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How To Improve Battery Life for New "Secure" Sensors

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  • How To Improve Battery Life for New "Secure" Sensors

    Some Z-Wave manufacturers are now releasing products that use the secure command class for communications. The upside is that communications to/from these devices is just about impossible to hack. The downside is that this is increasing network traffic and (more importantly IMO) reducing battery life on battery operated devices. The Aeon Labs GEN5 recessed door sensor, for example, now sends 3 packets (instead of just 1) when communicating. Simple math suggests this will reduce battery life by approx 67%.

    To help alleviate the downside of the equation, we've added a new feature to the controller actions, "Add a Node Unsecurely". When used, this will include the node in question using the standard protocol and force it to communicate unsecurely. This will reduce network traffic and also greatly improve battery life.

    • Unsecure packets can be "sniffed". However, the person doing the "sniffing" would need to be within range of your home, would need to have the necessary hardware and software to do the sniffing and would need to have a thorough understanding of Z-Wave to make sense of the packets being broadcast.
    • Door locks must be added securely. This feature will not work with door locks.
    • If you're unsure about using this feature or are concerned about someone monitoring your packets, do not use this feature.
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