Getting Started with home security, z-wave - Where to begin?

I am new to the Home Automation/Home Security/Home Assistant Space (Although I’ve watched Home assistant from afar for some time). I am now in the market for a home security/home automation system, and want to get off to a good start. Here are the high points of what I’d like to be able to do:

  • Professionally monitored security system with basic entry/motion sensors, down the road add smoke/CO/flood/etc.
    • I would like to use either a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or a GC3 2Gig panel, or possibly the new VeraSecure if using Z-Wave for sensors makes sense?
    • For monitoring, I plan on using to save on costs
  • Be able to turn off my AC when a window is open for too long (or, more generally, be able to respond to specific window/door/entry sensor triggers from the alarm system)
  • Be able to dim lights (probably Z-Wave?) when I start playback on my Apple TV if the sun has set
  • Control my sprinklers based on weather, schedules, etc.

I’m under the impression that much of the above can be accomplished with just a smart alarm panel like Qolsys or 2Gig, but integrating with Apple TV makes this a bit more complicated. Ideally, I would get Homebridge, Home Assistant, and Alarm sensors working together, but it’s not clear how to make that integration.

I have looked at VeraSecure, which is appealing because of their $10/month introductory monitoring pricing, All-zwave for everything, and it’s priced well. The big exception: I’d have to get a tablet as my primary alarm control panel (what do I do when my phone dies while I’m out and I want to turn off the alarm when I get home?)

Is an all z-wave security system smart? Is it reliable enough to be secure and meaningful? Do hybrid 2Gig/Qolsys on Alarm.comsystems coupled with other Z-Wave sensors integrate well with Home Assistant for bridging with Apple TV and other non-zwave/alarm components?

Thanks in advance - hopefully the above question is meaningful!

Did you get anywhere with your decision? I think I am in the same situation, except that I have been doing home automation for 20 years, and ported my system to HA 8 months ago.

What I am finding is that most monitored system (except abode) do not allow zwave for security (door and window sensors) and safety (smoke and fire) devices. Wish there was a way for HA to connect to these panels to access their proprietary sensors.

For the last 3 years we have been running the QOLSYS panel connected to the IQ Hardwire 16 for all of our door/window sensors (no motion sensors as the gen 1 panel does not support this). The design has worked flawlessly. But like anything we are ready for some changes and hoping we can integrate home assistant into this mix.

Has anyone tried connecting a IQ Hardwire 16 or IQ 8) to HA? Link below on the panel details. IF this works it would be a super simple and cheap way to get up to 16 more sensors in HA.

Also some more reading if interested.

Working on a method to integrate an IQ2 panel with HA: