Lynx 5100 for all-in-one solution? Other options?

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Old 03-03-14, 01:40 AM
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Lynx 5100 for all-in-one solution? Other options?

I am in search of a system that takes care of security as well as controls my thermostat and, if so desired, other home automation. It seems like Honeywell's Lynx 5100 would fit the bill with their z-wave thermostat, but I am wondering if there is a better option out there.

What I am looking for is pretty simple (as I imagine security/home automation systems can get pretty elaborate):
-Basic alarm with door/window/motion sensors.
-Text/Email alerts via Wifi (I don't plan on having it remotely monitored)
-Thermostat control via alarm (scenes) or remotely via smartphone

As for home automation, I am interested in:
-Automatic and manual light control (e.g. porch lights come on automatically)
-Garage door position indicator and control
-Front door lock control

The Lynx 5100 looks to be a great all-in-one option, the only downside is that there is still a monthly fee for self-monitoring (which I found is common with any alarm system that does self-monitoring). What I wasn't expecting was the additional fee for remote home automation control. Alarmgrid charges $10/month for each, which isn't terrible I guess.

I've briefly seen the Vera home automation system, which has no fees and will do everything I want as far as home automation goes; however, I have no idea if it will integrate with a security system...basically what the Lynx does. I would be interested to know, though.

So, in summary, I am looking for a fully integrated security/climate/home automation system...if there is anything I should check out before I pull the trigger on the Lynx, I would love to hear!

P.S. I may install an IP camera (or two) in the future, but the plan would be to have a standalone system with a dedicated computer/DVR. So, video capabilities are not at the top of the list for the system I am looking for now.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-06-14, 07:29 PM
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Hi, the Vera system will pretty much do anything you want it to, especially most of what you are looking to do in your list. The only thing that may be missing is the garage door control (that is coming to z-wave soon though) and some of the more dedicated security options that a Lynx will afford you. You have to make the decision of either to go all the way with HA or all the way with security because at this stage they are both not very integrated as of yet. Now if all you want to do is simple self monitoring and remote control with alarms schedules and timer plus the ability to do watch streaming ip video, then Vera is most likely the way to go and add the z-wave devices you need to expand into other household systems like lighting, HVAC, door locks and deadbolts etc.

If you want a more dedicated home security system, the Lynx is excellent but you should get a Tuxedo touch as your z-wave controller as well. Then you can do alot of what you want but have a more dedicated security system as well. But, as you found out, you do have to pay for that system and it will not do everything for HA that a Vera will do. An example is you will need to stick with Honeywell wireless or wired sensors as Z-wave sensors are not supported by Tuxedo at this time.

I think if you look into Vera you may find that it will meet your needs, without a monthly cost AND you can expand it in your own time. From what I have reaped from your post, you should be happy with a Vera.
Hope I helped you!
 

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Old 03-07-14, 12:56 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Looks like I have some more research to do on the Vera system.

As I said before, my security needs are pretty minimal. I just want to be able to arm the house (with a key fob) and have a siren sound if one of the sensors is activated, and send me a text/email.

As for the HA, I imagine most of that being done using scenes. For example, I arm the security system and my thermostat automatically sets to the 'away' temp and my front door locks. Controlling the HA remotely would be nice, but I probably won't use it as much as I think I would. Just being able to check sensor and security status remotely would be useful (e.g. "Did I remember to shut the garage door?").

You said "Z-wave sensors are not supported by Tuxedo at this time". But you also said "...get a Tuxedo touch as your z-wave controller." Maybe I am missing something? From what I understand, the Lynx 5100 has the Z-wave control and the Tuxedo touch is simply a tablet interface to that. I thought Z-wave was Z-wave was Z-wave...if there are only certain "Honeywell" Z-wave devices that have to be used, that might make me think twice about the Lynx.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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Old 03-19-14, 08:09 PM
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Hi jstluise, I'd be curious to know if you decided one way or the other as I have nearly identical thoughts and needs. I was all ready to buy the Lynx 5100 until I realized you must subscribe to self monitor. That just isn't happening (not as a "must commit") and I have to think there is someone out there willing to make money on just a hardware sale.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 10:18 PM
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Hi jstluise, I'd be curious to know if you decided one way or the other as I have nearly identical thoughts and needs. I was all ready to buy the Lynx 5100 until I realized you must subscribe to self monitor. That just isn't happening (not as a "must commit") and I have to think there is someone out there willing to make money on just a hardware sale.
Hey stevelion, I haven't had a whole lot of time to investigate further. I briefly browsed the forums over at MiCasaVerde to see what people had to say about integrating a security system with Vera and, from what I could see, the general consensus is that you should not rely on Vera alone as your security system. The reason is reliability...I guess Vera can/does go down once in a while and that would leave your security system inactive. The best would be to have a standalone security system and have it self-monitored via a remote system (e.g. like Alarmgrid with the Lynx...so yes, a monthly fee). Also, I found out that Z-wave devices are pretty spendy, which is all that Vera can talk to...so if you want to get Z-wave door/window/motion sensors and sirens, it is going to cost a lot (compared to wireless non Z-wave sensors security systems use).

So, like I said, it was a very quick look at securty + Vera. That topic seems to be covered very thoroughly on the forums there. Beyond that, I have no idea about how seamlessly a security system can be integrated with Vera. IF Vera is able to talk to the security system via Z-wave (or the security system talk to Vera), then I don't think it would be too difficult. There might be some conflict between the Vera system and your security monitoring system, though (for example, would you be able to remotely arm/disarm your security system through Vera or through your remote login to the security system, or both?).

I do plan on doing some more research, but at this point in time I am still leaning toward the Lynx. If I was only interested in HA and did not want HA integrated with security, then I would probably go with the Vera since it is geared toward that and offers a lot of flexibility (and no fees). But, because I want HA and security to be integrated and work together, the Lynx looks like the most headache-free solution.

In either case (assuming you aren't using Vera as your security system), you'll still have a $10/mo fee...I can live with that. The Vera saves you another $10/mo for remote HA, but you have to think of the upfront costs and the time you are going to spend trying to get everything working correctly. Not only will you have the cost of a security system controller, but you are also buying the Vera controller. Then, even if they were meant to be integrated (which again, I'm not sure), I'm sure there will be a lot of time involved tweaking things until it works. An all-in-one system like the Lynx 5100 just seems like a no brainer in terms of ease of use...especially since my HA needs are pretty simple.

Oh, one good thing that Vera seems to integrate well if video monitoring (and recording?). That would be nice, I still plan on having a separate, standalone video monitoring/DVR system which can be accessed remotely if needed. Having this integrated with my security/HA system is not as important to me.

My one concern right now is the compatibility of Z-wave devices with the 5100. I thought Z-wave was standard, but it sounds like the 5100 can only communicate with certain Z-wave devices. Even so, it will probably be okay with me since I'm not getting fancy with HA, but I'll have to see.

I will be looking at this a bit more when I have time, and if you find out anything different then what I did please let me know!
 
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Old 07-30-14, 08:01 PM
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Hello there. I just found this thread after months of researching the same things you noted. Do I go with a Vera centered security system or a DSC/Honeywell system. Like the idea of automating lights to go off with the alarm, so that was my main concern on how to go about creating a simple security system. Have you looked into a DSC power series system with envisalink 3 module? I see that's here is a Vera plugin for that system now, or a honeywell vista with ad2usb to work with Vera. Both those options can be self monitored for free with a phone app. So many options and cost is a factor too. In my opinion the lynx system is expensive, so I scratched that off my list. Wondering how your system turned out and what you suggest. Thanks
 
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Old 08-05-14, 10:20 AM
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Hello, my security/HA system project kind of got put on the back burner. I still plan to do something in the future...maybe by that time there will be more options out there. I will have to check out the systems you mentioned. Please keep us updated on what route you decide to go.
 
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