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Alarm Grid is back with another video recap! This time, we have six (6) new videos to share. We spent a lot of time this week focusing on the 2GIG GC3e, but we also covered some other security equipment as well. We hope you enjoy this latest batch of videos. Let's check them out!

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Properly Opening Up a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to open up the 2GIG GC3e Security Panel. Before opening the system, you must loosen the set screw at the bottom. If the panel is wall-mounted, you can press the panel against the wall and lift upward. Otherwise, lay the panel face-down, and pop off the back plate using your finger or a screwdriver. Opening up the GC3e Panel is often done to access the system's terminal block and backup battery.


Powering On the 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to power on the 2GIG GC3e Alarm System. The system uses a 14VDC, 1.7A transformer for primary power. If primary power is lost, then a backup battery will keep the system running. When powering on the 2GIG GC3e, we recommend connecting the backup battery first, followed by the transformer. Alarm wiring is not included with the 2GIG GC3e, so you must supply your own. We recommend using a Honeywell LT-Cable for this purpose.


Deleting a Defective Z-Wave Device from the GC3 or GC3e

I show you how to delete a defective Z-Wave device from a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e. Some reasons why a Z-Wave device might be displayed as failed include the device being powered down or out of wireless range. Deleting a defective Z-Wave device is usually a good option if the device is lost or destroyed so that a traditional exclusion process cannot be performed. Any failed Z-Wave device will have an error icon next to it in the Smart Home Devices Menu.


Setting Up a Cellular Communicator for a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to add a cellular communicator to a 2GIG GC3e Security System. Doing this will allow you to activate the 2GIG GC3e System for monitoring service. And if the monitoring plan includes access to Alarm.com, then you will also be able to control the system remotely through that platform. The 2GIG GC3e has a side slot for you to easily install a cellular radio. Remember to power down the system completely before installing the cellular communicator.


Powering the TG-1 Express Using the On-Board Terminals

I show you how you can power the Telguard TG-1 Express using its on-board power terminals. The Telguard TG-1 Express is used to take over the phone dialer for a panel so that it can communicate across a cellular network. Normally, the TG-1 uses a single RJ31X connection for power and communication with the panel. But if the existing power wires from the RJ31X cable are cut, then you can instead make the auxiliary power connections at the TG-1 on-board terminals.


Properly Closing the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

I show you how to properly close the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Security System. To properly close the system, you want to align the top tabs first. Then you should lock the bottom two (2) tabs into place. Lastly, make sure the top four (4) tabs remain closed, and click them into place if they are not. The panel will make a strange noise every half-hour if it is not closed properly. The main reason to open the IQ2 is to replace its backup battery every few years.

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Last year, we checked out the Alarm.com Alexa Skill that allows you to set up your Alarm.com Security System for use with Alexa Voice Commands. Today, we're taking a closer look at the features offered from the integration. This includes all of the system commands you can make through Alexa.


With the Alarm.com Amazon Alexa Skill, you can use Alexa Voice Commands to control your system, check its current status, and perform home automation functions. Getting started is as easy as enabling the Alarm.com Alexa Skill within the Skills & Games section of the Alexa App. You can easily find the skill by searching "Alarm.com". From there, all you need to do is click the button to enable the skill and provide your Alarm.com account information.


Make sure to choose the Alarm.com Skill, not the Alarm.com Smart Home Skill. The standard Alarm.com Skill supports a much more robust selection of commands than the Alarm.com Smart Home Skill. You can see the standard Alarm.com Skill in the picture below.


There are some important things to keep in mind regarding the Alarm.com Skill and Alexa Voice Commands. For one, you cannot use Alexa to Arm Away. Only Stay Arming is possible through Alexa Voice Commands. Second, certain "Secure" commands, such as disarming or opening a garage door, will require you to provide a PIN code as part of the process. This is done for security purposes, and it prevents unauthorized users from controlling your system through Alexa Verbal Commands. Please note that Secure Commands must be enabled when setting up the Alarm.com Skill. You will create a 4-digit PIN as part of the process.

Once you have the Alarm.com Alexa Skill set up, there are many commands available. We will go through a list of some of the possibilities. Keep in mind that commands are initiated by saying "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to...", as that lets Alexa know to send the command through Alarm.com. Also remember that Secure Commands using a 4-digit code are only available if you enable Secure Commands within the Alexa App. When providing the 4-digit code, it is advised that you speak out each digit, rather than making shortcuts. For example, if your PIN is 1-2-3-4, then say "One-Two-Three-Four", rather than "Twelve Thirty-Four".

  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to Arm Stay."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to Arm Stay Partition One."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to Arm Stay with no Entry Delay." - Remember to Disarm through Alarm.com later to prevent a false alarm.
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to Disarm with [PIN Code]."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to Disarm Partition One with [PIN Code]."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com what is the state of my system?"
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com is my panel Disarmed?"
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to switch ON the hallway light."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to turn the hallway light all the way up."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to turn ON all the lights."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com switch OFF the bedroom light."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com turn OFF all the lights."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to set the bedroom light to 70 percent."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to lower the hallway light to 25."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to lock the front door."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to lock all the doors."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to unlock the front door with [PIN Code]."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to unlock the doors with [PIN Code]."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to open the garage door with [PIN Code]."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to close the garage door."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com if the garage door is open."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to make it warmer." - This increases the temperature by 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to make it cooler." - This decreases the temperature by 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com what the thermostat temperature is."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to set the temperature to 70."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to record a clip on the bedroom camera."
  • "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to run the Scene Movie Night."

We know that's a very extensive list, but we wanted to show you just how much can be done through Amazon Alexa Voice Commands. If you have any questions about the Alarm.com Alexa Skill, or if you are interested in signing-up for monitoring service to gain access to Alarm.com, then 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!

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Big changes are coming to the Z-Wave Alliance. The organization has established a new Standards Development Organization (SDO) structure to further improve upon the home automation technology. Qolsys and Alarm.com have both been named as founding members of the new Z-Wave SDO structure.


For anyone unfamiliar with the Z-Wave Alliance, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting Z-Wave technology. The newly formed SDO structure provides members with special opportunities to participate in the development of the popular home automation protocol. This includes new technical workgroups and committees with an emphasis on operational, technical, and marketing needs.

What excites Alarm Grid about the announcement is the inclusion of Qolsys and Alarm.com as founding members of the SDO structure. This is great news, as we expect both of these companies to contribute greatly in making Z-Wave technology even more accessible to users of security systems. This is great news for anyone who builds around their home or business alarm system for home automation functionality.

Alarm.com Chief Product Officer Dan Kerzner said of the news, "Alarm.com has used Z-Wave for more than a decade to help expand our platform so that millions of people can control and manage an ever-growing range of devices that work together to protect and automate their home or business... Along with the other founding members, we remain committed to shaping this evolving and impactful technology.”

In addition to Alarm.com and Qolsys, five (5) other companies have been named as founding members for the Z-Wave Alliance SDO structure. Alarm Grid has been eagerly awaiting the release of the next generation of Z-Wave devices, also known as the 700-Series. The current generation of Z-Wave, known as the 500-Series, or Z-Wave Plus, has proven to be a huge success in the field of home automation. We expect the Z-Wave Alliance to continue their triumphs moving forward, and this new organizational structure should only help.

Alarm Grid has always been major supporters of the Z-Wave Alliance and their work in promoting Z-Wave technology and educating automation professionals and end users alike. The group maintains an extensive list of Z-Wave-certified products, which includes technical information and specifications. If you ever want to learn more about the various Z-Wave products out there, we strongly recommend checking out their certified product database. You will likely need to find everything you know about your current Z-Wave home automation products, as well as any Z-Wave products that you may be considering in the future.

If you have any questions about how you can get started with Z-Wave technology and home automation, then please reach out to us! The ability to use Z-Wave devices like lights, locks, and thermostats is a fantastic perk of owning a security system. We offer many monitoring plans that will allow you to control your Z-Wave devices from anywhere, simply by using a mobile app or web browser. To learn more, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has announced that a firmware update will be coming for their slimline version of the SkyBell Doorbell Camera. This refers to the SkyBell ADC-VDB105 and the SkyBell ADC-VDB106 for use with Alarm.com. The update will be pushed down automatically to the devices in the coming weeks.

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According to Alarm.com, Firmware Upgrade Version 3062 will fix an issue that caused the ADC-VDB105 and ADC-VDB106 to reboot periodically. The update also improves upon the motion detection function for these cameras. Alarm.com refers to the improved motion detection as "Motion Detection 2.0".

Any camera that has its motion sensitivity set to anything other than the default value of Medium will automatically opt into Motion Detection 2.0 upon the completion of the update. Cameras with the default motion sensitivity setting of Medium will continue using Motion Detection 1.0.

Motion Detection 2.0 offers many advantages over the previous version. The enhanced motion detection uses a fixed lower portion of the screen, and it takes object size into account. Additionally, the sensitivity slider can increase and decrease the size of the fixed detection area and the minimum object size needed to activate the camera. You can also disable PIR detection entirely by choosing "Extremely High" sensitivity.

Once the update is complete, a user will be able to switch between the old and new versions of motion detection via the Alarm.com customer website. After logging into Alarm.com, choose Video > Video Device Settings > Select Device > Video Device Info > Motion Detection.

In order to receive the automatic update, simply have your slimline ADC-VDB105 or ADC-VDB106 powered on and connected with the Alarm.com servers. Alarm.com will be pushing the upgrade down to these devices during an overnight update process. Devices that are not online to receive the upgrade can be updated manually at a later date.

Please note that this update only applies to the slimline models. The "round" ADC-VDB101 and ADC-VDB102 are not receiving an update. Also keep in mind that this is for the Alarm.com versions of the SkyBell only. This does not apply to the standard SkyBell Doorbell Cameras that are used with Total Connect 2.0 and the native SkyBell App.

If you have any questions about this upcoming update, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. And remember to check out our monitoring page to learn more about our monitoring services. We check our email during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have made a discovery regarding the compatibility for the Honeywell L5100-WIFI for LYNX Touch Systems. It turns out that L5100-WIFI units with the updated MAC prefix of B82CA0 can be used with Honeywell L5100 Systems running a firmware version of at least 5.00838, but less than 5.05000.

Honeywell l5100 wifi alarmnet lynx touch l5100 security system wifi alarm monitoring communicatorIf you aren't familiar with the Honeywell L5100-WIFI, it is an internet communicator that allows a compatible Honeywell LYNX Touch Panel to communicate with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers across an IP (internet protocol) network. The L5100-WIFI accesses the internet by connecting with a local WIFI network. Many users rely on the L5100-WIFI for inexpensive IP monitoring service. The communicator can also be used to set up the LYNX Touch System with Total Connect 2.0, provided that the user's alarm monitoring plan includes access to the platform.

If you recall back in the summer of 2018, it was announced that new Honeywell L5100-WIFI units had an updated MAC prefix, as it was changed from 00D02D to B82CA0. This had several implications. Starting with LYNX Touch Firmware 5.05000, Resideo locked the required MAC prefix so that only L5100-WIFI units with 00D02D were supported. This was later revised in Firmware Version 8.00183 to support the new MAC prefix of B82CA0. As a result, LYNX Touch Systems with a Firmware Version of at least 5.05000, but less than 8.00183, cannot support newer L5100-WIFI units with the MAC prefix of B82CA0. For LYNX Touch firmware in Canada, the required MAC prefix of 00D02D became locked with Firmware Version 5.15000.


However, we didn't realize that LYNX Touch Systems running firmware versions below 5.05000 (and below 5.15000 for Canadian models) do not have the locked MAC prefix requirement. This means that if you have a Honeywell LYNX Touch System with a firmware version of less than 5.05000, then you can use it with a newer L5100-WIFI unit with a MAC prefix of B82CA0. It still must meet the minimum firmware requirement to support the L5100-WIFI (Firmware Version 5.00838), but this allows for some new monitoring possibilities. Most notably, it allows certain Honeywell L5100 units use either the new L5100-WIFI model with the updated MAC prefix or the old model with the old MAC prefix.

In spring of 2019, it was announced that Resideo was no longer allowing Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels to receive over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. Instead, firmware updates could only be applied locally using the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool. Initially, the updater tool was only compatible with the Honeywell L5210 and Honeywell L7000, but it was later made compatible with the Honeywell L5200 as well. But the updater tool was never made compatible with the Honeywell L5100. This makes it impossible to update the firmware for a Honeywell L5100 Security System, and there is no way to get the system onto Firmware Version 8.00123 or higher.

Honeywell lynxtouch l5100 lynx touch wireless alarm control panel

But since Resideo didn't begin locking the required MAC prefix to 00D02D until 5.05000, an L5100 running a firmware version of at least 5.00838, but less than 5.05000, can support all L5100-WIFI units, regardless of their MAC prefix. Therefore, if you have an old Honeywell L5100 System lying around that you were thinking could never be monitored again unless you found a used L5100-WIFI with the old MAC prefix, it may be a good idea to check its firmware to see if it falls in that range.

If you want to check the firmware for a Honeywell L5100, you can do so by choosing Security > More > Tools > enter your Master Code (default 1234) > Test. The firmware revision will be displayed at the top of the screen. This process is the same for any LYNX Touch System, so you can also use this method to check your L5200, L5210, or L7000 firmware. Below is a picture of a Honeywell L7000 on Firmware Version 9.00209..

If you find that your L5100 is running a firmware version of 5.05000 or higher (5.15000 or higher in Canada), then you will be limited to using the older L5100-WIFI with the MAC prefix of 00D02D. With any luck, you may be able to find a used model somewhere with the older prefix. But should your L5100 be running a lower firmware, then the system will be able to support any L5100-WIFI model, including the new ones that you can purchase from Alarm Grid. This is an excellent way to get an old L5100 System set up with low-cost IP monitoring.

Of course, if you have an L5200, L5210, or L7000, then it is recommended that you get the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool to upgrade the system firmware to the latest version. The latest firmware is 9.0213 at the time of this writing. Updating to the latest firmware version is always recommended. And as long as the firmware version is 8.00183 or higher, the system can support all versions of the L5100-WIFI, regardless of the MAC prefix.

If you have any questions about the L5100-WIFI or the Honeywell LYNX Touch Systems, then please reach out to us! We are best contacted via email at support@alarmgrid.com. Our hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. This is also a great email to reach us if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It's time for another video recap! There are eight (8) new videos this week, all featuring yours truly. We spent a lot of time working on the 2GIG GC2e again. We also covered the process for backdooring the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, and we touched on the IQ2+. Let's check out the videos!

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Pairing a Z-Wave Device with the 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave device with a 2GIG GC2e Security System. The 2GIG GC2e serves as a Z-Wave Plus controller, which allows you to pair smart home automation devices with the system. Devices can be controlled locally at the panel, as well as remotely from Alarm.com if the system is monitored. There are many types of Z-Wave devices you can use with the GC2e, including lights, door locks, smart thermostats, and more!


Programming a Wireless Zone On a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to program a wireless zone for a 2GIG GC2e Alarm System. Every sensor used with the 2GIG GC2e will take up at least one zone. The GC2e System has sixty (60) wireless zones available. You can pair sensors from the Honeywell 5800 Series, the 2GIG 345 MHz Series, and the 2GIG eSeries Lineup. We recommend auto-enrolling any new sensor to prevent entering an incorrect Serial Number. Auto-enrolling will also confirm successful communication.


Programming a Key Fob for a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to program a key fob for a 2GIG GC2e Alarm Panel. A key fob is a small, handheld device that you can use to arm and disarm your system. You can very easily carry around a key fob in your pocket or purse, and they are great for putting on key rings. Popular key fob options for the 2GIG GC2e System include the 2GIG KEY2-345, the 2GIG KEY2e-345, and the Honeywell 5834-4.


Adding & Changing User Codes On a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to add and change user codes on a 2GIG GC3 Security Panel. The GC2e has (64) user code slots available. You need a valid user code to successfully disarm the system. It is recommended that everyone who uses the system regularly has their own user code so that you can keep track of who uses the system. You can also apply a schedule to a code so that it only works at certain times.


Using the Backdoor to Enter Programming On a Honeywell L5200 or L5210

I show you how to use the backdoor method on a Honeywell L5200 or L5210. The backdoor method involves rebooting the panel and then performing a special sequence of commands as the system reloads. By completing this process, you can get into programming if you were previously locked out. Please note that the backdooring process will not work if the system is currently in an armed state. You will need to disarm the system before you can backdoor.


Getting Back Into Programming On an L7000 If You're Locked Out

I show you how to get into programming on a Honeywell L7000 if you're locked out by using the backdoor method. There are two (2) main reasons why you would become locked out of programming. The first is that the option "NO" was selected at the prompt asking if the installer should be allowed to re-enter programming. Always choose "YES" when exiting programming. The other possibility is that you do not know the Installer Code for the system. Do not change the Installer Code from its default of 4112 to avoid being locked out.


Secure Arming On the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I demonstrate the Secure Arming feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. When Secure Arming is enabled, you must enter a valid user code or the Master Code when arming the system. Normally, the system can be armed without providing a code. Additionally, you must also provide a code if you go to cancel an arming session during the Exit Delay countdown if this feature is enabled. Many parents with small children enable the feature to prevent the system from being armed accidentally.


IQ Panel 2 Exit Delay Increased After Opening Door

I explain why the Exit Delay timer on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus will automatically increase after opening a door. This is due to a false alarm prevention feature called Auto Exit Time Extension. This feature is activated if two (2) Entry/Exit faults are detected during the Exit Delay countdown. When you fault the first E/E Zone after arming, the system assumes that you have left the building. Then when another E/E fault is detected, the system assumes that you have returned. It then gives you an added 60 seconds to exit the building. If you quickly re-entered the premises because you forgot something, this prevents you from having to disarm and then re-arm the system.

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Alarm Grid is thrilled to offer the brand-new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad! This sleek and modern keypad serves as a touchscreen controller for your Honeywell VISTA, while also providing Z-Wave Plus home automation capabilities. This will truly bring out the full potential of your VISTA Panel!


The new Resideo Tuxedo represents the third generation in the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Series. The original Honeywell Tuxedo Touch, the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch WIFI, and the Honeywell VAM have all been discontinued to make room for the new Resideo Tuxedo. While we are a little sad to see these classic products be sent off to the "product graveyard", we are extremely excited about this brand-new keypad and what it brings to the party.

If you are familiar with the Honeywell 6290W Touchscreen Keypad that came out last September, then you will be pleased to learn that the new Resideo Tuxedo offers the exact same look and user interface (UI). In fact, the only difference between the two is the fact that the Tuxedo offers Z-Wave Plus functionality, while the 6290W is just a keypad for controlling the VISTA. With the Tuxedo, you get all of the same security functions from the 6290W (e.g. arming, disarming, bypassing zones), as well as awesome new home automation controls.

The great thing about a touchscreen keypad like the Resideo Tuxedo is that it can make your system much less intimidating and easier to control. This can be especially important for new users who are not used to working with a security system, especially one that uses a classic numeric keypad that requires specific knowledge to operate. The Tuxedo is easy to navigate, and the full-color menus can give a new user confidence in controlling their system. Most experienced users also appreciate touchscreen keypads just due to their overall ease of use.

You certainly have a great deal of automation devices that you can pair with the Resideo Tuxedo. Nearly any Z-Wave device can integrate with the keypad. You can add Z-Wave lights so that it looks like you're home while on vacation. A Z-Wave door lock can be helpful for letting your friend inside without getting up from the couch. And a Z-Wave thermostat can help you save a ton of money in energy costs, while still keeping your home comfortable. The unit supports up to 232 Z-Wave devices, so you're highly unlikely to run out of room. We recommend using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices to build the strongest network possible.

WIFI connectivity returns to the new Resideo Tuxedo. The keypad uses its WIFI connectivity for communicating with Total Connect 2.0. You can access TC2 to control your programmed automation devices remotely from a mobile app or web browser. The WIFI connection is also how firmware updates are applied to the Tuxedo Keypad. You can alternatively use a wired ethernet connection instead of wireless WIFI, but come on, who's gonna do that? Just be aware that the Tuxedo is not an AlarmNet Communicator. You will still need a separate alarm communicator for your VISTA System and a monitoring plan to access Total Connect 2.0.

And there are many other features and specifications that we love about the new Tuxedo. This keypad and automation controller boasts a 7-inch screen with a 480 x 640 resolution. The thin-film-transitor (TFT) LCD screen is backlit, so you will have no trouble using it at night. Other features include voice and chime, a weather display, the ability to live-stream security cameras, Console Mode, a digital picture frame, and more!

You can buy the new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad from Alarm Grid right now. We are sure that you will love using this robust and powerful keypad in your home or office. It really has a nice modern look that can fit in nicely with any decor. This is truly a great way to improve upon a VISTA System. If you have any questions about the Tuxedo, or if you want to learn more about alarm monitoring, contact us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. 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!

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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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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.

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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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Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory UL is currently working to revise the UL-827 Standard for Central Station Alarm Services. This is being done to better accommodate remote workers amid the pandemic. The changes will ensure that remote operators can perform their duties effectively.


Because of the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic, many central monitoring stations are continuing to have their operators work from home. UL is making changes to their UL-827 Standard to ensure that consistent provisions and protection measures are always enforced, regardless of whether an operator is working from home or at a monitoring center.

If you are unfamiliar with UL-827, it refers to the strict standards that a central monitoring station must meet in order to receive UL certification. The official central station partner of Alarm Grid, Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), is UL certified. CMS will be required to comply with these new provisions once they are put into effect. CMS is extremely diligent about these matters, and we would imagine that they have already begun taking steps towards complete compliance with new UL mandates.

The revisions to UL-827 are still a work in progress, and no mandate has been finalized as of yet. However, we do have eight (8) mandates that are virtually guaranteed to be put into effect. We have the essence of these 8 mandates outlined below:

  1. Off-site monitoring will be permitted when there is a disruption event.
  2. Off-site monitoring will be discontinued within (14) days of the disruption event being declared over.
  3. While off-site monitoring is in effect, some staff will remain at the central station to maintain and support necessary equipment, such as receivers, automation systems, emergency generators, etc.
  4. Remote operators will remain connected with the central station using a secure pathway that uses at least 256-bit AES encryption.
  5. A central station must enforce multi-factor authentication for remote operators to access its network and automation system.
  6. Any remote operator workstation must not be used for personal use. It will remain the property of the monitoring company.
  7. Remote operator workstations must be set aside in a separate area of the home to not allow any unauthorized viewing and/or distraction of remote operators.
  8. Remote operators and on-duty managers will maintain continuous communication while off-site monitoring is in effect.

Not every issue regarding the matter has been fully addressed. UL is still working to address matters concerning standby power, wired vs. wireless connectivity between the remote operators and the central station, and issues regarding approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). We believe that these new mandates will go into effect as soon as UL works out the details.

Although these protection measures were drafted in light of the COVID-19 health pandemic, they were also written in such a way that they can be enforced in the event of any other disruption that prevents operators from all gathering at a central station. We appreciate the insight taken by UL in that regard, as we are certainly in the midst of uncertainty.

Alarm Grid supports these measures that UL is set to introduce. We take great pride in ensuring our monitored customers that they will always receive the same level of protection and security. We understand that monitoring centers like CMS cannot safely operate with their full staff on-site during these times. The changes will help to guarantee that consistent measures are in-place, regardless of whether a trained central station operator is working from home or at the monitoring center. We applaud UL for quickly taking the initiative during these times.

As a monitoring provider, we want our customers to feel completely comfortable and confident with the central station services we offer. Providing peace of mind to end users is always one of our top priorities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding central station monitoring, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to answer any questions that you might have. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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