Can I Use Z-Wave Security Sensors With My Alarm System?

No, you cannot use Z-Wave security sensors with your alarm system. Any Z-Wave support that an alarm system offers is for automation purposes only. Most alarm systems will allow certain types of wireless security sensors to be enrolled, but this does not include Z-Wave security devices.


Traditionally, alarm systems were only used for security, life-safety, and monitoring for unfavorable environmental conditions. It is only in more recent times that alarm systems began offering automation support as well. This refers to the practice of using smart devices and having these devices activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain predetermined events. You can also use compatible interactive platforms to access automation devices and control them remotely from anywhere in the world. This is often accomplished using a web browser or an app on a smartphone. Some popular types of automation devices include smart lights, door locks, thermostats, and more.

You can now expect pretty much any new security system to support automation control to at least some degree. The level and versatility of automation functionality can vary greatly between different systems. Furthermore, some systems will only support automation capabilities after receiving certain upgrades. For example the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels can only support Z-Wave automation devices after installing a Honeywell L5100-ZWAVE Module.

Z-Wave represents arguably the most popular wireless automation protocol for security systems. Any system that has an integrated Z-Wave controller can pair with Z-Wave automation devices. Once paired, you will then be able to control that Z-Wave automation device remotely through an interactive service platform used with the system, such as Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. This is assuming that the system is monitored with a plan that offers automation. Many systems will also allow you to control paired Z-Wave devices locally at the panel or keypad.

But while Z-Wave automation devices readily work with most security systems, the same is not true for Z-Wave security devices. Alarm manufacturers generally deem Z-Wave too unreliable for security purposes, and they block the ability to set up Z-Wave security and life-safety sensors on their panels. Instead, you should look for compatible wireless RF security sensors for the system you are using. Any system with an integrated wireless receiver will be able to support compatible wireless security sensors. Most wireless panels come with wireless receivers already installed, while wired panels can have them added separately. Make sure to check compatibility before purchasing new wireless security sensors for your alarm system.

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