a new screen that shows you all of the device settings so you can set all of your new zones and settings much more efficiently.


(SiXPIR and SiXCT edit screens in SiX Programming mode)

The new SiX Programming mode can save you hours depending on how many SiX devices you need to learn to your Lyric. Keep in mind though, just like with the batch enrollment mode, you can't enroll a SiXFOB to your Lyric using SiX Programming. You still need to use the Keys section of the Lyric programming to enroll a SiXFOB.

Easier Instant Arming Mode

For as long as we can remember, Honeywell systems have supported an Instant arming mode which allows a user to arm the system so that the system's alarm activates as soon as a zone is triggered, even if the zone is normally an entry/exit zone. Instant arming is helpful for ramping up the security of your system when you know that no one should be entering the home (at night or when you go on vacation for instance). Instead of an intruder being able to open your main front door without the alarm going off right away, Instant arming ensures that the Lyric goes into full alarm mode as soon as any door or window is opened. As long as you remember to disarm from a key fob or TC2 before an authorized user needs to enter the property, Instant arming is a great way to enhance your protection at key times.

When Honeywell developed the Lyric they didn't provide an Instant button on the Security screen and many users lamented the loss of Instant arming. The Lyric does in fact allow for Instant arming if you use the Arm Custom option which gets you to a screen where you can de-select the Entry Delay and arm the system so that delayed zones activate the alarm as soon as they are violated but it isn't a great user experience. We had a good amount of feedback from users that had upgraded Honeywell systems that supported Instant arming to the Lyric and were disappointed that arming in that way was more difficult on the Lyric. Thankfully, Honeywell has heard our cries and with the MR4 firmware, you'll notice when you hit the Security icon on your Lyric screen there is an Entry Delay: On/Off toggle at the bottom left of the screen.


If you want to arm Instant (motion detector zones turned off but all other zones active with no entry delay even if programmed as an entry/exit zone), simply tap the Entry Delay words until it shows OFF and then tap Arm Stay and enter your code. If you want to arm Maximum (all zones active with no entry delay even if programmed as an entry/exit zone), simply tap Arm Away with the Entry Delay set to OFF and then tap Arm Away and enter your code.

Skybell Doorbell Chime

You may have noticed if you press Tools and enter your Master Code and then the right arrow, there's a Skybell Setup button. If you did, you probably have wondered why pressing it does nothing. For some reason Honeywell released the Skybell Setup button on a previous Lyric firmware but didn't add the true functionality of the button until the new MR4 firmware. You could still pair a Skybell with a Total Connect 2.0 account but the Skybell wouldn't integrate with the actual Lyric system at all.

Now, pressing the Skybell Setup button allows you to integrate your doorbell camera (the round Skybell HD and Skybell Slim HD) to the Lyric Controller so that if someone presses your Skybell's doorbell, the Lyric sounds one of it's unique Chime tones. You can choose which Chime sound you want during the Skybell Setup process.

Smoke Maintenance Signaling

With MR4 firmware, the Lyric can now trigger a maintenance trouble signal if a connected SiXSMOKE detects that it's sensing chamber has too much dust or dirt for the detector to function properly. Similar to programming a loop 2 maintenance trouble zone for a 5808W3 smoke detector, you'll now know in advance if any of your connected Honeywell smoke detectors need cleaning.

Support of Yale Assure Locks

The Lyric's Automation controller provides support of Z-Wave locks so that you can program the system to auto-arm when you lock your door or auto-disarm your system when you unlock your door. If you have Total Connect 2.0 you can even remotely lock/unlock your doors. We recommend Yale, Kwikset and Schlage locks when connecting Z-Wave locks to your Lyric and with the MR4, the Lyric now officially supports Yale's range of Real Living Assure Locks, the YRD216, YRD226 and the key-free YRD246. We'll have these new Yale Z-Wave locks up on our site in the Home Automation section soon.

Fixed Lyric Keypad Bug

Sometime prior to MR4, we found that if you had an LKP500 Lyric keypad connected to your Lyric system and you had the Lyric's Voice setting disabled, the Lyric keypad would not provide the expected entry tones (beeps when you violate an entry/exit zone warning you that you need to disarm the system to avoid an alarm activation) even if the Entry Tone feature was enabled in the keypad settings.

Once your Lyric is on the MR4 firmware, if you like your system's Voice setting disabled, because you don't want to hear the main panel's voice announcements, you'll still be able to have your auxiliary keypads beep at you to warn you that you must disarm your system when coming home. As it's easy to forget your system was armed if your keypad doesn't beep at you, this is a critical fix for any Lyric user that prefers not to have the Voice setting enabled.

Fixed Lyric Thermostat Bug

We had a customer that noticed that once he connected his Lyric thermostat to his Lyric system, the Lyric was excessively pinging out to the Honeywell servers. We reported the strange IP behavior to Honeywell's engineers and after some testing they were able to replicate the issue and assured us that a fix would be coming. Our customer decided to remove the Lyric thermostat integration from his system for the time being.

Once MR4 was released, we had our user test the Lyric thermostat integration to his Lyric system and this time there was no unusual pings from the panel on his network so we are confident that this Lyric bug has been squashed.

Dealer Branding

The last change that MR4 firmware brings to the Lyric system is the new dealer branding feature. With this new feature, a Honeywell Lyric dealer's company splash page will show as one the Lyric slideshow images as long as the feature is enabled. Any Alarm Grid monitored client will see this image scroll through on their slide show:


In addition to the slide show page, the dealer branding also shows up as a small company logo on the bottom left of the Lyric home screen that you can click to get to a contact information page in case you need to get in touch with us for support.

If you have any questions about this feature of any of the new features and updates and fixes that the latest Lyric firmware brings to Honeywell's aware winning system, please let us know in the comments below or email us at support@alarmgrid.com.

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