Halo Installed and Issues
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35 posts in this topic

Installation went well. Easy to mount and wire. Paired immediately. Test went as described in the manual.

Couple things:

  • The light can be set to any color imaginable and put on a schedule. I set it to turn on sunset to sunrise just to see what it would do. The light is turning itself off in less that an hour even during the scheduled on time and does not remember the color. I go into the app and turn it on set the color then I walk by later and it's off.
  • I would like to test the notification on my phone. Just running the test doesn't send a notification to my phone. Should it? I can run the test from my phone using Iris app so obviously it is connected. I guess I will have to light a match or something to set it off to test.

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There are bugs that are not yet worked out related to the Halo's.  

  1. The LED will not retain custom color or brightness settings.  This is both in the app and eventually the led will lose the color settings as well.
  2. Interconnected devices will alarm Halo but Halo will not in turn alert Iris for alarms on interconnected devices.
  3. There is a decimal error for the barometric pressure readings.
  4. Some units will exhibit a random low battery chirp for a few days after initial installation but will eventually clear up.
  5. The LED will turn itself off in after being on about 30 minutes.  This may be intentional because the LED heats up.  Just a guess.
  6. Some units will show a CO sensor error until the battery is fully charged and a test is run.
  7. Iris is not acknowledging test being run or sending push or email notifications of a test.  This is also the case for the First Alert units.

These issues will be addressed.  I still like the Halo units and I am glad that I have them but wanted folks to be aware that there are issues to be worked out.

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Thanks for the information Otto!  The reviews on Lowe's website are off to a rocky start already for the Halo unfortunately it looks like.   Others are seeing the same with the light turning itself off after 30  minutes.  There are reports too that with the light on, the Halo's internal temperature is rising significantly during that time period.   Interesting!   We have one in stock at my local Lowes.   I am on the fence about jumping on it just yet.  $129 isn't exactly light on the wallet.  

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25 minutes ago, Dan8785 said:

Thanks for the information Otto!  The reviews on Lowe's website are off to a rocky start already for the Halo unfortunately it looks like.   Others are seeing the same with the light turning itself off after 30  minutes.  There are reports too that with the light on, the Halo's internal temperature is rising significantly during that time period.   Interesting!   We have one in stock at my local Lowes.   I am on the fence about jumping on it just yet.  $129 isn't exactly light on the wallet.  

I am confident that all of the issues will get worked out and that in the end Halo will be the best and most efficient way to connect all interconnected smoke and CO detectors to Iris.  I just wish the Iris team would be more aggressive about addressing these issues.

The Halo LED turning off after 30 minutes is not something that I had not tested but the unit heating up when it is on is probably unavoidable.  That is the nature of the beast.  LED's get hot when they are on.

Post above has been edited to include the LED error.

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I just noticed that the WebUI has a “Normal” setting in the color options which sets the color temperature to nice warm light.  This same setting is not available in the Android app.  I am now using this setting on all three of my units and will report back as to whether or not it sticks.

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I understand you to say that if any of my other wired smoke detectors go off it will not activate Halo but will work the other way?

Anyone have an idea of how I could test notification?  Obviously I could just set it off. 

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Just now, calvin386 said:

I understand you to say that if any of my other wired smoke detectors go off it will not activate Halo but will work the other way?

Anyone have an idea of how I could test notification?  Obviously I could just set it off. 

That is not what I am saying at all.  If your other interconnected devices alarm, they will set off the Halo devices and vice versa.  What I am saying is, that right now if an interconnected device triggers, Halo will alarm but will not trigger an alarm in Iris.  Right now only alarms initiated by Halo will trigger an alarm in Iris.

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I bought and installed 3 halo +. They were easy to install as I already had 3 smoke alarms with AC power. I use my motion sensors to trigger the light on them as night lights in hallways. Works pretty well. Oddly despite what has been reported the color of the light is staying on what I set it on. The radio weather and emergency alert part of the Halo is pretty crappy. 2 out of three won't tune in to the alert station. The third tunes in the but the sound is terrible. I live right near a massive radio tower so there should be enough signal. For some reason I had assumed that it used internet radio since it connects to wifi. Apparently not. It seems I may have wasted the extra money getting the Halo+. I'm hoping they will use the radio/ voice aspect to some better use in the future, and also the internet connection.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

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2 hours ago, ade194 said:

I bought and installed 3 halo +. They were easy to install as I already had 3 smoke alarms with AC power. I use my motion sensors to trigger the light on them as night lights in hallways. Works pretty well. Oddly despite what has been reported the color of the light is staying on what I set it on. The radio weather and emergency alert part of the Halo is pretty crappy. 2 out of three won't tune in to the alert station. The third tunes in the but the sound is terrible. I live right near a massive radio tower so there should be enough signal. For some reason I had assumed that it used internet radio since it connects to wifi. Apparently not. It seems I may have wasted the extra money getting the Halo+. I'm hoping they will use the radio/ voice aspect to some better use in the future, and also the internet connection.

Give it time.  The color of the light will eventually change in the app and then the LED itself will revert to some other color.  You will also see that day after day the brightness level of the LED will be lowered a few percent.  Also, you are not supposed to get all of the channels for weather alerts.  You are supposed to scroll through them and select the ferequency that has the clearest signal.  Other than that they are all the same.

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I believe the WX alerts come from NOAA NWS Weather Radio transmitters which operate in the VHF Hi Band (the 7 WX channels are in the range of 162 to 165 MHz). So if you are near a 'massive radio tower' may not have any relevance if it doesn't have a NOAA WX Radio transmitter.

Here is the list of transmitters by state.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/station_listing.html

You nearby 'massive radio tower' may be a broadcast radio transmitter in the FM broadcast band, it might be an AM transmitter, or it might be local or state government radio communications tower for police, fire, etc. It could also be a TV transmission tower. Some of those services may operate on frequencies near NOAA WX Radio transmitter frequencies and if you are really close (less than a 1/2 mile) might overload the Halo receiver. But I suspect that the WX radio receiver in the Halo (just a guess because I have never even laid eyes on one) is not the best. This is based solely on the size of the Halo which is smaller than most stand-alone WX radios and that it contains other devices which are its primary function so I wonder if the WX radio in the Halo is more a gimmick than anything else.

This chart will show what radio services operate where in the spectrum. You'll notice that TV channel 7 (in the USA) is just above the Marine VHF band which is where NOAA WX Radio operates. It's a few MHz above the WX channels so shouldn't be a problem unless you're right next door to the transmitter.

One or more NWR transmitters in your area may be offline at the moment. You can check for this on the NOAA WX Radio website.
https://www.weather.gov/nwr/outages

The NOAA WX Radio (NWR) aka as NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio is a system of some 1200 transmitters around the country.
https://www.weather.gov/nwr/

Google Map of NOAA transmitters
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=100vLnERm-RPnR6kpEG1EEyfq9ys&hl=en&ll=39.8886911918275%2C-140.06116349999996&z=2

NOAA does not stream their WX radio audio over the web (I've asked them many times why not), though some third parties do pick it up OTA and stream it online. Most WX radios will scan the 7 NOAA channels and find the strongest one or two frequencies at your location and lock on to one of them.  Realize there is no antenna of significant size in the Halo. A quarter wave antenna for ~163MHz would be about 18 inches long. Since this is a hard-wired device it is possible that the Halo uses the ground wire as an antenna but I would think it should state that in the Halo manual.

There are a zillion of things that can cause interference with radio reception, not just WX radio. From dental X-ray machines and other medical equipment to electric fences (buried dog fences or miles of cattle or horse fence).

IF NOAA streamed their broadcasts over the WWW THEN it might be (to me) worth the extra money for the Halo+. Until then I'll stick with my stand alone WX radio with battery backup.

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7 hours ago, sparc said:

IF NOAA streamed their broadcasts over the WWW THEN it might be (to me) worth the extra money for the Halo+. Until then I'll stick with my stand alone WX radio with battery backup.

I don't understand this statement.  The Halo+ units do not rely on a wifi connection to work with Iris or to receive the radio transmissions.  In fact the wifi is disabled when they are paired via Zigbee.  the WWW has nothing to do with the reception of weather alerts on Halo+'s.  They receive it via radio signals just like your stand alone WX radio.  If your stand alone WX radio works so will your Halo+.

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6 hours ago, Otto Mation said:

I don't understand this statement.  The Halo+ units do not rely on a wifi connection to work with Iris or to receive the radio transmissions.  In fact the wifi is disabled when they are paired via Zigbee.  the WWW has nothing to do with the reception of weather alerts on Halo+'s.  They receive it via radio signals just like your stand alone WX radio.  If your stand alone WX radio works so will your Halo+.

I said IF the WX radio broadcasts were streamed over the web then their reception would be available by a method other than OTA. What I did not say but inferred was that reception of the broadcast by the Halo+ by streaming might be more reliable in some locations as it would offer an alternative to OTA broadcasts that can be subject to interference from other radio signals or from interference from machinery, medical equipment, or other sources. I should have connected the dots.

Just because one WX radio can receive the broadcasts does not in any way guarantee that the receiver in the Halo+ (or any other radio) has is as good as any other WX radio. Is the sensitivity and selectivity the same. Is the rejection of unwanted adjacent signals the same. I don't know, do you?

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I believe the WX alerts come from NOAA NWS Weather Radio transmitters which operate in the VHF Hi Band (the 7 WX channels are in the range of 162 to 165 MHz). So if you are near a 'massive radio tower' may not have any relevance if it doesn't have a NOAA WX Radio transmitter.
Here is the list of transmitters by state.
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/station_listing.html
You nearby 'massive radio tower' may be a broadcast radio transmitter in the FM broadcast band, it might be an AM transmitter, or it might be local or state government radio communications tower for police, fire, etc. It could also be a TV transmission tower. Some of those services may operate on frequencies near NOAA WX Radio transmitter frequencies and if you are really close (less than a 1/2 mile) might overload the Halo receiver. But I suspect that the WX radio receiver in the Halo (just a guess because I have never even laid eyes on one) is not the best. This is based solely on the size of the Halo which is smaller than most stand-alone WX radios and that it contains other devices which are its primary function so I wonder if the WX radio in the Halo is more a gimmick than anything else.
This chart will show what radio services operate where in the spectrum. You'll notice that TV channel 7 (in the USA) is just above the Marine VHF band which is where NOAA WX Radio operates. It's a few MHz above the WX channels so shouldn't be a problem unless you're right next door to the transmitter.
One or more NWR transmitters in your area may be offline at the moment. You can check for this on the NOAA WX Radio website.
https://www.weather.gov/nwr/outages
The NOAA WX Radio (NWR) aka as NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio is a system of some 1200 transmitters around the country.
https://www.weather.gov/nwr/
Google Map of NOAA transmitters
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=100vLnERm-RPnR6kpEG1EEyfq9ys&hl=en&ll=39.8886911918275%2C-140.06116349999996&z=2
NOAA does not stream their WX radio audio over the web (I've asked them many times why not), though some third parties do pick it up OTA and stream it online. Most WX radios will scan the 7 NOAA channels and find the strongest one or two frequencies at your location and lock on to one of them.  Realize there is no antenna of significant size in the Halo. A quarter wave antenna for ~163MHz would be about 18 inches long. Since this is a hard-wired device it is possible that the Halo uses the ground wire as an antenna but I would think it should state that in the Halo manual.
There are a zillion of things that can cause interference with radio reception, not just WX radio. From dental X-ray machines and other medical equipment to electric fences (buried dog fences or miles of cattle or horse fence).
IF NOAA streamed their broadcasts over the WWW THEN it might be (to me) worth the extra money for the Halo+. Until then I'll stick with my stand alone WX radio with battery backup.

There is supposed to be NOAA coverage in my area. I can get a weak signal on one Halo, and nothing on any of the channels for the other 2.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Give it time.  The color of the light will eventually change in the app and then the LED itself will revert to some other color.  You will also see that day after day the brightness level of the LED will be lowered a few percent.  Also, you are not supposed to get all of the channels for weather alerts.  You are supposed to scroll through them and select the ferequency that has the clearest signal.  Other than that they are all the same.

I am aware that you scroll through the different channels for the weather alerts, there just isn't any channel that a clear enough signal. ( well one channel has a weak signal on one Halo, nothing on the other 2 I have.


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That's why I posted the links that show the location of the NOAA transmitters
so everyone could see where they are in relation to their home.

For me I am in a dead spot between 4 transmitters. With a standard WX radio
that does not have an external antenna I can't reliably pick up any of them.
But using other receiving equipment or a larger outdoor antenna no problem.

Look for a WX radio that will accept an external antenna, they're out there just
not that common. Radio Shack used to sell a couple models that had an external
antenna jack.

 

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I purchased a Halo yesterday and while browsing the manual, noticed that it says it should only be connected to other Halo detectors.  Has anyone connected to other detectors and had issues (or not)?  My other 3 are almost new Kidde smoke/co detectors.  If it won't work reliably, I'll just return the Halo.  Thanks, -Jim C

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I didn't notice that line in the manual about only connecting to other Halo's. That is crazy!  Do they really think that people will outfit their entire house with detectors that are $100/pop?   Not a chance!  My house has 12 detectors in it and is only 1100 Square foot .   

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Here's the line from the user guide:

"Note: Halo is only approved to interconnect with other Halo products. It is NOT approved to interconnect with any smoke alarms that are not Halo products. If only one Halo is installed in a home, the Halo will only go off when there is an emergency inside the room in which it is installed."

It's on the bottom of PDF page 12 (manual page 8)  on the user guide available here:

https://halosmartlabs.com/pages/user-manuals

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Here is the current status.  Interconnected smoke and CO detectors will alarm Halo and vice versa.  If a Halo initiates the alarm it will in turn alert Iris (or the Halo app if you are using that).  What is not working right now is that if the alarm is initiated by a non Halo interconnected device then Iris is not alerted (or the Halo app if you are using that) even though the Halo's themselves alarm.  I have been told by both Iris and Halo that this will be rectified in the near future.

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When you're saying connect or interconnect you are referring to the hard wire connection between the detectors correct?

If you have say a couple existing First Alert detectors connected to Iris then add one or more Halo detectors and connect them to Iris will not Iris process an a smoke or fire signal from any of those devices and alert you?

I realize that is not the way the code reads which is that the devices must be wired to each other and when one alerts they all do.

Just trying to clear up if you're talking about the connection to the app or to other brand devices.

Does anyone know if there is a signaling standard (communication protocol) that all these hard-wired detectors must communicate by such that you could have a mix of brands and models in your home and they would interact with each other as expected.

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17 minutes ago, sparc said:

When you're saying connect or interconnect you are referring to the hard wire connection between the detectors correct?

If you have say a couple existing First Alert detectors connected to Iris then add one or more Halo detectors and connect them to Iris will not Iris process an a smoke or fire signal from any of those devices and alert you?

I realize that is not the way the code reads which is that the devices must be wired to each other and when one alerts they all do.

Just trying to clear up if you're talking about the connection to the app or to other brand devices.

Does anyone know if there is a signaling standard (communication protocol) that all these hard-wired detectors must communicate by such that you could have a mix of brands and models in your home and they would interact with each other as expected.

I am talking about traditional hardwired smoke and CO detectors.  They all alarm the Halo's and all Halo's alarm them.  First Alert Z wave smoke and CO detectors do not alarm any other device other than themselves and Iris, and are separate from the conversation.  The goal here is to make your existing hardwired detectors alert Iris through the Halo's, this is not yet working.  Although the Halo's themselves are alerted by the interconnected traditional smoke and CO detectors and do alarm, Halo does not yet alert Iris when the alarm is initiated by an interconnected device.  If a Halo initiates the alarm they do alert Iris.

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On 3/31/2017 at 4:15 PM, Otto Mation said:

Here is the current status.  Interconnected smoke and CO detectors will alarm Halo and vice versa.  If a Halo initiates the alarm it will in turn alert Iris (or the Halo app if you are using that).  What is not working right now is that if the alarm is initiated by a non Halo interconnected device then Iris is not alerted (or the Halo app if you are using that) even though the Halo's themselves alarm.  I have been told by both Iris and Halo that this will be rectified in the near future.

Thanks for the clarification, Otto Mation.  I installed the Halo over the weekend and see exactly what you described here.  It paired before I could scroll down to the manufacturer on the pairing page.  I wish everything paired so well.  -Jim C

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I notice that Alexa has Halo integration now. Has anyone tried the Skill? The description seems to limit the functionality to controlling the accent light and testing the alarm, but one reviewer mentions that Alexa gives him "remote monitoring without a paid service." Not sure what that means.

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