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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 IQ Panel 2 Plus 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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Hey there DIYers! We've got another product highlight for you. Today, we're taking a look at the L5100 ZWAVE for Honeywell Lynx Touch Systems. This add-on provides Z-Wave smart home capabilities for any L5100, L5200, L5210 or L7000, and it is great for getting the most out of a Lynx Touch.

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

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

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

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

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Hi DIYers! Did you know that you can control Z-Wave smart home devices right from your Android or iOS device by using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com? In fact, this is how most users control their smart home devices, because it is super convenient. Let's take a closer look at this feature.

One of the biggest benefits of smart home devices is their ability to be controlled remotely. Whether you're across the street or across the globe, you can have Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com send a command to your system to operate your Z-Wave devices. This is possible both for individual Z-Wave devices, such as door locks, thermostats and lights, as well as entire scenes.

The process for controlling Z-Wave devices is very easy across both platforms, but the steps do differ slightly. If you are using Total Connect 2.0, simply click the "Automation" tab from the main screen. You will then be able to control any individual home automation devices, as well as any programmed scenes. Remember, Total Connect is used exclusively with Honeywell Systems.

If have a system from a different manufacturer, like 2GIG or Qolsys, then you most likely have access to the Alarm.com service. Once you login to your Alarm.com account, you should see menu from the main screen for controlling various scenes. You can also press the menu button at the top to control individual smart home devices by type. We definitely recommend setting up some smart scenes for easy access!

If you don't already have a monitoring plan that includes home automation control, now is a great time to get started. Please check out our monitoring page for more information. All of our Silver, Gold and Platinum level plans (full and self) include this functionality. We hope that you'll enjoy using home automation to make your life easier just as much as we do!

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Honeywell has now made it possible for users to integrate a Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller with Total Connect 2.0. A user can now access their Total Connect 2.0 account to operate their Chamberlain Controller. The garage door controller must be integrated with TC2 for this to work.

The integration process is completed through Total Connect 2.0. Before you can set up your garage door controller, you must have the feature enabled by your alarm monitoring company. Alarm Grid customers should contact us by sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com to have the feature enabled. Please note that you must have a Silver, Gold or Platinum Level Monitoring Plan (full or self, with automation) to receive Chamberlain support. Alarm Grid will not approve the feature for Self-Bronze customers.

For a complete guide to setting up a Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller with Total Connect 2.0, please see this document. The steps outlined below provide a brief overview of the set up process.

Once your Total Connect 2.0 account is approved for Chamberlain Service, you can proceed with integrating your garage door controller with TC2. Start by downloading the MyQ App to your iOS or Android device. The app is available for free download in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Next, connect your MyQ garage motor to your local WIFI network. Some motors have an integrated gateway, while others require a separate internet gateway, like the 828LM. Once the motor is connected to internet, you can use the MyQ app to setup a MyQ account. You will use that login to integrate garage door control between MyQ and Total Connect 2.0.

The actual integration process is completed through Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App and the MyQ App. Start by opening Total Connect 2.0, and access the "Automation" section. Then press the "Manage Devices" button. Choose "Chamberlain/LiftMaster". Then choose "Setup New Garage Door" if your garage door controller is not yet set up with the MyQ App. Or choose "Add Existing Garage Door" if you have already set up your Chamberlain MyQ Controller with the MyQ App.

The screenshots below show the iOS version of the app, but the Android version is very similar:


If you choose "Setup New Garage Door", the MyQ App will open so that you can complete the MyQ Setup process. Otherwise, the process for integrating with TC2 will continue as normal. You may need to provide your MyQ login information to continue. Choose the garage door controller you want to use, and click "Save".


A warning message will appear to let you know that you are updating the list of garage doors that can be controlled from the app. This is normal, and you can press "OK" to continue. The update should go through successfully. Press "OK" to continue. You will then see the newly added garage door opener on your automation screen.

If you ever need to remove a Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door, please review pages 5 & 6 of the the set up guide that is linked above. If you have any questions or trouble, please send us an email for further support.

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

Honeywell zwstat z wave thermostat

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

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


Honeywell lyric thermostat smart programmable wifi thermostat th

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

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


Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat

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

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

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


Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

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