Reviews

Arlo VMA4500 - Quadpod Mount for Arlo, Pro & Pro 2

Nice Mounting Device
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4500 is the quadpod mount for the Arlo, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras. The compatible Arlo Camera is mounted in the center of the quadpod, and four (4) legs keep the camera upright. The legs are flexible so that you can mount the camera in a variety of different ways. We have found that the quadpod legs do an outstanding job of keeping the camera upright, and they really allow for many different positioning options and angles. Overall, we really like the Arlo VMA4500 for compatible Arlo devices, and we have no problem giving this product a 5-Star rating.

The biggest benefit to the Arlo VMA4500 is that it keeps an Arlo Camera upright and positioned. That's really the most important job of any camera mount, and the Arlo quadpod mount accomplishes that task. The flexible legs are a nice touch, as they give the end user a variety of different options for mounting their camera. Although it isn't the most conventional option for mounting an Arlo Camera, we do think the Arlo VMA4500 does offer some nice benefits.

But there are some downsides to the Arlo VMA4500 that should be discussed. None of these downsides are super major, but you should still keep them in mind. The Arlo Cameras have a wireless range of about 300 feet from the Arlo Base Station, so that may limit where you can position the cameras. Since the quadpod mount isn't hardwired to anything, it may fall over in a very windy environment. This would need to be a pretty strong wind, but it is still something to consider. Finally, the quadpod mount looks very goofy, and it sort of makes the attached Arlo Camera appear as a four-legged animal. But if aesthetics aren't important to you, then this quadpod mount really gets the job done. We give the Arlo VMA4500 a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Keeps Camera Upright, Flexible Legs, Variety of Mounting Options & Positions

Bad: 300 Foot Range to Base Station, May Fall Over in Heavy Winds, Looks Goofy

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRF01-1LZ - Z-Wave Fan Controller

Better Fan Controllers Available
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRF01-1LZ is a Z-Wave fan controller that is designed to be used alongside other switches in the Leviton Vizia RF+ lineup. This fan switch only uses standard Z-Wave connectivity, and it needs to be used with matching Z-Wave devices for a 3-way or multi-pole configuration. While this is convenient if you have compatible Z-Wave devices, you won't be able to use this in-wall fan controller with conventional 3-way switches. Most users looking to set up new in-wall Z-Wave switches will want to use newer Z-Wave Plus devices that offer the same great features and more reliable connectivity and performance. For that reason, we only give the Leviton VRF01-1LZ a 4-Star rating.

There are some nice aspects regarding the Leviton VRF01-1LZ. For one, it has three (3) available fan speed settings, plus an OFF setting. Its microprocessor controller allows the fan to immediately go to its applied setting. It is a quiet fan speed controller, which should eliminate any humming. It also uses RFI filtering to prevent interference from radio, audio, and video equipment. We have found that the Leviton VRF01-1LZ can be easily paired with a compatible Z-Wave controller, making it easy for a new user to get started with the device.

However, the downsides to the Leviton VRF01-1LZ are important to consider. The device can only be used with other compatible Leviton Z-Wave devices when setting up a 3-way or multi-pole setup. It cannot be used with conventional 3-way switches, which really limits how you can use the VRF01-1LZ with existing equipment. Also, the Leviton VRF01-1LZ only uses standard Z-Wave communication, so users looking for a new in-wall Z-Wave fan switch will likely want to explore newer Z-Wave Plus options instead. Overall, we feel as though going with a newer and more advanced Z-Wave fan controller is usually a better option. That is why the Leviton VRF01-1LZ only receives 4 Stars from us.

Good: Different Speed Options, Microprocessor Controller, RFI Filtering, Easy Pairing

Bad: Only Works w/ Compatible Leviton Devices for 3-Way, Stanard Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

DSC WLS922L-433 - Wireless Acuity Glassbreak Detector

Great 433 MHz Glass Break Sensor
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC WLS922L-433 is a 433 MHz glass break sensor that monitors windows and protective glass casings for glass break events. Sensors like this one are very commonly used in residential locations, as well as businesses like gun shops and jewelry stores. What's great about this sensor is that it can monitor multiple windows and/or protective glass casings using its high-performance microphone. Overall, this is a very nice wireless glass break sensor that we would recommend to anyone with a 433 MHz security system. It gets a 5-Star rating from us.

There are many things we like about the DSC WLS922L-433. For starters, its high-performance microphone works great in listening for glass break events, such as a window being broken or a product display case being smashed. This microphone helps the sensor actively distinguish between true glass break events and potential false alarms. Since the device uses digital signal processing, it can work well with nearly any type of glass. This includes plate glass, float glass, tempered glass, wired glass, and laminated glass. We also like the fact that the sensor has a dip switch that allows the user to choose between high and low sensitivity options. Overall, we have found that the DSC WLS922L-433 reliably responds to glass break events, while also not being set off by similar sounds that could otherwise cause false alarms.

There are not many downsides associated with the DSC WLS922L-433. The biggest problem is that the device needs a direct line of sight to the windows and/or casings that it is monitoring. Needing a direct line of sight is fairly standard for a glass break sensor, but it is still something to keep in mind. Also, since the device is wireless, it will require periodic battery replacements. In most cases, the batteries will need to be replaced every three (3) to five (5) years. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving this product 5 Stars.

Good: High-Performance Microphone, Prevents False Alarms, Reliably Responds to Glass Break Events, Digital Signal Processing, Works w/ Most Types of Glass, Dip Switch Sensitivity

Bad: Needs Direct Line of Sight, Battery Replacements Needed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Macurco GD-2A - Hardwired Natural Gas & Propane Detector

Great Gas Leak Detector
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Macurco GD-2A is a hardwired natural gas and propane detector. This sensor is designed to detect gas leaks that could result in issues if left unattended. We have found that the Macurco GD-2A sensor works very reliably in detecting gas leaks, which can be very important in preventing fires and wasted energy expenses. The sensor is great for those who want to monitor for propane or natural gas leaks that may occur. It offers some nice benefits, but there are some usage considerations that must be kept in mind. Overall, we really like this sensor, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

The biggest benefit of the Macurco GD-2A is that it provides a solution for monitoring for gas leaks. Propane and natural gas leak detectors are not the most commonly used sensors, so it is good to see that there is a nice option available, even if it is a hardwired sensor. You can easily mount the sensor based on the types of leaks you are trying to detect, and it's really nice that the sensor has different mounting options available. We also like the fact that all of the necessary mounting hardware comes included. Since this device is Form C, it can be set up with a NO or NC wiring configuration. Other benefits for the sensor include its built-in LED status light and the device's integrated switch for testing and silencing the sensor. Lastly, we appreciate the fact that this sensor has a built-in buzzer for providing audible alerts when activated.

There are some downsides to the Macurco GD-2A that should be kept in mind. For one, it is for indoor use only, and it cannot be used safely in an outdoor environment. Since the module has a power draw of 70 mA, you will need to make sure your system can supply sufficient power to the sensor. Really, 70 mA is not a large amount of power, but it can make adding this sensor a bit more challenging than a non-powered device, such as a door and window contact sensor. One other very important thing to keep in mind is that this sensor only has a useful product life of 10 years. After that, it will need to be replaced with a new unit.

We are very satisfied with the Macurco GD-2A, and we think it is a great option for anyone who needs a hardwired gas leak detector. That is why this product earns 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Monitors for Gas Leaks, Different Mounting Options, Mounting Hardware Included, Form C, Built-In Status LED Light, Integrated Testing/Silencing Switch, Built-In Buzzer

Bad: Indoor Use Only, Draws Power, 10 Year Product Life

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC AC-500 - Acuity® Ceiling-Mount Glassbreak Detector

Nice Ceiling-Mount Glass Break
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC AC-500 is a hardwired ceiling-mount glass break detection sensor that can reliably monitor windows and protective glass casings. It works with a wide variety of glass types, and the sensor offers some nice features to help ensure effective operation. This is a really nice wired glass break sensor option that provides a great solution for many users. It has many positive aspects, with relatively few downsides. That is why we give the DSC AC-500 Glass Break Sensor a 5 Star rating.

There are quite a few things we like about the DSC AC-500. For one, it has an omni-directional microphone that allows it to detect glass break events from any direction. We also like the fact that the sensor has a nice listening range, as it can detect glass breaking sounds from up to 25 feet away. You can even use it to monitor multiple windows and/or glass casings if the device is placed strategically. And we really appreciate the fact that this sensor can be used with multiple types of glass, including plate glass, float glass, tempered glass, wired glass, and laminated glass.

There are relatively few downsides associated with the DSC AC-500. Its biggest issue is that it needs a direct line of sight to the glass it is monitoring. This is a fairly standard requirement for glass break sensors, but it is still something you will want to keep in mind when using this sensor. Another downside is that as a wired sensor, it will need to be installed and physically connected with the panel. This may present some challenges for DIY installers who are not very adept at using tools or running wires. Still, these are relatively minor downsides. All things considered, we have no issue giving the DSC AC-500 5 Stars.

Good: Omni-Directional Microphone, Good Listening Range, Can Monitor Multiple Windows/Casings, Works w/ Many Types of Glass

Bad: Needs Direct Line of Sight, Must Be Installed, Wires Must Be Run

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 4120TR - Trigger Cable

Great Trigger Cable Connector
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 4120TR Trigger Cable is used for completing trigger connections, such as setting up power relays for use with wired security systems. This cable makes it easy to complete these connections, and it can really come in handy when configuring devices that use harnesses for wiring. It was originally designed for use with the Honeywell 4120XM Wired Alarm Control Panel, but the device can still be used quite nicely with nearly any hardwired Honeywell System that uses a trigger cable with a keyed header. This most notably includes the Vista-20P, Vista-21iP, and Vista-15P panels. Overall, this is a great trigger cable accessory, and we have no problem giving it a 5-Star rating.

The biggest thing we like about the Honeywell 4120TR is that it makes it easy to complete trigger connections. By using this trigger cable, you can save yourself some tedious wiring. This cable is also quite versatile, as you can expect to use it well with nearly any connection that relies on a wiring harness. And nearly any hardwired Honeywell Panel will support it. This makes it a great option in many situations. It is often a good idea to keep some of these trigger cables around if you are regularly setting up triggered devices on hardwired Honeywell Systems.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell 4120TR. Its biggest limitation is that it is not very frequently used, as more people are switching over to wireless systems. The need for a trigger cable for wired devices using connecting harnesses has diminished greatly with the rise of wireless panels and accessories. Still, the Honeywell 4120TR has stood the test of time, and it is still a good trigger cable to use in many applications. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Easy Connecting, Versatile, Works w/ Many Systems and Wired Relay Devices

Bad: Not Frequently Needed, Model Has Been Around for Awhile

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Go Control GC-TBZ48 - Z-Wave Smart Thermostat

Decent Z-Wave Thermostat
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Go Control GC-TBZ48 is a smart Z-Wave thermostat. It is a relatively basic thermostat model, as it only has a 7-character scrolling display for programming, and it only uses classic Z-Wave, as opposed to Z-Wave Plus. The model can be run on battery power without the use of a C-wire, but doing so will make it impossible for the device to repeat other Z-Wave signals for strengthening the mesh network. But you can still use a C-wire if desired. Overall, this is a fine Z-Wave thermostat, but there are many newer and more advanced models available, including some that have much cleaner user interfaces. For that reason, we only give the Go Control GC-TBZ48 a 4 Star rating.

There are some key aspects we like about the Go Control GC-TBZ48. For one, the option to use the unit without a C-wire is a nice touch, even if it eliminates the device's function as a Z-Wave repeater. Being able to power the device using four (4) AA batteries can really be a nice alternative if connecting a C-wire is not feasible. We also like the fact that the unit is compatible with nearly any Z-Wave controller or hub. This makes the thermostat quite versatile and able to connect with a number of different systems.

There are some downsides to the Go Control GC-TBZ48. One downside is that using the device on battery power without a C-wire will eliminate the device's Z-Wave signal repeating capabilities. We are not fans of the device's 7-character scrolling for programming, as we feel there are much cleaner UI options available that are easier to understand. And we don't like the fact that this thermostat uses standard Z-Wave instead of Z-Wave Plus. Because of these limitations, we give this product only 4 Stars.

Good: Can Be Used w/o C-Wire, Battery Power Option, Works w/ Nearly Any Z-wave Controller

Bad: Battery Power Eliminates Function as Z-Wave Repeater, 7-Character Scrolling for Programming, Cleaner UI Options Exist, Standard Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Arlo VMB4000 - Base Station for Arlo, Arlo Pro & Arlo Pro 2 Certified Refurbished

Good Refurbished Base Station
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMB4000 is the certified refurbished version of the Arlo Base Station. It works with any Arlo, Arlo Pro, or Arlo Pro 2 Camera, and it can support up to five (5) cameras in total. These cameras require an Arlo Base Station, and getting a refurbished model can be a great way to save some money. This module also allows for local storage through a USB drive, which can be very useful if you are looking for a convenient storage option for these cameras. However, you will need to use the Arlo App with this hub. Overall, we think the refurbished Arlo Base Station works great, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Arlo VMB4000. Buying the refurbished model instead of the new model can be a great way to save money. We like the fact that the hub allows for local storage through a USB drive, as this provides an easy way to store captured footage. The fact that you can use up to five (5) cameras with the Base Station means that one module can likely support your entire camera setup. Just one Base Station will likely be all you need to start buying and setting up new Arlo Cameras. And there is a solid selection of Arlo Cameras you can use with the unit.

There aren't many downsides to the Arlo VMB4000. The device requires the use of the Arlo App. While we don't necessarily have any problems with the Arlo App, some users might not appreciate the lack of alternative options available. Also, some users might not like the fact that this hub is refurbished, and they may feel more comfortable buying the new model. Still, if you are looking to save money, then this refurbished Arlo Base Station can be a really nice selection. We give this product 5 Stars.

Good: Save Money w/ Refurbished, Local USB Drive Storage, Supports 5 Cameras, Multiple Arlo Camera Options

Bad: Requires Arlo App, Some Users May Want New Model

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell L7000DM - LYNX Touch L7000 Desk Mount

Outstanding Desk Mount!
Submitted on 01/03/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L7000DM is the desk mount for the Honeywell LYNX Touch L7000 System. It cannot be used with the other LYNX Touch Systems, including the L5100, L5200, and L5210. It is exclusively for the L7000. The L7000DM will keep an L7000 System nice and sturdy, without needing to mount it to any wall. The device is very easy to use, as it simply snaps onto the panel. It is a great option for users who cannot mount the L7000 to the wall, as well as users looking to make their installation as quick and as easy as possible without needing to use any tools. We highly recommend the Honeywell L7000DM as a desk mount for L7000 users. We give the product a 5-Star rating.

The positive aspects of the Honeywell L7000DM are easy to understand. The device keeps an L7000 upright at a good viewing angle on a table or desk, which is preferable to just having the panel lay flat on a desk or table. You do not need any tools to start using the L7000DM, which makes it perfect for DIY users who are looking to complete their own system installation without any help from an installer. The L7000DM reliably keeps an L7000 Panel upright and sturdy, and you will not need to worry about the panel falling over. And you won't need to drill any holes in your wall!

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell L7000DM. Its biggest criticism is that it is not very versatile. It can only be used with the L7000 System, and it will not work with any of the other LYNX Touch Panels. But if you need a desk mount for an L7000, then this is the one to get. This product gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Keeps L7000 Upright & Sturdy, Snaps Into Place, No Tools Required, No Holes in Wall

Bad: L7000 Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA - Indoor/Outdoor Fixed Length Cellular Antenna w/ 10 ft cable, VISTA & LYNX Touch Compatible

Great for Moderate Signal Boosts!
Submitted on 01/03/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA is an indoor/outdoor cellular antenna for Honeywell VISTA and LYNX Touch Systems that use cellular communication. The antenna works with both 3G and LTE communicators for these systems. As a low-profile antenna, the CELL-ANTSMA will provide a moderate boost in signal strength for users who live in areas where cellular connectivity is not readily available. However, users requiring something more powerful may need to use a CELL-ANT3DB instead. But users with a compatible system who only need a minor to moderate cellular boost can get great results out of the Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA. We give this product a 5 Star rating due to its good versatility and strong performance overall.

We have many things we like about the Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA. For one, the device is very versatile, as it can be used with nearly any cellular communicator for a Honeywell VISTA or LYNX Touch Security System. The device is fairly easy to mount, and it can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments. We find that it provides a decent signal boost for maintaining reliable connectivity with the AlarmNet360 Servers. This can be very important for maintaining reliable monitoring service. Also, all the mounting hardware comes included.

But there are some downsides to the Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA that should also be considered. For one, the CELL-ANTSMA Antenna is fixed at a length of three (3) meters, and it cannot be adjusted. Second, the CELL-ANTSMA may not provide enough of a signal boost for users living in areas extremely far from any cellular towers. These users may need to get something stronger, like the CELL-ANT3DB. Another downside is that the CELL-ANTSMA cannot be used with the communicators for the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which is one of Honeywell's most popular systems.

Overall, we like the CELL-ANTSMA quite a bit for users who have compatible systems and only need a minor to moderate boost in signal. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Works w/ VISTA & LYNX Touch, Easy to Mount, Indoor/Outdoor Use, Decent Signal Boost, Mounting Hardware Included

Bad: Fixed Length, Stronger Antennas Available, Does Not Work w/ Lyric

Bottom Line: 5 Stars