[Z-Wave Review] Sensative Strips Door/Window Sensor (1101012)

Continuing on, here is my second Z-Wave module review.

Sensative Strips Door/Window Sensor (model 1101012)

What is it?

The Sensative Strips Door/Window Sensor is a simple, sleak, and minimal open/close sensor. It measures just 0.15" thick, and includes a non-rechargable battery insde that is maintenance-free.

This device contains a Z-Wave Plus chip, which provides AES signal encryption if used with secure inclusion. It touts a 130 foot (line of sight) range, assuming it isn't mounted inside of a metal door or window. Includes a 1-year warranty.

Why would I want this?

Door and window sensors are nothing new in the Z-Wave and Home Automation world. There are several kinds, with the most common type being those that have the sensor and a magnet, both enclosed in a decent sized box sticking on the door. Usually, they are visible and ugly. There are also kinds that can be mounted inside a hole in the door frame creating a hidden sensor, but that usually affects the range and it's a lot more work.
These Strips are designed and manufactured by a company called Sensative, which I gather is a Swedish company. The box proudly totes a sticker that says "Developed in Lund, Sweden" & "Manufactured in Poland" and is finally available here in the US. As of this post, the only authorized retailer is The Smartest House, who offers a great selection of Z-Wave modules from many different brands, available both on their website and on Amazon.

These Strips are small enough to fit nicely ontop of a door, hidden in plain sight. If you prefer a minimalistic approach to life, these are likely the Door and Window sensors you want to be looking at.

Does it work?

Yup, worked with little effort. I made things a little more complicated for myself because I didn't take the time to fully read the included instructions. The sensor comes pre-set in inclusion mode, but I removed the sensor and the magnets from the sensor before reading the booklet. Whoops.

Not a big deal, and I'll talk more about how I put this sensor in inclusion mode manually, down below.

All in all, I had this sensor included and showing in Open Z-Wave Control Panel in about 15 minutes, and another 5 minutes to setup some configs in Home Assistant to have things to my liking. About what I expected, really.

What's in the box?

Like the previous Zooz product I reviewed, I was very happy with the packaging. Basically a cardboard tray inside of a cardboard sleeve with the sensor neatly in place.

Front of box

Back of box

Once you remove the tray from the sleeve, you're greated with a nice reminder to "Read manual first." Ooops.

Inside the box

Reminder removed:

Sensor and manual

Unboxed:

Unboxed

Inside the box is the sensor itself with 2 magnets types to the sensor (this is partly what has the sensor in auto-inclusion mode), so don't go removing those magnets all willy-nilly like I did. One clarification that was not immediately clear to me is why I have two magnets. Well, the small round magnet is just used for the inclusion process while the rectangular magnet with the logo is used in the mounting. Also included is a 3M Cleaning Sachet, that I ended up not using. I imagine if you were mounting this inside a window seal, you'd want to use the included wipe.

The directions are very clear in that you should include the sensor to your Z-Wave network prior to mounting, which I did. Once the inclusion was complete, I went ahead and mounted this on my front door. Now I live in a large older house which still has the original wooden front door. To be frank, I hate that front door, but it's too much work to replace it right now.

The sensor and the rectangular magnet both have adhesive pre-applied, so it was just a simple "peel and stick" for both pieces. I put the sensor on top of the door and the rectangular magnet on the door frame.

Mounted on the door

Mounted on the frame

Was the inclusion easy?

It's as easy as you'd expect. Again, I am using Home Assistant with my Aeon Labs Z-Stick, and Home Assistant is using Open Z-Wave to communicate with my Z-Wave controller. To manage all Z-Wave bindings I am using the Open Z-Wave Control Panel.

As usual, I stopped the Home Assistant service, started up OZWCP (Open Z-Wave Control Panel), and set my Z-Stick into inclusion mode. Now if I followed the instructions in the box, it would pick up and add the sensor automatically. But, I like to make things more complicated so that didn't work for me. Instead, I put my Z-Wave controller in inclusion mode, and then I took the small round magnet (with the other magnet also removed) and tapped the end of the round end until the LED light in the logo blinked. I did it a second time, and a third time. That's it!. You do that 3 times within 10 seconds and the sensor is put into inclusion mode and it was added. I did have my Z-Stick in Secure Inclusion and the sensor was added securely, which is a great bonus.

After doing this, I immediately saw the current values in in my Open Z-Wave Control Panel.

Current values

Likewise, here are the available configuration options, which I never changed.

Configuration

Inside Home Assistant I had 5 different sensor appears (access_control, alarm_level, alarm_type, burglar, and sourcenodeid), and originally I expected the burglar sensor to be the one I cared about (like on my Everspring door/window sensor on the kitchen door), but access_control was the sensor I need. Beyond that, you'd think it would give values such as 0 when the sensor is closed, and 1 when the sensor is open. Nope, 23 means closed and 22 means open. I'm not expect on the Z-Wave protocol so I'm not sure how that happened, but that's what I am seeing on my setup.

So all I had to do was create a new sensor in Home Assistant with a value_template stating that my new sensor (called sensor.front_door_status) watches that access_control sensor if sets the value to Closed if access_control reports 23, and sets the value to Open if the access_control sensor reports 22. Very easy and does exactly what I wanted. Now I can setup rules that if the door is opened between 12am and 5am, send me a high priority notification with Pushover, as well as incorporate that with other automation rules. Pretty nifty stuff.

My thoughts

Very happy with the sensor. Had a little confusion with the inclusion process as well as the reporting sensors, but didn't take long to sort out what I actually needed. That's 100% a reflection on me and my setup and not on this sensor, as I'm sure it's a lot more simplified with hardware controllers such as SmartThings, Vera, etc. With minimal effort I was able to have it do exactly what I wanted, which was report the status of my front door. An added bonus is that the sensor is totally hidden from plain sight. Let's see if I really get 10 years out of the battery, or the sensor itself.

At $60 it's on the high-end of door/window sensors, but sometimes other door/windows sensors just wont cut it (depending on mount options or if it's in a high traffic area where you don't want it to be visible). Quality is indicative of the high price, but I don't see myself paying $60/ea to put one on every door and window in my house (I have 12 windows and 2 exterior doors on the first level of my house, with another 10 windows upstairs -- which would only be $730 worth of sensors). I would love to have one on every door and window though!

Living Room group

My Recommendation

If you have the need for a hidden sensor for a specific door, or if mounting a traditional sensor wouldn't work, I would recommend you give the Sensative Strips a try. If money is no object, absolutely put one on every door and window that you can. They are rated for outdoor use as well, so could be a good option for a shed, garage, or barn as well.

If the price point was around $40, I could see myself replacing my Everspring sensor on the back door, but I highly doubt that I will at $60 (as much as I'd love to!).

At this time, the Sensative Strips door and window sensor is only available from one authorized retailer here in the United States, and they sell on their website, as well as on Amazon. Go buy one, try it, and let me know what you think!


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