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When choosing a security system for your home or business, you need to decide whether you want it to use IP communication, cellular communication or dual-path communication. While these aren't the only methods available, they are by far the most dependable and the most widely used.

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A communication pathway is what allows a security system to communicate out to a signal processing platform. This platform redirects any incoming alert from the system to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via push notification, text, and/or email, depending on the user's monitoring plan. You need a communication path that is reliable and consistent so that your system always remains monitored.

The "entry level" communication path so to speak is IP communication. This involves using the local internet protocol (IP) network in your home or business. If you have internet service already, then you will be good to go. The alarm control panel for your system will either connect to your local WIFI network or use a wired ethernet connection for internet access. The advantage to IP communication is that it is the least expensive.

But as you know, occasional internet outages are still something that most people have to deal with. Not to mention, a power outage will also take your router and modem offline if you do not have a backup power supply available. That is why many people upgrade to cellular communication. With a strong cellular connection, it is highly unlikely that your system would ever go offline for any reason.

If you already have internet in your home or business, and you still want the reliability of cellular, then you can easily achieve a dual-path setup that uses both IP and cellular. This is the most popular type of alarm monitoring, and it is what we ultimately recommend in most cases. You also won't need to pay any more than what you would pay for cellular monitoring service, as most monitoring companies include IP service with a cellular monitoring plan.

If you are interested in learning more about IP, cellular, or dual-path monitoring, or if you want to learn more about the alarm monitoring services offered by Alarm Grid, we invite you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8-m ET M-F. You are also welcome to check out our monitoring page to learn more about the monitoring plans we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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A security system is either monitored or unmonitored. While you can use an unmonitored system, we're here to tell you why having your system monitored is so important. Alarm monitoring service is the best way to ensure that responders arrive as soon as possible during an emergency.

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When a monitored system goes into alarm, it will activate a siren to alert those on-site, and it will send alerts to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via text and/or email, depending on the user's monitoring plan. If a system is not monitored, then the siren will still activate, but no remote alerts or notifications will be sent out.

The only way an unmonitored system is useful is if you are always on-site with the system. Then you will hear the siren and know to take action regarding the alarm. But what if you are away from your home or business and a fire or break-in occurs? That is when you count on your security system alarm monitoring service to ensure that the appropriate party is notified.

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There are two (2) types of alarm monitoring service. Central station monitoring involves having your system send an emergency alert to a central monitoring station where a highly trained operator will take immediate action. They can see the type of alarm that occurred (e.g. security, fire, carbon monoxide gas, medical, etc.) and contact the authorities in your area for help.

Some users prefer self-monitoring service. This involves having an alert sent to you via text, email, and/or push notification. The alert will tell you what type of alarm has occurred and which sensor or zone on your system caused the alarm. This way, you can take your own action regarding the alarm event. Just know that in order for help to arrive, you must be able to reliably respond to the alert.

It is also possible to get a central station monitoring plan that includes self-monitoring service. This way, you can still have emergency help sent out automatically by a central station operator, while also receiving a personal alert so that you immediately know what's going on. This is a "best of both worlds" option, and it is what most new users ultimately select when setting up their monitoring service.

Whether you go with central station monitoring, self monitoring, or a hybrid of both, having your system monitored is the best way to ensure that your home or business is protected while you are away. Alarm Grid offers monitoring plans for all types of homes and businesses, and we have a wide selection of security systems available. Our team is happy to help you every step of the way.

If you want to learn more about choosing and installing your own DIY security system and saving hundreds by not hiring a professional installer, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our system planners are available from 9am to 8pm ET to help you choose the best security system for your needs. You might also want to check out our monitoring page to learn more about what we offer. We look forward to helping you get started with your new security system!

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If you have been wanting to set up a complete video surveillance network around your home or business, then Alarm.com Security Cameras are your answer. These cameras can be used by anyone from a business owner to your average homeowner. Our guide will tell you everything about ADC Cameras.


Alarm.com is best known as an interactive service platform used with security systems. These systems communicate with Alarm.com so that alerts can be sent out to a central station and/or directly to an end user, depending on their monitoring service plan. A user can integrate special Alarm.com Cameras with their Alarm.com network so that the cameras respond based on activity on their security system. It is also possible to have Alarm.com Cameras without actually owning or using a security system.

An end user can view the live-streams for their Alarm.com Security Cameras through both the Alarm.com Mobile App and the Alarm.com Website. The mobile app is particularly convenient, as it can be used from pretty much anywhere in the world, as long as the user's phone can connect to the network. Whether you are across the street or across the planet, you can know exactly what is going on inside or around your home or business!

If you have or are considering purchasing a security system that uses Alarm.com, then in order to integrate Alarm.com Cameras you must upgrade to an alarm monitoring plan that includes the Alarm.com Video Surveillance Add-On. Examples of compatible plans are the Platinum Level Plans from Alarm Grid. Both our Self-Platinum Plan and our Central Station Platinum Plan will support Alarm.com Cameras. If you don't have a security system, and you just want to build a network of Alarm.com Security Cameras, then you may consider our $15 Per Month Video Monitoring Plan.

There is one exception in which an Alarm.com Camera can be used on an Alarm.com account without the Alarm.com Video Surveillance Add-On. If a user does not have true video monitoring service for their ADC account, they can still add a single (1) Alarm.com SkyBell Video Doorbell. The user will be restricted to 400 clips per month. More information on using an Alarm.com SkyBell without a video monitoring account can be found here. Please note that you must use a SkyBell model designated for use with Alarm.com. Other SkyBell models will not work with Alarm.com. Never try to pair an Alarm.com SkyBell with the SkyBell App or with another interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0. Doing so may result in the device being unusable with Alarm.com.

Before exploring cameras, it is important to understand how Alarm.com Clip Recording Limits work. Understanding this will prevent you from exceeding your allotted number of video clips and ensure that you can always save an important clip. The clip limit is also associated with the camera limit, which refers to how many cameras can be added to an Alarm.com Video Monitoring Account. More information on the subject can be found in this FAQ.

One feature that you will often come across when looking at Alarm.com Video Cameras is the Alarm.com Video Analytics Feature. This is a powerful feature that will really improve your end user experience and allow you to easily tailor how your cameras are used. We highly recommend the feature, and we are huge fans of it ourselves. Alarm Grid provides Alarm.com Video Analytics at no extra cost for anyone who has a Platinum Level Plan or our Video-Only Plan. More information on Alarm.com Video Analytics can be found in this helpful FAQ.

Depending on the camera, it will connect with your IP network through either local WIFI or a wired ethernet connection. Some Alarm.com Cameras using ethernet can be configured for Power over Ethernet (PoE), which prevents you from needing to run an extra wire to the camera for electrical power. Other cameras will use a plug-in AC adapter for power. As a loose rule, most of the cameras designed for residential use will use their own AC adapter and connect wirelessly to a WIFI network, while a commercial camera is more likely to use wired ethernet with PoE capability. Please note that if the IP router does not support PoE functionality, then a PoE injector will be needed. One example of a PoE injector is the Alarm.com ADC-POE-INJ.

It's also worth mentioning that many Alarm.com Security Cameras can be live-streamed directly from a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System, as well as any IQ Remote Keypad used with the system. This is great news for anyone who happens to own a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus. This feature is available at no extra charge for anyone with a monitored IQ Panel 2 System and access to Alarm.com. To learn more about this feature, click here.

Now that you understand Alarm.com Cameras, let's take a look at some of the most popular models!


Alarm.com ADC-V523




The Alarm.com ADC-V523 is arguably the most popular Alarm.com Security Camera right now, and for good reason. It is both affordable and compact, and it provides some of the best recording capabilities we have ever seen in a DIY-friendly security camera with its 1080p recording quality and High Dynamic Range (HDR). It offers IR night vision for up to 15 feet, making it perfect for residential or light commercial use. The camera is compatible with Alarm.com Video Analytics, and it has an impressive 117-degree field of view. It is for indoor use only. The camera can be hard mounted if desired (hardware included), but it is also great for resting on a table.

Alarm.com ADC-V723




The Alarm.com ADC-V723 is the outdoor equivalent to the ADC-V523. Just like the ADC-V523, it is extremely popular, and the fact that it can be used outdoors makes it excellent for both businesses and home use. It connects to the network via WIFI, and it offers 1080p recording capabilities with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a 117-degree field of view. It features an ingress weather protection rating of IP66 and IR night vision of up to 40 feet. Alarm.com Video Analytics is also supported by the ADC-V723.


Alarm.com ADC-V622-WELL


The Alarm.com ADC-V622-WELL was designed as a wellness camera for monitoring a loved one. But really, it can be an effective security camera as well. Its design allows it to be mounted if desired, but it is more commonly just placed on top of a table, desk, or nightstand for monitoring. On the top of the camera is a call button that an end user can use to let a loved one know that they need assistance. This is done through an Alarm.com Notification. Both WIFI and ethernet with POE can be used with the ADC-V622-WELL. A Bluetooth speaker is built into the camera, and it offers IR night vision for capturing video at night.


Doorbell Cameras

Alarm dot com adc vdb101 round hd video doorbell aluminum

Alarm dot com adc vdb105 slim hd video doorbell silver

Alarm.com SkyBell Video Doorbells are extremely popular, as they are great for monitoring the area around your door, and you can use one without having true Alarm.com Video Monitoring Service. These devices are great for nabbing package thieves and for seeing exactly who is at the door when someone rings the doorbell. Users have set up video doorbells to capture all sorts of activity in front of their homes, and you can easily get alerts from Alarm.com. A round model is available (ADC-VDB101 & ADC-VDB102), as well as a rectangular Slim-Line model (ADC-VDB105 & ADC-VDB106).


Bullet & Dome Cameras

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Alarm dot com adc vc826 outdoor 1080p poe fixed dome camera with

Bullet Cameras like the ADC-VC726 and the ADC-VC736, and Dome Cameras like the ADC-VC826 are popular for businesses who want their cameras to give a more intimidating presence. These cameras are all suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and they support POE to make installation easier. The Alarm.com Commercial Cameras are known for having impressive IR night vision ratings (in most cases ~95 feet) and receiving really high scores for ingress (weather) protection. However, they tend to have smaller viewing angles than their residential counterparts. These are the cameras you will likely encounter at a bank, grocery store, or other commercial establishment. They can be very useful if you need an outdoor security camera to cover across a large area and record reliably in the darkest of nighttime settings.


Stream Video Recorders (SVRs)


Alarm dot com adc svr122 stream video recorder

We couldn't talk about the Alarm.com Cameras without at least mentioning the Alarm.com Stream Video Recorders. The Alarm.com SVR devices are used to store video clips. Any video clip on an SVR device can be accessed locally at the SVR or remotely through Alarm.com. Using one of these devices is necessary if you want to set up recording on a continuous schedule, including a constant 24-hour recording schedule. Otherwise, your cameras will only record when triggered (via audio/visual or system activity). If you want your Alarm.com Cameras recording on a set schedule, then an SVR device is an absolute must. There is a residential model called the ADC-SVR122 (available in 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB options), and a commercial model called the ADC-CSVR126 (available in 2 TB and 12 TB models, with expansion of up to 16 TB).


Get Started with Alarm.com Video Monitoring!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Alarm Grid is here to help you get started with Alarm.com Video Monitoring. If you are an existing Alarm Grid customer looking to upgrade, please contact us via email at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Please also feel free to ask us any questions you might have. Email or phone is also a great way to contact us if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Do you want to achieve a hybrid security system that uses both wireless and hardwired wired sensors? We have the perfect solution for you in the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. This will let you use both wired sensors and wireless sensors with one convenient system!

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Although we are well into the age of wireless security systems, there is still a place for hardwired sensors. Many people install wired sensors for new construction as a way of fully integrating their security system with their home or office. This is a great way to increase property value, and it's a fairly simple task for a builder to accomplish.

In addition, hardwired sensors require less maintenance than wireless sensors. They do not need any battery replacements, and many do not draw any electricity from a panel or wired to wireless converter module. Also, more and more alarm system manufacturers are offering ways to integrate hardwired sensors in with wireless panels. Using wired and wireless sensors together on the same system is sometimes referred to as a "hybrid security system".

The advantage to using a hybrid alarm system with both wired and wireless sensors is that you can still integrate your wired sensors in with the building, while also being able to easily add wireless sensors when convenient. It can be challenging to run wire for hardwired sensors after a building has been constructed. If you need to add some quick new sensors, then wireless ones make for a great selection. They are super easy to install, and they are just as reliable as wired sensors. Also, there are many sensors out there that are only available in wireless varieties.

The 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus is a great option for those looking to set up a hybrid security system, as it readily supports DSC PowerG Security Sensors and has a great wired to wireless converter option in the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. If you aren't familiar with PowerG Sensors, they offer some of the best range in the industry, as they can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus. The PowerG Sensors are also extremely secure, since they utilize 128-bit AES encryption and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Technology. These are some of the best wireless sensors that you can possibly use with a security system.

But how do you integrate wired sensors in with your new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System? That's where the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F comes in. This is a wired to wireless converter module that is specifically designed for use with 319.5 MHz security systems. Hardwired sensors connect directly with the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F, and the module sends out a wireless 319.5 MHz signal to the panel on their behalf. This will allow the connected wired sensors to interface with a wireless alarm system that otherwise wouldn't accept them.

There are two (2) versions of the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. There is a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F w/ Small Enclosure and a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F w/ Large Enclosure. The difference between these two is that the large enclosure module will come with a large plastic cabinet designed for housing multiple IQ Hardwire 16-F units in one convenient location. If you are only bringing over a few hardwired sensors and only need one converter unit, the the small enclosure will often suffice. But if you are using multiple converter modules, then you may want to house them in an enclosure.

Note that every IQ Hardwire 16-F supports up to 16 hardwired zones, including one zone for 2-wire smoke detectors. Also note that each large enclosure from Qolsys is designed to support up to two (2) sets of IQ Hardwire 16-F Converters. Backup batteries are not included, but they are highly recommended. These two sets of batteries will also fit in the large enclosure with the converters.

Both the 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus and both versions of the IQ Hardwire 16-F are available for purchase on our website. Please make sure you are using the 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus, as the IQ Hardwire 16-F will not work with the other versions. However, the IQ Hardwire 16-F can work with the original non-Plus Qolsys IQ Panel 2. And if you have a 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you can achieve similar results with the Honeywell 5800C2W. Before you know it, you will have an effective and reliable hybrid alarm system!

If you have any questions about using the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F, or if you want to learn more about hybrid security systems in general, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support team is available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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At Alarm Grid, we truly believe that most security systems can be installed by end users, with no on-site support from professional installers or technicians. Installing your own DIY security system can save you money in the long run, and it will keep you and those around you safe.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door sThere are many considerations you will want to make if you are just getting into the market for the first time. You should start by thinking about which alarm panel you want to use. There are several options out there. We recommend reading the three (3) statements below and deciding which one applies to you the most. We realize that all of these statements may apply to your situation, but for the sake of picking the best panel, try and narrow it down to the single most accurate statement. We can begin to steer you towards the optimal panel just based on that one answer, as it shows what is most important to you in this decision.

A. I want the best all-around DIY security system.

B. I want a security system for low-cost monitoring.

C. I want a system system that adds property value.

For those choosing A and wanting the best all-around DIY security system, the answer is most often the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. It has an attractive, modern design that looks great when on placed on a desk or table with its included stand. The entire installation can be complete using only a screwdriver in just a matter of minutes. Programming is made super easy and intuitive, and the vast majority of new users describe the simple setup process as a pleasant experience. The system has a great user interface (UI), and you will love how well the menus are laid out.

Since the IQ Panel 2 Plus has a built-in cellular communicator and an integrated WIFI card, you will not need to add any equipment to use dual-path connectivity with the system. It is ready to go, right out of the box. The panel is also loaded with features that really help make it appealing to those interested in home automation. This comes in six (6) variants, as there are three (3) legacy sensor support options (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz), and each one is available in AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE. The most popular model is the 319.5 MHZ Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, simply because it is the most affordable, but they are all fantastic.

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If B is most important for you, and you want to keep your monitoring costs as low as possible, then you will generally want to look at the Honeywell Alarm Panels. This is because Honeywell Panels can be set up for alarm monitoring service without needing use a cellular communicator. Although cellular communication allows for the optimal reliability, it also increases the cost of alarm monitoring due to the cellular service charges. If you have a strong WIFI internet connection in your home, then you can rely on an IP-only setup for alarm monitoring. An excellent panel for this type of setup is the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is professional-grade security system that is supported by alarm companies across the industry. The panel provides effective and reliable monitoring service to keep your home or business monitored and protected at all times. It is also no slouch when it comes to smart home functionality, as you will have no trouble setting up a complete automation network with the panel if desired. But the money saving aspect lies in the fact this panel is able to connect with monitoring servers without needing a registered cellular communicator. This can save you hundreds in annual monitoring expenses by strictly relying on IP connectivity. All you need to do is connect the Lyric to your WIFI network and have the panel activated by your alarm monitoring company. For more information on why the Lyric is a great option for low-cost alarm monitoring service, please check out this prior blog.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Lastly, those choosing C, where adding property value is the main consideration, you might want to look into a hardwired security system. This is especially true if you are building new construction and have the capacity to run wires throughout the new or unfinished building. An integrated, hardwired security system will add value to any property, and it gives the home or business a nice additional feature. But it should be noted that hardwired systems are more difficult to install. While we have seen some DIY users install their own hardwired systems, the task is usually completed by a professional due to the sheer amount of wiring involved. However, we are happy to work with a third-party installer in helping you install a wired system.

Most new installations today utilize wireless security systems. But if you decide that a wired system is for you, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Hardwired Honeywell Panels are great if you looking to minimize monitoring costs by using IP-only connectivity. We are particularly fond of the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE, as it already has a built-in IP communicator for supporting a wired ethernet connection. A cellular communicator can also be added if desired. Overall, the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE will provide more than enough functionality for any home or small to medium sized business. There are also commercial-grade panels like the Honeywell VISTA-128BPT, the Honeywell VISTA-250BPT, and the DSC PowerSeries NEO HS128NK, but those are more suited for large businesses and industrial complexes. Just remember that you will need to add extra accessories for all wired systems, such as alarm wiring, a siren, and keypads.

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Start by considering what is most important to you if you are looking for a new alarm system. Once you have committed to a panel, you can start building around it to establish security and automation capabilities. This will include choosing compatible sensors and other accessories. You can also start checking out various monitoring plans to determine which one is right for you. If you ever want to talk to us, we are best reached by emailing support@alrmgrid.com. Our support team answers email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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For users looking to add smoke and heat detectors to their wireless systems, there are always some great options to consider. Of course, the specific models you can choose from will depend which alarm panel you are using. We're here to present the best options for some popular systems.

Honeywell 5800combo smoke heat and co detector

For this list, we are presenting our favorite combination smoke and heat detector and standalone heat detector for each system. Combination smoke and heat detectors are what you should use in most locations of your home or business. During a fire, smoke is usually detected before heat, so a combination sensor will rely on smoke detection as its primary method for detecting fires. Heat detection serves as a good backup to smoke detection.

But there are some rooms of a home where it is better to use standalone heat detectors. This is because using a regular smoke detector in these rooms could result in false alarms due to excessive dust, moisture, or smoke that is normally present. Examples of rooms where a standalone heat detector is often a better option include kitchens, attics, garages, and bathrooms. Remember that standalone heat sensors are one-and-done devices, and they must be replaced after activation. Do not test them using a hair dryer!

Below are our favorite smoke and heat detector options for various systems:


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (319.5 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Interlogix HDX-135


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (345 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Smoke & Heat: Honeywell SiXSMOKE

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


2GIG GC3e & 2GIG GC2e

Smoke & Heat: 2GIG SMKT8e-345

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


If you need any help setting up your new Alarm Grid Security System, or if you are interested in learning more about our monitoring services, please email us at 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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When working with security systems, there are only certain types of smoke detectors that can directly integrate with an alarm panel. But many people overlook the fact that almost all high-voltage smoke detectors can still be integrated indirectly using smoke detector listening modules.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

Smoke detector listening modules are wireless devices designed to actively listen for the Temporal 3 sound of an activated smoke detector. By law, life-safety smoke detectors must produce the Temporal 3 sound, which consists of three (3) consecutive tones, followed by a short pause, and then three (3) more tones with this pattern repeating continuously. Both high-voltage 110V smoke detectors and wireless battery powered smoke detectors will produce the same sound. This means that you can use wireless listening modules with both types.

All new construction is required to be outfitted with high-voltage smoke detectors. As a result, it's very likely that you already have these devices in your home or business. You should test these devices to make sure that they are working, and replace any devices that are non-functional. Then you can use a listening module to integrate the devices with your security system and your alarm monitoring service. If you have a network of interconnected hardwired smoke detectors, then you can use a single listening module to takeover the entire network!

Like all security and life-safety products, your smoke detector listening module will need to be tested regularly. Before doing any testing, you should put your system on test mode by either contacting your central station directly or by using the MyAlarms.com feature if you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer. Then activate the smoke detector's sounder by using its test button (if applicable) or by directing canned smoke into its vents. Make sure that your listening module detects the sound and triggers an alarm on your system. Remember that the listening module should be mounted within six (6) inches of the detector for best results.

We offer two (2) smoke detector listening modules on our website. The Interlogix SLX-AD-T3 is for 319.5 MHz systems, while the Encore FireFighter FF345 is for 345 MHz systems. Check and make sure you purchase the correct model that will successfully enroll with your wireless alarm panel. If you aren't sure which one to get, then you should contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will be happy to help. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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There's much more to the potential of your security system than just protecting your home or business. Most modern alarm panels offer the necessary built-in hardware to establish a complete smart automation network that you can control from virtually anywhere in the world using your phone.

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In the world of smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT), an automation refers to an action that occurs automatically. The trigger for an automation to occur could be something like a sensor faulting on your security system, your system going into alarm, or even the time of day. Automations can also be triggered manually either at the panel or through a mobile app on your smartphone. Most Alarm Grid customers use the Total Connect 2.0 App or the Alarm.com App depending on which system they have. Remember, remote automation control is only included with the Silver Level Plans and higher for Alarm Grid.

There are all sorts of automation devices you can pair with your system and control remotely. Smart lights are a great place to start. It's very easy to replace an existing in-wall switch or dimmer module. There are also plug-in lamp modules that can be set up with needing to use any special tools or equipment. Just plug in the unit, enroll it with your automation hub, plug in a lamp to the designated socket, and enjoy. Setting up automations for your smart lights is perfect for those absentminded moments where you forget to turn off the lights before leaving. You can even have light turn on designated times while you are on vacation to make it look like you are home!

Smart door locks also represent a population automation option. These allow you to lock or unlock your door even while you are away from home. This can be very useful if you forgot to lock up before heading out for the day, and you can also use it to let trusted people inside, such a scheduled maintenance worker, a house maid, or your friend who arrived just a little too early. Many users also set up locks to respond automatically. For example, you might have your back door set to automatically lock whenever you set your security system to Arm Away.

Last and certainly not least, smart thermostats offer some really cool functionality, and they can provide you with tremendous savings in your energy expenses. You are most likely already familiar with programmable thermostats that you can use to have the temperature adjusted automatically at set time intervals. But smart thermostats take things to the next level. You can have your thermostat automatically switch to a more energy efficient level as soon as you arm for the system and leave. And if your automation platform allows for geofencing, then you can have the thermostat activate automatically once you back within a certain distance from your home. It's also really nice to be able to adjust the temperature remotely if needed, in case you have some invited guests arrive while you are away. You can easily monitor your energy usage.

Getting started with home automation for security systems is super easy. You should start by finding out if your panel already has a Z-Wave controller built-in. Most new wireless panels have this functionality. If your panel doesn't support Z-Wave, then there may be an add-on to provide the capability. Then you can start building the perfect smart home! If you have any questions about home automation, or if you would like to learn more about or monitoring plans, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Anyone setting up a new wireless security system will definitely want to consider picking up a Honeywell LT-Cable for their installation. This is a pre-prepared wire that doesn't require any stripping or special tools. All you need is a screwdriver to connect the panel and the transformer.

Honeywell lt cable lynx touch power supply cable from aboveAlarm wiring is needed to complete the connection between the panel and its plug-in power transformer. Traditionally, users had to strip and prepare their own cabling, which made the process more tedious and difficult. But with prepared cabling like the Honeywell LT-Cable, the process is made much easier, and it really will work with nearly any security system. With this wire, you can install your own security system with just a screwdriver, and without having to hire a professional installer.

There are two (2) parts to the Honeywell LT-Cable. There is a smaller cord that connects with the power terminals on the back of your panel. The other end of this smaller cord has the female barrel connector. Then the larger cord has the male barrel connector on one end and spade connectors for connecting with the plug-in transformer on the other. The larger cord measures eight (8) feet, while the smaller portion is seven (7) inches in length. All together, you get a little bit more than 8.5 feet of wiring with the LT-Cable.

It's surprising to consider that most security systems do not come with a power wire for connecting with a transformer. While the transformer is included, most users can expect to supply their own wiring. A notable exception to this rule is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which does include a power wire. As such, no LT-Cable is needed for an IQ Panel 2, though you might still add one if the original wire ever becomes damaged. But other panels like the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the 2GIG GC3e do not come bundled with any cabling, so the Honeywell LT-Cable makes for the perfect accessory.

One other advantage to the LT-Cable is that you can easily unplug the barrel connectors if you ever need to power down your system for adding new hardware or troubleshooting. This can be easier and more convenient than needing to unplug the transformer, especially if the transformer is screwed into the outlet. Remember that you will also need to unplug the system's backup battery to perform a power cycle. If you need a wire run that is longer than 8.5 feet, you might consider purchasing Genesis Alarm Wiring, which is also sold on our site.

We invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the LT-Cable or our monitoring services. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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We are often asked about security system options for those on a tight budget. At Alarm Grid, we believe that everyone should have access to alarm monitoring, and we try to accommodate as many people as possible. We have found that a basic starter security system can start at under $250.

Honeywell lyricpk lyric security system w 3 door window sensorThere are two main expenses you need to consider when setting up your own alarm system. There is the up-front cost of your equipment, and there is the monthly cost of alarm monitoring service. At Alarm Grid, our customers must purchase their own equipment. This is universal equipment that can work with virtually any alarm monitoring service. It is not proprietary equipment that will only work with a specific platform. If you ever want to switch monitoring companies you can easily do so. Once your system's communicator is released, it can be taken to nearly any company.

Some companies may offer you a free security system just for signing up for their service. That might sound like a great deal, but there are a couple of things to look out for. One issue is that the system they are offering might be a proprietary system. In other words, it will only work with their monitoring service. If you try to switch to a new monitoring company for any reason, you will be stuck finding new equipment. But perhaps even more concerning is that a company might lock you into a long-term contract for their services. This can make it tough to change or cancel your service.

With Alarm Grid, you own all your equipment outright. You can easily take your Alarm Grid Security System to a completely different monitoring company if desired. We will always release a communicator if requested, and we will never hold your system hostage. Additionally, all of our monitoring plans are month-to-month, and you can cancel your service before your next billing cycle to avoid paying extra. Also remember that we never change any extra or hidden fees, and there is never any additional fee for starting or stopping service.

The best way to get a low-cost security system is to consider both the up-front cost and the monthly cost. And we have a viable system option that will get you started for less than $250. We would like to recommend our Refurbished Honeywell Lyric Controller for anyone on a tight system budget. Add in a couple of VERSA-2GIG Door and Window Contacts and a Honeywell LT-Cable for powering the system, and you are still looking at a total cost of under $250. We are extremely confident in the quality of our refurbished equipment. More information can be found here.

The Lyric System is also ideal for keeping monthly monitoring costs low, as it can connect with the Reisdeo AlarmNet360 Servers through an IP-only connection. This is considerably cheaper than using cellular monitoring. However, you must understand that an internet outage will take your panel offline if you don't have cellular backup. But many users who understand the risks involved are happy to save money by going with IP monitoring. The Lyric already includes a built-in WIFI card, so you will not need to add anything to the system to do IP monitoring. And if you ever decide to upgrade to cellular monitoring later, the system has two (2) LTE options available.

Alarm Grid offers its Bronze Level Plan for just $15 per month. This plan will allow your Lyric System to connect with the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers for central station monitoring service. This is all you need to get a Certificate of Alarm for potential savings on your homeowner's insurance. You might also consider adding at least one smoke detector to your system for further savings with your homeowner's insurance. Currently the least expensive wireless smoke detector for the Lyric System is the Honeywell SiXSMOKE Smoke Detector. Another nice accessory is the Honeywell LCP500-DK Desk Mount, which will allow you to use the panel without mounting it to a wall or lying it flat on a surface.

For just $250 up-front and $15 per month, you can get central station monitoring service and a state-of-the-art security system that is perfect for building around as your budget grows. And if you lack funds up-front, then we offer financing options that we are happy to discuss. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you want to learn more about our products or monitoring services. We answer emails during our regular support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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