What is the Difference Between Honeywell and ADEMCO?

There is no difference between Honeywell and ADEMCO. The name ADEMCO was the original name of Honeywell, and many old-school installers still refer to them as such. The company is now known as Resideo. But really, all three names - ADEMCO, Honeywell, and Resideo - refer to the same company.


ADEMCO stands for Alarm Device Manufacturing Company. The company's roots go back to 1929, when hardware store owner Maurice Coleman began building early customized alarm systems for other businesses. In order to truly understand the history of this company, you must also look at the Pittsburgh Railway Company (PRC), which was founded in 1950. PRC acquired ADEMCO in 1963. Later in 1967, PRC changed its name to Pittway, all while ADEMCO was along for the ride.

Pittway used its acquired resources from ADEMCO to gain traction in the security and fire protection industries. The company became known for its smoke detectors throughout the 1970s, which were commonly sold in Sears Stores. Pittway chose to continue using the ADEMCO name for its security products due to brand recognition. While not as popular as its smoke detectors, the ADEMCO security products were still a big hit with consumers. These products were frequently used in homes and business alike.

A big milestone came in the late 1980s when Pittway formed ADEMCO Distribution Incorporated (ADI). This sub-division still serves as a major distributor for security products to this very day. The introduction of the popular ADEMCO VISTA Series Security Systems occurred a few years later. The VISTA Systems are still extremely popular today, though they have been upgraded several times since their introduction. Today, you will most likely encounter them as Honeywell VISTA Systems.

It wasn't until the turn of the millennium that Honeywell became involved. The heating/cooling and aerospace company purchased Pittway in 2000. At this time, all of the ADEMCO products were rebranded as Honeywell. Some of the biggest new products released by Honeywell during this time were the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, the Honeywell 5816 Door and Window Sensor, and the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. Due to brand recognition, Honeywell is still arguably the most popular name for the company.

In late 2018, Honeywell completed a corporate spin-off, and its security division became its own company. This company is known today as Resideo. If you trace the roots all the way back, you will see that the company was originally known as ADEMCO, then Pittway, then Honeywell, and finally, Resideo. There is an agreement in place that allows Resideo to continue using the Honeywell name. Resideo commonly uses the name "Honeywell Home" due to the sheer brand recognition of the Honeywell name.

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