Integrating Security Systems with Smart Home Hubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yes, unfortunately does not tie in with Honeywell WIFI thermostats and that's mostly because Honeywell wants you to be within their own infrastructure for alarm monitoring and therefore isn't interested in developing integrations with their main competitor. If you did have a Honeywell system using AlarmNet communications, you could integrate the Honeywell WIFI thermostat into your remote interactive service for your system - They don't quite yet allow for integrating the WIFI thermostat into a scene for the system but they are working on that and we hope it will be a feature in the future. We hope you'll consider switching to us once your contract is up as I'm sure we can help you with some issues and we have good low-cost, no-contract plans available online at but unfortunately, some things just aren't as compatible as you'd think/hope and in your case that thermostat is simply not one that I'd ever expect to integrate to GC2 or for the tight integration you're looking for.
I've had the GC2 for about a year through LinkInteractive. Honeywell WiF I think a 9x series. That's just one example of having GC2 send commands for other hubs to do the work of automation. Yes, integrates with quite a number of devices. But nothing compared to Alexa, SmarterThings and Wink Hubs. The later we use for making our lives "easier". My argument is that almost any device 'could' be used to a security advantage. For instance, one could create a Scene (or whatever the particular hub nomenclature) that's simply called <i>Intruder</i>. It could send a signal to open the shades, turn on all the lights, flash outside lights at an obnoxious rates, use full intensity color lights, etc, etc. You see where I'm going. Use whatever automation to call attention or deter a would be thief or worse. The <b>key point</b> is that I don't want anyone besides my wife and I to login to our security website, portal, or app to operate home automation. No matter if it's a Guest Account. But, I do want my security system to be able to talk to my home automation hub. This cannot be rocket science. The days of ARPANET and Cisco were over a half a century ago. I'm stuck with another 2 years on my contract. At least I'll know exactly what to look for in a security company going forward. Sorry for my frustration but you guys seem to be listening. Thank you!
Hi Chuck, If I understand you right, you're wondering if a 2Gig GC2 panel powered by monitoring service would allow you to setup automation rules that would automatically turn off a connected thermostat when a fire alarm is received to the GC2 and also be able to have lights go on when a burglar alarm is received. Both of those are certainly possible setups with that equipment and service, depending on the thermostat and light you're using. Do you already have the GC2 system or are you planning to get one? What type of thermostat are you using and what type of lights?
99.9999% of the time my HVAC is not a security device. As are many other smart home devices. However, in that .0001% when smoke or fire, you want to send your thermostat to shut down. Is there not something, like IFTTT or an on premise hub, that could function as a bridge? The same could be said of smart lighting. 99.9999% of their life span is for normal everyday illumination. But, that .0001% when an intruder breaks in, or fire/smoke, you want all the lighting you can get. Is it that sophisticated that GC2 panel and to send at least a one way command to have the hvac blower shut down and lights turned on? In technology, employing the word, “infancy” means it’s new this month...maybe six...possibly a year. But over a year, it begins to go gray. Inter ops is over a half century old. Surely a dependable solution either already exists or fear of litigation prevents an endorsement of one.

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