Alarm keypads are used for controlling an alarm system. With an alarm keypad, you can arm and disarm your system and make important changes to system programming. An alarm keypad can be used as the primary controller for a hardwired security system, or it can be used as a secondary point of access for a touchscreen panel. Some users choose to add multiple keypads to their security setup so that they can have multiple locations for controlling their security system inside their home or business.
The type of alarm keypad you use will largely depend upon what type of security system you own. Most alarm keypads are specifically designed for use with a particular type of security system. For example, the 2GIG PAD1-345 was created for use as a secondary point of access for a GC2 or GC3 security system. Meanwhile, a Honeywell 6160RF is only for use as a primary controller on a Honeywell Vista panel. Make sure to check what applications the keypad can be used for before purchasing.
Some keypads may offer additional features for a security system in addition to being used as a point of access. For instance, when a 6160RF is added to a Honeywell Vista system, a user will be able to use wireless 5800 Series sensors with their Vista panel. Likewise, a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch will provide a Vista panel with Z-Wave capabilities. This can be extremely convenient, as it will give a user a way of controlling their security system, while also providing them with excellent new features so that they can get the most out of their setup. Many alarm keypads are used for this very reason alone.
All users should remember that an alarm keypad will not function as a stand-alone security system. This can be particularly confusing for alarm keypads that look particularly user-friendly. For example, even though the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch may resemble a Lynx Touch panel, the Tuxedo must be used with an actual security system, that being a Honeywell Vista. The alarm keypad is used simply for controlling the security system, and it is unable to provide any function on its own.
For hardwired security systems, a separate alarm keypad must be used. This is because a user will have no way of controlling their alarm system without using a keypad. For instance, a Honeywell Vista has no buttons on the panel itself. An alarm keypad must be installed with the system in order for the user to make any command inputs. Using this external keypad, the user will be able to arm and disarm their system and make programming changes.
Meanwhile, most wireless alarm systems, such as Lynx Touch panels and the IQ Panel 2, will only use an alarm keypad as a secondary point of access. This is because the alarm system itself is generally used as the primary access point, since it includes everything a user needs to arm and disarm their system and make programming changes. However, adding an alarm keypad as a secondary access point can be useful for when you want to be able to easily control your alarm system from another area of your home or business.