Best temp and motion detection sensors

I am looking for the best temp and motion detection sensors that work best with native ST integration. I have no problem if the solution is two different devices because it is two different rooms. I have the Zooz 4 in 1 zwave sensor and although the temp readings are very accurate it has difficulty triggering an action based on that temp reading. I copied and installed the DH for the Special Settings but that didn’t help (in fact it created another issue) and waiting on Support for direction. I am looking just for a temp sensor that can turn on/off another device based on room level by using ST automation. As to motion detection, again the Zooz works but although the manual indicates it has a range of 40 ft the best I can get is about 6 ft. I would like one that can detect motion at the end of a 25 ft hall. Any suggestion for devices that can handle my simple requirements is appreciated. Thanks.

There’s no one “best“ because different people have different requirements, budgets, use cases. So we need to get very specific with regard to what you’re trying to do in order to make recommendations.

First, since you are using Zooz, I assume that your hub has the US Zwave frequency. Please let us know if that is not the case as the device selection does vary.

And since you are using Zooz, I would first suggest getting in touch with support at They are very familiar with smartthings and usually very helpful (to be honest, these days they are often more helpful than Samsung support).

Motion Sensors

It’s important to understand that with the exception of camera-based units, almost all of the “motion sensors“ that work with smartthings are not actually detecting motion at all. They are detecting a very small change in heat as it moves across The PIR lens of the sensor. For this reason, placement is essential for good results. A lot of people think these work like a camera and they point it at the place where something will be moving towards the sensor. But that might make the item almost invisible to the sensor, and you will get a very long lag time (or what appears to be a very short detection zone). Instead, for best results you want to place the sensor where the item will be moving at 90° across the detection zone.

The following FAQ has more details and some graphics. (The topic title is a clickable link)

So your “end of a 25 foot hall“ is a very challenging set up for most of the PIR sensors. Usually in this kind of configuration the best thing to do is to put the PIR sensor on the ceiling pointing down, and that way it can detect the changes across the lens. You might need to put a little box around it if you’re trying to specifically angle the detection area. But again there’s lots of discussion of that in the FAQ.

For discussion of specific brands, see the following:

Latest Motion Sensors Recommendations? (2020)

Or (and this is where that budget question comes into play) if you go to camera-based motion detection, many of these do offer “activity zone” detection where you can limit the specific area that you want to trigger from. Usually works quite well, there are a couple of different brands you can consider, but, first of all, it’s a camera and not everybody wants one of those for privacy reasons, and secondly, they tend to be much more expensive and/or to have a monthly subscription fee.

But first, I would just get in touch with The Smartest House and see if they have any suggestions. This is a very popular brand in the community and again, with very good tech-support. So as long as you’re interested in zwave , they would probably be high on most people’s candidate lists. :sunglasses:


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As far as devices with native support, probably the best choice would be the Aeotec Zigbee sensor once it is available which is basically a clone of the previous smartthings brand sensor. But all of the same issues about location and angle will still apply, it’s also a PIR sensor. Also, we would then have to ask if you have any zigbee repeaters on your system.

Finally, can you show us a screenshot of the automation you were trying to use and be more specific about what isn’t working for you. :thinking:

The most common issue people run into is that many of the less expensive battery-powered temperature sensors, in particular the ones that are included in motion sensors or contact sensors, only update the temperature every 15 minutes or so. And that may not be as frequently as you want it.

If so, there are definitely other sensors that do report temperature more often. Just be aware that if it’s a battery powered device, the more often it reports, the faster it will use up the battery. so some people prefer to use a plug-in device if they want really frequent reporting.

If it’s some other issue, again, can you be more specific as to the issues you ran into?

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Thanks for the tag and the kind words @JDRoberts!

@senior_vegabond Zooz is our house brand so if you haven’t contacted support for these issues yet, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help with scheduling your automations and optimizing motion detection range, it should definitely be able to cover the 25ft hall.

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Thanks, I have sent several configuration screenshots and detailed explanations of the issues to Zooz Support and they are working on it.


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