August Smart Lock Pro Posts

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The Alarm Grid holiday buying guide for the 2020 season continues, this time focusing on smart home automation. We will be covering our top picks for lights, door locks, and thermostats. As usual, our selections are compatible with our top security system picks for the 2020 shopping season.

If you haven't seen our earlier 2020 holiday buying guide releases, make sure to review them at some point. They will provide you with a good introduction before checking out our smart home automation offerings.

An automation device is a piece of equipment that you can have activate automatically based on a set schedule. These devices can also be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere in the world using a platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com and a simple app on your smartphone. When we talk about automation devices for alarm systems, we are mainly discussing lights that can be turned ON or OFF, dimmer modules that can adjust the brightness of lights, door locks that can be LOCKED or UNLOCKED, and thermostats that can increase or decrease the set temperature in the building when connected with an HVAC system. There are also some miscellaneous automation devices, including smart water valves, that we will also explore. Depending on the platform, you can also integrate these devices with smart home voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. We won't be exploring that too much in this buying guide, but it is something to keep in mind if you already have a smart home assistant set up in your house, or if you were considering setting one up in the near future.

To keep our automation section as simple as possible, we will be primarily looking at Z-WAVE PLUS automation devices. This refers mostly to 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices, though you may occasionally see some newer 700-Series Z-Wave Plus devices thrown in as well. Using certified Z-Wave Plus devices with a Z-Wave Plus controller will ensure the furthest possible wireless range, as well as the longest possible battery life, when applicable. Using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices on a Z-Wave Plus controller is also the best way to ensure the strongest possible mesh network. Another advantage to going with Z-Wave Plus is that your automation devices will pair directly with your alarm system, which will thereby serve as your central automation controller. This keeps things as simple and as organized as possible, and it will ultimately allow you to keep everything in the same app on your phone.


However, we will also be including a few Apple HomeKit products along the way. We understand that we have many customers who use iOS and are building around the HomeKit platform for automation. When looking at our top security system picks, only the Honeywell Lyric is compatible with Apple HomeKit. This is out recommended system if you are building around the HomeKit platform. If you are starting from scratch and you are not a dedicated iOS user, then you will likely prefer Z-Wave Plus, as you can keep all your system control and automation control in the same app, with virtually no crossover. But, if you have taken advantage of what Apple HomeKit has to offer, and you want to continue building around the platform, then we have you covered. Remember, of our top system picks, only the Lyric can support HomeKit, and even then, your HomeKit devices will not pair directly with the Lyric.


Of our top security system picks for the 2020 holiday buying season, both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e support Z-Wave Plus technology. Both of those systems have their own integrated Z-Wave Plus controller, and they will allow you to take full advantage of what Z-Wave Plus has to offer. However, our other top pick, the Honeywell Lyric only has a classic Z-Wave controller built-in. You can still enroll Z-Wave Plus devices with the Lyric, but they won't offer the same range, battery life, and security provisions as Z-Wave Plus. This makes the Lyric the weak link of the three if automation outside of Apple HomeKit is particularly important to you. But rest assured that every product listed here should work with any of our recommended systems. Its just that you will get the best possible results by using a Z-Wave Plus compatible system, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or 2GIG GC3e.

With all of that out of the way, let's begin exploring our favorite smart home automation devices of the 2020 holiday season.


Smart Lights

Smart lights can be split into a few different categories. They are usually either in-wall modules that replace your existing, standard light switches, or they are plug-in module that you simply plug into a regular wall outlet. Lights can also be split into groups of ON/OFF switches that merely turn the lights ON and OFF, and groups of dimmer modules that can actually adjust the brightness of the lights. As such, you will see four (4) groups of lights listed below. There are in-wall switches, in-wall dimmers, plug-in switches, and plug-in dimmers. We know that may seem a bit confusing, but it should make more sense once you see all of the categories properly laid out and organized. Spoiler, if you're looking for Apple HomeKit Lights, then skip to the very end of this section.

We will start with Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches. These devices replace existing in-wall switches, and they are able to turn the lights ON and OFF. When installing one, make sure to cut power at the circuit breaker first. Then simply remove the existing in-wall switch, and install your new Z-Wave Plus in-wall switch in its place. Keep in mind that most of these units will require the use of a neutral wire. Most homes built in the 1980s onward will have this readily available, though older homes may be lacking this wire. It's also important to mention that all of the in-wall switches listed here should readily fit into single gang brackets. We will also be listing coordinating 3-way switches in the notes section when applicable.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall switches.

Model Notes
GoControl WS15Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 600W for incandescent bulbs. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 14318 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46201 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GE 46562 From GE. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5SWITCH From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive bulbs, or 960W for incandescent. Compatible with CFL and LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Next up are Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers. These units also replace your existing in-wall switches. The difference here is that these devices have the ability to adjust the brightness of your lights, in addition to simply turning them ON and OFF. You will want to make sure you are using these devices with dimmable light bulbs. Again, you will want to cut power at the circuit breaker when installing. Most of these units will require a neutral wire, though there is an exception here. You should be able to fit these units into a single-gang electrical bracket.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus in-wall dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 14299 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent. For dimmable bulbs only. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch. No neutral wire required.
GE 14294 From GE. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 300W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses GE 12723 as coordinating 3-way switch.
GoControl WD500Z5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 500W of lighting load. Uses GoControl WT00Z5-1 as coordinating 3-way switch.
Resideo Z5DIMMER From Resideo. Supports up to 600W incandescent, or 150W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs. Uses Resideo Z53WSWITCH as coordinating 3-way switch.

Now we will look at some more DIY-friendly options, starting with Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches. Unlike in-wall switches that you have to install using a screwdriver, these devices simply plug into your standard wall outlet. Just plug one in, connect a lamp, and you now have smart lighting control. These units couldn't be more straightforward and simple to use, and if you're intimidated by having to install your own in-wall light switch, then these are a fantastic alternative. Again, these units are only capable of turning the lights ON and OFF. You can also technically use some of these units with other plug-in devices, provided that the connected device does not exceed the maximum load limit.

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in switches.

Models
Notes
GE 28172 From GE. Designed for lighting devices only. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Linear PS15EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, or 600W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5SWPID From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor.
Resideo Z5SWPIO From Resideo. Supports up to 1800W for resistive lights, 600W for incandescent lights, or a 1/2 HP motor. Suitable for outdoor use.
Qolsys IQ Smart Plug From Qolsys. Supports up to 13A of power. Not just for lighting devices. Also sold as Qolsys QZ2101-840.

Our penultimate category of smart lights focuses on Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers. As you can probably guess, these are plug-in modules, but instead of just turning the lamp ON and OFF, you can also adjust its brightness. The use of dimmable bulbs is recommended. Again, this is an excellent DIY alternative if you don't feel comfortable installing your own in-wall dimmer switch. Just plug it in, connect a dimmable lamp, and enjoy your new smart lights!

Here are our top picks for Z-Wave Plus plug-in dimmers.

Model
Notes
GE 28170 From GE. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.
GoControl PD300EMZ5-1 From Nortek. Supports up to 300W for incandescent lights.
Resideo Z5DIMPID From Resideo. Supports up to 300W for incandescent, or 100W for dimmable CFL/LED bulbs.

Lastly, we want to give special recognition to Apple HomeKit compatible smart lights. We're keeping things simple by only listing products from Lutron. These lights work by building around a centralized base station and then pairing lighting modules with that main unit. Our team at Alarm Grid is wholly impressed by what Lutron has to offer, and we can definitely recommend these lights for anyone building around the HomeKit platform. One other major benefit of Lutron Smart Lights is that no neutral wire is required as part of the setup. This can be very beneficial if you do not have a neutral wire in your home's existing electrical wiring. Please note that Alarm Grid only offers the Caseta lineup from Lutron, so that is what we will be focusing on in this buying guide.

The Lutron section of this guide will be split into four (4) categories. First we will look at the smart bridges, or central hubs, that we offer for Lutron. Then we will explore some bundled deals we offer as starter kits. From there, we will check out individual Lutron lighting devices. Lastly, we will examine some accessories for Lutron devices.


First up, we have the Lutron Smart Bridges. There are only two (2) here. You need one of these devices to start building a network of Lutron Smart Lights. You will notice a standard "non-Pro" model, as well as "Pro 2" model. The main difference here is that the "Pro 2" model can integrate with Alarm.com, while the "non-Pro" model cannot. This is completely irrelevant if you are building a HomeKit network around the Honeywell Lyric, as you will be using Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive smart platform instead of Alarm.com. But if you are using HomeKit separately with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, a 2GIG GC3e, or pretty much any other Alarm.com Security System, then this can really come in handy, as you can then integrate your smart lights in with the same network as your alarm system.

Here are our Lutron Smart Bridges.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta L-BDG2 "Non-Pro" smart bridge for Lutron. Does not support an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.
Lutron Caseta L-BDGPRO2-WH "Pro 2" smart bridge for Lutron. Supports an Alarm.com integration. Supports up to 50 Lutron devices.

But before you rush out and buy one of the aforementioned Lutron Smart Bridges, you may instead consider getting one of our Lutron Starter Kits, which all include a Lutron Smart Bridge and some compatible devices to get you started. This can save you a bit of money if you are just getting started with Lutron. Unfortunately, we only have starter kits based around the "Non-Pro" smart bridge. If you are wanting the "Pro 2" model for Alarm.com use, then you will need to buy that model ala carte, along with all the devices you want to pair.

Let's check out our Lutron Starter Kits.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, In-Wall Dimmer, Pico Remote, and Wall Plate.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2P Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) Plug-In Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.
Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2W Includes Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, Two (2) In-Wall Dimmers, Two (2) Pico Remotes, Two (2) Wall Plates, and Two (2) Mounting Pedestals.

Now we'll look at the actual Lutron Lighting Components. These are the individual, ala carte lighting devices that you pair with your Lutron Smart Bridge. The included notes should help you decide which devices are right for your Lutron network. Lutron keeps things relatively simple here, as the selection is short but sweet.

Here are individual Lutron Lighting Components.

Model
Notes
Lutron Caseta PD-3PCL-WH Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module. Supports up to 300W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 100W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-5NE In-Wall Smart Dimmer for Electronic Low Voltage (ELV+) Lights. Supports up to 250W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs, 500W for incandescent, halogen, or ELV bulbs, or 400W for Magnet Low Voltage (MLV) bulbs.
Lutron Caseta PD-6ANS-WH In-Wall Neutral Smart Switch. Supports up to 720W for incandescent, halogen, ELV, or MLV lights, 6A for LED/CFL, or 3.6A for a ceiling fan.
Lutron Caseta PD-6WCL In-Wall Light Dimmer Switch. Supports 600W for incandescent or halogen bulbs, or 150W for dimmable LED/CFL bulbs.

Last but not least, we have some Lutron Accessories. These include the Pico Remote that you can use a remote control for your Lutron Lights, as well as various wall-plates and some bundles. There are quite a few accessories to cover, and they make the perfect stocking stuffer for the Lutron lover on your gift list.

Here are Lutron Accessories.

Model Notes
Lutron Caseta PJ2-3BRL-WH-L01R Lutron Caseta Pico Remote. Small handheld remote that you can use to control your Lutron Lights. Includes three (3) buttons for turning ON and OFF and adjusting brightness. Can also be used to facilitate a multi-pole setup for your Lutron Lights.
Lutron Caseta PICO-WBX-ADAPT Lutron Caseta Pico Remote Wallplate Adapter Bracket. Allows you to mount your Pico Remote to the wall. Wallplate not included.
Lutron Caseta PJ2-WALL-WH-L01 Lutron Caseta Pico Wall Plate Kit. Includes a Pico Remote, Wallplate Adapter Bracket, and Wallplate.
Lutron CW-1-WH Single Gang Wallplate for Lutron. Double, triple, and quadruple gang wallplates also available!

Door Locks

Door locks are fairly straight forward. They replace the existing deadbolt lock on your front door, back door, patio door, pool door, garage door, or really any door with a deadbolt lock. You will then have smart control over that door, meaning you can LOCK and UNLOCK it remotely using a compatible interactive service platform. This also includes the ability to have the door LOCK or UNLOCK automatically with smart scenes. Most of the locks listed here will allow you to use a traditional key if you want, but you can also manually enter a code into the lock using push-buttons or a touchscreen. This can be very convenient for getting in if you forget your key or don't wish to carry one around.

Virtually any door lock will accomplish the same goal, so what you should base your buying decision on is how reliable the brand is, how you control the door lock locally (e.g. a push-button touchpad or a LED touchscreen), and which design you like. You will also need to decide whether you need a Z-Wave Plus door lock or an Apple HomeKit door lock. Most of the models listed here are Z-Wave Plus variants, but we did include a couple of HomeKit versions for good measure. Many of the door locks listed here come in multiple finishing options to give you some added customization. You will notice that we do not list too many brands here. We really wanted to focus on the ones we feel the most confident in offering.

Here are our top picks for door locks.

Model
Notes
Yale YRD216 From Yale. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Yale YRD226 From Yale. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 250 codes. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel.
Kwikset 914 From Kwikset. Push button Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 30 codes. Available in Satin Nickel, Aged Bronze, or Polished Brass.
Kwikset Obsidian From Kwikset. Touchscreen Z-Wave Plus door lock. Stores up to 16 codes. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickel.
August Smart Lock Pro w/ Connect From August. Includes August Smart Lock Pro and August Connect, which makes integrating w/ Apple HomeKit significantly easier and more reliable. Supports BOTH Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus connectivity. Also supports Bluetooth connectivity. Does not allow for traditional key locking/unlocking. Available in Dark Gray and Silver.
Yale YRD256 w/ iM1 Module From Yale. The integrated iM1 Module allows for use w/ Apple HomeKit. Lock itself can store 25 codes, pairing w/ HomeKit increases limit to 250. Available in Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Satin Nickel. There is also a Z-Wave Plus variant of the same lock that does not support Apple HomeKit.


Smart Thermostats

Now we're really getting into exciting territory, as smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from virtually anywhere! This is perfect whether you want to keep energy costs low, or you simply want to ensure you arrive home to a comfy house. We all know how stressful it can be if you forgot to adjust your thermostat before leaving home. Well, now you can worry no longer! All you need to do to get started is cut the power at the breaker for your HVAC system, remove your old thermostat, and install your new smart thermostat in its place. This is easier than you might think! For this category, we will mostly be covering Z-Wave Plus thermostats, but we did include an Apple HomeKit thermostat in the listings as well.

Here are our top picks for smart thermostats.

Model
Notes
Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave From Resideo. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology.
Alarm.com ADC-T3000 From Alarm.com. Uses Z-Wave Plus technology. Compatible temperature sensor also available.
2GIG STZ-1 Thermostat From Nortek. Uses state-of-the-art 700-Series Z-Wave Plus technology.
Honeywell T6 Pro WIFI From Resideo. Uses WIFI to connect w/ Apple HomeKit.


Other Smart Home Devices


Alright, we're finishing this up with some great smart home devices that we couldn't really fit into any other category. Our main focus here will be on smart garage door controllers and smart water valves. These are super convenient and useful devices that make a great addition to almost any home. A smart garage door controller connects with your existing garage door motor so that you can open and close your garage door from anywhere or have it open and close automatically with smart scenes. Smart water valves are an excellent emergency tool that you can use to shut-off your water supply in the event of a flood or leak. Many users will pair them with flood sensors for inclusion in smart scenes. Unfortunately for Apple HomeKit users, we don't have any HomeKit devices for this section, and we will only be covering Z-Wave variants in this section.

Check out these miscellaneous smart home devices!

Model
Notes
Honeywell GDCK Garage Door Controller Kit From Resideo. Garage door controller kit that includes Honeywell 5877 Relay Module, Honeywell 5822T Tilt Sensor, and a SSA-1 Siren/Strobe. For use w/ Lyric and LYNX Touch only. Cannot be used with LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door Motors
GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Garage Door Controller From Nortek. Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener. Includes tilt sensor for detecting current position of garage door. Cannot be used with Lyric or LYNX Touch.
Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve & Meter From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve w/ Meter. Water valve allows you to shut off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Meter tracks your water usage for energy savings and efficiency. Typically installed by a plumber.
Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Smart Water Valve From Alarm.com. Z-Wave Plus Smart Water Valve. Used to shut-off the water supply in the event of an emergency. Typically installed by a plumber.


Reach Out to Us!

Got any questions about which smart home devices are right for you, or are you not sure about compatibility? Reach out to us! Our team is happy to help you make your holiday shopping season as easy and as stress-free as possible. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And as always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Stolen packages are a concern for many individuals. But you can take a stand and prevent thieves from taking your stuff. All you need is a doorbell camera, a Z-Wave door lock, and a monitored security system with Alarm Grid. We'll help you protect your packages from pesky porch pirates!


It doesn't take a genius to figure out how a package gets stolen. The delivery person rings the doorbell and finds that nobody is home. They leave the package out in the open. Then a no-good package thief comes along, swoops up the goods, and you're then left wondering whether or not the delivery got lost in the mail. Countless packages fall victim to this very setup every single day. And if you don't have any evidence, then it can be next to impossible to catch the guilty party.

But there's an easy method to prevent this from happening to you. First, swap out your regular doorbell with a smart video doorbell camera. We recommend using one of the SkyBell Video Doorbell devices for this job. You can choose between a Total Connect 2.0 model and an Alarm.com model depending on which service you use with your system. Remember, you do not need special video monitoring service to get started with a SkyBell Video Doorbell. Total Connect 2.0 will allow a user to pair up to five (5) SkyBell devices per Alarm.com account, while Alarm.com provides support for one (1) SkyBell without true video monitoring service.


Next, configure your SkyBell device to work with your interactive service platform of either Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can get push notifications on your phone whenever someone rings your SkyBell device. With the push of a button, you can pull up a live feed of the person at your door and communicate with them using two-way audio. When you see that it's the delivery person, greet them with a pleasant "Hello", and explain that you aren't home at the moment. Then invite them to step inside to drop off the package.

But how will the delivery person get inside? And how will they avoid setting off your security system? Easy. With a Z-Wave door lock, you can unlock the door, and you can disarm your alarm system using either the TC2 or ADC app on your phone. You might even consider making a smart scene to have your door automatically unlock as soon as your system is disarmed. Alarm Grid offers a wide selection of door locks to choose from. We recommend Z-Wave door locks, as they are super easy to program, and they can interface with nearly every modern wireless security system.


Once everything is in order, instruct the delivery person to go inside and leave the package near the door. If you're feeling extra groovy, you might invite them to grab a bottle of water from the fridge. It's hot out there, and your delivery driver would really appreciate the kind gesture. We'll leave that up to you though. If you don't want them walking through your house, then leaving a small snack or a tip by the front door will also show that you care.

Once the driver is gone, re-lock your door and re-arm your system. And just like that, you know that your package is nice and safe, and the porch pirate's plan has been foiled. It may also be a good idea to track any packages you order and know when you can expect them. Also make sure to take a good look at the delivery person when you let them inside. While fraudulent delivery drivers are very uncommon, they're not unheard of. If you're in doubt, instruct the driver to leave the package behind your house or behind some bushes so that you can retrieve it later. This is better than leaving the package wide open in front of your front door.

Of course, this setup will require monitoring service for accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. If your system isn't monitored, or if you don't have a security system, then Alarm Grid has you covered! We offer a wide selection of DIY security systems, including the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the 2GIG GC3e, and much more. We also offer monitoring plans for all budgets. This type of setup won't require anything fancy, and it's nothing that will break the bank. In the long run, it's worth it for your peace of mind!

If you want to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, or if you have questions about protecting your deliveries, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We'll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Remember that our hours for checking email are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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After a long hiatus, our video recap makes its triumphant return! With our headquarters only partially reopened, all the new videos feature myself. We promise your favorite video stars Jorge and Jarrett will be back soon. But for now, check out these four (4) new videos about Z-Wave locks!


Including the August Smart Lock Pro to the Lyric Controller

I show you how to pair the August Smart Lock Pro with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. All Z-Wave operation for the August Smart Lock Pro is accomplished through the August Home App. You will need to first set up the lock through the app before you will be able to pair it with the Lyric System. The app can be downloaded for free from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.


Excluding the August Smart Lock Pro to the Lyric Controller

I show you how to exclude the August Smart Lock Pro from the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. Just like with the inclusion process, the exclusion process is done through the August Home App. The app will know whether or not the August Smart Lock Pro is currently paired with a Z-Wave network. Unlike most Z-Wave devices, you do not need to perform an exclusion before attempting to pair the August Smart Lock Pro with a Z-Wave network.


Including the Yale Z-Wave Door Lock to the Lyric Controller

I show you how to pair a Yale Z-Wave Door Lock with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. Pairing a Yale Lock with your Lyric Panel will offer several advantages. For one, you can control the lock locally at the panel. And if your system is monitored with access to Total Connect 2.0, then you will also be able to control the lock remotely using a phone or web browser, as well as include the lock with Total Connect 2.0 smart scenes.


Exclude the Yale Z-Wave Door Lock to the Lyric Controller

I show you how to exclude a Yale Z-Wave Door Lock from the Honeywell Lyric System. Excluding a Z-Wave device basically means deleting, or clearing, it from a Z-Wave network. Once you do this, you will need to pair the device with a new Z-Wave network before you will be able to use it with a Z-Wave controller. Unlike most Z-Wave devices, you do not need to exclude a Yale Lock from a Z-Wave network before performing the inclusion process.

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If you're looking for a versatile and effective smart lock solution, then August Smart Lock devices might be for you! There are all sorts of useful integrations you can set up using August Smart Locks, and you can certainly find an option that works for you with the right equipment!

August smart lock pro dark gray z wave deadbolt lock 3rd generat

The easiest way to interface an August Smart Lock with a security system is through Z-Wave. Many wireless alarm panels readily accept Z-Wave devices, and the pairing process is actually very easy. The important thing to remember though is that only the August Smart Lock PRO offers Z-Wave functionality. The PRO is the version of the August Smart Lock sold by Alarm Grid. If you have a non-PRO model, then it won't be able to do Z-Wave.

The advantage to pairing an August Smart Lock PRO with your security system as a Z-Wave device is that it will be automatically pushed over to an interactive automation platform used with your system. This is typically Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com depending on the system you are using. By having your August Smart Lock PRO on the same platform as your other automation devices, you can create robust smart scenes for automatic operation. This truly is a great way to get the most out of your August device!

But let's say that you have the non-Z-Wave, "standard" model. There are still ways in which you can include your August Lock with your automation network. The August Connect WIFI Bridge will allow you to connect your August Smart Lock with a local WIFI network. This is possible for both the PRO and non-PRO models. By doing this, you can complete a server-to-server integration with Total Connect 2.0. We have a handy FAQ on the subject that you can view here. Please note that this WIFI integration is only available for TC2. If you want to integrate an August Lock with Alarm.com, then it has to be through Z-Wave. And if you need to buy both the August Smart Lock PRO and the August Connect Bridge, then make sure to scope out this bundled package that includes both!

Lastly, if you are a frequent user of iOS devices and Apple HomeKit, then you might be interested in pairing your August Smart Lock PRO with your HomeKit network. This can technically be accomplished without any extra equipment, as any August Smart Lock PRO is capable of communicating with a dedicated HomeKit hub across a Bluetooth connection. However, we usually recommend using the August Connect Bridge for this job, as the connection will be more reliable. Using WIFI instead of Bluetooth also allows the lock and the Apple HomeKit hub to be located further apart. For more info on using your August Lock with HomeKit, check out this FAQ.

The August Smart Lock PRO and the optional Connect WIFI Bridge are both available for purchase from Alarm Grid! If you have any questions about the August Smart Lock PRO, or if you want to learn more about monitoring service for access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, send us an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We're always happy to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed purchasing decision. Our support and planner teams check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Did you know that your Alarm Grid Security System most likely has smart home automation capabilities? While keeping your home or business safe with trusted monitoring service is the main function of an alarm system, the world of home automation is easily accessible and very exciting.

Qolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

As a quick recap for anyone who may not be familiar with automation or the concept of a "smart home", it refers mostly to two (2) somewhat related ideas.

1) Being able to control devices remotely (aka, while you are away from the premises).

2) Being able to have devices activate automatically based on a schedule and/or predetermined events, with no action required on your part.

These devices that we speak of are collectively referred to as "smart devices". There are all sorts of smart devices that you can integrate into your automation network. Some examples include:

  • Smart Lights - Illumination devices that you can control remotely and turn ON or OFF automatically. These come in many forms, including light bulbs, in-wall switches, plug-in modules, and even wall outlets. Smart lights are perfect for making it appear as though someone is present while away or on vacation.
  • Smart Door Locks - Access control devices that you can operate remotely and LOCK or UNLOCK a door automatically. These are typically deadbolt devices that prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your home or business. In addition to remote operation, these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or the condition of other devices in your home.
  • Smart Thermostats - Temperature control devices that you can be adjusted locally or remotely and INCREASE or DECREASE the temperature. The operation of these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or event. These wire in directly with the HVAC system in your home or business. The setup is surprisingly simple, and it can be easily completed by a DIY user.
  • Smart Water Valves - Water shut-off switches that you can trigger locally or remotely. If you CLOSE the valve, then the flow of water will be stopped. If you OPEN the valve, then the flow of water will proceed when a faucet is activated. Smart water valves can be very important if the building is prone to flooding or water damage. These devices can be automated based on the activation of a flood sensor.

Now that you know a little more about smart devices, you're probably wondering how to get started. The first thing that we advise doing is selecting a smart protocol to build around. This refers to the type of wireless communication that the individual smart devices will use to speak with the centralized hub.

The smart hub, also known as the controller, is the single most important piece of equipment in any smart home. All of your individual smart devices will communicate their status with this centralized hub. And when you go to control your devices remotely, all incoming commands will pass through the hub before ultimately being forwarded to the individual device. Without the smart hub, home automation is impossible.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

When you select a smart hub, you are also selecting the wireless protocol for your network. All of the individual smart devices in your network must use that same wireless protocol to communicate successfully with the main hub. As a result, your smart hub determines which devices can (and cannot) join the network.

A great aspect of most security systems sold by Alarm Grid is that they can double as smart hubs for your automation devices. The panels that we sell support the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol. Virtually any Z-Wave device can be enrolled with an alarm system that supports Z-Wave communication.

Once you have a Z-Wave device enrolled with your system, a few things become possible:

1) Operate your programmed Z-Wave devices on the main system display. This is the same place where you arm and disarm your system.

2) Control your programmed Z-Wave devices remotely using the same platform you use for controlling your system, namely, Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. This requires monitoring service.

3) Build complete smart scenes, in which multiple Z-Wave devices are controlled simultaneously. This is done through either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. Again, alarm monitoring service is required.

While all of this certainly sounds exciting, we understand that it may seem a little daunting at first. If you are already an Alarm Grid monitored customer, then there's a good chance that your system is already capable of serving as a central hub for your Z-Wave network.

The following systems readily support Z-Wave communication, with no add-ons being required:

Additionally, the following panels can be upgraded to support Z-Wave communication:

Of course, there are other options besides Z-Wave for home automation. If you are an iOS user, then you might consider getting a security panel that can support the robust and powerful Apple HomeKit automation platform. The Honeywell Lyric is a great option for this. You can learn more about HomeKit in this prior post.

Another option for lighting control is the Lutron devices that use their own communications protocol. Lutron is known for their tight integration with Alarm.com, and they certainly make for a great starting point if you are looking to establish a smart lighting setup. More info on using Lutron with Alarm.com can be found here.


Alarm Grid is about more than just security. We can help you establish the perfect automation network for your home or business. Getting started with smart home automation is easy, and it's a fantastic way to get the most out of your security system. Whether you go with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, Lutron, or use a combo setup, we will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you aren't already monitored by Alarm Grid, now is a great time to get started. Smart home automation is included with all of our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Level Plans. This post will tell you all about our monitoring plans so that you can make an informed decision. Alarm Grid monitored customers are provided with free technical support online and over the phone. This includes helping you create the perfect smart home.

The best way for an Alarm Grid monitored customer to get help with all of their smart home questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728. Our support technicians will be happy to help you in building your smart home network. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so make sure to plan accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Hi DIYers! Today we're looking at three (3) smart home devices that can make a great addition to nearly any home. Half the fun of owning an alarm system is getting into the exciting world of home automation. These devices are all easy to use, and they are all available from Alarm Grid.

August Smart Lock Pro

August smart lock pro dark gray z wave deadbolt lock 3rd generat

The August Smart Lock Pro is very unique in being one of the few Z-Wave Plus Smart Locks that is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. It also works with great voice-based platforms like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and it can be used for automatic Bluetooth unlocking. All of this makes the August Smart Lock Pro extremely versatile. It is a great choice no matter what interactive platform you are building around. The lock comes Z-Wave Plus ready right out of the box. You can also pair it with an August Connect WIFI Bridge for enhanced remote access. You can still use the lock with HomeKit without the Connect Bridge, but it will need to be within Bluetooth range of the HomeKit Hub (Apple iPad, Apple TV Gen 4 or higher, or Apple HomePod). Overall, this is a fantastic smart lock for your home and great for many scenarios.

Check out all of our fantastic smart locks here.

Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave Thermostat

Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat


The Honeywell T6 Pro is arguably our favorite Z-Wave thermostat right now. Its biggest selling point is its ability to connect to an HVAC system and remain powered on without common power from a C-wire. This is excellent for DIY installers, as it prevents them from having to work with high voltage wiring. The Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave version is certified Z-Wave Plus for extended wireless range and improved battery life. There is also a HomeKit-compatible T6 Pro that uses WIFI instead of Z-Wave Plus. However, most Alarm Grid customers get the Z-Wave Plus model so that they can control the thermostat through the same interactive service platform used with their security systems. Although the T6 Pro was designed with Total Connect 2.0 in mind, it will work just fine with Alarm.com and associated systems.

Check out all our smart thermostats here.

Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W Starter Kit

Lutron caseta p bdg pkg1w unboxed single in wall dimmer starter


Lutron Caseta is a great option if you are looking to establish a smart lighting network for your home or business. In order to get started, you will need a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge to serve as the central hub for the setup. The kit linked above include the smart bridge, along with an in-wall dimmer switch and a Pico Remote for controlling the device from up to 60 feet away in open air. Other great starter kits from Lutron include the P-BDG-PKG2P with a lamp dimmer module, and the P-BDG-PKG2W with dual in-wall dimmer switches. A great aspect of Lutron Caseta devices is that you can build a network of lights without having to run traveler wires to connect load-bearing light switches to a master switch. Instead, all communication occurs wirelessly through the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge. Lutron integrates with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home with ease. This makes this smart lighting network perfect for many different smart home setups.

Check out all of our smart lighting options here.

Build Your Smart Home!


Alarm Grid is here to help you build your ideal smart home. Whether you're looking for locks, thermostats, or lights, we have what you need to help you get started. Remember, we offer free support for all Alarm Grid monitored customers. You can build your smart home network around one of our security systems and make your life more convenient than ever. Alarm Grid customers should email us at support@alarmgrid.com with any questions. And if you haven't joined Alarm Grid quite yet, you can get started by clicking the orange Alarm Monitoring button at the top of this page. We look forward to helping you design the perfect smart home.

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Hi DIYers! We hope that you had a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. Our video team managed to produce eight (8) new videos last week. Joe was featured in five (5) new videos, mostly covering the August Smart Lock Pro. Jorge and Jarrett both had a video apiece, and I made one as well.

Connecting an August Smart Lock Pro with the August Home App

Joe explains how to connect your August Smart Lock Pro with the August Home App. This is one of the first things you will do with the August Smart Lock Pro. The August Home App allows you to operate your lock from your smartphone. You can control the lock through Bluetooth if you are within 10 to 15 feet. You can also operate the lock remotely from almost anywhere if you have the August Connect WIFI Bridge.


Including the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe shows users how to include the August Smart Lock Pro with a Z-Wave network. This is important if you want to control the August Smart Lock Pro from an interactive service platform from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The pairing process is completed through the August Home App. You will need to have the lock paired with the app before you can pair it with a Z-Wave network. You will also need access to your Z-Wave hub or controller.


Defaulting the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe teaches users how to perform a factory default for an August Smart Lock Pro. To perform a factory reset, you will need to access your August account through the August Home App. Doing this will clear any Z-Wave and WIFI settings for the lock. You will need to reprogram the lock from scratch using the app. You should only perform a factory reset if you plan on giving away the lock or as a final troubleshooting step.


Excluding the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe covers the process for excluding the August Smart Lock Pro from a Z-Wave network. Unlike most Z-Wave devices, you don't need to clear the August Smart Lock Pro before adding it to a Z-Wave network. Instead, you will only do this if you are clearing the device from the network so that you can add it to a new one. You can complete the exclusion process through the August Home App. If you don't have access to your Z-Wave hub, you will need to perform a Z-Wave factory reset.


Getting an Alarm or Zone Open or Close to Activate a Honeywell IP Camera

Joe talks about how you can create notifications to have your Resideo IP Cameras activate when sensors are faulted or during alarm events. Normally, these cameras will only activate when they detect motion or sound. You can create these notifications through Total Connect 2.0. It is also possible to set specific hours when a camera can initiate a recording. This way, even if a zone is faulted, the camera will only capture clips during certain predetermined hours.


Temperature Sensor Notifications from a Lyric via Apple HomeKit

Jorge explains how you cannot receive temperature sensor notifications from Apple HomeKit when used with a Resideo Lyric Alarm System. HomeKit will only provide specific alerts for intrusion zones on the Lyric. For all other zones, only a General Lyric System Alert will be displayed. This makes it impossible to determine exactly which zone was faulted. However, you can still use HomeKit alongside Total Connect 2.0. The TC2 service will provide specific alerts for any faulted zone.


Is AlarmGrid Compliant with Nationally Recognized Industry Standards?

In a very rare video appearance, I talk about how Alarm Grid is compliant with Nationally Recognized Industry Standards. Nearly all of the systems and sensors that we sell are certified by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. Additionally, our central monitoring partner Criticom Monitoring Services is UL Listed and FM Approved. While we may occasionally have equipment on our site that is still in the process of being approved by a NRTL, we stand behind our manufacturers and are confident in their offerings.


Finding the Firmware Revision on a Lynx Touch

Coming through with a video at the very last minute, Jarrett teaches users how to find the Firmware Revision on a Resideo Lynx Touch System. If you want to perform a firmware update for these systems, then you will need the LYNXTOUCH-MSD Updater Tool. It is no longer possible to push an update over-the-air (OTA). Getting these systems on the latest firmware is important if you plan to use an LTE cellular communicator. Please note that you will also need an alarm monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we want to discuss some of our favorite smart locks from the likes of Kwikset, Yale and August. There are many great reasons to add a smart lock to your home, and we are sure that you will love the convenience they offer. They are great for Alarm Grid monitored customers.




Smart locks represent a great addition to nearly any home or business. These devices typically enroll with a central hub, such as a Z-Wave controller or into your Apple HomeKit network. You will then be able to control the lock through an app on the Android or iOS smartphone. This is great if you ever want to let someone inside while you are away and then make sure the door is locked after they leave.

Z-Wave locks are particularly useful because you can access them through the Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com service that you use with your security system. These services will also provide you with text and/or email alerts whenever your lock is used. And iOS users always appreciate HomeKit compatibility. They find it highly convenient to be able to control their smart locks through Siri voice commands.

Alarm Grid has been putting out some FAQs to help you get started with various Z-Wave locks. We encourage you to check out some of the FAQs listed below:

Of course, you can buy some excellent Z-Wave locks from Yale, August and Kwikset on our site. Let's take a look at some of our favorites from each of the three companies:

Yale

We actually got a first-hand look at many of the Yale Locks at ISC West 2019. Our team was highly impressed with these locks, and we think any of them would make for a great addition to your home. The Yale Assure Locks were particularly exciting for their added reliability, touchscreen control and Z-Wave Plus functionality. These include the Yale YRD226, Yale YRD246 and Yale YRD256 models. The YRD256 receives special recognition for having both a HomeKit Version and a Z-Wave Plus Version available from Alarm Grid.


Alarm Grid has been particularly impressed with the ease-of-use and overall reliability offered from the Yale Locks. They are available in a multitude of designs and styles so that you can find the lock that fits your home. Whether you choose a HomeKit model or a Z-Wave Plus model, we are sure that you will be extremely pleased with the performance and reliability when controlled remotely.

August

August and Yale are actually both manufactured by the same company, Assa Abloy. The name of the game here is the August Smart Lock Pro. This is one of the best and most versatile locks in the industry, and we cannot recommend it enough. The biggest selling point of the August Smart Lock Pro is that it can utilize Z-Wave Plus technology and connectivity with Apple HomeKit at the same time. Usually, a lock is restricted between one or the other. But that is not the case here.

The round design helps the August Smart Lock Pro stand out from other smart locks. It is sleek and smooth, and an LED light helps the user with setup. The entire process is completed through the August Home App to make setup and installation as easy as possible. Users looking for something different with some great advanced features can't go wrong here.

August smart lock pro dark gray z wave deadbolt lock 3rd generat

If you want to use Apple HomeKit with the August Smart Lock Pro, then the August Connect WIFI Bridge must be obtained as well. Alarm Grid actually sells the August Smart Lock Pro and the August Connect Bridge in one convenient package. They can also be purchased separately. The Smart Lock Pro can also communicate with your phone wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection. This is great for automatic unlocking when you arrive home. And users will certainly appreciate the integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, AirBnB and HomeAway.

Kwikset

Not to be outdone, Kwikset offers their own smart locks that we have shown tremendous success in our personal testing. These are simple, yet effective locks that each feature their own timeless design. They use Z-Wave Plus technology for easy pairing with your wireless home security system. You can then control the lock from the panel or through a convenient app like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can even receive notifications from TC2 or ADC whenever the lock is used.


The two Kwikset Locks that stand out the most for us are the Kwikset SmartCode 888 (shown above) and the Kwikset Obsidian. The Kwikset SmartCode 888 is an affordable option for users who want all the great features and functions of a reliable smart lock. It offers a touch-button keypad, with backlit keys for easy operation at nighttime. Meanwhile, the Kwikset Obsidian offers a sleek and futuristic touchscreen keypad for entering codes. The device uses advanced SecureScreen technology to prevent intruders from figuring out codes based on fingerprints. It also offers 128-bit AES encryption for added security.

All of the locks mentioned above are available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. If you need help deciding on a lock, please reach out to us by sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will check the email at our earliest convenience and respond as quickly as possible. We look forward to helping you find the perfect Z-Wave or HomeKit lock for your ever-growing and evolving smart home!

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The Alarm Grid content team had the opportunity to visit the Assa Abloy booth at ISC West 2019. Assa Abloy owns both August and Yale, and we were able to check out some of the latest models. These residential smart locks would certainly make for great additions to almost any home.


Smart locks offer tremendous convenience, as you can operate them through simple keypad rather than having to use a manual key. They can also be controlled remotely using platforms like Apple HomeKit, Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. This is made possible using wireless protocols like WIFI and Z-Wave. You are certainly missing out if you haven't added a smart lock to your home yet!

Assa Abloy confirmed that all their locks that use Z-Wave technology will be certified Z-Wave Plus. This makes them perfect for controlling through the interactive service platform that you use with your security system. Meanwhile, their WIFI models will be compatible with the Apple HomeKit platform. This is great news for iOS users, as they will surely enjoy the convenience of being able to control their lock from anywhere using their phone!

Assa Abloy had many locks on display. We're just going to focus on the ones that we feel would make a great addition to any smart home. A major highlight was the Yale YRD256 Assure Lock, which is available in both Z-Wave and HomeKit variants. The lock allows users to create up to 250 unique four to eight digit codes, and it also features auto re-lock, privacy mode and tamper alarms. It has a voice-guided setup menu, making it very easy to perform a DIY installation. The device comes in three finish options, which include Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze and Satin Nickel.


Other notable locks included the Yale B1L YRD110 Lock with Z-Wave, the Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen Lock and the August Smart Lock Pro. The Smart Lock Pro is particularly interesting, as it utilizes both Z-Wave and WIFI (requires Yale Connect WIFI Bridge) for remote access. The device can interface with many smart assistants, including Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Integrations with AirBnB, HomeAway and Nest are also available. Easy installation is made possible with help from the August Home App. The lock is available in silver and dark grey finishes. Note that the model on the top in the third picture below is the Smart Lock Pro version.

Assa Abloy also used ISC West as an opportunity to unveil their upcoming August View Video Doorbell. It offers 1440p resolution and captures clips in a 4:3 ratio. The live feed and recorded clips can both be conveniently viewed from the August Home App. You can also zoom in when watching the video to really focus on a particular section of the footage. The device also uses IR technology for night vision, and it supports two-way voice conversation through the August Home App.


Many great August and Yale Locks are already available for purchase from Alarm Grid, including some mentioned in this post. Our offerings include:


We gotta say it was a great ISC West 2019 for Assa Abloy. We're really excited about their August and Yale Locks, and we hope you are too! Remember to stick to our blog for the latest updates from ISC West 2019.

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