Need for sensor if window has metal bars?


New Member
Hi there,

First question so please help a newbie. I'm planning on purchasing an Elk M1G for taking care of security and future light automation. I'm now in the process of running all the cable. The way I understand it, all security cable will be home runned to where the Elk panel is going to be located. Now to my question. Some of my windows will have metal bars attached to the wall. Do I need to run any windows sensor to these windows?

Thanks for your help.

This question will lead to more of an "opinion" type answer rather than technical one.

It all depends on how reliable you believe those metal bars to be.
Welcome to CocoonTech! If you trust your bars, then I would guess that you don't NEED a sensor there, but it never hurt to have it. But I also use my windows sensors for HA purposes, i.e. make sure the windows are closed when the air conditioning is running or when the lawn sprinklers are on.
Probably a good application for a vibration contact or mercury tilt switch. Like the old window bugs ( if they still make them).

Other options are glass break detectors and pull traps across the windows, and motion detectors protecting the area.

Welcome to Cocoontech, a good place to solve technical problems.
I would put them in just because you plan to use them for HA applications. If its the summer time and you just crank the AC on and a window is open the elk could notify you so that you don't waste energy.
If you're concerned enough to put security bars on certain windows. Then, it makes sense to add a $3 switch and some wire.
There are also some Optex sensors (BP100 users IR beam, BX80 uses PIR) designed to be installed in the outside of the house. That would detect any person attemting to open the window (or break the bars) before they are able to do it.

I have a BP100 to install in the back of my house instead of the bars (and yes, the possibility is low but it exists).
I like the integration to the automation like mentioned above. My answer to the original question would be "why not". I would rather have more coverage than not enough. Especially if you need metal bars on the window. It's pretty much a no-brainer.
exipnos said:
The way I understand it, all security cable will be home runned to where the Elk panel is going to be located.
That is not exactly true. Depending on how many zones you have, and the configuration of the installation, you may be running wire to an input expander. Then you would connect the input expander to a data bus hub with Cat X wire.