ZWave Exterior Gate Sensor




Introduction: ZWave Exterior Gate Sensor

About: Software developer, race car driver, airbnb host, and many other things.

There do not seem to be good options for an exterior zwave sensor for gates. I use the Smartthings controller and wanted to turn on my porch lights whenever my front gate is opened if it was dark outside. Here is how I built the sensor for a gate.



  • Drill
  • Small Drill Bit
  • Philips Screw Bit

NOTE: The Dry Contact sensor reports backwards (Open when the gate is closed and vice versa) with the standard ZWave door sensor device in smartthings. To fix this follow the instructions in this thread:

Step 1: Connect and Test the Sensor.

Take the back off the dry contact sensor and connect it with your Smartthings controller according to the included instructions. Plug in the door sensor and confirm that it works. Note that with smartthings it will report as backward as stated above. Use the instructions in the provided link in the intro to fix this.

Step 2: Install in Enclosure

To install into the enclosure drill a small hole for the sensor wire and use the mounting tape to mount the dry contact sensor in the box.

Step 3: Install the Sensor on the Gate

Make sure to test the location first by taping the sensor to the gate. Then mount them with the included hardware.

Step 4: Mount the Enclosure and Waterproof

Mount the enclosure to the fence with exterior screws and tidy up the wire inside the box. After that use the sealant on the spot where the cord goes into the box. Lastly configure your smart controller to do something useful. I have mine using the smart lights SmartApp to turn on my porch lights if it is dark when the gate is opened.

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    3 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great use of the waterproof box for this. Going to use one like that to make my mailbox notification system. Thanks for sharing!


    3 years ago

    I have little (none actually) experience with Zwave, but I can see you did a great install job


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for your kind words. This project is rather easy and will be very useful for us as we are renting the place on AirBnB and I'm also going to use it to notify us when our guests arrive.