Three Main Alarm System Components That Are Used In All Wired, Wireless & Hybrid Security Systems!

The alarm system components that will be covered in some detail on this web page are the three main components used in all home security systems. These three components are the control panel, keypad & sounding device.

All home security systems start off with the control panel, which is the brain for your home alarm system. There are many different makes & models of control panels available in today’s market.

Some models are limited in what they are able to offer & other models can be overwhelming with numerous features they have & the functions they are able to perform.

Knowing exactly what you need your control panel to do will go a long way in finding the one that will be most suitable for your needs.

What you need to decide is if your security system is going to be wireless, hardwired or both. Alarm system components, that are wired & wireless being used together to protect your home, is referred to as a hybrid security system.

Most security systems are either wired or wireless, but due to much technical advancement that has occurred in the home security industry, more & more systems are using a combination of both.

One particular area that uses alarm system components that are wired & wireless are homeowners upgrading an existing system.

Many existing systems being upgraded are wired systems. When a homeowner describes to a security system vendor what type of system he/she has & what upgrade they would like to make, they find out that they have the option of making their upgrade wireless.

This option is popular with many home owners because they find out they do not have to run any wires through their finished home. Some homeowners using alarm system components that are wireless, find they are capable of performing the upgrade themselves.

It is a lot easier when you have a few plug & play alarm system components to install, than it is to run wire through out various parts of your home.

There are wireless control panels made today that will support some hard wire zones, as well as hardwired control panels that support wireless security zones.

When installing a new security system in your home you will have to decide if your system will be completely or mostly wireless or completely or mostly hardwired.

House With Warning Decal - Home Protected By Alarm System

Most home owners that are building a new home usually go with a hardwired system as the running of security wires is not a big concern when you don’t have walls or ceilings to worry about.

With wireless systems becoming much more reliable most people with finished homes have been choosing wireless systems.

When it comes to the pricing of wired & wireless systems, the wired system along with all its alarm system components & detection devices are cheaper to buy.

When you factor in the extra cost of having a wired system installed, the price difference between the two systems pretty well evens out.

Once you have decided between wireless & a wired system, you need to decide how many security zones your system will need to support. It will not be much good for you to purchase a control panel that only supports 8 zones, when 12 or 16 zones are what you need.

A security system is a long term investment that should last you for 15 or 20 years. When you look at what alarm system components & functions you need for your system to support, you may also want to consider what components & functions you may want to add down the road.

Outdoor Security Lights With Motion Sensor

Two Examples: You may be planning to install security lights inside & outside your home, and once it is done you may want your system to control the on & off function of certain security lights.

There may be specific security lights you want to have come on, if your alarm is triggered.

Therefore you want to ensure that the control panel you purchase can support this function. Any control panel that supports X10 technology will provide these functions.

Second Example: A few years from now you may have a child that will be old enough to come home from school on their own & disarm the security system as they enter.

You may want your control panel to have a latchkey trigger as this will have your alarm system automatically notify you the moment your child has arrived home.

This function may not be important to you now, but in time you may find it to be of great comfort, knowing each day that nothing has delayed your child from arriving home on time.

You need to check out all the alarm system components & devices that various control panels support, as well as the many features & functions that are available with different panels.

It is best to identify your own needs when you can review what features & functions are available.

When choosing what features & functions will work best for you, it is important that you not only address your present needs, but look at any possible requirements you may have in the future.

It is much more cost effective to spend a few extra dollars on a control panel that will meet all your present & future needs, than to upgrade to a new control panel later.


If you have decided on purchasing a hardwired control panel you need to ensure that the keypad you get is compatible with your control panel.

Keypad for Home Security System

There may be certain features that your control panel offers, but without the right keypad you may never be able to access those features.

Most wireless control panels have a keypad built in, but you will need to purchase at least one additional keypad, because like hardwired control panels, the wireless panel will have to be located in an obscure area.

Many control panels, both wired & wireless, usually support a couple of different keypad models.

If a family member has poor eyesight preventing them from seeing a standard keypad clearly, having a keypad with a large key display or one that is voice activated may be needed.

Having a keypad that has a large key display or is voice activated may also be a factor in what control panel you purchase, because not all control panels support such keypads.

Sounding Device

Out of all the different alarm system components that can be made part of your security system, none are more important than the sounding device(s) you install. It is important that the sounding device(s) you choose for your system is loud & strident.

Not all sounding devices sold are as loud as they need to be. Some of these devices are sold separately & some are included in various alarm kits & the sound rating on some of those devices are totally inadequate.

I have seen some sounding devices that are been sold, separately & in kits, with a rating as low as 85db & this is totally inadequate for the important function that it needs to perform.

The sounding device for your system needs to be loud & strident so it will instill fear & panic into any intruder to the point that he/she quickly moves on. The sounding device that you install on the interior of your home needs to deliver a sound level of no less than 100db from three feet away.

Most municipalities have some sort of bylaw that regulates the loudest your outside sounding device can be & how long the alarm can sound before your system will have to reset.

If you are planning on installing a sounding device outside your home (highly recommended) you really should check with the municipality in your area first & then purchase the loudest alarm possible without violating your local bylaw.

If the sounding devices you install are hardwired you need to ensure that all the wiring is well protected. The most technically advanced security system sold will be absolutely useless if your sounding devices can easily be neutralized.

For recommendations for the best type of sounding devices for wireless systems please take a look at my wireless home security system web page.

It is better to take the time now & carefully choose the alarm system components that will be most suitable to you & your family.

It can be costly if you end up replacing alarm system components later, because not enough thought & consideration was given in choosing the right components & devices.

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