May 8, 2011

Vivint IP Cameras, Sensors and Z-wave Devices

If you are looking to add monitored security for your home, add video security, lock/unlock the house remotely, turn on heat/AC remotely so the house is cozy when you get there etc, then consider Vivint service which provides all of these and more. Check Vivint Service Review and then keep reading for an overview of Vivint IP cameras, sensors and Z-wave devices, for the times when you want to add more to your Vivint service.




Vivint lists the prices and specs for its components on its website, so you can review and decide which components fit your need (A +1 to Vivint for listing this information openly on its website, similar information is hard to find at other providers) and add one or more copies of that component.

Vivint components include
  1. GoControl panel, $700 – The panel controls the sensors and z-wave devices at home and enables the home to be controlled remotely. It has 2-way voice to talk to the monitoring center and connects via the GSM network (rather than your phone line or Internet), which gives an added layer of protection. More z-wave devices can be added to the Vivint service and controlled via GoControl.

    GoControl is made by 2Gig.

  2. Automatic Door Locks, $200 – With these locks, the home can be locked/unlocked remotely anytime. The door locks are z-wave compatible and work together with the GoControl panel. The locks can also be rekeyed anytime providing an additional layer of safety. 

    Kwikset makes the locks.

  3. Smart Thermostat, $100 – The heating and cooling of the home can be controlled remotely with this z-wave thermostat, it works together with the GoControl panel. Multiple thermostats can be added e.g. for downstairs and upstairs.

  4. Lighting and Small Appliance Control, $40 – This z-wave device works with the GoControl panel. Lights or small appliances can be plugged into this device (for larger appliances, use another z-wave device) and then controlled remotely from anywhere. e.g. lights can be turned on/off remotely. 

  1. Key Fob, $60 – With the key fob, you can arm or disarm the system, turn off lights controlled by GoControl panel etc. The key fob provides great convenience. It can be kept in the car or carried with you.

    Key Fob is made by 2Gig.

  2. Carbon MonoOxide Alarm, $120 – The device includes an electrochemical sensor to detect CO (the sensor lasts 5 years). If CO is detected a loud alarm will sound.

  3. Smoke Alarm, $120 – The sensor detects smoke and heat and if either is found, it will sound a loud alarm. A smoke alarm is a must-have for any home and can also reduce home insurance costs.

  4. Motion Detector, $120 – The Infrared motion detector works with the GoControl panel and triggers an alarm on detecting motion. A nice feature is that it can be set to not trigger on pets (e.g. a 55 lb pet). Multiple motion detectors can be used to cover large homes.

    The IP cameras (discussed below) also include motion detectors and work in parallel with this motion detector.

    Motion Detector is made by 2Gig.

  5. Recessed Door Sensors, $60 – The sensors trigger an alert when the door is opened which is forwarded by the GoControl panel to the monitoring center.

  6. Door and Window Sensors, $60 – Trigger an alert when the corresponding door or window is opened. The GoControl panel forwards the alert to the monitoring center.

  7. Glass Break Detector, $120 – Detects breaking glass anywhere within 15 feet and signals the GoControl panel which in turn sends the alert to the monitoring center.

  1. Wireless Keypad, $60 – The additional keypad can be mounted in other rooms of the house and can be used to arm or disarm the system. The unit works with the GoControl panel.

  2. Medical Pendant, $60 – The medical pendant works wirelessly with the GoControl panel. The elderly or patients under home care can use it to signal a medical emergency. The alerts are received by the monitoring center who can respond appropriately.

  3. IP Cameras - IP cameras can be used with Vivint’s service to add video security to the home. Vivint supplies two wireless camera models, a fixed IP camera ($150) and a pan-tilt IP camera ($200); between the two, they should cover the basic video security needs of most homes. The live video from the cameras can be viewed remotely. And, when the camera detects motion (different than the motion detectors discussed above), a small video clip (typically few seconds) can be recorded which is then available to view remotely. The monitoring center can also act on any motion-detected alerts (note: the monitoring center does not have access to your video).

    Alarm.com provides video hosting for the Vivint cameras. Only supported cameras can be used with the service.

    The cameras supported by Alarm.com are older models, what if you wanted to use other IP cameras with Vivint’s service with better features e.g. newer IP cameras such as Panasonic BL-C230 or Axis M1031-W that deliver both audio and video, include audio-detected alerts and support H.264? While Alarm.com (and therefore Vivint) may not support these cameras, you can buy and setup these cameras on your own in parallel to Vivint. It will give an option to watch the live video anytime and you can use an Internet service to record the video from the camera 24/7.

As a service integrating all these features, Vivint provides great value and a hassle-free experience and provides an easy solution to add security and automation to your home.

Check Vivint Service Review to learn more about the service.