Let’s talk about the Sensative Strips Z-Wave Plus Ultra-Thin Door/Window Contact Sensor
I was very excited about this product when I first heard about it, finally a door/window sensor that could be hidden without the need to drill large holes like the Aeotec Recessed Door Sensor
Sounds great and I must say they perform well although I do have some long-term concerns.
I have been testing this sensor for about a year now on a door that also has an Iris Contact Sensor for comparison. Throughout my testing I cannot see any real difference between the two sensors, both trigger at the same time and neither has missed a beat while installed.
Installation of the Sensative Strip was straight forward like any other contact sensor only inside the door jamb instead of on the door itself. They are simple peal and stick components with both the sensor and magnet already adhesive backed. The only downside to this is moving them in the future. I get the use of the adhesive backing that is on them because it is so thin, but this does not lend itself to being reusable so if you were to say get a new door you would have a hard time removing and reusing these sensors, I even broke my magnet in half trying to remove it.
Out of the box the Strips have two magnets taped in place, one is rectangular which is the magnet that we are going to install and use for triggering the sensor, the other is round and is used on the opposite end for pairing and reset. When you remove that circular magnet for the first time you trigger pairing mode to start so that is pretty easy and both my Wink Hub 2 and Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub picked it right up. I will say that using the circular magnet to unpair, reset and repair was kind of tricky and I had to watch a couple YouTube videos to figure out exactly how to do it as the instructions are not all that clear, but after doing it once it is easy.
As I mentioned in comparing the Strips to my Iris Contact sensor I have not seen any missed events so there is no question that they work which is great. I am concerned however about battery life. The battery in these is not replaceable and that I do not like, used on a high traffic environment there is no telling how long the battery will last and once it is dead the sensor needs to be replaced. Due to the size and design of the sensor I am not sure anything could have been done to avoid this so let’s hope the battery lasts a long time. The other problem I have with these sensors is the circular magnet used for pairing…I have already lost it and I think most people will. Something better should have been implemented for this, having a separate small component that you need to keep around for a long time is just a bad idea. Now I have not tried using a different magnet in place of the circular one I am sure it would work once polarity was figured out but that might be a bit much for the average home owner.
I absolutely love the size of these sensors it proves that the Z-Wave radio can fit in a small package which I think is great and more companies need to get on-board with doing this. Sensors need to start coming down in size and this is something I have though for a long time. It is not just Z-Wave sensors all of them even wired sensors from traditional security systems need to be smaller and less obvious. The Strips by Sensative are a huge step in the right direction and I hope more companies follow suite. Thinking about it this has two benefits, it gives you increased security by making the sensor harder to see and increases the wife acceptance factory by blending into the home more than your traditional stick on contact sensor. I am hopeful that the team behind these sensors will continue to innovate and inspire the rest of the industry to innovate.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.