GoControl Z-Wave Wireless Door/Window Sensor Review
Don’t let the name of this GoControl Door/Window Sensor limit your creativity - this device can be used with anything that opens and closes. Monitor your cabinets, drawers, and other home furnishings using this two-piece, z-wave controlled sensor.
Here’s how it works: when the magnet is next to the unit (for example, when the door is closed), the red LED light is off. When the magnet is moved away from the unit (or when the door opens), the LED will flash once and send an alarm signal. When the magnet is moved towards the unit (or when the door is being closed), the LED flashes once again and the device will send a restoration signal.
The device also has a function that alerts users when it’s being tampered with- the tamper switch will trigger the LED to light up when the sensor is removed from its base, and will also send a tamper signal.
One of the two parts of this device is the main unit, which consists of the battery, LED, external switch connection site, and tamper switch. The other part is the magnet. You can secure these to your house using screws or double sided tape.
The user is provided with the the sensor along with its mounting bracket, the magnet with its mounting bracket, double sided mounting tape, 4 screws, and a CR123A battery. Both parts are made of shiny white plastic, and their sleek modern designs fit well in any home.
This small sensor packs a few impressive features. It supports external switches, meaning that another nearby opening can be monitored using the same sensor. Consult your user manual for specifics on setup, but as a brief introduction to the process you’ll unscrew the terminal screws from the main unit and attach your external contact’s wires to it.
The sensor also acts as a repeater, which can really enhance your smart home experience if you have multiple Z-Wave devices in your home. Using this sensor as a repeater will help to better facilitate the signals between other Z-Wave devices and household smart home hubs.
The GoControl Wireless Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor features an internal reed switch, meaning it’s triggered by a magnet. It has a maximum center gap width of ¾ inch, meaning that there should be no more than ¾ inch of space between the magnet and main unit when the sensor is closed.
Some of the first uses that come to mind when thinking of a window/door sensor are, of course, using them to track the opening and closing of doors and windows. A handy security companion, these can alert you when someone is entering or exiting your home.
They can also let you know if a window is open- this could not only prevent security concerns with windows that people may forget to close, but also help prevent property damage if the weather suddenly takes an inclement turn.
If you choose to buy these, you’ll have the physical devices needed to sense contact. You may, however, be missing one important component- you’ll need an interface on which you can actually monitor the happenings within your home. Using the GoControl Door/Window sensor alongside a WigWag Relay opens a door of possibilities - and once that figurative door has been opened, you can configure your Relay to remind you if you forget to close your actual front door.
Using the WigWag smartphone app or the WigWag Web UI (WigWag Relay required for both), you can set up Rules in the Rule Builder using a ‘When’/’Then’ format. Rules will trigger certain outcomes (the ‘Then’ part) when specific conditions (the ‘When’ part) are met. While creating the ‘When’ tile, you can select your contact sensor as the related device, and choose whether you want the ‘When’ tile to activate the ‘Then’ tile when the sensor is opened, closed, or when it’s opened or closed.
Since there are so many different things you can set to occur after your contact sensor is triggered using the Rule Builder, we’ll focus on a few key examples starting with the basic door/window case from earlier.
Set your sensor up near the opening of a door or window. Create a ‘When’ tile for a contact sensor that’s activated when the sensor is open. Create a ‘Then’ tile for an email notification, and have the body of the email say something along the lines of, “Your front door/window in your bedroom has been opened!” Using the emails timestamp, you can have a digital record of exactly when the sensor was activated and receive real-time updates on the activity within your home from anywhere.
Remember how we mentioned that these devices can be used in other ways? Your mailbox is a perfect example- stick a contact sensor on the door and set up a Rule that alerts you when the mailman has opened it and made their delivery. You can use a similar ‘When’/’Then’ formula to the one in the previous paragraph, but alerts through email aren’t the only way to receive updates on your sensors.
Do you own a colorable smart bulb like a WigWag Filament or LIFX bulb? If you’re someone who doesn’t carry their phone around everywhere or isn’t constantly on their laptop checking their email, you can configure the rule to instead turn a lamp in the living room to a certain color. Everytime you walk past your lamp and see that it’s blue, you’ll know that someone has opened your mailbox recently! Check your mail, then reset your lamp to its original color.
If you have young children who shouldn’t be sneaking around past 10PM, set a contact sensor up on their door so you know if the kids are out causing mischief. Your ‘When’ tile should set to be activated when the door is open. This is also a great case in which you’d use the ‘If’ tile- set your ‘If’ tile to after 10PM. Be creative with your ‘Then’ tile, or simply use one of the alert methods above.
Do you carry your phone around with you all the time? Try the push notifications feature in the Rule Builder, and receive updates via the WigWag smartphone app.
These are only some examples of the things that the GoControl Door/Window Sensor is capable of. If using it in conjunction with your WigWag Relay, it can help you become more in touch with your home than ever before. Additionally, we encourage you to experiment on your own and see what other imaginative uses you can come up with using this device. Let us know what you use your sensor for in the comments below!