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After much anticipation Firmware Version 2.5.3 for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is now available! This update brings support for the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter, as well as some other new features. Everyone with an IQ Panel 2 is encouraged to download the update as soon as possible.

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

Support for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter is the biggest new addition for Firmware Version 2.5.3. We covered the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter extensively in a post last month. But just as a quick recap, the device allows to you to connect hardwired sensors so that they can communicate with the IQ Panel 2 Plus wirelessly across the PowerG protocol. This is an excellent way to upgrade from an older hardwired system, as it can prevent you from having to purchase entirely new wireless sensors.

The PG9WLSHW8 also includes all the benefits of PowerG. This includes a wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ2+ in an open air environment, military grade 128-bit AES encryption, and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology for added protection. Up to eight (8) hardwired zones are built into a single converter, and you can use up to two (2) of the PG9WLSHW8 units per IQ2+ System. The unit even offers support for 2-wire or 4-wire smoke detectors, plus a 700mA supervised output for adding a wired siren.


Of course, IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 includes a huge bundle of other new features and functions. Even if you don't plan on adding a DSC PG9WLSHW8 unit, there are still many other reasons to receive the upgrade. We'll touch on all the other new additions below.

The IQ2 system now has Panel Ambient Noise Detector settings to adjust noise threshold and duration. Qolsys added this feature with MDU settings where noise complaints are a concern. The feature can be used in-place of the panel's built-in glass break sensor. Alarm.com is planning to add back-end support for this feature sometime in the future.

Alarm.com commercial customers will be able to take advantage of their Smarter Business Temperature Monitoring (SBTM) service plan, which is used in conjunction with the DSC PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor. The SBTM service plan allows for 24/7 monitoring, real-time alerts, and historical temperature reporting. It is designed with businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies in mind. Alarm Grid customers with Alarm.com commercial accounts can contact us for more information. In addition, the IQ2+ can now display a trouble condition when an external probe is disconnected from the DSC PG9905.


If you use Alarm.com for solar energy monitoring, then you will be pleased to know that IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 offers the ability to provide information from your solar inverter right on your security panel! Solar inverter units from SolarEdge and Enphase are supported. Please see this prior blog post for more info about Alarm.com Solar Monitoring.

Thinking ahead, Qolsys has made Firmware Version 2.5.3 compatible with future Z-Wave 700-Series daughter cards. The 700-Series of Z-Wave will represent the successor to Z-Wave Plus, also known as the Z-Wave 500-Series. Like all new iterations of Z-Wave technology, the 700-Series will allow for extended range and battery life when used with a compatible Z-Wave controller or hub. We hope to see 700-Series Z-Wave devices enter the market sometime in the not-so-distant future. Qolsys also made improvements to the IQ2 Z-Wave Diagnostics Map when using the Z-Wave 6.81 SDK to include RSSI values, as well as the ability to move automation device on the Diagnostics Map.

Some new 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices are now supported by the IQ Panel 2. Most notably, these include Z-Wave switches from Eaton. Newly supported models include the RF9601, RF9617, RF9640-N, and RF9642-Z. It's good to see Qolsys increasing their support of compatible Z-Wave devices, and we have heard particularly nice things about the Z-Wave switches from Eaton and Cooper.

You can now disarm from the main IQ Panel 2 during the Exit Delay if the arming session was initiated from an IQ Remote, PowerG Keypad, or key fob device. Qolsys also added three (3) new Sensor Groups for keypads, key fobs, and panic switches. These new Sensor Groups include (3) Mobile Silent, (5) Fixed Silent Auxiliary, and (7) Mobile Silent Auxiliary. These new Sensor Group options should add some more versatility for these devices. And as for the Qolsys IQ Remote Keypad, it now has the ability to pair with IP routers using the Protected Management Frame (PMF) protocol.

Qolsys iq remote ag iq panel 2 remote touchscreen keypad

There are some new changes to the Easy Install Wizard that loads upon booting up the system for the first time. A new drop-down option will allow you to select one of (13) languages for the setup wizard. There is also a new page in the wizard with QR links for you to scan using the camera on your Android or iOS phone to quickly download the Alarm.com Mobile App. Also added to the Easy Install Wizard are new help screens that provide more information on how to pair and test door and window contacts and motion detection sensors.

Some general improvements to the system's PowerG firmware have also been bundled with Firmware Update 2.5.3. The PowerG Modem Firmware is now Version 2.38. There is now support for Fire Trouble and Dirty Detector Trouble on the IQ2 and ADC when DSC PG9936 PowerG Smoke Detectors are used. Proximity tag support is now supported with the Visonic PowerG Wireless Keypads (models KP141 and KP241). And the Alarm.com back end can now show the "Not Networked" status for PowerG Sensors in the Event History. This occurs when a PowerG device is enrolled with the panel, but then fails to complete the network association and goes into RF sensor failure.

There are also some changes affecting certain PowerG Door and Window Contact Sensors. For the DSC PG9309 and DSC PG9312, both the reed switch and the auxiliary input can be disabled during disarm. The same also applies to the auxiliary input on the DSC PG9945. The purpose of this is to extend the battery life on high traffic doors. Additionally, the PG9945 and PG9309 can be learned-in with the IQ2+ twice. One zone will be for the sensor's internal reed switch, which the other will be used with the auxiliary input.

Dsc pg9945 powerg 915mhz wireless door slash window contact


Other miscellaneous features have been added as well. LiveAnswer is now supported on the IQ2 for security cameras with non-standard aspect ratio streaming. New languages of German, Danish, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Romanian have all been added to the IQ Panel 2. The IQ2 will also now provide audible and visual indication of dual-path failures when the EN Grade 2 Setting is enabled. A change to the Swinger Shutdown feature has been made so that once a sensor reaches its Swinger Shutdown limit, a subsequent sensor event will tell the IQ2 to send an event notice to Alarm.com. Lastly, various improvements to the system have been made so that the IQ2 meets the EN50131-1 Standard.

Now that we have covered all of the new features included with Firmware Version 2.5.3, we can cover the process for upgrading your IQ Panel 2. Qolsys did things a little bit different this time. In order to download 2.5.3, your IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus must be running a firmware version between 2.0.1 and 2.4.2. Do not attempt to download 2.5.3 if your IQ Panel 2 is running Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1. If your IQ2 is on one of those firmware versions, then you must upgrade in stages by upgrading to Firmware Version 2.5.2 first, and then upgrading to Version 2.5.3. More information on upgrading to 2.5.2 can be found here.

If you need to check the firmware version for your panel, click the small grey bar at the top of the screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Software. You should see the firmware version displayed. The panel in the picture below is already on 2.5.3.


Once your IQ2 is on a firmware version of 2.0.1 to 2.4.2, or is on Firmware Version 2.5.2, then you can begin upgrading the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3. To begin, make sure your panel is monitored and connected with the Alarm.com servers via WIFI. The panel should be plugged into its AC outlet, and it should not have a low-battery condition.

When ready, you can perform the update by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the screen and selecting Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.3 > OK > Upgrade Using Network. Then press OK when prompted. It will take about five (5) minutes for the update process to complete. The panel will reboot as part of the update process.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, please reach out to us. Also remember to check out this post to learn more about our monitoring plans for gaining access to Alarm.com. The best way to contact us with questions about the IQ Panel 2 System or alarm monitoring in general is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid is thrilled to offer the brand-new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad! This sleek and modern keypad serves as a touchscreen controller for your Honeywell VISTA, while also providing Z-Wave Plus home automation capabilities. This will truly bring out the full potential of your VISTA Panel!


The new Resideo Tuxedo represents the third generation in the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Series. The original Honeywell Tuxedo Touch, the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch WIFI, and the Honeywell VAM have all been discontinued to make room for the new Resideo Tuxedo. While we are a little sad to see these classic products be sent off to the "product graveyard", we are extremely excited about this brand-new keypad and what it brings to the party.

If you are familiar with the Honeywell 6290W Touchscreen Keypad that came out last September, then you will be pleased to learn that the new Resideo Tuxedo offers the exact same look and user interface (UI). In fact, the only difference between the two is the fact that the Tuxedo offers Z-Wave Plus functionality, while the 6290W is just a keypad for controlling the VISTA. With the Tuxedo, you get all of the same security functions from the 6290W (e.g. arming, disarming, bypassing zones), as well as awesome new home automation controls.

The great thing about a touchscreen keypad like the Resideo Tuxedo is that it can make your system much less intimidating and easier to control. This can be especially important for new users who are not used to working with a security system, especially one that uses a classic numeric keypad that requires specific knowledge to operate. The Tuxedo is easy to navigate, and the full-color menus can give a new user confidence in controlling their system. Most experienced users also appreciate touchscreen keypads just due to their overall ease of use.

You certainly have a great deal of automation devices that you can pair with the Resideo Tuxedo. Nearly any Z-Wave device can integrate with the keypad. You can add Z-Wave lights so that it looks like you're home while on vacation. A Z-Wave door lock can be helpful for letting your friend inside without getting up from the couch. And a Z-Wave thermostat can help you save a ton of money in energy costs, while still keeping your home comfortable. The unit supports up to 232 Z-Wave devices, so you're highly unlikely to run out of room. We recommend using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices to build the strongest network possible.

WIFI connectivity returns to the new Resideo Tuxedo. The keypad uses its WIFI connectivity for communicating with Total Connect 2.0. You can access TC2 to control your programmed automation devices remotely from a mobile app or web browser. The WIFI connection is also how firmware updates are applied to the Tuxedo Keypad. You can alternatively use a wired ethernet connection instead of wireless WIFI, but come on, who's gonna do that? Just be aware that the Tuxedo is not an AlarmNet Communicator. You will still need a separate alarm communicator for your VISTA System and a monitoring plan to access Total Connect 2.0.

And there are many other features and specifications that we love about the new Tuxedo. This keypad and automation controller boasts a 7-inch screen with a 480 x 640 resolution. The thin-film-transitor (TFT) LCD screen is backlit, so you will have no trouble using it at night. Other features include voice and chime, a weather display, the ability to live-stream security cameras, Console Mode, a digital picture frame, and more!

You can buy the new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad from Alarm Grid right now. We are sure that you will love using this robust and powerful keypad in your home or office. It really has a nice modern look that can fit in nicely with any decor. This is truly a great way to improve upon a VISTA System. If you have any questions about the Tuxedo, or if you want to learn more about alarm monitoring, contact us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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After much anticipation, the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter is finally available! End users now how a reliable option for taking existing hardwired security and life-safety sensors and interfacing them with a security system that supports PowerG Wireless Sensors.


Wired to wireless converter modules for wireless security systems are nothing new. Hardwired sensors connect with wired to wireless converter modules. The converter then sends wireless signal to the panel on behalf of the connected wired sensors. The wired sensors can then be programmed to wireless zones on the system. As far as the system is concerned, the wired sensors at the converter module are no different than wireless sensors.

How the DSC PG9WLSHW8 differs from prior wired to wireless converters is that it transmits wireless signals across the PowerG wireless protocol. PowerG uses Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology to prevent RF jamming, with the communication signals constantly switching between frequencies from 912 MHz to 918 MHz. In addition to using FHSS technology, PowerG Sensors also take advantage of military grade 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. This makes these sensors some of the most secure wireless devices in the industry. Any hardwired sensor connected with the DSC PG9WLSHW8 will utilize this same level of security and protection.

But PowerG Sensors offer more than just top-grade security. They also offer incredible wireless range. Depending on the system being used, a PowerG Sensor is able to communicate from up to two (2) kilometers (km) away in an open air environment. This capability also applies to the DSC PG9WLSHW8. With perfect, direct line-of-sight, you can have the converter module up to 2km away from certain compatible panels and expect the signals to go through reliably. That is perfect for large buildings, including hospitals, warehouses, schools, and more. You would be very hard-pressed to find another wireless sensor lineup with the same communication range capabilities as PowerG.

There are all sorts of possible applications for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 Wired to Wireless Converter. Arguably the most popular use will be for bringing over hardwired sensors for use with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System. All versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can support PowerG Sensors. And correspondingly, these panels can all support the DSC PG9WLSHW8. Just be aware that the IQ2+ has a smaller antenna than the other PowerG Security Systems, so its wireless range is limited to roughly 2,000 feet in open air. Other compatible systems for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 include the DSC Iotega and the DSC PowerSeires NEO with an added PowerG Wireless Transceiver.

But there is so much else about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 that makes it such an exciting piece of equipment! Namely, the unit has four (4) programmable outputs (PGMs) for connecting relay-triggered devices. The second programmable output (PGM2) is particularly notable, as you can connect up to (18) 2-wire smoke detector units at this location. Alternatively, you can also use 4-wire smoke detectors and wired CO detectors are regular zone inputs for the unit. The PGMs are also useful for connecting wired sirens, as the unit provides a supervised bell output of 12V @ 700mA. And installers will really appreciate the fact that the module allows for end-of-line resistor (EOLR) value learning from 1k to 10k ohm resistors. Both single-end-of-line (SEOL) and double-end-of-line (DEOL) resistor wiring is supported.

One final and very important note about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 is that stock for the item is currently severely limited due to the ongoing pandemic. It's possible that if you order the PG9WLSHW8, you might be put on a waiting list for the item, as our manufacturers try and keep up with constant demand for products. If you do end up buying the DSC PG9WLSHW8 while it is back-ordered (BO), then our team will contact you at our earliest convenience to let you know about the situation. If you do decide to cancel the order due to it being back-ordered, then your debit or credit card will be refunded for the entire cost of the order.

If you have any questions about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 or about alarm monitoring in general, then please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you want to find out if the DSC PG9WLSHW8 or any other product sold by Alarm Grid is currently in-stock or back-ordered. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you have a home or business in Canada, and you are looking to receive central station monitoring service, then Alarm Grid is happy to help! Our company is proud to provide service through Rapid Response Monitoring Services (RRMS). We offer many system options for users in Canada.


Rapid Response has been protecting US and Canadian homes and businesses since 1992. The company consists of more than 550 highly trained experts who are dedicated to providing top-quality monitoring service for end users. Alarm Grid has hand-picked RRMS for the protection of our customers in Canada due to their proven success, expertise, and overall reliability.

There are currently two (2) central station locations operated by RRMS. These monitoring centers are located in Southern California (Rapid West in Corona, CA) and New York State (Rapid East in Syracuse, NY). Both monitoring centers are state-of-the-art, and they operate 24/7 for the protection of end users. We are highly confident in their ability to provide outstanding service at all times.

When an alarm or other important system condition is received by RRMS, a trained expert will immediately take action based on what is listed for the end user's monitoring account. This can include requesting immediate emergency dispatch, contacting the end user to make sure that everything is alright, or following other predetermined instructions. RRMS takes special precautions to prevent delays and ensure that help is sent out as soon as possible.

Having two (2) independent monitoring centers provides added redundancy for end users receiving central station service through RRMS. If one monitoring center goes offline for any reason, all incoming signals will be re-routed to the other monitoring center to ensure that end users receive the help that they need. This aspect was essential in Alarm Grid choosing to work with RRMS.

Although the RRMS monitoring centers are located in the United States, they will have no trouble reaching out to jurisdictions throughout Canada and providing necessary assistance. Remember, the exact location of a monitoring center is not very important. What is important is that the monitoring center is able to reliably receive incoming signals and take appropriate action when emergencies occur. And RRMS has that aspect nailed.

It is important to remember that Alarm Grid customers who receive central station monitoring service in the United States will continue to receive service through Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS). We are extremely confident in both our primary monitoring partners CMS for customers within the United States, and RRMS for customers in Canada. To learn more about CMS, we recommend checking out this helpful FAQ.

Of course, a good monitoring station is only one step in the process. You also need a capable security system that can reliably send out signals. And Alarm Grid has that aspect down as well. The options for users in Canada are slightly different than those for users in the United States. We'll cover some of the most popular options below, but we recommend checking this blog post for more complete info on what we can offer for users in Canada.

The ultimate option for Alarm Grid Monitoring Service in Canada is arguably the AT&T LTE Version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The reason why this system works so well is because its built-in AT&T LTE Communicator will roam to the Rogers LTE Network in Canada with no extra charges. And since it also has built-in WIFI, you will get dual-path connectivity right out of the box. Just remember that your will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular service.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 7 security panel w slash z wave ready

If you are looking to save money with internet-only monitoring, then the Honeywell Lyric is a great option. Unlike the Alarm.com Panels, the Lyric System can connect with the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers through exclusively internet protocol (IP), without having a cellular communication path set up. This can save you money, as IP-only plans are typically less expensive than cellular plans. But remember, an internet outage will leave you unmonitored!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Also keep in mind that it is possible to receive alarm monitoring without service through a central station. This is called self-monitoring, and it involves having the end user receive text and/or email alerts when system activity occurs. Using this option it is solely up to the end user to request their own help in an emergency situation. Alarm Grid offers various self-monitoring plans if you do not want to receive central station service through Rapid Response.

If you have any questions about Rapid Response, or if you want to learn more about security panels or alarm monitoring service in general, please reach out to us! The best way to contact our team is to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: If you receive central station service through Rapid Response, make sure to save the phone number (800) 932-3822 in your phone. This the phone number that RRMS will use to call you in the event of an emergency. It is very important that you know that this number is not a telemarketer!

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Alarm Grid is now offering bundled versions of the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System that include the panel and a compatible LTE cellular communicator. The LYRICUPGRADE-A will have the LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator, and theLYRICUPGRADE-V will feature the LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you hang around our website regularly, then you probably already know that Lyric System Kits are nothing new for us. But these are fairly unique in that they offer just the system and communicator, without any new sensors. You might want to get one of these kits if you are upgrading from an older LYNX Touch System that can't receive a firmware update, such as a Honeywell L5100 System. The Lyric can support the vast majority of the Honeywell 5800 Sensors used with the older LYNX Touch Systems.

The reason why we decided to release these new Lyric Upgrade Kits is due to the 3G sunset that will be happening in 2022. Older cellular networks are being shut down, and many users are scrambling to find LTE options for their systems. With one of these new kits, you will be getting a Lyric System that is dual-path ready with both WIFI and LTE cellular connectivity. This is the best way to ensure that your panel stays reliably monitored, keeping any potential downtime to an absolute minimum.

The Lyric System offers some great features, such as a 7-inch touchscreen display, support for encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors, connectivity with Total Connect 2.0, the ability to interface with Apple HomeKit, built-in Z-Wave functionality, a 2MP camera for taking disarm photos, and so much more. It truly is a state-of-the-art security system, and it can make a great addition to your home or business.

If you are interested in learning more about the Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-A or Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-V, or if you want to know more about monitoring service in general, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check new email from 9am to 8pm M-F, and we always do our best to respond as quickly as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you are looking for a wireless sensor solution that comes fully integrated into a door or window, then Andersen Doors and Windows might be for you. There are many Andersen Doors and Windows that come with integrated 345 MHz wireless sensors for using with a compatible alarm system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg and legacy honeyw

The wireless sensors that come built into Andersen Doors and Windows are commonly referred to as Andersen Verilock Sensors. For a complete list of Andersen Doors and Windows that utilize these integrated sensors, please see this FAQ as a reference. While we are specifically using this post to highlight the compatibility between the Andersen Verilock Sensors and the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, there is no reason why you couldn't also use these sensors with a different 345 MHz system, like the Honeywell Lyric or one of the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels.

The 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus serves as a great system for the integrated Andersen Door and Window Sensors, specifically due to the fact that the IQ2+ supports a large number of wireless zones (up to 128). This is important because each Andersen Verilock Sensor will typically use two (2) wireless zones for full system operation. One zone (Loop 1) will monitor for the door or window being opened/closed. The other zone (Loop 2) will monitor for the door or window being locked/unlocked. These sensors have a wireless range of roughly 500 feet when used in an open air environment. Remember that obstacles like thick walls and large metal objects can reduce wireless range.


One very important thing to note about Andersen products is that they are typically only sold through licensed Andersen dealers. Alarm Grid cannot sell these sensors directly. Also, Andersen mandates in its terms of service that their integrated door and window sensors only be installed by professional installers who are certified and approved by Andersen. Failure to comply with the Andersen terms of service can result in the warranty for your door or window being terminated. It is strongly advised that you visit the Andersen website and contact a dealer in your area if you are serious about installing these doors and/or windows.

While Andersen does have strict policies regarding the sale and installation of their integrated sensors, they also have an extensive YouTube Channel with lots of informational and how-to videos involving their products. It is truly a great resource for everyone from the DIY weekend warrior looking to complete their own installation, to the professional installer certified by Andersen. We posted a general informational video from Andersen above, but there are plenty more to check out if you are hoping to learn more about these products.

The best complement for Andersen Security Doors and Windows is alarm monitoring service. And that is a job for Alarm Grid! We offer monitoring plans for all needs and budgets so that you can have an automatic response if your Andersen Door or Window detects activity. If you are hoping to get started with Alarm Grid monitoring service, feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our technicians and security planners will be happy to help you get started with monitoring service for your home or business. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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With Father's Day right around the corner (Sunday, June 21st), we thought it'd be a good time to suggest some security and automation gifts to surprise the dad in your life. You don't need to get your dad another neck-tie this year. We've got some neat gifts that dad is sure to love!


The Gift of Security!

If dad doesn't have a security system yet, then he's really missing out. You can have peace of mind in knowing that his home is safe while he's out doing dad stuff like golfing, fishing, or going to a bbq. Maybe your dad thinks he doesn't need security? Well, you could remind him of a big fat insurance discount that he could get by getting his home monitored. That will excite him even more than a weekend trip to the hardware store.

We have lots of great panels available, though the most popular right now are the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. These are both wireless panels that are very easy to set up, even for the dad who doesn't know his way around a tool-kit. You won't hear any swear words coming out of the work shed when dad goes to set up his new system. And he'll probably want to show it off to all the neighbors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system


Shopping on a Budget?

Okay, totally understand if you're strapped for cash and can't drop a few hundred dollars on a brand-new security system. But just because you're looking to spend $30 rather than $300 doesn't mean you can't make dad smile. If your dad already has a system, then why not get him a new sensor or two? Door and window contacts are always affordable. Just get a model that works with dad's security system. The VERSA-2GIG and the VERSA-GE are both extremely popular, and they won't break the bank!

Maybe you've already surprised dad with a contact sensor before? You could always check out some motion sensors. These are great for knowing if someone is snooping around the basement or the garage. Again, you want to make sure you get a model compatible with dad's system. Popular options include the Honeywell SiXPIR, the 2GIG PIR1-345, and the DSC PG9914. And if you aren't sure which models will work with your dad's system, just reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help!

2gig pir1 345

Automation Excitement!

If dad already has a wireless system, then chances are that it doubles as an automation controller. You can surprise dad with some new Z-Wave automation devices for him to pair with his system. Lighting devices are always a great choice. Your dad will be able to turn the lights ON and OFF without getting up, and he can create smart scenes for automatic control. And a great thing about smart lights - they don't break the bank!

Your dad might like an in-wall switch as a nice weekend installation project. Some of our favorite in-wall switches include the GE 14318 and the Resideo Z5SWITCH. Or if your dad is not into wiring, you can get him a plug-in lamp module like the GE 28170 or the Resideo Z5DIMPID. And the great thing about these Z-Wave devices is that they are universally compatible and will work with any system that operates as a Z-Wave controller!

Maybe the smart lighting game has already been introduced to dad's house? In that case, you could make his day with a different automation device like a Z-Wave thermostat. Our favorites right now are the Honeywell T6 PRO and the Alarm.com ADC-T3000. Or if you really want to get your dad something a little more unique, then you could try a smart water valve like the Alarm.com ADC-SWV100. This can be very useful in preventing dad from experiencing the headache of a flooded basement or laundry room.

Ge 28170 side of z wave plug in smart dimmer

Help Dad Keep an Eye on the Neighbors

We all know that dads like to know what's going on outside. That is why we'd be foolish not to recommend some outdoor security cameras. These devices are actually easy to install, and they can give your dad a good look at the front lawn while he's tucked away in his man cave. You'll want to consider whether his system supports Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. For ADC, we like the Alarm.com ADC-V723. If dad has TC2, then go with the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1.

Maybe dad isn't ready to upgrade to video monitoring quite yet? Don't worry! He can still make sure the neighbor kids stay off the lawn with a different type of camera. One popular option is to use a SkyBell Video Doorbell. These can be used without needing to upgrade to a full-on video monitoring plan. There are models for Total Connect 2.0, and others for Alarm.com. Another possibility is to look into the Arlo Cameras that do not use monitoring service through ADC or TC2.

Honeywell lyric oc1 standalone wifi outdoor 1080p hd total conne

The Best Gift of All!

We've saved the best gift idea for last. It isn't something you can hold in your hand, but it's something that every dad will love, even if they have all the security gadgets under the sun. That is the gift of alarm monitoring service! Why not offer to cover dad's monitoring bill for the next year? That is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Talk it over with dad, and when you're ready, the two of you can contact us to make the arrangements. We'll charge your card every month, with no added fees or sudden surprises. Meanwhile, your dad will be able to spend his money on other important things like new golf clubs or something. Oh dads....

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. This will teach you about the different plans offered from Alarm Grid so that you can choose the perfect one for your dad's needs. Once you're ready, shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 to set things up. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team will be thrilled to help you give your dad the gift of home security! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid welcomes you to June! The year has certainly flown by. While there have been some challenges, we're here to help you take a step back from it all, and instead focus on the ever-exciting world of security and home automation! Here is what you can expect soon from Alarm Grid.


Next Generation Systems

If you follow this blog regularly, then you will already know that the Resideo PROA7PLUS from Honeywell Home and the Qolsys IQ Hub will soon be entering the market as brand-new, state-of-the-art security systems. Both are expected to be fantastic options for anyone looking to outfit their home or business with a new system. We also believe that they will be great for existing security system users who want to spice things up with a brand new panel upgrade. While we unfortunately cannot provide an official release date for either of these systems just yet, we can say that they are coming soon. Stay tuned for further updates.


Home Automation for Summer

Summer is a great time to get started with home automation. As we have outlined previously, nearly all Alarm Grid customers have a system that can readily support Z-Wave Smart Home devices. A popular option for the summer months is to outfit the home with a new Z-Wave thermostat that can be controlled from anywhere. That way, you can enjoy maximum energy savings, while still returning to a home that is cool and comfortable. We also sell other smart home devices, such as smart lights and smart door locks. And if you are a regular iOS user, you might also consider building around the Apple HomeKit platform.

Ge 14318 z wave in wall smart switch

Kwikset 888 bronze front smartcode z wave deadbolt touch button


ISC West 2020 in October

We just wanted to give a friendly reminder that ISC West 2020 has been pushed back to October this year. We know all the security enthusiasts out there are accustomed to having the event in the spring time. But we believe that an autumn ISC West will be a nice change of pace. And it also gives manufacturers more time to truly bring their A-game. Just like last year, Alarm Grid will have a full team on the demonstration floor covering the exciting action. We're sure that there will be a few surprises along the way, and you certainly won't want to miss this year's edition!


Get Monitored!

Remember that the only way to truly unlock the full potential of your security system is with Alarm Grid monitoring service. We have monitoring plans for all budgets and security and automation needs. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. You can also review this prior post to learn about our monitoring plans in full detail. If you have any questions, you are free to email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support and planner teams check email Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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