Best Motion Sensor (2014, now out of date)

I just started automating my home and am trying to find what people think is the best Motion Sensor.

So chime in!

I will let you know my bias up front (I am a founder of SmartThings) but I think our own SmartSense Motion sensor is a very cool product. If you plug it in it acts as a range extender. Some enterprising folks have even “re-typed” it to act as a presence sensor in their cars where they plug it into their lighter in their cars. It doesn’t have the sensitivity adjustments that others have, or the humidity and luminance sensors that the Aeon has but it is a solid little device.

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I know this is somewhat off topic, but would you mind explaining to me how people have “re-typed” the SmartSense Motion sensor as a presence sensor? I did a quick search of the forums and didn’t come up with anything. This sounds like a great idea - a compact sensor that can be plugged in to hopefully allow it to check in faster than a SmartSense Presence Tag. Did they just create a new DeviceType?

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Hey @ben

That was me that did that actually, just playing around mostly. You simply change the device type in the IDE to that of the presence sensor.

I am very happy with them for a motion sensor. They are very solid, and I have rarely had issues with them except for a couple of teething problems in the early days that were probably more cloud based.

I do wish they at least had a temperature sensor built in, or even a full on multi sensor, but they do one thing and do it well so its hard to complain.

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I have several of the SmartThings motion sensors and they work great. They reliably detect events, and don’t seem to have false positives.

I would recommend you avoid the Aeon motion sensor. I bought a pair and they are plagued by false triggers, rendering them useless.

Unfortunately I have an Aeon Sensor for outside. I haven’t yet hooked it up but have had it in my backyard just for testing. So far its been OK. Unfortunately it is to late for me to return it. I only got it because it is going outside. If I have problems, off to EBay with it.

I currently am using a Schlage RS200HC V N N SL Home Motion Sensor which seems OK. The only drawback is a delay, but I understand that is because of things being stored in the ‘Cloud’. And it is real sensitive. Even though I have it set up for the least sensitivity, darn dog sets it off.

I currently am test a Ecolink Zwave PIR I got on Amazon which I am finding is not that reliable (thus I started this tread). Funny because the body of the unit is exactly the same as the Schlage but must be running different firmware. Not as sensitive plus sometimes take 15 minutes after motion stops until it finally sends a ‘Motion Stopped’ back to ST.

Looks like spending an extra 15 bucks makes all the difference.

The delay on my SmartThings motion sensor isn’t bad at all. Lights turn on in about a second when entering my bathroom, which is quicker than it would take me to turn on all 4 switches that are placed all over the room. I don’t have any z-wave motion sensors, so I don’t have much to compare them to.

Cory: How is the Range? I am a little pissed right now as my Schlage has not responded in the last 30 minutes.

Zigbee has a much better range than z-wave in my experience, I haven’t had range issues with my of my zigbee devices which are placed all over the house.

Well, I didn’t realize they were Zigbee. OK. Since you are so active here and I have been following you around, I am going to change the subject just a little.

  1. What door sensor would you recommend?
  2. Are you bothered not being able to use your light switches with the TCP bulbs?
  3. Do you think I will have a humming problem when connecting my GE switches to halogen ceiling lights?

@realsol, I installed a couple Ecolink Zwave PIR’s that I got from my local Tiger Direct store. They have a bunch of Vera z-wave stuff and Insteon stuff.

So far I have mixed feelings. I have one mounted outside under a large overhang covering my front door and porch, so it’s well protected from rain and doesn’t get impacted by shadows (yet).

It’s done a good job telling me when the UPS guy dropped off a package of SmartThings presence tags, and other deliveries; but I have seen a few misreads. I will say though that it’s been running well now for a week. Now that I’ve jinked myself, I’ll go make sure things are still good…

The other one is in my kids bathroom and triggers lights to shut off after no motion has been detected. I couldn’t stand seeing lights on with nobody upstairs, so I replaced all those switches with GE ones. Works great so far.

I also bought several door sensors from Tiger that have been working great -

I also have a few of these too - Two are for my refrigerators so I can keep an eye on temp, and for when those same kids forget to close the one in the garage. The other is in my crawl space monitoring temp and open/close of a door I want monitored and if the lights have been left on (it has a lux meter built in).

I also have a couple ST multi sensors, and those work flawlessly.

Regarding dimmers, I also have several GE ones with a couple controlling halogen fixtures. They do hum at low settings, but you hardly even notice it, if at all. One in my dining is right by where my wife usually sits, and she’s never mentioned anything, and even guests who’ve sat there have no idea. Wife approved, so I’m good. I personally have to put my ear super close to hear it, and I don’t have hearing issues!

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Thanks for the response. Those GE Switches you put in, are they dimmers or regular on/off switches? I just got done trying to add a dimmer to mine (I can’t use standard switches as my house is not wired properly) but I couldn’t stand the hum. It would drive me crazy, so it looks like if I want to use them, I will actually have to use the switch (darn). I have two regular lamps that actually light up the room on a wall switch which works great. I wish they made a on/off switch that only required 2 wires. Doesn’t make sense to me.

On Monday i have a ST motion detector coming that will probably replace the Ecolink. the Ecolink just doesn’t seem that reliable to me.

From this point forward though I am holding off on doing any more switches, due to my wiring, until I hear more about how the TCP controlled bulb integration is going. Switches just aren’t working and I had dealing will electrical stuff anyhow. I get to frustrated. It makes me want to drink again.

Yep, dimmers are all GE - 4 in total, and around 30 GE on/off switches/outlets, and growing. My home is wired with neutral wires, so I’m able to use on/off switches. There was a thread somewhere that discussed why the neutral wire was required, or it could have been also described on HomeSeer’s site. This may be a handy link for you to have:


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@realsol I use the SmartThings multis for my door sensors, can’t speak of others…but these work very well for open and close, but the thermometer is very inaccurate. If I hadn’t of got them in the kit I’d prob go for something cheaper. However, some of the other sensors on it come in handy…like the gyroscope (?) For sensing garage door orientation, or the activity monitor for knocking.

It would annoy the crap out of me to have smart bulbs with a dumb switch. I am experimenting with a few different options. One is a z wave on off switch and using twacks device type and app the turn the bulbs on with the switch and adjust dimming at the bulb

Next is to remove the switch all together and mount a remote to the wall…that’s what I did with a room I have all hue bulbs in. Works well.

A cleaner version of the above is to get a battery powered in wall accessory switch.

On the humming noise… I think all dimmers will buz to an extent. The only dimmer I have that doesn’t buz that bad has a neutral, and is from evolv. My other 4 don’t have neutrals and buz pretty good if you listen for it…one even when turned off.

Mine are little halogens with two prongs at the end to plug in. TCP Connect has about 6 different bulbs now, one is a CFL bulb which is rated at 100 watts. 60 would only be good for my hallway. Here is the link to the kit:

I don’t mind not having switches, as long as I can use z-wave motion detectors. I thought they were working on communicating directly to TCP’s hub as TCP is giving them access to their API. If that is the case I can just have the lights come on as I walk and not deal with switches at all.

Oh, and ST is almost done working on connecting the harmony remote to ST hub. Then I can use my new remove (coming tomorrow) to control ev3erthing. That is my dream.

I have an Aeon Multi-sensor and it does not work well in outdoor environments where it can see sunlight. I get dozens of false triggers even with the sensitivity turned to its lowest setting. Apparently there is an issue with the luminance and PIR sensor that Aeon is aware of. If it is cloudy and then becomes sunny it triggers a false alert. I am returning it and trying another one to see if it was just a bad unit.

I just ordered an Everspring SP103 Z-Wave PIR Indoor/Outdoor Motion Detector and I’ll see if it suffers from the same problem as the Aeon. I do like monitoring the temp and humidity but if the new Aeon doesn’t work better I’m returning it.

I’ve also been very happy with my ST motion sensor and a $30 generic z-wave PIR sensor I purchased from Monoprice that has a built-in temp sensor. Unfortunately you can’t use them outdoors. I wish the ST sensor was cheaper cause I’d buy more.

My other wish is that the ST WeMo integration would get better. I have 2 WeMo motion sensors but they seem to fall asleep and then don’t respond after about an hour of not sensing motion so I removed them from my Hub.

Joe, please let us know how the Everspring works. I bought a pair of the Aeon and both of them are plagued by false triggers.

I got my replacement Aeon Multi-sensor last night and replaced the “broken” one. I’ll wait until the next sunny/cloudy day to make sure it still works. But so far so good… not a single false trigger.

The Everspring is still back-ordered. As soon as it arrives I’ll post an update on its reliability too.

I’m migrating from the Lowes Iris system where the motion sensors were $25. I assume those aren’t compatible with SmartThings? Are there any similarly priced motion sensors that are?