In a Nutshell
- Create a fully custom security system
- Wireless and wired systems available
- No subscription required
- Requires you to design and install your system
- All systems are self-monitored
Johnson Controls at a Glance
What is Johnson Controls?
Johnson Controls is a buildings control company offering a wide range of security solutions, smart building controls, energy efficiency solutions, and more. It makes several wired and wireless security systems and peripheral devices for small commercial buildings, but these also work well for protecting large homes.
The advantage to using a Johnson Controls system is that you can completely customize your security system, giving you more control than you would get with most other home security providers. For example, you can divide a large home into multiple security zones, then arm or bypass the alarm system in each zone individually.
However, keep in mind that you’ll need to decide for yourself what security system design and peripheral devices are right for your home. You’ll also need to install and monitor the security system yourself. So, Johnson Controls is best for homeowners who want a DIY security solution.
Johnson Controls features
Wired and wireless security panels
Johnson Controls offers wired, wireless, and hybrid security panels. These can be used with a wide range of devices, including any wired security devices (such as smoke detectors) already installed in your home. All devices are designed to communicate over WiFi, but Johnson Controls also makes adapters so that your devices and panels can communicate over cellular networks as a backup.
You can add indoor and outdoor motion sensors to your security system. Some sensors have integrated video cameras, giving you two capabilities in a single device. Johnson Controls also makes glass-break sensors and curtain movement sensors to detect activity around your home’s windows.
Johnson Controls makes indoor and outdoor video cameras, including cameras with infrared night vision. Outdoor cameras use artificial intelligence to differentiate between humans and pets and automatically send alerts. Cameras also start recording automatically when they detect motion.
Smoke and CO detectors
You can add wired or wireless smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors to your security system. These detectors have built-in sirens, and their batteries typically last up to eight years. Johnson Controls also makes a flood detector you can add to your security system.
You can use wireless buttons to arm and disarm your security system or to trigger an alarm. There are multiple buttons available, and some include configurable keys that you can use to control individual alarm zones or start and stop video recording. These buttons are especially suitable for controlling complex security systems.
Johnson Controls offers indoor and outdoor sirens. The latter includes a built-in strobe light.
Is Johnson Controls Safe and Reliable?
Johnson Controls was founded in 1885 and has more than 2,000 offices around the world. It’s a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Johnson Controls designs building controls for Fortune 500 companies and often works with homebuilders to provide security systems for newly built homes.
The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which indicates that it has a track record of dealing fairly with customers and responding to complaints quickly.
How Johnson Controls Works
Johnson Controls sells its security devices through third-party distributors rather than offering them directly to homeowners. You can choose your security panel and purchase individual devices to connect to it on an a la carte basis.
Johnson Controls provides security consulting services for large commercial buildings but doesn’t offer help with designing residential security systems.
Johnson Controls doesn’t provide any monitoring for your security system. You’re responsible for monitoring your own system.
Certain security devices, such as motion sensors, can trigger a security alarm. However, you’re still responsible for alerting the police if you need emergency assistance.
Johnson Controls enables you to convert any wired security devices to wireless by adding WiFi and cellular adapters. All wireless and hybrid security panels are compatible with the PowerSeries Neo Go mobile app, which enables you to monitor your security system on the go.
How To Get Started with Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is different from other home security providers in that there’s little support for system design or installation. You must design your own security system (or hire a security consultant to help) and purchase the necessary panel and peripheral devices from a Johnson Controls distributor. You can find distributors in your area on the Johnson Controls website.
Once you have your devices, you must install them yourself. I found that this process can be time-consuming, especially if you’ve never configured a security system from scratch before. Johnson Controls provides installation guides, but the process isn’t nearly as easy as having a professional come in and install your security system in a few hours.
After you’ve installed your system, I recommend testing it to ensure that all devices are connected and working properly. It’s also a good idea to make a plan for how you’ll contact the police in case of a break-in.
Johnson Controls Customer Service
Johnson Controls provides extremely limited customer service for its security devices and does not provide any support for system installation or configuration. You can only get in touch via a contact form on the company’s website, and the form requires you to submit a company name.
I recommend instead contacting the distributor from whom you purchased Johnson Controls products. However, many distributors only provide support for ordering or warranty-related issues, not for system installation questions.
How To Cancel Johnson Controls’ Service
Johnson Controls doesn’t provide any subscription services, so there’s no need to cancel.
Is There a Johnson Controls App?
You can manage your Johnson Controls security system using the PowerSeries Neo Go mobile app, which is free for iOS and Android. The app enables you to arm and disarm your security system, bypass individual security devices, and monitor live video from your video cameras. It will also alert you if there’s an alarm in your home.
Johnson Controls Pricing
The price of Johnson Controls security systems can vary widely depending on your security needs. The company offers dozens of models of security panels, and pricing for these can vary by distributor. Pricing for security system peripherals such as motion detectors, video cameras, and smoke detectors varies in the same way.
In general, expect to pay around $100 for a basic wired security panel and $350 for a wireless security panel. A wireless video camera with a motion detector costs around $470, while a wireless smoke detector costs around $110.
These prices are significantly lower than what many full-service home security companies charge. However, remember that you have to install the devices yourself, and they don’t include monitoring.
All Johnson Security devices are purchased individually from distributors. Some distributors may offer package deals with optional add-ons such as additional devices.
Johnson Controls Alternatives
From $45.99 per month
From $49.20 per month
From $9.99 per month
Smart home integration
iOS and Android
iOS and Android
iOS and Android
iOS and Android
Johnson Controls vs ADT
ADT is a full-service home security company that provides professionally installed security systems and 24/7 monitoring. It’s much more expensive than Johnson Controls, especially since you have to pay for a monthly subscription. However, I think ADT is worth it if you want a monitored security system or aren’t comfortable designing and installing your own security system.
Johnson Controls vs Frontpoint Security
Frontpoint Security is another full-service alternative that offers 24/7 monitoring with every security system. You can install your own security system with Frontpoint Security to save money, but there’s no self-monitoring option available. I recommend Frontpoint Security over Johnson Controls if you’re on a tight budget, but still want 24/7 monitoring.
Johnson Controls vs Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm offers customizable home security systems that are easy to install and offer self-monitoring similar to Johnson Controls. However, self-monitoring with Scout Alarm requires a subscription, so I recommend Johnson Controls if you plan to forgo 24/7 monitoring.
Bottom Line (Is Johnson Controls Worth It?)
Johnson Controls makes high-quality security devices that you can buy individually to create a system that’s tailored to your home. It’s a great option for homeowners who enjoy DIY projects and are excited to design, install, and monitor their own security systems.
There’s no ongoing subscription required to operate your security system, so Johnson Controls can also save you a lot of money compared to alternatives. However, if you don’t want to take on the responsibilities of installation and system monitoring, you’re likely better off with a full-service security solution. As much as I liked the security system once it was up and running, it took a lot of work to get to that point.