Fibaro’s door/window sensor is less than half the size of any other Z-Wave door/window sensor, and it is available in a variety of colors:
I was pleased with how well the ivory sensor blended with my home. The Fibaro door/window sensor has provision for an external contact connection, which I took advantage of by connecting an external Magnasphere switch, enabling me to mount the door/window sensor away from the steel door and door frame:
The Fibaro sensor also has provision for connecting an external DS18B20 digital thermometer, which is a TO-92 package. I ordered the digital thermometer device from Fibaro as an add-on option, and they included with my order some heat-shrink tubing for the TO-92 leads, which I thought was a nice touch.
Network inclusion of the door/window sensor was a bit tricky. First of all, the optional digital thermometer needs to be connected to the screw terminals prior to inclusion. The thermometer cannot be added after inclusion without first deleting and then re-including the device. Otherwise, the door/window sensor does not recognize the thermometer.
During network optimization of my HomeSeer system, the sensor kept going to sleep and had to be re-awakened by constantly and rapidly clicking the inclusion button. The instructions say that four quick clicks of the tamper button will awaken the device, but the device goes to sleep so quickly that it requires more of a constant tapping action (my wife heard me tapping Morse code and came to see what I was doing). Because the Fibaro door/window sensor goes to sleep so quickly, I found myself up on a ladder near the sensor, with a tablet computer in one hand to initiate the network optimization routine, and a wooden chopstick in the other hand, quickly tapping Morse code on the door/window sensor’s inclusion button.
The Fibaro door/window sensor has two tamper buttons: one for the cover and one against the wall. Network optimization and configuration seemed to work best for me when the wall-side tamper button remained firmly compressed against the wall (or taped shut).
I discovered a quirk when re-inserting the battery after final mounting. It seems that changing the battery with the door closed or with the included magnet in close proximity to the reed switch constitutes a factory reset of the device. I found by trial and error that it is best to just leave the door open during the whole inclusion/configuration/optimization/final-mounting process.
Battery and Battery Life
Fibaro claims a lifetime of up to two years’ operation on the included ER14250 3.6-Volt, 1200 milliamp-hour Lithium battery. This long battery life may be partially a result of the door/window sensor’s tendency to quickly put itself to sleep.
This battery is a bit less common that other batteries; you won’t find them at Walmart, but Radio Shack sells them for $10, and you can buy them online from places like Jameco for less than $5.
On the plus-side, the user manual fully covers all of the device’s configuration parameters. On the minus-side, the user manual fails to describe adequately the procedure for keeping the device awake, and also how to avoid factory-resetting the device. The instructions for inclusion and association are written from the point of view of a person using Fibaro’s Home Center 2 gateway controller, but the procedures are similar to those of other Z-Wave controllers.
The Fibaro door/window sensor is a tiny, good-looking sensor that is available in a variety of colors to match any decor. The inclusion and configuration process is tricky and not adequately documented. Once the installation has been accomplished the Fibaro door/window sensor is very reliable. I’ve been using mine for 4 months now without any false positives or failures to notify. The sensor seems to have a fairly long battery life, but remember that when it does come time to replace the battery, do so with the door open. Otherwise, you may accidentally factory-reset the device.
Fibaro products have been available in Europe for nearly four years, and Fibar Group USA began taking pre-orders on a limited basis for four of their products in February of 2014. In addition to the door/window sensors and RGBW LED controller that I ordered, they were also introducing a gateway controller and a flood sensor. Fibaro products will become widely available through U.S. distributors, including Vesternet.com, beginning in September.