"Best" Battery-powered Zigbee Motion Sensor (2024)

Okay so it is 2024. What is, or are the “best” battery powered Zigbee motion sensors that work with SmartThings with minimal hassle? For indoor use (although would like at least one outdoor suggestion).

I do not need anything other than motion sensing; temperature is a bonus but not really necessary. I would like a motion sensor that can detect over longer distances (very very large rooms).

I have been using several Aeotec SmartThings Motion Sensor for years. They are not the cheapest but also not the most expensive, and they just work. Battery life has been okay; I feel like I need to change them every 1-2 years.

I was looking at mmWave sensors, but can’t find a good one that is battery powered (and in any event, it needs to last a long time), so I doubt that mmWave sensors are worth looking into.

mmWave sensors are great, but in order to get that greatness, they typically process more than 50 times as much data as a PIR sensor, which is why they have to be mains powered. They just don’t work as “sleepy“ devices or they’ll miss some information that they need.

As far as “best,“ that’s always subjective. Typically, the less expensive sensors are larger, so that’s one factor. (Often that so they can include bigger batteries because they have cheaper hardware and they need them to get acceptable battery life.)

  1. Personally, I really like aqara p1 sensors when connected to an aqara hub which also acts as a matter bridge, and I bring them in through matter. They work well, have three sensitivity levels and a decent field of detection, include a light sensor, are in the medium price category, but quite small, and have great battery life of up to five years on two CR 2430 coin batteries. Also this method avoids the annoying “off-line” status issue you can otherwise run into where the devices are really Still connected, but SmartThings thinks they aren’t. Also, when you use this method, you can get automatic firmware updates, which are not available if they are connected directly to a SmartThings hub instead. And you don’t need any custom code, the stock edge drivers work fine. But that’s just me.


I use mine with the Aqara G3 camera hub Which works well as a matter bridge. You don’t get the camera features in SmartThings, but you can use those with Alexa or Apple home as well as the aqara app. We use one as a Driveway camera indoors looking out through the window and it works very well for us. There are also less expensive aqara hubs that work as matter bridges like the M2.

  1. They do have a newer matter over thread model, the P2, but I don’t think it’s fully baked yet. You can’t even use it in its own aqara app yet, only via matter, and reviews are mixed. Also, it’s a lot more expensive. So I am in a “wait and see” mode on that specific model for now.

  2. Third reality has an under $20 motion sensor with a rectangular form factor that a lot of people like the looks of when it’s just stuck on a wall. Uses three AAA batteries for a more typical one to two year battery life. Somewhat smaller field of detection than the Aqara, but not bad.


  1. Sonoff has a more typical square shape Zigbee motion sensor which is even less expensive, but lots of reports that that one has the off-line problem I mentioned above. And the battery life can be problematic.


  1. hue, of course has two great motion sensors, one for indoors and one for outdoors, which include temperature and light sensors. Those can be used with a SmartThings hub, you don’t need the Hue hub for them, but you will probably need a custom edge driver. but they are expensive. If you need an outdoor Zigbee motion sensor, this is definitely the one I would recommend. IP44 rated.


  1. there are multiple rebranded Tuya sensors, very cheap, but they need custom code and can have multiple issues. They wouldn’t make my own “best“ list in any sub category, but there are definitely lots of people who like them as budget devices, so hopefully some of them will post.

BTW, at our house, we really appreciate motion sensors that have a built-in Lux sensor as some of the rooms get quite dark on cloudy days. That way we can have motion trigger lights to come on, but only when the room is pretty dark. So for our particular household, time-based ranges for motion sensors just don’t work well for this particular use case. So that’s another reason why the aqara and the Hue would make my personal “best“ list. :sun_behind_large_cloud:


I purchased Tuya motion sensor (costed around £ 4) from Aliexpress 4 months ago and it has been spot on till date. The max distance it can detect is 10 m and comes with Illuminance sensor as well so this would be my bet unless your room is more than 10m.

I also have Sonoff motion sensors and they work well too but slightly expensive than Tuya.

1 Like

Today, I just received item number 3 on JD’s list above, the Thirdreality motion sensor. I inserted the two AAA batteries included, opened the SmartThings app, performed a search, and it was recognized immediately as a motion sensor using the SmartThings native zigbee motion driver. The only thing I noticed that may or may not be good depending on what it will be used for, is that it takes 30 seconds for it to reset back to no motion.


I can recommend a couple of Aqara Sensors that works pretty well with Smart things hub, and they are Aqara High Precision Motion Sensor and Aqara Motion Sensor P1.

1 Like

Does anybody know of any motion sensors that take AA batteries?

There are several zwave models, like Ring, but this thread is specific to Zigbee, so we’ll stick with those.

  1. The Hue outdoor motion sensor mentioned above takes two AA batteries. For some reason, the current Amazon product page says it’s main powered, but it’s not. You can verify this on the manufacturer page:
  1. if you can find a source, the Frient model is quite popular, works fine with SmartThings, and uses two AA batteries. But while it’s widely available in the UK, it’s hard to find in the US unless you import it through amazon.co.uk. (The pro model costs more, but also has a lux sensor.)


If AAA would work:

  1. hue indoor sensor mentioned above

  2. third reality mentioned above

If you are interested in discussing other protocols, like Z wave, thread, or even Wi-Fi, please start a new topic. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Frient Motion Sensor Pro in ST has motion, lux, temp and tamper detection

1 Like