Any recommendations for motion sensor for cold temperatures?

Looking to put a motion detector in a detached garage that is not heated all the time. I am in Michigan so wondering if any will work once the temps drop. The garage could see temps down to 0 at times.
Mainly just want this as a security type device and thinking once the temps are near 0 or below the possibility of theft is pretty low, just too cold for them. :slight_smile:

1 Like

It can definitely be challenging. See the following:

the motion sensors usually look for IR head signatures, so it could still work. it could be a delayed or slow, but I’ve had motion sensor lights outside operate in cold conditions similar. Battery choice could be a factor, too I suppose.

Right, the problem is typically that the batteries just are not responsive at those temperatures.

How low does something like the Netatmo temp sensor go? I would think that could be a good option.

Hm… Depending on the sensor and how electronically inclined you are you could make a 3V voltage regulator (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/526) that drops a wall wort power supply down to 3V which you then wire into the motion sensor battery terminals. Not sure how this will effect the ‘charge’ status or if it would work but that would be my first guess to using a regular off the shelf IR sensor.

Weather station sensors are good as cold weather temperature sensors, although typically expensive, but I don’t know of any that also do motion detection until you get into the really expensive scientific monitoring station ones.

We had motion sensors in our Porch and deck, outside, which in Minnesota is awfully cold at times. They were somewhat protected under the eaves, but not by much. One is an ecolink I think, and the other is one of the Aeon series 5 I think. They both lived through the winter, and through the summer again and ready for winter.

In the garage we never got below 20 at the coldest but had no motion in there (with a Netatmo temp guage) but outside it was 0 or lower. It got a little slower I think in lowest temps but still worked. YMMV.

1 Like

If you can get power to the location the older AEON motion sensor can use a mini-USB to power it, thereby removing the battery concern. (I’m not sure if the newest AEON have power option.) It’s also rated to be used outside, though I don’t know what the temp range is.

I’ve got a couple of 'em that I use inside and I’m generally happy with them but never tried one outside.

I do have power in the garage, so it seems figuring out a way to “hard wire” and sensor vs using battery power, would be the way to go. I am assuming that there are no “wired/plug in” sensors available?
I will have to research and look for usb powered like chrisb mentioned.

Here’s the one I’m talking about:

I’m sure they are available on ebay as well or other places. As I mentioned I have two of 'em, one I used with batteries, one I use plugged into a simple USB adapter to mini-usb jack (NOTE: It’s a mini-usb port, NOT the more common micro-usb). It’s worked well for me but again, I’ve only used 'em inside.

Hello folks, I am new here and to the world of HomeAutomation :smile: Excited for sure on the possibilities, and already loving this community.
Got few qns on the “Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor” http://amzn.com/B008D5TYGU
Saw a new version of it (Gen5 - http://amzn.com/B00S68NUSW). But, not going for it after seeing the many issues folks are reporting. Instead sticking with the orig one. Thoughts? Does the orig one work as a z-wave repeater?
Heard about the need for firmware upgrade that I heard is absolutely needed? Banking on that to fix the issues being reported.
Apart from this I cudn’t find a good outdoor one… Any other suggestions? My idea is to put one in the front porch and get alerts and also to trigger porch lights from it.

Thanks, MG

Reviving an old topic. Anything new in terms of switches and motion sensors that work well in cold weather here in MN?

I have a wired motion non-smart switch in my garage that works great keeping on the lights when it senses motion until I go to another area where my workbench is at. Ideally I’d put both a plug in motion sensor in the workbench area and garage door area, connected to a smart zwave/zigbee switch for the lights.

I’m also in MN (Eagan). I have several Smartthings (samsung) motion sensors and multipurpose sensors (3rd or last generation) outside my house and in the garage and I had no problems with them during the “polar vortex” last week when temperatures plunged to -31F. I really thought they would stop working or misbehave but nope. I do have Zigbee repeaters everywhere, though and batteries were >95% fwtw. Inside my garage temps reached 12F and outside -30F.
Lutron switches and Ring doorbell also worked fine in the garage and door respectively.

1 Like