Hahah, I have made a very silly mistake methinks. I mounted this outside where the prowlers have been cutting past my house but now the trees are setting it off in the breeze. I can turn sensitivity down but wondered if anyone had any tricks. I thought it would be more like something that differentiates from non-warm bodies, so I read the description wrong. Any thoughts other than cutting branches way back and turning down sensitivity? Better outdoor safe model that works with SmartThings anyone can recommend?
Your best bet is to try and block the trees from view somehow. You can open up the multisensor and use a piece of paper on the top half to block out the trees maybe? Depends on the orientation of the multisensor in respect to the trees.
Good idea. Or wait for winter and the leaves to fall off.
If you read the users manual, this particular manufacturer usually recommends turning off motion detection before using it outside. It’s still useful for temperature and light sensing. But motion sensors of this type just don’t work well outside. It’s true that they are detecting temperature changes but the temperature changes are very slight, just a cloud passing in front of the sun can cause enough of the variation To set them off. As can a warm breeze. It’s not anything to do with this particular brand, it’s just this particular technology.
In general there are two effective approaches to outdoor motion sensing.
The first is to set up the same kind of motion sensor you’re already using it, but to use three or four in a zone pattern and then only alerts to all of them going off. They can still get fooled by a rainstorm, though.
The other method is to use trip beams, which is a different kind of technology. There are a lot of these made, you’ll often find them in the category of “driveway sensors” these can be very effective as long as there’s a bottleneck where you can set the beams. The trick is integrating them to smartthings, they are not typically Zigbee or Z wave. But some community members have rigged various kinds of bridge set ups.
You’ll find much discussion of this in the forums from the past. The following topics should be interesting:
I use these in three other places outside without issue and does motion very well outside. Thus going to the 4th one. Just had not considered the trees having branches just low enough to trigger it!!
Don’t have an issue with trees, but what about temperature spikes?? I’ll go from 66 to 91 to 125 then back to 66 Fahrenheit in an hour with this device.
don’t use for temps, but the one in direct sun does that during the afternoon west facing hot as hell summer sun. I just figure its a reflection of exactly what it feels like! lol
The best thing I’ve found for outdoor motion is a camera with manual zones, or object tracking.
I tried all sorts of solutions after we had an issue with vandalism in my area – people would be brazen enough to go into people’s driveways to see if the cars were left unlocked.
After getting tired of the false alarms all day long and bad battery life, I set up a camera and IR illuminator and never had any problems detecting motion, particularly in the areas that I cared about (driveway and around the car) while ignoring trees and other nonsense.
I had an issue with cobwebs though and the occasional storm would also make a mess of things, but that’s to be expected and would have happened with motion sensors too.
Hmm… not in direct sun light… always in the shade under the patio. I’m trying to figure out a permanent installation spot so it’s just sitting on it’s “back” pointing directly up at the patio on our patio table. Maybe that orientation has something to do with it?