Help choosing an HA-friendly security alarm system

I need to pick an HA-friendly alarm setup. It’s a new build and all sensors will be wireless. No pre-existing hardware.

I don’t want to build my own alarm – it will be professionally monitored. I may install it myself or have a local installer do it.

I don’t need to do any complicated automations that IMPACT the alarm system in any way (e.g. open refrigerator door and change alarm mode to ARMED). I plan to control the alarm via the alarm app/panel only.

I DO want the ability to have HA read the sensors (e.g. front door is open or closed) and be able to build automations using sensor status (e.g. turn on porch light).

I don’t intend to pay the alarm company for any home automation stuff. My door locks and cameras will not be tied to the security system or to their panel. Only the security sensors and fire/smoke detectors will be paired to the monitored security panel.

I’ve read lots of posts and it’s pretty confusing. Some say you need an extra z-wave dongle to pair all the sensors. Some say that z-wave actually won’t pair to more than one hub. Some say that certain sensors will work with dual hubs but it depends on the sensor.

I had been leaning toward Qolsys IQ 4 ( or Honeywell ProA7Plus (alarmnet) but I’m reading a lot of reports of difficulty with both on HA integration.

I asked this same question on Reddit and someone said Ring works great with MQTT/HA to do what I’m looking to do. I might entertain Abode or Simplisafe although I’m not in love with Simplisafe’s very limited sensor selection.

Happy to provide more info but hopefully this makes sense. Anybody else doing this :point_up: successfully and care to recommend a vendor or two? Thanks in advance!

See these two:

Ha! Thanks for replying and sharing. I actually read your exchange with skull791 and it scared me so much that I just about quit before even getting started. (I don’t know if that guy just didn’t bother to RTFM or if this stuff is just super hard…)

So you advocate for the Qolsys IP Panel 4 (, based on my requirements. Any gotchas that I need to worry about if I go this route?

Aside from your exchange above, I also read reports about some sensors not being able to report their status to two different hubs, etc. Some folks have also said that sensor data is slow. You don’t see any of this?

The security part of my overall build is probably a $2,000+ outlay, so I just don’t want to invest in a bunch of equipment and find out later that I should have picked a different horse. Thanks!

It’s not super hard. I’d been using HA for about three days when I set the integration up and it took me around an hour. That was with zero experience using MQTT, which is what caused it to take as long as it did. For installation, I just followed the instructions for the integration from GitHub and did some general Google searches if I wasn’t sure how to do something.

The sensors don’t report to two hubs. All the security sensors talk to the Qolsys panel. The panel has a websocket that posts status updates and gives control over the system, which is what the integration uses. The websocket is instantaneous with updates. For example, I have an automation in HA that turns on my foyer light switch over Z-Wave when the front door sensor is opened. It takes maybe a half second for the light to come on after the contact sensor is broken.
My cost was around the same and I have no regrets. I will throw some caveats out:

  1. I have super dense wireless coverage, so WiFi/network connectivity for the panel has never been an issue (could see that accounting for issues with sensor status updates).
  2. I have the Qolsys IQ 2+ panel. Software is the same, just some minor differences in hardware.
  3. I’m on an older firmware version on the panel. I couldn’t even tell you what version it is, I just remember having to do an update when I setup the local integration on my last automation platform. That was probably 1.5-2 years ago.
  4. I run HA on a rather beefy desktop that’s hardwired (could also account for other’s issues with delays).

Great. I should have very strong wireless coverage. Ubiquiti waps in the ceilings, on every floor, and probably a bit over spec’d for the space. Feeling reasonably confident that this should work. Thanks for all the detail.

Same here with the Ubiquiti gear.

Setting up a smart alarm system can be a bit of a maze, can’t it?

I went with a standalone security system that integrates well with Home Assistant (Elk-M1 Control). There are plenty of other recommendations and integrations that may work for you too but you need to define what you want.