Simple but smart – Door and window sensors



Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that add up to make a very real difference, and in the case of smart door and window sensors that’s definitely the case.

When installed on your doors, windows, garage door or even cupboards, these tiny little sensors can bring a whole lot of peace of mind, convenience, and even safety.

So, let’s walk right in and delve into door and window sensors.

What are door and window sensors?

Easy to install and capable of being fitted to pretty much any household fixture that opens and shuts, door and window sensors use a simple magnetic mechanism to tell you whether something is open or closed.

When used as part of a smart home, door and window sensors can alert you on your phone when a door or window opens or closes, offering very real security benefits and potential peace of mind that goes far beyond break-ins or burglaries.

How they work

Known as reed switches, door and window sensors measure about 7cm long and feature two components with magnets inside.

The slightly larger component also accommodates a temperature sensor and Z-Wave technology. This part of the sensor is affixed to the door frame, while the smaller component is attached in a corresponding position to the door itself.

When the door opens and the magnets separate, the status of the contacts inside the switch change, indicating the door is open. When the door shuts the components come together and the sensor recognises the door is closed.

These sensors have the ability communicate with smart phones, and can send an alert when the status of the door changes.

Door sensors are powered by batteries which boast a lifespan of about two years.

How they’re installed

The components of the door sensor feature screw holes, allowing them to be permanently affixed to the door and frame. They can also be attached using double-sided tape.

Where they can go

Due to their small size and simple operating method, door sensors can be fitted to any household fixture that opens and closes, meaning they can be installed on:

  • External doors – Sensors on external doors are an excellent security measure, allowing you to be notified should your front door, patio sliding door or laundry door be opened when you are not home.

    They also offer peace of mind, so you can quickly ascertain whether you left the front door ajar as you exited the home, or they can even tell you when your children arrive home from school.

  • Interior doors – As the sensors are fitted with Z-Wave technology, they can also interact with other compatible smart products in the home. That means you can use your interior door sensor to trigger other actions, like automated lighting.

    For example, you might fit a door sensor to your bathroom door and set it, so the lights come on when the door opens.

  • Cupboard doors – Whether it’s the medicine cabinet, the pool chemical cabinet or a walk-in wardrobe, there are benefits to fitting door sensors to your cupboards. In some cases, it might just be the convenience of having cupboard lights turn on when you enter your walk-in or pantry, but in other instances, like with medicine cabinets, sensors can be a safety feature.
  • Windows – In the same way that sensors can be fitted to doors, they can also be affixed to sliding, sash, standard or French windows, giving you the peace of mind of knowing what window is open and when someone opens or closes it. And yes, these sensors can even be fitted to skylights.
  • Garage doors – Have you ever got half way to work, only to wonder whether you’ve left the garage door open, or it didn’t close all the way? Door sensors take the guess work out of this scenario, allowing you to remotely check the status of your door.
  • Pool gates – In another example of how door sensors help offer peace of mind and improve safety, imagine fitting a sensor to something as important as a pool gate. You can be inside the house or even away from home and be alerted when your pool gate opens and whether it’s ajar or secured shut.

Sensors and controls

Perhaps the greatest example of the convenience of door sensors is when you couple them with automation controls such as door openers and closers, and remote locking.

With these further features, you now not only understand what state your door or window is in but can also remotely do something about it.

Say, for example your skylight is open, and a storm warning is issued. With controls and sensors, you can shut the skylight using your mobile phone. Additional sensors and controls can even take this scenario a step further. Imagine your skylight is open, but a rain sensor becomes aware it’s started to rain.

With automation, the sensor can communicate with a control that now tells the skylight to shut, and you don’t even have to lift a finger.

Or, say your phone tells you the front door is open…with controls, you can command it to shut, and with remote locking you can instruct it to lock, even if you’re on the other side of town at work, or the other side of the world on holidays.

Better yet, you can actually program your home to take care of this automatically using a routine or scene and voice activation. Now, you simply tell your smart speaker you’re leaving for the day – the door automatically shuts, and locks firmly behind you.

These are just some of the examples of the convenience that automation can bring, and in each case, it starts with the simple but smart addition of a door or window sensor.

About Lera Smart Home Solutions

Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.

We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.

You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home here, or contact us directly for further advice.