Mick koster - lowes
Mick Koster, vice president and general manager of Iris Home Systems

Today, home improvement retailer Lowe’s announced it will offer professional monitoring services for its private brand Iris smart home solution.  Lowe’s has partnered with United Central Control, Inc. (UCC) to offer the new service. UCC has been providing monitoring services for over thirty-three years. For the first time, Iris customers, who are either homeowners or renters, will have the ability for emergency responders to be dispatched to their homes in the event of an intrusion, smoke, carbon monoxide or panic alarms for an all-inclusive, month-to-month fee with no long-term contract required.

According to the 2015 Smart Home Survey annually conducted by Lowe’s, 62% of adults claim security is the most beneficial reason to own smart home devices.

“Many of our customers have been interested in the added peace of mind of 24/7 protection with live professionals available to help if problems occur, but only if it was as affordable and flexible as Iris is today,” said Mick Koster, vice president and general manager of Iris Home Systems. “By providing customers with Iris’ easy-to-install, wireless DIY system combined with professional monitoring capabilities they can trust and afford, we are offering the most all-inclusive smart home solution available at the best value for both homeowners and renters alike.  Whether our customers self-monitor or use our new professionally monitored service, Iris is the smart home system that evolves with you as your life changes and helps make your life easier.”

Lowe’s customers in select markets and where licensing allows (TBA) will be able to take full advantage of professional monitoring for their Iris system for only $19.99 per month starting in Q2 2016. This new service includes the Iris Premium Service ($9.99 monthly value), offering advanced ways to monitor and control the home, including notifications and calls to family and friends in the event of an alarm. Also included with Iris’ professional monitoring service is the Iris cellular backup service, which provides connection when homeowners’ broadband or WiFi goes down ($4.99 monthly value). An additional purchase of a cellular modem is required to enable cellular functionality.

iris 2Iris will offer the combination of professionally monitored home security, cellular backup and market-leading home automation all for the one monthly price of $19.99 with no long-term contract required.  Customers will then be able to choose from a simple line-up of Iris services that includes the Iris Basic Service for free, Iris Premium for $9.99, or the all-inclusive Iris professional monitored service for $19.99 per month with the ability to change their plan at any time as their needs change.

The new service will support the primary the retailers private brand Iris security and safety devices already available for sale today with additional devices as they are added to the Works with Iris program. Current devices that will be monitored include:  Iris contact sensors, Iris motion sensors, Iris keypads, Utilitech private brand glass break sensors, Iris garage door controllers, First Alert smoke detectors, and First Alert smoke/CO detectors.  A minimum of two monitored security devices will be required to help reduce false alarms and an Iris by Lowe’s smart hub must be installed to support functionality.  A new customer can simply buy the Iris Security Pack ($99.99) and Iris Smart Hub ($59.99), and then be up and running with a professional monitored security solution that they can take with them as they move from apartment to apartment or into a new home, as licensing allows.

The next generation of Iris will be on display at CES Unveiled in the Mandalay Bay North Convention Center on Jan. 4 from 4 – 7:30 p.m. PST, and in the Iris by Lowe’s booth (Tech West, Smart Home Marketplace in the Sands Expo Hall, #70727) at CES 2016 from January 6-9 in Las Vegas.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.