SmartThings Community

Best Motion Sensor (2014, now out of date)


You’re correct regarding the Iris system compatibility. They’re using technology that isn’t currently supported. You’ll have better luck selling your items and repurchasing the zwave/zigbee equivalent (may not be as cheap as iris units though).

The lowest price motion sensor currently are found on Monoprice.
Others range from $35 to $50.

I’m waiting for the monoprice ones to come back into stock so I can order a few. I currently don’t have any, so I’m hoping to automate some more stuff once I get them.

Anyone uses ceiling-mount motion sensors? I find the SmartThings one a bit bulky

I need one that won’t detect my 25lb dog, but will detect my 40lb kids? Anyone have a recommendation? The 2gig one seems like it will fit the bill. Thoughts?

The devices are line of sight. If you put them in a shelf and push them back from the front edge, you can hide the floor from it.


Trying to detect motion down a hallway, so I don’t think that will work. I think sensitivity adjustment is the only option. Also, I don’t want it to miss my 5 yr olds.

Also, what is this about harmony integration?

In my hallway, I mounted it (The ST Motion sensor) on the ceiling, but it see’s the dog. I have all of my motion detectors mounted with sticky backed Velcro which makes it easy to mount, and move, until I find suitable locations.

Outside I use a Aeon Multi-sensor. This is my second one but still get many false detection’s during the day. I finally shut off notifications and just use it to turn on outside lights. I even updated the firmware, moved locations but still many false positives. Waiting for the Everspring to see if it makes a difference.

I think the best motion sensor is a video camera with motion sensing software. Six years ago, I installed Axis IP video cameras in my office as a security requirement. Axis is a relatively expensive solution but very well worth it. You can define what area of the video triggers an alert, thus reducing false alarms. And the big advantage over traditional motion sensors is the capability of reviewing what triggered the alert. Like DropCam, you can stream a live video and archive the full video to the cloud. Unlike DropCam, you can also archive only the alarm sections saving cloud storage.

The Aeon Multi-sensor is more useful if you want to trigger lights on and off or just general presence logic. For security, you want to know what triggered the alert and thus require video. The other issue with Aeon is its wide angle coverage. If you use it outside, you really only want something crossing a horizontal plane to trigger the event. You don’t care if the leaves above the sensor or the grass or bushes below move in the wind. You only care if something breaks the plane.

Thus, for security I recommend a video solution. Otherwise, Aeon or many of the others are great for presence logic.

@beckwith have you had good experience with the Aeon MultiSensors? Review here seem mixed, but that seem mostly based on outdoor false positives.

I think the best motion sensor is a video camera with motion sensing software.
Perhaps a bit ironic, but the reason I started with Smartthings was due to the unreliability of my video-based motion system. A video based system works by looking for pixel differences between frames. The software can be tweaked to require a certain number of pixels to change (in order to reject small objects), for them to change by a certain level, that they be contiguous, there can be some attempts to prevent light changes from triggering the system. But fundamentally it works on visible light so a cloud passing overhead was triggering my video system, and on the outdoor cameras a tree in the area I wanted to monitor blowing in a breeze would often cause a trigger. Also my cameras had an IR light that automatically came on when the light level fell too low; every evening as the rooms became dark this would cause the software to trigger an alert (perhaps if the scene detection is in the camera itself it can briefly suppress detection when the IR light turns on or off).

A motion sensor, by contrast, works on infrared light. It looks for changes in the infrared signature of what it is seeing. This renders it more immune to passing clouds or blowing trees.

The video system would probably work pretty good in an interior room.

BTW I also bought a pair of the Aeon sensors for my yard and they are completely unreliable. I am waiting to hear how the Everspring ones work.


I tried using it outside like others with mixed results.

I use it successfully in my porch portico to turn on the front porch light when there is motion. Occasional false alarms are not a concern here. Since it is covered by the portico wind, sun and shadows impact alerts less. I also use the luminance to determine when to turn on and off other lights. I like this better than dusk/dawn since cloudy/sunny days are better managed.

As a trigger for cars or people entering my property it has been a failure. I even taped the reverse parabolic lens to reduce the coverage area. Though improved, too many false alarms still occurred. That is when it occurred to me what I concluded years ago with security cameras.

I ordered a DropCam and will play with that.


Good point. My experience with Axis was interior motion.

I find Dropcam “activity recognition” intriguing. However, this requires cloud recording monthly charges. I also don’t think ST uses these dropcam alerts. So maybe ST integration will be more important if we can get a good motion sensor for outside. The motion sensor triggers a Burst When event. However, that misses the seconds before the event was triggered which may be critical.

What’s the least expensive motion sensors out there’s that’s still decent? I’m thinking about maybe filling my house up with motion sensors so I can do more detailed automation.

Any way to get the Iris zigbee devices working?

While not cheap, the Schlage RS200HC V N N SL Home Motion Sensor has a 4 minute delay from the time it senses motion until it looks for motion again. I use this in my Kitchen.

The ST Motion Sensor only has about a 30 second delay (also not cheap but reliable). I use this in the hallway since the light only needs to be on for about a minute.

The Ecolink Zwave PIR I returned as it varied in its delay from 4 to sometimes 20 minutes. Just unreliable for timing lights.

The Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor is fine at night but will trigger all day long so unreliable for daylight notifications, but I use this for getting outside temps and lighting conditions and seems to work well at night to trigger my outside lights.

Monoprice has on on their website, but it is never in stock and really haven’t heard of any reviews. Same with SmartHome.

Hope this helps.

The monoprice one seems cheap enough to be worthy of testing… It also has a pet sensitivity setting which is a must for me. The 2-gig looks like it will fit my needs… Also looking at everspring and the EZ Motion plus.

I have a monoprice motion sensor. It works well but it does have a bit of a delay before it detects motion. The Smart Things motion sensor is quicker. That being said I have had no issues with the monoprice it also mounts in a corner very well without any drilling.

@jaydenaphillips, this may be due to the technology used. Zigbee (smartsense) is slightly more responsive than Zwave (monoprice sensors).

Here’s a little cheat sheet:

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So, since majority of my network is z-wave, get a good enough network coverage while on battery?

Oh, and I know this is covered before but anyone got the Iris Zigbee stuff working? The prices are really good.

@NomisR, I don’t think it’ll work with our current hub because they’re using zigbee HS and not HA. Not sure if the ST team is considering adding HS support on the version 2 of their hub, but that’s probably our best chance.

There are a few iris units that are zwave that you can pick up from lowes. I’ll start a thread on it.