Home Security Blog

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Not every area you monitor is going to feature perfect lighting. In many situations, a camera must record an important event in a dark or low-light setting. If you have the right camera for the job, then this will be no problem. But if your camera doesn't have night vision, then the resulting pitch-black and vague recording will offer you very little value. With that in mind, if you ever plan on monitoring a dark area, you better make sure that your security camera offers night vision.

Fortunately, Honeywell designed all of their new Lyric Security Cameras with night vision capabilities. This lineup includes three state-of-the-art security cameras that each perform exceptionally well in low-light settings. These cameras feature advanced light-detection sensors that automatically adapt to the brightness to achieve the best recordings possible. Their special infrared (IR) LED lights enhance low-light performance, making even the darkest area appear clear and illuminated in the recording.

All of these cameras can capture video in full HD quality, and their built-in SD cards ensure that recordings are saved whenever WIFI is down. They can all connect seamlessly with Honeywell's Total Connect Service, making them very easy to get connected to the network. Each of the three cameras is best utilized in certain types of applications. You should consider where and how the camera will be used and strengths of each camera before making a purchasing decision. Overall, the Lyric Cameras are fantastic for any Honeywell user who wants to get started with video surveillance. And if there's ever any trouble in the night, your camera will be ready.

First up is the Lyric C1, also called the IPCAM-WIC1. This is an indoor camera that can be placed on any table or desk for a quick setup. Its IR LED lights prove the device with an IR range of 16.5 feet, and the camera will automatically adjust based on the current lighting. The Lyric C1 can record footage up to 720P HD in quality, which is fine for most uses. The camera also includes a built-in microphone for capturing audio. While this isn't the most robust camera in the Lyric lineup, it is a great camera for monitoring a smaller area of a home, such as a bedroom or a foyer. The Lyric C1 will work exceptionally well in any indoor situation where basic recording is needed.

Next is the Lyric C2, or the IPCAM-WIC2. This camera offers twice the night vision range of the Lyric C1, boasting an IR range of 33 feet. Just like the other cameras in the lineup, its included sensors will help it adjust to the current brightness level. The Lyric C2 comes attached to its own stand so that i can be placed conveniently on a desk or table for a quick and easy setup. The camera also comes complete with full 1080P HD recording quality and a built-in microphone for capturing audio. Overall, the Lyric C2 is notably more robust and powerful than the other indoor camera in the lineup. If you ever require higher-quality recording capabilities or if you need to capture footage in a larger indoor area, then the Lyric C2 is certainly up to the task. It is recommended for larger rooms, like a living room or a garage.

Last but not least in the Lyric Camera lineup is the Lyric OC1, also called the IPCAM-OC1. This is the only outdoor camera in the lineup. Its tough, weatherproof and water-resistant design will keep it safe in almost anything that nature can throw at it. The camera comes with its own mounting plate that allows a user to install the device on a wall or ceiling with relative ease. Out of all the cameras in the Lyric Camera lineup, the OC1 features the strongest night vision capabilities. Its IR LED lights will illuminate recordings up to an incredible 65 feet away. And of course, its built-in light-detection sensors allow the camera to automatically adjust its recording based on the brightness level in the area. And with its 1080P HD recording quality, you're sure to achieve crystal-clear recordings every time. The one downside to the OC1 is that it does not have a built-in microphone. Also, at this time, an external microphone will not function with the device. However, a later firmware update may change this. But if you're looking for strictly video recording in an outdoor environment, then the Lyric OC1 is second to none.

All three of these cameras are available on the alarm Grid website right now. If you're a Honeywell user who needs to monitor a low-light setting, look no further!

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Certain alarm monitoring companies employ various tactics to take money from honest people for service that they may never receive. Worse yet, some criminals and frauds use savvy tricks and tactics to fool unsuspecting individuals. This can cost a customer caught in their traps thousands of dollars. Don’t let monitoring companies or criminals take advantage of you.

Keep an eye out for these 10 security scams and dishonest tactics, and know how to prevent them from happening.

1. Expensive Hidden Fees

Many legitimate security companies are known for making most of their money through hidden fees. What might seem like a good deal may really be a total rip-off. You might see the low monthly rate or low equipment cost and be completely sold. However, expensive activation fees and service fees can quickly add up and rob you blind. Suddenly, your great deal has turned into a total money-sucking trap. This article outlines much of the hidden costs associated with security systems.

Always read the terms of service for a security contract. Know exactly what you are agreeing to before you commit to a security company. Most importantly, choose a company that will provide you with the level of support that you need, at a price you can afford. Many customers find that the best option for them is a DIY security company, such as Alarm Grid. These companies are less likely to charge you hidden activation fees or service fees. Plus, installing your own equipment will give you better control over your system.

2. Long-Term Contracts

A prominent tactic in the security industry is to lock customers into long-term contracts. Customers are often swayed by low or nonexistent activation fees and low-cost equipment. However, if they ever need to cancel their service, their monitoring company can hold them hostage. They will charge outrageous cancellation fees for a customer to get out of their plan. Should the customer refuse to pay these fees, they’ll instead be stuck paying their monthly cost of their monitoring plan. This can go on for years until their contract expires. Indeed, long-term contacts have been well-documented in the security industry for many years.

Again, make sure that you read the terms of your monitoring plan. Always know what you are getting into before making an agreement. If possible, choose an alarm monitoring company that does not have any contacts or cancellation fees. For example, Alarm Grid allows its customers to cancel their service at any time. They can even take their equipment with them to a new company if desired. There are also no added fees whatsoever to do this.

3. “I’m from your monitoring company.”

Placing stickers or signs outside your home to let potential intruders know that you are monitored is usually a smart idea. This will let the criminals know that your home is protected and that they shouldn’t try to mess with you. That said, some unethical alarm companies will use this information to their advantage. They’ll knock on your door in the middle of the day and claim to be a technician from your security company - whether that be ADT, Vivint or Alarm Grid. The phony technician will claim that they are they there to upgrade your system or that your panel needs to be inspected. These intruders are known for being very convincing. In many cases, they’ll even be wearing a fake uniform or having a phony ID number. Check out this dangerous situation in Miami, where some criminals posed as phony ADT workers. Many security companies have even started taking measures against this fraud in order to protect people.

Remember, any legitimate security company will never send over a technician without telling you first. If a technician randomly shows up at your doorstep claiming that they need to work on your system, tell them to pound sand. Also there are numbers that you can call to report unethical practices like this. ADT has even sued companies that engage in these deceptive practices. If they gain access to your system, they can disable or destroy it so that they can safely rob your house later. The intruder will also most likely use this opportunity to scope out your house and determine the most effective way to conduct a burglary. This is one of the scariest tactics that intruders can employ, so make sure that you are always on your toes.

4. Free Equipment

Security companies often make the promise of free equipment to lure customers in. Unfortunately, this free equipment is almost always accompanied by heavy installation and activation fees. By the time all is said and done, you can be left paying thousands of dollars. Turns out that "free" equipment wasn't so free after all. Any security or monitoring company that continuously stresses "free equipment" should always be approached with some caution.

Once again, it's critical that you read the terms of any security contract that you agree to. Just because the equipment itself is free doesn't mean that it's a good deal. Make sure that you are aware of any and all fees that the company will charge. These can include activation fees, installation fees, service fees, cancellation fees and monitoring fees. Take your time, and never agree to a plan that is sketchy below the surface. And always remember - if it's too good to be true, then it probably is.

5. Burglars in Action

This is another method used by home intruders and burglars. The criminals will show at your house up in official-looking uniforms, and they will show-off top-of-the-line equipment. They'll get you to sign up for a reasonably priced monitoring plan. They'll ask for some basic information so that they seem legitimate. They'll even arrive for a professional installation and supposedly provide you with fully monitored security equipment. If they want to be really convincing, they might even install a camera. They can then show you the video feed and make it look like you're fully protected. But in reality, your home is not connected to any central monitoring station, and your house is now prime picking for a burglary. While you might not know this, the criminals sure will. They will wait for the right opportunity and conduct a major burglary of your house. Even that camera will be useless, as they will simply take it. After all, you weren't actually monitored.

You can avoid this scary situation by always conducting full research before agreeing to monitoring service. Always be very wary of any security representative who suddenly shows up at your home. You are much safer going online or calling a reputable security company. Choose a company that has great reviews and an excellent track record for protecting their customers. It is extremely sketchy whenever a worker from a supposed security company shows up at your home without a prior invitation. You should also contact the security company in question and verify that the individual who came for a visit was indeed legitimate.

6. Scare Tactics

The use of scare tactics is very common in the security industry. This trick involves presenting false statistics or information as a way of convincing people to sign up for monitoring. A security representative might claim that there has been an increase in burglaries and that your home is at major risk. If they really want to get personal, they might state that your children or spouse is in major danger. They will say that the only way to protect your home and your loved ones is to sign up for monitoring service. Once you are in total fear, you will fork over money to this security representative so that your home will be protected. This representative will also most likely attempt to get you to sign up for certain services and features that you don't even really need. This will allow them to milk as much money out of you as possible.

While security monitoring is certainly a great way to protect your home, using scare tactics is taking things too far. This is especially true if they start presenting uncomfortable scenarios for your family. A sleazy salesperson will have no problem making up false numbers and statistics to scare you into doing what they want. Instead of falling into their trap, do you own research, and find out the truth about how dangerous your area really is. Only sign-up for the services that you need, and never agree to any monitoring plan based upon fear alone. Also be very suspicious of any sales presentation that is centered around threats or scare tactics. Many of these salespeople that use these techniques don't even work for security companies at all. They could very well be criminals who want to break into your home. Scare tactics are not presented in any reputable sales training, and they have no place in the security industry. An honest security company will never rely on these tactics, and they will be looking out for your best interests in the long run. Most importantly, if you ever feel pressured or uncomfortable, ask the sales person to leave immediately.

7. Proprietary Equipment

Proprietary security equipment is regularly supplied by security companies that do not care about their customers. This type of equipment is designed to work exclusively with the company that originally supplied it. This means that the equipment cannot be taken to a monitoring company and that cancelling service with the current company would turn that equipment into complete junk. It's also very likely that the customer paid will have paid a very hefty fee for this equipment. This will greatly discourage them from ever terminating their service. In other words, the monitoring company will have the customer right where they want them.

Luckily, you can beat the system by choosing a monitoring company that does not use proprietary equipment. This way, you will be able to take the equipment to a new monitoring company if you ever choose to do so. It is also wise to select a monitoring company that does not have any cancellation fees. One such company is Alarm Grid. This company only offers non-proprietary security systems. These systems can be taken to any monitoring company that will support them. The user will not need to replace any communication modules or any of their equipment. Additionally, there are no cancellation fees for terminating service with Alarm Grid, and customers can leave at any time. This makes Alarm Grid an excellent company for those who want to avoid the scam of proprietary equipment.

Follow these tips so that you can avoid getting scammed - both by actual security companies and the criminals who pose as them!


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Qolsys has announced that software update 2.1.1 for the IQ Panel 2 will be made available tomorrow, May 1st, 2018. This update includes various fixes and improvements that should improve the functionality of the system. The update can be installed wireless if the IQ Panel 2 is connected to a WIFI network and currently running software version 2.0.1 or higher.

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

Some of the benefits of this update include:

  • Automatic communication tests will now report as E602, while manual communication tests will now report as E601.
  • System will no longer report cellular signal strength when disconnected from the network.
  • IQ Remote will now report correct supervision status on Alarm.com.
  • IQ remote will no longer display a red emergency screen at incorrect times.
  • Improvements in connectivity and function with DSC Power-G Sensors.
  • Nighttime mode will no longer turn Z-Wave voice prompts on if the feature is disable.

You can update your IQ Panel 2 to software version 2.1.1 by completing the following steps:

  1. Press the small grey bar at the top of the home screen, and choose "Settings".
  2. Choose "Advanced Settings".
  3. Enter the system's Installer Code (default is 1111).
  4. Choose "Upgrade Software".
  5. Choose "Patch Tag", and then enter in "iqpanel2.1.1". Then press "OK".
  6. Choose "Upgrade Using Network". If the panel is connected to WIFI, the update will download and install.
  7. Once the upgrade is complete, press "OK". The panel will begin the rebooting process, which should take about five minutes to fully complete. After the panel reboot, the home screen will appear, and the LED light will turn green.

Remember, the update will be available starting Tuesday, May 1st. If you are interested in the update, the Alarm Grid support team can remotely download the firmware via Alarm.com. Simply email us at support@alarmgrid.com to place your request.

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During ISC West 2018, Honeywell announced some important updates to their Total Connect 2.0 interactive service. These updates are expected to enhance the end user experience and improve the overall functionality of the service. This is excellent news for Honeywell users, as the interactive platform used with their panels is now more robust and capable than ever before. Let's check out some of the new features available from Total Connect 2.0.

WIFI Automation for VISTA without VAM or Tuxedo Touch

The Honeywell AlarmNet 360 division is currently developing an option for VISTA users to add WIFI automation devices to their Total Connect account without having to use a Vista Automation Module (VAM) or a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. This will provide VISTA users with greater flexibility in using devices such as WIFI thermostats and door locks with Total Connect. However, a VAM or Tuxedo Touch is still needed for a VISTA to use any Z-Wave devices. Honeywell has opened up Total Connect to cloud level integrations like Total Connect Comfort WIFI thermostats and August door locks. These are types of products that will be supported without the need for a VAM or Tuxedo after this feature is released.

Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Amazon Alexa

The Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Amazon Alexa is now available. This allows a user to operate their Honeywell Alarm System using voice commands with an Amazon Alexa device. Users can arm their system and check the current status of their system with some quick and easy voice commands. The Total Connect 2.0 Skill is available for free download through the Amazon Alexa App. To get started, access the Alexa App, locate the Total Connect 2.0 Skill, click enable, and link your Total Connect account.

Total Connect Garage Door Support

Honeywell will soon be adding support for both Chamberlain and LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door. Users will be able to access Total Connect to operate these brands of smart garage door controllers. By using the Total Connect Mobile App, these devices can be controlled remotely, and users can have any open and close alerts sent to their phone. Keep an eye out for more information regarding these upcoming integrations.

Multi-Partition Support for Total Connect

The much-anticipated multi-partition support for VISTA Systems from Total Connect will soon be made available! This feature will provide support for up to eight different VISTA partitions (depending on what the panel supports) that can be controlled from any web browser or through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. This will provide enhanced usability for VISTA owners who use multiple partitions with their system. Up until now, VISTA alarm owners were limited to partition one for status, control and notifications. Although Alarm Grid operates a workaround solution, this native update will open up full integration to every partition on your alarm system. If you are interested in the beta, Honeywell has invited end users to join the excitement.

Check out some screenshots from our beta account below to scope out the new user interface:

New Language Support

Total Connect 2.0 will soon support language options for French Canadian, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. These language options will soon be available for the Total Connect Mobile App, as well as the web browser version of Total Connect 2.0. Honeywell has also promised general improvements and various bug fixes to Total Connect 2.0 as well.

SkyBell Menu Improvements

Honeywell is planning on integrating the SkyBell section of the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App with the Cameras tab. To view any security cameras, including the SkyBell DoorBell Camera, simply select the Cameras option on the menu bar. This will improve the end user experience by offering a single video interface, and it will make the menus easier to navigate by having fewer icons overall.


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Alarm Grid is happy to announce that we are now carrying the Alarm.com SkyBell Cameras. This includes both the round SkyBell DBCAM and the more compact SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM. We previously only stocked the Total Connect versions of these cameras. Now Alarm.com support is available as well.

Skybell dbcam hd video doorbellAlarm dot com adc vdb105 slim hd video doorbell silver

These are outstanding cameras that have already proven to be very effective in catching wrongdoers right in the act. They produce crystal-clear videos at up to 1080P, and they feature built-in motion sensors that detect when someone is present. These devices are also very easy for an end user to install on their own, and they can replace almost any existing home doorbell. As soon as the doorbell is pressed, the user will receive an alert via Alarm.com, letting them know that a visitor is present. They can then immediately connect with the live feed of their SkyBell Camera and see who is at their door. It is also possible to initiate live conversation through the two-way voice feature.

The SkyBell Cameras provide many applications for end users. For one, they can be used to catch package thieves and other vandals and later present evidence to the authorities. SkyBell Cameras are also useful for checking on children when they return home from school. They are also allow users to see who is at their door by simply looking at their smartphone, all without having to get up and check. That way, when you see a door-to-door salesperson at your doorstep, you can just stay put. Overall, these are great devices for anyone who wants to monitor the area around their door.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com doorbell cameras, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between the hours of 9am and 8pm EST M-F.

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ISC West 2018 provided the Alarm Grid team with a rare chance to get a special sneak peek at what would soon be offered from Alarm.com, 2GIG and Qolsys. Each of these companies presented its own set of products and services that are expected to be made available sometime in the near future. Let's take a closer look at some of the most exciting offerings from these great companies.

Alarm.com Pro Video

Alarm.com was excited to announce that they will soon be releasing a new lineup of HD cameras and products. Their new stream video recording (ADC-SVR122) device will now feature an HDMI output for local viewing and supports up to 8 high definition camera feeds. The device will be made available with both 500GB (ADC-SVR122-500G) and 1TB (ADC-SVR-122-1TB) storage options. This is the future of hybrid local and cloud video storage.

The ADC-V622 Indoor WIFI Camera will provide a 180° field of view, 1080P HD recording and Bluetooth audio capabilities. It's basically an Alarm.com HD camera with an integrated speaker for local music streaming.

Alarm.com also announced four commercial grade outdoor 1080P PoE cameras, including the ADC-V726, the ADC-V736, the ADC-V826, and the ADC-V836. They are phasing out some older residential cameras, leaving only the ADC-V522IR, ADC-V722W and the ADC-V622 (mentioned above) when it is released. All of these products should be made available around May of this year.

New Sonos Alarm.com Integration

Alarm.com compatible alarm systems can now integrate with Sonos Sound Systems! This is accomplished using a WIFI bridge via specific ADC cameras. At this time, only the ADC-V522IR and the ADC-V722W residential cameras offer the proprietary internet connection for Sonos to reach the Alarm.com server. Eventually, Sonos and ADC will work out a server level integration to avoid the need for the WIFI camera bridge. There is no official ETA for the cloud integration, but knowing Alarm.com, it should not take long. By setting up rules and scenes through Alarm.com, the Sonos Sound System audio can start streaming your favorite artist automatically based on system events. This feature is available now from Alarm.com, and it is only available with professional video monitoring. If you are an Alarm Grid customer you will need our platinum or self platinum no-contract monitoring plan.

Liftmaster MyQ Integration Bug

Users of the MyQ Gateway 821LM Garage Door Controller have enjoyed the Alarm.com integration for quite a while now. Lately, there has been a bug creating an inability to enroll the gateway with Alarm.com. Both Liftmaster and ADC confirmed that they are getting close to a fix. That means new gateways will be able to pair with ADC shortly. Users can establish rules and scenes for both the MyQ Gateway 828LM and the Z-Wave GD00Z. These devices also support GeoFencing reminders. Verify compatibility with a technician before purchasing a garage door controller.

Alarm.com Simple Access Control

Alarm.com is also planning to release a DIY-friendly access control system. The software and overall setup should provide a more pleasing experience overall for small businesses. However, the device will still require a card reader and a subscription service. Alarm Grid plans on a soft entry into the access control space with the introduction of this product. This will be a slow deliberate process so that we are able to provide same level of support that we do on the intrusion side of things.

Alarm.com Wellness Platform for Elderly Independent Living

Alarm.com is expected to release a lineup of wellness products for senior users. These products should provide users with greater independence and help ensure peace of mind for their loved ones and caretakers. This lineup is expected to include bed and chair sensors with special learning technology, as well as other products. If your loved one is not out of bed by their normal time, you can check in on them. The equipment will be marketed to a younger generation of more technically inclined adults who are beginning to deal with the realities of caring for their elderly parents and grandparents. This will be a growing ecosystem of products. Millennials have not taken kindly to the low-tech status quo of medical monitoring devices like Life Alert. It will be interesting to see this facet of the Alarm.com business model expand over the next several years.

Nortek Booth (2GIG)

Nortek is the parent company of the 2GIG brand of alarm systems, and in years past there has always been a major buzz around their booth. However, things were admittedly quieter this time around. We are still awaiting the news regarding the exact release date of the encrypted 2GIG Sensors. These will be the first 2GIG Sensors to offer full protection against hacking and other attempted digital attacks. These sensors should work exclusively with the 2GIG GC3, and they are expected to be available by the end of 2018. The encrypted 2GIG Sensor lineup should include door and window contacts, a motion sensor, a glass break sensor, life-safety sensors and more.

There are some fun peripheral sensors that 2GIG is working on. The 2GIG STVGRIL1-345 was recently released. This is a stove and grill sensor that is designed to detect whenever the gas has been left on. If the gas is not shut off within a certain period of time, the alarm system will be alerted about the situation. The user can then receive a notification from Alarm.com letting them know about the situation. This helpful environmental sensor will surely make a great addition to any stove or grill.

2GIG plans on releasing a new shock sensor in August of this year. This device will double both as a shock/glass break sensor and as a door and window contact. The programmed Loop Number will determine the function that the sensor performs. Thanks to its integrated magnometer and accelorometer, the advanced sensor can detect shockwaves with exceptional accuracy and much greater precision than most older shock sensors. The device also supports much wider magnet spacing than a traditional reed switch. When used as a door or window contact, the sensor can function with a magnetic gap of up to five inches. This extremely wide gap makes the sensor suitable for a greater number of applications, including for use with sliding doors in which the casing between the two doors would otherwise be too large.

Finally, 2GIG also plans on releasing a flood sensor, an outdoor door and window contact, and a driveway sensor later this year. The flood sensor will offer instant water detection, while the contact will feature a 2-inch wide magnetic gap. All of these sensors should be made available sometime in the coming months. We will release more information when it is made available.

Qolsys Booth

Qolsys blew us away with their upcoming daughtercard for DSC PowerG Sensors. This add-on for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will allow Power G Sensors to be used with the system. The PowerG Sensors boast an astounding RF signal range of up to 3,000 feet in open air and roughly 2,000 feet when used indoors. The Power G lineup includes outdoor PIR motion sensors with integrated cameras, outdoor siren/strobe combos, and a door contact with a wired input for long range expansion. The sensors operate at a wireless frequency of 915 MHz, meaning that they won't interfere with the low-band RF signals in the 300-400 MHz range for other legacy protocols such as GE/Interlogix/Qolsys (319.5MHz), 2GIG/Honeywell (345MHz), and DSC (433MHz). These sensors also offer 128-bit AES encryption so that they cannot be hacked or taken over by others. We plan to start featuring the PowerG Sensors on the Alarm Grid website sometime in the coming months.

The latest version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will include both a PowerG daughtercard and the choice of a legacy daughtercard. Options for the legacy card will include 345 MHz for Honeywell and 2GIG Sensors, 319.5 MHz for Qolsys and GE/Interlogix Sensors, and 433 MHz for older DSC Sensors. These legacy cards will also be made available for individual purchase under the IQCARD banner. We recommend using only one legacy card with a Qolsys System at any given time because of the potential for possible interference. The daughtercards are expected to be made available for purchase sometime this summer. That means that if you are an existing IQ2 owner, you can soon add the PowerG daugherboard to expand your wireless reach!


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Alarm Grid recently attended ISC West 2018 in Las Vegas. ISC West is recognized as being the largest security industry trade show in the United States. During the massive exhibition, our team enjoyed the opportunity to meet with some amazing vendors. This gave us the chance to learn more about many new products and offerings that should be available later this year. We would like to give you the inside scoop about what we saw from Honeywell.

Honeywell T6 Pro Thermostat

Honeywell is currently beta testing a new version of their T6 Thermostat - the Honeywell T6 Pro with Z-Wave. The thermostat's battery-only option and Z-Wave connectivity will make it remarkably easy for end users to install and integrate the device with a Honeywell alarm system. Battery power provides some great benefits for the thermostat, most notably eliminating the need for a C-wire which provides "common power" from the HVAC equipment. Although there are some shortcuts in running a local 24VAC transformer, the battery option allows any homeowner to swap in this smart thermostat. The battery for the new thermostat is expected to last 6 months to a year before requiring a replacement. Thanks to its Z-Wave connectivity, the thermostat is expected to work with any Honeywell Panel that supports Z-Wave, and users will be able to fully operate and control the thermostat through Total Connect 2.0. The Honeywell T6 Pro with Z-Wave will be a fantastic option for anyone who is looking to upgrade from a standard two-wire thermostat. Yes, you can finally swap out that old mercury round thermostat that only has two wires!

LYNX Touch Firmware Update

For LYNX Touch owners, firmware revision 9 is expected to be available in early summer 2018. This is an ETA not a firm date. This firmware update will provide LTE support for the LYNX Touch Panels. With LTE being the future of cellular communication, this is a very important update for these systems. By making this update, end users should be able to continue using their LYNX Touch Alarm Systems for many years to come. Remember, an LTE communicator and an appropriate monitoring plan is required to use LTE cellular service with a LYNX Touch. Our gold plan is the most popular since it includes central station monitoring along with the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service.

Future Retail DIY Platform

Honeywell is releasing a new DIY platform that will encompass an updated version of their camera base-station product. This product was brought direct to consumer in late 2017. The platform will also support Honeywell's rebranded CAMIR image sensor. Unlike the first release of the camera tower, this new DIY platform will have the ability to migrate into the professional space and receive monitoring from a Honeywell AlarmNet dealer, such as Alarm Grid. This will make this equipment open to DIYers who just want simple live viewing. They can then integrate into a more professional alarm ecosystem down the road if desired. More information regarding this new platform, including any product names, should be made available soon. Honeywell is rumored to be releasing these devices in early 2019 before their updated pro platform, which we will discuss next.

Future Professional Grade Alarm Ecosystem

Honeywell has announced a new product lineup that completely revamps the existing VISTA wired/hybrid system line and the all-in-one (AIO) LYNX Touch & Lyric lines into one unified product and software platform. With the option to build the system around either a wired/hybrid base system, or around a touchscreen base system, end users will have the flexibility to choose exactly what they need for their particular situation. This could potentially be for a new system on a property that currently has no system, a pre-wired property with no actual system installed, or for a property that has an existing wired or wireless system that needs upgrading. There will be 5-inch and 7-inch options available for these touchscreen keypads, and a plastic cabinet hub will keep them secure while they are not in use. Bluetooth and Alexa control are already being touted as being integrated into the panel locally. Honeywell is expected to unveil more details about these touchscreen keypads in late 2018. This lineup most likely will not be released until 2019 after the DIY platform above is already out.

New Integrated Flood Sensor

The much-anticipated Honeywell 5800FLOOD is getting closer to its release date. This environmental sensor can detect floods and the presence of water without having to use an external probe. As a 5800 Series device, the 5800FLOOD should function with any Honeywell, 2GIG Go!Control and soon the IQ2 after they release the 345MHz 2GIG/Honeywell daughtercard. The device is expected to be made available for purchase sometime in late summer of this year. It will be the easiest way to trigger customized notifications and automated rules such as turning off the water supply to your home using a Z-Wave water valve shutoff.

Tuxedo Touch Rebuild

Honeywell showed us a prototype of a new hardwired touchscreen keypad that will replace the current Tuxedo Touch. We do not know if it will run on the same firmware or if it will replace the current Tuxedo Touch as it stands today. Getting our hands on it was a complete thrill. It is a much cleaner design that looks and feels much more like a tablet. The best feature is the ability to remove the device from the backplate and have it operate on battery power. There are four induction points on the back of the keypad that line up with posts on the backplate. The wiring is located behind the backplate. This sleek design allows you to easily snap the keypad away from the backplate without tampering with any wires. It should continue to support a total of 232 Z-Wave devices and operate in a similar manner as the Tuxedo with the VISTA Series Panels. However, this is very much up in the air, and it may change at any time. Here are some looks at the prototype:

Total Connect 2.0 Feature Updates

Honeywell is continuing to beta test multiple-partition support for Total Connect 2.0. This feature will include the ability to assign different authority levels to different partitions, so that not every user can necessarily control each area. More information is expected to be announced soon. We will provide some screenshots of our beta experience in a blog update shortly.

LiftMaster & Chamberlain MyQ Garage Doors

LiftMaster confirmed that the integration with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 should be made available by the end of the year! For users who need an immediate option for use with Total Connect on non-MyQ garage motors, we recommend using either a Linear GD00Z Z-Wave Garage Door Opener or the Honeywell 5877 Garage Door Relay. The 5877 is compatible with the Lyric Controller and later generation LYNX Touch panels like the L5210 and L7000. The Linear garage controller will work with VISTA based automation controller like the VAM and Tuxedo Touch. MyQ motors are completely proprietary and will not support the 5877 nor the GD00Z controllers. If you have a MyQ you will have to wait for Honeywell and Liftmaster to finalize the deal. The exclusive partnership with Alarm.com is over!


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While attending the 2018 ISC West Security Trade Show in Las Vegas, the Alarm Grid team had the incredible opportunity to get an early look at some of the new home automation offerings that should be available in the near future. We would like to present you with a sneak peak at what will soon be coming to the exciting world of home automation and smart connectivity.

Z-Wave Locks

There was plenty of great news in the exciting field of Z-Wave locks. New to the game is the August Smart Lock Pro from Swedish manufacturer Assa Abloy. August was recently acquired by Assa Abloy, but the company decided to keep the August name brand for this outstanding series of locks. The August Smart Lock Pro features Z-Wave Plus technology, Bluetooth capabilities and support for Apple HomeKit. Although the device has not yet been Z-Wave certified, it is expected to receive official recognition before the end of the year. Alarm Grid will certainly begin offering this device as a great option for secure lock control for Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com compatible alarm systems.

Yale announced several additions to their Yale Assure Lock lineup. These additions include the YRD216, the YRD226 and the YRD256 (Assure SL). All of these locks use Z-Wave Plus technology, and they are all compatible with the new Yale Assure App. This app provides support for access schedules, pin management and an access log. We found these to be excellent looking locks, and the Yale Assure App will surely make for a great secondary control point with its added dexterity for digital keys. We currently have the YRD256 live on our website, and we will be offering other options shortly. Keep in mind that if you decide to purchase this lock elsewhere, there are also non-z-wave versions. Be very careful to look for Z-Wave logo!

Kwikset also got on board with Z-Wave Plus technology. The company announced that their legacy models (888, 910, 912, 914 and 916) will now feature Z-Wave Plus moving forward. This will allow their locks to operate with greater reliability and further away from the Z-Wave controller. Their Obsidian Lock will also start to use the advanced technology, and it offers a fresh, sleek look for homeowners that find the other models bulky and unattractive. As of today, the Obsidian Lock does not have remote access, but Kwikset promised Z-Wave Plus control in the near future.

Z-Wave Thermostats: Honeywell T6 Pro

The big home automation announcement from Honeywell was a new version of their T6 Thermostat. Previously the T5 and T6 thermostats were WIFI based. The Honeywell T6 Pro with Z-Wave offers a battery-only option. The battery operation will make it super easy for end users to get started with the device. No longer will it be necessary to use a C-wire for common power. Instead, the device will support a battery that features a lifespan of 6 months to a year. That means you can finally upgrade your standard two-wire thermostat without snaking any wires! If you already have a common wire (24VAC from HVAC system), you can certainly still use that and avoid dealing with battery replacements. The T6 Pro with Z-Wave will work with any Z-Wave-compatible Honeywell panel, and it can be fully controlled and operated from Total Connect 2.0. We are currently underway with beta testing this thermostat. Our team is very impressed so far. It seems like Honeywell finally went back to their roots of creating a sturdy, functional thermostat!

Z-Wave Lighting: GE Z-Wave Plus Lighting Control

GE Z-Wave Plus devices such as dimmers and switches were released far before ISC West. However, walking through the Z-Wave Alliance booth prompted us to update our lineup of Z-Wave light switches. Most of our alarm systems are still using pre-500 series chipsets (Z-Wave Plus chipset) that are required for the added range and battery life of Z-Wave plus networks. But in the near future, we plan on offering this lineup of peripheral devices as a way to future-proof our customers for when the alarm systems finally catch up to the status quo of home automation!

The Z-Wave Certified Installer Toolkit

The Certified Installer Toolkit (CIT) is used to ensure that a strong, reliable Z-Wave mesh network is put into place. The device will help with testing a Z-Wave network and troubleshooting any problems that may occur. It is also excellent for logging the history of a Z-Wave network and for performing off-site maintenance. The CIT was developed by the Z-Wave Alliance, and it supports the very latest technologies and capabilities available with Z-Wave communication. The convenient device fits in the palm of one's hand, and it is available right now exclusively for Z-Wave Alliance members.

The benefits of the CIT include:

  • Complete Z-Wave network diagnostics and Z-Wave device management
  • Quick identification of any potential problems affecting the Z-Wave network
  • Spectrum analyzer for displaying active noise the Z-Wave network
  • Routing table for identifying neighbor nodes
  • Complete Z-Wave network map
  • Z-Wave network sniffer (ZNiffer) shows the type of message sent by each node
  • Provides advanced node information - device version, battery level, Z-Wave library version and more
  • Accessible from anywhere in the world - can be left onsite for longterm testing
  • Serves as a certified Z-Wave Plus Controller
  • Can set configuration parameters, apply firmware updates and communicate with nodes
  • Available in three different Z-Wave module editions - compatible with any Z-Wave Frequency group
  • Supports English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Slovak, Swedish and Chinese languages
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    Alarm Grid is happy to announce that Honeywell is releasing a brand new life-safety sensor, the 5800COMBO. This is an incredibly versatile device that includes three sensing capabilities in one package. The 5800COMOBO can detect fires with its smoke and heat sensing functions, and it can also detect the presence of life-threatening carbon monoxide. This makes it the first ever all-in-one life-safety product from Alarm Grid. It is the perfect solution for any user who wants to receive both fire and CO protection using one convenient device.

    The 5800COMBO is designed for use with any LYNX Touch Panel, any VISTA Panel (with a wireless receiver) and the new Honeywell Lyric Controller. It can also interface with the 2GIG GC3 and GC2 systems. The device is special, in that it is programmed with a security panel using two separate zones. One zone is used for smoke detection, and the other is used for carbon monoxide detection. Both zones will use their own unique 7-digit serial number. The serial number for the carbon monoxide will be one digit greater. For example, if the serial for the smoke detector is 3333333, then the serial for the carbon monoxide detector will be 3333334.

    The smoke sensor for the 5800COMBO operates in a very unique manner. The smoke sensor scans the environment for any airborne smoke particles. However, the device will not sound an alarm just by detecting smoke. Instead, a second sensor will need to verify the fire. There are three different methods that the 5800COMBO can use for confirmation. The first method is that the heat sensor for the device can also activate to confirm the fire. Any temperature over 135 degrees Fahrenheit will set off the device's heat sensor. The second method is for the device's built-in infrared (IR) sensor to detect the flickering glow of flames. Finally, the device's CO detector can go off. This dual-verification process is great for preventing false fire alarms due to to things like kitchen activity or indoor smoking. By law, the CO sensor will sound an alarm upon detecting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

    One great aspect of the 5800COMBO is that it is a fully UL-listed device that is capable of requesting dispatch from a central monitoring station. This means that a user of the 5800COMBO may be eligible for a discount on their homeowner's insurance premium. These possible discounts typically vary between different insurance companies and locations. We suggest speaking with your insurance provider to find out more about any possible discounts.

    The 5800COMBO will be available purchase from the Alarm Grid site starting tomorrow, April 10, 2017. We wholeheartedly recommend the device for anyone who needs both fire and CO detection with their alarm system.



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    The Honeywell Lyric Thermostat is an excellent smart thermostat that is designed to connect with a user's Total Connect account and their Lyric Controller security system. The device features WIFI connectivity, allowing it to become a fully integrated part of a user's home automation setup. Once the Lyric Thermostat has been installed and programmed, the user can control the device remotely by using the Total Connect mobile app.

    Many users appreciate the geofencing capability of the Lyric Thermostat. By setting up geofencing, a user can have their Lyric Thermostat automatically start heating or cooling their home when they enter within a specific range of their residence. By the time they return home, their house will already be set to the perfect temperature so that they are comfortable as soon as they walk through the door.

    Not only is this super convenient, the money saving potential is absolutely tremendous, with some users saving hundreds of dollars per month on their electric bills. The Lyric Thermostat can also be set up to function with various smart devices, such as Apple HomeKit, Samsung Smartthings and Amazon Alexa. All of this makes the Lyric Thermostat an excellent addition to any home that uses the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

    Before you can enjoy all of the exciting features that the Lyric Thermostat has to offer, the device must be installed and programmed with your Total Connect account. This guide will focus on the removal of your old thermostat and the installation of the the Lyric Round Thermostat.

    For more information on integrating your Lyric Thermostat with Total Connect, please consult the Lyric Thermostat enrollment guide. You can also use the Lyric App to help walk you through the installation process. If you do not have the Lyric App, you can download it for free from the App Store or Google Play. You can make a Lyric account to use with your Lyric thermostat. We strongly recommend following the instructions outlined in the app as you complete the installation.

    You can install the Lyric Thermostat by completing the following steps:

    1. Turn off the heating and cooling system. When installing the Lyric Thermostat, you should start by shutting off the power to the building's heating and cooling system from the circuit breaker. This will help to avoid any electrical issues during the installation process. To confirm that the power for heating and cooling is shut off. Try increasing of decreasing the set temperature by several degrees. If you hear the building's heater or cooler activate, then the power to the system has not been shut off properly. It is also recommended that you feel the area around the building's air vents to make sure that no hot or cool air is coming out.

    2. Remove the old thermostat from its backplate and check its wiring. With the heating and cooling system off, you can then begin removing the old thermostat. Most thermostats are attached to a backplate that is mounted to the wall. Some thermostats will be able to be gently unattached from the backplate, while others will require some screws to be removed. Once you have removed the old thermostat from its backplate, you will be able to see the connected wires and determine the type of power supply that is used for the building's heating and cooling system. If you see thick black wires with wire nuts, then the building uses a line voltage system, and the Lyric Thermostat will not be compatible. You should also check the voltage for the old thermostat. If the old thermostat that was used with the building is 110 volts or higher, then again, the Lyric Thermostat will not function with the building's heating and cooling system. These are very important aspects to check, as setting the Lyric Thermostat with an incompatible heating and cooling system could result in serious damage.

    3. Note the wiring and detach the wires. Before removing the wires, take a note of the wiring coloring and what terminals they are connected to. Many users find that it is helpful to take a picture of the wires so that they can reference them later. It is also recommended that you label the wires in some way so that you can differentiate them when you go to connect them to the Lyric Thermostat. This is especially true if the wires are of the same color and no labels were previously applied. The Lyric App will also allow you to note the colors of the wires and their corresponding connections so that the app will outline the proper connections when you go to wire the Lyric Thermostat in a later step. After you have finished examining the wiring setup, you can then remove the wires from the thermostat one at a time. Make sure that the wires do not fall into the wall, as you will need them for installing the Lyric Thermostat. Wrapping the wires around a pen or a pencil can prevent this from happening. Finally, you can unscrew and remove the old mounting plate from the wall.

    4. Mount the backplate to the wall. At this point, you will begin installing the Lyric Round Thermostat. Start by snapping the backplate onto the wall cover of the Lyric Thermostat. The wall cover is optional, but it can be useful for covering any marks or blemishes that are on the wall. Next, run the wires through the backplate of the Lyric Thermostat. We recommend twisting the wires together so that they can all be easily passed through the backplate at the same time. You can then screw the backplate onto the wall using the included screws that came with the Lyric Thermostat. You will want to make sure that the backplate is nice and level with the wall when doing this. The backplate comes with a built-in level for the installer's convenience. The screws that come with the Lyric Thermostat are self-anchoring, and they can often be installed in the location of the screws for the previous thermostat. If you do need to drill new holes, the drill bit size is 7/32".

    5. Connect the wires to the Lyric Thermostat. You will now be able to connect the wires to the Lyric Thermostat backplate. The wires can be connected to the corresponding terminals based on the setup for the previous thermostat. When wiring the Lyric Thermostat, consult the notes or the picture that you took of the previous wiring setup. You can attach a wire by firmly pushing it into the appropriate terminal. If you accidentally misplace a wire and need to move it to a different terminal, you can use a ballpoint pen to press down on the tab for that terminal and then pull the wire out of place. Once all of the wires have been connected, make sure that they are snug and secure by gently tugging on the wires and ensuring that they remain in place. If you are using the Lyric App to assist you with the installation, it will display the connections that you need to make. Please note that the Lyric Thermostat is a 24 volt thermostat that uses power from the heating and cooling system to stay activated. This means that no common "C" wire will need to be connected to the Lyric Thermostat.

    6. Activate the Lyric Thermostat. After completing the wiring process, you can then snap the Lyric Thermostat onto its backplate. A gentle press is all that is required to click the device into place. Next, go to the circuit breaker and restore power to the building's heating and cooling system. If the Lyric Thermostat was wired correctly, the device will automatically power up, and you will be prompted to connect the device a WIFI network. This process is outlined in the Lyric Thermostat enrollment guide.

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