Can Hue Motion Sensor work with ST without custom DTH?

I thought the Hue Motion Sensor would work with ST without a custom DTH, is that not the case? Do I have to use [BETA] Hue Motion Sensor (beta) (no hue bridge) to get it to work with ST?

I thought the Hue Motion Sensor could be added just like the other Hue devices.

Unfortunately, it can only be used with the custom DTH.

The hue bridge does not expose the motion sensor to SmartThings.

In order to use it with SmartThings, you have to connect it directly to The smart things hub, in which case it will be invisible to the hue bridge.

Connecting it directly is not recommended by either Phillips or SmartThings, but there are some community members who do it.


Thanks. I was afraid that was the answer. I think I’ll return it and just keep using the Iris motion sensor.

Do you know their reasoning behind this JD?

I have been using 2 Hue Motion Sensors for about 9 months without any issues. I am using digitalgeckos custom DTH.

The only downside is that when paired within ST, they become unavailable to the Hue Bridge. However, I don’t know what purpose if any they serve being linked through Hue only. That limits the capability to turning on and off hue lights when motion is detected, versus being able to use them within any routine in SmartThings. I think they are useless on the Hue side unless the use is for just Hue Lights.

After 9 months and them being triggered anywhere between 5 and 10x a day, the battery levels on both are 72 and 73%. They have been pretty solid within ST.

The main reason is that when these devices are linked directly to the SmartThings hub they change their profile from ZLL to ZHA.

That in itself isn’t a problem but ZHA uses more zigbee channels than ZLL does.

If your smartthings hub happens to be using a ZHA channel which is not also used by ZLL, then linking a bulb directly to the smartthings hub might mean there was no way to reset it and move it back to a Hue bridge without buying an additional third-party device. ( as @kojak35 points out below, the recent issue isn’t a problem for the motion sensor, because it does have a way to be reset. It’s just a problem with the Hue bulbs.)

That’s complicated to explain to someone because it’s really technical and at the same time it’s super annoying to someone who’s just trying to experiment to see which set up they like better.

Again for technical reasons devices like Sylvania devices don’t happen to have that problem. They can be linked to their own Gateway, then reset and linked directly to the SmartThings hub, then reset and moved back to the gateway.

Explaining why that might not work for some customers with Hue devices while it did work for others is just a headache.

So if you have it set up and it’s working now and you like that, there’s no issue except that neither SmartThings nor Philips support Will help you if you do run into a problem. But if in the future it would need to change back to using the hue bridge you might run into some issues then.

This is discussed in great detail in a number of forum posts about attaching hue bulbs directly to the smartthings hub if you want to read more about it.

Again for technical reasons the sensors don’t have the same issue that the bulbs do, but just the fact that neither official support staff will help the customer and that is enough to say it should probably be reserved for people with a strong technical background who understood the issues before they did it.

So in a sense, just someone asking the question is probably enough to put them into the group where the suggestion would be not to do it.

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Thinking this was not the intent from Philips. For the fact that Philips lists both the Multipurpose and Motion sensor in their Works with SmartThings section, why would Philips then release their own Motion Sensor to only be supported within the Hue Bridge. That limits the functionality of the Motion sensor to work within the realm of Hue lights on the Bridge. A wasted product in a sense limited to hue bulbs and bulbs alone.

The Works with SmartThings compatible devices list every other type of Hue bulb, lamp or strip (exception: gu and par).

The protocols for both the bulbs and motion sensor are zll. Within SmartThings why would they be treated differently? Because of capabilities?

It’s not a big deal. I just find it bizarre that out of all my devices, this is the only one that cannot be paired simultaneously between it’s parent and SmartThings at the same time and isn’t supported by either, if you do choose one route over the other. Makes things that much more difficult for the average consumer and that much more complex when they are building their little infrastructure of things and then come across something like this. It makes it so much more difficult for individuals (no tech) to navigate these waters. Again, thanks for the info. As much as I am technical as a software developer in another industry (30 years IT), the realm of protocols and such within this world isn’t my forte and these types of things, as small as this might be, add up across the board to convolute what you can and cannot do, things you would expect to otherwise work that don’t, and make it a nightmare for the DIYer, lol. Where we are in the Smart Home space, I almost think there should be a rating system (degree of knowledge and average time investment N1 - N5 / Novice and xx # of minutes to E1 - E5), just like they have for television programming so that the consumer knows exactly what they are getting
themselves into ahead of time and what is expected. It really is targeted at the hobbiest or tinkerer that has the time, patience and knowledge to venture into this space. I know that’s all easier said than done and this space will eventually open to consumers just being able to plug and play and go. I know you know what I mean or am trying to say.

Thanks again for your take.

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For the fact that Philips lists both the Multipurpose and Motion sensor in their Works with SmartThings section,

Do you have a link for this?

As far as the profiles, the SmartThings hub uses the ZHA profile, not ZLL. ZLL devices are supposed to be able to fall back to using a ZHA profile if they are connected to a ZHA coordinator, and that does happen. The issue isn’t the profile, it’s the channel. (I told you this stuff gets technical. :scream: )

The motion sensor isn’t unique in this regard. None of the “smart control” devices that you can use with the hue bridge can be simultaneously used with SmartThings. That includes the hue dimmer switch, the tap, and the motion sensor. So this isn’t a new issue with the motion sensor – – it’s been true from the beginning since the tap existed before the SmartThings/Hue integration did. The hue bridge doesn’t report “smart control” events to SmartThings.

I have both of these as well and treat these two as a one off device versus the capability of the motion sensor. I look at the dimmer and tap as remote controls specific to the Hue bulbs and don’t expect them to work across the board.

OK, I looked at that page. That’s saying that the Samsung-branded sensors can be used to trigger hue events. Which is true, because those sensor events are reported to the SmartThings hub which then makes a request of the Phillips hue bridge.

When implemented as currently designed, the Phillips hue motion sensor reports to the hue bridge, but, as I said, Hue does not report its “smart control” device events in the other direction.

A lot of people would like to see the dimmer switch able to be used as a button controller with SmartThings while still being connected to the hue bridge, but Philips has not made that possible. Maybe some day.

Ya I didn’t mean that to be confusing. My point around that was why in the world would Philips create a Motion Sensor not intended to be used outside of the Hue Bridge with the fact that ST compliments the control of Hue bulbs via their Motion Sensors. It was just my observation of why create something where it’s limited in that scope. But that being said, the dimmer and tap are in the same boat so I guess it’s consistent.

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Hi I just wanted to clear up a few things about using the hue Motion sensor with the device handler on ST. First I have used it this way since I bought my hue Motion sensor more than 6 months ago and it works perfectly, I would say it works better than the st Motion sensors no matter which generation, I have them all. One st Motion sensor won’t reconnect because the reset button is broken. I have another one with a problem with the battery not making a constant connection. And the other one just falls off the network all the time. I have never had a problem with the hue Motion sensor on ST. The battery lasts at least twice as long as the ST Motion sensors. And to clarify I have reset my system and put the hue Motion back on the hue hub with no problem at all. I didn’t like using it that way so I put it back on ST again. Did not need anything special just reset it and put it back on ST using the IDE. For me hue lights on the hue hub linked to ST and the hue Motion sensor linked directly to ST are the most consistent and reliable.

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I’m glad it’s working so well for you. :sunglasses:

You make a good point about moving it back-and-forth. Depending on the channel that your smartthings hub is using, this could be easy with a Hue bulb or it could be hard with a Hue Bulb, but that’s because the bulbs don’t have any way of resetting themselves without receiving a command.

Since you can reset the hue motion sensor without a bridge command, it makes sense that you could move it back-and-forth regardless of the hub’s zigbee channel.

So thanks for that reminder, it is an important distinction between the sensor and the bulb. I have noted it in my post above.

Thanks for the concise description JD.
Do you have a reference which describes the available ZLL channels?
I have looked at 802.15.4 reference articles from NXP etc. but can’t find that detail. I’d be prepared to ‘risk’ connecting a Hue bulb if I was sure my smartthings was using a ZLL compatible channel. The zigbee channel is displayed under the HUB screen of the api.smartthings dev site.

Thanks in advance.

The ZLL channels are 11, 15, 20, 25. These are the same ones listed under “Change the zigbee channel” in the Philips Hue app. :sunglasses::bulb:

Remember that the risk you run isn’t just that you can’t reset the bulb again.

The primary risk is that you will screw up your zigbee mesh since these bulbs are unreliable repeaters when connected without their Bridge, so they may lose messages from other devices, such as sensors. :scream:

Is this still the case with Hues motion sensors. They have new ones now that are integrated with Alexa also. Just wondered if ST and Phillips have learned to play nicely together with these motion sensors?

The Philips Hue Motion sensor now has a new box, but as far as I know it’s still the same device. It still officially requires the Hue Bridge, and all references to works with Alexa really means the bridge works with Alexa to control the lights—the motion sensor itself remains invisible to Alexa. For example, you can use Apple HomeKit to have the Hue motion sensor trigger a nonHue device like a Lutron Caseta Switch, but Alexa can’t do anything with it even if you have the Echo Plus model. And the motion sensor doesn’t show up in the list of smart home devices in the Alexa app.

Do you have a link describing the new Alexa capabilities you’re referring to?

Thanks for the info. I guess I will look at other motion sensors. I have some of the Iris motion sensors but a couple of them are quite flaky so I want to replace them. I also have a couple of the zooz 4-in-1 sensors but the DTH has problems with an accurate battery display. I am wondering if there are any others that are small and reliable.

We’re introducing a small and quick Z-Wave Motion Sensor from Zooz, it will be a part of our 4th of July promo and the first week it’s going to be priced at under $20, you’ll be able to to order it starting tomorrow (6/29):

That may be a good option. While it has a dedicated handler to access advanced settings, it will also work with a default motion sensor device type on SmartThings.

I will definitely look at this as I have a couple of the zooz 4-in1 and I generally like them except the DTH has trouble with the correct battery reading. These look very interesting and a good price.

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I have two of these sensors and they are absolute garbage. They detect motion “when they want to”. If you want to configure them correctly you have to use a custom DTH which makes them cloud based. If you pair them directly as ZigBee motion sensors, configuring them is a nightmare.

The only interesting thing about them is they have a micro USB port which can power them and turn them into repeaters. Other than that I would recommend staying as far away as possible from these sensors.

On a side note, the new SmartThings motion sensors are a dream. They detect motion flawlessly, and with the new mount you have tons of options on how you to mount and aim them. On top of that, they are now some of the cheapest sensors you can buy.