Wireless Door Sensors and Window Alarm Sensors Posts

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Last week, we took a look at three of the best alarm panels in the industry. These were the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e. Today, we are checking out the sensors that you can add to support these systems. Here is our 2020 Security Sensor Buying Guide!

Sensors are accessories that are added to alarm systems to report specific activity. Each sensor has its own job of looking for a certain type of activity in its designated location. All of the sensors on a system communicate with a single centralized panel or hub. This panel is actively listening for any sensor that is triggered due to a potentially important system event. Adding new sensors is perhaps the best way to expand upon an existing system, and they make awesome gifts and stocking stuffers for the security enthusiast in your life.

Broadly speaking, sensors can be split into two main categories, which are security and life safety/environmental. Security sensors look for activity that suggests potentially unauthorized entry into a monitored and protected location, such as a door being opened, movement in a room where nobody is supposed to be present, or a window being broken. Life safety/environmental sensors look for activity associated with unwanted or potentially harmful conditions that affect the well-being of those in the area, such as a flood, an extreme temperature, a fire, or the presence of CO gas. We'll be taking a look at life safety/environmental sensors another time. Today, our focus is on security sensors.

Wireless Sensor Basics


Before we dive into specific security sensors for our top panel picks, we're going to start by giving you some general, generic information that can be applied to any sensor out there. First, understand that this post is focusing only on wireless sensors. These are almost always the sensors chosen for use with wireless alarm systems. Wired sensors can also technically be used with wireless panels but a converter module is almost always needed. Not to mention the fact that wireless sensors are significantly easier to install, especially for DIY users. The only time you will realistically see wired sensors used with a wireless panel is if a user is upgrading from an older wired system and bringing over their old wired sensors, or in new construction where a user wants to integrate the sensors in with the building. But if you're expanding upon a wireless system by getting new sensors, then the new sensors will almost certainly be wireless.

The important thing to remember when choosing wireless sensors for a wireless alarm panel is making sure the sensor is compatible with the system. It doesn't matter if a sensor has all the specs and features if it doesn't work with your panel! The way to determine compatibility is to look at the lineup that the sensor is from. Petty much every wireless sensor out there is part of a larger grouping of sensors that will all have the same compatibility.

To make it easier for you, we have the three panels we mentioned before (well, make that five, as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus actually comes in three versions), and all their compatible sensor lineups conveniently listed. We hope that this sheds some light on your options. The only caveat is that for any panel listed here that supports the Honeywell 5800 Sensors, we must be clear that this is only for the uni-directional sensors with one-way communication in the lineup. Any bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors with two-way communication will not work with any of the aforementioned systems. The bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors are only compatible with the Honeywell LYNX Touch and VISTA Systems, which were not included in our buying guides.

With that out of the way, here are compatible sensor lineups by system:

You will notice that some of the sensor groups listed above are italicized and underlined. That is done to identify the lineups of encrypted sensors. These encrypted sensors have special protection measures put in place to make them more secure and less prone to being hacked or defeated by malicious attacks. Encrypted sensors tend to have more restricted compatibility. They may follow a special enrollment process. Encrypted sensors often use bi-directional communication so that the sensor knows that it is actively paired with the system. Many encrypted sensors may only be paired with a single system at any given time, and the sensor will need to be deleted from its existing system before it will work with a new one.

It's okay to use non-encrypted sensors with your system, especially in zones that are less likely to trigger an alarm, like a second story window. Many users will opt to use a mixture of both encrypted and non-encrypted sensors. Other users feel comfortable using entirely non-encrypted sensors. It really comes down to your level of comfort. Non-encrypted sensors are secure in most situations, and they are still tricky to defeat. But going fully encrypted is recommended for anyone seeking maximum security. One tip if you do decide to go with some non-encrypted sensors is to avoid letting others know what wireless frequency your sensors use or what type of system you have installed. Knowing the frequency and the system being used makes it much easier for a savvy intruder to defeat a sensor.

Door & Window Alarm Sensors


Now that you know some basics that apply to almost all wireless sensors, let's start talking about specific types and models. Door and window sensors will let a system know when a door or window has been opened or closed. These are some of the most basic and easy to use sensors on a security system. These devices work by using a larger sensor portion and a smaller magnet portion. The sensor is placed on or inside the door or window frame, and the magnet is placed on or inside the moving portion of the door or window. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will move away from the sensor. This will trip a metal reed switch inside the sensor, which will tell the sensor to alert the system to the opened door or window. All of the sensors we've listed here follow that same method of operation.

Door and window sensors can be split into two (2) main categories. Surface-mount door and window sensors are mounted outside the door or window and its accompanying frame on the surface. The advantage to surface-mount door and window sensors is that they are very easy to install, and they can usually be mounted using double sided foam tape. But some users may not like how they are visible on the outside of the door or window. If you don't like the appearance of visible surface-mount door and window sensors, then you might instead consider recessed door and window sensors. A recessed door or window sensor is installed inside a door or window and its frame, so that it is hidden and cannot be seen from the outside. Recessed door and window sensors are more difficult and time-consuming to install, because you must drill holes in both the door or window and its accompanying frame. Whether you decide to use surface-mount door and window sensors, or recessed door and window sensors is up to you. Most DIY users and Alarm Grid customers in general will use surface-mount door and window sensors.

Now let's look at some door and window sensors.:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Installation
Notes
Honeywell SiXMINICT

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 200 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES Surface-Mount Premier mini encrypted door/window Sensor for Lyric.
DSC PG9303

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG encrypted surface mount door/window sensor.
DSC PG9307

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus
2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Recessed PowerG encrypted recessed door/window sensor.
2GIG DW10e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 2GIG
2GIG DW20e

2GIG eSeries
2GIG GC3e
350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 2GIG
Qolsys IQ DW Mini-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ 2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5818MNL

Honeywell
5800 Series
Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Recessed Non-Encrypted recessed door/window sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-2GIG

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-GE

Legacy GE 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
VERSA-DSC

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 433 MHz systems.

We also want to share a selection of outdoor door and window sensors with you. These surface-mount contact sensors are specifically designed to withstand the conditions of an outdoor environment, including intense rain, wind, dust, and sunlight. You can see them listed below.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Installation Notes
Honeywell 5816OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 5800 Series.
DSC PG9312

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG Outdoor Contact Sensor.
2GIG DW30-345

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 350 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 2GIG 345 MHz series.

Motion Sensors


Motion sensors use passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect movement within the sensor's coverage area. This is done by looking for the changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur when a person, animal, or object comes within the sensor's field of view. Standard motion sensors are typically PIR only. These are appropriately called PIR motion sensors.

Some motion sensors will also use microwave technology in addition to PIR technology. This involves having the sensor send out microwave signals and seeing how the signals bounce off of objects in the area. Movement will change the pattern of these microwave signals, and the sensor will be able to detect this. These motion sensors that use both microwave and PIR are called Dual-Tech motion sensors. The purpose of using both PIR and microwave together is to prevent false alarms. A Dual-Tech motion sensor will only activate and alert the system if both its PIR sensor and its microwave sensor are triggered. A microwave sensor is not vulnerable to the same environmental issues that may cause a false activation on a PIR. You will not find a motion sensor that uses microwave technology without PIR detection, as microwave alone would result in too many false alarms without having PIR to confirm movement.

One feature that you will often see listed on a motion sensor is pet-immunity. A motion sensor that has been set up for pet immunity can be configured to not "look" in the areas close to the ground where pets and small animals walk. Instead, the motion sensor only looks in the areas higher up, where humans move while walking upright. A pet immune motion sensor is not impervious to small animals, and you must position it carefully so that it works as intended. Pet immune motion sensors normally have a weight limit, where animals under that weight limit should avoid triggering the sensor, assuming that the sensor is installed properly. Please note that most pet friendly motion sensors will require you to set the sensitivity for the sensor to the lowest possible setting.

When it comes to motion sensors, mounting them carefully is very important. A motion sensor may cause false alarms on the system if it is not installed properly. These sensors should not be facing any vents, air ducts, ceiling fans, or curtains that may cause the sensor to activate without any movement. If you are using the motion sensor for pet immunity, then it should also not be facing any furniture or stairwells that your pet could use to get within the sensor's field of view. You will likely want to perform a Walk Test of your motion sensor to make sure that it responds properly when movement is present, and does not respond due to other external factors when there is no movement. You should also have any pets participate in the Walk Test to ensure that pet immunity is working properly.

We recommend reading the following FAQs to learn more about motion sensors:

Below are some of the most popular motion sensors for our recommended systems:

Sensor Name Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
Honeywell SiXPIR

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES 40 by 56 Feet
PIR Up to 80 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for Lyric.
DSC PG9914

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 39 Feet PIR Up to 85 lbs PowerG Encrypted PIR Motion.
DSC PG9984P

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 50 Feet Dual-Tech Up to 40 lbs PowerG Encrypted Dual-Tech Motion.
2GIG PIR1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
30 by 50 Feet PIR Up to 55 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 80 lbs Non-encrypted residential PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5800PIR-COM

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz, IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 60 by 80 Feet PIR None Non-encrypted commercial PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5898

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet for Pet Immunity Dual-Tech Up to 100 lbs Non-encrypted Dual-Tech motion for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Motion-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption 30 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs Non-encrypted PIR motion for 319.5 MHz systems.

There are also certain outdoor motion detection sensors that are better-suited for use in an outdoor environment. These outdoor motion sensor models are typically more expensive than indoor variants. You can see some of our most popular ones listed below:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
DSC PG9994

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 30 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs PowerG Outdoor PIR Motion Sensor
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 1st ed.
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD2

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 2nd ed.
Optex FTN-RRIX

Legacy Interlogix 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 319.5 MHz Systems
Optex FTN-RR2G

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 345 MHz Systems.
Optex FTN-RRDS

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 433 MHz Systems.

Glass Break Sensors

The last type of security sensors we will be discussing are glass break sensors. These sensors include built-in microphones, and they actively listen for the unique sound of glass breaking. Most of these sensors will need to hear both the high-pitched shattering sound of the glass breaking, as well as the low-pitched sound of an object striking against the glass in order to activate. This design choice is to prevent false alarms caused by similar sounds. Most users will use glass break sensors to monitor windows, but they have also been known to work effectively on protective glass display cases that store valuables, such as what you might find in jewelry stores or gun shops. Most types of glass will work with glass break sensors, though there are some exceptions. For example double and triple pane glass windows won't work reliably. The same is true for coated or "safety" glass. Refer to the manual for the exact glass break detector you are using to determine compatibility.

A single glass break detector can monitor multiple windows or display cases, as long as the glass it is monitoring is within its detection range, which is typically 15 to 25 feet. Any glass that is being monitored must have a direct line of sight with the sensor, with no obstacles blocking the path that sound will travel through. When testing your glass break sensors, it is strongly recommended that you us a glass break simulator. These devices will mimic the sound of the glass breaking and activate your glass break sensors without actually breaking any glass. Remember to refer the instructions of your glass break simulator for more information. When choosing a glass break simulator, it is best to use a simulator from the same manufacturer, if possible. We have a Honeywell Glass Break Simulator and a DSC Glass Break Simulator available on our website. If you get one of the 2GIG Glass Break Sensors mentioned in this buying guide, then the Honeywell Glass Break Simulator is best for testing. Otherwise, just match the manufacturer.

Below are some of our most popular glass break sensors:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
Honeywell SiXGB

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES SiX Series Glass Break Sensor for Lyric
DSC PG922

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG Glass Break Sensor
2GIG GB1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5853

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Non-encrypted glass break sensor for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Glass-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.

Reach Out to Us!


Remember that you can reach out to us with any questions you might have about planning your system and determining sensor compatibility. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid. Our team checks for new email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted By

Last week, we took a look at three of the best alarm panels in the industry. These were the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e. Today, we are checking out the sensors that you can add to support these systems. Here is our 2020 Security Sensor Buying Guide!

Sensors are accessories that are added to alarm systems to report specific activity. Each sensor has its own job of looking for a certain type of activity in its designated location. All of the sensors on a system communicate with a single centralized panel or hub. This panel is actively listening for any sensor that is triggered due to a potentially important system event. Adding new sensors is perhaps the best way to expand upon an existing system, and they make awesome gifts and stocking stuffers for the security enthusiast in your life.

Broadly speaking, sensors can be split into two main categories, which are security and life safety/environmental. Security sensors look for activity that suggests potentially unauthorized entry into a monitored and protected location, such as a door being opened, movement in a room where nobody is supposed to be present, or a window being broken. Life safety/environmental sensors look for activity associated with unwanted or potentially harmful conditions that affect the well-being of those in the area, such as a flood, an extreme temperature, a fire, or the presence of CO gas. We'll be taking a look at life safety/environmental sensors another time. Today, our focus is on security sensors.

Wireless Sensor Basics


Before we dive into specific security sensors for our top panel picks, we're going to start by giving you some general, generic information that can be applied to any sensor out there. First, understand that this post is focusing only on wireless sensors. These are almost always the sensors chosen for use with wireless alarm systems. Wired sensors can also technically be used with wireless panels but a converter module is almost always needed. Not to mention the fact that wireless sensors are significantly easier to install, especially for DIY users. The only time you will realistically see wired sensors used with a wireless panel is if a user is upgrading from an older wired system and bringing over their old wired sensors, or in new construction where a user wants to integrate the sensors in with the building. But if you're expanding upon a wireless system by getting new sensors, then the new sensors will almost certainly be wireless.

The important thing to remember when choosing wireless sensors for a wireless alarm panel is making sure the sensor is compatible with the system. It doesn't matter if a sensor has all the specs and features if it doesn't work with your panel! The way to determine compatibility is to look at the lineup that the sensor is from. Petty much every wireless sensor out there is part of a larger grouping of sensors that will all have the same compatibility.

To make it easier for you, we have the three panels we mentioned before (well, make that five, as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus actually comes in three versions), and all their compatible sensor lineups conveniently listed. We hope that this sheds some light on your options. The only caveat is that for any panel listed here that supports the Honeywell 5800 Sensors, we must be clear that this is only for the uni-directional sensors with one-way communication in the lineup. Any bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors with two-way communication will not work with any of the aforementioned systems. The bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors are only compatible with the Honeywell LYNX Touch and VISTA Systems, which were not included in our buying guides.

With that out of the way, here are compatible sensor lineups by system:

You will notice that some of the sensor groups listed above are italicized and underlined. That is done to identify the lineups of encrypted sensors. These encrypted sensors have special protection measures put in place to make them more secure and less prone to being hacked or defeated by malicious attacks. Encrypted sensors tend to have more restricted compatibility. They may follow a special enrollment process. Encrypted sensors often use bi-directional communication so that the sensor knows that it is actively paired with the system. Many encrypted sensors may only be paired with a single system at any given time, and the sensor will need to be deleted from its existing system before it will work with a new one.

It's okay to use non-encrypted sensors with your system, especially in zones that are less likely to trigger an alarm, like a second story window. Many users will opt to use a mixture of both encrypted and non-encrypted sensors. Other users feel comfortable using entirely non-encrypted sensors. It really comes down to your level of comfort. Non-encrypted sensors are secure in most situations, and they are still tricky to defeat. But going fully encrypted is recommended for anyone seeking maximum security. One tip if you do decide to go with some non-encrypted sensors is to avoid letting others know what wireless frequency your sensors use or what type of system you have installed. Knowing the frequency and the system being used makes it much easier for a savvy intruder to defeat a sensor.

Door & Window Alarm Sensors


Now that you know some basics that apply to almost all wireless sensors, let's start talking about specific types and models. Door and window sensors will let a system know when a door or window has been opened or closed. These are some of the most basic and easy to use sensors on a security system. These devices work by using a larger sensor portion and a smaller magnet portion. The sensor is placed on or inside the door or window frame, and the magnet is placed on or inside the moving portion of the door or window. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will move away from the sensor. This will trip a metal reed switch inside the sensor, which will tell the sensor to alert the system to the opened door or window. All of the sensors we've listed here follow that same method of operation.

Door and window sensors can be split into two (2) main categories. Surface-mount door and window sensors are mounted outside the door or window and its accompanying frame on the surface. The advantage to surface-mount door and window sensors is that they are very easy to install, and they can usually be mounted using double sided foam tape. But some users may not like how they are visible on the outside of the door or window. If you don't like the appearance of visible surface-mount door and window sensors, then you might instead consider recessed door and window sensors. A recessed door or window sensor is installed inside a door or window and its frame, so that it is hidden and cannot be seen from the outside. Recessed door and window sensors are more difficult and time-consuming to install, because you must drill holes in both the door or window and its accompanying frame. Whether you decide to use surface-mount door and window sensors, or recessed door and window sensors is up to you. Most DIY users and Alarm Grid customers in general will use surface-mount door and window sensors.

Now let's look at some door and window sensors.:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Installation
Notes
Honeywell SiXMINICT

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 200 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES Surface-Mount Premier mini encrypted door/window Sensor for Lyric.
DSC PG9303

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG encrypted surface mount door/window sensor.
DSC PG9307

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus
2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Recessed PowerG encrypted recessed door/window sensor.
2GIG DW10e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 2GIG
2GIG DW20e

2GIG eSeries
2GIG GC3e
350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 2GIG
Qolsys IQ DW Mini-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ 2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5818MNL

Honeywell
5800 Series
Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Recessed Non-Encrypted recessed door/window sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-2GIG

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-GE

Legacy GE 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
VERSA-DSC

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 433 MHz systems.

We also want to share a selection of outdoor door and window sensors with you. These surface-mount contact sensors are specifically designed to withstand the conditions of an outdoor environment, including intense rain, wind, dust, and sunlight. You can see them listed below.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Installation Notes
Honeywell 5816OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 5800 Series.
DSC PG9312

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG Outdoor Contact Sensor.
2GIG DW30-345

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 350 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 2GIG 345 MHz series.

Motion Sensors


Motion sensors use passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect movement within the sensor's coverage area. This is done by looking for the changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur when a person, animal, or object comes within the sensor's field of view. Standard motion sensors are typically PIR only. These are appropriately called PIR motion sensors.

Some motion sensors will also use microwave technology in addition to PIR technology. This involves having the sensor send out microwave signals and seeing how the signals bounce off of objects in the area. Movement will change the pattern of these microwave signals, and the sensor will be able to detect this. These motion sensors that use both microwave and PIR are called Dual-Tech motion sensors. The purpose of using both PIR and microwave together is to prevent false alarms. A Dual-Tech motion sensor will only activate and alert the system if both its PIR sensor and its microwave sensor are triggered. A microwave sensor is not vulnerable to the same environmental issues that may cause a false activation on a PIR. You will not find a motion sensor that uses microwave technology without PIR detection, as microwave alone would result in too many false alarms without having PIR to confirm movement.

One feature that you will often see listed on a motion sensor is pet-immunity. A motion sensor that has been set up for pet immunity can be configured to not "look" in the areas close to the ground where pets and small animals walk. Instead, the motion sensor only looks in the areas higher up, where humans move while walking upright. A pet immune motion sensor is not impervious to small animals, and you must position it carefully so that it works as intended. Pet immune motion sensors normally have a weight limit, where animals under that weight limit should avoid triggering the sensor, assuming that the sensor is installed properly. Please note that most pet friendly motion sensors will require you to set the sensitivity for the sensor to the lowest possible setting.

When it comes to motion sensors, mounting them carefully is very important. A motion sensor may cause false alarms on the system if it is not installed properly. These sensors should not be facing any vents, air ducts, ceiling fans, or curtains that may cause the sensor to activate without any movement. If you are using the motion sensor for pet immunity, then it should also not be facing any furniture or stairwells that your pet could use to get within the sensor's field of view. You will likely want to perform a Walk Test of your motion sensor to make sure that it responds properly when movement is present, and does not respond due to other external factors when there is no movement. You should also have any pets participate in the Walk Test to ensure that pet immunity is working properly.

We recommend reading the following FAQs to learn more about motion sensors:

Below are some of the most popular motion sensors for our recommended systems:

Sensor Name Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
Honeywell SiXPIR

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES 40 by 56 Feet
PIR Up to 80 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for Lyric.
DSC PG9914

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 39 Feet PIR Up to 85 lbs PowerG Encrypted PIR Motion.
DSC PG9984P

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 50 Feet Dual-Tech Up to 40 lbs PowerG Encrypted Dual-Tech Motion.
2GIG PIR1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
30 by 50 Feet PIR Up to 55 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 80 lbs Non-encrypted residential PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5800PIR-COM

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz, IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 60 by 80 Feet PIR None Non-encrypted commercial PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5898

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet for Pet Immunity Dual-Tech Up to 100 lbs Non-encrypted Dual-Tech motion for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Motion-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption 30 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs Non-encrypted PIR motion for 319.5 MHz systems.

There are also certain outdoor motion detection sensors that are better-suited for use in an outdoor environment. These outdoor motion sensor models are typically more expensive than indoor variants. You can see some of our most popular ones listed below:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
DSC PG9994

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 30 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs PowerG Outdoor PIR Motion Sensor
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 1st ed.
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD2

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 2nd ed.
Optex FTN-RRIX

Legacy Interlogix 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 319.5 MHz Systems
Optex FTN-RR2G

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 345 MHz Systems.
Optex FTN-RRDS

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 433 MHz Systems.

Glass Break Sensors

The last type of security sensors we will be discussing are glass break sensors. These sensors include built-in microphones, and they actively listen for the unique sound of glass breaking. Most of these sensors will need to hear both the high-pitched shattering sound of the glass breaking, as well as the low-pitched sound of an object striking against the glass in order to activate. This design choice is to prevent false alarms caused by similar sounds. Most users will use glass break sensors to monitor windows, but they have also been known to work effectively on protective glass display cases that store valuables, such as what you might find in jewelry stores or gun shops. Most types of glass will work with glass break sensors, though there are some exceptions. For example double and triple pane glass windows won't work reliably. The same is true for coated or "safety" glass. Refer to the manual for the exact glass break detector you are using to determine compatibility.

A single glass break detector can monitor multiple windows or display cases, as long as the glass it is monitoring is within its detection range, which is typically 15 to 25 feet. Any glass that is being monitored must have a direct line of sight with the sensor, with no obstacles blocking the path that sound will travel through. When testing your glass break sensors, it is strongly recommended that you us a glass break simulator. These devices will mimic the sound of the glass breaking and activate your glass break sensors without actually breaking any glass. Remember to refer the instructions of your glass break simulator for more information. When choosing a glass break simulator, it is best to use a simulator from the same manufacturer, if possible. We have a Honeywell Glass Break Simulator and a DSC Glass Break Simulator available on our website. If you get one of the 2GIG Glass Break Sensors mentioned in this buying guide, then the Honeywell Glass Break Simulator is best for testing. Otherwise, just match the manufacturer.

Below are some of our most popular glass break sensors:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
Honeywell SiXGB

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES SiX Series Glass Break Sensor for Lyric
DSC PG922

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG Glass Break Sensor
2GIG GB1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5853

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Non-encrypted glass break sensor for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Glass-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.

Reach Out to Us!


Remember that you can reach out to us with any questions you might have about planning your system and determining sensor compatibility. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid. Our team checks for new email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We're here with another Alarm Grid Tip. We're going to cover the proper technique for mounting your door alarm sensors. Many people have trouble getting a faulted zone to disappear when their sensors are not aligned properly. Mounting your sensors correctly will fix this issue.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

First, It's important to understand how door and window contacts work. There are two (2) parts. These are a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is the larger component and usually represents the listed product dimensions. The magnet is the smaller component. In a proper installation, the sensor (larger) should be mounted on the door frame. The magnet (smaller) should be mounted on the actual door. Ideally, the magnet and the sensor should be in direct contact when the door is closed. The magnet should also be aligned with the metal reed switch inside the sensor. The sensor will most likely have indentations to indicate the location of the reed switch.

The idea is that when the door is closed, the magnet will be in contact with the sensor. This is why these sensors are often called "contacts". When the door is opened, the magnet will become separated from the sensor. This will release its internal metal reed switch. When this happens, the sensor will transmit a signal to the alarm control panel. The system will respond based on the programming settings for the corresponding zone.

When you mount your door contacts, you should make sure that the magnet and the sensor are in proper alignment when the door is closed. If not, then the reed switch inside the sensor will stay open. As a result, the zone will still be shown as faulted on the panel. You want proper alignment so that the zone functions consistently. Whenever the door is opened, the zone should appear as faulted. If it's closed, then you should not see any faults.

Walk testing your contacts is extremely important! This is the best way to make sure that the sensor and magnet are in proper alignment. Sure, it might pass the eyeball test, but does it pass the system test? Always, always, always test your equipment! We don't care if you are a novice DIYer or a seasoned professional installer - your job is not finished until you have completed the walk test.

Again, the ideal door sensor and magnet will be IN DIRECT CONTACT when the door is closed. This will provide the best possible results. We have seen customers stack multiple pieces of double-sided foam tape to make this happen. This is pretty unusual, but it works! It might look funny if you have to do that, but it will get the job done! As long as the sensor and magnet are in correct alignment, then the sensor will work.

If you absolutely must leave the contact and magnet separated, do not do so from more than one-half (0.5) of an inch, unless the manual specifically says that the sensor-magnet gap can be further. And make sure to test extra thoroughly if you decide to try and get these sensors to work with a wider magnet spacing.

Also remember to check sensor for indentations that indicate which side to place the magnet. If you are unsure, then check the device manual. Many answers can be found in the installation instructions. Unfortunately, many end users choose to ignore them. Read the manual!

Keep in mind that some door sensors may be equipped with LED lights that help the installer make sure that the sensor and magnet are indeed in proper alignment. If your sensor has this feature, then definitely use it! This is an easy and convenient way to make sure they are aligned correctly. Check your device manual for more information. An example of a door sensor that is equipped with this feature is the Honeywell 5800MINI.

Below is an example of what a properly installed contact looks like. In this case, it is the 2GIG DW10. Note how the sensor and the magnet are in direct contact and properly aligned. Normally, the battery tab at the bottom of the sensor would be removed, but for this example, it's okay.


We hope this tip has been helpful for anyone setting up their first alarm system. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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A couple of weeks ago, we released a complete guide to door contact sensors. Today, we're taking a look at alarm window contacts. Admittedly, there's not much difference between door sensors and window sensors. Many can be used interchangeably. But there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qsFirst, let's review how alarm contacts actually work. It is the same general process for both doors and windows. These devices consist of two portions, those being a sensor and a magnet. When the sensor and magnet are in direct contact or very close proximity, a reed switch inside the sensor will remain closed. Once the magnet becomes separated from the sensor, the reed switch will be released, and the sensor will know to alert the system to let it know that the structure has been opened.

The key with window contacts is to place them so that when the window is opened, the magnet and the sensor will become separated. But when the structure is closed, the sensor are magnet will remain in direct or near-direct contact. It is almost always recommended to place the sensor on the stationary frame of the window and the magnet on the moving portion of the window that is opened and closed. This will prevent the more valuable sensor from being pushed around and potentially damaged. The magnet is designed to take much more abuse and use than the sensor itself. Positioning the sensor this way will also make it easier to wire the sensor if a hardwired contact is being used.

Honeywell 951wg wh 3 slash 8 diameter miniature recessed contactOne special note with window contacts is that they are only designed to let a system know when a window has been opened normally. If an intruder smashes a window to gain entry, they will avoid activating a window contact, as long as the sensor remains in contact with its magnet. This means that they might be able to gain entry without setting off an alarm. Fortunately, there are two other types of sensors that can be used to alert an alarm system to a broken window. These are glass break sensors and shock sensors. Glass break sensors detect the audible sound of a window being broken, while shock sensors detect the physical vibrations associated with a broken window. However, these sensors are used for intrusion support only. Unlike a standard window contact, they will not let the user know if the window has merely been left open by accident. But they are still recommended for users who want to know if a window has been broken. We generally prefer glass break sensors over shock sensors, since they tend to work more reliably. It can also be helpful to use monition detection sensors alongside standard window contacts to detect any movement in the building.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

Just like door sensors, window sensors can be either surface-mounted or recessed. Another major distinction is whether they are wireless or hardwired. So really, window sensors can be grouped into four major types. These are wireless surface-mounted, wireless recessed, hardwired surface-mounted and hardwired recessed. Choosing the perfect variation for your window and the type of installation you want to perform is crucial for success. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to decide on the perfect type of window sensor for your needs.

Simply put, surface-mounted sensors are installed on the exterior surface of the window and its frame. This means that they will be visible when looking at window. However, these sensors are usually very small and discreet, so they won't normally be drawing direct attention to themselves. A major advantage to surface-mounted sensors is that they are very easy to install, since no holes necessarily need to be drilled. Instead, many surface-mounted sensors and magnets can be mounted using double-sided foam tape.

The other option is to use recessed sensors. These sensors are hidden inside the window and its frame so that they are out of view. To do this, holes must be drilled into both the window and its frame for the magnet and sensor. Using recessed sensors for windows is somewhat less common than it is for doors. This is because some windows don't have an effective solution for drilling a hole to insert a magnet. Additionally, some window manufacturers put disclaimers stating that drilling holes into the window will void its warranty. But if the window has space for a hole to be drilled so that the magnet can be accommodated, then a recessed window sensor can certainly work. Please note that recessed plunger switches aren't normally used with windows, but there's no definitive reason why they couldn't work in certain situations.

A special mention needs to go to the Honeywell 5800Micra. This is a recessed alarm contact specifically designed for use with windows. The advantage to the 5800Micra is that only one hole needs to be made in the window frame for the sensor. The magnet is small enough that it can be surface-mounted on the side or bottom of the window. It uses an adhesive backing to remain securely in place. This is a great way to achieve a recessed installation without having to void the manufacturer's warranty for your window. Please note that the Honeywell 5800Micra is a wireless sensor that operates at 345 MHz. It is part of the Honeywell 5800 Series, and it will only work with compatible systems.

Honeywell 5800micra wireless recessed window contactUsers must also decide between wireless and hardwired sensors for their windows. Wireless sensors are much easier to install, since no wires need to be run. They are the recommended option for almost any DIY installer. Assuming that you have a wireless system with a wireless receiver, there is almost certainly a contact that will work for you. Just make sure that the sensor operates at a frequency that is compatible with your panel. The most common wireless frequencies at 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz and 915 MHz. Additionally, the encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Contacts, the Honeywell SiXCT and Honeywell SiXMINICT operate at 2.4 GHz WIFI.

If you go with hardwired contacts, the installation will be more challenging, since wires must be run. This can sometimes be an impossible task for the typical DIY user. However, there are two distinct advantages that make hardwired window sensors suitable for certain applications. For one, having them integrate with the building can add to the property value. Users also appreciate the fact that they never need to replace batteries for hardwired sensors.

Below is a table that outlines many of the window contacts available for purchase on the Alarm Grid site. It's actually the same as the one posted for our door contacts guide, only with some minor tweaks for windows. Make special note of the Honeywell 5800Micra at the very bottom!

Sensor Name
Communication Frequency
Surface-Mounted or Recessed
Special Notes
VERSA-GE 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but for 319.5 MHz Systems.
VERSA-2GIG 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughercard.
Honeywell 5800MINI
345 MHz Surface-Mounted Very popular slim sensor that is used with Honeywell Systems.
Honeywell SiXMINICT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. It is smaller and more discreet than the similar SiXCT, but offers less range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Honeywell SiXCT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. Larger than the SiXMINICT, but offers superior range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Mini version of IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 5818MNL 345 MHz Recessed Recessed sensor from Honeywell 5800 Series. Requires 0.75" diameter hole that is 3" deep to be drilled in the window frame. Hole must also be drilled into the window for the magnet.
Honeywell 5820L 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim Line sensor that is great for applications that require a thinner sensor.
2GIG DW10 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Door contact designed by 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
Honeywell 5816 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Honeywell's most popular wireless sensor! Also includes a wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device.
DSC PG9945 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG Sensor with up to 2km range. Also features an auxiliary input and wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ Door Window-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Larger version of IQ DW MINI-S.
Interlogix TX-E221 319.5 MHz Recessed Relatively standard recessed sensor that works with 319.5 MHz systems.
2GIG DW20R 345 MHz Recessed Recessed contact from 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
DSC PG9975 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG vanishing surface-mounted contact with thin profile. Great for any standard application where PowerG Sensors are supported.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S 319.5 MHz Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor from Qolsys. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor.
Qolsys IQ Mini 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Standard door and window contact from Qolsys. Same as IQ DW MINI-S, but without encryption features.
DSC WS4945 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Surface-mounted door contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
DSC EV-DW4975 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim line version of DSC WS4945.
DSC EV-DW4917 433 MHz Recessed Recessed contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
Qolsys IQ DW Standard 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Unencrypted version of Qolsys IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 951WG Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with leads. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell PAL-T Hardwired Surface-Mounted Currently the smallest hardwired surface-mounted contact offered from Alarm Grid.
Honeywell 7939WG Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell 944T Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell 944TSP Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/4" in diameter.
Honeywell 7939-2 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Basically same as Honeywell 7939WG, but is Form C for normally closed or normally open wiring.
Honeywell 940 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell MPS5 Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 1/4".
Honeywell 944SP Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 3/4".

Honeywell 5800Micra 345 MHz Recessed One of our favorite recessed contacts, designed exclusively for windows! Magnet is surface-mounted and does not require a drilled hole. This can allow for a recessed installation without voiding the warranty for the window.

If you need any help deciding on the perfect window sensor, do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We also encourage you to check out our monitoring page for more information about the services we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Door contacts represent some of the most popular sensors that are used with alarm systems. Nearly every setup will incorporate these devices in some form. After all, knowing when a door has been opened is critical for most systems. But there is a lot to consider when choosing door contacts.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensor

A door sensor is a device that is used to let an alarm control panel know when a door has been opened. When this happens, the system will respond depending on panel's current arming state and the programming settings for the zone. Some popular responses for door contacts include requiring a system disarm within the entry delay period, producing a simple chime and triggering an immediate alarm. These responses are present with virtually any door contact and system setup. A previous blog post of ours actually covers the Response Types for door sensors in greater detail. We recommend checking out that post for more information. But while the general functionality is the same across almost any contact, selecting the best option for your system might seem overwhelming.

Perhaps the first thing you should consider is whether you want a hardwired contact or a wireless contact. A wired contact will communicate with the panel through a direct hardwired connection. A wireless contact will communicate with the panel through wireless RF signals. The advantage to a wireless sensor is that it will be much easier to set up, since no wires will need to be run from the system to the sensor. But some users prefer hardwired sensors, as they essentially become a fixture for the building itself. Another advantage to hardwired contacts is that they don't use batteries. This means that a user will never have to buy new batteries for their hardwired contact. There are all types of door sensors in both the hardwired and wireless variety.

If you choose a hardwired contact, you will need to have a hardwired zone available on your system. Most hardwired contacts can be used with nearly any system that supports hardwired sensors. On the other hand, if you choose a wireless contact, you will need to have a wireless zone available. You will also need to make sure the wireless contact communicates at an RF frequency that is compatible with your system. Knowing which wireless RF signals are accepted by your alarm system is very important for getting sensors to work properly. Some of the most popular RF signals used by alarm systems include 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz, 915 MHz and 2.4 GHz. Remember to always make sure the wireless door contact you choose operates at a frequency that works with your alarm system!

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qs

Honeywell pal t wh surface mount door contact and window contact

Another major distinction for door contacts is whether they are surface-mounted or recessed. A surface-mounted contact is visible on the outside of the door. A recessed contact is hidden inside the door and its frame. As a general rule, surface-mounted contacts are easier to install, since no holes need to be drilled. But the advantage to recessed contacts is that the end result can appear neater, since no sensor will be visible. We generally recommend that users installed surface-mounted sensors, due to the fact that they are easier to install and generally offer more reliable performance.

With that in mind, door sensors can be assigned to one of four major categories. These are wireless surface-mounted contacts, wireless recessed contacts, hardwired surface-mounted contacts and hardwired recessed contacts. Regardless of which category a door contact is assigned, these devices generally all work in the same way. Most door contacts consist of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is installed on the stationary portion of the door frame, while the magnet installed on the moving portion of the door. In most cases, the magnet must be within a half-inch of the sensor. Placing the sensor itself on the stationary portion of the door helps prevent it from being damaged when the door is opened or closed. Once the door is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. The sensor will then alert the system to let it know that the door has been opened. Please note that there are a few door sensors that are exceptions to this general operation. Namely, recessed sensors that use a plunger switch, like the wireless Honeywell 5800RPS and the hardwired Honeywell 956RPT.

Honeywell 5818mnl wireless recessed door sensor and window sensoBefore we get into general door contacts that would be used for most applications, we want to make special mention of some more unique sensors that would be used for specific setups. Honeywell offers many hardwired wide-gap contacts that can be used with garage doors and industrial applications. The advantage to these sensors is that they can utilize a much larger spacing gap between the sensor and magnet than what is possible with standard door contacts. We have seen some industrial contacts where the spacing gap can be up to 2.5 inches. That's five times the recommended maximum spacing gap for standard door contacts! Some examples of these industrial-grade hardwired contacts include the Honeywell 958, the Honeywell 968XTP, the Honeywell 959, the Honeywell 958-2, the Honeywell 950W, the Honeywell 960 and the Honeywell 7945. Many of these industrial-grade contacts are also suitable for outdoor use. Another option for a garage door is to use a tilt sensor, like the Honeywell 5822T or an Interlogix TX-E401.

But if a user requires a wireless contact for an outdoor application, there only option is really the Honeywell 5816OD. This wireless contact offers a recommended maximum spacing gap of 1.5" inches, and it is great for use with fences and outside doors. It has a nominal range of 200 feet when used with most systems. As a 345 MHz Sensor from the Honeywell 5800 Series, it will work with nearly any Honeywell Alarm System.

Honeywell 5816od wireless outdoor door and window sensor topIf you don't require an industrial or an outdoor contact, you will most likely be able use a relatively standard contact with your alarm system. We prepared a table below that outlines many of the most popular and widely used door contacts sold by Alarm Grid. Please note that not every contact is included - there would be too many to list! But this is a good chart to help you find the perfect sensor for your system.

Sensor Name
Communication Frequency
Surface-Mounted or Recessed
Special Notes
VERSA-GE 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but for 319.5 MHz Systems.
VERSA-2GIG 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughercard.
Honeywell 5800MINI
345 MHz Surface-Mounted Very popular slim sensor that is used with Honeywell Systems.
Honeywell SiXMINICT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. It is smaller and more discreet than the similar SiXCT, but offers less range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Honeywell SiXCT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. Larger than the SiXMINICT, but offers superior range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Mini version of IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 5818MNL 345 MHz Recessed Recessed sensor from Honeywell 5800 Series. Requires 0.75" diameter hole that is 3" deep to be drilled in the door frame.
Honeywell 5820L 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim Line sensor that is great for applications that require a thinner sensor.
2GIG DW10 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Door contact designed by 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
Honeywell 5816 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Honeywell's most popular wireless sensor! Also includes a wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device.
DSC PG9945 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG Sensor with up to 2km range. Also features an auxiliary input and wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ Door Window-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Larger version of IQ DW MINI-S.
Interlogix TX-E221 319.5 MHz Recessed Relatively standard recessed sensor that works with 319.5 MHz systems.
2GIG DW20R 345 MHz Recessed Recessed contact from 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
DSC PG9975 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG vanishing surface-mounted contact with thin profile. Great for any standard application where PowerG Sensors are supported.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S 319.5 MHz Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor from Qolsys. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor.
Qolsys IQ Mini 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Standard door and window contact from Qolsys. Same as IQ DW MINI-S, but without encryption features.
DSC WS4945 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Surface-mounted door contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
DSC EV-DW4975 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim line version of DSC WS4945.
DSC EV-DW4917 433 MHz Recessed Recessed door contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
Qolsys IQ DW Standard 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Unencrypted version of Qolsys IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 951WG Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with leads. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell PAL-T Hardwired Surface-Mounted Currently the smallest hardwired surface-mounted contact offered from Alarm Grid.
Honeywell 7939WG Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell 944T Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell 944TSP Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/4" in diameter.
Honeywell 7939-2 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Basically same as Honeywell 7939WG, but is Form C for normally closed or normally open wiring.
Honeywell 940 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell MPS5 Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 1/4".
Honeywell 944SP Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 3/4".

If you're still having trouble deciding on the perfect door contact for your alarm system, our experts are always happy to help. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Honeywell is known for producing some outstanding security equipment, and their wireless door and window contacts are no exception. With wireless contacts available from both the 5800 Series lineup and the SiX Series lineup, there are certainly some great options. But with all the possibilities, it might seem overwhelming if you are just getting started. This guide will help you choose the perfect wireless Honeywell door and window contact for your needs.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorFirst, a user should understand exactly how a door and window contact works. Almost every wireless Honeywell door and window contact functions using the exact same principles. These devices consist of a sensor and magnet. The sensor is the "brains" of the operation, and it is responsible for sending signals to the alarm system. It is typically installed on or inside the door or window frame. The magnet is installed on or inside the door or window itself. The only wireless Honeywell contact that does not use a magnet is the Honeywell 5800RPS. This is a wireless recessed sensor for doors only that operates using a plunger switch.

For proper operation, the device's magnet should be installed very close to the sensor. We usually recommend placing it within a half-inch of the sensor. However, some 5800 Series contacts, like the 5816OD, can function properly with a slightly larger spacing gap. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. When this happens, the sensor will send a signal to the alarm system so that the programmed Response Type can be performed.

It's also important to know the system compatibilities for the different Honeywell wireless contacts. Their wireless contacts come from two different sensor lineups. These are the 5800 Series and the SiX Series. The 5800 Series contacts are unidirectional devices that operate at 345 MHz. This makes them compatible with any Honeywell System or 2GIG System. But the SiX Series contacts are bi-directional, fully encrypted sensors that communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI. These sensors only work with Honeywell Lyric Systems.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you have a Honeywell Lyric Controller, then you can choose between any Honeywell wireless contact on the market. But if you have a LYNX Touch or a VISTA System with an added wireless receiver, then you are restricted to the 5800 Series contacts. Additionally, if you are using a 2GIG GC3 or a 2GIG GC2, then you can use either 2GIG Contacts or Honeywell 5800 Series contacts. Any alarm systems that do not accept the 345 MHz frequency are unable to use Honeywell contacts.

The only two contacts in the Honeywell SiX Series Lineup are the Honeywell SiXCT and the Honeywell SiXMINICT. These are both wireless, surface-mount sensors that work exclusively with Honeywell Lyric Systems. What makes these sensors special is that they feature 128-bit AES encryption. Whenever the sensor sends a command to the Lyric System, the system must then send a secure response back to the sensor. The command will only go through if this secure response is received. Many security experts refer to this as a "digital handshake", and it is excellent for preventing any hacking attempts or wireless attacks.

The SiXCT and the SiXMINICT do have a few slight differences. Most notably, the SiXMINICT is smaller and more compact than the SiXCT. The SiXCT measures at 3.13”L x 1.61”W x 1"D, while the SiXMINICT measures at 2.44”L x 1.25”W x .45”D. So users who want a smaller sensors should go with the SiXMINICT. But the benefit of the SiXCT is that it features a larger wireless range (~300 feet) than the SiXMINICT (~200 feet). However, only users with particularly large properties should have to worry about signal range. One thing that these sensors do share in common is that they can both be batch-enrolled with the Lyric Controller.

  • Honeywell SiXCT - The standard SiX Series contact. Features a 300 foot range and encryption. Will only work with Lyric Systems.
  • Honeywell SiXMINICT - The more compact SiX Series contact. Provides a 200 foot range and encryption. For Lyric Systems only.

Honeywell sixct wireless door slash window contact for lyric conHoneywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

But the SiX Series contacts aren't for everyone. For one, they will only work with the Lyric Systems. There are also no recessed contacts in the SiX Series lineup. Users who don't have a Lyric Controller or want a recessed sensor should look to the Honeywell 5800 Series instead. This is an incredibly diverse sensor lineup that has an appropriate contact option for virtually any situation. Any Honeywell or 2GIG System will work with these sensors. This includes any Lyric Controller, L7000, L5210, VISTA P-Series, 2GIG GC3, 2GIG GC2 and more. Most 5800 Series contacts feature a 150-200 foot wireless range that can be effectively doubled with the use of a 5800RP Wireless Repeater.

Honeywell l7000 wireless home security system with 7 inch screenHoneywell 5800rp wireless repeater

When selecting a 5800 Series Sensor, a user will choose between a surface-mount contact and a recessed contact. With a surface-mount contact, the sensor and the magnet are mounted on the outer surface of the door or window and its frame. But with a recessed contact, the sensor and magnet are installed inside the door or window and its frame. Surface-mount sensors are very easy to install, since they only require screws or double-sided foam tape. But the sensor will be visible on the outside of the door. Recessed sensors are more difficult to install since holes will need to be drilled. However, some users will appreciate the fact that recessed sensors are hidden.

For users who go with a surface-mount sensor there are certainly some great options in the 5800 Series. One of our favorites is the 5800MINI. This is a reliable sensor that boasts an impressive 200 foot range, despite its small size of just 2.2"H x 1"W x 0.25"D. This is arguably the best surface-mount contact in the Honeywell 5800 Series.

  • Honeywell 5800MINI - A small and discreet surface-mount contact. Offers a 200 foot wireless range. Great for almost any application.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

But there are other surface-mount options than just the 5800MIIN. The 5816 is the most popular sensor that Honeywell has ever offered. It features a larger size and roughly the same range as the 5800MINI. But unlike the 5800MINI, the 5816 can be used as a wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device. Honeywell also offers the 5820L Slim Line for narrow installations and the 5816OD for outdoor use.

  • Honeywell 5816 - Honeywell's most popular sensor. Can also be used as a wireless transmitter for a single NC hardwired device.
  • Honeywell 5820L - A slim line door and window contact that is great for narrow applications. Features a 150-foot range.
  • Honeywell 5816OD - A surface-mount contact for outdoor installations. Excellent for monitoring fences, sheds and detached garages.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensorHoneywell 5816od wireless outdoor door and window sensor top


Honeywell also offers some less popular 5800 Series contacts. These include the 5811 (discontinued), the 5814, the 5815 and the 5816MN (discontinued). While these sensors will work just fine, there isn't really any reason to choose them over another 5800 Series contact.

  • Honeywell 5811 - A small and discreet sensor that has since been discontinued. Replaced by the Honeywell 5800MINI.
  • Honeywell 5814 - Another compact sensor option. It is not as robust as the 5800MINI. Its wireless range is only about 100 feet.
  • Honeywell 5815 - An aesthetically pleasing surface-mount contact that has roughly the same functionality as the 5816.
  • Honeywell 5816MN - A discreet surface mount sensor that has been discontinued. Replaced by the Honeywell 5816MN.

Honeywell 5814 wireless small door sensor and window sensorHoneywell 5815 white wireless aesthetic door sensor and window s

There are also several great recessed contacts in the 5800 Series. The Honeywell 5818MNL is a relatively standard recessed contact that can be used with almost any door or window. It features a 200-foot range, and the installation only requires minor drilling. The Honeywell 5800Micra is a recessed contact for windows only. It is a very small sensor with an attached antenna for sending wireless signals. Finally there's the 5800RPS, which uses a plunger switch instead of a sensor and magnet. This sensor can only be used with doors. When the door is closed, the plunger switch will be pressed in. Once the door is opened, the plunger switch will come out and activate the sensor.

  • Honeywell 5818MNL - A standard recessed contact for doors and windows. It is easy to install, and it has a 200 foot range.
  • Honeywell 5800Micra - A small recessed contact for windows only. Its antenna must be adjusted carefully when installing.
  • Honeywell 5800RPS - A recessed sensor that uses a plunger switch instead of a magnet. For use with doors only.

Honeywell 5818mnl wireless recessed door sensor and window sensoHoneywell 5800micra wireless recessed window contact

Alarm Grid has previously discussed the batteries used with door sensors. We recommend checking out that blog post for more information on which batteries to use with a door and window sensor. If you ever need any additional help choosing a Honeywell door and window contact for your DIY wireless alarm system, please feel free to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also contact one of our technical specialists by calling 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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Honeywell has discontinued the 5811 sensor and magnet. This popular sensor is the unit that has always been sent out with our most popular kits. It has been replaced by the Honeywell 5800MINI, a smaller, slightly sleeker device with a number of added benefits and improved range.

While not as common in the field as the 5816, the 5811s have, to date, been the contact that anyone looking for a small profile unit have purchased. And while not as thin as the 5820Ls, which are perfect for applications where a window has a very small lip, the discreet 5811 sensors are a well-loved mainstay of the Honeywell line. We are sad to see them go, but are excited about the new 5800MINIs that have replaced them.

For those ordering kits, our images show the old sensor. You will, however, from now on, be receiving the 5800MINIs. We'll be replacing the product shots in short order, but for now, please be aware of the change.


Unfortunately, for those looking to replace old 5811 sensors with new 5811 sensors, we are completely out of stock as is Honeywell. The new 5800MINIs should suffice.

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This week, Josh from Connecticut had a pretty standard question a lot of us have before purchasing any wireless products: how long will the battery last?

Specifically, he wanted to know how long the battery in the Honeywell 5811 last. The Honeywell 5811 is a wafer thin door and window sensor that isn't as clunky as its counterpart, the 5816. It's button battery may be small, but it is very very effective.

While the answer to this question is obviously based on usage, I tried my best to answer Josh with a general estimate based on Honeywell specifications and average lifespans on Honeywell CR2032 3V lithium batteries as well as our personal experience with these sensors.

Watch the video below:


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We are proud to announce the addition of the Honeywell 702 and the Honeywell 5899 to Alarm Grid's product offering.

The Honeywell 702 is a self-contained alarm siren that can be used with any wired alarm control panel. Of course, as it is a Honeywell siren, it is recommended that you use it with a Honeywell wired alarm control panel such as any of the VISTA Series alarm control panels. The siren has dual channels so that it can sound a steady alarm and/or a warble alarm. It is also weatherproof which makes it ideal for anyone looking to install a siren outside their home.

The Honeywell 5899 is a replacement magnet designed for the Honeywell 5816 wireless contacts, however you can use the 5899 magnets with nearly any door or window sensor. If you have lost a magnet from your door and window sensor, the 5899 is a great option. Also, the 5899 are great for venting windows which require (2) magnets for each window sensor. To vent the window you simply mount one magnet at the bottom of the window and another magnet a few inches up the window. You then mount the window sensor on the frame across from the top magnet. When the window is closed, the top magnet and the window contact are aligned and when the window is open a few inches, the window contact is aligned with the bottom contact. Now you can have your security system armed and still get a nice breeze flowing throughout your home.

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