Can't find a responsive motion sensor

I recently tested out two different motion sensors. One was a Aerotec and the other was a Phillips Hue 2022 version. Both had not so good response times. I have a v2 hub and ST v2 smart outlets.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t ST now only local? I had to use an edge driver for the Hue. I think it was this one: [Edge Driver] Hue Motion Sensor (No Hue Bridge)

Could anyone recommend a fast response motion sensor?

Those should have decent response times unless there’s something going on with the platform.

Let’s start with some details. Has the response time changed since moving to edge? Was it better previously with a groovy DTH? If so, it’s probably a platform issue. It may have to do with how many edge drivers you are using, for example. :thinking:

Next, what do you consider non-responsive? Are you using the motion sensors to trigger a light? If so, are you expecting the light to come on in one second? two seconds? what’s the specific response rate you’re looking for?

Third, have you had a chance to look at the FAQ on this issue? You may already know everything there, but there may be something that helps.

FAQ: Where to locate motion sensor for fastest response?

Forth, in most cases, if the motion sensor is designed to be battery powered, it will be less responsive than if it’s designed to be mains powered. Is mains powered an option where you want to use this?

Fifth, as far as the most responsive batterypowered motion sensor, you can configure the Fibaro multisensor for a very quick response time, but doing so will greatly reduce the battery life. So one of those set at the fastest possible response time is an option for some people, but it’s not usually the solution that most people are looking for.

Hi there JD. Great questions, let me answer them.

  1. I can’t compare the Hue to groovy, I didnt use groovy. I just recently installed both of them within the last two weeks. Only the Hue needed an edge driver, the aerotec is compatible without an additional driver. What I used before was the motion sensor that came with the v2 hub package. I needed an additional sensor to cover another part of the room so I was testing out the aerotec and Hue.

  2. I need a sensor to trigger a couple of outlets and ceiling lights. I am looking for preferably a 1 second response. Both the aerotec and Hue have around a 3 second response.

  3. I checked the link you posted. For my scenario, the sensors have direct line of sight to a door that is roughly 4 feet away.

  4. externally powered is ok, this is for a workroom so aesthetics dont matter much.

  5. I see there are a lot of configuration options with the Fibaro. I cant figure out which setting controls the response time. It seems the motion settings are all related to sensitivity. Is is the
    “Wake up interval” related to responsiveness of the device?

I’m using Aqara motion sensors. The delay is about 1 sec. Works fine for me, and have edge driver:

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Direct line of sight? If you read that FAQ, you’ll see that the most important thing is that PIR sensors, which both the Hue and the Aeotec are, are detecting small changes in heat, passing at 90° across the sensor. They don’t detect things coming straight towards them very well. So you want to check the “angle of incidence“ to see where something will go across the field, not towards the sensor. This is all explained in detail, including with drawings, in that FAQ.

“direct line of sight” would be more likely to apply to the kind of motion sensors that are in cameras.

Response time is based on multiple factors.

A) “sensitivity”: how big the change in temperature (remember that PIR sensors are actually measuring heat, not movement) has to be to cause the sensor to report. Fibaro parameter one for this model.

B) “cooldown period”: how long will the sensor wait after it first detects an event before it will report a second event. This is typically three minutes, but can often be set lower. Fibaro parameter two for this model. (Fibaro calls this “blind time.“)

C) “reporting interval”: how often the battery powered device wakes up to check to see if there have been any changes. The shorter this interval, the quicker you use up the battery, but you may get a report sooner.

D) “Debounce.” How many times in a row the sensor has to trigger before a report is actually sent. This is intended to reduce false alarms. Fibaro parameter three for this model. (Fibaro calls this “pulse count.“)

E) “Debounce window.” Used in combination with D), this is the time period during which the count is made. Fibaro parameter four for this model.

So it’s the combination of all of those that determines the responsiveness.

The wake up interval is some thing else entirely: it’s used for administrative functions, which determine how often the other settings will be updated.

Aeotec has some models which can be plugged in with a USB cable. As long as you have them plugged in at the time you first join them to the network, they should be more responsive than when running on battery because they don’t use a cooldown period Since they don’t have to preserve battery life. But they have to be running on Mains power when you join them or they will use the batterysaver profile.

Homeseer also has a plug-in model which has a manufacturer-provided edge driver. It has a RGB nightlight which can be set by automations, so can be useful for notifications like the doorbell ringing or the laundry being done.

But remember, angle of incidence still applies. You don’t want this facing straight onto the door, you want it at 90° to the doorway for the quickest alerts.

Thanks JD, you are really smart on this stuff. I went back and found the setup example for placement. I had no idea these motion sensors better trigger on movement across. This is usually not explained in the instruction manual. Also, thanks for the explanation on the factors that make up the response time. So, correct me if I am wrong here, but do I need something configurable like the Fibraro to adjust settings to create the quickest response time?

So the way the room is setup it is going to be difficult trying to setup a sensor where the movement is lateral like this:

I can try and figure out a placement based on this new information though.

First things first, the most important aspect for me is response time. If mains powered provides the quickest response time, I can go that route. I have already returned the Aerotec and Hue. You mentioned several models but which particular ones should I test? I have read mixed reviews on the HSM200 and Fibaro 1. Also, it appears both of these are z-wave and not zigbee.

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I’ve read the Aqara’s are difficult to pair with ST. What are you triggering with the sensor?

No problem to pair. I recommend following these instructions :

First hold the button until LED goes off(about 3 seconds). It should flash once quickly. Then press it again. It should flash 3 times indicating it has connected to the hub. Continue pressing the pairing button between double flashes of the LED until the device shows up in the app. It will take a minute or so. If you’ve ever paired a universal tv remote without the code it’s similar to that.

In this kind of situation, a sensor on the ceiling is often the best way to get the right angle of incidence. Because anyone walking underneath it is walking across the sensor field. Would that be a possibility for you?

As far as the aeotec’s, yes, the ones which have a USB option are zwave.

The newest one, using the series 7 chip, running on a USB cable would give you some choices about where to place it (because of the cable) and should have the best range, which can also help responsiveness if messages don’t have to be sent two or three times to get through. But it is one of the most expensive.

I’m tired right now, though, so I’ll let other people add more details and come back tomorrow and see if there’s anything more I’d want to add to the discussion. :sleeping:

No worries, take your rest :slight_smile:

Actually I think I can put it on top of a shelf unit about 6’ high that will be at the correct angle. The sensor will be about 6’ - 7’ from where the motion will be generated.

I see this is another z-wave device. I would prefer a zigbee over z-wave if possible. You have any recommendations for a mains connected zigbee motion sensor? Not having to replace batteries is also a definitely plus.

Hi again Dotan, these Aqaras keep coming up in my research. Did you need an edge driver for this? I read you have to use a driver to get it to work with ST. I dont want to purchase an Aqara hub.

I assume you are referring to this one:

I’m referring to this sensor:

You need an edge driver to make it work. I think that @Mariano_Colmenarejo or @veonua have one… BTW, Zigbee Thing MC (by Mariano) should work and give details to any Zigbee device

I’m using both of those, brought early last year I believe, and they are the best ones in the house. Very fast response time and reset time. The next best are the newer Aqara Motion.

Thanks for the link, that’s a nice price on those. I am confused by the edge driver business. I have been researching on this forum how to join these to ST and I found this one by Yakov’s SmartThings Edge Drivers (Beta):

Is that not the driver I should use? What’s the difference between @ygerlovin and @Mariano_Colmenarejo drivers?

Both of those people are community developers, who enjoy creating edge Drivers, and sharing them with other community members. They add the features that they are interested in adding so sometimes it’s based on what people have asked them for, sometimes it’s based on how they themselves use the devices. Different drivers will have different features, so you just need to go to the author’s thread and read what the author has written, typically in the first post, and then ask any questions you still have.

All of that said, the driver you linked to is only for remotes and buttons, not sensors.

If you go to the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, you will find the lists divided by device class. So there is one list for sensors, one list for buttons/remotes, one list for lights, etc. That’s usually the quickest way to find custom drivers.

If you try to just search the forum, you’re liable to find a whole bunch of things which aren’t actually edge drivers for the device class you were looking for. That’s why the quick browse lists exist. :sunglasses:


I really appreciate all the help guys, thank you!

Alright I am falling down the hole and now I can’t find my way out. It keeps getting deeper and deeper down here.

So I started looking into the Aqara as @dotan_shai recommended. Problem is there are two versions. The P1 RTCGQ14LM and the RTCGQ11LM.

From my research it appears the P1 is highly regarded.

@dotan_shai that link you provided, do you know which model that one is on Alliexpress? It doesn’t say anywhere on the page.

Thank you @JDRoberts this is making more sense now. So I did exactly what you suggested and the first one that popped up was one from Yakov Gerlovin. Matter of fact, it looks like Yakov’s is the only one specific to Aqara. Now I know how to look up edge drivers now for specific devices. Thank you.

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@Expose Hi James, are the newer ones you are referring to the RTCGQ14LM. Have you tried both RTCGQ11LM and the RTCGQ14LM?