Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Panel is a Trojan Horse Automation System
Grow into home automation one Z-Wave device as a time.
June 27, 2013 by Grant Clauser

At the Consumer Electronics Association’s CE Week event I received a eye-opening demonstration of how Honeywell’s Tuxedo Touch color LCD panel can be an easy stepping stone from a professionally-installed security system into a basic DIY automation system.

The Tuxedo Touch is Honeywell’s most advanced touchscreen interface. If a homeowner gets a Honeywell home security system installed (there are several packages available) the Tuxedo Touch will cost about $500, which is more expensive than some of the more basic security interfaces, but it opens up the door to much more functionality.

Beside controlling Honeywell’s Vista-based security system, the 7-inch Tuxedo includes a number of other tricks, the most important of which is the integration of Z-Wave, which means that after the security installer has left, the homeowner is free to add any off-the-shelf Z-wave compatible product. This includes Z-Wave lighting modules, door locks, sensors, shade controls and thermostats. Up to 232 Z-Wave devices can be added.

But it gets better—the Tuxedo Touch includes built-in tutorial videos that show the users how to program automation features. 10 lighting scenes can be created. Timers can be set, temperature can be adjusted or integrated into scenes, etc. A sunrise/sunset option is built in for easily managing basic lighting scenes.

The Tuxedo Touch also shows the outside weather and can display family pictures when it’s not being used for operating other devices. It acts as a web server, allowing the user to access it with any web-enabled device such as a tablet or PC.  There’s a lot of functionality built into this device.

As home automation systems go, this one does fall short in some areas—customization is limited compared to professionally programed systems. There’s no audio/video system integration, so for example, if you want your whole-house audio system and home theater all integrated into the same control platform, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Also, relying on Z-Wave for the network makes the system inexpensive and easy to set up, but it’s not as reliable as automation systems based on a wired network. For someone looking for a basic system in an average-sized house, who likes the idea of home automation convenience without a big money investment, this looks like an easy way to go.

More about home control/automation here:
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Automation
Is IP Control Replacing IR?
A Good Home Automation System is Worth Repeating
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Automation
So What Exactly is Home Automation?
Common Misconceptions About Home Automation and Home Control

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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