Integrating Z-Wave Technology with a FrontPoint Security System

Posted by , , at 1:40 pm

Smart homes continue to grow in popularity and, companies across the globe, including FrontPoint Security, have embraced home automation. Last month’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured a lot of new ‘smart’ devices, adding to the current ‘Internet of Things’ trend. By all accounts, it looks like smart homes are here to stay.

As home automation becomes more prominent, it’s important to understand how it works. This begins with learning about Z-Wave technology, a critical component of home automation.

The Basics of Z-Wave Technology

What is Z-Wave? Straight from Z-Wave.com:

Z-Wave is a wireless technology that makes regular household products, like lights, door locks and thermostats “smart”. Z-Wave products “talk” to each other wirelessly and securely and can be accessed and controlled on your phone, tablet, or pc.

Simply put, Z-Wave technology is the ‘brain’ behind smart home technology. It was designed to be smart and easy to use.

Z-Wave products communicate using low frequency channels. This allows them to avoid more crowded frequencies — such as those associated with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Z-Wave is optimized to make sure that there is no interference or interruption of the communication between your home automation products.

Even if you’re in a large house, there’s no need to worry about interference due to the distance between devices. Z-Wave runs on a “mesh network,” which creates a relay system between Z-wave products. This allows the signal to bounce to each other until it reaches the intended destination.

To sum it all up, Z-Wave is smartly designed and reliable, which explains why so many companies have been eager to adopt and integrate the technology.

Z-Wave and Security Systems

FrontPoint Security has embraced Z-Wave technology, with help from General Electric (GE). As many of you know, GE manufactures our security systems. They’re also part of the Z-Wave Alliance.

This has allowed us to seamlessly integrate Z-Wave technology into our security systems. In addition to reliable home security, FrontPoint customers can take advantage of a wide selection of home automation features. The best part about this is that some of the staple home automation features – like wireless light controls and automated locks – also provide security benefits.

The Z-Wave products are very easy to install and use. If you can use a smartphone, you can use a Z-Wave product. Our wireless light controls for example, come pre-programmed to work with your system. All you need to do is plug it in! (Did you expect anything else from a FrontPoint system?)

The Future of Z-Wave

If this year’s CES is any indication, 2014 promises to be a huge year for smart home, home automation, and, by extension, Z-Wave. We’re looking forward to the future of Z-Wave and home automation technology.

Comments (52)

Post a Comment | View Comments
  1. Lee

    Was super excited for the home automation and security system tie in but after 3 years and little improvement I will be moving to a system that is better integrated.

  2. Mark

    Hi. I have a Wink Hub that controls all of my lighting. I eventually plan on getting door locks and video cameras. I’d want them all to work together in a single network. My Wink hub already integrates with my Rachio Iro sprinkler timer and my Ecobee 3 thermostat. Will your Frontpoint security system also work with my Wink on some level?

  3. titadinaya02

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will
    just bookmark this page.

  4. Chris D

    If FrontPoint supports z-wave, why is it not listed as a member of the alliance?
    http://z-wavealliance.org/z-wave_alliance_member_companies
    I have z-wave door locks, outlet/light controls, smoke-detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, motion sensors, and thermostat. I’d be interested in switching to FrontPoint and this article tweaked my interest, but it seems that Frontpoint only supports a very limited number of z-wave devices (or am I missing something?).

    • Valerie Saponara

      Chris, thank you for asking us this question. We definitely do work with various z-wave devices, however, we only support specific ones that we have thoroughly tested. We test each product we think customers will want and need to ensure it’s easy of use and smooth communication with our system. When we promise our customers a great system with an even greater user experience, we make sure we do exactly that. If you’re interested in which z-wave devices we support, they are all listed under the “Equipment” tab on our main website.

  5. Chase Henckel

    What is the exciting news? It’s November and I am a customer and haven’t heard anything yet.

  6. Dave

    You will be losing a sale to a competitior offering a garage door opener with their alarm system

  7. Diana

    Any news on the garage door openers a year on?

    • Valerie Saponara

      Diana, at this moment we do not support any garage door openers. However, we do have some pretty exciting news that we plan on sharing very soon!

      • Jamie

        Did we miss the big news? what is it? +1 on the garage door opener, it really isnt that hard. Whether your telling a light to turn on or a garage door to open, its the the same thing.

      • Cliff

        You’ve been hinting at a garage door opener for several YEARS now. Get with the times. This has worked with alarm.com for ages. Why is front point so out of date???

  8. Pete

    Add me to the list of customers unhappy that Alarm.com supports my MYQ openers, but frontpoint does not. I suspect this has more to do with money than unreliable equipment. Stop trying to force me to purchase your inferior (and expensive) garage door sensors that will only tell me if my doors or open, and allow me to add the MYQ’s that monitor door position and allow me to correct remotely. This isn’t rocket science.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Thanks for the feedback, Pete. We know that you and many others are anxious for Frontpoint to offer the garage door sensor. If you can bear with us a bit longer, we’re in the process of evaluating this type of equipment and are hopeful that it will be coming soon. Appreciate your patience!

      • Mike

        Hopefully, it will be done soon. The current option for garage door sensors is quite expensive and if you look at the reviews it got on Amazon (1 out of 5 stars), one is left to wonder why you keep using it.

  9. Kirk

    There is a ZWave protocol issue where encrypted devices can be spoofed and their operation/control seized. See this YouTube: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gn-amPvXn6M

    Has FrontPoint addressed this? Perhaps by requiring a confirmation from a known cell phone before proceeding with system modification?

  10. Jason Strickland

    Seems easy enough to support. http://youtu.be/CMy9sH6xT8g

  11. Jason

    I have heard the same canned line about “always listening” “constantly looking at new tech” “keep watching newsletter” over and over in regards to garage door control. ADC ALREADY SUPPORTS IT! All FrontPoint needs to do is activate the feature. For once listen to the number of customers requesting it and do it, instead of giving the canned response over and over to every one who inquires. I understand there would be training that needs to be done so u could support it. But that is a personell issue NOT A FEATURE ISSUE.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Jason, thank you for your comments. I understand your frustration. We do listen to what you have to say, and we value it. I’m sorry if our response seems canned to you, but it is genuinely how we feel regarding your feedback.

      As a company, we are dedicated to our customer satisfaction. We do not want to hurriedly add a feature or product to our system until we have tested it thoroughly. We have a team that has been evaluating the garage door control, as it is frequently requested. While it works really well for many users, it has proven to be unreliable in some cases. We try to ensure that our customers are getting the very best in everything that we offer – product, support, customer experience – and since we don’t want to back a product that we’re not 100 percent confident in, we have yet to activate it.

      I am going to have a member of our Support team contact you directly, so that you can ask any additional questions regarding the garage door feature, as well as provide any other feedback you’d like regarding the product. Thanks again!

  12. Ronald Blaz

    Z-wave technology was designed to be smart and easy to use. Unfortunately, hackers also find Z-wave technology easy to use. The last thing I need in my life is another security risk.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Ronald, thanks for sharing your concern with us. While Z-Wave devices can be hacked, they are programmed and encrypted to make a hacker’s job very hard. It takes time, money, and a higher-risk to hack into these devices, which is a deterrent for the average thief who performs the majority of home invasions these days.

      Even if someone were to spend the time and money to hack Z-Wave devices, your FrontPoint system has automatic text and email alerts that can easily be set up to notify you if a device is locked or unlocked as well as turned on or off. This way you’ll know immediately if any part of your system is touched by someone other than yourself.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and please let us know if you have any other questions!

  13. Ronald Blaz

    Z-wave technology was designed to be smart and easy to use. Unfortunately, hackers also find Z-wave technology easy to use. The last thing I need in my life is another security risk.

  14. Michael

    I have one of your systems, including the control panel and multiple door, glass break, and smoke/fire sensors. Would I be able to control Belkin WeMo home automation devices through the phone app that I use to control all the other devices on my FrontPoint system?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Michael – Best to call our Support team. They can check your equipment, and the level of service that you currently have with FrontPoint, to say what you may need to upgrade to support these various devices. It won’t take long – we can figure it our very quickly. And we are always happy to speak with members of the FrontPoint family! Thanks for your question.

  15. Rich Moore

    I have the Belkin productswill they work with your z wave feature

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Rich – and good to know. There are many companies offering reliable and functional Z-Wave products.

  16. Rich Moore

    I have the Belkin productswill they work with your z wave feature

  17. William

    How does this affect my already purchased items from Front Point even though I would certainly be part of the Z-wave technology and future.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      William – please check with the Support team at your convenience, and they will be able to tell you excactly what you want to know. We’ve been selling Z-Wave enable control panels for years now. Thanks for your question.

  18. William

    How does this affect my already purchased items from Front Point even though I would certainly be part of the Z-wave technology and future.

  19. William holt

    We want to contro our thermostat remotely. Any suggestions.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      William – absolutely! FrontPoint offers home automation using Z-Wave functionality, and that control is performed through the same mobile app that we use for remote arm/disarm, notifications, and video features. Please call our Support team if you are an existing customer for the answers you need. If you are not a FrontPoint customer yet, one of our highly-trained professional Security Consultants will be happy to answer your questions.

  20. Ronald stone

    How soon until we can get cameras with z wave? I have a winter home without wi-fi but have your security system installed

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Ronald – Great question, and thanks. A big issue is range. Here is some information you may find helpful on the various technologies.

      Z-Wave has a shorter range than WiFi. With a range between 100 and 300 feet on average, WiFi is a complex, hub-based network construction that allows for larger amounts of data to be communicated at the same time, and is typically more reliable than Z-Wave. Z-Wave communicates using a low-power wireless technology designed specifically for remote control applications. The Z-Wave wireless protocol is optimized for reliable, low-latency communication of small data packets, unlike Wi-Fi and other wireless LAN systems that are designed primarily for high-bandwidth data flow. Video is a great example of high-bandwidth data that is better suited for WiFi than Z-Wave. Thanks again.

  21. Stephanie

    Sounds great, so why leave us in suspense, or is this just a teaser? What do you have available, and what can it do for me? I already have Philips Hue, Belkin, and Schlage, and am interested in getting more Right Now. Don’t tease, just show me what you got!
    Thx! Stf

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Stephanie, I like your enthusiasm about Z-Wave technology! The best way to find out what products you can integrate into your system is to give our Customer Support team a call (877-602-5276).

      Thanks for your interest and comment.

  22. Stephanie

    Sounds great, so why leave us in suspense, or is this just a teaser? What do you have available, and what can it do for me? I already have Philips Hue, Belkin, and Schlage, and am interested in getting more Right Now. Don’t tease, just show me what you got!
    Thx! Stf

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Stephanie, I like your enthusiasm about Z-Wave technology! The best way to find out what products you can integrate into your system is to give our Customer Support team a call (877-602-5276).

      Thanks for your interest and comment.

  23. Reny Easaw

    How much does it cost?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Reny – The best thing to do is speak with one our highly-trained professional Security Consultants, and they can answer all your questions. The cost really depends on the specific equipment you want, and the monthly fees are related directly to the type of service you want, and they type of equipment you have. Thanks for your interest.

  24. Ron Hirsch

    You need more camera options. There are so many out there but you offer only basic models

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Ron – Sorry that we don’t have all the options you may want. We do offer the three models that appear to meet most needs – and that are fully integrated with our technology. There are several issues at work, including the integration, quality of the camera, motion analytics, and more, and our cameras meet all those criteria.

  25. Patricia Stone

    does it work if I have a smartphone but no internet at the house?

    • Jamie Botzer

      Thanks for your question, Patricia. You do not need internet in your home to add Z-Wave products to your FrontPoint system. Great question!

  26. Patricia Stone

    does it work if I have a smartphone but no internet at the house?

    • Jamie Botzer

      Thanks for your question, Patricia. You do not need internet in your home to add Z-Wave products to your FrontPoint system. Great question!

  27. BobA

    Z-Wave and emPower. To further home automation, why doesn’t FrontPoint expand the other emPower capabilities that are being offered by Alarm.com??? Specifically, Garage Door control. Garage Door control is available as a controllable item, but for some reason, not available to FrontPoint users. Instead, I have to use a separate iPhone app to control my ‘MyQ’ LiftMaster garage doors. Please implement!

    Also, Alarm.com has the option for ‘Image Sensors’, when will FrontPoint enable hess devices?

    Please enable existing Alarm.com features to FrontPoint to further expand the Smart Home

    • Jamie Botzer

      Bob, great questions! While we are always open to the idea of adding new sensors, we currently don’t have any plans to add the garage door lift or motion sensors that capture images. Your concerns have been heard though and we appreciate knowing your thoughts. Keep an eye on our customer newsletters for the most up-to-date news about our latest offerings and services.

      Thanks for reaching out to us and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything else that we can help with.

  28. BobA

    Z-Wave and emPower. To further home automation, why doesn’t FrontPoint expand the other emPower capabilities that are being offered by Alarm.com??? Specifically, Garage Door control. Garage Door control is available as a controllable item, but for some reason, not available to FrontPoint users. Instead, I have to use a separate iPhone app to control my ‘MyQ’ LiftMaster garage doors. Please implement!

    Also, Alarm.com has the option for ‘Image Sensors’, when will FrontPoint enable hess devices?

    Please enable existing Alarm.com features to FrontPoint to further expand the Smart Home

    • Jamie Botzer

      Bob, great questions! While we are always open to the idea of adding new sensors, we currently don’t have any plans to add the garage door lift or motion sensors that capture images. Your concerns have been heard though and we appreciate knowing your thoughts. Keep an eye on our customer newsletters for the most up-to-date news about our latest offerings and services.

      Thanks for reaching out to us and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything else that we can help with.

      • Ray G

        Any movement on adding the Garage door opener to the family of compatible devices. I have a Lift Master and still use the “MyQ” app I have the garage door opener sensor. Kind of a pain to use both

  29. Peter M. Rogers

    Reny – The best thing to do is speak with one our highly-trained professional Security Consultants, and they can answer all your questions. The cost really depends on the specific equipment you want, and the monthly fees are related directly to the type of service you want, and they type of equipment you have. Thanks for your interest.

  30. Peter M. Rogers

    Ronald – Great question, and thanks. A big issue is range. Here is some information you may find helpful on the various technologies.

    Z-Wave has a shorter range than WiFi. With a range between 100 and 300 feet on average, WiFi is a complex, hub-based network construction that allows for larger amounts of data to be communicated at the same time, and is typically more reliable than Z-Wave. Z-Wave communicates using a low-power wireless technology designed specifically for remote control applications. The Z-Wave wireless protocol is optimized for reliable, low-latency communication of small data packets, unlike Wi-Fi and other wireless LAN systems that are designed primarily for high-bandwidth data flow. Video is a great example of high-bandwidth data that is better suited for WiFi than Z-Wave. Thanks again.

Leave a Comment