One unwritten rule for any custom integration company is to maintain consistency in the equipment they use. If an installer is using different components from job to job, it can be a potential nightmare for maintaining any level of inventory of replacement parts, not to mention the burden it places on a technician to have a wide product knowledge of multiple vendors’ equipment. In the long term, inconsistency of equipment also hurts your exit strategy as it makes your company less-attractive if you ever plan to sell.
However, in some cases it is necessary to carry multiple home control vendors’ equipment to accommodate good/better/best upgrades, commercial projects or even certain subsystems like intrusion/fire for security, for example.
“We have been using the M1 for five years now,” he comments, using it in both residential and commercial applications. The system also scales up or down, depending on what the client wants.
Recently, Ianniciello technician Vincent Fagan showed CE Pro a M1 commercial installation that integrates the system’s lighting control, thermostat control, and exit and entry control, all tied in with sensors.
“ELK is one of the only vendors that has two-way communication where the device actually talks to the panel so it knows what is going on,” says Fagan. Using a keyfob on the project, users can not only arm and disarm the system, but actually receive feedback from the panel if there is trouble.
ELK also offers two-way communicating smoke detectors that can “talk” to the panel in the case of a smoke or fire detection, which subsequently communicates to the other detectors to let them know there is an activation. That eliminates the need to place a sounder or horn in each location to meet federal standards.
Lastly, the M1 Platform is simple to program. “It is a series of if-then statements with pull-down menus,” says Fagan. That allows a technician to simply select what he wants the system to do.