Can't find a responsive motion sensor

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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

Both are working fine with ST. RTCGQ14LM with fingerprint lumi.motion.ac02 can work with @ygerlovin driver and RTCGQ11LM with fingerprint lumi.sensor_motion.aq2 can also work with @ygerlovin or @veonua driver and you can choose whatever you like.

AliExpress not always provide information regarding the model.

1 Like

They are the P1
I have not tried the older model. They are a little tricky to adjust the refresh time and sensitivity, but in most cases you probably won’t have to do that. The illumination works very well, although it doesn’t seem to update without motion. In other words, you can’t use illumination to trigger. But for $22, they are very much worth it.

1 Like

I am using the edge driver from @ygerlovin but my RTCGQ11LM sensor will only stay connected for a couple of hours then drops even when sitting a few feet from the hub.

It seems like you have poor Zigbee network. You should try adding repeaters. A device close to the hub might be offline since it must have few routing passes. Zigbee repeaters are everything that always connected to power.