First Alert Professional’s VISTA Control Panel Series

First Alert Pro Vista Series ConsoleThe Honeywell VISTA control panels have been around for a long time. The primary difference between the VISTA panels and the LYNX Series sold by First Alert Professionals is that VISTA panels cannot function alone. A VISTA board needs a keypad to manage the sensors and detectors.

VISTA panels contain a circuit board or the brains of an alarm setup. You need to connect all the components individually to have a functioning security system. Once you connect the siren, keypads, detectors, sensors and whatever else you have, you can then operate the system through the keypad or a LYNX control console.

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A LYNX control console or a Tuxedo keypad can connect and manage everything without the need for a keypad.

Honeywell initially made VISTA as the brains of their wired home and commercial security alarm systems. The VISTA panels today support both wired and wireless zones. You can also use Total Connect remote management with VISTAs.

Businesses and homes with existing wired security systems may choose the VISTA panel to allow them to use the existing wired system along with wireless zones. VISTA panels generally have more capacity too.

These panels still, however, are frequently bought by home and business owners as they are reliable, dependable and have been on the market a long time.  To learn more about the overall system visit my First Alert Professional review.

VISTA Series Overview

Honeywell still relies on the VISTA as the mainstay of their home and commercial alarm business. The company claims that over 100 million have been installed. The advent of wireless and all-in-one systems drove the company to start manufacturing the LYNX Series as well as the Tuxedo Keypads.

The VISTA panels, however, are usually much less expensive than the LYNX all-in-one controllers are. Even when you add in the cost of a keypad, a VISTA home security setup can save you money.

With VISTA panels, you can frequently, depending on the model, add circuit boards or components to allow it to use different means of communication or connection protocols.

When purchasing a VISTA, you need to ensure that the model you buy supports the various features you want enabled on your system. For example, some VISTA models have the programming modules for video while others may not. One thing each panel does have in common, however, is telecommunications line cut detection. When using a landline phone for communications, this feature alerts the keypad/user/monitoring station if the phone line is cut.

Honeywell offers over 15 VISTA panels for sale:

  • VISTA-21iP – VISTA® Control panel
  • VISTA-128BPT/VISTA Turbo Series – Partitioned commercial burglary alarm control panels
  • VISTA-250BPT/VISTA Turbo Series – Partitioned commercial burglary alarm control panel
  • VISTA-10P – VISTA Control Panel
  • VISTA-10SE – Traditional security with the convenience of personal remote control
  • VISTA-15 – Enhanced security with valuable end-user conveniences
  • VISTA-15P – VISTA Control Panel
  • VISTA-20P – VISTA Control Panel
  • VISTA-20PUL – Commercial Burglary Alarm Control
  • VISTA-20SE – Eight-zone control panel
  • VISTA-50PUL – Partitioned system with scheduling
  • VISTA-128B – Commercial burglary alarm control
  • VISTA-128BP Series – Partitioned Commercial Burglary Alarm Control Panels
  • VIA-30PSE – Full-featured hybrid security with the convenience of paging
  • VISTA-40 – Partitioned system
  • VISTA-50P – Partitioned system with scheduling
  • VISTA-250BP Series – Partitioned Commercial Burglary Alarm Control Panels


The VISTA 21ip allows you to have up to 48 zones and 48 user codes. It will support four touchscreen keypads. The circuitry supports control through any touchtone phone also.

One the wireless side, it supports up to 40 wireless expansion zones. The controller supports various remote control, one-button services too such as a panic alarm.

The keypad or console used in conjunction with the VISTA will display 100 Event Log entries with a time and date stamp.

VISTA Turbo Series: 128BPT and 250BPT

The Turbo Series has a very robust capability. It is best suited to a large residential or business complex.


The 128BPT can support 127 wireless zones and two 5800 Series wireless receivers. It allows up to 150 user codes including seven Master Codes. This panel allows up to 512 log entries in memory. You can add 16 two-wire smoke detectors, six touchscreen devices, and a CO detector.


The 250BPT primarily is used in commercial locations but can also be utilized in a residence. It supports almost double the number of wireless zones compared to the 128BPT. You can set up 249 zones in total. You can allow up to 250 individual user codes and seven Master Codes. The log will display 1000 past events from memory. The 250BPT has smoke and CO detector support too.

VISTA 10 Series

The Vista 10 series currently have four units in production: 10P, 10SE, 15, 15P. These are probably the most economical of the VISTA series. The 10P has 16 wireless zones and six hardwired. You can view 32 previous events and program up to 16 user codes.


The 10SE controls sensors and detectors as well as Z-Wave smart home appliance controllers. It has 22 wireless zones, and you can input seven user codes. The 10SE lets you perform certain functions such as arming and disarming through a touchtone phone as well as voice commands.


The VISTA-15 has 26 wireless and 14 hardwired zones. The event log records 48 events before resetting. You can program 16 user codes. Like the others, it will support smoke and heat detectors.


The 15P has IP and cellular/GSM transmission ability but can also support a landline phone backup connection. It has the same number of wireless zones as the VISTA 15 but adds two more hardwired zones. It allows two and four-wire smoke and heat detector connection also.

VISTA 20 Series

The 20 series has three units of varied capacity and capability: 20P, 20PUL and 20SE.


The 20P gives you 48 cellular controlled wireless zones. It reports through Internet IP also. You can install up to four touchscreen keypads and view up to 100 past events. Useful in office buildings, you can have up to 16 smoke detectors wired to the panel also.


The VISTA 20PUL lets you use Ethernet and cellular for communication with the monitoring center. There are 40 wireless and 40 hardwired zones available along with up to 48 user codes. It is also Underwriters Lab (UL) certified.


The VISTA 20SE has significant UL (Underwriters Lab) ratings and is best suited for commercial establishments though you can use it at your residence if desired. There are 38 wireless zones and eight hardwired. It also has a built-in Z-Wave module.

VISTA Partitioned Systems

Partitioned systems let you partition the zones into two or more individual systems using one VISTA unit. You can have separate systems for each floor, office or outbuilding controlled by separate keypads or consoles.

Honeywell has six VISTA portioned systems for sale: 50PUL, 128B, 128BP, 40, 50P, and the 250BP.


You can partition the 50PUL into eight separate systems. The panel supports a total of 87 zones. You can program 75 user codes.

It provides Z-Wave management for any of the partitions or systems and allows touchtone phone control also.


The 128B allows up to 128 zones either wireless or wired. The 128B has a tamper proof and is often seen in supermarkets, office buildings or schools.

You can sent texts or page messages to alert users of any alarm or activity. Over 150 user codes may be entered. The log will show up to 512 events. This commercial unit allows up to 50 glassbreak detectors.


This heavy-duty VISTA series offering has 127 wireless zones and 119 additional zones. Like the 128B, you can program 150 user codes and seven Master Codes.

This panel has video view modules and like the 128B allows 50 glassbreaks. It has Z-Wave management, smoke and heat detector and CO connections.


This inexpensive model has 64 zones and two partitions. You can program 70 user codes between the partitions. As a user of either system, you can view up to 100 previous events. It also has Z-Wave.


The 50P has 224 event memory log options for the 87 zones available. You can set 75 user codes and it includes Z-Wave management.


This 1000-event log capable system supports up to 241 wireless zones. You can allow up to 250 users to have their own individual codes and allow seven Master Code for system supervisors. This system also allows 50 glassbreak detectors and 16 smoke detectors.


This member of the VISTA family of controllers distinguishes itself by its paging capability. You can receive a page as well as a text or email if an alarm is activated.

It has 30 zones total and eight of them can be hardwired.

Honeywell and Ademco

VISTA is built by Ademeco. Sometimes the panels are markets as Ademco VISTA rather than Honeywell.

Ademco, a well-known alarm company for many decades, manufactures the VISTA panels. Ademco and Honeywell have a very close business relationship and once were part of the same company. A publically traded company called Pittway acquired Ademco a couple of decades ago. Pittway in turn was acquired by Honeywell. The Ademco brand name is still in use. Ademco formed a separate company in Asia that has become one of the leading alarm companies in the Far East.

VISTA Final Thoughts

The Vista system takes a little more research and thought than buying one of the Tuxedo or other all-in-one controllers. You can save money by using VISTA panels given Honeywell’s propensity to sell them at a much lower cost than the retail price of the 5200 or 7000 panels. You can generally get a better deal from the independent First Alert Professional dealers on VISTA panels.

VISTAs are also good for legacy or new wired systems. They allow you to mesh your wired and wireless systems together for easier management.

VISTA panels work best, however, for business. The partition panels let a business owner buy one panel and secure up to eight areas separately. This allows supervisors and workers in one section, floor or area of the complex to secure their areas without worrying about the other workers who may have different shifts or may remain open for shorter or longer periods of time.

Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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