Home security is something we should all be concerned about, unfortunately crime rates are not going down. Installing a whole house alarm system can be a daunting task and it can be expensive. If you rent installing an alarm may not even be an option. LaserShield may have a solution for you with their instant security system..
- When an alarm condition exists the LaserShield Master Alarm Unit sounds a 105-decibel siren.
- The Wireless Detection Units’ use a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) to communicate with the Master Alarm Unit.
- The battery will provide up to 12 hours of back up power.
- LaserShield systems are expandable. Additional Wireless Detection Units or Key Chain Remotes can be learned into your system in less than 60 seconds.
A key feature for an instant home security system is being easy to install. There is nothing easier to install than the LaserShield. The hardest thing you need to do is plug it in, and register the remote sensors and hand controls.
The LaserShield system has a plug for a telephone jack. This telephone jack is used to call the Rapid Response Monitoring Service to report the following conditions- alarm, panic, low battery, and cancel. The monitoring service will then call you back approximately 30 seconds after receiving an alarm signal.
The LaserShield Master Alarm Unit has a special “phone in” feature. Using a secret PIN number you can telephone the alarm system from any location using a phone. This feature allows you to check system status, arm, disarm, or even activate a hidden microphone to listen in on babysitters, children, or pets.
LaserShield systems are expandable. Additional Wireless Detection Units or Key Chain Remotes can be learned into your system in a very short amount of time. The LaserShield user interface eliminates the need for programming or complex manuals, allowing an entire system to be setup or expanded in minutes. Up to 12 wireless motion detectors can be added to expand the system and cover up to 14,400 additional square feet without paying added monitoring fees.
Each of the remote sensors and the Master Alarm Unit plug into wall outlets for their power. In case of a power failure they all have battery backup. The Master Alarm Unit battery is rechargeable and the Master Alarm Unit will notify your monitoring service if the battery charge becomes low. Other devices such as Wireless Detection Units and Keychain remotes report their battery condition to the Master Alarm Unit, which will notify you if a battery needs to be replaced. The Wireless Detection Units don’t have a rechargeable battery, but the battery they do have will provide about 12 hours of backup time.
Each of the remote controls has a panic button. The 24-hour panic button remains active whether the system is armed or disarmed. Pressing the panic button at any time will immediately activate the siren and initiate a call to the 24 X 7 Rapid Response Monitoring Service through your existing phone line, if you signed up for the service. The Keychain Remote also includes a panic feature by pressing both buttons simultaneously.
When an alarm condition exists, the LaserShield Master Alarm Unit sounds a 105-decibel siren. Sirens are an active and very important line of defense against burglary. The majority of intruders leave immediately when a siren is activated.
LaserShield will verbally announce when it is placed in an armed or disarmed condition. The Master Alarm Unit counts down the number of seconds left when arming as a reminder of the 60-second exit delay. The Master Alarm Unit will also beep for 20 seconds upon re-entering as a reminder to disarm the system.
The $199.95 starter system includes a master alarm unit, a wireless motion detector and two keychain remotes. Additional wireless motion detectors are sold for $59.99 each. Other accessories include the Cyclone for $229.95 and the Sparrow for $79.95.
The Cyclone is tied to the master alarm unit by a short phone cord. When the master alarm unit detects a security breach, panic situation or a low battery, it sends a signal to the Cyclone that communicates with the monitoring service over a cell phone frequency. A power cord connects the Cyclone to a standard wall outlet; the Cyclone is powered by a backup battery in case of power outages. The Cyclone does not interfere with Wi-Fi applications.
The Sparrow is a standalone unit that communicates with the monitoring service via the Internet; the Sparrow connects to a router via an Ethernet cable. The Sparrow connects to the master alarm unit by a standard telephone cord, and uses an A/C power cord. At regular intervals throughout the day, the monitoring service sends a signal to the Sparrow to confirm it is operational. If the Sparrow does not respond back due to loss of power or loss of its Internet connection, the monitoring service notifies the owner.
The front of the Base unit has two lights and a microphone. The left light is a red warning light, and the right light is an amber status light. In between those lights is a microphone. On either side of the lights are the speakers for the siren. The top has a large red button which is the panic button. The back has the antenna, phone jack with a pass-through, learn button, power plug, and power button. The LaserShield base units dimensions are 6 3/4″ (W) x 2 1/2″ (H) x 8″ (D).
On the front of each LaserShield Wireless Detection Unit is a passive infrared detection system. The unit’s view of detection spans out from the front of the unit in a 110-degree pattern ranging over 35 feet, delivering approximately 1100 square feet of detection. The LaserShield motion sensors sample the ambient room temperature and will detect body heat of anyone moving across its detection zones. Below the motion sensor is an amber status light, red power light, and a bypass button. The bypass button enables the user to bypass an individual Wireless Detection Unit so that you can move around without setting off the alarm. This is great for when you are sleeping; you can turn off the bedroom units while keeping the main unit on in case someone breaks in at night. The amber light will flash indicating the unit is in bypass mode. The bypass button does not affect the function of the panic button. On top of each wireless unit is a big red panic button. The back of the wireless unit has the power plug and the power button. The remote unit’s dimensions are 6 1/2″ (D) x 7 1/4″ (H) x 4″ (W).
If you have a pet then you will want to use the included pet shield. The pet shield blocks portions of the motion sensor so your pet is less likely to trigger an alarm instantly. It snaps into place on the front of the LaserShield motion detector on the Wireless Detection Unit. This shield just blocks the lower part of the sensor so that it will not detect something low to the ground like a dog or cat. Although, if you do have a cat you better hope it does not hop up on anything because that will probably set off the alarm.
The keychain remote has two buttons and a light. The left button will disarm the LaserShield and the right button arms it. Pressing both buttons at the same time is the panic button. The light indicates when a button is pressed.
The starter kit comes with a base unit and one sensor. The base unit does not have a sensor built in so it can be placed anywhere near a phone line. The sensors should be placed in a room with an entry point like a door or window and they should be pointed at the entry point.
Setting up the LaserShield was an absolute piece of cake. Once you have all the devices plugged in, you just need to push the learn button on the back of the main unit and then press the panic button on each of the devices you want it to learn. The panic button for the remotes is activated by pressing both buttons at the same time and the panic button for the wireless units is the big red button on the top of them. When you press the panic button on a device and the main unit is in learn mode, the main unit will announce the device that has been learned.
To test the LaserShield I set it up and tried walking around to see if I could set it off. For the most part I did not arm the alarm, so the siren did not go off, but I could tell when the sensors saw me because a red light on the sensor turns on. Every time I walked by the sensor I saw the light turn on. I tried walking slowly, in the dark and in the light, each time the light turned on. I could not find a way to defeat the sensor. Because the sensor samples the temperature of the room you could raise the temperature of the room to body temperature. This would prevent the LaserShield from seeing your body heat, but I imagine this would be very difficult and impractical in most cases since most homes and apartments have a single thermostat and it is usually at the end of a hallway or far away from any doors or windows.
When you are in the house, but you still want the alarm turned on you can bypass certain sensors by pressing the bypass button before you turn on the alarm. This really worked well when I tested it and it allowed me to use the alarm at night while I was sleeping without worrying about setting it off when I got up. Each time you bypass a remote sensor the main unit will announce which sensor was bypassed. When you reactivate the sensor the main unit will announce that it has been activated.
If you are away from home the alarm has several features that you can use by calling your home phone. To use these features you need to call home, let the phone ring once, and then call back again. The LaserShield will then pick up and you will need to enter in your special code number. Once you have done that you will be prompted to arm or disarm the alarm, or turn on the internal microphone so that you can monitor the house. The internal microphone is nice if you need to monitor a babysitter or something. I did not have any trouble using any of these features. The built in microphone is a nice feature, but because it is only in the main unit you can only hear sound from the room it is in. For this reason you should place it in a room that a babysitter would spend a lot of time in, otherwise you will never hear anything. One feature that would be nice is if each of the remote sensors also had microphones and you could switch to anyone you wanted by pressing a button on your phone. This would provide much more coverage of your home if you really wanted to make sure your kids were safe.
I did not sign up for the monitoring service so I don’t know how it works. According to the documentation it is really easy to setup and use. If the alarm goes off the monitoring service will attempt to call you. If no one answers they will call the police. If someone answers they will ask you for you secret code and if you give them the wrong one they will call the police. This service is essential if you are away from your house for extended periods of time and you don’t have a house sitter. If you have a neighbor that watches your house the siren is not loud enough for anyone to hear unless they are inside the house.
When you press the panic button on either the remote or one of the wireless sensors the alarm will immediately turn on. Even if you have bypassed one of them. The remote has a really good range. I was able to arm and disarm the alarm from just about anywhere in my house, and even in some places outside my house.
Warranty and Support
LaserShield covers the system for 1 year after purchase. This covers defects in the products only. Customers can activate Rapid Response Monitoring Service on the day of purchase for a one-time $25 activation fee, and a monthly charge of $19.95 with no long-term contracts or commitments.
For an instant security system the LaserShield works really well. If you have lots of rooms and you add all the extra modules you are looking at a really high price tag. For my house which has 5 bedrooms, it would cost about $440 and if I added the Cyclone it would raise that price to $670. To help soften the blow a little you may be able to get a discount on your home owners or rental insurance. If you live in a high crime area or you are really paranoid then I recommend that you get an alarm system. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to have one professionally installed, then the LaserShield is the way to go. If you really want to be cheap you can buy the starter kit and not buy the monitoring service. This won’t cost you much, and you could end up scaring away most burglars with just the siren. However, if the siren does not scare them away you will not have any other protection.
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