Designing a system coming from Vivint/2Gig

Hi folks, I’m trying to figure out the best (for my needs…) design for what I’m trying to accomplish.

What I Have…
2Gig GoControl system from Vivint that I’ll be liberating shortly.
1 HD ADC fixed cam
wireless motion detector
wireless smoke
Wired door contact sensors left over from a previous system that are interfaced with the 2gig.
1 Kwikset smartcode Zwave lock controlled by the 2Gig.
2Gig TS1 remote panel
Nest Gen 2 thermostat iOS apps managing the whole thing.

What I really want…

  1. I want to lower my monitoring bill and control my own system

  2. I want to add a second Kwikset Zwave deadbolt

  3. I want to have plugs and switches I can control and set rules for, I’d love for those switches to be smart enough to know there is no one in the room.
    For example, my kids leave lights on all the time. I’d love to use a motion sensor to determine that there is or is not a kid in a room, and if not, shut the light off. Otherwise, with no motion, maybe shut the light off at certain times of the day, like when they’ve just left for school. *Bonus would be if those motions would tell the Nest there was no one home.

  4. I want geofencing to control the Nest and be able to bring the heat up when someone gets close enough to home.

  5. Same for locks, I would like to say “All locks should be closed at 7am” for example.

  6. I’ll eventually want to add lighting, so something that can control that would be great, either via switches / plugs or maybe something else, Hue like.

  7. All needs to be iOS controllable.

So, that’s basically my list. I’m trying to decide what I can control with the 2Gig and what I can’t. If I can’t, does it make sense to go get a gateway like a Vera, Revolv or Smartthings?

If so, what’s the upside / downside and how does it all play nicely with the 2Gig?

Thanks in advance!


I love the enthusiasm and ambition here. To address each numbered point:

  1. Done.
  2. Easy. Keep in mind location of the device and whether or not repeaters will be needed, however you are discussing adding lighting, and Zwave switches will improve the range and reliability of the network.
  3. The most straight forward way of using in this circumstance is with scheduled automation. For example, you would create a rule stating, “at 7:20 am every day, turn off bedroom lights.” This is done through your account. It is possible to use your security system motion detectors to control your lights, but currently limits this to “Activation” rules. For example, you could set up a rule stating, “whenever the living room motion detector is activated between the hours of 8pm and 6am, turn on the living room lights indefinitely.” You can also set an end point for the automation. Using a door sensor as an example, you could create a rule that states, “whenever the children’s bedroom door is opened between the hours of 8pm and 6am, turn on the hallway lights, then turn off after 5 minutes.”
  4. This is a tricky one. The Nest, while admittedly sleek, is not to my knowledge Zwave compliant. It is its own automation controller, technically, and uses wifi for commands. You would not be able to directly integrate this with a 2Gig panel. Ideally you would use a Zwave thermostat (less than half the cost) that would directly be integrated with That said, you can do precisely what you requested with a Zwave thermostat. See the attached image at the end of this post.
  5. Scheduled automation is not currently available for locks, and though I wouldn’t be able to give you all reasons behind this decision, one issue I have found is that when automatic locking rules are created that do not correspond with another action (such as arming the alarm system, or locking a different lock) there is a higher likelihood of damage to the door frame arising from the deadbolt throw extending while the door is open, then striking the frame. This is common when setting an automatic re-lock rule within the locks themselves.
  6. There are quite a few options when it comes to Zwave lighting control. Options exist to swap out existing switches or even reuse the switches you currently have and add a Zwave device inside the gang box.
  7. Not only does support the platform, but unlike a lot of other applications, the iPad app itself is not a port of the iPhone app. The iPad has a dedicated app designed for function.

If interested in adding extra controllers such as a Vera, it is possible to do so. I myself have integrated Vera and 2Gig with and the process can easily create some frustration if specific steps are not followed. See the post regarding Vera integration found here.


For anyone else still debating between the Nest and adding a Z-wave thermostat to their 2GIG system, you may find this article interesting.

Thanks for the details, that all makes a lot of sense. We’ve had the Nest (2nd gen) for a bit and got a decent rebate from the gas company, so it wasn’t terrible at the time.

I had read the Zwave vs. Nest thread, again makes perfect sense. So I could ditch the Nest or if I want to integrate, I’ll have to go the gateway route (Vera-lite, Smartthings, Revolv, etc…)

I’ve also read your Vera-2Gig integration thread several times, a wealth of information in there for sure, much appreciated.

So the trick in the design is to figure out if a gateway is needed, which I believe is Yes if I want to automate the Nest with the 2Gig, and No if I don’t. I assume that with Vera’s Nest API integration, I could do what I was describing above, automate the Nest, use geofences, set it for Home/Away. You’ve got way more Vera experience (I’ve never actually touched one) are all the actions using IFTTT rules, or is it using their coding on the Vera/Vera Lite?

Another question relates to your point about ZWave and signal strength and distance. If I used a gateway, does the recommendation for a particular type of switch / plug / motion change from Zwave? In other words, if I had the choice, is a particular signal better than the other? (WeMo vs. Zwave vs. WiFi)

Same goes for the lighting, in a Zwave world, you control the switch / plug. Is there an advantage to going the TCP / Hue / WeMo bulb instead? Certainly installation is easier, the TCP bulbs have a pretty slick dimming function. I could see this being a situation where a gateway makes sense so you can control everything in one place.

GE is making a big splash with their new low price point on bulbs with the Wink hub.


The primary thing to remember in this case is that will only have control over what your 2Gig panel “sees” (apart from specific, integrated systems like Lutron for lighting and Liftmaster garage control.)

What this means is that you will have to stick to Zwave for devices over which you want control. Your 2Gig panel must become the secondary controller of the Zwave network, it cannot be the primary, and when including it into the Vera network, Vera will essentially share the Zwave devices it sees with the 2Gig panel. will then only see what the 2Gig panel has control over.

The 2Gig panel does not have a radio for other protocols.