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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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Update: We have discovered that Honeywell L5100 Systems running a firmware version of at least 5.00838, but less than 5.05000 (5.15000 in Canada) can also support the newer Honeywell L5100-WIFI units with the MAC prefix of B82CA0. Please see this update post for more information.

The latest technical notification from Honeywell says that the manufacturer is making changes to their L5100-WIFI Module for the Honeywell LYNX Touch Systems. New L5100-WIFI devices have a MAC prefix of B8:2C:A0. Modules with this MAC prefix will require the panel to be on at least 8.00.183.

Honeywell l5100 wifi alarmnet lynx touch l5100 security system wifi alarm monitoring communicatorThe L5100-WIFI allows a Honeywell LYNX Touch Panel to connect with a WIFI network. This will allow the panel to receive IP monitoring service and connect with the Total Connect 2.0 interactive platform. Overall, it is one of the most important upgrades that can be made for a LYNX Touch System.

Older L5100-WIFI modules used a MAC prefix of 00D02D. These modules can be used with a LYNX Touch System right out of the box, with no firmware update being needed. This is not the case with the newer L5100-WIFI modules that have the B8:2C:A0 MAC Prefix. The new L5100-WIFI modules can be identified by having the following label on the outside of their boxes:


In order to use one of these newer L5100-WIFI devices, the LYNX Touch System will need to be running Revision 8.00.183 or higher. Only the Honeywell L5200, Honeywell L5210 and Honeywell L7000 will support this revision upgrade. The L5200 must have the firmware update pushed down to the panel over-the-air by Resideo. The L5210 and L7000 Systems can use the firmware updater tool to complete the update.

Update: As of October 2019, the L5200 can also use the LYNX Touch Firmware Updater Tool. Please see this blog post for more information.

Any L5210 or L7000 System that was purchased after February 2018 will already have Revision 8.00.183 installed. These systems will readily support the newest L5100-WIFI modules. The LYNX Touch Systems that have Revision 8.00.183 pre-installed can be identified by having the following serial number:


If you have an older LYNX Touch System or if you are unable to get Revision 8.00.183 on your L5210 or L7000, then you will still be able to use an older L5100-WIFI with the 00D02D MAC prefix to get the system online. Keep in mind though that any newly manufactured L5100-WIFI module will not have the older prefix. Alarm Grid will stop selling the older L5100-WIFI modules once we run out of our current stock.

But if you do manage to find an older L5100-WIFI module with the 00D02D prefix, then you will be able to use it with your system. Alarm Grid will activate any compatible L5100-WIFI Module, whether it was purchased from us or somewhere else. Also remember that you will not need to purchase a new L5100-WIFI module or upgrade your panel's firmware revision if you already have a functioning WIFI module set up with the system.

Another option is to upgrade to the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric comes with a compatible WIFI card already built-in. This makes it extremely easy to connect to a WIFI network. The Lyric also readily supports Z-Wave home automation devices, and it is fully compatible with Apple HomeKit. A user will be able to bring over all their existing sensors to the Lyric Controller, so making the upgrade is very easy.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

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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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Ah, the thermostat. The unsung champion that keeps your home or office a bearable place to reside during the scorching summer months. You have probably relied on one of these devices for all of your life. It goes without saying that the thermostat is, and always will be, super awesome.

But what you might not know is that the latest thermostats are more feature-rich and more technologically advanced than ever before. At Alarm Grid, we don't mess with the primitive, boring thermostats of yesteryear. We have something more exciting. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the smart thermostat.

Simply put, a smart thermostat is any thermostat that ties in with home automation. Just like a traditional programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can be set up so that it adjusts the temperature based on a set schedule. But what separates a smart thermostat is that it can be operated remotely and that it can be included with various smart scenes. And if you have a smart assistant like Apple HomeKit, Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can control your smart thermostat using voice commands.

So for example, let's say you're out and about, but your plans changed, and now you're going to be home earlier than expected. You can login to your interactive services account (e.g. Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com) and adjust your thermostat so that your house will be comfortably cooled or heated by the time you arrive home. Or let's say you realized you're going to be home later than expected. Simply login to your interactive service account and tell your smart thermostat to hold off on heating or cooling. That way, you can conserve energy and save money on your power bill.

The other reason to get a smart thermostat is to tie it in with your smart home setup. A smart home setup that uses home automation allows users to establish a pre-determined set of actions that will be performed based on a schedule or with certain events. These sets of pre-determined response actions are referred to as smart scenes, and the actions or events that trigger them are called rules. And it isn't just thermostats that can be included in smart scenes. A smart scene can include things like lights, door locks and garage door controllers as well.

But how would you use rules and scenes with your thermostat? Well let's say you set your security system to arm away when you go to leave for the day. You can have a smart scene and a rule put in place to turn off all your Z-Wave lights and have your smart thermostat to stop cooling the house once you arm your system. That way, you are immediately saving money on your energy bills without even lifting a finger. Sure, you could manually do this with a traditional programmable thermostat, but with a smart thermostat, it is much more convenient and simple.

So now that you know why smart thermostats are great, which one should you get? Well if you want the short answer, we recommend the new T6 Z-Wave Thermostat from Honeywell. But there a couple of others that aren't far behind. Let's take a look at three outstanding smart thermostats, including the amazing T6.

Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat

Okay, we're going to be honest here. The Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat is the best device on this list. That's not to knock the other two thermostats we're presenting here. But we firmly believe the Honeywell T6 is the best smart thermostat on the market today. Unless you're dying to know more about some other thermostats that are currently available, you can save yourself the reading and purchase the Honeywell T6 from Alarm Grid right now.

There is one major reason that the Honeywell T6 is currently the best thermostat available. Unlike nearly every other thermostat, the T6 does not require common power from a C-wire. Instead, it is a rare example of a high-quality and efficient smart thermostat that can operate on battery power. This makes it arguably the easiest thermostats to install for a DIY user. Traditionally, DIYers have been apprehensive about installing a thermostat since it usually required working with power wires. But the T6 just needs to be connected with the HVAC system to get up and running.

As far as the end user experience goes, the T6 offers a nice, clean interface that is a joy to use on a daily basis. The options are easy to understand, and new users won't feel overwhelmed or confused by the simple layout. And don't let the name fool you; the Honeywell T6 isn't restricted to use with Honeywell Alarm Systems. This is a non-proprietary thermostat that can be used with any alarm system that has a Z-Wave controller. This includes systems like the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Also, it can be accessed from both the Total Connect 2.0 and the Alarm.com interactive service platforms.

Hands down, this the best smart thermostat available today. Get one.

Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

Alarm.com ADC-T2000

The ADC-T2000 was designed with Alarm.com in mind. This is the interactive service platform used with that is used with many different alarm system manufacturers, including 2GIG and Qolsys. So if you have an alarm system from one of these manufacturers, it may feel comforting to know that your smart thermostat is essentially "on the same team" so to speak. It is truly designed by Alarm.com, for Alarm.com.

There are few other reasons why one might select the ADC-T2000. For one, it features push-buttons and a light-up temperature display rather than an LCD screen. Some users might prefer this. Personally, we believe the touchscreen of the T6 is the superior option, but we know that some users prefer to keep it as simple as possible. With just three main buttons (up, down and menu) it doesn't get much easier than the ADC-T2000.

The other highlight of the ADC-T2000 is that it can be used with the Alarm.com ADC-S2000. This is a wireless temperature sensor that can send temperature readings to the ADC-T2000. This can be useful for very large properties where the temperature in one area of the building might not be the same as another. So in theory, this add-on can help you control the temperature in a very large building more accurately.

With all that in mind, if you have an ADC-compatible alarm system or you want to use a secondary temperature sensor with your smart thermostat, then the ADC-T2000 might be for you.

Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat

Honeywell Lyric Round WIFI Thermostat

The Lyric Round is the only smart thermostat on this list that doesn't use Z-Wave. Instead, this thermostat communicates using 2.4 GHz WIFI. It is exclusively compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But remember, the Lyric Controller already includes a built-in Z-Wave controller, so it could easily use the (superior) Honeywell T6 Thermostat instead. So why choose the Lyric Round? That is a very fair question.

We see users turn to the Lyric Round for one main reason. It is for the rare instance where a user wants to use WIFI communication instead of Z-Wave. Most users who have a home automation setup will have a strong mesh network of Z-Wave devices that will help support their Z-Wave smart thermostat. And even if a user has no other Z-Wave devices, the range for Z-Wave devices is still acceptable for most homes. But at the end of the day, WIFI is a more robust signal that a standalone (key word, standalone) Z-Wave signal.

If you have a larger property and a weak or nonexistent Z-Wave mesh network, you may ultimately be better off using the Lyric Round. The smart thermostat will send reliable and consistent WIFI signals to your Honeywell Lyric Controller. Also, you will be able to access and control your Lyric Round right from Total Connect 2.0. But keep in mind, you can only use the Lyric Round if you have a Honeywell Lyric Controller Security System.

Honeywell lyric thermostat smart programmable wifi thermostat th

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

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

Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

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When one thinks of upgrading their security system, they would typically think of adding a new sensor to their setup. After all, it's sensors that a system uses to detect any important system events, such as burglary or fire. But often upgrading a communicator is even more important.

Simply put, the communicator is what an alarm system uses to send outbound signals to the user and/or a central monitoring station. If the communicator fails, then the alarm system is nothing more than a local sounder. It will have no way of alerting off-site users or requesting emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Therefore, it's extremely important that the communication path used by an alarm system is dependable, reliable and gives the user peace of mind. For most users, an alarm system that uses cellular communication is the ideal solution.

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is the flagship wireless security system from Honeywell. This system provides support for up to 128 wireless zones, and it can even work with the encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. The touchscreen controller is extremely easy to use, and the build-quality lives up to the Honeywell name. Additionally, the system comes with a Z-Wave controller built-in for controlling Z-Wave home automation devices. Overall, the Lyric is one of the top security systems available on the market today.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemHowever, there is one issue with a fresh, brand-new, out-of-the-box Lyric. This problem is that the system does not have an integrated cellular communicator. Although there are Lyric Controller System Kits that come with a cellular communicator, the base version of the system does not have such a module. If no cellular module is added, the system will be forced to rely on a WIFI connection. This might not seem so bad at first. WIFI is extremely fast, and most people think of modern internet services as being extremely reliable. For that reason, many users make the decision to go with a WIFI-only setup for their Honeywell Lyric Controller.

But going with a WIFI-only communication path can prove to be a major mistake. WIFI signals regularly go down, often for seemingly no reason. Additionally, a power outage of any kind will cause the WIFI service to go down, and a panel that uses a WIFI-only connectivity will be unable to send any outbound signals. This means that the property will be unprotected. But with a cellular communicator, this is occurrence is nearly impossible. Modern cellular communication is extremely reliable. It is not affected by power outages, and it offers users great peace of mind.

For those reasons, adding a cellular communicator to a Lyric Controller is extremely important. Honeywell offers various cellular communicators for the Lyric System. Adding one of these communicators can be the single most important upgrade for a Lyric Controller, due to the fantastic reliability and consistency that it will provide for the system. And for users looking for a new communicator, we recommend choosing the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for theThe LYRICLTE-A is currently the only communicator for the Lyric Controller that can connect with an LTE cellular network. Specifically, the LYRICLTE-A connects with the LTE network for AT&T. LTE networks represent the latest and most advanced cellular technology available, and they provide lightning-fast speeds and superb reliability. Plus, cellular service providers have promised that they will continue to support for their LTE networks for many years, even decades into the future. And with trusted service from AT&T, the LYRICLTE-A will ensure that the Lyric Controller is always connected and always protecting your property. It should be mentioned that Verizon also plans to release an LTE communicator for the Lyric sometime in the near future. But for now, the LYRICLTE-A and AT&T is nearly always the best option for Lyric users.

With that in mind, we believe that the LYRICLTE-A is the single most important upgrade a user can make for their Honeywell Lyric Controller System. The level of reliability and consistency of cellular communication cannot be compared with by any other communication path. And with connectivity to an LTE network, users can be sure that their Lyric System will communicate as it should far into the distant future.

An alarm system is only good if it can alert others in an emergency situation. A system that cannot communicate properly is a sitting duck. Even if a system has every sensor imaginable, it won't matter if the system cannot send a signal to the end user or a central monitoring station when it counts. With the LYRICLTE-A and cellular communication, a Lyric System will be able to communicate successfully every time. This makes the LYRICLTE-A the single most important upgrade for the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Don't leave your Lyric System unprotected. Upgrade your Lyric with the very best in cellular communication with the AT&T LYRICLTE-A.

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Reliability is the single most important factor for a smoke detector. It is critical that these devices quickly and accurately respond whenever there is a fire in the building. One of the best ways to ensure this reliability is with a smoke detector that utilizes photoelectric technology.

Photoelectric smoke detectors are some of the most popular life-safety devices available today. The defining feature of a photoelectric sensor is its internal light source and sensing chamber. By default, light will never fall on the internal photo sensor. The presence of smoke or other airborne particles will cause the light to refract, which will have it strike the sensor and produce an alarm. This means that the device will not activate suddenly, as long as the sensing chamber stays clear.

But when smoke enters the sensing chamber, the light inside the sensor will be refracted. This will cause the internal light to strike the photoelectric sensor. When this happens, the smoke detector will send an alert to the system to let it know that there is smoke (and therefore a fire) in the building. The alarm system will then perform the programmed response by alerting others to the fire.

Overall, this method is very effective for detecting fires. But with this process, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that a smoke works properly. It is possible that other airborne materials besides smoke can also enter the inside of the smoke detector, adjust the light source and cause an alarm. Airborne particles can also potentially prevent the detector from allowing smoke to refract the internal light onto the sensor. If this happens the smoke detector will not function as it should.

To prevent this from happening, users should make sure to place their photoelectric smoke detectors in appropriate areas. They should not be facing any vents or air ducts. Photoelectric smoke detectors should also not be placed in garages, bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms. This is because these rooms feature large amounts of humidity and dust that may prevent the sensor from detecting smoke.

Instead, we recommend placing photoelectric smoke detectors in large open areas where their function will not become disrupted. Some ideal locations include large central living rooms, near staircases, in hallways and outside of sleeping areas. Since smoke rises, all photoelectric smoke detectors should be installed high up on the wall or on the ceiling. By following these guidelines, a photoelectric smoke detector is more likely to work properly. For more information on the proper placement of smoke detectors, please review this helpful guide. Users should also make sure to test their photoelectric smoke detector on a regular basis and to replace the batteries when low.

Some of the most popular photoelectric smoke detectors we offer include the Honeywell 5808W3, the Honeywell SiXSMOKE and the 2GIG SMKT3-345. These are all extremely versatile smokes that also double as heat detectors. Of course, users must make sure that they smoke they choose is compatible with their alarm system. Assuming that it is a wireless smoke, it must communicate at a frequency that is accepted by their system. We hope that you will check out our selection of photoelectric smoke detectors so that you can protect your home or business.

Honeywell 5808w3 wireless smoke detector and heat detector

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Update: Please see this new guide for using MyAlarms.com.

Hi DIYers! We would like to remind our customers that they have the ability to place their systems on test mode without contacting us. Customers can do this using the MyAlarms.com portal from our monitoring partner Criticom. This is useful for customers who have central station monitoring.

With MyAlarms.com, customers can put their systems on test mode, view their account information and view their signal history. To do this, a user must create an account with MyAlarms.com. To get started, simply contact Alarm Grid, and provide us with the following information:

A username to use with MyAlarms.com (cannot be an email address)

The email address associated with your Alarm Grid account

The address where you receive monitoring services

After receiving this information, our team will get started on creating your MyAlarms.com account. You will then receive an email from noreply@myalarms.com to finish creating your account, which includes providing a password.

If you have any questions about this service and to get started, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm Monday through Friday.

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Honeywell is known for producing some outstanding security equipment, and their wireless door and window contacts are no exception. With wireless contacts available from both the 5800 Series lineup and the SiX Series lineup, there are certainly some great options. But with all the possibilities, it might seem overwhelming if you are just getting started. This guide will help you choose the perfect wireless Honeywell door and window contact for your needs.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorFirst, a user should understand exactly how a door and window contact works. Almost every wireless Honeywell door and window contact functions using the exact same principles. These devices consist of a sensor and magnet. The sensor is the "brains" of the operation, and it is responsible for sending signals to the alarm system. It is typically installed on or inside the door or window frame. The magnet is installed on or inside the door or window itself. The only wireless Honeywell contact that does not use a magnet is the Honeywell 5800RPS. This is a wireless recessed sensor for doors only that operates using a plunger switch.

For proper operation, the device's magnet should be installed very close to the sensor. We usually recommend placing it within a half-inch of the sensor. However, some 5800 Series contacts, like the 5816OD, can function properly with a slightly larger spacing gap. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. When this happens, the sensor will send a signal to the alarm system so that the programmed Response Type can be performed.

It's also important to know the system compatibilities for the different Honeywell wireless contacts. Their wireless contacts come from two different sensor lineups. These are the 5800 Series and the SiX Series. The 5800 Series contacts are unidirectional devices that operate at 345 MHz. This makes them compatible with any Honeywell System or 2GIG System. But the SiX Series contacts are bi-directional, fully encrypted sensors that communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI. These sensors only work with Honeywell Lyric Systems.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you have a Honeywell Lyric Controller, then you can choose between any Honeywell wireless contact on the market. But if you have a LYNX Touch or a VISTA System with an added wireless receiver, then you are restricted to the 5800 Series contacts. Additionally, if you are using a 2GIG GC3 or a 2GIG GC2, then you can use either 2GIG Contacts or Honeywell 5800 Series contacts. Any alarm systems that do not accept the 345 MHz frequency are unable to use Honeywell contacts.

The only two contacts in the Honeywell SiX Series Lineup are the Honeywell SiXCT and the Honeywell SiXMINICT. These are both wireless, surface-mount sensors that work exclusively with Honeywell Lyric Systems. What makes these sensors special is that they feature 128-bit AES encryption. Whenever the sensor sends a command to the Lyric System, the system must then send a secure response back to the sensor. The command will only go through if this secure response is received. Many security experts refer to this as a "digital handshake", and it is excellent for preventing any hacking attempts or wireless attacks.

The SiXCT and the SiXMINICT do have a few slight differences. Most notably, the SiXMINICT is smaller and more compact than the SiXCT. The SiXCT measures at 3.13”L x 1.61”W x 1"D, while the SiXMINICT measures at 2.44”L x 1.25”W x .45”D. So users who want a smaller sensors should go with the SiXMINICT. But the benefit of the SiXCT is that it features a larger wireless range (~300 feet) than the SiXMINICT (~200 feet). However, only users with particularly large properties should have to worry about signal range. One thing that these sensors do share in common is that they can both be batch-enrolled with the Lyric Controller.

  • Honeywell SiXCT - The standard SiX Series contact. Features a 300 foot range and encryption. Will only work with Lyric Systems.
  • Honeywell SiXMINICT - The more compact SiX Series contact. Provides a 200 foot range and encryption. For Lyric Systems only.

Honeywell sixct wireless door slash window contact for lyric conHoneywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

But the SiX Series contacts aren't for everyone. For one, they will only work with the Lyric Systems. There are also no recessed contacts in the SiX Series lineup. Users who don't have a Lyric Controller or want a recessed sensor should look to the Honeywell 5800 Series instead. This is an incredibly diverse sensor lineup that has an appropriate contact option for virtually any situation. Any Honeywell or 2GIG System will work with these sensors. This includes any Lyric Controller, L7000, L5210, VISTA P-Series, 2GIG GC3, 2GIG GC2 and more. Most 5800 Series contacts feature a 150-200 foot wireless range that can be effectively doubled with the use of a 5800RP Wireless Repeater.

Honeywell l7000 wireless home security system with 7 inch screenHoneywell 5800rp wireless repeater

When selecting a 5800 Series Sensor, a user will choose between a surface-mount contact and a recessed contact. With a surface-mount contact, the sensor and the magnet are mounted on the outer surface of the door or window and its frame. But with a recessed contact, the sensor and magnet are installed inside the door or window and its frame. Surface-mount sensors are very easy to install, since they only require screws or double-sided foam tape. But the sensor will be visible on the outside of the door. Recessed sensors are more difficult to install since holes will need to be drilled. However, some users will appreciate the fact that recessed sensors are hidden.

For users who go with a surface-mount sensor there are certainly some great options in the 5800 Series. One of our favorites is the 5800MINI. This is a reliable sensor that boasts an impressive 200 foot range, despite its small size of just 2.2"H x 1"W x 0.25"D. This is arguably the best surface-mount contact in the Honeywell 5800 Series.

  • Honeywell 5800MINI - A small and discreet surface-mount contact. Offers a 200 foot wireless range. Great for almost any application.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

But there are other surface-mount options than just the 5800MIIN. The 5816 is the most popular sensor that Honeywell has ever offered. It features a larger size and roughly the same range as the 5800MINI. But unlike the 5800MINI, the 5816 can be used as a wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device. Honeywell also offers the 5820L Slim Line for narrow installations and the 5816OD for outdoor use.

  • Honeywell 5816 - Honeywell's most popular sensor. Can also be used as a wireless transmitter for a single NC hardwired device.
  • Honeywell 5820L - A slim line door and window contact that is great for narrow applications. Features a 150-foot range.
  • Honeywell 5816OD - A surface-mount contact for outdoor installations. Excellent for monitoring fences, sheds and detached garages.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensorHoneywell 5816od wireless outdoor door and window sensor top


Honeywell also offers some less popular 5800 Series contacts. These include the 5811 (discontinued), the 5814, the 5815 and the 5816MN (discontinued). While these sensors will work just fine, there isn't really any reason to choose them over another 5800 Series contact.

  • Honeywell 5811 - A small and discreet sensor that has since been discontinued. Replaced by the Honeywell 5800MINI.
  • Honeywell 5814 - Another compact sensor option. It is not as robust as the 5800MINI. Its wireless range is only about 100 feet.
  • Honeywell 5815 - An aesthetically pleasing surface-mount contact that has roughly the same functionality as the 5816.
  • Honeywell 5816MN - A discreet surface mount sensor that has been discontinued. Replaced by the Honeywell 5816MN.

Honeywell 5814 wireless small door sensor and window sensorHoneywell 5815 white wireless aesthetic door sensor and window s

There are also several great recessed contacts in the 5800 Series. The Honeywell 5818MNL is a relatively standard recessed contact that can be used with almost any door or window. It features a 200-foot range, and the installation only requires minor drilling. The Honeywell 5800Micra is a recessed contact for windows only. It is a very small sensor with an attached antenna for sending wireless signals. Finally there's the 5800RPS, which uses a plunger switch instead of a sensor and magnet. This sensor can only be used with doors. When the door is closed, the plunger switch will be pressed in. Once the door is opened, the plunger switch will come out and activate the sensor.

  • Honeywell 5818MNL - A standard recessed contact for doors and windows. It is easy to install, and it has a 200 foot range.
  • Honeywell 5800Micra - A small recessed contact for windows only. Its antenna must be adjusted carefully when installing.
  • Honeywell 5800RPS - A recessed sensor that uses a plunger switch instead of a magnet. For use with doors only.

Honeywell 5818mnl wireless recessed door sensor and window sensoHoneywell 5800micra wireless recessed window contact

Alarm Grid has previously discussed the batteries used with door sensors. We recommend checking out that blog post for more information on which batteries to use with a door and window sensor. If you ever need any additional help choosing a Honeywell door and window contact for your DIY wireless alarm system, please feel free to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also contact one of our technical specialists by calling 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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When it comes to home security, houses aren't the only residences that require adequate protection. Apartments are also vulnerable to being taken advantage of by intruders and burglars. Thankfully, with advances in alarm systems, it has never been easier to achieve a DIY security setup.

Because of their smaller size and limited entrances and exits, most apartments don't need as many security sensors as a fully outfitted home. Just a few door and window contacts and a motion sensor can often do the trick. But that said, there's no reason that an apartment resident can't also take full advantage of the exciting home automation capabilities that a modern alarm system has to offer. This handy guide will cover everything needed to obtain a complete security system for an apartment.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensorHoneywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

Choosing a Panel

Like any security setup, it all starts with the control panel. This device serves as the central hub for the rest of the alarm system. Any sensors that are used with the system will report to the panel to let the system know when an event occurs. The panel is also the device that will send outgoing alerts to a central monitoring station or to the end user. Finally, most system arming and disarming is done right at the panel itself. Since the user will typically interact with their panel on a daily basis, it's very important to select one that is reliable and easy to use. Luckily for users, there are many tremendous options to choose from.

For an apartment, we strongly recommend choosing a wireless security system. These panels are remarkably easy to set up, and they are excellent choices for DIY users. A wireless panel is an all-in-one device that includes its own touchscreen display and wireless receiver for interacting with wireless sensors. Most newer wireless systems also come with a built-in communicator and an integrated Z-Wave controller. A user can also obtain a desk mount for their wireless system. This will eliminate the need to mount the panel to the wall, which is often forbidden by apartment policies. In fact, with a wireless system and wireless alarm sensors, it is possible to achieve a total setup without drilling any holes whatsoever. And if the user decides to move out of their apartment, they can easily take their wireless system with them to their new residence.

Alarm Grid offers some outstanding wireless panels that are great for apartments. One fantastic option in particular is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This system features a fresh, sleek design that is sure to fit in very well with any modern apartment. The system is simple to operate, and the menu options come across as very straightforward. The device also comes included with its own desk mount for easy setup. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will function with all Qolsys-branded wireless sensors, including the fully encrypted S-Line of sensors. Additionally, the IQ Panel 2 is one of few panels to come with a cellular communicator that is already built-in to the system. It is also WIFI ready right out of the box.

Qolsys iq panel 2 classic kit verizon wireless security system wAnother panel option is the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric is the flagship alarm system from Honeywell, a company that has served as a leader in the security industry for decades. It comes WIFI ready, and it can interface with an impressive lineup of different security sensors. This includes the encrypted SiX Series Sensors, which are designed exclusively for the Honeywell Lyric System. The menus are easy to navigate, and getting started with the system is a breeze. With just a WIFI connection and an appropriate monitoring plan, a user can sync their Lyric with Total Connect. This service allows users to arm and disarm their system remotely and check the current status of their security sensors at any time. A special desk mount for the Lyric is available for purchase separately. This will allow the user to avoid mounting the panel to the wall.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

We also encourage users to check out our alarm system kits that include everything a new user needs to get started with a security system for their apartment. By going with a kit, a user can save a decent amount of money versus purchasing each component of the security system individually.

All About Sensors

The only types of alarm sensors that are used in most apartments are door and window contacts and motion detectors. Although other alarm sensors can definitely be used as well, they are usually unnecessary for an apartment. Just like with security panels, we advise users to install wireless sensors in an apartment. Wireless sensors are easy to program with an alarm system, and most are mounted using double-sided foam tape. This will prevent the user from having to drill any holes in their walls. Most wireless sensors will function for three to five years before requiring a simple battery replacement. If you are purchasing alarm sensors individually and not with a kit, make sure that the sensors you choose will interface with your alarm system.

A door and window contact is used to let the system know whenever a door or window is opened. These are very simple devices that are easy to understand. Basically, a door and window contact consist of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is applied on the frame of the door or window, and the magnet is applied on the door or window itself, within a half-inch of the sensor. Double-sided foam tape can secure both of these components. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. When this happens, the sensor will send an signal to the alarm system to let it know about the event. The alarm system will then respond accordingly, based on the programmed Response Type for that zone. For apartments, we recommend using surface-mount contacts over recessed contacts. This is because recessed contacts require holes that are drilled into the door or window frame. If you are purchasing door and window contacts individually and not part of a kit, make sure that they are compatible with your alarm system. Putting a contact on the front door is an absolute must. Many users also place them on windows and interior doors.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensorQolsys iq dw mini extended s front


Motion detectors are also commonly used in apartments. Simply put, these devices recognize when motion is present, and they let the system know about the activity. A motion detector will certainly come in handy if an intruder is ever able to get inside the apartment without setting off a door or window contact. Most motion detectors operate using passive infrared (PIR) technology. This detection method involves looking out for the infrared energy given off by a potential intruder. When a PIR motion detector is activated, it will take a quick reading of the current infrared energy in the area. If a person or large object suddenly comes into the picture, it will cause a change in infrared energy. This will cause the motion sensor to activate, and the device will then send a signal to the alarm system to perform the programmed response. For most apartments, one motion detecting sensor is usually adequate. We recommend installing an apartment motion sensor in the main room for optimal sensor coverage.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motionQolsys iq motion s encrypted motion sensor for iq panel 2 qs1230

Other alarm sensors are typically not as important for apartments. Glass break sensors can be used to monitor glass windows, but this is usually covered using window contacts and a motion sensor. However, some apartment residents may use a glass break sensor to monitor a glass casing or artwork. Most apartments already come included with a smoke detector. This means that purchasing a separate smoke detector for the alarm system is unnecessary. But a user may want to integrate the conventional smoke detector with their alarm system. For that, we recommend using a smoke detector takeover module, such as an Encore FireFighter FF345. This device will actively listen for the sound of an activated smoke detector. If it detects this type of sound, it will send a signal to the system and trigger an alarm event. If you do use a takeover module, make sure that the model you select is compatible with your alarm system. Finally, most apartment systems will not require any flood sensors since any failed HVAC unit or serious water leak is typically the responsibility of the apartment management.

Honeywell 5853 wireless glass break detector exteriorEncore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

Communication is Key

Unless you plan on staying home 24/7, you will want an alarm system that can send outbound signals in some way. For monitoring plans, there are two primary options. These are central monitoring plans and self-monitoring plans. The primary difference between these two types of monitoring plans is who is contacted when an alarm event occurs. With self-monitoring, the user will receive a text or email alert letting them know about the alarm. It is then up to the user to contact the appropriate authorities. But with central station monitoring, the alarm event is forwarded to a dedicated central station that operates 24/7. The central station will then request emergency help on the behalf of the user. Regardless of which type of monitoring is used, the alarm system must have some way of sending outbound alerts and reports.

Most alarm systems rely on cellular services or an internet (IP) connection as their primary communication path. Some alarm systems will use both of these communication methods for added reliability. The type of communication that is used will have an effect on the user's security setup and their monitoring plan. Cellular communication is considered to be more reliable than IP communication. This is because cellular service is almost never down, and it will still continue to operate in the event of a power outage. Also some interactive service platforms, like Alarm.com, require that the panel utilize a cellular connection, and they cannot be accessed using WIFI alone. But the advantage with IP communication is that it is usually less expensive than cellular monitoring. Additionally, while many panels already come WIFI ready, only a few can use cellular communication without a separate cellular communicator being added. Overall, the choice between IP and cellular comes down to the type of alarm system the user has and how reliable they want their system to be.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

Additional Features and Possible Add-Ons

Some apartment residents might want their alarm system to go beyond just performing security tasks. Many newer alarm systems come complete with a Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave home automation devices. However, most apartments will only allow users to take advantage of Z-Wave lights. These lights can be operated right from the alarm panel or using an interactive service like Total Connect or Alarm.com. Other popular Z-Wave devices include Z-Wave thermostats and Z-Wave door locks, but these are less likely to be used in apartment. A Z-Wave thermostat allows a user to adjust the temperature inside their residence from virtually anywhere. But many users might not feel comfortable replacing their apartment's standard thermostat with their own. Z-Wave locks allow users to lock or unlock their doors remotely. They can also unlock the door and disarm their system simultaneously by entering in a valid system code into the keypad on the Z-Wave door lock. Unfortunately, most landlords will not allow apartment occupants to change the locks on their doors. With those considerations in mind, Z-Wave home automation is often skipped by apartment residents. Still, the features are always available if the user ever does decide to use them.

Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostatQolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

A greater number of apartment residents will take advantage of an interactive service with their system. These services allow users to access their alarm systems from anywhere using a convenient and easy to use mobile app. By accessing this type of service, a user can arm or disarm their system, check the status of sensors and control their Z-Wave devices from almost anywhere. These services are also used to contact the user during an alarm event. Two popular interactive service platforms for alarm systems are Total Connect and Alarm.com. Total Connect is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Alarm Panels, while Alarm.com will work with systems from many different companies, including Qolsys and 2GIG. To access the Alarm.com service, cellular communication is required. Bu with Total Connect, an IP connection or a cellular connection can be used. Both services offer similar functions and features, so the one that is used will really depend on the alarm system being used. Most monitoring plans include this type of service, so the user should take full advantage of it.

Finally, some users may decide to use additional add-ons with their security setups. That said, these are also less commonly used with apartment systems. A secondary keypad can provide an additional point of access for an alarm system. But since most apartments are relatively small, this is usually unnecessary. A wireless repeater can extend the range of wireless sensors. But again, since most apartments are quite small this is also usually not needed. If the setup is based around a hardwired system, then a wireless receiver is needed to use wireless sensors. For apartments though, we strongly encourage users to use wireless systems instead of hardwired panels. Finally, some users may want to use security cameras with their setup. These devices are easy to use and install, and many indoor cameras don't require any drilling. However, a user will most likely need to upgrade their monitoring plan if they want to use security cameras.

Honeywell lkp500 wireless keypad for lyric controllerHoneywell lyric c2 wifi indoor 1080p hd total connect security c

Conclusion

Getting started with an apartment alarm system is very easy. In most cases, fewer sensors and add-ons are required. A wireless panel and sensors will make it for easy for DIY users to setup their systems without having to drill any holes or perform any wiring. Once everything is setup, a user will receive complete piece of mind in knowing that their residence is fully protected. Now is a better time than ever to get started with home security. Get an alarm system for your apartment today!

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