August Smart Lock Pro + Connect Posts

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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.

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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.

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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! 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.

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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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