Needing cheap contact sensor? (2020)

So I’ve been searching and reading a lot about contact sensors. Most of the discussions are a bit old. I need 14 contact sensors to cover all my 1st floor windows any suggestions that won’t break the bank? And I don’t need multi no purpose sensors however anything extra is a bonus.

You can read through the thread I started earlier this year asking the same thing. The Iris V2 ones I found are all sold out ($5 each!), but I think there were other suggestions in the thread.

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These Ecolink zigbee sensors aren’t listed in that thread, but these have been my go to sensors lately. Cheap and reliable.

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  1. Aqara are zigbee sensors at about $17 each. The product description will say they need their own hub, but that’s only if you want HomeKit compatibility. They can work as just zigbee with a smartthings hub instead. However, they don’t necessarily work well with all Zigbee repeaters so you might also need to get some IKEA tradfri plug-in pocket sockets to act as repeaters for them.

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2) Ring’s security systems uses Zwave plus with S2 security, so they can be added to a smartthings system if you have a V2 or V3 hub. If you get a six pack of the contact sensors they are about $17 each. Although the product description says they need the ring base station, you can connect them directly to a newer smartthings hub instead.
  1. Wyze sensors are REALLY cheap, around $6 each, but they only work with their own platform. And Alexa. So you would have to use Alexa routines for integration to smartthings. I have some of these and like them, but I’m only using them for non-mission critical use cases like turning on the closet light when the door is opened.

Pricing is a little complicated. You need to have a Wyze Camera ( $20). Then you buy the security starter kit, which is a bridge that plugs into the camera, one motion sensor, and 2 contact sensors (another $20). After that you can buy a set of four contact sensors for $20. So for $60 you get a camera, the sensor bridge, a motion sensor, and 6 contact sensors. After that, it’s 4 contact sensors for $20. One bridge can support up to 100 sensors.

Summary

The ring sensors are likely to give you the least trouble and are well engineered, but are likely to have a shorter battery life than the Aqara.

The Aqara are a good choice if you want zigbee devices, But you may run into some network issues if you don’t have the right repeaters.

The Wyze sensors are certainly the cheapest, and I’ve been happy with them in my own home, but I would guess the ring sensors are more reliable long-term and there’s no direct smartthings integration for the Wyze.

(I haven’t listed the discontinued Iris sensors which were very popular about six months ago when you could get them very cheap because they had been discontinued. Now they are harder to find and more likely to be defective units.)

edited to update

The ecolink zigbee sensors at $13 that @johnconstantelo linked to look very good. I would not expect them to have the same network issues that the aqara do and they should have better battery life than the ring sensors. The Wyze would still be a candidate if you want really cheap sensors and are willing to put up with the clunky integration. :sunglasses:

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So how do you your wyze devices with Smart things?

Have the Wyze sensor trigger an Alexa routine (not a smartthings routine) which then turns on a virtual sensor as a proxy in smartthings. Or just use it to turn on a smartthings-controlled device. This works even though the Alexa integration with SmartThings is broken in the other direction right now (Smartthings sensors don’t reliably trigger Alexa routines, but sensors of other brands do.)

https://www.amazon.com/Wyze-Labs-Inc/dp/B07FKZD276

so that’s using Echo as an intermediary. I think it would be preferable to get one of the sensors that connects directly to a smartthings hub, but that does cost more. Like I said, we are using the Wyze sensors quite a bit as touchless switches to control lights as a convenience feature. But nothing mission critical.

Since nobody mentioned it in the bulk thread, I’ll add a plug here for the sensors I use, Visonic MCT-340. They’re very low profile, pair with a stock DTH and last a long time on a battery. There’s also a handler out there to have them show up as various other devices, if you want to modify them or use them in a non-standard fashion (no idea how this works in the new app as I no longer need it).

I get them from the link below - they’re $20 at most, usually discounted to $15, and regularly drop to $10 (or at least did when I was looking 2-2.5 years back).

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My house had 2 XHS2-SE sensors when I bought it. After pairing them to ST, I went ahead and added a few more - under $10 on eBay. There are a pile of them in the market. Reports battery and temperature as a bonus.

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Here is an ebay listing of 10 new ones for $50.


Just like the Iris ones these report temperature. That’s very nice!
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Sweet, thanks! I’m about to start a project for another family member, so this is perfect, thanks for sharing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I myself don’t buy electronics on eBay from random sellers. A lot of the stuff is counterfeit, a lot of it is joblots of returns bought from other retailers, and for both these reasons, many device manufacturers will not honor the warranty for Devices bought on eBay. But that’s just me. :wink:

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If you have time to wait for shipping from China, the Sonoff zigbee model has worked well for me https://www.itead.cc/sonoff-snzb-04-zigbee-wireless-door-window-sensor.html

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In general, I agree. But you need to look at the specifics of the auction and the reviews of the item and the seller.

I only posted because these say “New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging”. If they don’t come in sealed boxes, then return them.

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Yeah, but:

image

Those ecolink look like they will do the job.

I was considering the xiaomi contact sensor. However I don’t want to fight them dropping.

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They should do very well for ya’ I’d think. I have one outside my house as well. It’s not sealed or anything, but it is shielded from the weather, so it doesn’t get direct sunlight or rain (even with the rains from the hurricanes coming through NC).

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I get the same hurricanes.
, I’m in South Carolina. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I bought a mix of Sonoff Zigbee sensors (multiple sellers - Aliexpress and eBay), and all have come with batteries installed and the protective tab to keep it disconnected. I was surprised, because I remembered reading the same notice.

I use the Visonic and they have been good, I have probably about 8 of them. Really low profile and connection has been rock solid. Battery life is 6 months to close to a year, not sure what’s causing the variance. The big downside is they will register to 1% battery life then still last like 3 months. An upside to the batteries is they are really cheap as they use coin batteries. I buy a pack of like 12 off Amazon. . . which they could be crummy which would explain the variance, but they are cheap enough it makes up for it.

I also have a monoprice zwave plus sensor that had also been very reliable and the battery has lasted forever. I think it’s going on at least 2 years, maybe more. Downsides are it’s kind of bulky and every so often fails to report in to my health check app even though it’s online. That polls devices every 5 hours to see if it’s alive.

Can I ask how the battery life has been for these XHS2 sensors?