HMS - Is there really no self-monitoring option?

Thanks for the tag @Customer I’m happy to share some references.

Disclaimer, my HMS has been shipped, but hasn’t arrived yet, so I can probably answer more soon from firsthand, For now, I will tell you my understanding from what Wyze officially said in the FAQ’s, the official Launch thread for the product, and the Webinar last fall.

It is my understanding that it works like this:

Currently, we MUST [purchase] the Home Monitoring System SUBSCRIPTION to be able to order the devices themselves. This having to order the subscription is intentional. Wyze indicated that they wanted to ensure that HMS customers were getting priority to order for the limited number of devices in the initial batch of hardware for now. Wyze tried to tell us that for now the subscription was an absolute requirement for a while and that it would only later be opened up for purchase separately for anyone who just wanted to use everything as normal V2 sensors in a standalone way, but promised that this would be possible eventually/soon.

EDIT UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: I was able to activate all the hardware without activating the subscription [yet]. I activated the hub, then the V2 motion sensor, then moved all my V1 Sensors over to the hub flawlessly, then activated the New V2 Contact sensors, then activated the Keypad, and all without activating the HMS subscription yet. They all work with notifications and everything just like the V1 did (although the Keypad does NOTHING even though it activates; and the hub has no siren)

It’s understandable that there was a lot of misunderstanding on this point though. There were some posts that could’ve easily been misinterpreted to mean you could get it all to work without a subscription right away. For example:

Having said that, there are [supposed to be] a few loopholes. For one, that does not mean that you have to use the Noonlight monitoring SERVICES that are included with the subscription. Once you activate everything, including the subscription, there is supposed to be an option called “Test Mode” which will allow you to just use everything yourself (this is how you do self-monitoring) without Noonlight being notified at all nor texting or calling you nor dispatching law enforcement or worrying about false alarm fees, etc. You can just review the alerts or alarms yourself and then call Law Enforcement on your own.

What is Test Mode?

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Tanvi

March 25, 2021 13:55

And can I practice using Wyze Home Monitoring without worrying about triggering a false alarm?

Yes, you can definitely practice using the service. In fact, we strongly recommend it using our Home Monitoring system for 7 days.

Test Mode is a feature allowing you to practice using Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) without worrying about alerting the monitoring center by accident.

This is especially helpful when you have just finished the setup process and want to test if the sensors or the system is working properly.

In Test Mode, all hardware and software components will work as designed except that we will disconnect your system from the monitoring center.

You can enter or exit Test Mode at any time.

Have more questions? Submit a request
https://wyzelabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052875032-What-is-Test-Mode-

Can I trigger an alarm during Test Mode?

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Tanvi

March 25, 2021 13:55

Yes, but it will not trigger Emergency Dispatching.

This means the monitoring center (Noonlight) will not be notified of an alarm during Test Mode.
https://wyzelabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052875072-Can-I-trigger-an-alarm-during-Test-Mode-

A second loophole is that you should also be able to activate the HMS subscription, then activate the hardware, then cancel the subscription and continue to use the devices as standalone devices. But they implied we are required to at least activate and try the subscription, even if it’s just for a few seconds. I don’t know what would happen right now if you tried adding other sensors later after canceling, or needed to reactivate (and they haven’t allowed standalone use yet, so you might have to sign back up for the subscription again to make changes, at least until it’s open to the General Public for standalone use). Regardless, if the subscription in question is a monthly subscription, you can always activate it, then cancel within 30 days and you should be eligible for the 30 day refund on that service, or at worst, a prorated credit. If you did the yearly option, you will only get a refund if you return the Core starter kit.

Keep in mind that if you cancel the subscription you will completely lose the monitoring tab and new features and benefits (including the alarm, etc). You will basically only be able to use the new sensors as if they are V1 sensors, the way V1 sensors have worked for the past couple of years. You’ll still be able to get notifications, use rules, and review some kind of log of events (open/close/motion). (I assume you’ll also get sensitivity adjustment settings on the motion sensor though). If you do cancel the subscription, I strongly recommend first moving everything out of the HMS tab as a precaution, just to be sure there isn’t a bug, then cancel.

V1 Sensors Compatibility

As for the new Hub using V1 sensors, they are supposed to be able to connect to the new hub, like they did the old bridge using the V2 cams, but they are not supposed to work with the HMS system at all. They won’t gain any new functionality, they can’t trigger HMS alerts or Alarms or be included in the HMS tab or anything. It’s like they aren’t part of the system at all, but they can connect/activate through the new hub so you will no longer need the bridge and V2 cameras to use them. This is confusing because this FAQ seems to say differently:

Is Wyze Cam v1 supported?

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Tanvi

March 26, 2021 11:59

Wyze Cam v1 is not supported by Wyze Home Monitoring.

Sorry about that! We don’t support Wyze Cam v1 for this service, but we recommend that you upgrade a newer Wyze Cam (v2 or v3). You can add a new Wyze Cam while placing your order for Wyze Home Monitoring.

Therefore I specifically asked WyzeGwendolyn to clarify because several other times I heard they were compatible with the hub. She answered the question as follows:

Here they say the same thing in the AMA starting here:
40:35 TRANSCRIPT:

the new sense is being built rebuilt from the ground up, it will be backwards compatible with the v1, but we are going to be launching a stand-alone Wyze sense hub…

Unless I misunderstand. The above, in theory, they could mean that V1’s can only connect to the Hub when it is a standalone hub not being used for the HMS at all, but as long as it is being used for the HMS, it won’t allow V1’s to connect. Therefore, nobody can connect V1’s to it yet because it’s not yet allowed to be standalone without a subscription, but will be allowed soon. I personally don’t think that is the correct interpretation, but it is possible. I understood the answers to mean that you can still connect the V1’s to the Hub any time, but the V1’s would remain incompatible with the service itself, and they would be kept out of the HMS tab and not qualify for HMS alerts/alarms, only regular notifications like other Wyze devices. (edit: I was correct, as clarified by Jason below.).

NO SUBSCRIPTION USE

For those who want to activate everything without the subscription, I asked the following clarification:

From an email on Thu, Feb 25, 8:03 AM

Hey Wyze Sense Users,

Many of you have been asking when you can purchase Wyze Sense v2 as standalone products. We’re currently only offering them as part of our Wyze Home Monitoring bundle, but we promise that they will be available for individual purchase soon.

Again, keep in mind, that not having the subscription means they will only work just like the V1 sensors: use Wyze Rules, and get open/close notifications. That’s about it. There will reportedly be no access to alarms/Hub-Siren (though you should be able to set up a rule to trigger the V3 siren), no keypad use, no HMS tab use, no Noonlight, and probably several other things. They’ll basically just be V1 sensors that don’t brick when the battery dies, last longer with better battery life, motion sensitivity controls (probably), logs, and twice as big. That’s about it. It won’t be a security system, just a normal notification and automation trigger device just like the V1’s.

You can still use rules to make your own security system where you make your own shortcut to arm or disarm and when armed, then if a sensor opens it triggers a V3 siren, flashes color bulbs red, sends you a notification, etc. Then have another shortcut that “Disarms” and stops doing any of those things when it is pressed. You just don’t get all the convenience of the HMS tab functions. You could probably do a bunch of stuff through Tasker automations or Alexa/Google routines too to have your own jimmy-rigged security system with no subscription if that’s what you want. I did stuff like the above with the V1 sensors, so you can DEFINITELY do it with the new stuff too. You just have to be creative and do the work yourself. The subscription features are great and convenient, but you really could do a lot of it yourself if you really wanted to.

I don’t guarantee any of the above information. I don’t represent nor work for Wyze, I have just done an insane amount of thorough research on this product/service and I am very familiar with most everything they’ve said on the issue and knew where to find many of those sources which people can now review for themselves and come to their own conclusions. I should be receiving my own starter kit soon since I got a notice that the status changed to “shipped” recently. I should then be able to provide some first-hand explanations rather than quoting. I am still happy to help out though. I hope the above is helpful for some people who have such questions.


UPDATE EDIT with my experience: My Starter kit arrived and set up was really easy! The new hub is awesome! I immediately transferred over ALL my V1 sensors to the hub, and the migration was totally seemless, almost effortless. Previously I needed 2 bridges to cover my whole house. No matter where I put it, 1 bridge wouldn’t get reception everywhere, so I needed 2, and they were unreliable and sometimes needed rebooting, etc. The hub reaches my entire property by itself, including some sensors I have outside (mailbox, etc)! Also, when I transferred the V1 sensors to the hub, they all kept their original rules I already had set up, no matter if I kept the name the same or slightly altered the sensor name. Everything kept working the same! That was an awesome surprise! I highly recommend switching V1 sensors to the new hub. The Hubs’ reception covered more area for me than 2 bridges used to, and is more reliable, etc. The new sensors work as expected. They come with batteries already installed BTW, and the new v2 motion sensor does allow 3 sensitivity settings even without the HMS subscription. I tested it in my office, setting it up with rules to turn on my office Wyze bulb when it senses motion, and automatically turn off my light when motion has been clear for 10 minutes. It works well. On while I’m in the room and off when I’m not, very reliably. You can connect/activate the Keypad without the subscription, but it doesn’t do anything since all of it’s functions (including the emergency alarm button) are only used by the HMS. It does look really nice and feels solid/professional.

There are 2 negatives so far

  1. Activating the HMS subscription is messed up. Support told me it can take a whole week to get the redemption code email, so I’m still waiting (lots of people have had this issue of never receiving their code), but even without the subscription active yet, I am already very satisfied with it overall. --I finally got the code and activated everything and it works fine, though I leave it in Testing mode 24/7, which has a few downsides (panic button on the Keypad doesn’t work or sound the alarm for example).
  2. The following quote is actually a false statement, because the same problem exists with the new V2 sensors:

That is not correct. These sensors still have the same problem. There is no way to view both the exact open and closed time of the contact sensor. You will see one time (rounded off to the minute) together with a rounded off time interval showing only the largest interval (secs, mins, hrs, OR days). If it was seconds, then it will tell you in seconds. If it was open for 13 minutes and 25 seconds, it will tell you it was 13 minutes. If it was open for 3 hours and 45 minutes and 38 seconds, I believe it just tells you it was 14 hours. If it was open over a day, I believe it still rounds off to the day, and becomes impossible to see the exact time it closed. This makes it hard to impossible to track down on a video when a particular event took place. You may have to search through nearly an entire day worth of video just to find when a closing of a sensor took place because Wyze sensor history still rounds off to the largest interval instead of telling us the exact close time (It also doesn’t show the exact open time down to the seconds). This is something that should be easy to fix. It would also be nice to be able to export the log somehow with the exact open/close times for those who want it. If this is intending to be “security” then it should really allow us to see exact open and close times, not vague approximations that could be rounded off by an entire day and impossible to go check the security of the exact time it occured.

Those are my only 2 criticisms so far. Again, overall VERY satisfied. Big improvement.

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I can verify that @carverofchoice is spot on in what he says.

I will reiterate the v1 sensors can and WILL connect to the HMS hub and WILL work for automations. They WILL NOT trigger alarms to the monitoring service. I can aslso verify this because I have my HMS up and running with v1 sensors attached to the hub for automation. One of the reasons you can connect the v1 sensors to the hub is that there is no spot for a bridge on a v3. So this makes the sensors useable without the bridge.

Also as far as I am aware the v2 contact and motion sensors used in this system are still going to be sold stand alone in the future I just do not have an ETA on that yet.

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Thank you Jason! This is a very valuable response. I had not yet read a first hand experience of someone confirming the V1 sensors definitely connected. I assumed they would as Wyze stated, but hadn’t gotten confirmation first-hand yet. I appreciate this addition.

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theindiearmy
What do you want your bulbs to do that they can’t?”

As of right now the Color Bulbs are limited to the existing Wyze Rules setup as the old white bulbs. Meaning you can set up a rule (Shortcut, Schedule, Device Trigger) to turn on/off a bulb, set brightness, and set the white balance, there is currently no support for specifying a color in the rules.

I figured that would be a Day 1 feature considering they advertised being able to use color bulbs for notifications on a schedule, like “turn the lights blue every Sunday” because I need to take my trash out to the street.

Apparently Google Home/Assistant and Alexa have some (undocumented?) color support with the new bulbs, there is not good support in their own Wyze app. Can manually set a color but all of the automation is limited to white (warm to cool) only.

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I think (at least from what I have seen) the confusion lies in that they will not work as a monitoring sensor, just automation.

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@Matthast
I can say Alexa has the ability to do some colors on the color bulb currently, I agree Wyze needs to get that ability native in the app

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I don’t bother with Wyze rules. I just do everything in Alexa as Routines. That way I can use my voice to control it all with Alexa and don’t need to bother pulling my phone out.

You can definitely change the color of the bulbs with Routines in the Alexa app.

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Yeah, I’m all in on using Wyze rules. I don’t use Alexa or Google Assistant to do voice commands.

My setup is nearly entirely automated using v1 contact and motion sensors. Hence my interest in the v2 Sense, particularly its integration with the existing rules system and v1 sensors.

I’m personally fine with the v1s only being available for automations. I haven’t had great experience with the stability of the Sense Bridge that connects to the back of the v2 cams, so I wanted this new Sense hub to replace that bridge. This would also allow me to replace the rest of my v2 cams with v3 for better night vision.

I’m disappointed that you can’t use the keypad Disarm, Home, and Away as triggers for regular Wyze rules as well as the HMS system. I’ll have to go back to my original plan of 3D printing some switches that I can fit the v1 contact sensors into and can set up my own Home and Away rules for my cameras/bulbs.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3832549

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You don’t need to have voice commands be your trigger for Alexa Routines. They have a slew of other options for triggers. Such as time of day, location, alarms, Echo button, as well as anything Smart Home related. So anytime motion is detected, a window is open/closed, a door is locked/unlocked, a system is Armed/Disarmed (haven’t confirmed whether this works with the Wyze HMS yet), etc. etc.

It’s also nice that you can combine product lines with these routines. So I can control my Hue lights with my Wyze sensors. Something that wouldn’t be possible with just either the Wyze or Hue apps.

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Thanks for sharing that 3D print! I love it! I use some that swing in an arc…but my brother’s 3D printer was not advanced enough to print that style, so I buy them for $3/each.

I would personally probably modify these to be reversed…I like “On” to be when the sensor is “Open” and “Off” to be when the sensor is “Closed” since it’s a little more logical to me that way (probably since I speak 3 other languages where they use the words “open” and “closed” when speaking of lights, so it confuses me to have closed be on and open be off out of long time habit of languages I speak telling me it is supposed to be the other way around)…though I like that up is on and down is off. I hope someone makes a version of this for the new V2 sensors. (EDIT: I just watched the video and it does work that way…open/up=on, closed/down = off…the pictures originally had me thinking closed was on and open was off…I would use these exactly like it shows in the video. This is awesome!)

The only thing I find annoying about using sensors as smart light switches is when I have multiple switches for the same light(s). For example, at 2 ends of a hallway…if switch 1 is turned on, then switch 2 turns it off, now switch 1 is already set to on, so if you or the next person walks that route again and tries to turn on the light, you have to flick it off, then flick it back on, which is mildly annoying and confusing to visitors. I keep hoping Wyze will allow a rule setting that allows us to have an event do the opposite as the current state (if I open a sensor and the lights are off, turn them on, if the lights are on, then turn them off). Oh well. Okay, and the fact there is sometimes a short response delay, and they don’t work without internet…but none of those issues matter compared to the awesome convenience they offer for placement and customization options.

I plan to use some of my new HMS V2 sensors as light switches like this too (just have to exclude them from the HMS tab so they don’t trigger alarms).

You know what would be a cool integration for the HMS and Sprinkler system? The Sprinkler Plus system can recognize when it is about rain, right? What if that integrated with the HMS to where the HMS could see if we have any windows open, and send us an alert that it’s about to rain, and we might want to close that window. That would be a useful and relevant HMS update. Honestly, it might even make me consider getting the sprinkler system.

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I have a, um, loud family member who serves that function. :slight_smile:

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You have mentioned UL LISTED as if that is some badge of worthiness…you do realize that all Underwriters Laboratory are testing for is SAFETY IN USE.

UL tests for risk of fire, risk of shock and other dangers inherent in the products design to people using it. UL DOES NOT test for effectivness and/or suitability of purpose and yet that is what you seem to be implying. There is minial risk of fire and of shock or other health hazard from using a WYZE system that is primarily operated by watch batteries…

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Not to mention it’s probably some certification companies have to pay a crap-ton of money to get, leading to their products being overpriced. I looked up the Honeywell panel they mentioned…it’s over $300…just for the panel. :rofl: I could get my whole house covered with Wyze or Abode for that price.

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Not true. At all. Look it up.

A property’s alarm system can only be issued a UL certificate by a UL Listed alarm company. Why is this important? To become UL Listed, an alarm company must demonstrate exceptional competence and consistent adherence to relevant codes and standards. To maintain their UL listing, the alarm company must successfully demonstrate this level of service through an audit conducted by us on an annual basis.

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None of that applies to Wyze. Those certifications are for traditional and commercial alarm systems/companies. Just go look at the picture of the alarm system in the Fire and Security link. Those are the types of systems they are certifying. They aren’t certifying DIY systems like Wyze, because they don’t have a certification for that.

You mean like the ones @bryonhu was talking about and to which @Cubs10 was replying? :wink:

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Yes, that is why Wyze doesn’t have UL certifications, there is no certification for the type of system Wyze sells. So to say one is better than the other can’t really be determined. It’s just that one company has a certification for the type of product it sells (commercial/industrial alarm system) and the company opted to spend a lot of money to be certified.

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You are referring to the ALARM MONITORING SERVICE being UL Listed which is fantastic…and BTW NOONLIGHT (Wyze’s partner supplying the monitoring) IS UL LISTED. So while Wyze’s equipment may not be UL, their monitoring system is UL…

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You don’t know much about UL testing other than what you just stated about fire/electrical/product safety.

Wyze’s own monitoring center has a UL 827 rating for the monitoring center run by Noonlight,

All professional grade home and business alarm equipment is certified under UL 681
This certification applies to many factors such as reliability of communications to central station.

You lose internet you lose your security if your OK with that then maybe this Toy Alarm system is for you.

A UL certified system such as mine will connect over internet and if that fails it uses internal cellular data communicator to communicate to central station, this is called dual-path communications.

There are other UL codes that apply to systems also depending if they are also used for Fire and Medical monitoring.

There are plenty of systems that use cellular backup that are not UL certified either. Not sure why you’re going on about UL certification when that has nothing to do with your main point of Wyze not having cellular backup. Just say Wyze doesn’t have cellular backup and leave it at that. You don’t need to go on about how your $1000s system has certifications that mean nothing beyond the fact that Honeywell paid too much money just to have a certification.

Not to mention that has absolutely NOTHING to do with why I started this thread. If you want to go talk about that, go start your own thread and stop derailing this one just so you can tout that you paid way too much for your alarm system.

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