What is the Smart Start Feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus?
The Smart Start feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is a method for easily enrolling compatible smart home devices with the system. The feature allows you to scan a QR code for a compatible smart home device to pair it with the panel, instead of performing a traditional inclusion process.
Many newer smart home devices, including many Z-Wave Plus devices, will have a QR code that can be used for easy pairing. This QR code may be found on the device itself, or it may be found on its packaging. That depends on the product. Either way, you can scan this code using the front camera on the IQ Panel 2 to pair it with the system.
Not every Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System can utilize the Smart Start feature by default. Only Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems that came with Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher pre-installed will have the Smart Start feature available. This is because these systems will have a high enough Z-Wave firmware to support the Smart Start feature. To be more specific, any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that came with System Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher already installed out-of-the-box will also have a Z-Wave Firmware Version of 6.81.03 or higher pre-installed. That is the minimum Z-Wave firmware needed to support the Smart Start feature.
If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 that came pre-installed with a system firmware version of less than 2.4.0, then it will not have the Smart Start feature by default. And even if you upgrade to the latest system firmware, it will not automatically gain the Smart Start feature. Rather, you must separately upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for the system. After performing the update, it may be necessary to clear your Z-Wave network and re-add all your Z-Wave devices. You only need to do this if devices that were working fine previously are now giving you issues. More information is available in this FAQ.
Once a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is running both Panel Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher and Z-Wave Firmware Version of 6.81.03 or higher, it will be able to utilize the Smart Start feature. It is also important to note that installing a Z-Wave Firmware Version of 6.81.03 or higher on an IQ Panel 2 Plus will also upgrade the system to use the S2 security protocol. The S2 protocol is more advanced and more secure than what older versions of the system used when communicating with automation devices. While the S2 protocol and the Smart Start feature are technically two separate subjects, they are commonly associated, due to the fact that they were both added on the same Z-Wave Firmware Version.
Update: In July of 2020, Qolsys identified problems with their 6.81.03 Z-Wave firmware. The zwave681 patch associated with the 6.81.03 firmware was taken off the network while Qolsys applied a fix. In early August 2020, the zwave681 patch was once again made available, this time with the fix applied. In order to apply the patch, the IQ Panel 2 must be running Panel Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher, and it must not have had the zwave681 patch applied previously. If the system had the old zwave681 patch downloaded and applied, before the fix in early August, then updating to Panel Firmware Version 2.5.2 will fix the issues associated with the Z-Wave firmware. If the system was already on 2.5.2 before the patch fix in early August, then the user will need to wait for the release of Panel Firmware Version 2.5.3 to fix the issue. The 2.5.3 firmware is expected to be made available for download in mid-August. More information on IQ2 Firmware can be found here.
Whenever you add a new smart device using the Smart Start feature, it will then appear in the Provisioning List. This list displays the network status of every device added via the Smart Start feature. The Provisioning List can be seen in the following picture:
Each individual device in the Provisioning List will have its own Network Status. The following Network Statuses may be displayed:
- Not In Network: The device has been paired using the Smart Start feature, but it has not yet been powered on and officially paired with the automation network. A device with this Network Status can be deleted without completing a traditional exclusion process by clicking the trash can icon on the right.
- Started: The device has been paired using the Smart Start feature, and it has been powered on. However, it is still in the process of formally pairing with the system's automation network. This is merely a transitional status to show that the device is currently in the process of being included. The inclusion process will be automatically performed in the background, and no action is needed on your part. Just keep the device powered on and within range of the panel. It should be included with the network in a matter of minutes.
- Included: The device has been paired using the Smart Start feature, and it has been formally included with the system's automation network. You should now be able to control the device from the panel. This is the completed stage of the pairing process. Once a device has reached this stage, it can only be removed from the system by performing a formal clearing process.
Using the Smart Start Feature
If your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is running a Z-Wave firmware version of at least 6.81.03, you can use the Smart Start feature to pair new Z-Wave Plus devices. Complete the following steps to pair a Z-Wave Plus device to your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus using the Smart Start feature:
1. Access Smart Start. Begin from the main screen of your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Click on the small grey bar at the top, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code or Dealer Code (defaults are 1111 and 2222, respectively) > Installation > Devices > Z-Wave Devices > SMART START. You will now be in the Smart Start Menu.
2. Pair the Z-Wave device. Locate the QR code on the Z-Wave device or its packaging. Once you have located the QR code, bring the device or its package to your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The following screen will be displayed:
The image with the red square is what the front panel camera is seeing. You should move the Z-Wave device or its packaging so that its QR code is arranged inside the red square. Once the camera detects the QR code, it will begin automatically adding the device to the system.
Alternatively, you can instead manually enter the device's DSK code and then press "Add DSK" to add the device. However, it is recommended that you use the panel camera and the QR code, as this will prevent you from making a mistake when entering the code. It will also help ensure that the panel can communicate with the new device successfully.
3. Finish adding the device. You will then be prompted to set the name and type for the device. For lighting devices, you can check the "Automation" box to automatically enable simple automation rules. The following simple automation rules are available:
- Night: Light turns ON automatically at 7:00pm, and turns OFF automatically at 6:00am.
- Evening: Light turns ON automatically at 7:00pm, and turns OFF automatically at 11:00pm.
- Front Door: Light turns ON automatically when a sensor with the default quick name of "Front Door" is faulted, and turns OFF automatically after 15 minutes.
After setting the device name and setting automation rules (if applicable), press the Add button at the bottom. The Z-Wave device will be added to the network.
4. Return to home screen. When all Z-Wave devices have been added, click the picture of the house at the bottom of the screen to return to the home screen. Your changes will be automatically saved.
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