Control & Automation

Next-Gen Lowe’s Iris Now in Stores; Free Home Automation Hub with Trade-In

Built by Centralite, next-gen Lowe’s Iris home automation hub is free for existing Iris owners. SHaaS (smart home as a service) provided by Lowe's itself, not Zonoff or other platform developer.

Lowe's Iris Next-Generation home automation system now available, featuring hardware by Centralite and powered by a home-grown SHaaS (smart home as a service) platform.

Photos & Slideshow

Julie Jacobson · November 3, 2015

Lowe’s Iris has launched its second-generation home automation platform, powered by Centralite hardware and Lowe’s own SHaaS (smart home as a service) platform, CE Pro has learned. The next-gen system is not powered by Zonoff or other IoT platform provider.

While the new Iris is currently on Lowe’s store shelves – in packaging that includes Centralite logos -- the company is not yet speaking publicly about it.

Online, however, you can find “10 Reasons You’re Going to Love the Next Generation of Iris,” including a laundry list of new features like the “ability to grow ‘Works with Iris’ ecosystem more quickly” and “There’s a new, improved app experience.”

Most importantly, notes Lowe’s, “The new hub is FREE to existing users!”

Current customers should be receiving an email from Lowe’s on how to claim the free hub (trade-in not available in stores) or they can claim their new hub here.

When it launched in 2012, Lowe’s Iris was powered by SHaaS provider AlertMe, which was acquired by British Gas earlier this year for about $100 million.

In July, 2015, CE Pro learned that Lowe’s was turning to Centralite for its next-gen hardware, and we wondered who would be providing the back-end service, rating the chances for prospects such as Zonoff, Icontrol, Greenwave Systems, MiOS and Samsung SmartThings. (Zonoff led the pack in our rankings, since it powers Staples Connect.)

CE Pro has learned, however, that it is none of the above. Instead, Lowe’s has built its own proprietary SHaaS platform using a team of former execs from 4Home. That was the company that powered Verizon’s original Home Monitoring and Control system and was eventually sold to Motorola Mobility and then to Arris, which shut the business down.

The new platform, "fully supported by Lowe's" is hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Lowe’s has begun posting videos of its next-gen Iris, including this one showcasing the new Iris app. The app shows how users can snap pictures from their mobile phones and incorporate their images into scenes.

Lowe's Iris communicates via ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and WiFi and features a slot for a Verizon cellular adapter (service fee additional). Service is free for limited features, and costs $9.99 per month for additional features, including surveillance video recording. The new hub retails for $50. The Iris Home Automation Comfort and Control Kit ($129 excluding hub) includes an Iris Smart Plug, Smart Button, Motion Sensor and two door/window sensors. The Iris Security Pack ($100 excluding hub) includes a keypad, motion sensor and two door/window sensors.

Why You Should Upgrade to the Next Generation of Iris


1. Ability to Grow ‘Works with Iris’ Ecosystem More Quickly One of the things we are most proud of is that the new Iris platform is built and supported by Lowe’s. This is great news for Iris users for many reasons, one of the main ones being that it will allow us to introduce new devices that work within the Iris ecosystem more quickly than ever before.

2. There’s a New, Improved App Experience Since the new Iris platform is mobile focused, we want to make sure the app experience is as simple and as beautiful as possible. In the Next Generation of Iris, you can manage device settings, pairing and unpairing, update your rules, customize your favorites bar and much more all from within the mobile app. You can also upload images of your home and users you add to make the app experience more personalized and a better reflection of your home.

3. A Completely Customizable Smart Home Experience A new app and the ability to add ‘Works with Iris’ devices more quickly mean there are more ways for you to customize your Iris experience. Set up your smart home so it includes the devices that have the best impact on how you manage your household. We have also made more rules available than ever before, with plans to keep adding more so you can continually expand the ways Iris is customized to fit your home.

4. Things are Quicker. Much Quicker. There are a number of new features in the Next Generation of Iris. But if there’s one thing we did cut back on, it’s how long you’ll spend waiting for your devices to react. The time between when you send a command from your Iris app to when your device responds is now a fraction of what it was before.

5. Your First Gen Ecosystem Will Work with the Next Generation of Iris It’s a top priority for the Iris Team that your transition from the First Generation to the Next Generation of Iris be as smooth as possible, and that includes making sure both the First Gen Iris products and our original ‘Works with Iris’ products continue to work with the new hub.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But if you are interested in growing your ecosystem of new Iris products, we’ve made that easier than ever by adding new packs that were designed to make sure you get the best value on some of our most popular products.

6. Customer-Centric Experience for All Your Needs We’ve made everything from learning about smart homes to buying and managing your products as simple as possible. The in-store experience now includes more intuitive packaging, additional literature and an interactive digital display that shows you exactly what Iris can do for your home.

We have also added additional support tools for when you get home. There is an all-new Iris website with smart home information and device support, an Iris by Lowe’s YouTube account that makes it easier to find support videos and a Twitter account you can follow for updates and support. As always, you can call our Iris Support Team for anything you need at 855-469-4747 (IRIS).

7. Our Plans and Services have been Simplified The Basic and Premium Plans have been reworked to make them better for you. Some highlights? Our Care Service is now bundled into the Premium Plan, at no additional cost. The Basic Plan has evolved to include some features that were previously only available to Premium users. For example, all Iris users can now receive extended video streaming to their mobile device. And we’re always adding additional features, so check here for the most up-to-date information.

8. A More Streamlined Device Pairing Process No one likes to deal with pairing instructions that are filled with in-depth technical steps, so we simplified the process in the Next Generation of Iris. Pairing your Iris devices is now down to just two steps in most cases. Step One: Access pairing mode in your app. Step Two: Remove the battery tab from the device. Then you just wait for the beep and you’re ready to enjoy your devices.

9. Sleeker, More Subtle Product Design Your smart home devices shouldn’t impose on the design of your house, so it was important to us that the Next Generation of Iris devices be as small and sleek as possible. Everything from the hub and keypad to our multiple sensors received a makeover, helping them become more complementary to your home décor than ever before.

10. And… The New Hub is Free to Existing Users! We’re excited about the Next Generation of Iris, and want to thank current users for their loyalty by offering it to them for free. If you are a current Iris user, you should receive an email from Iris by Lowe’s detailing how to claim your new, free hub. If you are a current user and have not received this email, you can find more details about claiming your new hub here.

Lowe's Iris 2.0 FAQ

We appreciate and understand the importance of Iris in helping provide you with peace of mind. So, as a thank you for having Iris as a part of your home, we would like to upgrade you to the next generation Iris for FREE! We want you to share in all of the great new features and devices that Iris is introducing and know you will be pleased with all the new ways in which the next generation Iris can help you simplify your life.

Why should I transition to the new platform? o The next generation of Iris comes with new devices and features, and an all-around better experience backed and supported fully by Lowe’s. Full details of the Next Generation Iris Hub, App and device features will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming:

What’s New:

  • New Smart Hub & Connected Devices
  • Improved design & performance
  • 7 new Iris-branded devices
  • Bluetooth capable Hub
  • Support for first-generation devices
  • Larger ecosystem of products that are compatible with Iris
  • New mobile App designed specifically for the new Smart Hub
  • Mobile-first approach with an updated and intuitive user experience
  • Create and manage rules and scenes directly in the mobile app
  • Increased speed & responsiveness between app and devices
  • Push notifications
  • Upload your own photos to personalize the experience
  • New “Favorites” bar for easier access to the things you use the most
  • Custom “Scenes” (previously Modes) let you easily control multiple devices with one touch
  • Simplified service offering including Care alerts as part of the Premium plan


  • New Platform
  • New platform hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud and fully supported by Lowe’s
  • More frequent releases of devices that work with Iris
  • Improved expansion capability enabling even more devices to work with Iris

Will all of my existing devices be supported on the new Hub? o The next generation Iris Hub you receive will support your existing eco-system of products in nearly every instance. In the very rare case that one of your existing devices is not supported, you will be contacted directly by the Iris customer support team.

Who is eligible to receive a free next-generation Hub? o One free, next generation Hub is available to all primary account holders who currently own Iris. All you have to do is tell us where to ship your free hub by going through the “New Hub” registration process at

I have more than one 1st generation hub registered to me. Can I get a FREE next generation hub for each? Yes. The primary account holder is eligible to receive a FREE next generation Hub for every first generation Hub they own. Simply complete the “New Hub” registration process one time per account using the username the Hub was configured with at the initial setup. Note: If two or more Hubs are linked to a single account, each hub must be registered through the “New Hub” process with the original username associated with the Hub. Contact Iris customer service with questions on registering multiple Hubs.

Can I continue to add devices while waiting for my new Hub? o Feel free to continue to add on to your existing Iris ecosystem with any products labeled as Works with Iris*. The next generation Hub you receive will support your unique eco-system of devices as it exists on the day your new hub is shipped. You will receive an email notification indicating when your hub is on its way. *A few exceptions: next generation Iris devices are optimized for the next generation hub so please wait to receive your free hub before paring the devices listed below.


When will I receive my free Hub? o Next generation Hubs will begin shipping shortly after launch and will continue until all requests submitted through have been fulfilled. Because we are working to support your entire eco-system of products, we will ship your Hub as early as possible to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for your specific devices. We will contact you by email as soon as your free Hub has shipped.

Can I pick up a free, next generation Hub in my local Lowe’s store now, instead of waiting for it to be shipped? o No. The free Hub can only be requested through the “New Hub” registration process ( and stores will not be able to fulfill requests for free hubs. To ensure a seamless transition, we ask that you wait for your free hub to be shipped to you. We promise it’ll be worth the wait!

What will I do with my existing Hub once I have transitioned to my new next generation Hub? o Once you have transitioned your current devices to your new Hub, your existing Hub will be retired. Please plan to dispose of the Hub in accordance to your local recycling processes or use the postage paid return label we will include with your free Hub to return it to our fulfillment center so that we can recycle it for you.

Can I purchase next generation Iris devices to pair with my existing Hub before I receive my free Hub? o The next generation Iris devices listed below are designed specifically for the next generation Iris platform, and will not function properly on the first generation Hub. Please wait to pair these devices until after you have received your FREE Hub.


Will there be a migration wizard? o We are developing a migration wizard that will assist in configuring and migrating all of your devices to the next generation of Iris. During registration for your new Hub, please indicate if you would like to utilize the wizard or you are willing migrate your devices on your own. Choosing to migrate yourself may result in receiving your new Hub sooner but will require you to un-pair and re-pair each device to your next generation Hub manually. If you choose to utilize the wizard for migration, we will provide instructions on how to access the wizard once you receive your new Hub.

Am I required to upgrade to the new Hub? o The next generation of Iris is more responsive, supports a larger ecosystem of products and is fully designed and supported by Lowe’s. We’re so confident you’ll love the new platform, we’re sending all existing users a FREE hub! We are continuing to evolve and improve Iris by constantly expanding the Works with Iris product offering and developing new functionality. New features and products that are released will only be compatible with and supported on the new platform and will require the next generation Hub and app. We ask that you transition to the new platform so that we can provide the best possible user experience and offer the kind of customer service you expect.

What are the minimum requirements for transitioning to the new hub? A smartphone with: o Android: Operating system 4.1+ o iOS: iPhone 5 or later operating on iOS 8.0+ Broadband Internet connection Open port on your router Open electrical outlet near your router Valid credit card

Still have questions? Contact Customer Service at 855-469-IRIS (4747)

RELATED: CES 2013 Shocker: Lowe’s Iris Home Automation Has Legs CentraLite Making Home Automation Hub for Lowe’s Iris, But Who is Providing IoT Platform?

image image image image

Secure Your Free Pass to CEDIA EXPO 2019

Register before Sept. 2 to gain free access to the opening keynote, product training & education series as well as the show floor including Innovation Alley and much more. Don’t miss your chance. Sign up today.

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

Follow Julie on social media:
Twitter · LinkedIn · Google+

Julie also participates in these groups:
LinkedIn · Google+

View Julie Jacobson's complete profile.

  Article Topics

Control & Automation · News · Media · Slideshow · CentraLite · Lowes · All Topics
CE Pro Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A Free Subscription

CE Pro magazine is the resource you need to keep up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!