DIY Alarm w/ added monitoring (Qolsys IQ Panel 4)

I’ve been using Home Assistant for years now, but have always just used the generic DIY alarm panel built into HA. I’ve configured automations to trigger alarms (lights, sounds, notifications) all based on Zwave sensors around the house.

I would like to add some monitoring to my system via and was looking at getting the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 to accomplish this.

Since I already have my system configured the way I like it, is there a way to just use the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 as a secondary system to HA… meaning, I would like HA to continue operating as my alarm system and just send commands / notifications to the Qolsys alarm panel if there is an active alert (break-in, smoke, flood, etc)?

I know the Qolsys panel has Zwave and would consider using it as a repeater if possible, but I don’t want to migrate my sensors since I’d rather have them integrated directly with HA.

The only reason I am looking at something like the Qolsys alarm panel is an easy way to add external monitoring as needed. Does anyone else have experience with this that can provide insights?

I am aware of the Qolsys integration:
GitHub - XaF/qolsysgw: Qolsys IQ Panel 2+ gateway to an Home Assistant Alarm Control Panel

But this seems to be built on the idea of using Qolsys as the primary alarm system and just sending information to/from HA as needed. Is it possible to do this using Qolsys as the secondary system and HA as the main system? Are there reasons to not want to do it this way?

There’s probably an argument in there about using a system built with the top priority being to be an alarm system (Qolsys) versus something that has it as a feature (HA) but I couldn’t dive into the tech reasons there (e.g. encryption for sensor connectivity).

I will say, I’m using the Qolsys integration and do see a service to trigger the alarm, although I’ve never personally used it.

For me, there’s a good bit of piece of mind knowing that I don’t have to worry about critical sensors (contacts and what-not) being impacted by my Z-mesh as I use the IQ sensors for the alarm side. Battery life is phenomenal. I have ~50 contact, smoke, CO, and motion sensors and have changed the batteries in two of them in three years and they’re all reasonably priced.

Yes, I agree there’s probably a lot to be said about a dedicated security system. My concern always ends up being lock-in and lack of control over my own system. It does seem like those wouldn’t be concerns with the Qolsys panel since I’d own all the hardware and just be tying it into a service provider for monitoring purpose.

Ok, so leaning into your experience on the IQ sensors… That battery life does sound nice. Battery life is the main reason I have liked Zwave, the second being no interference issues. I tried Zigbee years ago and have basically trashed all the sensors due to constant interference and batteries dying every few months.

I assume you’ve had good reliability with those IQ sensors then? Any noticeable interference or false alarms? Does the Qolsys system do a good job of reporting battery life and giving you a heads up when things do need replacing? Is that info also available to HA?

Are all the sensors available on the HA side or have you been frustrated at not having certain data available?

When I looked briefly at the Qolsys panels, it looked like there was built-in cellular and battery back up as well, which I liked. Do you have any experience using those options on your system? I do have a battery back up for my HA system, but no cellular (been considering off and on over the years)… so that would be another nice bonus to a dedicated system.

Edit: Also, thanks for the info on the alarm trigger service! Nice to know that option should be available if I opted to continue doing things how I am now.


No interference issues. One false alarm, but it was due to a battery dying (see below).

The one downside…no and no. There’s no battery report as part of the integration. You find out the battery is dead when the sensor reports incorrectly. The panel is supposed to push an alert when a battery is low, but I don’t recall ever seeing one.

Everything that I use (contact sensors, motion, CO, and smoke) show up in HA.

Yes to both, but the cellular connection does require a monitoring plan as it’s part of the monitoring package. There’s no way to use it without a monitoring subscription that I’m aware of. I have had power outages where the panel seamlessly transitioned to the battery backup, so no complaints there.

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Why not simply create sensor/binary sensor entities to put that data in HA, and hook those to the alarm integration as you already do today? There is even a binary sensor class “safety”.

What do you mean?

You can use various integrations such as scrape or template to create arbitrary sensors that incorporate data from the internet.

I more mean what are you referring to specifically in this thread.

You can use the iqpanel as a secondary Z-Wave controller. Once you include it as a Secondary Controller all you have to do is setup associations on all your devices so that they report updates to the iqpanel as well as home assistant.

You can have zwave devices talking to two separate controllers?

Yes and no. You, technically, can have a secondary controller in the mix. However, it’s mostly unnecessary at this point and often a bad experience.

Yes you can. All you have to do is set up an additional association so that the new controller recieved updates from the device.