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When people think of security cameras, they often imagine that they are complex and expensive pieces of equipment that require an intricate setup. But that is not the case. The latest security cameras for alarm systems are actually very easy to use, affordable and incredibly simple.

When looking for security camera for an apartment, there are a few things to consider. Most apartment residents are not able to drill holes in their walls. So having an easy-to-use camera that can be placed on a desk or table is usually ideal. It is also important that the camera has good night vision so that it can capture clear video even the lighting isn't the best. Finally, most apartment residents won't need to spend the extra money on a camera suitable for outdoor use. Instead, an indoor camera will work just fine. In summary, the requirements are a free-standing camera with night vision that works best in an indoor environment.

So with that in mind, there are a few different camera models we can recommend. The decision of which camera to get typically comes down to whether a user has access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Total Connect 2.0 is used with Honeywell Systems, and Alarm.com is used with systems from other manufacturers, such as 2GIG and Qolsys. The service that they connect with will ultimately determine which camera they use. Keep in mind that most security systems do not allow users to view the feed of their cameras right from the panel. Instead, this must be done from the interactive service platform. Simply put, if a user has Total Connect, they will need a Total Connect Camera. And if they have Alarm.com, they will need an Alarm.com Camera.

For Total Connect users, there are two viable options available. These are the Lyric C1 and the Lyric C2 Cameras. The Lyric C2 is a little more robust than the Lyric C1, but both are outstanding cameras for use in an apartment. The Lyric C1 features 720p recording quality, a 135 degree viewing angle and an IR night vision range of 16.5 feet. It can be mounted on a desk or a table for easy access. This is the perfect camera for any TC2 user who wants a basic recording option for their apartment.

Honeywell lyric c1 wifi indoor 720p hd total connect security caAs for the Lyric C2, it offers a superior, high-definition 1080p recording quality. And some users will prefer its rounder design. Its IR night vision range is also double that of the Lyric C2, coming in at an impressive 33 feet. Both the Lyric C1 and C2 can be easily integrated with a user's Total Connect account by having the camera scan a QR code that is produced by the Total Connect Mobile App. From there, the user can connect the camera to their local WIFI network. This makes both devices excellent for DIY users who are setting up their own system. A user should choose the C2 over the C1 if they require a more-advanced camera with greater recording capabilities.

Honeywell lyric c2 wifi indoor 1080p hd total connect security cMeanwhile, Alarm.com users will have to use a different set of cameras. For apartment residents, we definitely recommend the Alarm.com ADC-V522IR. This is the best ADC-compatible that can rest comfortably on a desk or table. The device features a 1080p recording quality, an IR night vision range of 15 feet, and a 113 degree viewing angle. The camera connects to a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz WIFI network, and it can be learned-in with Alarm.com through a simple pairing process. Once a user has set the camera up, they can view its live feed from Alarm.com at any time. Overall, it is the perfect camera for any Alarm.com user who lives an apartment.

Alarm dot com adc v522ir indoor 1080p fixed camera with night vi

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Very recently, we made a post highlighting the best smart thermostats on the market today. We made it clear that smart thermostats offer huge convenience, and they can help users save money on energy bills. But just how much can a household save by using a smart thermostat? Let's find out.

Honeywell zwstat z wave thermostat

The idea behind a smart thermostat is that it will allow a home's HVAC system to run only when it is needed. The HVAC system is typically the largest contributor to one's energy bill. With a traditional analogue thermostat, a user has to choose between running the HVAC system all the time (expensive) or coming home to house where the HVAC system hasn't been running all day (uncomfortable). This can be somewhat mitigated using a standard programmable thermostat set on pre-determined schedule. However, a user will still be unable to adjust their HVAC system while they are away.

A smart thermostat offers major convenience, since it allows for the HVAC System to respond automatically with certain events. For example, a smart thermostat can be "taught" to turn off the HVAC system when a user presumedly leaves their house because they set their security system to arm away. That way, the HVAC system turns off at exactly the right moment. If you ever plan on leaving your home at different times of the day, a standard programmable thermostat won't be able to achieve this same level of automatic precision.


Honeywell lyric thermostat smart programmable wifi thermostat th

But the real money saving ability of a smart thermostat comes from the ability to control the HVAC system remotely. This is done by accessing an interactive service platform, such as Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. When this setup is done using an alarm system, the command will go from the interactive servers servers to the control panel (through WIFI or cellular communication), then to the smart thermostat (usually through WIFI or Z-Wave), and finally to the HVAC system (through a wired connection). Since most interactive services have their own mobile apps, this type of control and access can be achieved from virtually anywhere in the world.

So say you're away from home, and you're running late. Instead of arriving home at your expected time, it will now be several hours or even the next day until you get back. But oh no, your home's heating and cooling system is still running! If you don't shut it off, the energy bills are going to rack up! In this situation, just pull out your smart phone, access your interactive service account, and tell your smart thermostat to shut off the HVAC system. Just like that, you have saved money. And if you want your house to be comfortable when you arrive, access your account a little bit before you come home and activate your thermostat. It's that easy.


Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat

So how much can you really save on your energy bills with a smart thermostat? Well it depends. Obviously, the savings will be largest if you had a traditional thermostat that had the HVAC system running 24/7. Once you adjust to a programmable thermostat, assuming you use it as designed, you will save money in energy costs every time you leave the home and have the HVAC system stop running. But if you had an analogue or programmable thermostat that you adjusted meticulously, or if you almost never leave your home and always run your HVAC system, the savings won't be as large.

As for actual numbers, various studies have found that a typical smart thermostat will save users on average about 10% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. This translates to a savings of about $130 per year, or slightly more than $10 per month. But keep in mind, these savings will be larger in certain cases. We've heard of many users saving more than $200 per year in energy costs by using a smart thermostat. For these users, a smart thermostat essentially pays for itself in just a year's time.

The best option is to consider your energy-using habits and determine whether or not a smart thermostat is a good investment for your household. Either way, it will certainly be more convenient and offer more features than a traditional thermostat. And if you're wondering which smart thermostat we recommend, we gotta say we're pretty big fans of the new Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat.


Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

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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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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. This is a wired to wireless converter that communicates at the 319.5 MHz frequency. At this frequency, the IQ Hardwire 16-S is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the original Qolsys IQ Panel and Interlogix Systems.

Qolsys iq hardwire 16 s qs7131 840The main reason to use the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S is to use hardwired security sensors with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This works by connecting any hardwired sensors directly to the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. The converter will then send a 319.5 MHz signal to the IQ Panel 2 System on the behalf of the hardwired sensors. By doing this, each hardwired sensor will be able to use its own wireless zone on the system. As the name implies to 16 wired sensors can be connected with the IQ Hardwire 16-S. If a user doesn't need this many terminals, the IQ Hardwire 8-S provides identical function.

Another benefit of the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S is that it utilizes 128-bit AES encryption to prevent the module from being taken over by hackers and potential intruders. Any time that the Hardwire 16-S sends a command to the IQ Panel 2, the system will need to send an appropriate response in order for the command to go through. This advanced level of protection is great for keeping the security setup secure at all times.

The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S can also be used with other panels that communicate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. However, the encryption feature will only be active when the device is used with the IQ Panel 2. With other systems, the device will still work, but it will operate as an unencrypted 319.5 MHz sensor. Qolsys also offers a similar device that doesn't utilize encryption, the IQ Hardwire 8. However, this module only supports eight hardwired sensors.

The IQ Hardwire 8-S is perfect for users who want to upgrade to a brand-new IQ Panel 2 System while still keeping their older hardwired sensors. You can purchase one today on our website.

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Qolsys recently informed us that they plan to release the new PowerG and legacy daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 in the coming weeks. New IQ Panel 2 Systems will be available with different combinations of these cards so that users can choose the proper type for their existing sensors.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and Each daughtercard will function as a wireless receiver for the system. The types of daughtercard that are used will determine which types of wireless security sensors can be used with the system. There will be four main daughtercards available for the system. These include three legacy daughtercards (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz and 433 MHz) and a PowerG daughtercard (915 MHz).

We are particularly excited about the PowerG Sensors. These sensors boast an incredible range of up to 2,000 feet away in open air when used with the IQ Panel 2 Plus. They also offer 128-bit AES encryption to remain protected against hacking attempts. Overall, these are some of the most powerful and advanced security sensors we have ever seen, and we are sure that users will be extremely satisfied with their performance.

Wireless PowerG Door/Window ContactOn the IQ Panel 2 board, there are four daughtercard ports. One port should be used with either a PowerG daughtercard or an image sensor module, while the other port should be used with one of the legacy daughtercards. The PowerG and Alarm.com Image Sensor modules operate on similar 900MHz frequencies. That means you will have to choose one or the other. Likewise, a user should not use more than one legacy daughtercard with the system at any given time, as two legacy daughtercards may cause interference with each other in the 300-400 MHz range.

When deciding which daughtercard is needed, users should verify the type of any existing wireless equipment and consider future expansion. The wireless frequency and sensor matrix is as follows:

  • 319.5 MHz: Legacy Interlogix/GE and all Qolsys Sensors (319 and S-Line!)
  • 345 MHz: Legacy Honeywell (5800 series) and 2GIG Sensors
  • 433 MHz: Legacy DSC Sensors
  • 915 MHz: PowerG Sensors

Since only one legacy daughtercard can be used, it will not be possible to use multiple types of legacy sensors with the system (except for Honeywell and 2GIG since they operate on the same 345MHz frequency and use the same daughtercard). For example, a user would not be able to simultaneously use older Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and Interlogix Sensors at the same time. However, a wireless converter will likely be able to overcome this issue.

Qolsys has informed us that the daughtercards will not be available for individual purchase. Instead, they can be obtained by purchasing a new IQ Panel 2 System. According to Qolsys, the following versions of the system will be available:

  • IQ Panel 2 with PowerG and Legacy 319.5
  • IQ Panel 2 with PowerG and Legacy 345
  • IQ Panel 2 with PowerG and Legacy 433

Additionally, each of these options will be split into two further options for AT&T and Verizon LTE cellular communicators. These will both operate with Alarm.com and open up a world of possibilities with the dexterity of the Alarm.com ecosystem. According to Qolsys, these systems will be available in September 2018. We'll make sure to keep you updated with any further news on these exciting new products!

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Reliability is the single most important factor for a smoke detector. It is critical that these devices quickly and accurately respond whenever there is a fire in the building. One of the best ways to ensure this reliability is with a smoke detector that utilizes photoelectric technology.

Photoelectric smoke detectors are some of the most popular life-safety devices available today. The defining feature of a photoelectric sensor is its internal light source and sensing chamber. By default, light will never fall on the internal photo sensor. The presence of smoke or other airborne particles will cause the light to refract, which will have it strike the sensor and produce an alarm. This means that the device will not activate suddenly, as long as the sensing chamber stays clear.

But when smoke enters the sensing chamber, the light inside the sensor will be refracted. This will cause the internal light to strike the photoelectric sensor. When this happens, the smoke detector will send an alert to the system to let it know that there is smoke (and therefore a fire) in the building. The alarm system will then perform the programmed response by alerting others to the fire.

Overall, this method is very effective for detecting fires. But with this process, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that a smoke works properly. It is possible that other airborne materials besides smoke can also enter the inside of the smoke detector, adjust the light source and cause an alarm. Airborne particles can also potentially prevent the detector from allowing smoke to refract the internal light onto the sensor. If this happens the smoke detector will not function as it should.

To prevent this from happening, users should make sure to place their photoelectric smoke detectors in appropriate areas. They should not be facing any vents or air ducts. Photoelectric smoke detectors should also not be placed in garages, bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms. This is because these rooms feature large amounts of humidity and dust that may prevent the sensor from detecting smoke.

Instead, we recommend placing photoelectric smoke detectors in large open areas where their function will not become disrupted. Some ideal locations include large central living rooms, near staircases, in hallways and outside of sleeping areas. Since smoke rises, all photoelectric smoke detectors should be installed high up on the wall or on the ceiling. By following these guidelines, a photoelectric smoke detector is more likely to work properly. For more information on the proper placement of smoke detectors, please review this helpful guide. Users should also make sure to test their photoelectric smoke detector on a regular basis and to replace the batteries when low.

Some of the most popular photoelectric smoke detectors we offer include the Honeywell 5808W3, the Honeywell SiXSMOKE and the 2GIG SMKT3-345. These are all extremely versatile smokes that also double as heat detectors. Of course, users must make sure that they smoke they choose is compatible with their alarm system. Assuming that it is a wireless smoke, it must communicate at a frequency that is accepted by their system. We hope that you will check out our selection of photoelectric smoke detectors so that you can protect your home or business.

Honeywell 5808w3 wireless smoke detector and heat detector

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Today is the final day of our super low Qolsys pricing. We want to get the Qolsys panel into the hands of as many of our new customers as we can. For that reason, we have lowered the price of the panels as low as we possibly can. Today is the last day. Tomorrow, Qolsys panels are going to go to their normal price.

If you're looking to get a great, cellular panel, with some amazing Z-Wave features, this is the panel for you. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is the latest in security technology. The big screen looks great on the walls, and the profile of the panel is thinner than any on the market. The sensors are encrypted like they are on the Lyric, and the panel has an easy-to-use Android interface. We LOVE this panel!

If you need an extra keypad, make sure to get the IQ Remote. This keypad will blow your mind. It looks great, it has a thin profile, and it does pretty much everything the bigger, main panel can do. It will be a welcome edition to anyone's home.


Adding peripherals is easy too. Need more door and window sensors than the number that are included int eh IQ Kit 2 Classic? Add some more door/window s-line sensors. These encrypted sensors will protect your system from being spoofed by clever thieves and their thin profile means that they will protect you discretely.


Unlike the other kits, the Qolsys doesn't come with a key fob. If you love the key fob, you can easily add one. Consider that with this system, you will be able to arm and disarm from your phone. Key fobs aren't absolutely necessary. But if you love it we have it.


No system is complete without a motion sensor. These encrypted motions will make give your home a redundant layer of protection. You can't go wrong with motions. And the encrypted motion by Qolsys will round out your security system for incredible peace of mind.


Finally, to complete your system, consider a glass break detector. Like the motion, this adds a redundant layer of protection in homes. If an intruder breaks glass to get in, they will be stopped short as your system blares and warns them that the police are on their way.


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If you know anything about Alarm Grid, you know that every time you call in, our team will pick up the phone and pick up wherever it was that you last left off. We do our best to make sure that you get both your problems solved, but more than that, that we become intimately involved with your troubleshooting needs and the obscurities that come from your particular system setup. We're a DIY company, and we believe very strongly in the possibilities that come about by knowing the people we are supporting.

We actually get a lot of comments on our method. And while we've been as transparent as we can be regarding everything from divulging the name of our central station partner to listing all the SAAS utilities we use, we thought it was a good time to teach you all how we can all be so familiar with your particular accounts (even if you called a year ago, and are asking for help today.

Alarm Grid is built on an open source shopping cart solution called Solidus (formerly Spree). Spree was built using Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails was developed many years ago by a programmer named David Heinemeier Hansson who started a company called 37signals in the course of creating their now well-used project management software Basecamp.

Whew!

Why does it matter? Well, in addition to creating Basecamp and the soft spot we have all developed for Ruby on Rails, 37signals also created a wonderful customer relationship manager (CRM) called Highrise. Highrise is a super simple CRM that competes with bigger, more complex platforms. We have been Highrise users since the day we opened our doors, and all of you have been the recipients of the wonderful support that can be largely attributed to how we use Highrise.

We highly recommend the application, and would urge any of you out there with small businesses to use the tool. That said, 37Signals, which has subsequently changed their name to Basecamp, announced a few months back that they were going to sell or spinoff Highrise. And after months and months of waiting on baited breath to find out exactly what was going to happen to our beloved CRM, we have just been given word that Basecamp has decided to spin it off instead of selling it.

So while it's a little unusual, we are all breathing such a sigh of relief we wanted to just write a little post to Highrise, its new CEO - Nathan Kontny, and the rest of the Basecamp team. Thank you for all you've done, and here's to many more years of making customers very very happy!

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Hi DIYers, today we're going to tell you about who just got their 1,000th subscriber. We did!

As many of you know, YouTube is one of the most common ways that you have all learned about Alarm Grid. We have put hours and hours into producing wonderful, (boring but...) informative videos all about how to install a security systemprogram sensors, and even the occasional full panel swap-out.

Our very own Sterling Donnelly has become a little bit of a celebrity around these parts we're proud to say. Every day new users call in, in disbelief that he still answers the phones. It's no wonder considering that just under 300,000 people over the course of the last two years have seen him do all sorts of security system-based things (think of one person you know whose been seen so many times). In a few months, we'll have passed more than 1 million minutes watched on the Alarm Grid YouTube channel - believe it or not. That's 694 days worth of watching which, incidentally, is more days than Sterling has been married.

We can't believe we've hit 1,000 subscribers, and we're baffled by the amount of time that is spent on the channel. So keep on watching, and we'll keep on making the videos. We're diligently working on a studio to make them even better. Once the Alarm Grid lab is complete, you can expect more videos on the regular. So if you haven't subscribed already, head on over to the Alarm Grid YouTube channel and hit do it now!

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10 years ago Yelp was founded. One of the earliest players on the Web 2.0 scene, Yelp was a bit of a revolutionary concept. Users would get online and tell other users what they thought of a company. Ten years later, the idea doesn't sound very absurd - it's just sort of something that happens everyday.

Why mention it in a post about Alarm Grid's birthday?

Well, 10 years after Yelp's launch, I think it's hard to disconnect Alarm Grid's business model from the incredible online revolution that Yelp began. Yelp is not our favorite review site. They make it hard for our users to write reviews that show up. If you see our Yelp page, you'll notice that 33 users have had reviews filtered. We have two reviews that have stuck. Not to mention Yelp is regularly criticized for their practice of what appears to be a pay-to-play model. They regularly call businesses asking them to advertise on the site, promising that the advertising will lead to more reviews (which are going to be filtered). The practice has led to lawsuits that Yelp basically always wins. After all, filtering your reviews, then calling you to tell you that paying them money to get more reviews is a good way to get reviews to stick sounds an awful lot like infamous mafia extortion attempts, "I'd hate to see your store burn to the ground. The evidence is on their side.

As the marketer on Alarm Grid's team, I can say with quite a bit of confidence, that while Yelp's reviews are filtered, and Yelp's pitch for advertisers to get on-board sounds extortion-y, their reviews are generally pretty trustworthy. And despite appearances, the accusations about their pay-to-play model are pretty unfounded. I've worked with companies that bought ads and companies that didn't. In both cases, reviews are hard to get to stick.

Yelp's review filter is a mean and ruthless God, albeit a fair one.

But that's not really why I'm writing this. Yelp's business model is their business. The reason I wanted to write about Yelp has more to do with the philosophy of Alarm Grid, and why we owe a lot of who we are these days to what Yelp did 10 years ago. The reason Yelp makes it hard for reviews to be included on pages is because the recognized how important those reviews were as a signal. For years, businesses were putting up fake reviews -  a problem that persists to this day for almost every review site. While lots of businesses do their best to cheat the system. We are proud to say that we are able to trace back every single review we have been given to one or another customer of Alarm Grid's. Some of them were people who we helped set up a system, and others were random people who needed help with their system because their current company refused to do it, and who left us a review because they were so blown away with our service and attitude (and even a little impressed with the humble knowledge exhibited by the Alarm Grid staff).

Yelp started long before there were really any credible review sites online. I suppose you had Zagat back in the day. But they were independent. The idea that we could trust people to leave honest feedback, and more than that, that companies could trust in the intellect of their shoppers to sift through both lies and truth and make good purchasing decisions was novel. Nowadays, we take it for granted. A lot of companies still don't quite get it. Just last week the New York Post wrote an article about a New York hotel that charges their wedding guests $500 if someone in their party leaves a bad review. When the internet got wind of the practice, they stormed the bastille and left hundreds and hundreds of 1-star reviews on their Yelp page. It's not entirely fair. Many of these reviewers have never stayed at the hotel or experienced the service, but it speaks to the how sacred the right to review freely is taken by what we might go so far as to call the Yelp generation.

This is something we recognized at Alarm Grid early on. We believe very strongly in allowing the free voice of those whom have experienced our service to be heard loud and clear. Why? Because the entire goal of Alarm Grid was to be helpful and courteous and to help you do what you need to do to get your security system up and running. It's a model that can only exist in a world full of reviewers. First and foremost, we do our best to be and pass on competence. Occasionally, (as I'm sure some of you know) we make a mistake. When we do, we do our best to rectify the mistake and move past it. If you look at our reviews, I think you'll see that they reflect our service-centric corporate attitude. We believe that most of the people who come into contact with us will be so blown away with the level of service they receive, that over the long-term, it will be very difficult to find many people with a bad thing to say about us. We don't promise it won't ever happen - you can't please everybody - but we do try our darndest.

There are a lot of amazing milestones we've reached in the last two years. For one, we have built one of the fastest growing, most watched security system channels on YouTube. While the cynical may look at Justin Bieber's more than 2 million subscribers and laugh at our piddly numbers, we will proudly stand by our 1,000 subscribers. The channel itself has amassed more than 200,000 views since it's inception. More than 12,000 hours of footage have been watched by all of you during that time - that's more than 500 full days worth of time have been spent watching Alarm Grid. What does that mean? If you divide that into 8 hour workdays, more than 1500 days of work have been spent watching Alarm Grid's youtube videos. We count that as a huge success. Those views represent hundreds and thousands of people whose lives we have made better since we started this company. I can't even tell you how amazing that feels for us as a team.

Earlier this year, our Facebook page crossed the 2,000 likes threshold. Again, those aren't Justin Bieber numbers, but that's pretty incredible for something as boring as a security company. We're small, and our users are passionate, and we believe that our user base is the key to our success. As long as all of you are satisfied, we can continue to bring in new customers. More customers means we can grow our staff, more staff here means very simply, you get better service.

We have gone from being completely obscure to one of the most exciting brands in the DIY security industry. We are mentioned all over forums, blogs, and the occasional, surprising internet crevice. Every day, we as a team marvel in awe at this business that you have helped us build. Alarm Grid has become much bigger than any of us that work here, and any of you whom we monitor. In a lot of ways, other home security companies have followed suit - copying us move for move. We have been trendsetters, and we hope that all of you that took the risky plunge by allowing a security company that had been opened for less than 2 years understand how important you are to us.

We're really really proud to be celebrating our second year. Yelp has been building their company for 10 years, we have been building ours for 2. We're incredibly honored by the amazing customers that have given us the chance to serve them. And we're happy to say that we're ready to take on even more in the coming year. So tell your families and friends. Get them on board, let them know who we are. Don't keep us a secret. We believe that being treated well by your alarm company is a human right as important as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And besides, we want to make sure we make it through our terrible twos and right into our third anniversary.

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