Aqara Motion sensor lux readings

I have an aqara motion sensor connected to AT.
It shows a maximum of 1000 lux.
I use Bspanger device handler.
Do you have any good advice?

What is your question? What advice are you requesting?

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Can well see that I could have formulated myself better. Sorry.
My question is: Is it normal for the sensor to only go to 1000 lux?
In the app, the scale goes to 10,000 lux

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Okay, here is what I found… The Brian Spanger DTH for the Aqara Motion sensor appears to simply take whatever illuminance value is transmitted by the Aqara Motion sensor, and simply reports that value. There is no math/scaling applied in the DTH code that I found at Xiaomi/xiaomi-aqara-motion-sensor.groovy at master · bspranger/Xiaomi · GitHub

// Parse illuminance report
private Map parseIlluminance(String description) {
    def lux = ((description - "illuminance: ").trim()) as int

    def result = [
        name: 'illuminance',
        value: lux,
        unit: "lux",
        isStateChange: true,
        descriptionText : "${device.displayName} illuminance was ${lux} lux"
    return result

Thus, it appears the the Aqara Motion sensor you’re using maxes out at 1000. In general, I have found that maximum illuminance values vary widely from vendor to vendor.


Aqara set a maximum of 1,000 lux for most of their sensors, since a typical living room is at 50 and a typical kitchen is at 500. Even a very bright work room is rarely over 1,000.

That said, outdoor sunlight or some specialty indoor settings like photography studios can be much brighter, 10,000 or more.

The very newest Aqara Motion Sensor P1 removed the 1,000 cap and allows higher readings, but I’m not sure that one works with SmartThings.

For the older models, though, the limitation is in the device, not the DTH/driver. So as always, the first rule of home automation applies: the model number matters. :thinking:

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I’ve seen 1000 lux quoted as the maximum for the Aqara motion sensors in several places. I haven’t used one for a long time so I can’t remember what I used to get, though I do remember not finding a use for illuminance. It only updated when there was motion, and although it would gradually work its way down to 0 at night, in the morning the readings made big jumps (e.g. from 0 to 50).

I suspect that the point of the illuminance reading is largely to allow you to differentiate between night and day, or dark and light, in support of the motion reading which is the primary function of the device.


The model number are RTCGQ11LM


OK, that’s an older model. The 1000 max limit is in from the device itself.

Did you have a need for something that can measure higher values, or were you just curious because the app allows for something higher?

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It sits outside so I use it to set the light level with.
Can you recommend a lux meter?

Thanks for your help.

The one outdoor rated, fairly popular, and well supported device that comes to mind is the Philips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor. Although, I am not sure what its max lux values are… :thinking:

What country are you in? The device selection does vary.

As @ogiewon mentioned, the Hue outdoor motion sensor is popular in the community. This is a Zigbee device that you can connect directly to your smartthings hub: you do not need a hue bridge. It has excellent excellent weatherproofing and good battery life, but it does cost more than some of the other options. I’m not sure exactly what the lux maximum is, but it’s definitely over 12,000.

That said, in order to save battery life, this device will only check the light level when motion is detected. So it’s not really useful as a regular light meter unless you know you’ll have frequent motion in that area. The Hue’s intended light case is a person walking around the outside of the house. Person detected, check to see if it’s dark, if it is, turn on a specified light. It works well for that, but it’s not as usable for things like circadian lighting.

There are other devices that are true light meters, but again, we need to know what country you’re in to make suggestions. Also, do you prefer a particular protocol like Zigbee? Or would z wave or Wi-Fi also work for you? Both of those have a longer range, which is sometimes useful in outdoor applications.

Finally, what’s your typical high and low weather temperature during a year?

All of that will help us make better recommendations. :sunglasses:

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Good point! I have seen some posts in the Hubitat Community regarding a firmware update for the Hue Motion Sensors. Not clear if the update was for the Indoor, Outdoor, or Both models. Seems like the sensor does reports LUX every 5 mins afterwards, but I am not certain if that only works when paired to and configured by a Hubitat Hub. I can see that Mike Maxwell definitely tweaked the Hue Motion sensor Hubitat drivers to expose most of the features, and also discovered some interesting behaviors regarding lux reporting.

I may have to pick one of these up as I have always wanted to have one to mess around with for outdoor motion detection… :thinking:

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We use one on each side of the house because it is a useful outdoor multi sensor. We get temperature as well as motion from it, and the weatherproofing is excellent for moderate climate. Ours are fully exposed and we’ve had no problem with rain in the over a year that we’ve had them.

This is a photo from the manufacturer. they are trying to make the point that you don’t have to hide it under the roofline.

So I like the Hue device and use it in my own home, but I don’t know if it’s the best for light monitoring unless it’s an area with frequent motion.


I live in Denmark.
It’s just fine with updating on the go. Aqara does the same and is therefore mounted next to a busy road.

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Hi Peter
I would advise that you move to the SmartThings Edge driver so it runs locally.

I’m trying to look at it. Thanks for the help.

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What edge driver do you use? Does it measure illuminance well? Because you are getting zero lux as value.

I had not come to that part yet. I was inside the edge but found nothing further for Aqara exercise.

Yes it’s works well. I took this at night. During the day it registers daylight

What edge driver do you use?