DSC PG9916 - PowerG 915MHz Wireless Smoke And Heat Detector

Great Smoke and Heat Detector!
Submitted on 01/02/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9916 is a wireless smoke and heat detector from the DSC PowerG Lineup. The sensor has since been discontinued in favor of the DSC PG9936. However, an existing DSC PG9916 will still work just fine. The sensor features a photoelectric smoke detector and a fixed temperature heat detector that activates upon detecting a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The device also features an 85 dB sounder to alert building occupants when activated. Overall, this is a really nice sensor with few downsides. We give it 5 Stars.

There are many things we like about the DSC PG9916. For one, it offers both smoke and heat detection. This helps it identify fires as soon as possible. The sensor supports one-go-all-go when used with other PowerG Smoke Detectors. This means its sounder will activate if other PowerG Smoke detectors are activated. This is great for ensuring that everyone on the premises is alerted to a fire. Speaking of the sounder, it is built right into the sensor, and it can produce sounds of up to 85 dB. This is loud enough for most residential locations. The sensor also provides all the benefits of a PowerG device. A PowerG Sensor can operate wirelessly from up to 2 km away from the receiver in an open-air environment when paired with certain systems. It also utilizes 128-bit AES encryption for added wireless security.

There aren't many downsides to the DSC PG9916. Its biggest downfall is that it has been discontinued, and you can no longer purchase a new model from Alarm Grid. But if you already have one, then it should still be okay. Another issue is that the heat sensor is fixed temperature only. It does not offer Rate of Rise temperature detection. Also the 85 dB sounder is pretty quiet if the sensor is going to be used in a larger location. But the one-go-all-go feature helps overcome this weakness, as the other smoke detectors on the network will also activate. This makes it more likely that everyone in the building will be made aware of a fire. Overall, the DSC PG9916 is a good sensor with few flaws. It gets 5 stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Smoke & Heat Detection, One-Go-All-Go, Built-In Sounder, Great Range, 128-Bit AES Encryption

Bad: Discontinued, No Rate-of-Rise Heat Detection, Sounder is Quiet For Large Homes/Businesses

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG GC3PK-3G-A - 3G AT&T Wireless Security System w/ 3 Door/Window Sensors, Motion Sensor, 8-ft Cable

Get an LTE Kit Instead
Submitted on 12/31/2019 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG GC3PK-3G-A is a discontinued wireless security system kit from Alarm Grid. This kit featured the 2GIG GC3, an AT&T 3G Communicator, three (3) door/window contacts, one (1) motion sensor, and a Honeywell LT-Cable for providing power. It is no longer possible to activate the 2GIG GC3 using the communicator included with this kit. This is because no longer allows 3G activations, as AT&T is planning to shut down their 3G network in the near future. As a result, this is not a good kit to purchase if you are looking for a system to get monitored. However, the kit worked very well with before the 3G sunset took effect. And if you have one that is currently activated, it will still work well until AT&T shuts down its 3G network. At that point, you will need to replace the 3G communicator with an LTE module. Overall, the fact that this kit can no longer be activated is a serious downside. We give this product a 4 Star rating.

There are some positive aspects of the 2GIG GC3PK-3G-A. The 2GIG GC3 is an easy-to-use system that looks great mounted on a wall or positioned on a desk or table using a desk mount. The included sensors all work very well, and they will reliably alert the system to any intrusion events. The LT-Cable makes it easy to power the system. The system can still be used until AT&T shuts down its 3G network, provided that the system is already activated.

However, the downsides to the 2GIG GC3PK-3G-A are major deal-breakers for new buyers. This system can no longer be activated using the communicator included in this kit. You would need to get an LTE cellular communicator instead. The 2GIG GC3 has largely been replaced by the newer and more advanced 2GIG GC3e. We recommend getting the GC3e if you want a new 2GIG System. And once AT&T shuts down its 3G network, you will need to replace the communicator with an LTE module anyway. Otherwise the system will not work for alarm monitoring service.

The 2GIG GC3PK-3G-A was once a useful security system kit. But now it is defunct, and it has been replaced by newer, better technology. We do not recommend this kit for those who are looking to start new monitoring service. But if you have one activated, you can continue to use it for the time being. However, you should start thinking about your upgrade options sooner rather than later. You will need to either get an LTE communicator for your GC3, or upgrade to a new panel entirely. All things considered, we give the 2GIG GC3PK-3G-A 4 Stars.

Good: Easy to Use System, Panel Looks Great, Excellent Sensors, LT-Cable, Can Still Be Used Until AT&T 3G Network Shut Down

Bad: Can No Longer Be Activated, GC3 Discontinued, Must Receive LTE Upgrade Once AT&T Shuts Down 3G Network

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Lutron Caseta P-PKG1W-WH - In-Wall Dimmer Remote Kit

Great Add-On Lighting Kit!
Submitted on 12/31/2019 Alarm Grid

The Lutron Caseta P-PKG1W-WH is a bundled kit that includes a Lutron In-Wall Dimmer Switch, a Lutron Pico Remote for controlling the in-wall dimmer, and accompanying back plates for both. You can integrate the in-wall dimmer with compatible dimmable hardwired lights to provide them with smart control functionality. But you will need to have a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge Hub to get started. Overall, this kit is great for anyone looking to expand upon their existing Lutron setup. We give this product a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Lutron Caseta P-PKG1W-WH. For one, it does not require a neutral wire, which makes installation possible for older homes that do not have neutral wires readily available. By establishing a Lutron Smart Lighting setup with a Caseta Smart Bridge, you can use the in-wall dimmer with a variety of different smart home platforms. These include Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home, and more. Since wallplates are included with the in-wall dimmer and the Pico Remote, you can ensure that the end result looks neat and tidy. The Pico Remote can be hard-mounted using the included wallplate adapter or kept loose as desired.

There are not many downsides to the Lutron Caseta P-PKG1W-WH. One thing to keep in mind is that you will need the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge for any smart home functionality. You can still technically wire in the in-wall dimmer switch and use it as a dimmer, but then it will basically just be a regular old dimmer switch. You should also keep power load limits in mind when using the in-wall dimmer. It can support up to 150 watts for dimmable LED and CFL bulbs, or 600 watts for incandescent and halogen bulbs. These downsides are very minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Lutron Caseta P-PKG1W-WH a rating of 5 Stars.

Good: No Neutral Wire Required, Works w/ Many Smart Home Platforms, Wallplates Included

Bad: Requires Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge for Smart Home Control, Load Limits

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 7670F - AlarmNet GSM-ANT3DB Antenna Mounting Bracket

Great Mounting Bracket!
Submitted on 12/30/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 7670F is the mounting bracket for the AlarmNet CELL-ANT3DB Outdoor Antenna. This mounting bracket is weather-resistant, and it is built for use in an outdoor environment. The Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB already comes with this mounting bracket, so you don't need to buy one separately. But if you ever need to replace the mounting bracket for whatever reason, then this is the product to get. Unfortunately, the Honeywell 7670F is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But if you can find a used one somewhere, then it should work just fine. Overall, the Honeywell 7670F does its job well, and it does not have many downsides. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell 7670F Antenna Mounting Bracket. For one, it is weather-resistant, and you should experience no issues using it outside. This is very important, as placing your cellular antenna outside on your roof is often the best way to achieve strong cellular reception. The mounting bracket is very sturdy, and it should keep your cellular antenna in the desired position when mounted properly. By positioning your cellular antenna where you want it, you are more likely to get good cellular reception. And as such, the Honeywell 7670F improves cellular reception.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell 7670F. The most glaring weakness is that it is discontinued. You can no longer purchase a new 7670F mounting bracket from Honeywell. Also, you need to install the mounting bracket. This may be difficult for some DIY users, especially if the 7670F is being mounted on the roof. But these are just minor downsides to consider. We think the Honeywell 7670F is an excellent mounting bracket, and it gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Weather-Resistant, Sturdy, Improves Cellular Reception

Bad: Discontinued, Must be Physically Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 7626-5 - AlarmNet 5' RF Antenna Coax Cable

Good Cable
Submitted on 12/30/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 7626-5 is a 5 foot long coaxial cable designed for use with AlarmNet Communicators and compatible antennas. The cable connects with a compatible cellular antenna, such as a CELL-ANT3DB, and an SMA-N adapter cable like the Honeywell WA7626-CA. The 7626-5 has two (2) male N ends that are used for completing the connections. One end connects with the cellular antenna, and the other connects with the SMA-N adapter cable. The purpose of this cable is to extend the distance of the CELL-ANT3DB away from the cellular communicator. This can help improve reception and overall device performance. However, there are longer cables than the Honeywell 7626-5 available. Overall, this is a fine cable that does its intended job. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell 7626-5 AlarmNet Coaxial Cable. For one, it improves cellular reception by providing more flexibility in where you place the cellular antenna. Both sides of the cable are identical, with both having the male "N" connector. This means you can connect either side to the antenna and the SMA-N adapter cable. This makes the Honeywell 7626-5 very easy to use. The connections are also quite easy to make, and the installation process can be completed by a DIY user, assuming they know what they're doing.

There aren't many downsides to the Honeywell 7626-5. The most glaring weakness is that the cable is only five (5) feet long. This doesn't give much distance for choosing a spot for the antenna. There are other longer cable options available, including a 25 foot cable and a 50 foot cable. But if you just need a short cable for adjusting the position of your antenna, then the Honeywell 7626-5 can work quite well. The Honeywell 7626-5 gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Improves Cellular Reception, More Flexibility in Mounting/Placing Antenna, Easy to Use, DIY Friendly

Bad: Only 5 Feet Long

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell L5200PK-5811 - Basic Wireless Home Security Kit with Wafer Thin Sensors

Old System Kit
Submitted on 12/30/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L5200PK-5811 is an Alarm Grid system kit that includes a Honeywell L5200 System, three (3) Honeywell 5811 Door/Window Contacts, one (1) Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Sensor, and one (1) Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob. The Honeywell L5200 is a relatively old system that does not support the more advanced features offered from most of the newer panels. The kit also does not include a power cable, nor does it include a communicator. Still, the L5200 is a decent system, and it can be upgraded to support dual-path connectivity and standard Z-Wave. If you already have an L5200, then it can still be used nicely without total replacement. All things considered, we give the Honeywell L5200PK-5811 a 4 Star rating.

There are some key things we like about the L5200PK-5811. The L5200 is a touchscreen system, and it is relatively easy to use. The Honeywell 5811 Door/Window Sensors are quite thin and unobtrusive, making them great for use in the home. The Honeywell 5800PIR-RES works quite well as a motion sensor, and it offers pet immunity. The Honeywell 5834-4 is a convenient key fob that makes it easy to control the system. You can upgrade the L5200 with various accessories, and the LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater tool can be used to get the panel on the latest firmware.

However, there are some major downsides to this system kit. Although a power transformer is included, there is no wiring or cabling. You must provide your own wiring or compatible cable, such as a Honeywell LT-Cable. The kit also lacks a communicator. You will need to add a Honeywell L5100-WIFI and/or an LTE communicator (LTE-L57A or LTE-L57V) to get the system connected with AlarmNet360 for use with Total Connect 2.0. And if you want to use Z-Wave, then an L5100-ZWAVE module is needed. This is also an older system, and many users may want something newer and more robust. Some examples of more robust systems include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Finally, this system kit is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased.

The Honeywell L5200PK-5811 was a fine system kit for its time. But today, it is pretty outdated, and there are better options available. It gets 4 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Touchscreen System, Nice Sensors, Convenient Key Fob, Can Receive Firmware Updates

Bad: No Wiring/Cabling Included, No Communicator, Requires Added Accessories for Some Functions, Some Accessories Need Firmware Updates, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Linear WD500Z-1 - 500 Watt Z-wave Dimmer

Not Z-Wave Plus
Submitted on 12/30/2019 Alarm Grid

The Linear WD500Z-1 is a 500 watt in-wall Z-Wave dimmer switch. It is for use with dimmable bulbs only, and it has a load limit of 500 watts. The module can fit nicely into a single-gang bracket, which helps to ensure a neat installation. The device can be paired with nearly any Z-Wave controller or hub, making it quite versatile. However, this device only uses standard Z-Wave communication, as opposed to Z-Wave Plus. It has also been discontinued in favor of more advanced dimming modules. Overall, the Linear WD500Z-1 is a fine device, but it has some flaws that must be considered. We give it 4 Stars.

There are many things we like about the Linear WD500Z-1. For one, it is really easy to pair with a network. Only minor wiring is needed to install the device, so it works great for DIY users. Since the module fits into a single-gang bracket, you can rest assured that the end result will look aesthetically pleasing. And the dimming feature is nice, as you can set the lights to the perfect level for the mood or situation at hand.

However, the downsides to the Linear WD500Z-1 must also be discussed. The module cannot be used with non-dimmable bulbs. These include compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and LED lights. The 500 Watt load limit is suitable for most residential situations, but it does present restrictions on how the device can be used. The WD500Z-1 only speaks standard Z-Wave, and you cannot take advantage of Z-Wave Plus with this module. The module has been discontinued, so you can no longer purchase it new. However, if you already have one, then it will still work fine.

The Linear WD500Z-1 is a decent in-wall dimmer, but there are better options available. It gets a 4 Star rating.

Good: Easy to Enroll, Only Requires Minor Wiring, Fits In Single Gang Bracket, Dims the Lights

Bad: For Dimmable Bulbs Only, 500 Watt Limit, Standard Z-Wave, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

System Sensor 5621 - 135°F Fixed Temp / Rate of Rise Heat Detector

Great Wired Heat Detector!
Submitted on 12/26/2019 Alarm Grid

The System Sensor 5621 is a hardwired heat detector. Like all wired heat sensors, it uses a 2-wire connection with the panel. It should be installed at any open wired zone on the panel. Because of the unique way that heat sensors operate, the fixed temperature portion of the System Sensor 5621 is a one-and-done device. In other words, once the fixed temperature portion of the device activates, it must be discarded and replaced with a new one. But as far as wired heat sensors are concerned, the System Sensor 5621 is a great option. We give it 5 Stars.

There are many things to like about the System Sensor 5621. For one, the sensor offers both fixed temperature detection (135°F or higher) and rate-of-rise (RoR) detection (increase of 15°F or higher in a single minute). This makes it more likely that the sensor will respond quickly to a fire. Since the sensor doesn't respond to smoke, you can use it in an area where smoke may otherwise be present, such as a kitchen or designated smoking areas. The System Sensor 5621 is also great for use in areas like bathrooms and garages where high humidity may cause problems for conventional smoke detectors. As the fixed portion of the sensor is one-and-done, while the ROR portion will restore automatically, no reset function is needed. This makes it super easy to set up for use with an alarm system. The sensor has a large coverage area of 50 sqft with a ceiling height of up to 10 feet.

However, there are some downsides to the System Sensor 5621 that you should consider. The biggest downside is that it is a one-and-done device. You will need to replace it after just one fixed temperature activation. The sensor is designed for indoor use only, so you cannot use it to monitor for outdoor areas. Also the device does not have a sounder, so you cannot use it as a standalone heat sensor. You will also need to make sure your wired system has an adequate sounder. Fortunately, these downsides are rather minor, and they do not stop us from giving the System Sensor 5621 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Fixed Temp. & RoR Detection, Not Prone to False Alarms, No Reset Function Required, Large Coverage Area

Bad: One-And-Done, No Sounder, Indoor Use Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys IQ Flood - Flood sensor for the Qolsys IQ and IQ Panel 2

Excellent Flood Sensor
Submitted on 12/26/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Flood is a wireless flood sensor that operates at 319.5 MHz. The sensor has an attached probe for detecting water leaks. Only a small amount of liquid is needed to activate the sensor. By using a flood sensor like the Qolsys IQ Flood, you can have your system alert you to a flood before any serious water damage occurs. The Qolsys IQ Flood works very well, and it has very few downsides. With that in mind, we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Qolsys IQ Flood. For one, it activates with only a small amount of water. This means that your system will be notified before any serious water damage occurs. This will give you time to take action before the flood gets any worse. The sensor has a wireless range of up to 600 feet in open air. You should have no problem using the sensor in an average sized home or a smaller business. The sensor has an impressive battery life, as it only needs a battery change about every five (5) years with average use. The sensor uses two (2) lithium CR2032 coin batteries for power.

However, there are some downsides about the Qolsys IQ Flood that should be considered as well. The fact that the sensor is attached to a probe means that you will need to find a good spot for both the sensor and the probe. Fortunately, the probe wire is 6 feet long, so you should be able to find a good mounting spot for both. Some ideal locations include behind toilets, underneath sinks, and underneath water heaters. The sensor is not part of the Qolsys S-Line Series, and it does not offer any encryption. All things considered, these are very minor downsides, and they do not stop us from giving the IQ Flood 5 Stars.

Good: Activates w/ Small Amount of Liquid, Great Wireless Range, Long Battery Life

Bad: Must Position Both Probe & Sensor, No Encryption

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 6165EX - Alphanumeric Slimline Alarm Keypad

Get a 6160 Instead!
Submitted on 12/20/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 6165EX is a slim-line Alphanumeric Kepyad for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. It is basically the same as a standard Honeywell 6160 Keypad, except the Honeywell 6165EX is smaller, more expensive and has a much dimmer LED backlight. There is very little reason to choose this keypad over a Honeywell 6160. You will just be spending more money on a keypad that will give you a headache if you try to use it in the dark. However, the Honeywell 6165EX does work well, and it does have a strong build-quality. We give it a 3 Star rating.

There are some good aspects about the Honeywell 6165EX. Many users appreciate its slim profile, and its compact design is often preferred over the 6160. Since it is an Alphanumeric Keypad, you can use it for deep-level programming, which is quite nice. In fact, this keypad is the equivalent of a Honeywell 6160, so you are getting all the features. The keypad also features four (4) programmable function keys, which is nice if you ever quickly need to perform a system action. We also like the relatively low power draw of the 6165EX, as it uses just 150 mA of power when the system is in alarm mode.

But the downsides of the Honeywell 6165EX should not be ignored. This keypad costs more than a Honeywell 6160, and there's not much reason to spend the extra money. While the keypad might have a slim and compact design that is appreciated by many, it isn't exactly an "aesthetically pleasing" keypad. Most of our technicians agreed as a matter of personal opinion that the keypad is quite ugly. It's not exactly a keypad that looks great on the wall. But the biggest downfall of the Honeywell 6165EX is its terrible backlight. We have had customers report that it is difficult to use this keypad in the dark. Once they switched to a 6160 Keypad, these issues were fixed.

We are not big fans of the Honeywell 6165EX. We think it is a much better idea to get a Honeywell 6160 instead. Or if you want to start using wireless sensors, spring for a little bit more and get a Honeywell 6160RF. While the Honeywell 6165EX is built well and performs its duties as described, we cannot recommend it. This keypad gets 3 Stars out of 5.

Good: Compact Design, Deep-Level Programming, 4 Function Keys, Low Power Draw

Bad: Weak Backlight, More Expensive Than 6160, Ugly

Bottom Line: 3 Stars