Home Security is one area where I prefer going wireless whenever possible. There was a day when it was significantly cheaper to install a large Security System if you had the chance to prewire it. Hardwired sensors were a fraction the cost of a wireless Security Sensors.
Today, most wireless sensors are about the same price as the cost to hardwire, and then add a hardwired sensor to the end of the wire. So there’s little gained in the finance department.
Wireless Sensors can be recessed into doors, and installed discreetly, and batteries last 3-5 years. So there’s virtually no headaches, or maintenance with wireless sensors.
My recommendation is to go wireless everywhere that you can with your Security System.
Here’s a few places where you should consider hardwiring.
You want to hardwire your keypads, they require power. If you don’t hardwire, you’ll have a large transformer plugged into an outlet near the Security Keypad all the time. Who wants that in a newly finished home.
I’ve seen wireless door sensors struggle when they’re recessed into a wireless door frame. This is an instance where it makes sense to prewire the door sensor.
Hidden Window Sensors
You can get away with hiding the sensor in the track of the window, with some windows. Usually this is windows that open left to right, like a sliding glass door. You can hide a small sensor in the closing side of the window seal. These have to be hardwired. But usually you can’t cover all the windows in the same home this way. You end up having a certain amount of sensors visible on windows, and at that point, I’d rather just go wireless everywhere.
If the home is particularly large, or laid out in a way that sensors will be required to cover long distances, you may want to prewire. As a general rule if the Security Sensor is within 50’ of the main Security Board, you’re pretty safe to go wireless. If you start going over 50’, I’d probably prewire for the sensor.
Matt is a co-founder and lead systems designer for TYM LLC. His smart home and audio/visual designs have won three “Home of the Year Awards” from Electronic House & CE Pro magazine, and two awards from the Consumer Technology Association, including "Home Theater of the Year", and "Custom Smart Home of the Year".
Matt is a golden State fan.