Cost effective door/window sensors (UK)

Anyone found anything in the UK? I keep looking at stuff from the US posters, and they are always finding kit for a few dollars in places like BestBuys.

We could really do with some cheap, preferably Zigbee, and preferably temperature reporting door/window contact sensors on this side of the pond!

What are you all using?

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We’ll never have anything over here for a ‘few dollars’ (in equivalent £ of course) I suspect - that kind of stuff is always cheaper in the US. (More demand, and more competition)

I bought a handful of the ST Contact Sensors the other day when they were 20% off - making them £24 each - I doubt we’ll ever have anything much cheaper than that.

Same here, the cheapest I have bought is with 20% off through samsung direct

Yup, £24 is the best I’ve obtained and would be like US ST prices after conversion. For normal sales, you could couple that with Quidco. UK is far too expensive for smartthings. Could do with done competition. Curry’s aren’t doing a great job promoting ST either. Been to 3 shops, sales guys know jack.

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Surely that doesn’t surprise you? I wouldn’t call Curry’s particularly knowledgeable on anything they sell, let alone really techy stuff that’s for a very limited market. I made the comment in another thread a while back that Curry’s being the only retailer of ST in the UK doesn’t bode well for its future in the UK.

Curry’s Sales of ST = Limited UK users = limited demand of official support = limited official UK development

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Everspring is usually the cheapest, but for a reason – – the engineering is a whole level less expensive than most other brands. But that may be acceptable for a door sensor. These typically retail for just under £30, so if you can find them on sale, they’re usually the least expensive.

Another brand to look for which is of a higher quality and surprisingly lower-priced than similar brands is DLink. The sensors are sold in the UK under the “myDlink” brand. Usually at about the same list price as the Everspring. Some places that carry the D-Link routers will also carry these. They’re certainly worth looking for. Just make sure you get the Z wave ones, not the Wi-Fi ones. (The Wi-Fi ones work fine, they just are not compatible with SmartThings.)

I often say this, but it’s worth repeating: personally, I only buy electronics from a place with a good returns policy. There are a lot of counterfeits and misboxed items sold on eBay and similar sources. So I would rather pay a little more and buy with more confidence. But obviously that’s a personal decision.

Honestly, in some ways it does. I was expecting curry’s staff to have a little bit of a clue (not asking much) especially if they are in the sales line. I was just shown to the product location.

Agreed with your comments. Not sure how long Curry’s have sole distributorship though. Would be better to have more sales avenue.

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Something like this would be brilliant, but I can’t find a UK supplier, and postage from the states (plus import taxes) makes it silly expensive.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/peq-door-and-window-sensor-white/8229286.p?id=1219317424758&skuId=8229286

Even an EU source would be good. At least for now, while we’ve still got tax-free borders!

I thought we couldn’t use z-wave stuff from the US because of the difference in frequency. (Not that it doesn’t work, but rather it’s illegal)?

Pretty sure the Peq kit is zigbee, rather than z-wave.

Peq sensors are zigbee, but they may be illegal for use in the UK because they use “boosted” zigbee which transmits at a level almost twice that of the allowed EU maximum. This is true of most zigbee devices manufactured for sale in the US. You just need to check each one to see if it is using output broadcast power above the level of 12 db.

It’s OK, if I get one I’ll wrap it in a damp flannel… :wink:

Incidentally, I tried to Google the difference between the power levels permitted with US and EU ZigBee devices, but most of the relevant hits came from the community here, where it’s often stated as a fact.

Has anyone got a reliable external source for this information, and the ‘fact’ that US sensors are using a boosted version of ZigBee?

Most of the papers I found stated that the ZigBee standard doesn’t impose a maximum power level, but the EU does, and so most devices on the market use this as the design basis for their chipset+antenna. I also found many examples of tests showing devices transmitting BELOW this level in order to increase battery life.

I’m sure there must be a solid basis of the info that’s so often repeated here, though. It would just be interesting to know where it came from!

Would sure like to find out too. I was under the impression that I can use USA zigbee devices ( not Z Wave) across the pond.

http://www.digi.com/pdf/wp_zigbee.pdf was what I found.

It’s a recent standard (effective January 1, 2015), so older sources won’t list it.

http://info.lsr.com/LSR-Wireless-RF-Design-blog/bid/348564/The-Clock-is-Ticking-Are-you-ready-for-ETSI-EN-300-328-v1-8-1

The maximum RF Output power is 12 in the EU, 20 in the US, but the maximum power in the EU is 10, so that’s what you’ll see on device specifications.

Highly technical brief to manufacturers addressing the need to reduce output power for Zigbee devices to meet the new EU standards:

Digi specifications for their EU-compliant modules. Note the power limitation at 10.

http://www.digi.com/resources/documentation/Digidocs/90000991/reference/r_certs_xb_europe.htm

Again, any references or papers dated prior to 2014 will not show these limitations. The previous standards allowed for higher output. Consequently you can find many 2014 trade papers for manufacturers discussing how they intend to meet the new lower output standards in the EU.

edited to add that the newest generation of SmartThings-branded US sensors has moved a few more to the unamplified group. See the complete list in Tyler’s list below.

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Thanks - interesting. But where do we get the information that manufacturers are adopting a US/EU split, and not just making all of their devices worldwide compliant? Especially the accusation that Samsung is producing different versions of their ‘things’ for the two markets ?

It’s not an accusation. It’s now standard industry practice, as can be seen from some of the links in the previous post. The power has to be dialed down if the device is to be sold in the EU.

Complying with the EU standard would mean that the devices have a shorter broadcast range than US laws would allow. That would put a “universal” model at a significant competitive disadvantage for the US market, as most consumers look for the longest range possible for most home automation devices . Hence the reason why most of these manufacturers make two versions if they want to sell in both markets.

There are many different standards that apply to devices sold in the two regions. Having a CE certification for the UK is not the same as having a UL listing or an FCC certification for the US. So it is not at all uncommon for electronics devices, networked or not, to be made in different models for the two markets.

At present, Samsung does not manufacture the sensors and pocket sockets sold under the SmartThings brand. They’re manufactured by other companies and then relabeled by SmartThings, as was done before the Samsung acquisition.

In the US, they are manufactured by Centralite. I haven’t looked into the exact sourcing for the UK versions, but there should be a compliance label on the back or inside the battery compartment which lists the licenses, and from there you can look up the manufacturer.

I asked this very question in another thread and a member of the smartthings support team confirmed that US and UK devices are all different with the exception of the arrival sensor which is exactly the same.

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updated 22 March 2016 to match the new information from Tyler below

the arrival sensor used to be the only smartthings-branded Zigbee device which did not use boosted Zigbee for the US version. Shorter range was actually considered desirable for that purpose.

However, as of the newest generation, the US motion sensor and the US multi are also not amplified. But check the full list below.

end edit

@aaron can get confirmation on any of these issues if needed.

Thanks @JDRoberts, really interesting.

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