Reviews

System Sensor 2151T - Photoelectric Smoke and Fixed Heat Detector

Requires Detector Base
Submitted on 09/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The System Sensor 2151T is a combination smoke detector and heat detector head. This is not a complete smoke detector and heat sensor unit. You need to install it on top of a compatible base, such as a System Sensor B112LP. Other compatible bases are available. Choosing a smoke/heat head rather than a complete unit is an odd decision. It does offer the benefit of customization, as you can choose a different type of base depending on the wiring type (2-wire or 4-wire) and voltage type (12VDC or 24VDC) that you want to use. But really, you should just get a complete unit. This smoke and heat detector head is really only recommended if you already have a compatible base, and you just need a head to go with it. For that reason, we only give the System Sensor 2151T a 3-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects for the System Sensor 2151T that we appreciate. For one, the sensor head offers both photoelectric smoke detection and fixed temperature heat detection (135 degrees Fahrenheit). Photoelectric technology is considered to be the most reliable type of smoke detection, so that's a plus. The optical sensing chamber allows the sensor to respond to even the smallest smoke particles. You have customization in the ability to choose a different type of base depending on what type of wiring and voltage setup you want to use with the sensor head.

But the fact that this sensor head requires a base that is purchased separately is a major downside. You can just as easily purchase a complete unit that is good to go right out of the box, rather than buying a sensor head and a base separately. The only reason you should get this is if you already have a base. Otherwise, just get a complete unit. For that reason, we only give the System Sensor 2151T a 3-Star rating.

Good: Smoke & Heat, Photoelectric, Optical Sensing Chamber, Customizable Via Base

Bad: Requires Base (Not Included)

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Leviton VRMX1-1LZ - Magnetic Low Voltage Z-Wave Dimmer

Limited In-Wall Switch
Submitted on 09/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRMX1-1LZ is a Z-Wave classic in-wall switch for low-voltage lights. The device will support up to 1000W of connected low-voltage lights. It can be used in a 3-way lighting setup, provided that it is paired with a compatible Leviton unit. A traveler wire will be required for a 3-way lighting setup. This is a relatively limited in-wall switch due to the types of lights that can be used with it. Not to mention, there are a plethora of newer Z-Wave Plus options available. We do not really recommend the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ, and we only give it a 3-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ. It provides smart control for your lights so that you can control them from a Z-Wave hub or by using a compatible interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. The device has a built-in LED light to indicate dimness level. This can be convenient when using the device and for troubleshooting purposes. You also get interchangeable white, ivory, and almond colored switches for added customization.

But the downsides for the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ should not be ignored. This product is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased from Alarm Grid. This is a standard Z-Wave device, and newer Z-Wave Plus devices are readily available. This doesn't really matter much if you only have a standard Z-Wave controller, but it is still a limitation nonetheless. But perhaps the biggest downfall of the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ is the fact that it is for low-voltage lights only, and it cannot be used with standard incandescent or fluorescent lights. The fact that a traveler wire is required for 3-way lighting setups can also be seen as a negative, as there are other models that can do a 3-way configuration without a traveler wire. With these downsides in consideration, we give the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ a 3-Star rating.

Good: Smart Control for Lights, LED Light, Interchangeable Switches

Bad: Discontinued, Standard Z-Wave, Low-Voltage Lights Only, Traveler Wire Needed for 3-Way

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Honeywell FG1625F - Flush Mount Glass Break Detector

Great Wired Glass Break!
Submitted on 09/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell FG1625F is a wired flush-mount glass break detection sensor. This sensor has a built-in microphone that is finely tuned and specifically designed to detect the sound of glass breaking. It uses Honeywell's FlexCore signal processor to respond to glass break events accurately. This prevents false alarms due to the sensor responding to similar sounds. This is a reliable wired glass break sensor that can be used nicely with nearly any wired system or wired to wireless converter module. We give the Honeywell FG1625F a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell FG1625F. For one, it can be used with nearly any type of glass. As long as the glass is 10mm thick or less, then it should work fine with the Honeywell FG1625F. The sensor has a nice detection range of 25 feet, which gives you flexibility in choosing a mounting location. You can even use it to monitor multiple glass windows if placed strategically. Just remember that the sensor must have a direct line of sight to any window it is monitoring. The Honeywell FG1625F also has DIP switches so that you can set the sensitivity for the sensor. We also like the fact that the sensor has a special "hand-clap" feature that you can use to verify that it is working properly.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell FG1625F. As a hardwired sensor, it must be wired to the panel or a compatible wired to wireless converter. This can be inconvenient, especially if you are not used to wiring. It's also important to note that the sensor will draw up to 22mA of current from the panel. This is not a large amount of power, but you should still consider it in your current calculation. Overall, the Honeywell FG1625F earns a 5-Star score.

Good: Works w/ Most Types of Glass, 25-Feet Detection Range, Monitor Multiple Windows, Sensitivity Adjustments, Hand-Clap Feature

Bad: Must Be Wired, Draws Powerr From Panel

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell ASC-SS1 - Glass Break Shock Sensor

Good Wired Shock Sensor
Submitted on 09/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell ASC-SS1 is a hardwired shock sensor that is used to monitor glass windows for breakages. When a window is broken, the resulting shockwaves will activate the Honeywell ASC-SS1 and tell it to alert the security system. As such, shock sensors like the Honeywell ASC-SS1 are sometimes used in-place of glass break detection sensors. A somewhat unique aspect of the Honeywell ASC-SS1 is that it is actually designed to be mounted on the glass it is monitoring. It should be placed at least one inch away from the window frame, as the frame can disrupt the shockwaves and prevent them from reaching the sensor. While the Honeywell ASC-SS1 is a rather dated product, it still works quite well for its intended use. We give the Honeywell ASC-SS1 a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell ASC-SS1. For one, it is quite easy to install, though you will need to run wires from the panel to the sensor. The device uses a 2-wire connection. Although the sensor does technically draw power from the panel, it is a miniscule amount of less than 1mA. That is how this sensor gets away with using a 2-wire connection, with the wires simply going to the zone terminals. Like most Honeywell products, the ASC-SS1 has a good build quality.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell ASC-SS1. One issue is that shock sensors like this device tend to be a bit more prone to false alarm than glass break sensors that use finely tuned microphones to detect glass break events. There is also the fact that the sensor will be noticeable on the window, as you actually mount it directly on the glass. And as a wired sensor, you will need to run wires, which can be a bit inconvenient. But overall, we like the Honeywell ASC-SS1, and it gets a 5-Star score.

Good: Easy to Install, Miniscule Power Draw, Good Build Quality

Bad: Rattling May Cause False Alarms, Noticeable On Window, Must Run Wires

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC EV-DW4975 - Wireless Window/Door Contact Slimline

Good 433 MHz Sensor
Submitted on 09/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC EV-DW4975 is a wireless slimline 433 MHz door and window contact sensor for use with system such as the DSC Impassa, the DSC PowerSeries (added receiver required), and the 433 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. If you're in need of a 433 MHz door and window sensor, then this is a great option to choose from. It has a slim profile, and it is relatively straightforward and easy to use. Although it isn't the fanciest sensor, it doesn't offer many downsides, and it still performs quite well to this do. For those reasons, we give the DSC EV-DW4975 a perfect 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects to like about the DSC EV-DW4975. For one, it has an extremely slim profile. In fact, the sensor measures less than a quarter-inch thick. The complete dimensions for the sensor are 2.25"L X 1"W X 15/64"D. The sensor is a bit on the lengthy side, but its width is average, and it is indeed super thin. The sensor also offers a fantastic battery life, as it can go roughly five (5) to eight (8) years without a replacement, assuming typical usage. If you need to replace the battery for the sensor, then you will want to get a lithium CR2032 coin battery. You can find these at most pharmacies, or you can purchase one from Alarm Grid.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC EV-DW4975. Its magnet spacing gap is just 5/8 of an inch. This is about average for a sensor of this caliber, but you should be able to find sensors with a larger magnet spacing gap if you look hard enough. The 433 MHz frequency isn't commonly used with security systems anymore. Most users starting from scratch will not elect to build around this frequency. Instead, you will typically only use this frequency if you are upgrading an old Impassa or PowerSeries System, or if you have a 433 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus for some reason. It's also worth mentioning that this sensor does not utilize any wireless encryption for enhanced wireless security. But these downsides aside, we still give the DSC EV-DW4975 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Slim Sensor, Great Battery Life

Bad: Average Magnet Spacing Gap, 433 MHz Isn't Commonly Used Anymore, No Encryption

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell L5200PK10 - Basic Wireless Security System with 10 Door/Window Sensors

Classic Security System Kit
Submitted on 09/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L5200PK10 is a discontinued security system kit from Alarm Grid. This kit included a Honeywell L5200 LYNX Touch Panel, ten (10) door and window contact sensors, one (1) PIR motion detection sensor, and one (1) Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob. In order to get this system monitored, a user will need to add a separate communicator, which is not included with this kit. In most cases, this will require upgrading the firmware for the system by using the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool. Despite all of this panel's shortcomings, it can do virtually anything that a newer and more robust panel can do, if provided with the right hardware. This is an underrated panel, so we give the discontinued Honeywell L5200PK10 Security System Kit a 4-star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Honeywell L5200PK10. For one, the L5200 has a larger screen than its successor, the Honeywell L5210. The screen isn't quite as large as the L7000, but it is still worth mentioning. With 10 contacts, 1 motion, and 1 key fob, you have everything you need for local monitoring. And if you upgrade the firmware and add a communicator, then this panel can even be used as a relatively modern security system. All of the equipment is of very high quality, which is what you would expect from the Honeywell label. While we wouldn't necessarily recommend seeking out this system, it can certainly be put to good use if you happen to find a deal somewhere out there.

But the negative aspects for the Honeywell L5200PK10 should not be ignored. For starters, this system kit is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased from Alarm Grid. This is an old system, and you will need to update the firmware in order to get it monitored in most cases. You must also add a communicator, which is not included with this kit. Really, it is much easier to just get a Honeywell Lyric, which can be readily set up with IP monitoring service right out of the box. But if you have a Honeywell L5200PK10 and compatible sensors sitting around somewhere, then you could do a lot worse. For that reason, we give the Honeywell L5200PK10 a 4-star score.

Lutron Caseta PD-6WCL - Wireless In-Wall Light Dimmer

Great Lutron Device!
Submitted on 08/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Lutron Caseta 6WCL is a plug-in dimmer module that is installed in-place of an existing in-wall switch. This will allow for smart control over the connected lights. You will need to use this switch with a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge for smart lighting control. But once you have a bridge, you will be able to set up an entire Lutron Network of smart lights. Like all other Lutron devices, the Lutron Caseta 6WCL is known for its great build quality, as well as its overall versatility. This device makes a great addition to any Lutron Caseta network of smart lights. It gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Lutron Caseta 6WCL. For one, the device can support up to 150W dimmable LED or CFL bulbs, or 600W for incandescent or halogen bulbs. No neutral wire is required for setup, which is ideal for DIY installers, as well as any user in an older home without a neutral wire. You can even add a Lutron Pico Remote to simulate a 3-way lighting configuration without a traveler wire. As a Lutron Caseta device, you can use this switch with smart home platforms like IFTTT, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. You can even pair it with Alarm.com if you are using a PRO version of the Caseta Smart Bridge. We also love the fact that the in-wall dimmer switch is available in multiple color options. And of course, the device has a great build quality.

There are only a few downsides to the Lutron Caseta 6WCL. As a Lutron device, you can only use the Caseta 6WCL for smart lighting if you have a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge set up. This is the most important part of the Lutron network, and you will definitely want to get one if you are getting started with Lutron. Like any in-wall switch, the Lutron Caseta 6WCL must be installed. This isn't too difficult, but it will require a screwdriver. Overall, this is a great product, and it gets a 5-Star score from us.

Good: Supports Large Lighting Load, No Neutral Wire Required, Use w/ Pico Remote for 3-Way Setup, Many Compatible Smart Home Platforms, Multiple Colors, Great Build Quality

Bad: Requires Lutron Caseta Bridge for Smart Lighting, Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRP15-1LW - 15A Appliance Z-Wave Plug-in Module

Discontinued Plug-In Module
Submitted on 08/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRP15-1LW is a discontinued Z-Wave plug-in module that supports a maximum power load of 15 amps. It can be used with a variety of devices including, lamps, portable fans, kitchen appliances, indoor fountains, and more. By enrolling this device with your Z-Wave hub, you will be able to control the connected device remotely using a compatible interactive automation platform. Some examples of interactive automation platforms are Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com, which are both frequently used with security systems. The device is easy to use, as you just plug it in and pair it with a Z-Wave hub. However, it is bulky, and it will cover up multiple outlets on a power strip. We also don't like the fact that this is a classic Z-Wave device, rather than a Z-Wave Plus device. All things considered, we give the Leviton VRP15-1LW a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Leviton VRP15-1LW. For one, the module is extremely versatile, as it can support many types of home appliances and allow them to function as smart home devices. Devices can be controlled locally at the unit, from the Z-Wave hub or controller, or remotely from a compatible interactive service platform, such as TC2 or ADC. We love the fact that the device is extremely easy to use. No wiring is required. You just plug it in, and pair the module with the Z-Wave hub. Then connect an electrical appliance that uses 15 amps or less, and start using it with your smart home network. An LED light provides current status.

But there are also some downsides to the Leviton VRP15-1LW. The biggest downfall is that the device is Z-Wave classic, not Z-Wave Plus. This is important if you are pairing the device with a Z-Wave Plus controller, as you won't experience the optimal wireless range of Z-Wave Plus. We also don't like the fact that the device is a rather bulky plug-in module. If you use it on a power strip, then it will cover up multiple outlets. And if you use it on a standard wall outlet, then make sure to place it on the bottom so that it doesn't cover up the other outlet. Also, the unit is discontinued, so you are unlikely to find a new model, and you cannot purchase it from Alarm Grid. All things considered, the Leviton VRP15-1LW gets a 4-Star score from Alarm Grid.

Good: Versatile, Multiple Ways to Control Connected Devices, Easy to Use, No Wiring Required, LED Status Light

Bad: Z-Wave Classic, Bulky Plug-In Module, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

DSC CD8055IVZ - Alarm.com Verizon CDMA Communicator for Impassa w/ Image Sensor Module

CDMA Communicator
Submitted on 08/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC CD8055IVZ is a discontinued Verizon CDMA Communicator for a DSC Impassa Security System. The module can no longer be activated for alarm monitoring service, as Verizon is in the process of shutting down their CDMA network. Existing units that have already been activated can continue to be used until Verizon ultimately shuts down the network. The module came bundled with an image sensor for use with Alarm.com, and it could readily support Z-Wave devices. But the fact that this is a CDMA Communicator is difficult to ignore. For that reason, we only give this a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the DSC CD8055IVZ. For one, it provides reliable cellular monitoring when activated. Cellular connectivity is must more reliable than IP connectivity, as internet outages are fairly common. This communicator allows an Impassa System to communicate with the Alarm.com servers. This is great for controlling your system remotely, provided that your monitoring plan includes access to the Alarm.com platform. The fact that this module includes built-in Z-Wave support and image sensor support is a nice touch as well. If the unit has already been activated, then it can remain active until Verizon shuts down their CDMA network. But users should upgrade to an LTE model as soon as possible.

The downsides to the DSC CD8055IVZ should not be ignored. The product has been discontinued, and even if you find a used model, it can no longer be activated for monitoring. Once Verizon shuts down their CDMA network, the module will stop working entirely, so you want to upgrade to LTE as soon as you can. Like any Impassa communicator, the device needs to be installed, which requires opening up the panel. While this was once a good communicator, it should no longer be used today. It gets 4 Stars.

Good: Reliable Cellular monitoring, Alarm.com, Z-Wave, Image Sensor Support, Can Remain Active Until Verizon Shuts Down CDMA Network

Bad: Discontinued, Can No Longer be Activated, Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Qolsys IQ Motion - Motion Detector Compatible w/ Qolsys IQ & IQ Panel 2

Simple & Effective Motion Sensor
Submitted on 08/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Motion is a discontinued 319.5 MHz motion sensor. It is a non-encrypted model that was later replaced by the Qolsys IQ Motion-S, which uses S-Line rolling code encryption when paired with an IQ Panel 2 or 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus. As for the standard IQ Motion, it is great for monitoring areas in residential homes for movement and activity while the family is away. While this is a fairly standard motion sensor, it still works nicely in applications that warrant a simple, yet effective motion sensor. If you come across a used model, then we would definitely recommend it for your compatible 319.5 MHz wireless system. We give the Qolsys IQ Motion a 5-Star rating.

One positive aspect of the IQ Motion is its small size. It's just 2.4" wide and 3.4" long, so it won't take up much space. The sensor offers pet immunity for pets weighing up to 40 lbs. This can give you peace of mind in knowing that your small pets won't set off the motion sensor, provided that it is mounted properly. The device includes a tamper cover, which is good for letting the system know if someone tries to open up. The sensor can be used with virtually any 319.5 MHz system, which makes it quite versatile. You can choose to wall-mount or flat-mount the sensor.

There are a few minor downsides for the Qolsys IQ Motion. One issue is that the device has been discontinued, and you won't be able to buy it new from Alarm Grid. This motion sensor is non-encrypted, which may turn-off users looking to build fully encrypted alarm systems. The device uses two (2) AAA batteries, and they will need to be replaced every few years. But that is the case for any wireless sensor. Overall, this product gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Compact Size, Pet Immunity, Tamper Cover, Versatile, Multiple Mounting Options

Bad: Discontinued, Non-Encrypted, Requires Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars