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Alarm.com announces new features and device support each week in its Release Notes. Today's post will discuss what we feel are the best of those features for the week of August 2, 2021 with a bit of detail about each one. These are the new features as well as improvements posted this week.

Smart Water Valve+Meter

With a new Usage Graph, customers who use the Smart Water Valve+Meter in conjunction with Alarm.com can track their water usage and see trends in their water consumption. Users on the iOS platform will have access to an interactive water usage bar graph and will have 12 months of usage data that they can review. This will show any water leak reports, and on which days they occurred. The Android version of the app is more limited. Users can view up to 30 days worth of past water consumption. Alarm.com app version 4.20 is required for Android and app version 4.19.4 is required for iOS. These firmware updates should be available soon. From the app Home Screen, click on the Water Card to access usage information.

Below is an example of what the Water Card shows on the Customer Alarm.com App as of the current version:


New Z-Wave Lock Support

Support for Baldwin Model 8252 and 8285 Z-Wave locks has been confirmed by Alarm.com. We will be adding them to our site soon. Baldwin locks are manufactured by Kwikset, and Kwikset locks are known for being easily joined to a Z-Wave controller, and operating without a lot of fuss. These locks will support up to 30 door lock users each. Z-Wave door locks add great convenience when used with Alarm.com and the security panel. Doors can be locked and unlocked remotely, and locks can be used with scenes to automate locking and unlocking automatically based on a schedule, or on other security system events. For example, you can set the doors to automatically lock at a certain time each day. In the event of a fire alarm, doors could be unlocked automatically to allow firefighters to enter, etc.

New Z-Wave Switch Support

Support for the Schneider Electric Z-Wave On/Off Switch (SQ14102WHZ) has been announced. This is an in-wall switch with the latest Z-Wave plus technology, including S2 Security, and support for SmartStart. Schneider is an established electrical supply manufacturer trusted by builders and is commonly used in new construction. If you're building a home, consider putting in Z-Wave compatible smart switches from the start!

Updated SVR and Onboard 24/7 Timelines

Alarm.com has added events to the SVR Timeline and the Onboard 24/7 Timeline. These added events include Door Accessed and Failed Access events as well as Smarter Business Temperature Monitoring and Business Activity Analytics events. These added events are meant to keep customers better informed of their system usage, as well as their energy usage, and security related events in general. From the Customer Website go to Video > SVR Timeline or Customer Website to Video > Onboard 24/7 Timeline.

ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera Update

An option for High Dynamic Range (HDR) has been added on the Partner Portal Camera Information page pertaining to the ADC-VDB770. There is now a checkbox to enable or disable HDR on a customer's doorbell. In addition, this feature will now be disabled by default for new ADC-VDB770 installations. This feature can only be enabled or disabled by the alarm dealer, this option is not accessible through the end-user webpage or app.

Camera Selector Update

Video subscribers are now able to choose individual cameras or camera groups that they want to view. This is done from the Customer Website in the Live Video and SVR Timeline pages. This will allow customers as well as installers to more easily add or modify camera groups, improving video device management.




Those are the updates for this week. What do you think? Drop a comment below and let us know. It's nice to see that Alarm.com continues to find innovative ways in which they can make their users lives a little bit easier. Have an interesting idea for a post? Let us know what security industry topics you'd like to see us cover and we'll do our best to accommodate your requests.

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The Z-Wave Alliance was created in 2005. Put together by a group of home automation product manufacturers, the alliance sought to standardize technology and manufacturing practices to create competitive products but with a certain amount of uniformity. Separate, but relatively equal.

Think of it like a Big Mac. If you buy a Big Mac at a McDonald's Restaurant in Montana, and I buy a Big Mac at a McDonald's Restaurant in Kentucky they will basically be the same. Reliably the same. The people who made my Big Mac and those that made your Big Mac have probably never met, the money paid for these sandwiches went to different places, the price paid may differ, but because a Big Mac follows a standard assembly and preparation if I pull up to a McDonald's anywhere in the USA I can reliably expect that when I order a Big Mac I know what I'm going to get.

In May 2005 Z-Wave (300-Series) was released and soon became widespread. In March, 2013 Z-Wave Plus (500-Series) was introduced, offering better range between hops, better power management, which translates to longer battery life, and more memory which translates into more features like the ability to add S2 128-bit encryption. In April, 2019 the Z-Wave Alliance began promoting enhanced certification for Z-Wave Plus V2, with the 700-Series Chipset. They continue to improve upon the original standard, so Z-Wave Plus V2 will offer even more of the things that made Z-Wave Plus popular. Greater wireless range, longer battery life, and where Z-Wave Plus supported S2 security 128-bit encryption, Z-Wave Plus V2 mandates it. And every time there is an advance in the technology, equipment with the new version is backward compatible with equipment on the older version, albeit with the older versions feature limitations.

Check out the chart below for a comparison between the three (3) current iterations of Z-Wave Technology. Z-Wave Long Range is on the horizon, but I chose to leave it out of this comparison chart. We'll have more information about the newest Z-Wave offering at a later time:

Z-Wave Technology Comparison

300 Series 500 Series 700 Series
Hardware Platform
CPU/MCU Optimized 8051 CPU Core Optimized 8051 CPU Core ARM® Cortex M4
CPU/MCU Speed 16 MHz 32 MHz 39 MHz
Memory 2 kB 16 kB 64 kB
Flash Memory 32 kB 128 kB 512 kB
Operating Ambient Temp -15 to 85℃ (5 - 185℉) -10 to 85℃ (14 - 185℉) -40 to 85℃ (-40 - 185℉)
Power Consumption
Active Power Use 36 mA 35 mA 12.5 mA
Sleep-Mode Power Use 2.5 μA 1 μA 1 μA
Coin Cell Compatible No No Yes
Max Battery Life 1 year 1.5 years 10 years
Wireless Security
Network Key Optional Mandatory Mandatory
AES 128-bit encryption No Optional Mandatory
ECDH No Optional Mandatory
S2 Security No Optional Mandatory
SmartStart No Optional Mandatory
MiM Attack Prevention No Optional Mandatory
Wireless Performance
Output Power DBM [TX] -2.5 dBm +2.5 dBm Up to +13 dBm
Range Sensitivity [RX] -102 dBm / -98 dBm Down to -103 dBm w/SAW filter -97.5 dBm
Wireless Speed 9.6/40 kbit/s 9.6/40/100 kbit/s 9.6/40/100 kbit/s
Max Wireless Range Outdoors (Direct) Up to 100m (328') Up to 150m (492') More than 200m (656')
Max Wireless Range Outdoors (With Hop/Repeat) Up to 400m (1,312') Up to 600m (1,968') More than 800m (2,624')
Max Wireless Range Indoors (Direct) More than 30m (98') Up to 75m (246') Up to 100m (328')
Max Wireless Range Indoors (With Hop/Repeat) More than 120' (393') Up to 300m (984') Info not available
Z-Wave Specific Features
Z-Wave Plus No Yes Yes
Z-Wave Plus V2 No No Yes
Backward Compatibility Yes, w/100 Series Yes, w/100 - 300 Series Yes, w/100 - 500 Series
Network Wide Inclusion No Manufacturer specified Yes
Explorer Frames No Yes Yes
Advanced Route Diversity Calculation No Yes Yes
FLiRS (Beaming wake-up) Optional Optional Mandatory
OTA Z-Wave Firmware Updates No Optional Mandatory
Original Release Date May 2005 March 2013 April 2019

I know that Z-Wave is a really cool, easy, and inexpensive way to automate things in a home or business, but I didn't get a sense of just how impressive it is until I was putting together this chart. It's really very cool! There were a few features mentioned in the chart that I wasn't particularly familiar with, so I'm going to define those a little further below:

FLiRS (Beaming wake-up) - This feature has to do with Z-Wave devices that use battery power only, like all door locks, and some thermostats. FLiRS stands for Frequently Listening Receiver Slave (Not Forward Looking Infra-Red, like I thought). Basically, a battery powered Z-Wave device alternates between sleep mode and partially-awake mode. When it is partially-awake it is listening for a beam signal. If a Z-Wave controller (or another Z-Wave device, if the signal has to hop) has network traffic for the battery-powered device, it sends a beam. When the device partially wakes and hears the beam, it wakes immediately and communicates with the device that sent it. If the device partially wakes up and there's no beam signal, then it goes fully back to sleep. This can happen from once per second, to four (4) times per second, depending on how the device was manufactured. If not for FLiRS, Z-Wave door locks would probably not exist due to issues with battery life.

Explorer Frames - Explorer frames have to do with the way information is routed. When a new Z-Wave Plus device is being included to the network, it sends out a whole bunch of explorer frames. When an existing device sees an explorer frame, it resends it with its own Node ID added to the original information. At some point, some of these explorer frames reach the Z-Wave controller. When the controller receives them, it can see exactly which nodes on the network the explorer frames touched. This information is then used to route future traffic for the new device. As network devices are used, this routing information will likely change, but this is a basic explanation of what Explorer Frames do.

Network Wide Inclusion - Network Wide Inclusion (NWI) allows a device to be added to the network even if it's not within range of the Z-Wave controller itself. It makes use of Explorer Frames to do this. Before NWI and Explorer Frames, you often had to include a new device right next to the controller, then carry it to the location where you actually wanted it to be installed, and then cross your fingers and hope that it would work. If it didn't then you likely added another Z-Wave device somewhere between it and the Controller. With NWI, if your network is robust enough, you should not have to do that. It's always a good idea when laying out your network to start with devices closest to the controller, add those to the network, and then work your way out from there. As you can see from the chart above, NWI and Explorer Frames were added in Z-Wave Plus with the 500 Chipset, so any original Z-Wave devices won't support this type of inclusion.

What do you think of the evolution of Z-Wave? Are you ready to buy some devices and start automating? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We look forward to discussing this and any other security and automation topics you might like to add. Is there something you'd like to see us cover in our blog? If so, let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to bring you the information you're looking for.

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Qolsys released the Qolsys IQ WIFI last week. The IQ WIFI supports dual-band (2.4GHZ and 5GHz) WIFI and can be used as a stand-alone router. It can also be installed in parallel with an existing network. This provides a separate secure WIFI connection for security devices such as cameras.

WIFI is about as common these days as home phones with a traditional copper line (POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service) were from the 1960's through the early 2000's. However, the adoption of WIFI networking has seen some challenges that were not really an issue when using POTS. Namely, the end-user installation and configuration aspect of WIFI networks, as well as issues with getting, and then staying, connected to them. The security industry has embraced WIFI in a big way in recent years, therefore security system users have felt the pain created by these challenges.

For this reason, Qolsys has introduced the Qolsys IQ WIFI. The IQ WIFI is a mesh-capable controller and agent system. Up to eight (8) devices can be supported per network. One IQ WIFI will connect to the modem, router, or switch via a wired ethernet cable. This IQ WIFI will become the controller for the mesh network. Then, up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI units acting as Agents can be added for a total of eight (8) devices. This allows a user to blanket virtually every nook and cranny of the home or business with a safe and easily configured WIFI connection. If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with firmware version 2.6.0 or later, the network can be configured right from the panel's touchscreen. The range between IQ WIFIs is approximately 130 ft. (39.62 m) with a coverage area of approximately 1,500 square feet (139 square meters). Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz frequencies are supported.

The Qolsys IQ WIFI can be used as a stand-alone router. Each one contains a WAN port, a LAN port, and a barrel connector for power. Each one also has a WPS button. If your ISP provides you with a combination Modem/Router device, connect the WAN port of the IQ WIFI to one of the available ethernet ports on the Modem/Router. From there you can use the IQ WIFI as a wired or WIFI router. For wired devices, connect directly to the LAN port on the IQ WIFI. If you have more than one wired device to connect, connect a multi-port switch to the IQ WIFI LAN port, and then connect your other wired ethernet devices to the switch. As an alternative, connect the WAN port on the IQ WIFI to an existing router or switch, and then using this device as the Controller, build a parallel WIFI mesh network(s) out from there.

Up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI devices can be added as Agents to create a mesh network that is as strong as you need it to be. This allows you to run a separate WIFI network inside your home or business that is virtually invisible to anyone attempting to hack in from the outside. Another attractive feature of this type of configuration is the ease of replacing the Internet facing hardware. Any time you need to swap out the main modem or router, all you do is swap out the existing hardware, then connect the Qolsys IQ WIFI acting as the Controller to the new piece of equipment. All of the WIFI devices that have been configured to connect through the IQ WIFI will keep their current configuration. There is no need to go around to each WIFI device and enter new credentials. This is particularly welcome when you have WIFI equipment, such as fixed-mount cameras, that may be installed in multiple and difficult to reach locations.

In many cases, security devices can only use the 2.4GHz WIFI band. When the SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz are the same, this can cause issues for those devices that don't support both frequencies. We've seen this in many instances with the Honeywell Lyric. By allowing the user to separate the two bands, achieved by changing the SSID on one or both of them, you can make sure that any device that needs to use only one band or the other can find and then remain connected to the proper WIFI network. It may seem counter-intuitive to think that a Qolsys product could help to stabilize the WIFI connection for a Resideo or Honeywell alarm system, but it is absolutely possible.

When Qolsys first talked about this device, they called it the Qolsys IQ Router. Since then, they have updated the name to Qolsys IQ WIFI and they plan to release a separate device called the Qolsys IQ Router2, or possibly the IQ WIFI6 later in the year. This will be a more robust device supporting both WIFI and potentially another technology such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, or maybe even PowerG. We look forward to hearing about many more new products to come! What do you think of the Qolsys IQ WIFI? Leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


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The year 2020 was about as tough as a well-done $2 steak. I hope never to have another one like it. On the other hand, 2021 is shaping up to end on a high note. One of the high points begins today. After skipping last year, Reed Exhibitions will hold ISC West live this year in Las Vegas.

In years past ISC West, the largest trade show associated with the safety and security industry, has been held in the spring. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 show was postponed in March, then postponed again in April, canceled in June, and ultimately held as a virtual-only event in October. We began 2021 with the show being postponed from the traditional spring dates, to July 19 - 21. There was also a comprehensive list of Health and Safety guidelines that those who will attend in-person are expected to follow. This year's show is being billed as a "hybrid" exhibit, with both in-person booths, and virtual events.

Finally, the time has come for the show to begin. Alarm Grid has opted to participate in the virtual-only portion of the show this year. We've reached out to our most popular vendors, and hope to be presenting exciting information on upcoming new products. So far, what to expect from the virtual show has remained pretty well hidden. Whatever we learn in the next few days about upcoming releases and new products, we will share here on our blog, and on our Youtube channel.

How about you, are you planning to attend ISC West this year? If you aren't going to the show, but wish you were, what burning questions would you ask? Personally, I'd like to get the inside scoop on chip shortages this year, and when we may be able to expect the shortages to ease. Qolsys, 2GIG, and Resideo (Honeywell) have all released new products in the recent past, do they have anything else new up their sleeves? We'll be looking for this information, and whatever we learn, we'll pass it along. Stay tuned!

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It's time for our weekly video recap, this time covering releases from Monday and Tuesday of last week. We only have four (4) new videos for now, but we promise there are many more on the way. This week's releases all feature myself, and they cover the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. Let's begin!

Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Add a Z-Wave Device

I show you how to add a Z-Wave device to a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. The PROA7PLUS has a built-in module called the PROWIFIZW that provides the system with both WIFI and Z-Wave control. Paired Z-Wave devices can be controlled from the panel, and remotely from Total Connect 2.0 if the system is monitored with a plan that includes automation services. You can also use TC2 to create smart scenes for your Z-Wave devices so that they activate automatically based on a schedule or with system events.

Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Remove a Z-Wave Device

I show you how to remove a Z-Wave device from a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. Removing a device clears out its Z-Wave network data so that it can be paired with a new network. That is why you typically remove, or clear, a Z-Wave device before you attempt the pairing process when adding it to the network. This is done even if a Z-Wave device is brand-new, as many Z-Wave devices have residual network data leftover from factory testing.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Adding a Z-Wave Lock

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave door lock with a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. Like all other Z-Wave devices, a Z-Wave lock is paired with the PROA7PLUS by putting the system into its Z-Wave pairing mode and then activating the inclusion/exclusion function on the lock. For best results, it is advised that you clear the lock from the network before attempting to pair it. Most Z-Wave locks have a button that is used for inclusion/exclusion, or they require you to enter in a specific pairing command code using a push-button or touchscreen keypad.

Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Resolve WIFI Connection Issues

I explain some of the reasons why a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS may be experiencing WIFI connection issues. One reason is that the password for the WIFI network may have been entered incorrectly. Another reason is that you are using a Ubiquiti Access Point (AP) with the PROA7PLUS, and you have the Auto-Optimize feature turned ON for the Ubiquiti device. Lastly, there could be something wrong with the PROWIFIZW module inside the PROA7PLUS, and it may need to be replaced.

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We have a quick and easy tip for those using Z-Wave locks with Honeywell and Resideo ProSeries Panels like the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. You can have your panel user code pushed down to your Z-Wave lock, and you can also have your system automatically disarm when you enter that code into the lock.

Setting this feature up will offer some great convenience in your life. You can imagine walking up to your home, entering your panel code into your Z-Wave lock, the door unlocking, and then your system disarming, without you needing to interact with the panel at all, and then going about your day. We'll show you how to make it happen.

You can set this feature up for any panel code that you have programmed on your ProSeries System. Begin from the main screen, and choose the three (3) horizontal bars button at the bottom, followed by Settings, then User Management. Enter your Master Code (default 1234, but usually changed) or your Installer Code (default 4112) to get in. Then select the user with the code you want to use at the lock. Scroll down to Z-Wave Lock Control, and you can choose one of the following three (3) options:

  • None - Turns the feature off
  • Sync User Code to Lock - The code will be pushed to the lock so that you can unlock using the code.
  • Sync User Code to Lock & Disarm - The "money" option! The code will be pushed to the lock so that you can unlock using the code, AND the ProSeries System will disarm when you enter the code and unlock the lock!

Just choose the option that you want for that code (you know which one we recommend), and then press the black Save button in the upper-right corner. You will need to provide the system's Master Code to confirm the change, and then you're all set! We can't state enough how cool this feature is, so take advantage of it!


But before you go and make your life more convenient, why not make your life more EXCITING by leaving a comment on the Alarm Grid Blog? Let us know what you think of the feature. Have you tried it out before? Are you going to test it now. Do you need to buy a Z-Wave lock first? How about the Yale YRD226? We think that's a handsome lock, and it will look great in your residence. We promise! Anyway, stay tuned for more great content like this on the Alarm Grid Blog, coming soon!

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The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently announced the winners of the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase Awards. We are pleased to say that the 2GIG Edge was named as an Honorable Mention in the field of Smart Home Solutions. Congratulations 2GIG and Nortek for your continued success!

Determined by a panel of experienced judges, the New Product Showcase Awards, also called the NPS Awards, have been presented since 1979. The purpose of these awards is to recognize innovative security products, services, and solutions that benefit the industry and end-users alike. This year, 35 judges determined the award winners in more than 25 product and service categories. 2GIG, along with their parent company of Nortek, was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the Smart Home Solutions Category for the new 2GIG Edge Panel.

It's no surprise that the 2GIG Edge would be recognized for its smart home capabilities. The alarm panel and smart home controller is a force to be reckoned with in terms of automation. It includes a built-in Z-Wave Plus V2 Controller, which is also known as a Z-Wave 700-Series Controller. This represents the latest and greatest Z-Wave technology, as the 700-Series Z-Wave devices can go at least ten (10) years between battery changes, and they support signal hops of up to (200) feet each for extended wireless range.

That's not to mention that all Z-Wave 700-Series devices support the powerful S2 Security Protocol for greater wireless protection. 2GIG has even released a 700-Series Z-Wave Smart Thermostat, the 2GIG STZ-1, that pairs perfectly with the 2GIG Edge Alarm System. To learn more about 700-Series Z-Wave in general, please check out this blog we put out on the subject when the technology was still brand-new. The blog was written before we fully understood the protocol, but it should still do a pretty decent job of explaining it if you are totally unfamiliar with the subject.

As you may know by now, the 2GIG Edge also connects with the Alarm.com platform when the system is monitored. This platform makes it possible to control connected smart devices remotely from anywhere in the world. Any smart device paired with a monitored 2GIG Edge Security System will appear on the Alarm.com platform for remote access. You can then use the Alarm.com Mobile App on your phone to control the connected devices. You can also create powerful Alarm.com Smart Scenes and automations to have the connected devices respond automatically to predetermined system events and/or operate on a set schedule. This is great for saving money on energy bills, while also making your life much more convenient. Alarm.com even allows for geo-fencing through their Geo-Services technology so that smart devices activate once you are within a predetermined radius of your home.

Alarm Grid offers congratulations to 2GIG and Nortek for the continued success of the 2GIG Edge. This system is truly exceeding expectations, and it is one that we think can be a staple in the security and automation industry for many years to come. If you have any thoughts on the 2GIG Edge, please leave them in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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For anyone watching Samsung SmartThings it's impossible not to notice that the platform has experienced a substantial shift in identity. While the platform was once developed upon physical hardware, that is no longer the case, as SmartThings is now largely built around intangible software.

This change in focus can be seen in multiple facets of SmartThings. The legacy "Classic" SmartThings App has been left behind, and developers have instead put their resources into SmartThings Labs and the recently re-titled Matter initiative, which was previously known as Project CHIP. It's obvious that Samsung still sees value in the SmartThings platform, if only from a virtual aspect. This can be especially seen in Matter, as initial Matter-speaking devices are set to release later in 2021.

But while Samsung clearly has interest in the software side of SmartThings, the hardware side has been relatively quiet. The original 1st-gen SmartThings Hub stopped working nearly a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung has been attempting to pass the hardware development side to others, as Aeotec has released the first third-party SmartThings Hub. Stock for SmartThings hardware is down, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find basic equipment. What it all suggests is that Samsung wants its focus to be on their SmartThings ecosystem, not on the equipment itself.

To make this possible, Samsung is pushing the SmartThings platform to rely even more heavily on the wireless protocols that allow for connectivity and communication between the different equipment. These wireless protocols include WIFI, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and even more obscure wireless networks like Thread, and their own pet-project, Matter. Simply put, Samsung wants to focus on building the smart wireless ecosystem making automations possible, and not necessarily on the sensors and smart hubs that users physically set up and hold in their hands. Apparently its in the intangible aspects of a smart home where Samsung feels they can bring the most value.

SmartThing users often say that the platform is one of the easiest and most proficient ways to design and maintain a smart home. It's obvious that Samsung still views SmartThings as a crucial component of their brand. However, while the SmartThings division was once largely an endeavor of tangible hardware, that appears to no longer be the case. The future of SmartThings as developed by first-party Samsung appears to be that of a virtual focus, in which software development reins supreme. Elsewhere, the actual legwork of building the physical hardware components can apparently be left to whomever will step up in their place.

What do you think about this change of focus for Samsung? Do you think this is a good move for the company to primarily focus on the intangible software components of SmartThings? Do you believe that other third-party companies can properly step-up and handle the hardware development and manufacturing steps of the process in their place? Also are you a fan of SmartThings in general, or do you prefer other smart home automation platforms? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security and automation discussions coming soon!

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The Alarm.com Demand Response Program will continue expansion in the next month, as new members will join the program. Delaware Electric Co-Op, Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Duke Energy in Indiana, and Magic Valley Electric Cooperative will all be joining within a month's time from now.

If you are not familiar with the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program, it is a demand response program that helps mitigate high demand for electricity during periods of peak usage, while simultaneously offering financial incentives to electric company customers. Many Alarm.com users who are also customers of participatory electric companies have used the Give Back, Get Back Program to save money, while also helping electricity providers more effectively load-balance through peak demand periods.

The way that a demand response program like the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program works is that an electric company customer will give their electricity provider permission to drop or reduce electrical flow into their associated home or business at the electricity provider's discretion. In exchange, the electric provider will offer incentives to the customer, such as bill credits, reductions or discounts on their monthly bills, or even financial payments or gift cards.

Although the electricity provider can drop or reduce the electrical supply to a participating party at any time at their own discretion, the typical practice is to only do so during peak periods of the heaviest usage. For example, a user may expect the program to go into effect on a hot summer afternoon, during which all households and businesses are actively running their AC systems. Most participants do not notice any changes from such programs, and they are a great way for users to save a little bit more money on their energy bills.

In the case of the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program, an Alarm.com user is giving permission to their electric company to offset power through their smart thermostat as a means of reducing strain on the grid. To participate, an individual must be an Alarm.com user who is also a customer of a participating electric company. Additionally, they must own a compatible smart thermostat device that is integrated with their Alarm.com account. The incentives for enrolling in the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program vary, depending upon the user's electricity provider.

Within the next month from now, four (4) new electric companies will be joining the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program. Delaware Electric Co-Op, Wabash Valley Power Alliance, and Duke Energy of Indiana will be joining the program in Mid-June, while Magic Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) will be joining in early July. The incentives for opting into the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program are as follows:

  • Delaware Electric Co-Op - Participants who enroll by September 30th will receive a $25 credit towards their electric bills, plus a $5 bill credit for each summer month in which they participate and remain enrolled in the program.
  • Wabash Valley Power Alliance - Participants who join will receive a one-time $50 payment, plus a $25 ongoing seasonal credit.
  • Duke Energy (Indiana) - Participants who join will receive a one-time $75 e-gift card upon enrollment, plus a $25 e-gift card for each year they participate in the program.
  • MVEC - Participants will receive a one-time $50 credit upon enrolling in the program, in addition to a 10% reduction on their electric bills during the summer months on all subsequent years.

If you are a customer of any of the aforementioned electricity providers, or any other participating provider, and you are also an Alarm.com user with at least one (1) smart thermostat set up with your Alarm.com network, then you are eligible to join the program. Any user looking to get started should log in to their Alarm.com account using a compatible web browser, click on the > arrow inside the Thermostats Card, then the "Give Back, Get Back" option, and then Settings and Notifications.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer having trouble getting started, then you may email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com for further assistance. Our support hours run from 9 am to 8 pm M-F, so keep that in mind when emailing us. You may also want to contact your electric company to find out if they are a participant in the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program. If they are not currently involved, then you might ask if they would ever consider getting involved sometime in the future.

Do you have any experience with the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program? Has it helped you save any money on energy expenses? Or maybe you're looking to join the program in the near future? What are your expectations, and do you think it will be a worthwhile endeavor? Share your thoughts in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. Remember to stay tuned to our blog for more security and automation news coming soon!

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With ISC West 2021 quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to take a quick look at various security manufacturers to speculate about what they might be presenting. Keep in mind, this is purely speculation. None of this is guaranteed, it's just our guess as what we might see.

Before you read about the various security and smart home automation offerings that we might see, make sure to check out our earlier post on the ISC West 2021 Health and Safety Guidelines, if you haven't already. Remember that this year's ISC West runs from Monday, July 19th through Wednesday, July 21st at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV. With that out of the way, let's begin discussing some manufacturers.

Resideo

Resideo will certainly want to showcase its new system, the PROA7PLUS. We would expect to see both the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the virtually identical Resideo PROA7PLUSC showcased prominently at ISC West 2021. You will also likely see its accompanying hardware, including the PROLTE-A and PROLTE-V Communicators, the PROTAKEOVER Legacy Receiver Module, and the PROSIX Series Encrypted Wireless Sensors. All of this aforementioned equipment is already available for purchase.


As for new products, we would be surprised if we didn't see Resideo releasing a new lineup of security cameras, perhaps under the Honeywell Home brand. With the Honeywell IPCAM-OC1 Outdoor Camera being discontinued, the selection of Total Connect 2.0 Cameras is pretty weak compared to the selection of Alarm.com Cameras. As such, a user getting security cameras as part of their system is more likely to choose an Alarm.com System than a Resideo System that is being used with Total Connect 2.0. We're sure Resideo wants to change that, so it would be disappointing if we don't see some new Resideo Cameras.

Lastly, we have heard rumors of a new hardwired system that would essentially replace the Honeywell VISTA Series. This lineup of wired panels is rumored to be named the Honeywell Home PROH8PLUS, and it would be a fully hybrid system able to support both hardwired sensors and wireless sensors, possibly using the PROTAKEOVER Module Legacy Receiver. While there's nothing inherently wrong with VISTA Alarm Panels, we might see Resideo updating their technology a bit, and bringing the hardwired selection lineup to the next level.

Nortek & 2GIG

From what we can tell, Nortek is very pleased with their 2GIG Edge Security System, and it's a fair bet that that 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel will be the main highlight of the 2GIG and Nortek Booth at ISC West 2021. And it's rightfully so, as the Edge is a highly advanced alarm panel with great features like facial recognition and Bluetooth disarming. What remains to be seen if Nortek will decide to roll-out a lineup of 2GIG Edge-exclusive encrypted sensors, perhaps to break away from the existing 2GIG eSeries Sensors that work with the Edge and the older GC2e and GC3e. However, we haven't actually heard anything about new 2GIG Edge Sensors, so that is just pure speculation. That being said, you can bet on 2GIG to heavily feature the 2GIG Edge Alarm System in their booth. If you haven't seen it an action yet, then ISC West 2021 figures to be a great opportunity. The 2GIG Edge and its accessories are currently available for purchase from Alarm Grid.

Qolsys

Qolsys has been secretly working away on some new alarm panels, and we figure ISC West 2021 to be right opportunity for Qolsys to unveil them to the public. The company needs to make a big splash to keep up with household names like Honeywell Home and 2GIG. We can expect to see the new Qolsys Budget Panel, the Qolsys IQ Hub, which we have been expecting for quite some time.


This may also be the chance for Qolsys to unveil their big new flagship alarm panel, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. We are expecting the IQ Panel 4 to be a tremendous juggernaut in the home security industry, as the new alarm system will boast a Snapdragon Chipset running Android 9 Software, and come complete with an 8MP front-facing camera, all-new lifestyle automation pages, and oodles of great features. There's a chance Qolsys might be secretive and keep the IQ Panel 4 tucked away, but we would be pretty sad if we don't get to see it at ISC West 2021. We are hopeful that the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, Qolsys IQ Hub, and Qolsys IQ Router will be made available later this year.

DSC

Digital Security Controls (DSC) has been at the forefront of Canadian Home and Commercial Security for years. But now that both DSC and Qolsys are under the Johnson Controls banner, we may see considerably less of the DSC brand out in the limelight. As security systems are being made "sexier" and flashier to fit-in with a modern home, a bulky wired alarm system like the DSC PowerSeries NEO just isn't suitable for most residential applications. We don't expect DSC to be completely absent from ISC West 2021, but don't be surprised if Johnson Controls is putting Qolsys out on center stage, while DSC may remain more in the background as more of a commercial security option. The PowerSeries NEO and the existing DSC Iotega are both candidates to be featured in ISC West 2021. We have not yet received any word on possible "new" DSC equipment that may be featured.

Alarm.com

Alarm.com always has a prominent showing at ISC West, and we don't expect this year to be any different. However, we aren't really sure what to expect from Alarm.com, if anything new. It's possible that Alarm.com might try to make ISC West 2021 more of a quiet showing. It's likely that the Alarm.com Smart House will return, allowing users to interact with the latest smart home automation and video surveillance offerings from Alarm.com. The ADC platform strives to be a leader in terms of home automation, and they will likely use this ISC West to showcase their complete array of offerings and how their equipment can be used together to create a complete smart home. We are also regularly pleased with all the Alarm.com Video Camera offerings, so it's fair to expect their cameras to make an appearance. We aren't necessarily expecting any new cameras, but we definitely anticipate seeing great devices like the ADC-V523, ADC,V622-WELL, ADC-V723, and ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera.

Z-Wave Alliance

You can always bet on seeing the Z-Wave Alliance tucked away in the back corners of the ISC West Showroom Floor. Z-Wave wireless communication has secured itself as the leading protocol in smart home automation, and it continues to dominate for good reason. ISC West 2021, figures to be a huge opportunity for Z-Wave 700-Series Technology to really present itself to the public and showcase its rich capabilities. Z-Wave 700-Series, also being called Z-Wave Plus V2, promised extended wireless range, and a longer battery life of at least ten (10) years. Z-Wave Plus V2 sensors are also required to be built on the Z-Wave S2 Security Protocol, thereby making them more secure than most Z-Wave 500-Series devices.

Of course, the Alarm Grid team will be returning to ISC West 2021, ready to post about the latest security offerings from all the major brands. Be sure to keep-up with the Alarm Grid Blog if you can't make it to ISC West 2021 yourself. We will let you know the latest news for Resideo, Honeywell Home, 2GIG, Qolsys, and more as we attend the event in Las Vegas, NV. Stay tuned for more ISC West 2021, especially as we get closer to the even on July 19th through July 21st. We're super excited, so get ready for more content coming soon.

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