Patrick’s Posts

Total Connect – Connected Home

Hi Friends!

In our previous Tech Blog we talked about the LYRIC Control panel. Today, I want to explore how we can use the internet to control our alarm system, and other devices.

Today’s “Connected Home” is an ever-changing and expanding environment, filled with many different opportunities for interaction with your home. With universal wireless “languages” such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, companies can use similar devices that are 100% compatible with other companies’ products. For example: With a Honeywell LYRIC alarm panel, actions or schedules programmed in the panel can turn off light switches made by Leviton and Linear. At home I use an Amazon Echo and Samsung Smartthings Hub controller to control bulbs made by Phillips and Cree.

This integration offers one main benefit: Companies can specialize in what they’re good at, saving product cost, and almost guaranteeing a product that works correctly.

Lets talk about the different  ways we can use our alarm systems to control our connected home. Alarm systems typically add a step to your routine on a consistent basis: When you leave or go to bed, you arm your alarm system. When you wake up, or come home, you disarm your alarm system. The goal with a connected home is to take these steps, and automatically perform other steps, such as unlock your front door, or adjust your thermostat to save energy.

Typically when I look at these devices and their capabilities, I have an incessant urge to make them work, not from a practical standpoint, but just to prove that I can setup automation for automation’s sake. Call it a disease, I don’t know. After I conquer the different programming and functions of a device, I usually begin to open my mind to the REASONS behind them. What if your thermostat turned off every day when you leave for work, and came back to 72° when you get within 5 miles of your home? What if your front door automatically unlocked when you disarm you alarm system, or if a fire was reported from your smoke detectors? What if there was a flood sensor that would detect water in your basement and alert you via iPhone app or phone call? What if every morning your coffee pot kicked on when motion was detected in the hallway? What if, when you went on vacation, your lights turned on randomly, to create a “lived-in” appearance?

Can you understand the challenge we have as system designers, to try to appeal to everyone’s desires? The Connected Home takes a little bit of understanding and a lot of imagination from you, as the person who lives with the equipment and benefit’s from the automation.

Next session we will discuss Honeywell’s TotalConnect web app, and how we can use it to control our alarm system.

Until next time,

-Patrick

 

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Hi Friends! Yesterday I had the privilege of installing Honeywell’s brand new ‘Lyric’ alarm panel. If you know me at all, then you probably know that I can’t get enough new technology. I’m currently on an Amazon hiatus, since it is the Christmas season and “I can’t keep buying things for myself or there won’t be any gift options for other people to get for me”, or so my wife says. On most other times of the year though the UPS driver knows me by name and I keep him plenty busy.

Un-boxing any new piece of tech is always so exciting for me. It might not be that way for people who are daunted by the huge learning curve that most of the new gizmos come with, but I see that as part of the fun. A big reason of why I love my job is that I get the opportunity to be on the front lines of ever-changing electronics, and get to know products backwards and forwards. If you are tech savvy, let’s dive in to some of the great things about the new Lyric Panel, and why I’m putting one in my home (after Christmas).

 

The Lyric includes everything that the past LYNX panels featured; wireless sensors, all-in-one control, touch screen, remote access… The only feature that was removed is: the phone line hookup. Our industry is coming to a “lets face it” time of constantly dealing with phone line issues. Your issues include: the panel dialing on a phone line while you’re using it, and the insecurity of exposed phone lines being tampered or cut. Our issues include: Limited panel placement due to phone line access, phone line quality not sufficient to download information from your panel to our office, and shaky reporting reliability. Don’t get me wrong, living in rural Lewis County, sometimes internet or cell signal is unavailable, and a phone line is better than nothing at all, but moving forward, you and I should invest our time and money into technology that is moving forwards, not backwards. The Lyric doesn’t contain a way to dial over the phone line, BUT, it takes alarm reporting to a level we haven’t seen before.

In the past LYNX panels were very bare bones. if you wanted to add WiFi, z-wave, or a cellular radio, you essentially had to call a technician. The Lyric has incorporated z-wave and WiFi into the panel already, and has made an easy-access slot for a cellular radio of your choice(Verizon or AT&T coverage).

With a new panel Honeywell has introduce a new form of communicating with sensors(door contacts, motion detectors, smoke detectors, etc…). “SiX” technology allows the sensors to communicate with the panel, and the panel to communicate back. Bi-directional communication with the same battery life (3-5 years) is a huge step forward in these sensors, with the ability to view signal strength and exact battery voltage at any time at the panel or online. SiX wireless will also cover double the range of older style sensors. If you have an older panel and want to upgrade? The Lyric supports all of your old sensors as well, so no need to replace everything.

The Lyric also supports voice commands such as “bedtime” or “welcome home” for easy control of your alarm systems of “scenes”. Some of the scenes that I set up yesterday were: when “Armed Away”  the thermostat turns OFF, the lights in the building turn OFF, and the ASI (armed status indicator) turns ON. Upon a “Disarm” the thermostat comes back to 72°, the lights turn on, and the ASI turns off. Integrating all these features into one simple action when coming and going is one of the best features of this panel.

 

If you’re in the market for an alarm system, choose the Lyric. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

Hello World!

Dear Internet users: My name is Patrick Miess. I have been a tech here at Access Security for over three years now, and am really excited over our new website launch! With the new website our goals are to;

Provide excellent product information for new and existing customers

Provide information of our company to allow an easy and comprehensive method to contact us

Provide our existing customers with a method to view their alarm system data.

To briefly summarize what we hope to accomplish in Southwest Washington: Using technology to help a diverse population and their needs.

We specialize in Honeywell Alarm systems and Access Control systems, and comprehensive video systems. We differ from other alarm companies in that we are proud to locally serve Lewis and surrounding counties, and we don’t use contracts. We hope that a personal touch will be refreshing in a day and age of corporate call centers.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us today! Remember to look for the next blog post from Pat Kunkel next!