Adding Security Sensors To My SmartThings


(Brian Engel) #1

Currently my SmartThings system is mainly used for lighting. I am getting ready to integrate security into it and am curious what the consensus is on sensors for doors and windows. I need to sensor up about 10 doors and windows and would like to avoid breaking the bank but also not sacrifice quality. What all do you use and why did you choose it? TIA.


(Ben W) #2

Pretty happy with the Iris sensors from Lowes. Around $22 retail, sometimes you can find them for cheaper. For 10 with the renovo coupon you are looking around $200. Sometimes Lowes does a $15 off of $50 so you can probably save some more.

Choose it because it reports temp. Compared to the ecolinks, it is smaller and looks nicer.

Negative is it is zigbee. I have stronger zwave mesh and Zigbee is not as portable to other platforms. I did end up getting an Iris Smart Outlet to boost the mesh. I would say I am about 65% zwave (mostly light switches) and most my motion/contacts are zigbee,


(Eric) #3

I use a combination of ST contact sensors and the Ecolink. The Ecolink is much cheaper but it doesn’t have temp or and accelerometer in it. I use the Ecolink where I just need open / closed and the ST contact sensor where I want a bit more information.

I also have 2 of these installed. They both stopped working properly at the same time. I am switching them over to ST contact sensors.


(Brian Engel) #4

So am I correct that the Iris sensors report room temp in addition to the open/close reporting that I would be purchasing them for?


(Ben W) #5

Correct, that is another advantage over the ecolinks.

I don’t use the temps for anything fun, but its another datapoint that I sometimes use when I am seeing what the overall temp in my house is.

I had ecolinks, but the LED on it was bright. It flashed whenever it sent an update to the hub, and sometimes it stayed on. Normally not an issue, but in my Living Room I could see 2 from my couch. When they turned on it was noticeable and distracting. The Iris does something similar, but it is much more muted and uses blue instead of red. Barely notice.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Iris-Contact-Sensor-Works-with-Iris/999925302

edit:
Whatever you decide I recommend starting with 2 or so and giving them a try.


(Brian Engel) #6

Does it integrate with SmartThings by simply discovering it or does it require a user created device?


#7

I’ve Mentioned these before, but I really like the lightdims brand of stickers that you can put over LED lights. They come in multiple sizes, multiple colors, don’t leave a residue, and block most of the light. The black color blocks better than the white so in some cases I use the black sticker and then a white one over the top of that.

We used to just use electrical tape, but the lightdims are just way easier to use. And the lightdims come in different coverage options, and sometimes it’s nice to just give dim the LED rather than blocking it all together. :sunglasses:

( One note: at least when I bought them each time they came in just a regular envelope and they sort of look like junk mail, so if you do order them be alert so you don’t throw them out accidentally.)


(Ben W) #8

I think it integrates no issue. Its been about month since I added one.

The Iris motion sensors show up as “Thing” and you have to choose the correct device handler. Just added one of those last week.

They are made by the same company as ST sensors (CentraLight)


(Michael Hess) #9

The motion sensor works with the smartthings smartsense handler, just added two of those the other day with no issues. I’m 98% sure the same applies to the contact sensor at this point. Both devices zigbee fingerprints have been added to the standard smartthings handlers.

I don’t think I had to change the handler in the IDE for either last time I added them. My memory sucks though, so grain of salt and all that. The handlers are no trouble to add, change after adding the devices, then remove, if you do need to.


#10

I started with EcoLink open/close sensors for my doors and they’re great. I have 5 of those and they’re working flawlessly.

I then managed to buy enough Lowe’s Iris open/close sensor to monitor all my windows (around 20). They’ve worked great, but I’ve had a few minor issues that needed figuring out. Two simply failed out of the box, another developed a serious case of battery drain and had to be dropped from the hub and re-added.

However, the Lowe’s sensors were easy enough to work with, and if I had to return, the convenience of just driving up to Lowe’s and replacing it was really easy (there’s a Lowe’s about 2 min. away and they know me by now). I’ve had no real need of the temp reporting feature, but I guess it’s nice that they have it.

Considering the price advantage and the ease of return, if I were starting out again - I’d choose the Lowe’s sensors any day of the week.

I have stuck with the Ecolink PIR motion sensors. They work perfectly and I have zero issues with them. https://www.amazon.com/Ecolink-Z-Wave-Motion-Detector-PIRZWAVE2-ECO/dp/B00FB1TBKS/ref=sr_1_8?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1470066420&sr=1-8&keywords=motion+sensor


(Michael Hess) #11

Those Ecolink motion’s are the same as the GoControl aren’t they? Mine have a terrible delay to activate, the jumper pin’s are disabled, and they take 1 minute to reset. Fortunately I have two rooms that works ok in, but not good for immediate response, great for security only I guess.


#12

I’ve heard they’re the same, but I never was able to find any of the GoControl kits when Home Depot was clearing them out.

My experience isn’t that the delay is terrible - about one full second for Smart Lighting to respond. But the reset time is definitely slow. I almost exclusively use them for security. My main concern was having a pet immune sensor with no false positives, etc.


#13

GoControl are the same as Linear (Nortek). Ecolink is a different manufacturer.


(Michael Hess) #14

Thank you JD, I retract my worry!


#15

It’s really hard to keep track of all the Nortek brands. 2gig, elite (since renamed), linear, go control, numera…sometimes it’s the exact same device, sometimes it’s the same case and a different radio. They have their reasons for separating the brands, but it can really get confusing. :sunglasses: