Recommendations for an outdoor entry sensor?

This is my first post, so sorry if I butcher any local forum etiquette…

I have an outdoor gate where I’d like to install a wireless entry sensor. The Z-Wave ones that Aeon Labs offers don’t appear to be weather tolerant. Has anyone else ever tried a setup to monitor an outdoor gate? If so, what device did you use?

Thanks in advance for any constructive ideas.

Much depends on where you live. There’s a big difference between conditions in Los Angeles and Buffalo. :wink:

Basically there are three approaches.

  1. Buy a purpose built device that doesn’t integrate with SmartThings. Lots exist.

  2. In relatively mild areas you can just shelter a regular contact sensor and hope for the best. It may only last a year or so, but might fit your needs. Some people put it inside a plastic box.

  3. In severe environments, you solve this with a two piece set up. You get a weatherproof contact sensor (not made for SmartThings) and wire it with a long wire to a SmartThings-compatible contact sensor that is sheltered from the weather.

The following topic discusses some options.

I guess habitat would have been helpful… I live near Houston, so cold is not an issue. Heat around 90-100 F and torrential downpours are pretty regular, though.

Much to my dismay, it sounds like remotely wiring contacts off to a protected device might be my best option. Now to research which current sensors support the external leads…

Thanks for the guidance!

Read through the topic linked to above, if rain is the main issue you might be able to just put it inside a protective plastic box as long as you get one with a strong enough magnet. Make sure it’s not a completely airtight box, however. :sunglasses:

Mine still working fine on the shed in the UK and has been fine with a layer of silcone applied had a good test over the last few day with Storm Frank, but i guess time will tell.

This will help switch, connected with monoprice windows/door sensor. This sensor can be remotely mounted inside in a box or inside of the house

Hi @otisskavier,

I’ve used a simple wired magnetic contact sensor with an Ecolink open/close sensor (has internal dry contacts) on my mailbox. Since the mailbox is all metal, I mounted the Ecolink on the outside and encased it in clear silicone.

It was was more of an experiment, but the sensor has been working great for months without issues. My sprinklers always hit it in warmer months, and considering the rains recently here in NC, it’s still working.

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What do you mean about encasing the sensor in silicone? Is it a spray or like silicon caulk? I wouldn’t mind trying this idea out, but not sure what type of silicon to buy. Thanks!

Hi @SKaustin, just your basic clear silicon caulk you buy in a tube for your bathroom. I just put a dab on the little hole where the LED comes through the cover and smeared it around, ran a bead around where the top cover and back come together and smeared that smooth, and anywhere water could sneak in. Once all that dried, it was like a gasket all the way around. Since I still wanted to open the cover, and I didn’t want to caulk up the area you press to open it, that part faces down so water can’t get in.

Here is the magnetic contact sensor I used. It’s inside the mailbox:


Does the Monoprice sensor have internal dry contacts, too?

@otisskavier, yes it does. They are located at the end of the sensor. You just need to poke a hole through the cover. The Ecolink’s are located on the side, and route through a hole in the bottom. You still need to cut away a small part of the cover to go out the side, but it was designed for that, just like the Monoprice sensor.

Yes it does, you can have complete information on its manual

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Thanks much, @johnconstantelo & @blue1azul! This is very helpful information. I’m going to move forward with a plan to run leads of weather resistant contacts to a weatherproofed ZWave device’s dry contacts. Hopefully, I’ll remember to post an update after I’m done.