For many homes, security is an overriding concern. But there are so many factors to consider when you’re trying to set up your home security automation system. How do you control your devices effectively and yet affordably? Can you incorporate other home automation devices? Is there an on-site control system? What about smartphone control? All these considerations have been taken into considerationby the makers of the Leviton 20A00-50 Omni IIe Controller.

Features of the Leviton Omni IIe

The Leviton Omni IIe is a midrange security and automation controller system for homes and small businesses. It takes security very seriously, and it even comes with an enclosure and a lock set with 2 keys. So not just anyone one can access these controls. But at the same time, you can also use your smartphone and tablet to access the controls of other devices.

1. Certified. For residential installations, the Leviton Omni IIe is a UL-listed and CP-01 compliant fire and security system. UL is a UL is a global independent safety science company that certifies high quality items like alarms, while the CP-01 compliance means that the security and fire system minimizes false alarms. It’s also UL-listed for security in commercial installations.

2. Safety. Its primary use is to maintain safety for the people and equipment within a facility or home. But it’s isn’t all about preventing intruders from getting in. Sensors can also detect other hazards including smoke and fire, water leaks, carbon monoxide, motion, and even vehicles.

3. Different zones. The Leviton Omni IIe supports 16 zones, but it can be expanded to support as many as 48 zones altogether. You can configure each zone, so that you can specify security permissions for each user, and this also factors in the time frame.

So if you have a housekeeper who works for 3 hours from AM, then you may allow your housekeeper access to all the rooms they’re supposed to clean only during that time. The nanny may have access only to the baby’s room, but this may last until from when you leave in the morning to when you return. If a contractor is supposed to come by at noon, then they get limited access to certain areas of the house for a certain number of hours.

For a family, even the different family members can get different levels of access. The children can’t just enter the master bedroom. The husband may not be allowed in the drawing room reserved for his wide and her cave. But that’s alright, as she may not be welcome in the husband’s “man-cave” either.

And obviously, these can prove useful in a shop or office setting as well. Some places aren’t for customers, while other rooms may be reserved for managers only.

4. Digital communication. It also has a built-in digital communicator, which you can use to dial up to 8 extra phone numbers for voice identification.

5. Lights and scenes. Integrate the Leviton Lighting Control gadgets, and you may come up with an impressive lighting system. You may set up “scenes”, or lighting configurations that are specifically designed for various situations such as when you’re waking up, watching TV, relaxing while reading, having a romantic date, or going to sleep. Your lights may have various dimming and brightness levels. They may not even turn on or off suddenly if you don’t want them to. They may become gradually brighter to wake you up gently in the morning, or they may fade slowly when you turn them off.

For these effects, you’ll need the Leviton plug-in modules, switches, and dimmers. Even other protocols, such as ZigBee, Z-Wave, Omni-bus, and HLC are supported too. Hardwired systems are also accommodated. The Omni IIe has an astronomical clock with automatic daylight savings time adjustments. So you can have a very accurate lighting control schedule from dusk till dawn.

The Omni IIe can support 8 rooms or 64 lights.

6. Temperature control. You should also add the Leviton Ombistat2 communicating thermostats, which may be wired or wireless. Either way, you can control the temperature of your home through the Omni IIe system, as the system can control up to 4 thermostats.

You can do this by putting in a schedule or through other factors: you’re at home or away, when you occupy or leave a room, when you’re asleep, or when the outdoor temperature reaches a certain level.

With the temperature and humidity sensors, you can trigger certain actions of the Omni IIe. The system can control the particular temperatures in specific places, such as the garage, the attic, the basement, the greenhouse, or the wine cellars. Some ZigBee gadgets even let you control the fountains, pumps, and water heaters.

7. Surveillance. The Omni IIe supports video cameras, which are important fixtures in many security setups. Now you can have cameras for the gate or the front door, for the pool area, for the nursery, near your vault, and in front of your jewelry box. You can view the events in real time, or manually record a video.

The video recording may also be triggered by other events (aside from scheduling). When a smoke alarm, window sensor, or motion detector goes off, your cameras may automatically start recording video. Also, it will send an alert to your smartphone as well as an email to your email address. That way, you can check out what’s happening through your smartphone and you can call the emergency response teams when necessary.

8. Interface options. The Omni IIe requires at least one of the two main interface options. You can get the Omni Console (33A00-1) or you can have the more advanced Omni Console with Built-in Speaker/Microphone (33A00-4).

After that, you can use the OmniTouch TouchScreen as an additional interface option. The Omni IIe also has a built-in telephone access with voice menu, which you can use inside your home or even outside your home through another telephone. And that telephone feature also enables the Omni IIe to contact you directly when there’s an emergency, alert, or alarm.

Then it has a built-in modem too. This can be access via the web when you connect it to your router using an Ethernet port. Finally, you can pick one of the Leviton programs for remote access. There’s a web interface for PC access, or an app so you can monitor and control your system with a smartphone or tablet. You can even use an e-reader.

9. Additional accessories. Leviton offers a full line of appliances and gadgets that can smoothly integrate with the Omni IIe. These include devices for energy management, home and lighting control, interface options, and whole home audio. Other special Leviton devices include wireless door and window sensors (which tell you when they’re open or close), as well as a 4-button key fob to control automation features with just one button. One of these buttons is usually reserved for panic alert, when you can then easily and quickly alert the police and other authorities.

Your Omni IIe can also support the inclusion of the 2-Way Voice Module. Together with the speaker microphone module (or with actual speakers connected to your audio system), you can make pronouncements throughout your home or shop. For your home, you can warn the residents to evacuate if there’s a fire or that dinner’s ready. You can use this for your business, with scheduled announcements for special discounts or to warn of an approaching closing time.

10. Warranty. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Pros

The Leviton 20A00-50 Omni IIe Controller offers a lot of advantages for any home or small business.

1. Comfort. With this, you can feel much more relaxed at home, and you also don’t have to worry when you’re away. With the “scenes” programmed in, you can just bask in the comfort of your own home, with the lights and temperature precisely at the levels you prefer.

2. Convenience. And what’s more, you don’t have to work all that hard to get that comfort you need. You have your central control unit to set everything up easily, and you can even use your smartphone so you don’t have to get up. You don’t even have to be at home to monitor your gadgets, because your smartphone tells you everything you need to know about what’s happening at your place.

3. Safety. This is a controller specially designed for home safety, and so you can put in various sensors, alarms, and video cameras to keep you your family, and your belongings safe from intruders and from accidental damage through fires and leaks. It’s great that you can define the security “levels” for each different person, so that your children will have some measure of control, as well as some people you let in to your home. Of course, as the owner of the house you’ll have full access to every security control feature.

4. Energy savings. Can you imagine how much energy and money you waste when lights and heaters continue to work needlessly when you’re away from home? But you won’t need to have an ugly surprise on your utility bills. But now you can set up a schedule for your devices so they’ll turn off automatically. You can even look over your various devices from the office by using your smartphone or your office PC. And if you notice some appliance still running when it shouldn’t, you can turn it off while you’re right there in the office. You won’t have to wait to get home to turn them off.

5. Robust. This is good enough to work for a commercial establishment, and that’s not always true of various automation systems rated only for home use. What all those certifications mean is that the Omni IIe is particularly reliable. Devices turn on or off as scheduled, and not on some seemingly random pattern.

And your gadgets work well together, especially when they’re all from Leviton. It’s the special advantage of using only the products made by a single company. So you won’t have to be afraid that the sensors will detect smoke in your house and your Omni IIe won’t send you an alert.

6. More choices. If you don’t want to be constrained by the Leviton line of products, you don’t have to be either. You can try out Z-Wave and ZigBee gadgets, and see if they work well together for you. If they don’t, then that’s not Leviton’s fault. But if they do, then you have hundreds of different devices and different brands to choose from.

7. Multiple interface options. You’re not limited to just your smartphone. In fact, that’s a backup especially when you’re at home. Now you can adjust the various settings in the home interface.

8. Attractive design. The Leviton Omni IIe was designed in response to a growing demand for a more stylish home controller. With the enclosure, the Omni IIe looks fine.

Cons

The main problem you will have with the Omni IIe is that it is extremely complicated to install yourself. It’s why even Leviton itself recommends that you get a professional installer to do the job for you. You’ll need that pro for the initial setup, and most probably when you add another device to the system as well.

That can be a drag, especially when you like adding a single new component on a regular basis. Home automation can be terribly addictive, and one of the reasons for that is because smart features are being seen in many different ways. Now there are smart coffeemakers and pet feeding machines. Even refrigerators can be smart.

Conclusion

Security systems can be a bit picky and somewhat unreliable, and that’s not a good thing when it comes to security. So if you want to be really sure that your home security automation will work, then the Omni IIe is a good option to consider. It can accommodate wired or wireless devices, grant different security rights to different people, and it can be relied upon to work flawlessly in an emergency. When it comes to security, a sure thing is the only thing you need to look at.