Wired vs. Wireless Home Security Systems

Wireless alarm systems have come a long way in the past few years. The days of wired systems are by no means behind us. In some cases, it very well may be a wiser choice to install or upgrade a wired system depending on your situation. However the increased reliability and range of RF signals have leveled the playing field between wireless and wired systems. Honeywell has done a great job to encrypt its RF transmissions and prevent traditional RF jammers from being effective. Generally speaking the wireless sensors are more expensive but require less work running cable and offer more flexibility when it comes to placement. With that said lets take a look at their pros and cons...

When searching for a new alarm system it is less about wireless or wired and more about the nitty gritty specs that one system has over another. Here is a breakdown of the latest and greatest wireless and wired Honeywell alarm panels.

First lets look at the L5100 Lynx Touch. The system can handle up to 64 total wireless zones; 48 true wireless zones excluding key fob (keys). With its touch screen display, built-in 95dB siren, and included standard capacity battery back up (Approx. 4 hours) the L5100 is the go to all-in-one wireless alarm system. The L5100 conveniently takes the following card style communication modules that simply slide into the panel: L5100-WIFI, GSMVLP5-4G (adds $10/mo to any monitoring plan) and the ILP5 Ethernet module. The icon driven deep level programming makes adding sensors and enabling features a breeze!

FYI the L5100 needs but does not include a power cable between the included transformer and the panel. You may use a 2- wire cable (18/2) or purchase the LT cable from our website. If you are looking to salvage existing wired zones or simply want to have a hybrid system the L5100 is not the ideal panel for you but it will work with some additional hardware. It does have a single wired zone connection but it only handles 2-wire devices such as door and window contacts. You can also use a 5816. These door sensors will convert a wired contact to a wireless zone as well. The L5100 only has a single partition so if you are looking to create more than a single secured area you will need to look towards a VISTA series panel. The go to wired Honeywell alarm panels are the VISTA-20P and the VISTA-21iP which can handles 2 partitions plus a common partition.

The Vista20P and Vista21iP are essentially the same panel besides the built in internet communicator for the 21iP. Both have 8 on board wired zones and can handle up to 40 additional wired zone with expansion modules. If you plan to do a hybrid system these panels can enroll up to 40 wireless zones. You will need to pick up a wireless receiver to do so.

The VISTA-20P can use a 7847i internet communicator, a GSMV4G cellular communicator or an iGSMV4G dual path communicator; whereas the VISTA21iP can add a VISTA-GSM4G cellular back up. All the VISTA panels need but do not include a battery back up and an alphanumeric programming keypad .

If you plan to do home automation control you will need a Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI keypads for the VISTA-20P/21iP and the L5100-ZWAVE for the L5100. If you want remote control we offer the service through Total Connect 2.0 for an additional $10/month. The 5828 wireless fixed english keypad can be used with both systems. You will need an RF receiver in order to pair to a VISTA series panel. It is also recommended to connect the designated transformer so that the keypad stays awake. It will function on battery but it will go to sleep and require you to hold down the star key to wake it up.

Both systems can be connected to a standard analog phone line and some VOIP lines simply by landing the tip and ring into each panel in order to get basic central station monitoring (no Total Connect). With a central station monitoring plan both have APL (Advanced Protection Logic) Smash & Grab protection that will protect the system from being destroyed before sending an alarm signal. As things develop with newer panels we will keep you up to date!

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