Designing my Home Security System: Picking Door, Window and Motion Sensors

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So now that our fearless leader is hitched and I'm not off to any weddings, it's time to return to what I'm sure is everyone's favorite part of Friday: the Owner DIY Blog!

As I introduced in my blog post two weeks ago, I have a Honeywell LYNX L5100  system installed in my home. But it didn't just install itself. I'm here to document how we did it!

So a little background on my house. Like many people in Florida who hate putting up shutters on their second floor, I have high impact Hurricane windows and doors.  


And I don't just have them. I have a LOT of them. Being an older, remodeled home, I have them in all shapes and sizes. French doors, sliding glass doors, and way too many windows.

So when it came time to designing my security system, we had to put a lot of thought into picking the right door and window sensors.

First, let's consider the windows. There's a ton of them and clearly we want to protect that method of entry. 

Since there's over 40 of them (many of the windows are double-hung and multiple panels per opening), we had to rule out wireless window sensors. Even at those affordable Alarm Grid prices, they're unrealistic in that quantity.

We couldn't even use glass break detectors. Impact glass functions a lot like bullet proof glass. It won't shatter and set off the detectors.

So we settled on a few motion detectors placed cleverly throughout the house. Luckily since my manly 9 pound Shih Tzu just squeezes under the 80 lb limit of the Honeywell 5800PIR-RESthe choice of which one to use was obvious.

Need help installing yours? We have a great Honeywell 5800PIR-RES installation video.

With three of those placed in rooms with entryways and hallways outside the rest of the rooms, it was time to move on to the doors. Oh the many doors.

Since I'm a snob, I knew the standard and popular Honeywell 5816 just wasn't thin enough for me. I needed the slightly more expensive, but way more discreet Honeywell 5811.

For the many sliding glass doors, I needed to install two door sensors per door because the doors could open from either direction. Looking for help? We have a great video showing how to install door sensors on a sliding glass door.

For the French doors / double front door? Luckily, one side was a dummy / passive door that locked into the frame. We were able to get away with just one sensor on the active side. Again, we have a great French door installation video for the 5811.

Any questions or concerns on how to design your security system? Next up we'll go over some of the cool stuff we did with Z-Wave. 

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