Home Security Blog

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Update: The Lyric has been released and can be purchased on Alarm Grid.

Honeywell has long been known as the premier producer of security equipment in the United States. Therefore, it's no surprise that the new Lyric security system (coming soon!) is the most full-featured home security and automation controller ever made.

Much like the L5200 or the L7000 (and their predecessors - the L5100 and L5000), the Lyric wireless security system's UI has been given a complete overhaul compared to traditional wired alarm systems. It's new interface and capacitive glass front, give the new system an appearance unlike any that have ever come before it. Reminiscent of the 2GIG's Go!Control, the Lyric has all the best features of the 2GIG's front-end user UIs, along with simplicity of the LYNX Touch's system / sensor programming.

Unlike traditional, self-contained systems, the Lyric is a beautiful addition to any wall - protruding out only 1.3 inches. Honeywell has also streamlined the plastic housing so it's only 8.5 inches in width, and 6.65 inches high. This Apple-like security system has everything you didn't even know you wanted. Honeywell has done an incredible job building the most advanced security system ever sold.

Honeywell has taken a measured approach to building this system. Mimicking many of the best features of the 2GIG system, Honeywell has taken their expertise as hardware manufacturers, learned from the interfaces on the market, and added the best of the best features. The most notable feature borrowed from the 2GIG interface is the use of the 3rd hand, which lets an user work on the system while still being attached to the backplate hanging on the wall.

It's a perfect feature for the DIY-er who is interested in working on their system. Rather than having to dismount the system entirely from the backplate, or cut your finger on a hard to remove backplate (as Sterling has done multiple times).

Unfortunately, in spite of the Lyric being Honeywell's foray into a simple to use, DIY panel, they have eliminated one of our favorite elements of the old LYNX Touch security systems, the ability to use a barrel connector when installing it. Our LT-Cable is one of the simplest ways for an end-user to install the old systems. The Lyric takes a step back from the ease of use of a barrel connector and forces you to connect your power wires to internal screw terminals. While the older LYNX Touch panels (and the 2GIG as well) boast the simple to use DC input connection, the Lyric has eliminated it for inexplicable reasons. Using wire purchased from Home Depot isn't a difficult proposition, but it does make things a bit more difficult to the end user. This is, perhaps, the biggest drawback of the system.

Ultimately, the Lyric is way more compact than any of the LYNX systems before it. Nowhere is it more evident than in the new Lyric's communicators. The Lyric-3G, one of a number of GSMs that will be released for the final product, is a little bit thicker than a credit card. Unlike the older 3GL which protrudes from the circuit board itself, the Lyric-3G is super thin.

Unlike the LYNX security line, the Lyric-3G goes in through the side of the unit. No need for tools, save for what you will need to mount the unit on the wall, to install the GSM communicator.The Lyric wireless security system allows you to simply slip the 3G or CDMA communicator (yes, there will be a Verizon module available!) into the side of the unit with almost no hassle. Also, Honeywell has added a panel feature where you can click a button to turn off the internal power to the GSM so that you can install or remove a cellular communicator without fully powering down the system, which is a really nice addition.

Notice that I have not yet mentioned a Z-Wave or WIFI communicator. Unlike the L5200 or L7000, the Lyric does not have an optional WIFI or Z-Wave module. They are built in! This system is pre-equipped to connect to your local area network and integrate with Z-Wave lights, locks and thermostats. Older systems allowed users to add the L5100-WIFI and the L5100-ZWAVE optionally, which was a nice option, but definitely added complexity and made putting a system purchase together on our site more difficult. Building the WIFI and Z-Wave into the system adds to the usability of this amazing piece of consumer-friendly equipment.

We are amazingly excited to be getting ready to add the Lyric to our line of security systems. We hope you are as well. If you are interested in receiving updates about this coming system, please sign up for our newsletter below!

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Alarm Grid is getting ready to embark on the Lyric Security System beta test with Honeywell. Perhaps the most user friendly, advanced security system ever to be released, the Lyric line of products are unlike anything we've ever seen before. It's the first (as far as we know) consumer system that features encrypted communication between the sensors and the hub, and it might be the best looking security system we've ever seen with Apple-esque menus, and an intuitive interface that will make any DIY security lover gush.

Sterling has been testing the system at the Alarm Grid lab, and has taken a few preliminary photos to show off each of the different pieces. Over the next few days, we will be giving anyone that reads our blog a little introduction to each of the new system's pieces. We have opened them up, and are going to discuss the amazing new features that this system will bring to the DIY market. If you are interested in getting updates on the Lyric security system, fill your email in below.

If you are interested in getting email alerts when the Lyric Security System has been released, sign up below!

Are you ready? Because... we're really excited.

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Alarm Grid has partnered with interactive service powerhouse Alarm.com. Well-known as the pioneer of modern-day interactive, the Alarm.com product, along with Total Connect and Telguard, are well-known names in the industry. "Alarm Grid is excited to offer the whole suite of Alarm.com products to our customers. The product provides an incredible consumer experience and we're excited to be offering it alongside our other interactive options," said Sterling Donnelly, president of Alarm Grid. "We have really come to love the interactive services provided by Alarm.com. Their focus is on making sure that our customers are satisfied so that we can retain them for years to come. As you can imagine, that sort of loyalty is something that a no contract alarm monitoring company like Alarm Grid is trying to find." In addition to adding the new product line, Alarm Grid is rolling out new alarm monitoring plans to accommodate the new features that Alarm.com customers have come to know and love. "We're going to start giving automation away for free, basically," said Joshua Unseth, Alarm Grid's Director of Marketing. "It's included with any of the plans we offer that are not the most basic."

In addition to the Alarm.com rollout, in an effort to expand their reach, Alarm Grid, best known for making Honeywell panels accessible to end users, is now offering 2GIG panels. Powered by the interactive services of Alarm.com, the panels can do anything and everything one would expect a professional panel to. "There is a lot of demand for 2GIG's product line," said Joshua Unseth. "We want to make sure that our consumers can get the product that they want." Donnelly reiterated the point, "we absolutely love Honeywell and are going to be supporting and selling them for as long as we're selling home security equipment, but there is a need for a consumer friendly site that sells 2GIG as well. We will do our best to service both markets."

2GIG's become a well-known security panel in the DIY space. But for many end users, the Alarm Grid touch might be just what is needed to convince them to consider the consumer panel. "2GIG's documentation is written for installers, and even then, if you're not super familiar with the equipment, there just aren't really a lot of places that a person can go to get answers. Alarm Grid is going to change that," Joshua said. "With about 90 FAQs already on-site, we expect the Alarm Grid roll out of the 2GIG product line to change the way consumers can expect to interact with these products going forward. DIY videos showing both programming and installation are coming soon, and there are no shortage of FAQs that we will be producing over the next year."

While there are other smaller outfits that sell and support both Honeywell and 2GIG panels, Alarm Grid's made a name for itself by offering unparalleled support for the panels it does sell. "We have heard reports of techs in the field using Alarm Grid's site to get answers when they get stuck," said Sterling Donnelly. "Our experience has shown us the level to which there is a knowledge gap in the field. Some techs know everything about all the panels. Some know almost nothing. As far as our techs, we simply don't want to sell something on our site that our techs don't know in and out. We want our customers to be able to ask hard questions and get great answers no matter what the customer wants to know. We spent the last couple months getting 2GIG products into the hands of our support team and making sure that they encountered as many situations as they could so that they are prepared to give technical support that exceeds everyone's expectations."
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Alarm Grid has re-vamped it's plans, and we hope you're as excited about them as we are!

We have done our darndest to simplify our plans so that they are understandable without explanation. We still offer our great low-cost self monitoring plan for $10 that everyone likes, but we have spent a lot of time trying to design the plans such that the home automation options are much much more affordable. For only $5 more, anyone who wants to take advantage of the L5200 or L7000s home automation benefits, it can be added to a plan. For those that have a Z-Wave thermostat, their is absolutely no way that you won't be able to make up the $5 difference with good, energy management settings.

DO NOT WORRY! Alarm Grid isn't going to make anyone switch plans. And our legacy plans will always be available though we aren't going to be displaying them anymore.

For those that are on the current plans, but would like to get the awesome benefits of remote home automation, and would like to upgrade, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We will do everything we can to make the transition easier.



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Honeywell has informed us that they are discontinuing production of the largely disused two-button key fob, the 5834-2. The remote fob was made to simply offer an arm and disarm option, but did not allow for an arm stay or a panic function. While, theoretically, removing those buttons would give users the ability to avoid false alarms through mis-presses, the 5834-2's proven to be a fairly unpopular key fob compared to its contemporary the 5834-4.

Used largely with the LYNX series panels such as the L5200 or L7000, the 5834-4 key fobs (as well as the 5834-2) allow for the arming and disarming without the need to enter a code into the panels themselves. This functionality is well loved by end users, and is the reason the 5834-4 has become one of the more popular options, even coming with the available kits for the LYNX panels. But while users will often find themselves purchasing multiple 5834-4s for the system, since the 5834-4 offers the versatility of an end-user programming it to function exactly like the 5834-2, this key fob has been rendered redundant. Alarm Grid has discontinued the item on the site.

For those who want to know how to program a key fob to one of these simple, wireless systems, we have made a series of programming videos for the 5834-4. For those that are looking for functionality that mimics the 5834-2, simply delete the arm stay function which is indicated by the small home picture on the key fob. That would make only the arm stay and arm away buttons work with the system, exactly as the 5834-2 works.

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Honeywell told us when they released the most recent overhaul of the Total Connect 2.0 platform that they were going to move to a more active production schedule. And it seems they are finally moving in that direction, which is excellent. releases are still less often than we would like, but once a month is better than once every year or two.

The current versions for Android and iPhone are 3.1.6 and 3.1.5 respectively. In this release, Honeywell is touting the following features:

  1. Arm or disarm your security system
  2. Turn lights off or on
  3. Adjust thermostat temperature
  4. Unlock or lock doors
  5. View live video and recorded clips from your Honeywell Total Connect cameras
  6. Wi-Fi signal strength indicators for Honeywell Total Connect cameras
  7. Create and control automated scenes for convenience and energy savings
  8. Create users and manage their security system user codes
  9. Language support for: Latin American Spanish, French Canadian, Brazilian Portuguese
  10. Receive email and text alerts about selected events in your home or business, such as extreme temperature changes, motion detected in restricted areas, movement of valuable items, and more.
Perhaps the most notable change in the app i the language support. Total Connect is being made available to a more global audience, which is something that is reflected in our user base. We have more than 10 different countries represented among our customers. If you're not in the US and you would like to use Total Connect to monitor your home, while central station monitoring is not available to you, more than likely you can use the features of TC 2.0 to accomplish what you want so long as you have a Honeywell security system and an internet connection.
In addition, this release quashes more than 50 known bugs, which makes the app much more usable. If you were using TC 2.0 during it's last release, you will know how amazing that is since it wasn't as smooth as many would have liked.


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Happy Birthday America!

We know that you are all going to be picnicking and watching fireworks for the next couple days... and so are we. Alarm Grid's offices are going to be closed on Friday the 3rd.

As usual, your accounts are all monitored 24/7. If you need central station services, please call 888-818-7728 (the big blue number at the top of the site), and dial extension 1. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email support@alarmgrid.com. A ticket will be generated and we will get to them as soon as we can.

Have a wonderful 4th of July, celebrate well, and do what your mothers' taught you to do when handling fireworks. Oh... and if you eat a hot dog this weekend, think of Alarm Grid. We'll do our darndest to keep the thieves at bay while you go out and celebrate!



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Alarm Grid has reduced the price on almost all of our VISTA GSMs!

Our best selling dual path unit, the iGSMV4G has gone from $239.99 to 190.99. If you need the upgrade chips, the iGSMV4G-TC2, has gone from $252.99 to $199.99. A 20% reduction across the board. It is now the same cost to go dual path with an upgrade chip as it would be to do GSM only!

The GSMV4G was $213.99 and is now $187.99 (12% reduction). If you need the upgrade kit, the GSMV4G-TC2, it's gone from $239.00 to 199.99, a 16% reduction in price.

The at-the-panel communicator has seen a big reduction as well. While we generally try recommend the GSMV4G units to any new customers since they do not require you to do a power calculation, there are people who prefer to use a device that goes on the panel itself. For you, the GSMX4G or the upgrade kit the GSMX4G-TC2 are the perfect option - not to mention the GSMX series communicators is seeing our biggest price reduction. From 200.99 to 141.99 for the GSMX4G, and from 213.99 to 154.99 for the GSMX4G-TC2, the units have been cut in price by 29% and 28% respectively.

These options are great for anyone who wants to add a little bit extra security to their system for a modest amount of money. For those who aren't sure whether they want to add cellular monitoring to their system, but definitely want to be monitored over IP in the short term, rather than purchasing the 7847i, which is the IP communicator option for VISTA panels, the iGSMV4G will allow for single path monitoring as well as dual path monitoring thus allowing maximum flexibility to any alarm system owner.

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The iGSMV4G is the dual path monitoring communicator for the VISTA series panels (except the VISTA 21iP which uses the VISTA-GSM4G). Until recently, the iGSMV4G could only be used as a dual path communicator or as a cellular communicator. But since the upgrade to 2.12, the communicator now has the ability to be used as an IP-only communicator as well.

So why would anyone want to buy a dual path communicator if they want just IP monitoring or just GSM monitoring? Very simple. The VISTA 20P, 15P, and 10P cannot be setup to run both a GSMV4G and the 7847i - the cellular and IP communicators respectively. Until now, an user must pick either one path or two. The only way to switch from one path to two if it's something an user would want to do in the future, was to replace the entire communicator.

But not anymore!

Now, for $139.99, an user can purchase the 7847i, which will lock them to IP. Or, for an extra $70, the user can add the option to add GSM at some point in the future should they want to. For those who think there is even a slight chance that they might want to use the cellular communication pathway, the new and improved iGSMV4G is a great choice.

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The idea of installing a whole security system all by yourself might seem daunting. Trust us when we say it's not. The Honeywell L5200 security systems are both high quality, and incredibly simple for end-users to install. We've put this nuts to bolts blog post together using our YouTube channel to give you the resources to do everything you need to make sure your system is in order.

Installing the L5200

Making sure that the L5200 is properly installed is the key to a successful installation. If you want to mount it on your wall, follow the instructions on our L7000 installation video (which uses wire track) or our L5100 installation video (wherein Sterling fishes the LT-cable through the wall). Whether you're putting the L5200 on a flat surface using the L5000DM, or mounting it on the wall, the installation is straightforward.

Installing the Communicator(s)

The communicators are simple to put into the system. For those with an iLP5 who did not buy one of our pre-made kits, the installation is simple as well. For the rest of you, the kits come with either the L5100-WIFI, the 3GL, or both. In the following video, Sterling installs the L5100-WIFI into the L5200 security system. As you can see, opening up the system, and mounting it to the board on the right side couldn't be easier.

The 3GL (which at the time of our filming was called GSMVLP5-4G) is about as quick. While Honeywell recommends that it be affixed with screws, the installation should take you no more than a few minutes.

Programming the Sensors

Our kits, for the most part, come with Honeywell's wireless 5811 sensor. Below is a video on programming the 5811 sensor to the L5200 security system.

We do have kits with the 5816s. If you have purchased a kit including some 5816s, the difference in programming is significant enough that it's worth watching the 5816 programming video. The most common issue that end users run into when programming a 5816 is setting it to loop 1 as is commonly done with every other sensor. In the case of the 5816, loop 1 is reserved for when the 5816 is being used as a wired to wireless transmitter. Loop 2, on the other hand, is what one uses when using the 5816 as a traditional wireless security sensor.

The 5800PIR-RES motion detector is the motion sensor that comes with the kits. An excellent motion with pet immunity, the sensor is simple to program and install. In the video below, Sterling explains how to install program the sensor to the L5200.

Finally, the security system comes with a Honeywell 5834-4, 4-button key fob. Programming the key fob is quite like programming all the other sensors, though it is programmed in a section different from the other sensors as you can see in the following video.

Installing the Sensors

The sensors are simple to install. The 5811s can be installed on a door or window with the right amount of lip. In the following video, Sterling installs the 5811s on a double french door.

Motion sensors are a little bit more tricky. While the sensor is programmed, a installation requires 1) a walk-test to ensure that it is installed in a location that will adequately protect a room, in addition to 2) drilling it into a location on the wall. Below we demonstrate the walk-test that should be performed before installation.

Once a walk-test confirms the mounting location is correct, you can install the 5800PIR-RES in a corner mount location.

Following these instructions will help you complete the installation of your L5200 security system.

If you find these videos helpful, we'd love for you to subscribe to our youtube channel.

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