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Today we executed step 1 of building our new DIY video lab! We will be adding some heavy duty, locking casters to turn our faux wall into a mobile video lab. You say 'green screen' we say 'wall on wheels.' 

This means more nitty, gritty DIY installation videos using real sheetrock cut-ins. Who knows, we may even break out some cable snaking tricks that will save you time and aggravation. The beauty of the faux wall is that we can offer realistic installations on a true surface! 

As the Alarm Grid DIY community grows we plan to offer simple, professional techniques and solutions for all your alarm system needs. Be sure to check out our Youtube channel for the latest and greatest details on everything Honeywell! 

https://www.youtube.com/user/AlarmGrid

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If you love Honeywell's wireless security systems as much as we do, then you will likely be very excited by all the new kits that we've posted. All of these systems are easily installed, for any DIYer. While most of the time, these units are installed on the wall as we showed how to do in our L7000 installation video as well as our older L5100 installation video (the L5100 is the same size as the L5200 and their to-the-wall installations would be exactly the same), for those still worried about the ease of installation there are ways to make it very very simple. For the L5200, there is a desk mount, and the L7000, we are told, will have one out very soon.

It's also worth noting that because the traditional Honeywell model has always been to distribute these systems through an installer, they have generally assumed that the installer would have a giant spool of wire when performing the installation. As a result, there is no cable between the transformer and the system itself. This can be easily fixed with the addition of the LT-Cable to any system. That said, let's take a little tour through the numerous kits that are available for the new LYNX Touch wireless security alarm systems.

Finally, don't forget that these systes can all be turned into home automation controllers using the L5100-ZWAVE module which can be installed on the left-most edge connctor.

Dual Path Kits

Dual path security systems are generally considered the most secure system you can buy. An often cited problem of the older security systems is that they were connected to phone lines which were susceptible to being cut by the most resourceful thieves. Nowadays the systems can be connected by much safer means, such as over IP or the wireless cellular networks. The problem with IP, however, is that the pathway is susceptible to the same problems that the old phone lines had - WIFI can be cut if a thief is determined enough. Cellular security systems, on the other hand, are nearly impossible to disrupt. Generally it takes an emergency of epic proportions to make security systems go down. A dual path security system allows a system owner to take advantage of the up-time of a cellular network, but in the rare case that that network went down, the WIFI pathway is there to back it up. Likewise, while WIFI is generally very reliable, the cellular system will ensure that uptime is something close to 99.9%. The only disadvantage is that monitoring a system with the cellular security pathway is going to cost a little bit more each month.

Generally, for those concerned with the added security who want to take advantage of 4G communication, we recommend also using the IP pathway since it costs no more to add save for the fixed cost of the communicator itself.

There are two L5200 kits that are now available with both the L5100-WIFI communicator and the new 4GL communicator. They are named L5200PK-WIFI-4G and L5200PK10-WIFI-4G. The only difference is that one comes with three 5811 wireless door and window sensors, and the other comes with 10.

Likewise, the L7000 has the L7000PK-WIFI-4G and the L7000PK10-WIFI-4G. Like the L5200's kits, the only difference between these two kits is the number of sensors. Then again, I'll stop mentioning that since in every kit set, there is a 3-sensor version and a 10-sensor version. And since this is a blog about security systems, I'll do my best to make it less boring than it already is. :)

Kits with ONLY the 4G Communicators

As with the dual path kits, these kits can take advantage of the security available to users of the 4G, cellular networks. 


These kits are the L5200PK-4G and the L5200PK10-4G. With only one communicator, they are a bit cheaper than the dual path kits. Their use of cellular makes them incredibly secure, though they lack the redundancy of kits that contain the IP communicator. If you are trying to save a little money but also want the most security you can get out of your system, consider these systems. Because the LYNX Touch series is modular, you can easily upgrade the system to be dual path later.

The L7000PK-4G and the L7000PK10-4G are wonderful systems that take advantage of the L7000's capacity for numerous zones and larger screen interface. For anyone who needs a great system that can be expanded with numerous Total Connect cameras, or tons of sensors, these L7000 security system kits are the perfect place to start.

Kits with ONLY the WIFI Communicators

While not quite as secure as the GSM pathway, monitoring a system by IP communicator is adequate for most homeowners. With the L5200 and the L7000 security systems, the iLP5 is available for those interested in hardwiring the system to a router. But with wireless where it is today, the L5100-WIFI allows a system to reliably connect to a local WIFI network.

The L5200PK-WIFI and the L5200PK10-WIFI use the WIFI pathway for communicating with a central station. This Total Connect 2.0 capable system's monitoring is included as the base package for all of our available systems.

These L7000 kits are the L7000PK-WIFI and the L7000PK10-WIFI. Using the IP connectivity for the L7000 will give it the ability to use Total Connect 2.0, which will allow an user to arm and disarm from anywhere in the world. While all the communicators will allow this, the L5100-WIFI is the most economical way to build a system capable of using the interactive options.

Kits With No Communicators

If you're looking for a kit with no communicators, just to use as a local sounder, or because you are replacing an old L5100 and are just planning on using the communicators you already have (since the GSMVLP5-4G works with the L5200). Alarm Grid has three kits with the L5200 security system available. these kits are named the L5200PK, the L5200PK-5811, and the L5200PK10. Each comes with a Honeywell L5200 security system and the various sensors depicted in the units' picture.

For those who want a little bit more system, Alarm Grid's L7000 kits can also be purchased without a communicator. If you are looking to upgrade from an older system, it's important to note that the GSMVLP5-4G does not work with the L7000. In order to take advantage of cellular communication with the L7000, you must install a 4GL communicator, in which case one of the cellular security systems listed above is probably the better option.

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Honeywell 4GL

The new Honeywell 4GL communicator released from Honeywell is an updated 4G communicator made specifically for the Honeywell L7000 security system. To date, Honeywell's GSMVLP5-4G has been the cellular communicator for the LYNX Touch units. And while the GSMVLP5-4G will work inside of the L5200 security system, that older communicator will not work int he new, bigger L7000 systems.

Because the 4GL works for both the L7000 and the L5200 we will be shipping it with all kits for both units as soon as our supply of GSMVLP5-4Gs is exhausted. In the meantime, the L5200 kits will come with the older communicator.

If you have the older Honeywell L5100, the GSMVLP5-4G isn't going away any time soon. So if you are interested in upgrading your system to take advantage of all that the cellular communication pathway has to offer, you will be able to do that for the foreseeable future as. Just make sure to get the right communicator for your system.

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It's no secret that the Home Security industry is full of companies willing to say anything to get you to sign a multi-year contract with them. It's one of the many problematic practices that resulted in the founding of Alarm Grid. It's a practice that nearly every single member of the industry does. When we started Alarm Grid two years ago, and we mentioned that we were going to try this whole thing by treating customers well and not making them sign contracts, we were laughed out of rooms and told that it would never work. Well, here we are two years later: one of the fastest growing security companies in the United States.

The industry incumbents aren't any better, unfortunately. Over the last year, we've seen tons of home security scams where companies are claiming to be ADT or another known security brand and tricking customers into signing up. Rightly, most of the brands whose names are being misrepresented are working hard to make sure that those companies are squelched. That said, if ADT thinks that tricking customers is such a bad idea, then why is it that they were just found reprimanded by the FTC for misrepresenting their advertisements by paying for spokespeople to discuss their product glowingly?

In the FTC's release, they wrote the following:

As part of its ongoing crackdown on misleading endorsements in advertising, the Federal Trade Commission has charged the home security company ADT LLC with misrepresenting that paid endorsements from safety and technology experts were independent reviews. Under an agreed-upon settlement, ADT is prohibited from misrepresenting paid endorsements as independent reviews in the future....

“It’s hard for consumers to make good buying decisions when they think they’re getting independent expert advice as part of an impartial news segment and have no way of knowing they are actually watching a sales pitch,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When a paid endorser appears in a news or talk show segment with the host of that program, the relationship with the advertiser must be clearly disclosed."

While we find the practice of undisclosed paid endorsements reprehensible - especially when these endorsement deals are hundreds of thousands of dollars - it's unfortunately commonplace in this industry. You don't have to look too far online to find a company or two that always shows up at the top of what looks like a legitimate resource for consumers doing research on systems.

We find it odd that companies like ADT who go far to try to keep other companies from dragging their name through the mud (they offered $20,000 bounties for footage of companies training their employees to do what we described at the beginning of the article), would turn around and disrespect consumers in the same way. 

You will never find Alarm Grid faking reviews. Every Alarm Grid review online is 100% real. It is common for us to ask customers to leave those reviews, but they do it without any compensation. Our on-site testimonials, as we've stated numerous times before, are given to us in exchange for a free month of monitoring, but only after a client has worked with us for at least 6 months. But that's it. If you find our name on a blog, or on some rating site, we will very clearly disclose if we paid for it to be there - you have our word.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Wichita, KS Under License #165.

Alarm Grid's monitoring responsibilities extend to areas all throughout the United States - including the great heartlands. We are honored to be monitoring the alarms of clients in Wichita, KS under the permit granted to us by the city. For current regulations we remind Wichita residence to please check with your city's police department. We do our best to keep up with regulations throughout the United States, but occasionally our database is out of date or incorrect.

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that their security system is in compliance with local regulations. We do our best to make that a simple process, but if you find that our municipal database has inaccurate information we ask that you email support@alarmgrid.com with that information so that we can quickly correct it.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Louisville, KY Under License #836.

It is not uncommon for heavily populated cities, such as Louisville, to take on the efforts of licensing and regulations for alarm monitoring companies. Alarm Grid is licensed in Louisville to monitor alarms.

While we do our best to make sure to stay on top of each city's rules and regulations when it comes to home security ordinances, the burden of ensuring that your system is in compliance with local laws is on the owner of the security system. Please double-check our posted process with those listed by the city itself.

If you find that Alarm Grid's rules are out of date or incorrect, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com so that we can correct the record in our municipal database.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Maryland Under License #107-1961.

Alarm Grid is honored to monitor homes in Maryland. Maryland's state regulations regarding home security are onerous, so we are glad to be done with the process of getting licensed in the state.

While having a license to operate in the state of Maryland is necessary for effectively performing central station monitoring for municipalities within the state, many of those municipalities, including counties and cities themselves, have ordinances that require additional efforts in order to make sure that your system is in compliance.

We do our best to make sure that we are in compliance with each of the individual municipalities, but there are over 9,000 throughout the United States, so occasionally, the information in our municipal database is outdated. It is your responsibility to check the regulations in your local area, though we do our best to help. If you find that some of the information that we have posted is incorrect, please let us know by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will make the proper updates right away.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Albuquerque, NM Under License #820.

Albuquerque, NM is a municipality that requires the registration of local security systems with the city. Alarm Grid submits a list of new clients as soon as you are activated. At that time, if you are interested in a homeowners insurance discount for your system, once activated please let us know the name and email address or fax number of you insurance provider. We will send on a certificate of insurance as soon as we confirm the reception of signals.

For those in other New Mexico municipalities, please explore the Alarm Grid places database for information on your specific locale. Every location has different rules and regulations. However, it is your responsibility to know the rules in your specific location. While we do our best to maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date database of all locations in the US, with more than 9,000 locations, there is no guarantee that our information is the most recent information. Please check with your police station to confirm that our displayed requirements for your location are both current and accurate. In cases where you find out-of-date data, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com so that we can update the municipality right away.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Florida under license #EG13000444.

As Alarm Grid's home state, we are both proud and excited to begin monitoring home security accounts in this wonderful state.

Florida is a big state, and municipalities are in charge of their own rules with regard to alarm registration. Some cities require alarm system owners to purchase a permit from their local police department to avoid false alarm fines. If your located in any of those cities, it is your responsibility to know what you need to do to make sure that your alarm is in compliance with local regulations. That said, we do our best to make sure that our local database has information about your location, though the incredible frequency with which local regulations change will mean that our database is occasionally displaying old, outdated information. You should call your local police department in order to make sure that you are in compliance.

In the case that Alarm Grid is required to be permitted within your city limits and there is no permit displayed on our municipal database's page, simply email support@alarmgrid.com in order to obtain our permit number and any forms that might need for local registration.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Virginia under license permit #11-9013.

We are proud to be working with the state of Virginia, and its municipalities to both reduce false alarms and to make sure that our users are in compliance with both state and local regulations at all times.

The great state of Virginia has granted Alarm Grid permission to operate within the state under permit #11-9013. This is a pre-requisite for Alarm Grid to obtain permits in any city in the state. Alarm Grid does our best to remain compliant with municipal rules, but it as the alarm system owner, it is your job to know the laws in your particular jurisdiction. Please check the ordinances within your city and county's limits to ensure that you are in compliance with the local jurisdiction.

In some cases, you will need to make sure that your security system is registered with the local police, though that is not necessarily the case. Additionally, in some counties within Virginia (Fairfax County for example), users are required to fill out a triplicate carbon copy sheet that is to be submitted to be held by the owner of the system, the county itself, and Alarm Grid. If you live in one of these counties, please ask us for the forms since they are specific to your security company and we will send out a pre-filled form to you that same day.

If you find that the licensing information for your city is out of date on Alarm Grid's municipal database, please email support@alarmgrid.com so that we can make sure to update the locale's information. We do our best to help you remain compliant, but local municipalities regularly change their ordinances. And with more than 9,000 municipalities nationwide, there are times when our database will be displaying out of date information.

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