Promotional Posts

Posted By

Hi DIYers! As you all know by now, home security is important. But like many important things in life, home security isn't free. Fortunately, the cost for a home security system is probably not as much as you think. Today, we're breaking it down, to show you the true cost of home security.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Now first of all, we can't speak for other alarm monitoring companies. They may offer monitoring service and equipment that is more or less expensive than what is offered from Alarm Grid. But keep in mind that Alarm Grid has no-contracts, no added fees, and all of the equipment is non-proprietary and yours to keep. With Alarm Grid, what you see is exactly what you get, and customers choose to stay with us because of the top-level service and support that we provide. However, if you ever do choose to leave Alarm Grid, you can certainly bring your equipment to a different monitoring company.

So with that out of the way, let's focus on what a customer can expect to pay with Alarm Grid. First, they will need equipment. This includes a control panel, security sensors and any additional add-ons, like a keypad or a cellular communicator. Some customers might already own security equipment that they can use to get monitored with Alarm Grid. But let's assume the customer is starting from scratch. In this situation, the cheapest option is generally to obtain a security system kit.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door sA security system kit includes everything a new user needs to get started with home security. This usually includes a wireless all-in-one (AIO) panel, a few door and window contacts, a motion sensor and a cellular communicator. Of course, more sensors can be added, like smoke detectors, glass break detectors, flood sensors and more. But for a basic setup, a kit is a great start.

So how much does a kit cost? Well, it depends on the kit. Let's assume that the user has a small home or an apartment and they want the reliability and performance of an LTE cellular communicator. Let's also assume that they want the panel to have a built-in Z-Wave controller so that they have the option for adding Z-Wave devices later on.

In this case, the cheapest option is the 2GIG GC2 Verizon-LTE 3-1 Kit. This kit comes with a 2GIG GC2 System, 3 door and window contacts, a motion sensor, a Verizon LTE Communicator and a Honeywell LT-Cable for powering the system. The panel also has a built-in Z-Wave controller for operating up to 232 Z-Wave devices. Yes, there are more-advanced panels available. But all things considered, the GC2 will still get the job done in most situations. The complete kit linked above costs just $339. Add in an optional desk stand to make the installation even easier, and the cost is just under $350 dollars. So a complete security system can be obtained for just $350, assuming that the user cannot find any cheaper used equipment somewhere else.

2gig cp21 345 front

Once a user has a system, they just need a monitoring plan. Again, Alarm Grid has no activation fees, and since a desk mount was purchased, the hypothetical user will not need to pay an installer to set up their system. The most popular monitoring plan from Alarm Grid is the Gold Plan. This will provide the user with service from a central monitoring station, remote Z-Wave control, access to the Alarm.com interactive service and text and email alerts for system events. This plan is just $35 per month. Multiply that by 12, and the cost is just $420 per year. So adding things up, a user can achieve a complete and robust security setup with top-of-the-line alarm monitoring for just $770 the first year and $420 every following year.

But things can get even less expensive. If a user doesn't need central station monitoring, they can get a Self-Monitoring Plan. With this type of plan, a user will receive email and text alerts regarding any system events. They can then contact the authorities on their own. The Self-Gold Plan is just $25 per month, or $300 per year. So with that setup, a user will pay just $650 the first year, and $300 every year after.

Keep in mind, this is just assuming one type of scenario. If a user requires a more-advanced system, additional sensors or video surveillance, the costs will probably be higher. Likewise, if a user already has equipment or they can get by without cellular monitoring, the costs can be even less. But if you want a basic estimate of how much home security costs, it's just $350 down, and then $420 annually.

Of course, some people get stuck into long-term contracts with their security company, and they might pay upwards of thousands of dollars in installation and activation fees. But not with Alarm Grid! We provide top-quality alarm monitoring, exceptional customer service and support, and non-proprietary equipment at an affordable price. Remember, paying a small price to protect your home or business can save you a huge amount of hassle and expenses later. Sign-up for alarm monitoring today!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey there DIYers! As you probably know by now, we're huge fans of Z-Wave smart home devices. Nothing beats being able to control the devices in your home remotely and having them activate based on a schedule or with system events. This is one of the best perks of owning an alarm system.

Many newer alarm systems come with a built-in Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave devices. But what if you have an older Honeywell VISTA System that you are perfectly happy with? How would you add Z-Wave functionality to your system. Sure, you could always purchase a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. But that add-on is expensive, and many users are absolutely content with using a normal touch-button keypad. Fortunately, there's another way, with the Honeywell VAM.

Honeywell vista automation module vam wifi z wave controller for

The Honeywell VAM, or VISTA Automation Module, is an advanced user interface device that allows a Honeywell VISTA System to work with Z-Wave smart home devices. This includes Z-Wave lights, locks, thermostats and more. But please note that the VAM is only a standard Z-Wave controller, not a Z-Wave Plus controller. Z-Wave Plus devices can still be used with the VAM, but they will only have the range of non-plus Z-Wave devices.

The devices can be controlled through a web browser by connecting with the VAM itself. But most users will operate the devices through Total Connect 2.0. This can also be done through a web browser, but it also is possible to do remotely using the Total Connect Mobile App on Android and iOS devices. Remember, the VISTA will need either an IP or cellular communicator, and the user will need a monitoring plan that includes access to Total Connect and remote Z-Wave control capabilities to do this.

Overall, using a VAM represents an ideal solution for VISTA users who want to use Z-Wave devices without paying several hundred for a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. The Honeywell VAM is available on the Alarm Grid site. Get one for your VISTA System and start using Z-Wave devices today!

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey there DIYers! We've got another product highlight for you. Today, we're taking a look at the L5100 ZWAVE for Honeywell Lynx Touch Systems. This add-on provides Z-Wave smart home capabilities for any L5100, L5200, L5210 or L7000, and it is great for getting the most out of a Lynx Touch.

Honeywell l5100 zwave lynx touch z wave controller anteriorAlthough there are newer systems on the market, like the Honeywell Lyric Controller, 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the Honeywell Lynx Touch Panels are still very capable alarm systems. They provide easy-to-use touchscreen control, and they can use a WIFI connection with an L5100 WIFI add-on. There's even an LTE cellular communicator available for the L5210 and L7000 Systems! At the end of the day, these systems can do virtually anything that a brand-new, state-of-the-art alarm system can do. They just need a little support to get there.

One great add-on for a Lynx Touch is the L5100-ZWAVE. With Z-Wave smart home automation devices being more popular than ever, an L5100-ZWAVE will add many options to a Honeywell Lynx Touch Systems. Some of the most popular Z-Wave smart home devices include Z-Wave lights, locks, thermostats, garage door controllers and more. Any of these devices can be used with the panel once the L5100-ZWAVE has been installed. So if a user wants to turn on their lights or operate their thermostat, they can do so directly from their panel.

But the real benefit to using an L5100-ZWAVE is the ability to control Z-Wave devices from Total Connect 2.0. If a user is away from home, they can use the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on their iOS or Android device to control their Z-Wave devices from across the street or across the globe. Total Connect 2.0 also allows users to create smart scenes for their Z-Wave devices. This way, they can activate automatically with certain system events or on a pre-determined schedule. For example, a user could have their Z-Wave lights turn on and their Z-Wave thermostat activate when they return home and disarm their system. This can help the user save money and make their life super convenient.

The L5100-ZWAVE is available from Alarm Grid right now. Get one for your Lynx Touch System today!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the ADC-V722W, which is one of the most exciting security cameras currently on the market. This Alarm.com Camera is perfect for any user who has a security system connected with Alarm.com and also wants to achieve a robust outdoor recording setup.

Alarm dot com adc v722w front

What impresses us most with the ADC-V722W is its unrivaled versatility. It is robust enough to be used by medium to large businesses, yet also affordable enough for the average home security user. We've seen this camera set up in settings ranging from large corporate complexes to an elderly couple's front porch. This truly is the perfect outdoor camera for almost any situation.

Obviously, if you plan on using the camera strictly indoors, there are better ADC Cameras to choose from, such as the ADC-V522IR. But for outdoor settings, the ADC-V722W is the undisputed champ for Alarm.com Cameras. Our team has been repeatedly impressed by the crystal clear nature of the recordings produced by this camera. Just taking a quick look at its specifications shows the robust nature of this top-of-the-line video capture device.

Breaking down the numbers, the V722W has an IR night vision range of 40 feet, an 88 degree viewing angle, and a full 1080p recording quality. It has an IP66 rating, making it dust-tight and waterproof. The camera is fully prepared to survive nearly any harsh weather that nature can dish out. One of our techs actually has the ADC-V722W at his home, and he forgot to take it down during Hurricane Irma. But the camera was rock steady throughout the Florida hurricane, and it weathered the storm just fine.

DIY users will appreciate the fact that the ADC-V722W is very easy to install. The mounting plate can be secured using very basic tools, and the camera fits very nicely. And the camera connects to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz WIFI to communicate wirelessly and minimize any wiring. Nearly any user will be able to set up the device at virtually no hassle or inconvenience whatsoever. Once the camera has been set up, it can be viewed almost anywhere using the Alarm.com Mobile App.

The ADC-V722W Outdoor 1080p Camera is available on the Alarm Grid website right now. Purchase yours today!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Good day DIYers! We have another update on pricing for Qolsys products. We have once again lowered the prices for various Qolsys Sensors and alarm systems. We love Qolsys, and their hardware is always excellent. The price changes are outlined in the table below:

Product Name
Old Price
New Price
Price Difference
Percent Savings
IQ DW MINI-S $23.99 $12.99 $11 45.85%
IQ Glass-S $83.99 $62.99 $21 25%
IQ Fob-S $26.99 $22.99 $4 14.82%
IQ Hardwire 8-S $69.99 $59.99 $10 14.29%
IQ Panel 2 Verizon LTE $399.99 $349.99 $50 12.5%
IQ Panel 2 AT&T LTE $399.99 $349.99 $50 12.5%
IQ Motion-S $56.99 $49.99 $7 12.28%
IQ Battery $33.99 $29.99 $4 11.77%
IQ Panel 2 Classic Kit Verizon $449.99 $399.99 $50 11.11%
IQ Panel 2 Classic Kit AT&T $449.99 $399.99 $50 11.11%
IQ Hardwire 16-S $99.99 $89.99 $10 10%
IQ Power Supply $16.99 $15.99 $1 5.89%
IQ Panel 2 Verizon 3-1 Kit $449.99 $429.99 $20 4.44%
IQ Panel 2 AT&T 10-1 Kit $499.99 $479.99 $20 4%
Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

Ah, the thermostat. The unsung champion that keeps your home or office a bearable place to reside during the scorching summer months. You have probably relied on one of these devices for all of your life. It goes without saying that the thermostat is, and always will be, super awesome.

But what you might not know is that the latest thermostats are more feature-rich and more technologically advanced than ever before. At Alarm Grid, we don't mess with the primitive, boring thermostats of yesteryear. We have something more exciting. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the smart thermostat.

Simply put, a smart thermostat is any thermostat that ties in with home automation. Just like a traditional programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can be set up so that it adjusts the temperature based on a set schedule. But what separates a smart thermostat is that it can be operated remotely and that it can be included with various smart scenes. And if you have a smart assistant like Apple HomeKit, Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can control your smart thermostat using voice commands.

So for example, let's say you're out and about, but your plans changed, and now you're going to be home earlier than expected. You can login to your interactive services account (e.g. Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com) and adjust your thermostat so that your house will be comfortably cooled or heated by the time you arrive home. Or let's say you realized you're going to be home later than expected. Simply login to your interactive service account and tell your smart thermostat to hold off on heating or cooling. That way, you can conserve energy and save money on your power bill.

The other reason to get a smart thermostat is to tie it in with your smart home setup. A smart home setup that uses home automation allows users to establish a pre-determined set of actions that will be performed based on a schedule or with certain events. These sets of pre-determined response actions are referred to as smart scenes, and the actions or events that trigger them are called rules. And it isn't just thermostats that can be included in smart scenes. A smart scene can include things like lights, door locks and garage door controllers as well.

But how would you use rules and scenes with your thermostat? Well let's say you set your security system to arm away when you go to leave for the day. You can have a smart scene and a rule put in place to turn off all your Z-Wave lights and have your smart thermostat to stop cooling the house once you arm your system. That way, you are immediately saving money on your energy bills without even lifting a finger. Sure, you could manually do this with a traditional programmable thermostat, but with a smart thermostat, it is much more convenient and simple.

So now that you know why smart thermostats are great, which one should you get? Well if you want the short answer, we recommend the new T6 Z-Wave Thermostat from Honeywell. But there a couple of others that aren't far behind. Let's take a look at three outstanding smart thermostats, including the amazing T6.

Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat

Okay, we're going to be honest here. The Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat is the best device on this list. That's not to knock the other two thermostats we're presenting here. But we firmly believe the Honeywell T6 is the best smart thermostat on the market today. Unless you're dying to know more about some other thermostats that are currently available, you can save yourself the reading and purchase the Honeywell T6 from Alarm Grid right now.

There is one major reason that the Honeywell T6 is currently the best thermostat available. Unlike nearly every other thermostat, the T6 does not require common power from a C-wire. Instead, it is a rare example of a high-quality and efficient smart thermostat that can operate on battery power. This makes it arguably the easiest thermostats to install for a DIY user. Traditionally, DIYers have been apprehensive about installing a thermostat since it usually required working with power wires. But the T6 just needs to be connected with the HVAC system to get up and running.

As far as the end user experience goes, the T6 offers a nice, clean interface that is a joy to use on a daily basis. The options are easy to understand, and new users won't feel overwhelmed or confused by the simple layout. And don't let the name fool you; the Honeywell T6 isn't restricted to use with Honeywell Alarm Systems. This is a non-proprietary thermostat that can be used with any alarm system that has a Z-Wave controller. This includes systems like the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Also, it can be accessed from both the Total Connect 2.0 and the Alarm.com interactive service platforms.

Hands down, this the best smart thermostat available today. Get one.

Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

Alarm.com ADC-T2000

The ADC-T2000 was designed with Alarm.com in mind. This is the interactive service platform used with that is used with many different alarm system manufacturers, including 2GIG and Qolsys. So if you have an alarm system from one of these manufacturers, it may feel comforting to know that your smart thermostat is essentially "on the same team" so to speak. It is truly designed by Alarm.com, for Alarm.com.

There are few other reasons why one might select the ADC-T2000. For one, it features push-buttons and a light-up temperature display rather than an LCD screen. Some users might prefer this. Personally, we believe the touchscreen of the T6 is the superior option, but we know that some users prefer to keep it as simple as possible. With just three main buttons (up, down and menu) it doesn't get much easier than the ADC-T2000.

The other highlight of the ADC-T2000 is that it can be used with the Alarm.com ADC-S2000. This is a wireless temperature sensor that can send temperature readings to the ADC-T2000. This can be useful for very large properties where the temperature in one area of the building might not be the same as another. So in theory, this add-on can help you control the temperature in a very large building more accurately.

With all that in mind, if you have an ADC-compatible alarm system or you want to use a secondary temperature sensor with your smart thermostat, then the ADC-T2000 might be for you.

Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat

Honeywell Lyric Round WIFI Thermostat

The Lyric Round is the only smart thermostat on this list that doesn't use Z-Wave. Instead, this thermostat communicates using 2.4 GHz WIFI. It is exclusively compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But remember, the Lyric Controller already includes a built-in Z-Wave controller, so it could easily use the (superior) Honeywell T6 Thermostat instead. So why choose the Lyric Round? That is a very fair question.

We see users turn to the Lyric Round for one main reason. It is for the rare instance where a user wants to use WIFI communication instead of Z-Wave. Most users who have a home automation setup will have a strong mesh network of Z-Wave devices that will help support their Z-Wave smart thermostat. And even if a user has no other Z-Wave devices, the range for Z-Wave devices is still acceptable for most homes. But at the end of the day, WIFI is a more robust signal that a standalone (key word, standalone) Z-Wave signal.

If you have a larger property and a weak or nonexistent Z-Wave mesh network, you may ultimately be better off using the Lyric Round. The smart thermostat will send reliable and consistent WIFI signals to your Honeywell Lyric Controller. Also, you will be able to access and control your Lyric Round right from Total Connect 2.0. But keep in mind, you can only use the Lyric Round if you have a Honeywell Lyric Controller Security System.

Honeywell lyric thermostat smart programmable wifi thermostat th

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Today, we'd like to discuss the Honeywell LT-Cable. This versatile cable makes is designed to replace a standard 18-gauge 2-conductor wire, and it makes it super easy to provide power to an alarm system. This makes it great for any DIY user who wants to set up their own panel.

Honeywell lt cable lynx touch power supply cable from aboveThe LT-Cable is eight feet long, and it does not require any stripping or splicing. It is pre-prepared and ready for action. The only tool that is needed when using an LT-Cable is a screwdriver. For that reason, it is perfect for end users who do not feel comfortable performing any advanced wiring. One end connects with the plug-in transformer, while the other end connects with the board on the security system.

The two ends of the LT-Cable meet through a plug-in barrel connection. If a user ever needs to power down their system, they can simply unplug the barrel connection to cut the power provided from the wall outlet. The LT-Cable can be used with both AC power and DC power. If using DC power, then proper polarity must be followed. The power cable works with virtually any alarm system that we offer, which includes systems that aren't manufactured by Honeywell.

The LT-Cable is available on the Alarm Grid website. Get one for your system now!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

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.

Tags: , ,

Comments