Sensaphone vs. WisDom: Which to Choose?
Two of the most popular systems used for robust home monitoring are the Sensaphone (model 400 or 800) and the WisDom Wireless Security System. One of the most popular questions we get asked is "What is the difference betweeen the Sensaphone and the WisDom?". The following information will help you decide upon which system is right for you as well as which accessories you will need to complete your system.
The Biggest Differences
The biggest differences between the Sensaphone and the WisDom are as follows:
- Sensaphone: Sensors are wired, can read actual temperature, four inputs for sensors
- WisDom: Sensors are wireless, can alarm for temperature but can't report exact temperature, takes up to 32 wireless sensors
Here is some additional information about the differences between the two systems:
The nice thing about the Sensaphone is that it reads you the exact temperature. You can call in at any time to find out what your temperature sensors are reading. You can program an acceptable range of temperature for each sensor (can be a different range for each), and the unit will call you when the temperature goes outside of that range. The 400 and 800 models each come with one small temperature thermistor for measuring the temperature of the room that the Sensaphone is in. Additional temperature sensors can be added (FGD-0100 or FGD-0101) to monitor temperature at additional locations; however, each of those sensors must have a wire running back to the Sensaphone.
The WisDom can utilize the "WisDom Wireless Temperature Bundle" in order to monitor temperature. These devices have manual low and high limit arms that you physically set into place. When the actual temperature needles physically crosses one of those limits, an alarm is generated and the WisDom will call you. It cannot tell you what exactly the temperature is, but it can tell you that there is a Temperature Alarm. The WisDom has a "special emergency" zone option that you would use for the Temp Alert, which means that regardless of whether the system is armed or disarmed, an alarm on the Temp Alert will generate a call-out.
Both the Sensaphone and the WisDom can call you to advise of a power outage, without any additional sensors. The Sensaphone can do this either instantly or on a delay that you specify. The WisDom will call instantly for power outage.
Both the Sensaphone and the WisDom have microphones for listening in over the phone. The Sensaphone lets you listen in for a pre-programmed amount of time, anywhere from a few seconds to 4 minutes. The WisDom's listen-in time is not pre-programmed, you can call and listen in for as long as you want, plus you can speak over the panel as well. One additional capability the Sensaphone has that the WisDom does not is high-sound level detection. The Sensaphone has a built-in and adjustable ability to alarm based on a high sound level in the environment.
and WisDom offer
water detection sensors. The Sensaphone's sensors are hardwired and the WisDom's
sensors are wireless. Either system can also be used with any FloodStop
Automatic Water Shut Off Valve. When the FloodStop detects a leak, it notifies
the Sensaphone or WisDom to initiate a call-out, AND it turns off the water supply
to stop further damage.
Both systems can monitor for smoke. The WisDom's smoke detectors are wireless and battery-powered and the Sensaphone's are hardwired back to the Sensaphone and they need hardwired 120V power.
Either system can utilized wired humidity sensors. They can be hardwired to the control panels, or in the case of the WisDom, you can use a WisDom Universal Transmitter to make the sensor wireless.
The WisDom can take up to 32 wireless security sensors and each can be programmed with different behaviors such as entry/exit delay and different sounds for each, such as chime, siren, or silent. The WisDom's sensors are completely wireless and come with batteries that last from 3 to 5 years with average use. The Sensaphone offers simple hardwired security sensors and an exit delay procedure that can be performed at the panel. For frequent coming and going, the WisDom wireless keyfobs are great for arming and disarming, plus they can activate a WisDom output relay (example: turn on your lights with your keyfob when arriving at night).
The Driveway Alert System can be used with the Sensaphone or WisDom to detect vehicles entering and exiting your driveway. The Vehicle Alert probe gets buried next to your driveway (or under it if it is more than 20 feet wide), and the probe gets wired to the Vehicle Alert console. The Vehcile Alert console gets wired to the Sensaphone or WisDom control panel, or in the case of the WisDom it can be wired to a WisDom Universal Transmitter in order to make the connection wireless.
If you do not have a land line at your property, you can still use these systems for monitoring. Just add the appropriate cellular add-on device and activate it will cellular service. The WisDom has a WisDom-specific GSM add-on module, which provides not only a dial tone to the WisDom, but also the capability for the WisDom to send text message alerts. The Sensaphone can utilize either of the Telular cellular add-ons (either GSM or CDMA). Or, you can use the combination cellular module/monitoring system: the Universal AGM Cellular Dialer, which is an alarm system and cellular module in one!
The Sensaphone 400 and the WisDom both have the capability to call you at up to four (4) phone numbers (the Sensaphone 800 can call you at up to 8). The WisDom has the capability to also be monitored by a professional alarm monitoring station.
Controlling Thermostats and Lights:
The Sensaphone has one output relay (for controlling a device) and the WisDom has four (4). Both can be activated by phone and both can activate either a setback thermostat, or one of our automation lighting/control kits (see "Automation" category on site). The thermostats that work with them are "setback" thermostats. They have two extra wiring terminals and an extra "override" setting. The thermostat gets wired to either control panel, and then when you call in and activate the output, the thermostat's override gets switched either on or off. For example, if you leave the thermostat at 55 degrees when you leave, and you pre-program the override for 70 degrees, then you can call in by phone at any time to "activate" the override, turning the thermostat up to 70 degrees.
When it comes to lighting control, the WisDom can do much more advanced configurations than the Sensaphone. You can control up to four different lighting zones (with up to 256 lighting receivers in each zone) either manually (by phone, panel, or keyfob), or automatically based on alarm conditions. You can even have a combination of some zones being manual and some being automatic. The Sensaphone can only control one zone, which you would have to share with your thermostat (when the lights get switched on or off, the thermostat would go up or down at the same time). With the WisDom, you could put your thermostat on one output, and still have three available outputs to use as lighting zones (via three PowerFlash modules plus receivers).