Honeywell Lyric Alarm System Posts

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Anyone who has a Honeywell Security System knows that using and managing codes is very important for getting the most out of the system. This handy guide will show you everything you need to know about Honeywell System Codes, including how they are are used and how they are created.

Basic Information about System Codes

Note that the default Installer and Master Codes for almost any Honeywell System are 4112 and 1234 respectively. Let's start by reviewing basic concepts and information about system codes.

What is a system code?

A system code on a Honeywell Panel is a numeric password that is used to gain access to certain menus of the system and to perform various functions. The main reason that alarm systems have codes is to make sure that the person who is using the system is supposed to have access. Only the end user and any other individuals they have authorized to use their security system should know any of the system codes.

Depending on the type of code, a master user can restrict access to only specific parts of the system for other users. This makes some system codes more powerful than others. For Honeywell Systems, most codes are four-digits in length and use the digits 0-9. This allows for up to 10,000 possible combinations for any given code!

How should I choose a system code?

Any code you use on a Honeywell System should be a code that is easy for the user to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Remember, the purpose of a code is to prevent access to unauthorized users. If an unauthorized user, like an intruder, is able to provide a valid system code, it could result in a serious security breach. Likewise, if an authorized user forgets a code, it can be inconvenient or even impossible to get back in.

Most Honeywell Systems operate using delay periods. In other words, upon entering the premises, a valid code must be provided within a very limited time period to disarm the system. If a valid code is not provided within this specified time, then an alarm will occur. This will give an end user who knows a valid code enough time to disarm the system. But it will not give an intruder nearly enough time to brute force their way into the system by guessing codes.

What types of codes are used on Honeywell Systems?

There are many types of codes used with Honeywell Panels. The most common are outlined below:

  • Master Code: Each system has one Master Code. This is the main code a user will normally use for arming and disarming. It can perform all security functions, add and delete users, change the current Master Code and perform many additional system functions. This code cannot be deleted from the system entirely. Only the main user and operator of the security system should know the Master Code.
  • User Codes: Most Honeywell Systems can have multiple user codes set up. These codes can arm and disarm the system just like the Master Code. However, they cannot perform other system functions. A user code should be provided to a user who needs regular access to the building, but should not be able to adjust important settings and configurations for the alarm system.
  • Installer Code: Each system has one Installer Code. This is the main code that is used for making programming changes to the system. It is needed for adding, deleting and configuring sensors, adjusting entry and exit delay periods and more. Basically any major system setting will require the use of the Installer Code. An important note is that the Installer Code can only disarm the system if it was used to arm the system in the first place. This means that keeping the Installer Code at its default is not a security risk, as long as the code isn't used to arm the system. This code cannot be deleted from the system.
  • Guest Code: Also called a "babysitter code", a guest code is a restricted-access code that can be established on most Honeywell Systems. The important thing to remember about this code is that it can only disarm the system if it was the code used to arm in the first place. This code is best provided to users who need temporary access to the system, such as a house guest, a babysitter or a maintenance person. The main user can arm their system with the guest code so that they can access the premises. But if nobody else should be using the system, then the Master Code or a regular user code can be used to arm so that the guest code cannot gain access.
  • Duress Code: The duress code is a special code that is used to send a secret signal to a central monitoring station, letting them know that help is needed immediately. When this code is entered, it will appear to disarm the system like normal. But in reality, a distress signal will be sent out to the central monitoring station to request immediate help. This code is very rarely used, as its only purpose it to protect the user in hostage situations. Otherwise, this code should never be used. However, it is still important to remember this code, as it can save lives when used properly.
  • Arm Only: On select panels only. This code can arm the system, but it cannot disarm.
  • Partition Master: Only for systems with multiple partitions. This code is the same as a Master Code, but its authority only applies to a specific partition. This type of code is optional on a system, but it can be useful if multiple partitions have been established.

What are default codes?

When a Honeywell System is used for the first time, its Master Code and its Installer Code will be set to default values. For most Honeywell Panels, the default Master Code is 1234, and the default Installer Code is 4112. It is normally recommended that you change the Master Code for security purposes. However, the Installer Code can be left at its default so that the user can get back into programming. Keeping the Installer Code at the default does not present any type of security risk.

Now that we have covered some basic information for system codes, let's look into some specific panels to learn how codes are used.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

For the Lyric, codes are managed through the Users Menu. To access this menu, start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > Tools > Master Code > Users. This menu will allow you to change any system code, with the exception of the Installer code.

Up to 48 unique codes can be added with the system. The code in slot 01 is the Installer Code. The code in slot 02 is the Master Code. The code in slot 47 is the Guest Code. The code in slot 48 is the duress code. All of the other 44 system codes are optional user codes.

Add New Codes

Press the "Add New" button. You can the provide a name for the code, enter in a valid four-digit code, and set whether or not the code can be used to control any Z-Wave door locks. The user number will be automatically assigned. Remember to press the "Save" button in the lower-right corner when you have finished.

Edit Existing Codes

Click on the code you want to edit to highlight it. Then press the Edit button in the lower-left corner of the screen. You can then edit the Name, the 4-digit numeric code and the Z-Wave lock settings for the code. Make sure to press "Save" when finished.

Delete Codes

Click on the code you want to delete to highlight it. Then press the Delete button in the lower-right corner of the screen. Press "Yes" when asked if you are sure. The code will be deleted.

Changing the Installer Code

The default Installer Code for the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is 4112. We recommend keeping this code at the default to prevent the user from being locked out of programming. However, this code can be changed through programming if desired. You will need the current Installer Code to do this. You cannot do this using the Master Code.

Start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Program > Installer Code. You can then change the Installer Code for the system. Press the "Done" button in the lower-right corner when finished.

Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels

Honeywell l5210 lynx touch wireless security system with 4 1 sla

Managing user codes for a Honeywell LYNX Touch System is very similar to the process for the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Most codes can be managed through the User Codes menu. To access this menu, start from the main screen, and choose Security > More > Tools > Master Code > Users. This menu will allow you to edit any system code, except for the Installer Code.

Please note that the number of user codes that can be added depends on the type of LYNX Touch Panel that is being used. On each system, the Installer Code will be user 01, the Master Code will be user 02, the Guest Code will be the second-to-last available code, and the Duress Code will be the last.

For reference, the L7000 will support up to 48 codes, the L5210 and L5200 will support up to 32, and the L5100 and L5000 will support up to 16.

Add New Codes

Click the "Add New" button at the bottom of the screen. The following menu will let you change the Name, the four-digit code and the Z-Wave lock settings for the code. The user number for the new code will be automatically assigned. Press "Save" in the lower-right corner to finish.

Edit Codes

Click on the code you want to edit to highlight it. Then press the Edit button in the lower-left corner. From there, you can change the name, the four-digit code, and the Z-Wave lock settings. Press "Save" in the lower-right corner when finished.

Delete Codes

Click on the code you want to delete to highlight it. Then press the Delete button in the lower-right corner. The panel will ask you if you are sure. Choose "Yes". The code will be deleted.

Changing the Installer Code

All of the LYNX Touch Panels use 4112 as their default Installer Code. This code is normally left at its default to prevent the user from being locked out of programming later. But it can be changed using the current Installer Code for the system if desired. Remember, keeping the Installer Code at the default does not present any type of security risk.

To change the code, start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > More > Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Program > Installer Code. You will then be able to change the Installer Code. Please note that when exiting programming, always choose "Yes" when asked you want to allow the installer to get back into programming. Choosing "No" will lock the user out of programming, and the user will need to use the backdoor method to get back in.

Backdoor Method for Accessing Programming

If you ever get locked out of programming, either due to choosing "No" when asked if you want to allow the Installer to get back into programming, or because you lost an Installer Code that wasn't set to the default of 4112, you can use the backdoor method to get back in.

First, reboot the panel by going to Security > More > Tools > Master Code > Test > Reboot. Alternatively, if you don't know the Master Code, you can power the system down by unplugging the transformer and disconnecting the backup battery. Then power it back on by plugging the transformer in. Once the white screen on the reboot appears, immediately press and hold the Home Button (the picture of the house) on the front of the panel. Release the button once the green bar with "Ready to Arm" appears across the top. Then choose Security, followed by Arm Stay. In the number pad that appears, press Clear, followed by 00. Choose "Program" to enter the Programming Menu.

Once you are inside, you can then set the Installer Code for the system to reenter programming later. You can also restore the system to factory default settings through "Default Config" to restore the system to its factory default settings. This will reset the Master Code to its default of 1234. Please note, this will also delete all programming settings for the system.

Honeywell VISTA P-Series

Honeywell vista 21ip internet alarm control panel open

The VISTA P-Series Panels use hardwired keypads for virtually all system operations and overall access. This includes adding, editing and deleting codes. Since codes do not require deep level programming, alphanumeric keypads and fixed English keypads can be used for this purpose. The VISTA 21iP and VISTA 20P can support up to 48 system codes. The VISTA 15P can support up to 32 system codes. The VISTA 10P can support up to 16 system codes. Remember, two of these slots will go to the Installer Code (slot 01) and the Master Code (slot 02).

For these systems, each Code Type is associated with a particular Authority Level. This Authority Level is assigned when assigning attributes. Please note that since the Installer Code and Master Code are hardcoded to slots 01 and 02 respectively, they are not associated with any particular Authority Level. The table below outlines the the Authority Levels that can be assigned to system codes.

Code Type
Authority Level
Notes
User 0 Can arm and disarm the system.
Arm Only 1 Can only arm the system.
Guest 2 Can disarm if it was the code used to arm.
Duress 3 Sends secret distress signal to station.
Partition Master 4 Partitioned systems only. One per partition.

Also note the various attributes for VISTA System codes:

Attribute
Attribute Number
Assigned Value and Notes
Authority Level 1 See previous table.
Access Group 2 0-8. An entry of [0] means no group.
Active Partitions 3 Enter the partition numbers, then [#].
RF Zone Number 4 2-digit key fob number.
Open/Close Paging 5 0 for No. 1 for Yes.

Add New Codes

Enter the following command on the keypad:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [desired 4-digit code]

The panel will beep to confirm the new code has been added. However, a long tone indicates that the process was unsuccessful, likely because the code was already taken.

Edit Codes

This is basically the same as adding a new code, only you will be working with a code that has already been programmed.

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [desired 4-digit code]

The panel will beep to confirm that the code has been changed. But if a long tone is produced, it indicates that the process was unsuccessful. This could be because the code was already taken.

Deleting Codes

Note that you cannot delete the Installer Code or the Master Code. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [#] + [0]

Assigning Attributes

Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [#] + [Attribute Number] + [Attribute Value]

Backdoor Into Programming

If you don't have your Installer Code or if you have locked yourself out of programming., you can get back into programming using the backdoor method. To do this, power down the panel by unplugging the transformer and disconnecting the backup battery. Press and hold the the [*] and [#] buttons on the keypad simultaneously. With these buttons held down, power the system back on by plugging the transformer back in. The message "20" or "Installer Code 20" should appear on the keypad to indicate that programming has been accessed. Then press [*] + [20] + [4112] to set the Installer Code back to 4112. Then press [*] + [99] to exit programming. Never use [*] + [98] to exit programming, as this will lock you out!

Honeywell LYNX Plus L3000

Honeywell l3000 wireless alarm control panelThe Honeywell LYNX Plus L3000 is relatively outdated by today's standards, but it is still used in some cases. The panel can only support up to 8 different codes. Much like the other panels, slot 01 goes to the Installer Code, and slot 02 goes to the Master Code. These codes cannot be deleted from the panel. Also, slot 07 goes to the Guest Code, and slot 08 goes to the Duress Code. Only codes 03 thru 06 can be assigned to regular user codes.

Adding a Code

Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number] + [Desired Code]

The panel will beep to confirm success. Remember that [03] thru [08] can be entered for the Code Number.

Deleting a Code

Only codes [03] thru [08] can be deleted. Codes 01 and 02 are for the Installer Code and the Master Code respectively, and they cannot be deleted from the system. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number]

The panel will beep to confirm that the code has been deleted.

Editing a Code

Codes cannot be truly edited. Instead, a code must be deleted, and then re-added with a new entry. Start by deleting the code:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number]

Then add the new code:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number] + [Desired Code]

The panel will beep to confirm the code has been added.

Change the Master Code

This process is the mostly same as adding a new code. Note that the Master Code is assigned slot 02. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [02] + [Desired Master Code] + [Desired Master Code Again]

The panel will beep three times after a Master Code change.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide has been informative for you in learning all about codes of Honeywell Systems. In future, we hope to expand this guide to include the commercial polling loop VISTA Systems as well. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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Hi DIYers! When many people think of a professional Honeywell Security System, they usually think of a top-of-the-line security system installed by a professional. Well the truth is you can install the system yourself. Thanks to Honeywell Home Security Systems, do it yourself is possible!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

You don't have to be a professional to install your own Honeywell Home Security System. In fact, with the right setup, you won't even need any tools! Okay, maybe you'll need a screwdriver to connect some wires. But that is not asking a lot. By following some simple instructions, you can install your own complete and professional set up on your own. The same equipment that the professionals use is all available on the Alarm Grid site!

Why would you want to install your own security equipment? Well for one, a professional installer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a simple installation. It can also be somewhat unsettling to allow a stranger into your house, especially to work with something as sensitive and personal as your home security system. The truth is you - that's right, you - can install your own home alarm system just as well as a pro. And you can save money and learn about your system in the process. It doesn't get any better!

Honeywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

The panel that we recommend using for a DIY Honeywell Security System is the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This is the latest and most advanced security panel available from Honeywell. All of the sensors and equipment can be easily programmed with the system. The menus are easy to navigate and the process is extremely intuitive once you know what you're doing. The Lyric allows sensors to auto enroll with the system. This means you won't have to memorize or enter any long and confusing codes, and you will confirm for sure that the sensors have been recognized by the panel. Before you know it, you'll have your entire home set up and protected in a jiffy!

We recommend using Honeywell SiX Series Sensors with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. These are all wireless sensors with a 200 foot nominal range. They feature 128-bit AES encryption for added protection and security when you need it most. Since these are wireless sensors, no wires need to be run. This makes the installation process super easy, even for beginners. When mounting the sensors, you don't even need to drill holes. Instead, you can just use double-sided foam tape. Slap the tape on the back of the sensor, plop the sensor on the wall, and boom, you're good to go! Some of the best Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for a home installation include Honeywell SiXMINICT Door Sensors, Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensors, Honeywell SiXGB Glass Break Sensors and Honeywell SiXSMOKE Smoke Detectors.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

As for the panel, you can mount it to the wall if you want. But for a DIY user, an easy option that requires no tools is to use a desk mount. The Lyric has a great desk mount just for this purpose. Simply slide the desk mount on the panel, and rest it on a table or desk for quick and easy access. There's no need to mount the panel to the wall, and you won't need to drill any holes. For connecting to the transformer, Honeywell offers the fantastic LT-Cable that eliminates the need to strip any wires. Simply screw the spaded ends to the transformer, connect the other end to the lyric, plug-in the barrel connector, and the setup is complete!

With a user-friendly and convent Honeywell Home Security Systems, do it yourself is the name of the game! Why hire a professional installer when you can truly do it yourself? Not only can you achieve a great DIY installation, you can do it right! From there, you can customize your system to suit your home. The Honeywell Lyric Alarm Control Panel is fully loaded, and it has everything you need to get started. A built-in WIFI card allows you to connect with the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers for use with the Total Connect 2.0 service. An integrated Z-Wave controller allows your set up smart home automation devices with ease. And iOS users will love the fact that the Lyric is compatible with the Apple HomeKit service for use with HomeKit smart scenes and automations. This HomeKit security system is perfect for those who want to expand upon their HomeKit setup.

Once you have the Honeywell Lyric Security System, you just need an alarm monitoring plan to get started with professional and reliable home security. Alarm Grid can connect your home with three reliable central stations that operate 24/7. Our monitoring partner is Criticom Monitoring Services, which operates three central stations across the country in Florida, New Jersey and California. If one station is ever unavailable, the calls will be routed to a different central station for the ultimate reliability. This way, you and your family are always protected.

Don't wait to get started! Email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F to receive monitoring service for your DIY Honeywell Home Security System!

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Hi DIYers! We recently made a post that compared wireless systems with hardwired ones. We ultimately concluded that most end users are better-suited with a wireless system. If you have decided that you need a wireless home security system, this buyer's guide can help you review the options.

Remember, no matter which system you buy, you will need an alarm monitoring plan to go along with with it. Please review our alarm monitoring page for more information. Below are some of the best wireless security systems on the market today and what makes them so great:

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is arguably the most robust alarm system on the market today. Each version provides support for PowerG 915 MHz Sensors and a choice of one legacy sensor type (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz). The PowerG Sensors are particularly renowned for their ability to be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the system in open air. This is also one of the few wireless all-in-one panels with the ability to display the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras right from its screen. The panel also includes a built-in LTE cellular communicator (AT&T or Verizon) and a fully functional Z-Wave Plus Controller. In fact, this is one of the very few systems where virtually no add-ons are needed. However, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is one of the more expensive wireless panels available on the market. But users will certainly appreciate its sleek, modern design and superb functionality. The system uses Alarm.com as its interactive service platform, and it can readily connect with the service. All versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus can be seen here.

Choose the IQ Panel 2 Plus if:

  • You want the remarkable signal range that comes with PowerG Sensors.
  • You want the ability to easily bring over existing wireless sensors (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz) with your new security system.
  • You want the ability to view your security cameras right from your panel.
  • You don't mind paying top-dollar for an alarm system.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is still the flagship HomeKit security system from Honeywell, and the time-tested company has once-again produced an excellent panel. The Lyric is perhaps the best system on the market today for use with Apple HomeKit. It can pair natively with HomeKit in order to provide all of the functionality that a user would expect with the feature. The Lyric System also has its own lineup of encrypted sensors, called the Honeywell SiX Series. Additionally, it is backwards compatible with the Honeywell 5800 Series. Another factor that separates the Lyric from other systems is its ability to be used with Total Connect 2.0. This service is designed exclusively for Honeywell Alarm Systems, and it offers similar functionality to that of Alarm.com. The system's built-in WIFI card allows it to readily connect with the service. One downside to the Lyric is that it only includes a Z-Wave classic controller as opposed to a Z-Wave Plus controller. While it can support Z-Wave Plus devices, they will only have the capabilities of Z-Wave classic devices when used with this system. Please note, a separate Lyric Cellular Module is needed for cellular connectivity.

Choose the Lyric Controller if:

  • You plan to use your alarm system with Apple HomeKit.
  • You prefer using Total Connect 2.0 over Alarm.com.
  • You want to use encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors.
  • You don't require a Z-Wave Plus controller.

2GIG GC3

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenThe 2GIG GC3 just gave itself a major upgrade in the form of partitioning support. This makes the GC3 the first ever AIO wireless system to support partitioning. 2GIG refers to this feature as "smart areas", and the system on the latest firmware, and up to four of these areas can be supported. Beyond that, the GC3 is also highly regarded for its strong build quality. That's not to say the other panels are lacking in that department, but the GC3 is perhaps the sturdiest system we have ever worked with. Its touchscreen controls are extremely responsive, and its full-color 7-inch display is a joy to look at. The system can use 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. One weakness of the system is that it does not support any type of encrypted sensors at this time. But it does include a built-in Z-Wave Plus Controller for smart home devices. Like the IQ Panel 2 Plus, the system uses the Alarm.com service. But the user will need to buy a separate GC3 cellular communicator to use ADC.

Choose the GC3 if:

  • You need partitioning support.
  • You want a system with superb build-quality.
  • You want to use the Alarm.com platform.
  • You don't need encrypted wireless sensors.

2GIG GC2

2gig cp21 345 front

The 2GIG GC2 is our pick as a "budget" security system. We know that many people getting into home security will not need all of the advanced features that the state-of-the-art systems have to offer. That is where is the 2GIG GC2 comes into play. With the right support, it can still serve as an extremely viable option for many users. The panel features a 3.75" by 2.25" touchscreen with very responsive controls. This is considerably smaller than the 7-inch touchscreen displays of the other panels on this list, but it will work just fine for many users. The panel can support up to 60 wireless zones. Again, this is considerably less robust than the other systems, but it will be perfectly acceptable for most smaller and medium-sized homes. The system includes a Z-Wave classic controller for supporting smart home automation devices. In order to get the GC2 connected with Alarm.com, a separate GC2 cellular communicator is needed. Overall, if you're looking for a new security system at a reasonable price, you can't go wrong with the 2GIG GC2.

Choose the GC2 if:

  • You're shopping for a system on a budget.
  • You want a simple, yet capable alarm system.
  • You don't need support for as many wireless zones.
  • You don't need a larger touchscreen display.

If you still need help deciding on a wireless system, don't hesitate to reach out to us for support! You may email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

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

Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

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

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When one thinks of upgrading their security system, they would typically think of adding a new sensor to their setup. After all, it's sensors that a system uses to detect any important system events, such as burglary or fire. But often upgrading a communicator is even more important.

Simply put, the communicator is what an alarm system uses to send outbound signals to the user and/or a central monitoring station. If the communicator fails, then the alarm system is nothing more than a local sounder. It will have no way of alerting off-site users or requesting emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Therefore, it's extremely important that the communication path used by an alarm system is dependable, reliable and gives the user peace of mind. For most users, an alarm system that uses cellular communication is the ideal solution.

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is the flagship wireless security system from Honeywell. This system provides support for up to 128 wireless zones, and it can even work with the encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. The touchscreen controller is extremely easy to use, and the build-quality lives up to the Honeywell name. Additionally, the system comes with a Z-Wave controller built-in for controlling Z-Wave home automation devices. Overall, the Lyric is one of the top security systems available on the market today.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemHowever, there is one issue with a fresh, brand-new, out-of-the-box Lyric. This problem is that the system does not have an integrated cellular communicator. Although there are Lyric Controller System Kits that come with a cellular communicator, the base version of the system does not have such a module. If no cellular module is added, the system will be forced to rely on a WIFI connection. This might not seem so bad at first. WIFI is extremely fast, and most people think of modern internet services as being extremely reliable. For that reason, many users make the decision to go with a WIFI-only setup for their Honeywell Lyric Controller.

However, going with a WIFI-only communication path can prove to be a major mistake. WIFI signals regularly go down, often for seemingly no reason. Additionally, a power outage of any kind will cause the WIFI service to go down, and a panel that uses a WIFI-only connectivity will be unable to send any outbound signals. This means that the property will be unprotected. But with a cellular communicator, this is occurrence is nearly impossible. Modern cellular communication is extremely reliable. It is not affected by power outages, and it offers users great peace of mind.

For those reasons, adding a cellular communicator to a Lyric Controller is extremely important. Honeywell offers various cellular communicators for the Lyric System. Adding one of these communicators can be the single most important upgrade for a Lyric Controller, due to the fantastic reliability and consistency that it will provide for the system. And for users looking for a new communicator, we recommend choosing the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for theThe LYRICLTE-A is currently the only communicator for the Lyric Controller that can connect with an LTE cellular network. Specifically, the LYRICLTE-A connects with the LTE network for AT&T. LTE networks represent the latest and most advanced cellular technology available, and they provide lightning-fast speeds and superb reliability. Plus, cellular service providers have promised that they will continue to support for their LTE networks for many years, even decades into the future. And with trusted service from AT&T, the LYRICLTE-A will ensure that the Lyric Controller is always connected and always protecting your property. It should be mentioned that Verizon also plans to release an LTE communicator for the Lyric sometime in the near future. But for now, the LYRICLTE-A and AT&T is nearly always the best option for Lyric users.

With that in mind, we believe that the LYRICLTE-A is the single most important upgrade a user can make for their Honeywell Lyric Controller System. The level of reliability and consistency of cellular communication cannot be compared with by any other communication path. And with connectivity to an LTE network, users can be sure that their Lyric System will communicate as it should far into the distant future.

An alarm system is only good if it can alert others in an emergency situation. A system that cannot communicate properly is a sitting duck. Even if a system has every sensor imaginable, it won't matter if the system cannot send a signal to the end user or a central monitoring station when it counts. With the LYRICLTE-A and cellular communication, a Lyric System will be able to communicate successfully every time. This makes the LYRICLTE-A the single most important upgrade for the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Don't leave your Lyric System unprotected. Upgrade your Lyric with the very best in cellular communication with the AT&T LYRICLTE-A.

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When it comes to home security, houses aren't the only residences that require adequate protection. Apartments are also vulnerable to being taken advantage of by intruders and burglars. Thankfully, with advances in alarm systems, it has never been easier to achieve a DIY security setup.

Because of their smaller size and limited entrances and exits, most apartments don't need as many security sensors as a fully outfitted home. Just a few door and window contacts and a motion sensor can often do the trick. But that said, there's no reason that an apartment resident can't also take full advantage of the exciting home automation capabilities that a modern alarm system has to offer. This handy guide will cover everything needed to obtain a complete security system for an apartment.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensorHoneywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

Choosing a Panel

Like any security setup, it all starts with the control panel. This device serves as the central hub for the rest of the alarm system. Any sensors that are used with the system will report to the panel to let the system know when an event occurs. The panel is also the device that will send outgoing alerts to a central monitoring station or to the end user. Finally, most system arming and disarming is done right at the panel itself. Since the user will typically interact with their panel on a daily basis, it's very important to select one that is reliable and easy to use. Luckily for users, there are many tremendous options to choose from.

For an apartment, we strongly recommend choosing a wireless security system. These panels are remarkably easy to set up, and they are excellent choices for DIY users. A wireless panel is an all-in-one device that includes its own touchscreen display and wireless receiver for interacting with wireless sensors. Most newer wireless systems also come with a built-in communicator and an integrated Z-Wave controller. A user can also obtain a desk mount for their wireless system. This will eliminate the need to mount the panel to the wall, which is often forbidden by apartment policies. In fact, with a wireless system and wireless alarm sensors, it is possible to achieve a total setup without drilling any holes whatsoever. And if the user decides to move out of their apartment, they can easily take their wireless system with them to their new residence.

Alarm Grid offers some outstanding wireless panels that are great for apartments. One fantastic option in particular is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This system features a fresh, sleek design that is sure to fit in very well with any modern apartment. The system is simple to operate, and the menu options come across as very straightforward. The device also comes included with its own desk mount for easy setup. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will function with all Qolsys-branded wireless sensors, including the fully encrypted S-Line of sensors. Additionally, the IQ Panel 2 is one of few panels to come with a cellular communicator that is already built-in to the system. It is also WIFI ready right out of the box.

Qolsys iq panel 2 classic kit verizon wireless security system wAnother panel option is the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric is the flagship alarm system from Honeywell, a company that has served as a leader in the security industry for decades. It comes WIFI ready, and it can interface with an impressive lineup of different security sensors. This includes the encrypted SiX Series Sensors, which are designed exclusively for the Honeywell Lyric System. The menus are easy to navigate, and getting started with the system is a breeze. With just a WIFI connection and an appropriate monitoring plan, a user can sync their Lyric with Total Connect. This service allows users to arm and disarm their system remotely and check the current status of their security sensors at any time. A special desk mount for the Lyric is available for purchase separately. This will allow the user to avoid mounting the panel to the wall.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

We also encourage users to check out our alarm system kits that include everything a new user needs to get started with a security system for their apartment. By going with a kit, a user can save a decent amount of money versus purchasing each component of the security system individually.

All About Sensors

The only types of alarm sensors that are used in most apartments are door and window contacts and motion detectors. Although other alarm sensors can definitely be used as well, they are usually unnecessary for an apartment. Just like with security panels, we advise users to install wireless sensors in an apartment. Wireless sensors are easy to program with an alarm system, and most are mounted using double-sided foam tape. This will prevent the user from having to drill any holes in their walls. Most wireless sensors will function for three to five years before requiring a simple battery replacement. If you are purchasing alarm sensors individually and not with a kit, make sure that the sensors you choose will interface with your alarm system.

A door and window contact is used to let the system know whenever a door or window is opened. These are very simple devices that are easy to understand. Basically, a door and window contact consist of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is applied on the frame of the door or window, and the magnet is applied on the door or window itself, within a half-inch of the sensor. Double-sided foam tape can secure both of these components. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. When this happens, the sensor will send an signal to the alarm system to let it know about the event. The alarm system will then respond accordingly, based on the programmed Response Type for that zone. For apartments, we recommend using surface-mount contacts over recessed contacts. This is because recessed contacts require holes that are drilled into the door or window frame. If you are purchasing door and window contacts individually and not part of a kit, make sure that they are compatible with your alarm system. Putting a contact on the front door is an absolute must. Many users also place them on windows and interior doors.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensorQolsys iq dw mini extended s front


Motion detectors are also commonly used in apartments. Simply put, these devices recognize when motion is present, and they let the system know about the activity. A motion detector will certainly come in handy if an intruder is ever able to get inside the apartment without setting off a door or window contact. Most motion detectors operate using passive infrared (PIR) technology. This detection method involves looking out for the infrared energy given off by a potential intruder. When a PIR motion detector is activated, it will take a quick reading of the current infrared energy in the area. If a person or large object suddenly comes into the picture, it will cause a change in infrared energy. This will cause the motion sensor to activate, and the device will then send a signal to the alarm system to perform the programmed response. For most apartments, one motion detecting sensor is usually adequate. We recommend installing an apartment motion sensor in the main room for optimal sensor coverage.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motionQolsys iq motion s encrypted motion sensor for iq panel 2 qs1230

Other alarm sensors are typically not as important for apartments. Glass break sensors can be used to monitor glass windows, but this is usually covered using window contacts and a motion sensor. However, some apartment residents may use a glass break sensor to monitor a glass casing or artwork. Most apartments already come included with a smoke detector. This means that purchasing a separate smoke detector for the alarm system is unnecessary. But a user may want to integrate the conventional smoke detector with their alarm system. For that, we recommend using a smoke detector takeover module, such as an Encore FireFighter FF345. This device will actively listen for the sound of an activated smoke detector. If it detects this type of sound, it will send a signal to the system and trigger an alarm event. If you do use a takeover module, make sure that the model you select is compatible with your alarm system. Finally, most apartment systems will not require any flood sensors since any failed HVAC unit or serious water leak is typically the responsibility of the apartment management.

Honeywell 5853 wireless glass break detector exteriorEncore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

Communication is Key

Unless you plan on staying home 24/7, you will want an alarm system that can send outbound signals in some way. For monitoring plans, there are two primary options. These are central monitoring plans and self-monitoring plans. The primary difference between these two types of monitoring plans is who is contacted when an alarm event occurs. With self-monitoring, the user will receive a text or email alert letting them know about the alarm. It is then up to the user to contact the appropriate authorities. But with central station monitoring, the alarm event is forwarded to a dedicated central station that operates 24/7. The central station will then request emergency help on the behalf of the user. Regardless of which type of monitoring is used, the alarm system must have some way of sending outbound alerts and reports.

Most alarm systems rely on cellular services or an internet (IP) connection as their primary communication path. Some alarm systems will use both of these communication methods for added reliability. The type of communication that is used will have an effect on the user's security setup and their monitoring plan. Cellular communication is considered to be more reliable than IP communication. This is because cellular service is almost never down, and it will still continue to operate in the event of a power outage. Also some interactive service platforms, like Alarm.com, require that the panel utilize a cellular connection, and they cannot be accessed using WIFI alone. But the advantage with IP communication is that it is usually less expensive than cellular monitoring. Additionally, while many panels already come WIFI ready, only a few can use cellular communication without a separate cellular communicator being added. Overall, the choice between IP and cellular comes down to the type of alarm system the user has and how reliable they want their system to be.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

Additional Features and Possible Add-Ons

Some apartment residents might want their alarm system to go beyond just performing security tasks. Many newer alarm systems come complete with a Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave home automation devices. However, most apartments will only allow users to take advantage of Z-Wave lights. These lights can be operated right from the alarm panel or using an interactive service like Total Connect or Alarm.com. Other popular Z-Wave devices include Z-Wave thermostats and Z-Wave door locks, but these are less likely to be used in apartment. A Z-Wave thermostat allows a user to adjust the temperature inside their residence from virtually anywhere. But many users might not feel comfortable replacing their apartment's standard thermostat with their own. Z-Wave locks allow users to lock or unlock their doors remotely. They can also unlock the door and disarm their system simultaneously by entering in a valid system code into the keypad on the Z-Wave door lock. Unfortunately, most landlords will not allow apartment occupants to change the locks on their doors. With those considerations in mind, Z-Wave home automation is often skipped by apartment residents. Still, the features are always available if the user ever does decide to use them.

Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostatQolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

A greater number of apartment residents will take advantage of an interactive service with their system. These services allow users to access their alarm systems from anywhere using a convenient and easy to use mobile app. By accessing this type of service, a user can arm or disarm their system, check the status of sensors and control their Z-Wave devices from almost anywhere. These services are also used to contact the user during an alarm event. Two popular interactive service platforms for alarm systems are Total Connect and Alarm.com. Total Connect is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Alarm Panels, while Alarm.com will work with systems from many different companies, including Qolsys and 2GIG. To access the Alarm.com service, cellular communication is required. Bu with Total Connect, an IP connection or a cellular connection can be used. Both services offer similar functions and features, so the one that is used will really depend on the alarm system being used. Most monitoring plans include this type of service, so the user should take full advantage of it.

Finally, some users may decide to use additional add-ons with their security setups. That said, these are also less commonly used with apartment systems. A secondary keypad can provide an additional point of access for an alarm system. But since most apartments are relatively small, this is usually unnecessary. A wireless repeater can extend the range of wireless sensors. But again, since most apartments are quite small this is also usually not needed. If the setup is based around a hardwired system, then a wireless receiver is needed to use wireless sensors. For apartments though, we strongly encourage users to use wireless systems instead of hardwired panels. Finally, some users may want to use security cameras with their setup. These devices are easy to use and install, and many indoor cameras don't require any drilling. However, a user will most likely need to upgrade their monitoring plan if they want to use security cameras.

Honeywell lkp500 wireless keypad for lyric controllerHoneywell lyric c2 wifi indoor 1080p hd total connect security c

Conclusion

Getting started with an apartment alarm system is very easy. In most cases, fewer sensors and add-ons are required. A wireless panel and sensors will make it for easy for DIY users to setup their systems without having to drill any holes or perform any wiring. Once everything is setup, a user will receive complete piece of mind in knowing that their residence is fully protected. Now is a better time than ever to get started with home security. Get an alarm system for your apartment today!

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At Alarm Grid, we often encourage users to "roll with what they got" and get as much as they can out of their current system. But there are some cases where enough is enough, and upgrading to a brand-new panel is the best option. Here are 5 reasons for you to make a system upgrade.

1. You don't know the Installer Code. Virtually every alarm system comes equipped with a default Installer Code that is absolutely necessary for providing basic programming functions. We recommend leaving this code at the default because it can be very difficult to get into programming if you lose this code. Additionally, you might not know the system's Installer Code if it was monitored by a different company that intentionally changed the code.

Some systems will technically allow you to get back into programming even if you lose this code. However, this can be a tedious process, as you may need to reset the system to factory default settings. This would require you to reprogram every sensor for the system. And some systems don't even allow this. So if you lose your Installer Code and can't get back into programming, sometimes the best option is to just start fresh with a completely new security system. Depending on the system you choose, you may even be able to keep all your old sensors as well.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensor

2. You want more reliable communication. Nearly every alarm system on the market today is capable of achieving a dual-path communication setup with WIFI and cellular connectivity. This type of setup will provide ultra-fast speeds and excellent reliability. Even many older systems can be upgraded to achieve a similar setup. Cellular connectivity in particular is highly important for anyone who is serious about receiving reliable alarm monitoring services.

Unfortunately, some older systems are stuck using phone line monitoring, and they cannot be upgraded to a superior communication path. Using a phone line is extremely discouraged, as it is an outdated technology that offers unreliable service and slow connection speeds. Not to mention, phone service has some serious issues of its own. So if you're still using an alarm system with phone line connectivity, and you want more reliable and faster monitoring, it might time to make a change.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

3. You want easier daily access. Many older alarm systems are controlled through touch-button keypads that are wired in with the system. While this is fine for many users, it doesn't necessarily compare with the convenience of a touchscreen controller. This type of control will make it much easier to perform daily tasks like arming and disarming from the panel. And while there are certain touchscreen controllers for certain systems (e.g. the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch for VISTA Panels and the Interlogix Two-Way Talking TouchScreen for Interlogix Panels), they are often very expensive in their own right.

Many users often find that the best option is to simply ditch their hardwired system entirely and upgrade to a new wireless one with a touchscreen. And even if you have a large number of hardwired sensors, you can probably bring them over with a compatible wired to wireless converter. For example, the Honeywell 5800C2W will allow hardwired sensors to be used with a new wireless Honeywell System.

Honeywell 5800c2w hardwire to wireless system 9 zone conversion module4. You want more advanced sensors. Alarm sensors are continuing to become more and more advanced over time. And eventually, certain features that are added will simply be incompatible with an older system. An example of this involves the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors and the Qolsys S-Line Sensors. These sensors are both protected by 128-bit AES encryption, which makes them virtually impossible to takeover or hack into. However, this encryption limits their system compatibility. For the SiX Series Sensors, they can only work with Honeywell Lyric Panels. Meanwhile, the Qolsys S-Line Sensors will only work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2.

It's not to say that older legacy sensors are bad or anything. They will work just fine with a security setup. But they aren't always going to offer the same advanced features and capabilities as newer sensors. So any users who want to incorporate more advanced system sensors into their setup may need to make an upgrade.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motion

5. You want to obtain a smart home. Older alarm systems are often limited in how they can be controlled remotely. They are also sometimes restricted in their functionality with smart home applications, such as Google Home and Apple HomeKit. Most of this is done through an interactive service platform, like Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. In fact, most security experts would agree that an alarm system is fairly outdate if it cannot connect with an interactive service platform.

An interactive service is usually accessed through a web browser or through a mobile app on a smartphone. There are some useful basic features that come with virtually any interactive service. These features include arming and disarming the system, checking the status of sensors, controlling Z-Wave home automation devices and viewing the live feed of programmed security sensors. So with access to an interactive service platform, these actions can be performed from nearly anywhere in the world.

Most smart home devices follow a certain protocol when interacting with an alarm system. In these cases, an interactive service platform typically acts as a "middleman" between the smart device and the security system. Any command that is is sent through the smart device (e.g. a Google Home device or an Amazon Alexa device) will first be sent to the interactive service server (e.g. Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com) and then to the system (e.g. the Honeywell Lyric Controller or the 2GIG GC3).

However, this type of access can be impossible for older alarm systems. So if you want to obtain a smarter home security setup, upgrading your system may be a good first step.

So, which system is right for me?

If you're in the market for a new system, we generally recommend choosing a wireless system. Most users find that wireless systems are easier to program, and they will provide all-in-one access for the user. These systems are also compatible with some of the most advanced sensors on the market, and they can all be used with an interactive service platform.

Our most favorite systems are the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. These are all outstanding wireless systems that will provide tremendous functions and features for an end user. They are also each compatible with certain smart home applications. Make sure to check compatibility before making your decision if you want to achieve a smart home setup. But regardless, you can't go wrong with any of these outstanding systems.

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Alarm Grid has received important information from Honeywell, stating that any Lyric Controller using a WIFI-only communication setup is currently unable to work with an existing Apple HomeKit integration. Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the ability to activate new HomeKit service for all Lyric Controller Systems.

According to Honeywell, the Lyric Controller Security Systems are experiencing problems with WIFI connectivity when they are used with the HomeKit service. Honeywell is currently taking action to address this problem. The company says these issues should be fully resolved sometime in the third week of June.

Starting on Wednesday, May 23rd, Honeywell will disable all HomeKit features for any Lyric Controller that uses WIFI as its only communication path. This update will come in the form of a panel reboot while the system is in a disarmed state. The update may require up to three minutes to fully complete.

After the reboot, the panel should function as normal, though the HomeKit service will be disabled. Please note that this update is only being applied to Lyric Controller Systems that use a strictly WIFI connection. Lyric Controller Systems that use a dual-path setup with both WIFI and cellular, as well as those that use strictly cellular, are unaffected. Furthermore, Honeywell Lyric Gateway Systems are also unaffected.

Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the Apple HomeKit feature in AlarmNet 360. This makes it currently impossible to activate HomeKit service for any Lyric Controller System. New HomeKit activations will be possible once Honeywell restores the HomeKit feature sometime in the third week of June. Honeywell says that they plan to release more information regarding the restoration in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions regarding these issues, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm EST M-F. We apologize for any issues that this may cause.

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With the recent release of the LTE-L57V for the L5210 and L7000 Systems, there is now a viable LTE cellular communication module available for all of the most popular Honeywell Alarm Control Panels. Whether you own a Lyric, LYNX Touch or VISTA panel, there is an LTE communicator for you!

The current LTE options are as follows:

Please note that for the Honeywell VISTA 21iP, there is currently no "snap-on" LTE module like that of the AT&T 3G/4G based VISTA-GSM4G. In order to use the Honeywell LTE-XV communicator with the VISTA 21iP, the "internal communications" jumper on the board must be set to the bottom two pins. Make sure to power the system completely down before making this adjustment. The communicator must then be installed as an external radio-like wiring on a VISTA-20P. By adjusting the jumper in this way, the integrated ethernet port for the VISTA 21iP will be disabled. However, this is not a huge concern. LTE cellular connectivity is extremely reliable, and it provides communication speeds that are comparable to that of IP. So even though IP connectivity will no longer be accessible, it is a worthwhile sacrifice to obtain LTE service over older cellular technologies like 3G and CDMA. Remember, LTE service is widely recognized as being the single best communication path available for modern alarm systems.

By releasing these new communicators, Honeywell has made it very clear that LTE cellular communication is the way of the future. This news is also important for users of the Verizon CDMA Network. AlarmNet (Honeywell's cloud server) has stated that new CDMA activations will no longer be permitted after June 1, 2018. This includes cancelling an existing CDMA account and then trying to reactivate it later. Anyone hoping to use CDMA with their Honeywell System must get the communicator active before it's too late. Verizon has promised that CDMA support for existing equipment will remain active until their CDMA network is shutdown. After that, the communicator will need to be upgraded.

All of the current LTE communicators for Honeywell Systems are available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website. We'll be sure to keep you updated with any news regarding additional Honeywell LTE communicators that are released in the future. We do not have any exact timelines for the release of a Verizon LTE module for the Lyric, nor AT&T LTE for the Lynx Touch and VISTA panels. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@alarmgrid.com.

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Alarm Grid is happy to announce that the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill has finally been released. This makes it possible to use an Amazon Alexa device to control a Honeywell Alarm System. Users can check the status of their alarm system and arm their panel using simple voice commands.



The TC2 Skill is compatible with any Honeywell Lyric Controller, Lynx Touch or VISTA Panel that uses the Total Connect 2.0 service. This service is included with all of our no-contract monitoring plans, other than our basic bronze plan.

At this time, the following voice commands are compatible with the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill:

“Alexa, ask Honeywell, What is the status of my security system?”
“Alexa, ask Honeywell, Is my security system armed?”
“Alexa, tell Honeywell to Arm”
“Alexa, tell Honeywell to Arm Away”
“Alexa, tell Honeywell to Arm Stay”

After providing the command, a message will be sent from your Alexa device to your Total Connect account. Your Total Connect account will then forward the command to your Honeywell System so that the action can be performed. This is a quick and easy way to control your system without having to get up or log-in to your Total Connect account.

Please note that you will not be able to use Alexa to disarm your system. This must still be done directly at the panel or through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. Another important consideration is that the TC2 Alexa Skill cannot be used to control home automation devices at this time. However, we expect this to change in the future.

To get started using the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill, simply find the Total Connect 2.0 Skill using the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device. Enable the skill, and follow the prompts on the screen to get started. After completing the setup process, your Honeywell Alarm System will be integrated with your Alexa device.



If you have any questions about the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill, please contact us online via chat or over the phone at 888-818-7728 during normal business hours (9am to 8pm EST).

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