I am really excited to see that there is an online group like this for Iris!
This is my first post in the forums, so please forgive the massive amount of ignorance I am about to spew.
Background: We currently live in a rental home, and are in the process of finishing a new-build home. I was interested in a home security system with the option of expansion that was relatively easy. Also, living in a rental home I wanted something that was wireless (fewer holes to fix) and somewhat portable, so that we could take the system with us when we moved into the "real" house. (This was several months-to a a year ago when we moved into the rental.)
Iris seemed like one of the better solutions just based on price/ease of obtaining additional devices for the system. I actually bought the more expensive package (Smart Kit?), and immediately sold the thermostat on ebay because we didn't need it for the rental house. I never put up the motion sensor because the ratings weren't so great on it, and everyone seems to think they are garbage. (If anyone wants a deal on a new/still in the box motion sensor, PM me, and for a few bucks and shipping, it can be yours!) So in addition to what came with the box, I did get several more contact sensors (I believe we have around 9) and an additional keypad so we wouldn't be running through the house to disarm the system if we happened to come in the back door. I also bought the utilitech siren, as the keypad's "siren" is a joke.
At any rate, now that we are getting ready to move, and the house is almost done, I am looking at a further investment into Iris. At first I was just interested with security, but now I am thinking I would like to add some devices for the purposes of home automation. I was hesitant to pay the monthly fee to get the expanded services because I wasn't sold on the reliability of the system, but I have yet to have any false alarms or huge bugs associated with the functionality of my system. Lowe's did randomly send me a new range extender awhile back, and I replaced the original one. Not sure what that was about but I never had any issues with the first one.
The new house, per code, has a wired system of FirstAlert/BRK (120VAC, DC b/u.) smoke/CO combination units. These are located in the bedrooms and hallways.
QUESTION 1: I see that Lowe's does offer Iris compatible DC only units that can be added to a system. That's wonderful/fine/dandy but I don't really want to replace 5 perfectly good (and AC primary powered) smoke/CO units. Is there a unit that I can buy that is 120VAC (or even battery) that will make all of the units "talk" to each other, and also talk to Iris? I also am planning on installing two additional battery/Iris Compatible units where I feel there is a coverage gap in the new house. I don't mind forking over the cash to switch out one of the hardwired AC units for one that will link to the existing system, AND to the new Iris alarms/the Hub, if that means that the result is "One goes off, they all go off, or at least talk to Iris and make the sirens go off as well/AND blast my contacts list." I have researched this topic through google, but can't seem to find a straight answer. I am sure y'all can probably answer this. If this has already been answered, I apologize, and please do tell me what to search for to find the solution myself!
QUESTION 2: This is pertaining to magic rules: It appears as if I can tell a smart plug to turn on if an alarm is raised. Will the plug shut off once the alarm has been canceled? For example: Let's say I wanted to put a small 120V electromechanical siren in my attic near an external vent that would turn on via a smart plug when the alarm was set off..I want it to make some noise for awhile, but I would rather it not keep going off until I manually went an shut the plug off with the app/computer or even by hand. If this is possible, then great! I think it would be something that I would want to try out for awhile first before committing to it. The last thing I need is it randomly deciding to turn itself on when I am home, or worse, when no one is home.
That's pretty much it for now. I am really interested in getting a thermostat again, getting a compatible sprinkler controller, and hopefully eliminating the need for a bunch of new window contact sensors by installing some glass break sensors (available just in time for the new house!) and also perhaps a switch or two that would control a few lighting circuits in the home for various reasons. I also had a special circuit built for Christmas lights that I think a hardwired smart switch or outlet could be useful for. Would be nice to have the lights remotely operated during the holidays, and the regular landscape lighting for the other parts of the year.
Thanks for the help, sorry if these have been questions that get asked all the time, and I appreciate ANY input y'all can give.
Glad to be here,