Can a Z-Wave Controller also be a Security System?

A Z-Wave controller is not an alarm system but you can connect one to a Honeywell alarm system. There are varying approaches to integrate Z-wave based automation with your alarm. Each panel supports a specific z-wave controller which will support a specific amount of z-wave devices like lights, locks and thermostats.

The Honeywell L5100, L5200 and the L7000 LYNX Touch wireless alarm systems support the L5100-ZWAVE module. The L5100 and L5200 support up to 40 z-wave lights, 3 thermostats and 4 door locks. The L7000 supports 40 lights, 4 thermostats and 6 door locks. This unit slides into the panel like a card and connects to the circuit board. After the unit is installed you can enroll z-wave devices. Then you are able to program scenes, rules and schedules using the icon-based panel programming right on the touchscreen. Check out our L5100-ZWAVE installation video for the L5200.

If you already have or plan to install a Honeywell VISTA wired panel such as the VISTA-20P or the VISTA-21iP you have some options. Up until recently, the only way to integrate Z-wave control with a wired VISTA panel was to hardwire a Tuxedo Touch WIFI touchscreen keypad to the panel. This a great unit that serves as a keypad when in "console mode" and a full on z-wave controller that supports up to 232 z-wave devices. It is a very attractive looking unit with its 7” touchscreen display and a resolution of 800 x 480. However the price of the unit can be a hinderance for end users looking to simply integrate Z-wave not invest in a touchscreen display keypad.

Well Honeywell responded to this demand and created the VISTA Automation Module aka "VAM." The VAM is compatible with all new VISTA panels except the VISTA-10P and supports up to 40 z-wave devices. Simply land a 4 wire connection on the ECP bus to give it auxiliary power and data connections to the VISTA panel. In fact, there is an included jumper cable with a clip that connects to the VAM and has 4 color code wires with pre-stripped ends to land on the panel.

Honeywell vista automation module

The VAM is a wireless access point (WAP) as well so there is a process to enroll the unit to your network. Then you will have the ability to manage the VAM and any enrolled z-wave devices via a web connection on your computer. Although this unit is more limited in comparison to the more robust Tuxedo Touch, it is a great cost effective option to setup basic scenes and rules and integrate them with your alarm system.

Once you have your Z-Wave controller set up, we'd recommend browsing through some of our Z-wave light switches and dimmers to begin setting up your smart home of the future!

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