How to integrate Qolsys IQ Panel 4 with Home Assistant?

We’ve got a security system from running on a Qolsys IQ Panel 4 and Home Assistant 2022.8.7 running on a Raspberry Pi 400. Ideally, we would have only one phone app to deal with for the day to day stuff while either at home or remotely. Switching to another app for more granular stuff is fine (setting up automations, seeing detailed information, etc.), but having two apps to control devices (e.g. one for thermostats and a different one for locks) is a non-solution to us. We currently have multiple apps, so that’s why it’s a non-solution. Since we have to have an internet connection for to work, we figure that might as well be the one app. But, we’re not stuck on that idea.

We’ve tried to connect the Qolsys to Home Assistant, but it isn’t working too well. It’s using the qolsysgw integration. That integration is built as an AppDaemon app and communicates over MQTT. So the setup is running the AppDaemon and Mosquito add-ons. It intially connected after getting things setup, but it only lasted a few minutes before everything became unavailable. If we restart the add-ons, it’ll sometimes reconnect for a few minutes, but then everything is unavailable again. It doesn’t consistently reconnect, though.

After struggling with this for a few days, I figure maybe I should see if there’s another way to approach the underlying problem. I could probably power through this and figure it out. But, it doesn’t hurt to pop up real quick to see if I’m not digging a deeper hole. I also decided to order a Z-Wave USB antenna in the hopes of using Home Assistant as a secondary controller to the Qolsys. It hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t know if that will work or not.

Are there other ways to go about getting what we want? Nothing about our setup needs to stay the same, we can do something different in Home Assistant, drop Home Assistant completely for something else, even change the security panel (as a last resort, seems more intrusive).

The long backstory

I’m very new to home automation. I’ve always been a “no smart things in the house” kind of person. So, I hadn’t heard of things like Z-Wave, or scenes,or any of this stuff until recently. We bought a house a few months ago. The sellers left a bunch of owners manuals (thankfully). On a couple of the manuals, I noticed this Z-Wave stuff.

One of the first things we did was setup an alarm. We got a Qolsys IQ Panel 4. As we were setting it up the alarm, it mentioned that it could connect with Z-Wave devices. I remembered the thermostats mentioning Z-Wave, so on a whim, I connected the thermostats. Then, I remembered the locks mentioned Z-Wave, so I connect them.

At some point we decided to try out scenes on the Qolsys. Since we’re in the process of moving from one house to the next, we setup a scene for going to the new house (turn on the A/C to cool the house) and a scene for leaving the house (turn off the thermostats, lock the doors, and set the alarm). None of this is ground breaking from the perspective of what you can do with home automation. But for someone that’s been anti-“smart home” for a long time, this sold me. It was something about being able to press a few buttons on my phone to do all the things I’d manually do–and be able to do it from miles away.

Fast forward a few months, and something I’ve been wanting is to automate more stuff around the house. The Qolsys can only really work with Z-Wave devices and the few integrations it supports (e.g. Lutron Caséta, Aladdin garage door, etc.), And it doesn’t have the best as far as automation. I’ve been reading a ton of information and watching a ton of videos over the past few months. I was reluctant to run Home Assistant at first. My day job is a Software Engineer. The last thing I wanted was to setup my own server that I had to maintain at home. Plus the price and scarcity of Raspberry Pi 4’s was unappealing. I heard good things about Hubitat. It has a Z-Wave and ZigBee antenna, is local first, was supposed to be easier than Home Assistant, and was a bit over $100.

So I bought a Hubitat, and tried to get it working. The first thing I found was that the UX was really poor. Everything’s an app, but nothing gives you help out of the box, so you end up having to learn how to do everything from scratch. After a few days, I was able to connect one thermostat to Hubitat, connect the TV, solar data, have a dashboard that showed one or two things, and semi-connect to the Qolsys. The Qolsys connection came after at least five different attempts to integrate the different apps (a very long and unfun experience).

But importantly, it could only read the sensor data. It can’t see any of the Z-Wave devices connected to the Qolsys. Neither hub wants to be a secondary controller to the other, so they don’t really work together (as far as I’m concerned). Another snafu is that Hubitat only lets you add bulbs, dimmers, and switches to scenes. We didn’t have any of those, so Hubitat scenes we’re completely useless to us. The workaround suggested was to use a virtual button or switch and run an automation. But the UX for buttons/switches is poor (no feedback when pressing a button, switch needs a timeout to turn off that doesn’t visually work all the time, etc.). This whole experience felt like running a Linux setup many years ago. Sure, you can do a lot of stuff if you try hard enough. But you have to try really hard to get basic affordances.

After the experience with the Hubitat, I figured that Home Assistant couldn’t be that much worse, so I gave it a try. Since I didn’t want to buy hardware just yet (in case it ended up like Hubitat) I threw a setup onto a k8s cluster running on Digital Ocean. It took all of 20-30 minutes to have something running. Noodling around with the UI, it was so much better than Hubitat. Adding integrations is simple, they automatically show up in the managed dashboard, and buttons actually worked like a normal UI button. I bit the bullet, bought a Rapeberry Pi 400, a separate SSD, flashed it with Home Assistant OS 2022.8.7, and was up and running locally. This took maybe 30 minutes to an hour, all up.

Most importantly, things Just Work™ with Home Assistant. It automatically discovered all of the same devices I had to manually add to Hubitat with different third party apps. It even found more devices that Hubitat doesn’t work with (printers). It automatically adds them to the dashboard. But there’s still a way to gain control if something isn’t setup right. I even tried integrating the Hubitat through the Maker API app so I could just use the Hubitat as a glorified Z-Wave/ZigBee antenna, but I don’t get us any closer to controlling the Qolsys. Overall, I’m sold on Home Assistant. The main issue we’ve got, is connecting the Qolsys to Home Assistant.

I really liked this post. I’m in Canada and have a security system monitored by Bell, affiliated with (if I log in to, it takes me to Bell’s branded affiliate website).

I would love to figure out how to integrate the qolsys panel Bell installed with my Home Assistant instance, becuase right now, I’m using the integration (which works reasonably well). It uses the api to scrape data from, so unfortunately there is a delay which makes it challenging to use it for automations. But, it arms and disarms our system very well.

Do you know how to get HA to talk to the qolsys panel more directly? Is this even possible while I’m paying monthly for security monitoring? (the wife insists). Any guidance would be appreciated!

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The iqpanel can be included as a secondary Z-Wave controller or you can include home assistant as a secondary controller. Not sure how much control it would offer though but it’s worth trying.

I’m curious if you ever got this working? I’m currently trying to integrate my IQ 4 Panel with my HA instance to run automations on the contacts.

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Sorry I haven’t looked in a bit, but I think the best option out there for actual usable control is the qolsysqw integration. We kind of gave up on it after it wouldn’t stay working. Maybe things have changed in the past ~year, and it works better now. Or maybe something about our setup was always off.

If you know how to do this, I would definitely appreciate it. After the initial post, I spent entirely too long trying to setup one of these two devices as a secondary controller. I tried both:

  • Qolsys as primary, Home Assistant as secondary
  • Home Assistant as primary, Qolsys as secondary

I can’t remember right now if it was the Qolsys or Home Assistant that would not be a secondary controller. But I know that one of them simply wouldn’t work (probably the Qolsys, if I’m remembering right). Whichever one did join as the secondary would grab the initial data, but no subsequent data or commands would ever make it from one controller to the other.

In any case, I wasn’t able to make it work. Maybe I needed a different Z-Wave device on Home Assistant. Either way, I wasted enough time tinkering and moved on with my life. But as said, if you know how to do this, I’d be really interested.

Unfortunately, no. As mentioned, I think the qolsysqw integration is the best option at the moment. But we haven’t gone back to see if it’ll work.

If you get something to work, I’d be interested to hear about it!

What method did you try to make the Qolsys as primary, Home Assistant as secondary? On the IQ Panel you would put it in Inclusion Mode like you would for any other device. Then you would need to use Z-Wave PC Controller Software to put your controller into learn mode. I have a video that explains the process. The most important part is from 0:43 to 0:56. How to Migrate Z-Wave Devices to Home Assistant without Excluding Them - YouTube

I think I did what you explained in that part of the video. It worked to have one of them as secondary (probably Home Assistant), but like mentioned, it only gave an initial state. Maybe the SUC/SIS stuff is important? Maybe something else? In any case, you seem way more knowledgable about this than me. So I’ll check out some of your other videos, and see if there’s anything I can glean from them.

Having thought about it a bit more, this might’ve been more of the reason we punted on this approach. All we were able to access was Z-Wave devices, not any of the door/window/motion/etc. sensors. I honestly can’t remember too much at this point.

I have an IQ Panel installed. There’s a great driver for it on the Hubitat platform that exposes all the IQ Panel sensors to Hubitat. I then use the Hubitat integration on HA to bring these sensors into HA for automations and other things.

It would be nice if one could integrate with the IQ Panel directly bypassing the Hubitat all together but I was using Hubitat before moving to HA so had one to use anyway.

I believe the Hubitat driver is using the Control4 API to communicate with the IQ Panel so I’m sure someone smarter than me could make an integration that works with HA as easily as it does on Hubitat.

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Does anyone have their IQ4 integrated with qolsysqw and have it successfully triggering fire alarms from HA? I can only get it to trigger police, it’s not accepting any other alarm type values. My smoke detectors are only working in HA (zwave) and I want to make Alarmo my Primary and have it trigger alarms on qolsys since I have my alarm monitored.

I have not tried the Qolsys integration and thought I would see what was possible through Z-Wave.

I found where you can link Z-Wave controllers in the Qolsys IQ4 panel menus:

  • Advanced Settings
  • Enter an access code (2222 is default)
  • Installation
  • Devices
  • Z-Wave Devices
  • Add / Remove Controller

This puts the panel into Inclusion mode and makes the panel available for Inclusion into another hub and shows the DSK info for the panel.

I was able to use that to Include the panel into my HA system.

I now have 5 new Z-Wave devices in HA.
1 of those is Qolsys manufacturer and all the others are Unknown manufacturer.
The only thing that can be done with any of them is the Qolsys supports Identification which makes the panel screen display a big green box and says ZWAVE INDICATOR.

There are also now a bunch of Z-Wave devices on the alarm panel. All but one of them is Unknown (Other Devices1, Other Devices2, etc).

One of them is a Light.
I can see the Product ID and Product Type.
Can’t figure out how to turn it on or off.

It shows up under Automation.
You can specify the Automation Behavior

  • None
  • Night
  • Evening

Not sure what those accomplish.

You can get a Network Map that shows all the devices:

  • Advanced Settings
  • System Tests
  • Z-Wave Tests
  • Z-Wave Diagnostics

None of these Z-Wave devices can be added to one of the panel’s scenes (Home, Away, Sleep, Wake Up)
None of these Z-Wave devices are visible through the app.
None of these Z-Wave devices are visible through the website.

So, nothing is really possible - done this way.

Was able to Exclude the panel from HA.
It removed all the devices from the panel
It removed the 1 Qolsys device from HA and left the other 4 orphaned to be manually removed.


Thanks for doing all that work and investigation! I guess we’re not missing out on anything by not using Z-Wave.

More investigations

  • Installed a Z-Wave smart plug as a device directly into the panel (panel is the hub)
  • Worked like a normal Inclusion process
  • Still can’t do anything with this device same as before.

I just noticed that the payment plan I have with Link Interactive (my provider) is the lowest pay level and it says I can’t do Home Automation!

Website says have to pay another $10/m to add Automation.

Then again it says my current pay level has professional monitoring and I’m doing self monitoring, so not sure.

So, your experience may be quite different depending upon who your alarm company is and what level of functionality you are paying for.

To my original question, I got it working with triggering Fire/EMS alarms on the panel (basically tripping the panic buttons for fire/ems).

I wish this worked natively through Z-Wave, instead I have it working through the qolsysqw integration. Thanks for posting your research with Z-Wave.

I’m curious, were you able to see the alarm status/trigger arming/disarming through z-wave? I did the integration to use the sensors for automation within HA. I wish my smoke alarms integrated with the IQ4 but they just show as an unknown z-wave device.

This thread has been incredibly helpful. After a fair amount of learning as a new HomeAssistant user, I was able to get the Qolsys integration working. Go figure that as I finally go to install the panel on my wall, I start getting power and overheating failures. My alarm company is sending a new one.

The question I have is that when I replace the existing panel that I already integrated, do I need to do anything other than update the gateway module ‘panel_host’ and ‘panel_token’ after enabling control4 in the panel ? I have the old panel powered off, but still see the entities from it. I’m wondering if there’s any cleanup that I should do before I try pulling in the new panel.

Thanks in advance for any advice.