The Konnected Alarm Panel is a device that retrofits or upgrades a traditional wired home alarm system. It makes it smart by connecting all the sensors and zones to a smart home platform like SmartThings, Alexa, Home Assistant. A common question that we get all the time from new Konnected customers shopping for their ideal smart home alarm system is:
Does Konnected work with my alarm system keypads?
The short answer is no; Konnected does not work directly with traditional alarm system keypads. Most people would rather use automations, an app, or a voice assistant with Konnected to arm and disarm their alarm. But, as we'll show you in this article, there are ways to keep the keypads and traditional alarm system intact with our Interface Kits or replace your keypads with tablets or other gadgets.
Keypads become obsolete with our popular Conversion Kits
Our most popular option is retrofitting your old alarm panel or pre-wired home with a Konnected Alarm Panel or Alarm Panel Pro, making the alarm keypad obsolete. With Konnected Conversion Kits, you fully control your alarm system from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. That being said, many of our customers opt to replace their keypads with wall-mounted tablets that are always on. Even though it's not a requirement, it's an option that many users love.
There are plenty of wall-mounted tablets you can use to replace an alarm system keypad
Konnected is all about connecting you with options to upgrade your home, and replacing your wall keypad with an always-on tablet is a popular modern upgrade in a Konnected home. Do you have an older iPad that sits there unused? Do you have a working Fire Tablet that your kid used to watch cartoons on but has outgrown? If yes, then good news - you can quickly turn almost any tablet into a central hub of your smart home. We offer in-wall power connectors and 3D-printed frames for the most popular tablet models.
Konnected Alarm Panel Interface Kits allow you to keep your traditional keypad
Some users may need more time to give up on the traditional way of interacting with arming/disarming their alarm system via keypads and may want to keep the professional home monitoring from companies like ADT, Brinks, etc. Although less popular than our Conversion Kits, Konnected Alarm Panel Interface Kits match these households. The installation is more complex, but it allows users to keep their existing alarm system and keypad functional while enjoying the smart home integration benefits of Konnected.
Other interesting keypad alternatives
Not everyone wants a touch-screen tablet on the wall. Here are a few creative ideas to replace the traditional alarm system keypad with an innovative smart-home solution with Konnected, taking advantage of the 4-conductor alarm wire already in the wall.
Standalone keypad or ID reader
Replacing an alarm system keypad with a standalone keypad or RFID reader is simple when you already have the alarm system wires in the wall. You just need two wires for power (red & black) and the other two for a relay loop. Hook up the red & black to the AUX + and - on Konnected to power it and the other pair of wires to any zone on Konnected and the output relay on the keypad. In your smart home automation platform, set up this zone to disarm the alarm when the zone opens (or closes).
Codes for a standalone keypad are programmed on the keypad itself, and when access is granted, it momentarily triggers a relay that changes the contact of the output relay. Standalone keypads are inexpensive and simple to use, and some even have RFID reader capabilities! When shopping for a standalone keypad, look for one powered by 12V and a "dry contact" output or NO/NC/COM connections indicating a relay output.
Here are our recommendations for standalone keypads or ID readers:
Panic button or smart button
Konnected zones can monitor any wired open/close sensor or circuit, so a simple button is also an easy addition to a Konnected smart home. Use the wires for the old keypad to install a lighted push button that you can use in your smart home to trigger a panic mode automation or exit routine, for example.
We were pleased to see a Konnected customer on Reddit who did something like that recently!
If you want to do it as well, here are some button examples:
Piezo buzzers and alarms
A popular feature of the old keypad is the chime when the door opens. You replicate this in a smart home with a piezo buzzer or voice assistant announcement. Konnected Alarm Panel Kits come with a small 3V piezo buzzer that works well, but you can upgrade your buzzer and alarm sounds with a fancier buzzer. There's even one (3rd link) that lets you upload your own MP3 or WAV sounds!
When shopping for buzzers and alarms, you can use a 3V buzzer connected directly to a Konnected zone or OUT or a 12V device connected to the ALARM outputs on Konnected.
These buzzers and alarms will work great with Konnected:
So, should you keep your keypad after all?
It's up to you, but here's the easiest way to put it.
Remove the keypad (or replace it with a tablet) with the Konnected Conversion Kit if:
- You prefer to interact with your Konnected ecosystem using modern smart devices
- Want the simplest installation
- Want to switch to self-monitoring
Keep the keypad with the Konnected Interface Kit if:
- Somebody in your household needs to use the old technology of the traditional way of arming/disarming (for example, an older person)
- You must keep your third-party home monitoring contract
- You're ready for a more complex installation process and programming of the old panel
Of course, there's also the chance that you want to buy a keypad and add it as a zone to your Konnected Alarm Panel or Konnected Alarm Panel Pro. Still, even if you're hesitant today, we think you'll fall in love with using only your smart devices to interact with your alarm system like you already do with most other aspects of your life today. Just like going to buy a ticket at a box office is a thing of the past, arming your at home security systems on keypads is too.