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Hi DIYers! As you may have heard, smart home automation scene control was recently made available for the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill. We thought this would be the perfect time to show Honeywell System users how they can get started with the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Amazon Alexa.


Before getting started, let's go over everything that is required. You will need a Honeywell Security System with active monitoring service. If your panel isn't monitored, check out our monitoring page to learn more about our alarm monitoring plans. The monitoring plan you choose must include access to the Total Connect 2.0 service. Your alarm monitoring company should give you the resources needed for you to create a Total Connect 2.0 account. This account is what will link your Honeywell System with your Amazon Alexa Device.

Your Honeywell Panel must have an active internet or cellular connection in order to communicate with the Honeywell AlarmNet360 Servers and Total Connect 2.0. You must also have an Amazon Alexa Device, and you must download the Amazon Alexa App on a compatible Android or iOS Device. If you do not have the Amazon Alexa App, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The app can be identified by its light blue background with a white circle in the middle.


Before starting, make sure your Alexa Device is linked with your Android or iOS Device. This will require linking your Amazon account. Please see the manual for your Amazon Alexa Device for more information about the pairing process.

Start by opening up the Alexa App on your Android or iOS Device. Navigate to the Skills & Games Menu, which is found in the main toolbar. Search for the "Total Connect 2.0 Skill". Then click the "Enable Button".

Alternatively, you can enable the TC2 Amazon Alexa Skill from the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on an Android or iOS Device. Simply open up the app, and login to your Total Connect 2.0 account. Then navigate to the "Settings" menu, and choose the "Alexa" option. The Settings Menu in the Android App can be found by pressing the menu bar in the top left (three horizontal lines), and choosing "Settings". On iOS, press "More" on the bottom toolbar, and choose "Settings". After choosing "Alexa", you will then be taken to a page where you can login to your Amazon account and enable the Total Connect 2.0 Skill.

After taking the first step to enable the skill, provide your login information for your Total Connect 2.0 account.

Press "Allow" to continue.


Choose all the devices you wish to connect, and press the blue "Connect" button.

The pairing process will complete!

You will now be able to perform the following voice commands through Alexa:

  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, What is the status of my security system?”
  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, Is my security system armed?”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Away.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Stay.”
  • "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run (scene name)."

Please note that you cannot ask Alexa to disarm the system, as that would present a security risk. The ability to control individual Z-Wave smart home devices is also not available at this time. Instead, any Z-Wave operation must be done through scenes. Any automation scene that is set up with your TC2 account can be performed through a spoken Alexa voice command.

To test scene control for spoken commands, we created a nifty Total Connect 2.0 Smart Scene called "Example". This scene will lock a Z-Wave door lock and set our Honeywell Lyric Security System to Arm Away. We simply say to our Alexa Device "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run Example". And just like that, our Z-Wave lock will activate, and our Lyric Alarm Panel will Arm Way!

If you have any questions about linking your Total Connect 2.0 account with your Alexa Device, or if you need help using Alexa voice commands, do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We are happy to announce that the TC2 Alexa Skill can now be used for smart home scene control. Previously, the feature only allowed users to arm or disarm their systems and check their current arming status. This feature will make things much easier for Alexa users with Total Connect 2.0.


Any voice commands for your system that are made through Alexa will be forwarded to the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers and Total Connect 2.0. From there, the command will be sent to the panel so that the action can be performed. This will obviously require that the user has an active Total Connect 2.0 account and that their panel is synced with their account. Check out our monitoring page for more information on how you can get started with the Total Connect 2.0 service.

At this time, users can only use spoken Alexa voice commands to run specific scenes. This is done with the spoken command, "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run (scene name)." The ability to control specific Z-Wave smart home devices is expected to be made available at a later date. To use this feature, you must enable the TC2 Skill in the Alexa App. More information is available in this FAQ, which while written for the Lyric specifically, could apply to virtually any Honeywell System that is set up with Total Connect 2.0.

If you have more questions about the Alexa Skill for TC2, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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Hi DIYers! We recently received news that the integration between the Honeywell Lyric Controller and Apple HomeKit won the inaugural IoT integration award for Physical Security - Intrusion from CE PRO. This award highlights the brilliance of the integration between the Lyric and HomeKit.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Internet of Things (IoT) Awards showcases various IoT-related products that serve residential and commercial markets. The 2018 edition represented the inaugural IoT awards. The entries were judged based on innovation and technological advancement, their ability to integrate with other products, end-user benefits, integrator benefits and overall value. With this award, the tech community has recognized the compatibility between the Lyric and HomeKit for being incredibly valuable to the security and intrusion industry.

There are many factors to love about the integration between the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the Apple HomeKit Platform. Countless iOS users have taken advantage of the Apple HomeKit service and the smart features if offers. By using HomeKit, a user can control their Lyric System using voice commands that are sent through Siri. This can be done from virtually anywhere, as long as the user has access to their iOS device. The user can also have their Lyric System respond automatically with various HomeKit smart scenes that have been created. This offers much convenience for the user in creating a robust and functional smart home. Users can also check the current status for their Lyric System and its security sensors through HomeKit as well. We recommended checking this FAQ on the differences between Total Connect 2.0 and HomeKit for more information on what HomeKit can offer. Even as a HomeKit Security system, it is recommended that the user still keeps the Total Connect 2.0 service.

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website right now. We also offer a certified refurbished version of the system that will provide the same great HomeKit compatibility as a new system at a lower cost. You can get your Lyric started with HomeKit as soon as you have it activated with an alarm monitoring plan from Alarm Grid. Monitoring service is required to activate the HomeKit functionality on the Lyric Controller. More information about pairing the Lyric System with Apple HomeKit can be found in this helpful FAQ. Our team looks forward to working with you!

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Alarm Grid is happy to announce that many of the wireless modules from iDevices are now available on our site! These convenient modules are all compatible with the Apple HomeKit platform, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. No external hub is needed to get these modules connected.


All of the iDevices modules are set up using the iDevices Connected App that allows the user to connect them to a local WIFI network. The modules can then be set up for voice control using Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The HomeKit compatibility is particularly exciting, as the user can operate the module from virtually anywhere using their iPad or iPhone. They can also integrate the module into HomeKit Smart Scenes for automatic operation and control. These modules also offer energy consumption data so that users can better manage their energy costs.

The following smart modules from iDevices are now available:

These modules are also compatible with the iDevices Wireless Instant Switch that serves as a connected wireless remote controller for on-site operation. The switch can be wall-mounted for a neat and tidy installation. Alarm Grid is also now offering various kits that include an iDevices Wireless Instant Switch and an iDevices Smart Module.

The following iDevices Kits are available:

Also available from iDevices is the iDevices Smart WIFI Thermostat. This smart thermostat is also HomeKit-compatible, and it replaces the existing thermostat in a home or business. It offers an effective any convenient way to control almost any HVAC system. Voice functionality for the iDevices Smart Thermostat is available through Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Programming options for the module allows a user to control their HVAC system in a way that suits their lifestyle, while also saving them money.

Alarm Grid is also now offering the WIFI version of the Honeywell T6 Pro Thermostat. Previously, we only offered the Z-Wave Version of the T6 Pro. The T6 Pro Z-Wave is still recommended for users who want to control the thermostat from their HomeKit security system, as well as those who want to use their thermostat with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. But the advantage to the WIFI version is that it is compatible with Apple HomeKit. Any iOS user who has a HomeKit setup or is looking to get started with the HomeKit service should strongly consider this outstanding device!

Finally, we have also added the additional smart products:

If you have any questions about these new products, do not hesitate to reach out to use. You may contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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It does not come as much of a surprise that the smart home industry is thriving right now. Recent reports suggest that the worldwide smart home devices market is set to grow 31% over the course of 2018. Just under 650 million smart home device shipments will be made by the end of the year.

As part of this projection, smart speakers, video entertainment devices, smart lights, smart thermostats and home surveillance products are included. By 2022, it is expected that 1.3 billion smart home devices will be shipped annually. This is a compound annual growth rate of 20.8%. Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are set to experience the largest compound annual growth rate during this period at an astounding 39.1%.

These figures help to confirm the belief that alarm monitoring and home security is no longer just about security, life-safety and intrusion support. Smart home functionality is quickly becoming an integral feature of owning and operating a complete security system. The same system that keeps you and your family safe also works to control your lights, heat and cool your home and help you save money on your energy bills. And we fully expect for a user's smart home devices to become even more integrated with their alarm systems in the next few years.

Indeed, the future is now for security systems and smart home devices. Countless people operate their home automation devices and their alarm systems with the press of a button or a simple voice command. And while your security system will always be there to protect you and your loved ones, it will soon be doing so much more. Alarm monitoring and home automation are no-longer mutually exclusive. We've recognized this for a few years now, and it is just becoming more and more apparent over time. This trend is only going to increase as smart home technology continues to develop.

If you haven't already gotten started with smart home automation, the time is now. Alarm Grid isn't just your home for industry-leading security and protection. Our services are also here to make your life easier. We're constantly working to expand our smart home lineup and help our customers get the most our of their home automation functionality, whether it's through Apple's Siri, Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Just last month, we added Lutron Smart Lighting to our offerings. Even before that, we already offered a great lineup of Z-Wave devices that are compatible with the vast majority of our alarm panels. And we're only looking to grow from here. In the next few years, smart home automation will truly become just as important to us as providing the best alarm monitoring services possible.

Alarm Grid will always strive to provide users with reliable and dependable home and business monitoring for when they need it most. But smart home automation is something we feel extremely passionate about, and we recognize that the future of connectivity between security systems and smart functionality truly is now. Alarm Grid is proud to be your home for both alarm monitoring and smart home services. And we look forward to continuing to serve you and your family in the future.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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Hi DIYers! If you have a smart home setup, then you know how exciting it is when you add a new smart device. Now you have brand-new equipment that you can integrate into smart scenes and control from anywhere! But what about the central hub that serves as the "brains" of the setup?

The smart home hub is the unsung hero of a smart home network. The way that it works is that all smart home devices will connect with the hub. Whenever a command is sent out for one or more smart home devices, it will pass through the hub first. In that sense, the hub is what connects all of the devices in the network together. So without a hub, a true smart home network will not be possible.

What makes a smart hub unique is that it communicates with multiple types of wireless protocols. This should not be confused with a bridge, which only communicates with one type of wireless protocol. An example is the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, as it will only send commands to devices running the Lutron protocol (Clear Connect). That's not to say that bridges can't represent a useful part of a smart home setup. There are many great protocols that are operated through some type of smart bridge. But having a dedicated central hub can make controlling your smart home devices as easy as possible.

Naturally, it makes sense that many users want to integrate their alarm systems into their smart home networks. This way, they can have certain smart home devices respond to predetermined security events. An example could be having smart lights turn on automatically when a user walks into a room and sets off a motion detecting sensor. This type of setup is has become a reality for many users in recent years, as smart home technology continues to grow and evolve.

Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as just taking any security system and any smart home hub and having them suddenly work together. There are many compatibility issues and rules that must be kept in mind when integrating an alarm system into an existing smart home network. Some smart home hubs are easier to work with than others. And as this type of technology is still fairly new, there are still some issues to be worked out. But the beauty of integrating a security system with a primary smart hub, or even using the security system itself as the smart hub, is that it will facilitate a true connection between smart home devices and security devices.

We have already seen many users experience great success in using the Honeywell Lyric Controller as a secondary Z-Wave controller with a Samsung SmartThings Hub or as an integrated device with Apple HomeKit. In these situations, SmartThings or HomeKit will serve as the primary home automation controller. However, the user will still be able to have their Z-Wave devices respond based on actions taken by the Lyric. This could involve adjusting the thermostat automatically when a sensor is triggered or having a door lock itself when the system is armed. But keep in mind that the system may not be able to interact with every wireless protocol that is supported by the primary hub.

Many users are fine with having the security system itself serve as the primary hub for their smart home devices. Depending upon the wireless protocols involved, this can work quite well. For example, both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and 2GIG GC3 Systems are Z-Wave Plus controllers that can be used as hubs for security devices and Z-Wave devices. When doing this, a user can control their Z-Wave devices directly through the panel or through the Alarm.com service. The Alarm.com Mobile App will even allow users to operate their Z-Wave devices from virtually anywhere in the world. The weakness here is that the user will be limited to using only wireless protocols that are supported by the alarm system. This might not be as many protocols as a dedicated home automation hub like Samsung SmartThings.

Alarm Grid will keep you up to date with new and advanced smart home automation technology and capabilities as it becomes available. We look forward to bringing you the latest news about this exciting technology and how it can help you get the very most out of your security system.

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Hi DIYers! Today we are extremely pleased to announce that the brand-new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security Systems are here! Three different versions of the system are currently available on the Alarm Grid website. This is truly very exciting news, as we are sure you will love these systems.




With the IQ Panel 2 Plus, Qolsys has raised the bar for wireless all-in-one Alarm Systems. These are definitely some of the most robust and powerful panels we have ever offered from Alarm Grid. Currently, there are three versions of the system available:

All of the IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems provide support for the top-of-the-line PowerG Wireless Sensors. These sensors operate at 915 MHz, and they can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the system in open air. This will allow users to setup their sensors from virtually anywhere on the property, regardless of where their alarm system is located. The sensors are also protected by 128-bit AES encryption, making them nearly impossible to be hacked or taken over by others. These are definitely some of the most versatile and secure alarm sensors that we have ever encountered.

In addition to PowerG, each IQ Panel 2 Plus System will provide support for a sensor lineup at a lower wireless frequency. There are three different "flavors" that a user can choose from. These are support for 319 MHz Qolsys Sensors and Interlogix/GE Sensors, 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and 2GIG Sensors, and 433 MHz legacy DSC Sensors. The 319 MHz and 345 MHz options are already available, and the 433 MHz option should be available soon. Also note that a Verizon LTE version of the 345 MHz sensor option should also be arriving in the near future.



Every IQ Panel 2 Plus System comes with a built-in WIFI card and an LTE cellular communicator. This will provide an immediate dual-path communication setup for the system. The only thing that an end user will need is an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. If either path ever goes down, the IQ Panel 2 Plus will still be able to use the other communication path and remain monitored. Both AT&T and Verizon LTE options for cellular monitoring are available.



The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus has also made great strides in video surveillance. Users can view the live feed for their Alarm.com Security Cameras right from the panel itself. And Qolsys worked to better-integrate the system with the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras. Now, a users can answer their SkyBell doorbell from their panel. They can even have a live conversation with the person at their door from their IQ Panel 2 Plus! This is also possible for any ADC Camera that supports two-way voice.

The IQ Panel 2 Plus also supports a plethora of other features. These include Bluetooth disarming, an integrated glass break detector, a built-in 5MP camera, an integrated Z-Wave Plus Controller and an easy-to-use setup wizard for getting started with the system. All of this makes the IQ Panel 2 Plus one of the best systems we have ever had the pleasure of using.



The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is available from Alarm Grid now. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday through Friday. We hope that you will enjoy this system as much as we do, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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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!

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Hi DIYers! Today we're talking about Z-Wave mesh networks. A Z-Wave mesh network is essentially a collection of Z-Wave smart home devices that work together to create a stronger wireless connection amongst themselves. The more devices that are used, the stronger the mesh network will be.

Before understanding a Z-Wave mesh network, it's important to understand the basic functions of Z-Wave devices. A Z-Wave device is a wireless appliance that can be controlled remotely using an interactive service, such as Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. It can also be setup to activate automatically based on a set schedule or with predetermined system events on an alarm system. Some popular types of Z-Wave devices include lights, locks and thermostats.

As the name implies, a Z-Wave device will communicate using wireless Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave signals operate at 908.42 MHz, which prevents it from interfering with any higher-frequency WIFI signals and the lower-frequency used with most security sensors. Z-Wave devices have a range of about 328 feet between devices in open air. But this range can be greatly reduced because of the presence of walls, large metal objects and other obstacles. However, this is not the end-all range for Z-Wave.

In a mesh network, Z-Wave devices act as repeaters for one another. A Z-Wave device will send its communication signal to other Z-Wave devices, and these devices will send out the signal again to reach Z-Wave devices that are further away. This will continue until the signal reaches its ultimate destination, the Z-Wave hub, or controller.

Every time a Z-Wave device sends its signal to another Z-Wave device in the mesh network, it is referred to as a "hop". Up to four hops can be used with any given Z-Wave signal. By using hops, the communication range for a Z-Wave device can be greatly increased. The estimated maximum range away from the central hub for Z-Wave devices that are utilizing four distinct hops is up to 600 feet!

And of course, Z-Wave signals can be sent in multiple directions. So if you have a Z-Wave hub in the center, you can have signal hops going in opposite directions to have a complete Z-Wave mesh network that is up to 1,200 feet in diameter. That's almost a quarter of a mile! And since the signals are constantly being repeated off of different Z-Wave devices, the more devices you add, the stronger your mesh network will be.

But that's just for standard Z-Wave. There's a newer technology known as Z-Wave Plus that is very similar to traditional Z-Wave, but with a further range. A Z-Wave Plus device can communicate with another Z-Wave Plus device or a Z-Wave Plus controller from up to 550 feet away in open air. Just imagine how far your Z-Wave mesh network can extend with Z-Wave Plus! It's also worth mentioning that a Z-Wave Plus controller can support traditional Z-Wave devices as well. So you won't have to worry about backwards compatibility not being an issue.

A Z-Wave controller is designed to provide support for a maximum of 232 different Z-Wave smart home devices. Each time you add a new device, your Z-Wave network will become that much stronger. If a device goes down for any reason, the other Z-Wave devices can pick up the slack and ensure that signals are still reliably sent out across the network. So if you want the strongest and most reliable mesh network, simply add more Z-Wave devices to your setup.

Z-Wave devices of all kinds are available on the Alarm Grid website. Get some for your smart home automation setup now! Pretty soon you'll have a mesh network of unparalleled strength!

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We have received news from Honeywell that Tuxedo Touch Software Revision 5.3.21.0 is now available. This represents the latest firmware version for the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch WIFI Keypad that is used with Honeywell VISTA Systems. The update provides support for two additional Z-Wave devices.

Honeywell tuxedo touch wifi talking color graphic touchscreen alarm keypadThis update provides support for the Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat and the Fibaro Dimmer 2 FGD-212 Light Dimmer Module. The latest device firmware version of 5.3.21.0 is recommended if you plan to integrate either of these Z-Wave smart home devices with a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad.

We've previously blogged about the Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat. This Z-Wave Plus thermostat provides great innovation with its ability to be used without receiving common power from a C-wire. Instead, the device can run reliably and consistently using battery power. This makes it incredibly easy to install for DIY users. The device will work with a multitude of Z-Wave controllers. And now it is compatible with the Tuxedo Touch Keypad as well. We are particularly excited about this addition, as we believe that it is the finest Z-Wave thermostat available on the market today.

Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

The Tuxedo Touch Software Revision 5.3.21.0 can be downloaded here. For instructions on how to to apply the firmware update to the Tuxedo Touch Keypad, please review this helpful FAQ. If you would like more information about the firmware update, please check out the Software Revision 5.3.21.0 Release Notes.

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