The Silicon Valley company, Qolsys, supplies the IQ alarm panels used by LiveWatch and some other security firms. Recently, they have begun to offer their proprietary brand of home safety devices. LiveWatch sells most of them directly as optional equipment for their systems. You can also purchase them through a Qolsys independent dealer, including on Amazon or Alarm.com.
Tyco Security Products made a strategic investment in the company two years after Qolsys began operations and kept the company as a separate operating unit of Tyco. The company continues to develop and market all wireless devices that transmit at 319 MHz. This makes them compatible with any GE or DSC panels or sensor arrays.
Qolsys builds Wi-Fi into their alarm panels also, which sets it apart from other console manufacturers who only include cellular and/or phone line capability.
The company has gradually expanded its offerings to include sensors, detectors, and smart home appliances. The user reviews all almost universally laud the Qolsys devices as being reliable, customizable and with some features that other sensor and detector companies do not provide.
Qolsys has several sensor products that connect to their signature IQ alarm panel.
IQ Door and Window
The door and window sensors require two CR2032 batteries. Battery life is excellent at five years. Each has a tamper switch. One unique feature is the hyper accuracy of the magnet and sensor matchup. If either moves more than a ½ inch out of alignment, such as if someone attempts to force the door, the IQ panel receives an alert.
The motion sensor, 3.4 inches wide x 2.4 inches long, has a range of 35 feet. Pet safe for animals 40 pounds and under, it also has an average five-year battery life.
You can use the mini on doors or windows also. It is about two inches long and ½ inch thick. Any movement of more than an inch when armed will trigger a message to the alarm console. You can program it as a “safety sensor” which will trigger an alert, text or email if it is activated. Safety sensors are sensors used for medicine cabinets, gun safes or other places where users store sensitive items.
The glass break device has an effective range of 25 feet. The pitch sensor incorporates the latest audio technology called pattern recognition. This allows the sensor to distinguish the sound of breaking glass more accurately, minimizing false alarms.
The tilt sensor mounts on a garage or other sort of door that will open vertically. It alarms whenever the door reaches a 45° slant.
IQ Temp and Flood
This is a combination flood/freeze/heat sensor. The flood probe that can be extended up to six feet detects any water that might overflow from pipes or an appliance like a washing machine.
If the temperature gets below or above a set degree and remains there for ten minutes or more, the sensor will signal the console. The console then sends a message by text or email, depending how you have configured the system.
IQ Mini Extended
This sensor functions in the same way as the mini door, and window device except it has a ten-year battery life.
This IQ device has a probe that will detect moisture. If the probe becomes immersed, the alarm signal is sent. The six-foot cord with a rectangular probe on the end extends from the sensor. You can mount, using the adhesive, the probe along the floor. Once water reaches both small contacts on either end of the probe, this trips the switch and sends a message to the sensor and on to the IQ panel.
IQ Panic Alarm
The panic alarm installs with the adhesive just about anywhere. Pressing it twice or pressing and holding it for more than two seconds will set off the alarm. You can program the alarm to be silent or use the siren.
IQ Wrist Pendant
The wrist pendant works within 100 feet of the IQ console. Fully water resistant for use in a shower or bath, you need to press it once and hold for three seconds to activate.
The IQ doorbell wires directly into your existing doorbell inside the house. You can program it to do various things if someone presses the doorbell. For example, you can activate a door camera, or turn on certain lights in the house. You can also make a rule that sends you a text or email whenever someone presses the bell.
This key fob lets you operate the system from up to 100 feet away. You can arm and disarm the system or press the panic button to activate the alarm.
The IQ siren is 105db. It includes three LED strobe lights. You plug it into any AC socket. It has an internal, three-hour rechargeable backup battery too.
Qolsys has two proprietary detectors:
The smoke detector also detects heat. Five inches long, it will detect a rapid rise in temperature even if there is no smoke. It also has an internal alarm. If it detects a fire, you can also configure the system to alert you by text or email.
The carbon monoxide detector has all the same messaging and alarm features as the smoke detector, including an internal siren.
Smart Home Appliances
Qolsys has developed their own line of Z-Wave smart home appliances. They also are dealers for cameras and door locks manufactured by other companies.
IQ Smart Socket
The smart socket has the unique capability of controlling two outlets independently. This lets you use two lights, for example, with the device and manage each separately.
The thermostat from Qolsys controls any standard gas or electric HVAC or heat pump. It uses four AA batteries.
The IQ light bulbs are a relatively inexpensive way to control any light in your house by simply replacing the existing bulb with the IQ Z-Wave version. Each also allows you to dim the light even if the light fixture or wall switch does not have that capability.
IQ manufactures three other products for use with certain home security systems.
IQ Pin Pad
The ultra-compact pin pads can be mounted or carried with you in your purse or pocket. It works within 100 feet of the console.
This device lets you translate wireless signals of up to eight non-compatible sensors into the correct frequency that enables them to link with the IQ alarm panel. This way you can mesh any existing alarm system with a Qolsys.
The translators come in two versions: 345 MHz and a 433 MHz. This makes it able to translate most manufacturer’s products into 319 MHz
Each translator has a 72 works on AC power and has a 72-hour backup rechargeable battery.
Translators will not connect any 345 or 433 MHz smoke or Carbon Monoxide detectors.
IQ Hardwire 16
This is another unique device by Qolsys, which allows you to convert an existing hardwired home security system into one that can link and be managed by the IQ panel. You connect the hardwired sensor panel to the Hardwire 16, and it then will link with the IQ. The sensors will then all integrate into the Qolsys array.
Like the translators, the Hardwire 16 will not operate other company’s smoke or Carbon Monoxide detectors.
Qolsys technology has started to become popular among independent home security retailers. Users give the equipment high ratings for dependability and quality. The prices are competitive too.
Qolsys now offers an “IQ Security Kit” which includes the IQ panel, four mini door/window sensors, a motion sensor and an IQ doorbell. They do not offer any monitoring (yet!). Learn more about these devices and how they integrate with security systems in our LiveWatch security system review.