Reviews

Lutron caseta p bdg pkg1w unboxed single in wall dimmer starter

Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W - Single In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit w/ Smart Bridge

Perfect Starter Kit!
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W is a complete Lutron starter kit that includes a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, a Lutron In-Wall Dimmer Switch, a Lutron Pico Remote, and a wall plate. This is really everything you need to get started with Lutron smart lighting. At Alarm Grid, we are really big fans of Lutron, and we would definitely recommend this kit to anyone getting started with the lighting protocol. Anyone starting from scratch can use this kit as a great starting point for building a complete network of Lutron devices. For that reason, we give the Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W a 5-Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W. For one, it includes everything needed for a new Lutron user. The smart bridge is the central hub for all your Lutron devices You even get a Lutron Pico Remote and a Lutron In-Wall Dimmer to get started. We love the fact that Lutron is compatible with Apple HomeKit, and iOS users will certainly want to take advantage of this compatibility. If you have a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, then some really nice integrations will be made possible through HomeKit. And even if you don't use HomeKit, there are still other integrations to enjoy, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT.

The biggest downside to this Lutron Kit is that it does not offer Alarm.com compatibility. If you want to use the Alarm.com Lutron integration, then you will need to get the PRO 2 version of the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge. The Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge PRO 2 is sold individually elsewhere on the Alarm Grid website, but we do not offer it as part of any complete Lutron Kit. But if you do not intend on using Lutron with Alarm.com, then this is a non-issue. Overall, there are some awesome benefits to this kit with very few downsides. The Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W earns 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Includes Everything Needed for New Lutron User, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT

Bad: No Alarm.com Support

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Somfy ZRSTi - Z-Wave Shade Controller 1811265

Great Z-Wave Curtain Motor Controller!
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Somfy ZRSTi is a Z-Wave shade controller. It uses Radio Technology Somfy (RTS) to wirelessly control the compatible motors for shades, blinds, and curtains. The ZRSTi can convert this RTS signal to Z-Wave and vice-versa so that your Z-Wave controller can communicate with your Somfy Curtain Motor. When using the Somfy ZRSTi, you can only have the window coverings fully opened or fully closed. The unit does not allow for partial closing. Still, this is a rare example of a Z-Wave device that can be used to open and close your blinds or other window coverings. Since this device provides a useful function that is matched by few other devices, we have no issue giving the Somfy ZRSTi a 5-Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Somfy ZRSTi. For one, it integrates nicely with nearly any Z-Wave controller or hub, including most security systems that support Z-Wave. The module can simultaneously connect with up to 16 different Somfy Curtain Motors that use RTS communication. From there, you can actually program the Somfy ZRSTi with up to 16 Z-Wave slots (aka Nodes) on your Z-Wave controller to allow for individual control for each motor used with the ZRSTi module. We also appreciate the fact that the Somfy ZRSTi is nice and compact, meaning that it won't take up too much space in your home or business.

There are some downsides associated with the Somfy ZRSTi. For one, it can only be used with Somfy Motors that support RTS communication. Other curtain motors will not work with the ZRSTi. The fact that you can only use the ZRSTi to completely open or completely close your window coverings is somewhat of a letdown. There is no way to use the module to leave your curtains partially open. Lastly, the fact that this module only uses standard Z-Wave is disappointing, as the more advanced Z-Wave Plus communication protocol is known to work more reliably.

Overall, the Somfy ZRSTi is a very good product. It has some downsides, but it is one of the few Z-Wave curtain motor controllers available. For that reason, it gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Works w/ Nearly Any Z-Wave Controller, Can Connect w/ Up to 16 Somfy Curtain Motors Using RTS, Small & Compact Design

Bad: Only for Somfy Motors Using RTS, Cannot Partially Open/Close Curtains, Standard Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Elk 110 - Voice Siren Driver

Excellent Siren Driver!
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Elk 110 is a voice siren driver that is used with speaker units that lack a built-in siren driver. By adding this module to a speaker, the speaker can produce voice alerts during system alarm events, including intrusion alarms, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms. When paired with a powerful enough speaker, the Elk 110 can be used to produce sounds of up to 122 dB. This is extremely loud and suitable for large industrial and manufacturing complexes that require the loudest possible sirens. However, like any siren driver, the Elk 110 can only be used if it is paired with a compatible speaker. Overall, we really like the Elk 110, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are some really nice aspects regarding the Elk 110 Voice Siren Driver. We appreciate the fact that it can produce separate spoken voice annunciations for burglary alarms, fire alarms, and CO alarms. This can be very important for ensuring that building occupants are properly alerted to emergencies. The Elk 110 is capable of producing some extremely loud alerts. You will find that 122 dB is incredibly loud and suitable for jobs demanding the loudest siren alerts possible. This makes the Elk 110 extremely versatile and suitable for many types of applications.

Like any siren driver, the Elk 110 can only be used if it is connected with a speaker. And that speaker will ultimately determine how loud the sounds produced are. If you pair the Elk 110 with a high impedance speaker, then don't think you will be able to achieve a 122 dB sound. You need a moderate amount of impedance to achieve the full 122 dB sound this siren driver is capable of. But that is something you would expect with any siren driver. We think the Elk 110 is a fantastic siren driver option, so it gets 5 Stars.

Good: Different Voice Annunciations Depending on Alarm Type, Up to 122 dB, Extremely Versatile

Bad: Needs Speaker, Small Speaker Results in Quiet Sounds

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix NX-482 - Wireless PIR Motion Detector

Less Expensive Options Available
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix NX-482 is a wireless 319.5 MHz PIR motion detection sensor that reliably responds to movement within its coverage area. The sensor uses advanced 4D signal processing technology that allows the device to accurately measure the size, shape, and movement speed of the intruder. The sensor will check to make sure that the detected energy signature matches that of a human before activating and alerting the system. This helps to reduce false alarms, and it ensures that the device works as accurately as possible. The sensor also utilizes special "undercrawl" protection to thwart intruders who may try to pass underneath the sensor's coverage area. But while the Interlogix NX-482 does offer some nice features, it is a very expensive sensor, and it doesn't really offer anything that you won't find on a more affordable model. Overall, this is a good sensor, but we wouldn't necessarily recommend it from a cost-performance ratio. For that reason, we only give the Interlogix NX-482 a 4-Star rating.

We really like the fact that the Interlogix NX-482 offers some nice features. Its 4D signal processing works great, and we have found that it does an excellent job of reducing false alarms. We also really appreciate the sensor's undercrawl protection to detect intruders who may try to pass below the sensor's normal coverage area. The sensor offers a nice wireless range of up to 500 feet in an open-air environment. And we like the sensor's adjustable pulse count as well. Finally, the LED light is a nice touch.

Really, the biggest problem with the NX-482, and the reason it only receives a 4 Star rating, is due to its price. This sensor costs $117 at the time of this review, and that is very expensive for just one motion sensor. That price is more what we would expect for a system communicator or a very cheap alarm panel. You can find many other 319.5 MHz motion sensors for a fraction of the price, most of which will work just as well as the Interlogix NX-482. That is why this product only gets 4 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: 4D Signal Processing, Undercrawl Protection, Nice Wireless Range, Adjustable Pulse Count, LED Light

Bad: Too Expensive!

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell 6164us alphanumeric alarm keypad with four integrated hardwired zones

Honeywell 6164US - Alphanumeric Alarm Keypad with Four Integrated Hardwired Zones

Feature-Packed Keypad!
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 6164US is a wired Alphanumeric keypad for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. This keypad is just like a Honeywell 6160 Keypad, except that it includes a built-in hardwired zone expander that provides four (4) additional wired zones, provided that there are sufficient zone slots available on the system itself. It also includes a built-in relay for adding devices like sirens and strobes. We think the idea of making combination keypad and hardwired zone expander is a novel concept, and we think Honeywell pulled off this keypad really nicely. For that reason, we give this product a 5-Star rating.

The biggest thing to like about the Honeywell 6164US is the fact that it is jam-packed with features. You get an Alphanumeric keypad for programming your system, four (4) additional wired system zones, and a built-in relay module all in one super convenient device. Needless to say, we absolutely love this device's versatility, and we can certainly recommend it to anyone who needs both an Alphanumeric keypad, plus either a zone expander or relay. And we also like the fact that this keypad can wire into the system just like any other keypad.

One issue with the Honeywell 6164US is that it is probably overkill for most situations. Not many users are going to need an Alphanumeric keypad plus a zone expander and relay in one device. We have found that most users will simply prefer adding a Honeywell 6160RF Keypad so that they can start adding wireless sensors and avoid using hardwired sensors, which are usually more difficult to install. Additionally, the Honeywell 6164US is extremely pricey ($234.99 at the time of this writing), and most users will want to find a more affordable keypad option.

Although the Honeywell 6164US is only going to be used in a very limited number of installations, it is still a viable option if you want a keypad and a zone expander in one device. With that in mind, this product earns 5 Stars.

Good: Alphanumeric Keypad, Zone Expander, Relay Module, Wires Like Any Other Keypad

Bad: Most Users Won't Need This Many Features, Very Expensive

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix 5709c w glass break simulator

Interlogix 5709C-W - Glass Break Simulator

Excellent Glass Break Simulator!
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix 5709C-W is a glass break simulator designed for use with 319.5 MHz Interlogix Glass Break Sensors. This device is also commonly used for testing other 319.5 MHz glass break sensors including Qolsys Glass Break Sensors. We have found that the Interlogix 5709C-W works very well in testing glass break sensors and making sure that they are working properly. However, the device does need to be used with a direct line of sight to the glass break sensor, and it should be used within six (6) feet of the sensor when testing. But any downsides for the Interlogix 5709C-W are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving this product a 5-Star rating.

The biggest thing we like about the Interlogix 5709C-W is that it reliably tests glass break sensors. The device offers different sound frequencies for a variety of glass types, including tempered, plated, and laminated glass. This makes the Interlogix 5709C-W quite versatile and useful for testing glass break sensors monitoring different types of glass. We appreciate the fact that the Interlogix 5709C-W works reliably and that it is trustworthy for testing various Interlogix and Qolsys Glass Break Sensors.

The most prominent downside regarding the Interlogix 5709C-W is the fact that it has a very limited range when being used to test glass break sensors. The device is supposed to be used within six (6) feet of the glass break sensor, and it needs a direct line of sight. And coupled with the fact that you are supposed to test your glass break sensors from multiple angles can really mean getting up close with your sensors. You will likely need to test from many positions, and you will need to make sure you are close enough to the sensor each time. If you have multiple glass break sensors, then this can quickly become tedious. Still, this is a relatively minor downside, and we can still confiidently give the Interlogix 5709C-W 5 Stars.

Good: Reliable, Different Sound Frequencies

Bad: Limited Range, Needs Direct Line of Sight, Must Test from Multiple Angles

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 745vsd3 trilingual voice siren driver

Honeywell 745VSD3 - Trilingual Voice Siren Driver

Great Siren Driver
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 745VSD3 is a trilingual voice siren driver used with speaker units that otherwise lack a siren driver. This module allows one or more speakers to make voice annunciations during burglary, fire, and carbon monoxide alarm events. By adjusting the DIP switches on the module, you can set the unit to English, Spanish, or French. This really makes the Honeywell 745VSD3 a versatile and useful siren driver. Unfortunately, the product has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But if you manage to find a used model somewhere, then it should still work just fine. We really like the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver. We appreciate the fact that it offers three (3) language options that are easily selected by adjusting the DIP switches for the unit. By choosing between English, Spanish, and French, this unit can be used in most residences and establishments across North America. The siren driver is capable of producing sounds of up to 108 dB when paired with the appropriate speaker(s). This is perfectly loud enough for most homes and smaller businesses. We also like the fact that this is a quality Honeywell product that is very durable and well-made.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver. Like any siren driver, it can only be used with a speaker. If you don't have a speaker, then the device is basically useless. Also, the product has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But other than that, we don't really have anything else negative to say about the device. Because of its positive aspects and few downsides, we give this siren drive a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Three (3) Language Options, Up to 108 dB, Quality Honeywell Product

Bad: Needs Speaker(s), Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys iq door window s wireless encrypted door slash window sen

Qolsys IQ DOOR WINDOW-S - Wireless Encrypted Door/Window Sensor for Qolsys IQ Security Systems

Better Door/Window Contacts Available
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Door Window-S is a 319.5 MHz door and window contact sensor. It will utilize S-Line rolling code encryption when paired with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This sensor is easy to install, and it reliably lets the system know when a door, window, or cabinet has been opened. However, the sensor is rather large when compared with other door and window contacts. Specifically, it is much larger than the newer and more compact Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S Sensor, while offering no additional features. And to top it off, the Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S can be obtained for less than half the price. We do not think that the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S presents a good value, and therefore we cannot strongly recommend it. That is why we give this sensor a 3-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S. It can be easily installed, and it reliably lets the system know when it has been activated. We appreciate the fact that the sensor utilizes S-Line rolling code encryption when paired with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, and we also like the fact that it is backwards compatible with other 319.5 MHz security systems. If you already have an existing Qolsys IQ Door Window-S, then you can continue to use it without issue.

But the downsides of the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S are very apparent when you look at other similar sensors. The Qolsys IQ Door Window-S is very bulky for a door/window contact sensor, and many users may want to find a more discreet option, such as the Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S. We also think this sensor is overpriced, and there are multiple less expensive options readily available. The fact that this sensor uses a CR2 battery is somewhat weird, as that really isn't a commonly used battery type. You will need to replace the battery every three (3) to five (5) years, which is fairly common for a sensor of this type. Still, there are just too many downsides and flaws for us to really recommend this sensor. For those reasons, it gets 3 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Easily Installed, Reliable, S-Line Encryption, Backwards Compatible w/ Legacy 319.5 MHz Systems

Bad: Bulky, Overpriced, CR2 Battery, Short Battery Life

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

System sensor cosmod2w i4 interface module

System Sensor COSMOD2W - i4 Interface Module

We Do Not Recommend
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module is the required hub used with System Sensor COSMO-2W Hardwired Combination Smoke and CO Detectors. Even though these are 2-wire devices, they are not used with a designated "reset zone" on a wired panel. Instead, these are configured with a standard hardwired zone, similarly to how a 4-wire smoke detector would be set up. The difference here is that this interface module is absolutely required. And the interface module is known for being extremely difficult and tedious to set up and configure. On top of that, you must also add a reset relay and a CO trigger relay for this set up to work. But on the positive side, the System Sensor COSMO devices are the only wired combination smoke and CO detectors used directly with security systems that we know about. And also, they offer one-go-all-go, which is a fantastic life-safety feature. Still, we don't recommend using these devices simply because they are very complicated for a DIY user to set up, and there are better options readily available. For that reason, we only give the System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module a 2-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module. It allows the use of a combined smoke detector and CO detector into one device. The sensor can be used with any hardwired zone, which adds some nice versatility. We also really appreciate the fact that this sensor supports one-go-all-go. When we discuss one-go-all-go, we mean that when one life-safety sensor on the network activates, all of the other interconnected life-safety sensors on the same network will also activate. This can be very important for ensuring that everyone in the building is alerted to the emergency.

But the downsides to the System Sensor COSMOD2W are glaring. This module is extremely difficult and tedious to set up. Most DIY users will not want to take on this challenge. You must also add a reset relay and a CO trigger relay. We almost always advise users to instead go with a setup involving 2-wire smoke detectors and 4-wire carbon monoxide sensors. This will require using separate system zones, but COSMOD2W requires this anyway. Overall, we do not recommend the System Sensor COSMOD2W. That is why it only gets 2 Stars from us.

Good: Combo Smoke/CO Sensor, Use at Any Wired Zone, One-Go-All-Go

Bad: Difficult to Set Up, Requires Reset Relay & CO Trigger Relay

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Honeywell l5200pk wifi 4g basic wireless security system with 3

Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G - Dual Path Security System Kit with WIFI, GSM Communicators

Great Legacy Kit!
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G is a defunct system kit from Alarm Grid. This kit included a Honeywell L5200 System, a Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Sensor, three (3) Honeywell 5811 Door and Window Contacts, a Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob, a Honeywell L5100-WIFI IP Communicator, and a Honeywell 3GL Cellular Communicator. For its time, this was a really complete system kit that offered everything you could possibly need for starting out with a new security system. However, the L5200 has since been replaced with newer and more advanced systems, like the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But because of the great features this kit presented for its time, we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G. The L5200 System can actually be upgraded using a Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool and still be used for IP and cellular monitoring. This kit came dual-path ready, which was extremely innovative for the time. The L5100-WIFI IP Communicator can still be used and activated without issue. And if the 3GL Communicator is already activated, it can still be used until the associated 3G cellular network is shut down. All of the sensors included with this kit are top-quality, and they can still be used reliably to this day. Really, if you are currently using this system, and you are happy with its performance, then there is little reason to replace it. You might even consider upgrading to an LTE cellular communicator for enhanced reliability and performance.

The biggest downside to the Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G is that the included 3GL Communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. Existing units that are already active can continue to be used until the associated cellular network is shut down. Once that happens, the communicator can no longer be used in any useful manner. Some users may also be disappointed with the L5200, as it is an older system, and most of its possibilities for home automation are quite limited. Still, this was a really good kit for its time, and many users are still happily using this product. That is why it gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: L5200 Can Be Upgraded, Dual-Path Connectivity, L5100-WIFI Still Works Great, 3GL Can Still Be Used If Activated, Great Sensors, Can Upgrade to LTE

Bad: 3GL Can No Longer Be Activated, 3GL Cellular Network Will Be Shut Down, L5200 is Older System, Limited Automation Possibilities

Bottom Line: 5 Stars