Recently we got the chance to take a look at an awesome door and window sensor for our smart home setup guide. It’s called the Sensative (yes that is spelt correctly) Strips Guard and is a pretty unique and awesome door and window sensor that can be hidden within your door or window and uses Z-Wave technology to link to your smart home application.

We talked about that process with Home Assistant here.

That process is actually really easy.

Before you pop the Strips Guard where you want it, you want to link it with your Z-Wave controller or gateway, which can be really easy because the Strips Guard ships in an auto-add mode, which makes it really easy to get set up and go right out of the box.

Just don’t do what I did and don’t remove the magnets before you have started the inclusion mode on your Z-Wave gateway. Instead, follow these instructions to get set up right out of the box:

  • Start the inclusion mode on your gateway.
  • Remove both of the magnets from your Strips Guard.
  • The LED on the strips should blink twice to confirm that it has begun the process of inclusion.
  • The LED should then show a long LED blink if the process was successful.
  • To be sure, check if Strips Guard is shown in your controller and then move the rectangular magnet to see if it shows an open/close message.

If you did the wrong thing then you will have to pair the Strips Guard manually. Thankfully, that process is pretty easy and are:

  • Start the inclusion/add mode on your gateway
  • Grab the round magnet at the rounded edge of Strips
  • The LED should blink, after that, you should see the Guard’s LED blink.
  • You need to repeat that process 3 times with 10 seconds.
  • The LED should then show a long LED blink if the process was successful.
  • To be sure, check if Strips Guard is shown in your controller and then move the rectangular magnet to see if it shows an open/close message.

The hard part is putting the Strips Guard in the place that you want it.

One of the biggest features of the Strips Guard is its size. It is just about 3mm thin and that means that it can fit just about anywhere within your door, especially since the unit is also sealed, so it will work great both inside and outside of your home.

The problem comes with what your door might contain and getting the main unit of the Guard aligned with the magnet.

I had to move the unit and the magnet around a bit because of the metal around the edge of my door, which stopped the Strips Guard from communicating with the magnet. I ended up placing it at the top of my door, which was actually better than the side because it was even more hidden.

That did lead me to my second problem though.

The Strips Guard is pretty particular about where the magnet is placed and as such, it can be rather difficult to get these two parts aligned.

I would have liked to have seen some sort of template sticker that was the size of the main unit that made it easier to align.

Thankfully, when you have it set you are done, you should never have to access the unit again in a very long time since the Strips Guard has a battery life that claims to last around 10 years. We cannot confirm nor deny that claim since we haven’t had the unit ten years, however, I can say that the unit still has 100% battery after a couple of weeks.

Sadly, in the search of thinness, you won’t be able to replace that battery after those 10 years, so if you happen to still be using it then you will have to pick up an entirely new door/window sensor. That said, we expect that the tech should be very different by then.

You cannot charge the battery either.

But thanks to its integration of Z-Wave Plus technology, it does benefit from extra features over sensors that don’t such as better range, more battery life, more bandwidth, self-healing, Over the Air (OTA) updates, and more.

And that all means that in use, the Strips Guard just works.

The sensor is very fast to report the door opening and closing and I have yet to see any false positives, and in fact, I actually forgot that it was there for a couple of days until I was reminded about doing this review, which just shows how easy-to-use and hidden this sensor is.

I was also able to setup a few automations with it via the Home Assistant software, allowing me to do stuff like turn on a light if the door is opened within a certain time frame and even play a sound notification when it is opened.

That all said, I would have liked to have seen a bit more tech in the sensor if possible.

The sensor that I have on the back is able to do a bit more with temperature and light notifications, and I would have liked to have seen something like a temperature sensor in it, however, given where you place this unit, a light sensor definitely wouldn’t work and a temperature sensor would probably be unreliable, so that’s a bit of an ask.

If you are looking for a door/window sensor that just works and fits in with your current door and windows then you should definitely think about picking up a Sensative Strips Guard.

It is a bit pricey at around £50 on Amazon for a single strip, however, this is a unique door and window sensor that has a range of features that you simply won’t get with any other door/window sensor while using Z-Wave technology to make sure to it integrates with your entire smart home tech, without needing anything new.

You can find out more about them on Sensative’s website.

Disclosure: Sensative sent us a sample of the Strips Guard for the purpose of this review.

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